The Mailing List Project
There are hundreds of language-related discussion lists on the Internet, each of them carrying information valuable to other academic linguists. But most of us do not know what lists are available or how to find them. Nor is accessing past discussions always easy. Many lists do not have web-searchable archives. Many others flourish for a time but die when their owners lose interest or institutional support; and the valuable information they carried disappears with them.
The LINGUIST List would like to provide linguistics discussion lists with a single, permanent archive site, so that the information they carry will be freely and readily accessible to anyone in the discipline. The mailing list archive page is a first step toward that goal. Currently we can offer the following services on a list by list basis:
- subscription via the web
- archiving and searching of current and future postings
- searching of past discussion archives of most lists (depending on format)
In the future, we hope to do more. We have just recently been given grant support by the National Science Foundation of the United States to allow us to develop software to:
- put all the archives into a uniform, tagged format and make them available to a single, more flexible search engine. Thus all the past discussion archives would be available on one site; and a user could initiate a single search ranging over multiple lists.
- format and display the postings according to the preferences of the listowner
- enable the user to post to the list or contact the listowner from our site
- enable the user to post a query to several lists at once
No doubt there are other services that a multi-list archive might usefully provide. If you have suggestions, please share them with us. We are hoping to identify a group of listowners or moderators with whom we can consult as we develop the software. But we also welcome suggestions from users now, while we are in the planning stages.
Finally, if you are a listowner or moderator, please consider archiving your list on our site. The more lists that show an interest in this project, the more likely we are to be able to implement it fully. And, more importantly, you will be doing your colleagues a favor by making your list's discussion more readily available to the academic community worldwide.
Thank you for your support.
Anthony & Helen