Online & Paper

Nick Thieberger thien at UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Sat Nov 29 20:11:55 UTC 2008

Our analyses can all be kept in eprints repositories (
), with open access provided by instituitions like libraries,
providing persistent identification of the papers in them with good
metadata to allow them to be located. This is all possible now.

When we sign contracts with journal publishers we can change the
copyright conditions to allow ourselves the right to place our own
articles into eprints repositories (perhaps six months after
publication to placate the publishers), see for example the wording in
the SPARC agreement (

I do not understand the logic of creating scholarly output (usually at
public expense) and then providing it for free to journal publishers
who sell it for their own profit, while denying access to any who
cannot afford journal subscriptions. What's more, we have created a
system in which our own career advancement relies on us publishing in
these journals. With increasing web-access by third-world academics
whose institutions do not have subscriptions to most journals it is
beholden on those of use in the first world who work in the third
world to support our colleagues there with open-access publication.


2008/11/28 Martin Haspelmath <haspelmath at>:
> Archives like AILLA and PRADISEC are a good solution for digital data, but
> we may also want to access our analyses, i.e. our books and journal
> articles, in several decades' time. So we also need to think about the
> permanence of digital scientific publications.
> Open-access online publications like WALS Online ( and
> eLanguage ( are aware of these issues and
> avoid proprietary software. But in my view, scholars and science
> administrators have not sufficiently addressed the issue of financing such
> more sustainable publication forms.
> Mouton de Gruyter's ReferenceGlobal is financed by Mouton de Gruyter's
> customers, which at the moment are getting a good deal, it seems to me.
> Currently Mouton is a family-owned business that wants to make a living by
> serving science. But what if Mouton de Gruyter is bought up by a
> shareholder-owned company like Elsevier, Springer or Taylor & Francis? These
> companies want to make big profits for their shareholders, so we should be
> skeptical about their role in science. And we have no idea how long-lasting
> their electronic platform will be.
> Martin
> Nick Thieberger schrieb:
>> This is a very good point and exactly why linguists should be building
>> digital archives that will curate digital data over time. If we have
>> learned anything over the past decades it is that proprietary software
>> creates data in forms that cannot easily be accessed or reused over
>> time. We also know that digital data is extremely fragile and needs to
>> be stored in a number of locations on media that will be continually
>> updated. The international inititiatives OLAC
>> ( and Delaman ( aim to
>> provide support for such archives and examples are PARADISEC
>> ( (with which I am associated) or AILLA
>> (
>> Nick
>> Nick Thieberger
>> Assistant Professor
>> Language Documentation and Conservation
>> Department of Linguistics
>> University of Hawai'i at Manoa
>> 1890 East-West Road
>> Honolulu, HI 96822
>> 2008/11/28 Gideon Goldenberg <msgidgol at>:
>>> Is there any chance that online materials or electronic files of today
>>> will
>>> be readable ten years from now let alone twenty years? The changes in the
>>> equipment and techniques may be even faster than in the last two decade.
>>> On 28 Nov 2008, at 6:6, Frans Plank wrote:
>>>> By the way, in case you haven't noticed, thanks to Mouton de Gruyter's
>>>> new
>>>> reference tool, ReferenceGlobal, those of you who read LT online are
>>>> nowadays getting a head start on the old-fashioned paper journal readers
>>>> like me.  See
>>>> and get the hitlist of the "Top 20 Most Accessed Articles" into the
>>>> bargain.
>>>> Frans Plank

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list