[Lingtyp] Ethnologue goes for paid access

Everett, Daniel DEVERETT at bentley.edu
Wed Dec 30 21:41:11 UTC 2015

It is not at all clear that SIL is trying to make money. Maintaining these pages costs thousands of dollars per month and, as Martin says, SIL has no academic funding. Its funding comes from churches by and large and they have no particular interest in supporting non-mission related academics. I strongly urge the academic community to develop its own resources in this area.


Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 30, 2015, at 16:28, Martin Haspelmath <haspelmath at shh.mpg.de<mailto:haspelmath at shh.mpg.de>> wrote:

Yes, that's true, and here's the description: http://www.ethnologue.com/ethnoblog/m-paul-lewis/ethnologue-launches-subscription-service

They say you can access seven data pages per month for free.

I don't find this surprising. Ethnologue (and the entire academic branch of SIL) has no proper academic funding, so it's normal that they are trying to make some money out of their flagship publication.

Incidentally, Glottolog has no proper funding either, but as it is now hosted by MPI-SHH in Jena (http://www.shh.mpg.de/48816/research_outline), at least its continued existence is assured for the next dozen years or so.

(I think we should try to tell our administrators that it makes little sense to try to sell academic publications. Instead, they should by properly funded by the academic publishers themselves, in order not to drive academics even further into questionable practices<http://www.frank-m-richter.de/freescienceblog/2015/12/18/is-our-scholarship-based-on-illegal-foundations/>.)


On 30.12.15 22:16, Peter Arkadiev wrote:

Dear all,

does any one know whether the access to the Ethnologue is going to be by paid subscription only? When trying to routinely access the information about a random language, I got a screen advertising paid subscription for $60 per year, and there is no way to bypass it and get access to the information which was freely available a week ago. This looks pretty distressing.



Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de<mailto:haspelmath at shh.mpg.de>)
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10
D-07745 Jena
Leipzig University
Beethovenstrasse 15
D-04107 Leipzig

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