LINGUIST List 15.2511

Fri Sep 10 2004

Disc: Penultimate Posting: Open-Access Journals

Editor for this issue: Marie Klopfenstein <>


  1. Anna Spagnolli, Re: 15.2354, Disc: New: Open-Access Journals/Ling Publishing
  2. Scott J Baxter, Re: 15.2493, Disc: Re: Open-Access Journals/Ling Publishing

Message 1: Re: 15.2354, Disc: New: Open-Access Journals/Ling Publishing

Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2004 17:47:15 +0200
From: Anna Spagnolli <>
Subject: Re: 15.2354, Disc: New: Open-Access Journals/Ling Publishing

dear ListMembers,

as far as I can see, beyond personal taste and individual ability to
read the future, turning to Open Access is simply a matter of equity
and sustainability. Invitations to support this modality (e.g.the
Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and
Humanities), reflect a concern for scholars' exclusion from knowledge
exchange. Even in rich European countries and US, libraries are
cancelling subscriptions and scholars are publishingh articles that
few will afford reading. See for instance the following position
statement from the Uk Parliament Committee on Science and Technology:

"Scientific publishing is the subject of widespread debate at the
moment on account of the recognition that the system cannot continue
to operate as it has done. While the volume of research output and the
price of scientific journals have been steadily increasing over recent
years, perhaps by as much as 58%, according to the UK's Chartered
Institute of Library and Information Professionals, libraries have
seen their budgets cut. (...) And while libraries are struggling to
purchase journals, scientific, technical and medical publishers'
profit margins remain exceptionally high compared with the rest of the
publishing sector. ". To access the UK Parliament's Select Committee
on Science and Technology's report, please visit:
[source:Cprdi Focus, RCN 22363]

By browsing the list of open access journals (
one realizes that open access publishing is not something that has to
be started, it is alreay happening. The only concerns are for quality
on the one side, and for spendability in terms of career on the
other. If tenured scholars joined editorial boards of online journals
and applied for such journals to be included in citation/indexing
systems we will have quality open access journals, also taking
advantage of the features of the electronic format ('Discourse
Analysis On-line' publishes the reviews for each accepted article;
other journals provide the original video/audiorecorded data). This
statement by Thomson ISI, the company calculating the journals' impact
factors, is motivating:

"Today, Thomson ISI, a business of The Thomson Corporation, announced
that journals published in the new Open Access (OA) model are
beginning to register impact in the world of scholarly research. Of
the 8,700 selected journals currently covered in Web of Science´┐Ż, 191
are OA journals. Thomson ISI recently conducted a study of the overall
performance of OA journals as they are added to the mix of scholarly
publications used by the research community. Using ISI citation
metrics such as impact factor and cited half life, the study focuses
on determining whether OA journals perform differently from other
journals in their respective fields. The study's initial findings
indicate that there was no discernible difference in terms of citation
impact or frequency with which the journal is cited. (April 15,
2004)-" For the full paper, go to

I'm contributing myself, in the field of human-computer interaction,
by volunteering with an international group of colleagues at an open
access project ( I hope that influent networks of
scholars will be motivated enough to support open access journals or
start their own; that will make an actual difference.

Kind regards and congratulations to the list owners for their work,
which is in the spirit of accessibility and sharing.

Anna Spagnolli

Anna Spagnolli Ph.D.
Department of General Psychology
via Venezia, 8 - 35131
Padova (ITALY)

phone: +39 049 8276644
fax: +39 049 8276600
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Message 2: Re: 15.2493, Disc: Re: Open-Access Journals/Ling Publishing

Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 08:15:10 -0500
From: Scott J Baxter <>
Subject: Re: 15.2493, Disc: Re: Open-Access Journals/Ling Publishing

I have a question about this thread that perhaps someone could answer
for me in regards to this issue of electronic publishing. Why is it
that so few people in linguistics make their articles available on
their web pages? Much of my current research is on writing in computer
science. In that field when one publishes an article he or she makes
it available online as a .pdf on their website. And, yes, these are
peer reviewed articles. This trend carries through with dissertations
as well. One can find many many dissertations available on the web.
Among the computer science faculty and graduate students I know, it is
rare for them to actually have to go to the library to find anything
they need for their research. My question, then, is why is it so
uncommon for linguists to make their own work available in .pdf on
their own websites.

And one other point. I would disagree with Dave Odden's claim that
postscript is outmoded, at least in some fields. Again, in computer
science, all submissions are electronic, and all conferences that I
know of (they submit whole papers, not abstracts) ask for postscript

Scott Baxter
Purdue University

Scott J Baxter
Purdue University
Department of English
500 Oval Drive
West Lafayette IN 47907

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