Frank Seidel frank.zidle at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 15 16:23:17 UTC 2011

Hello everybody,

I very much like the idea of a freely or easily accessible prestigious
online publication platform and I would like to encourage thinking about
ways of using such a platform that makes use of the strengths of the genre.
The following two come readily to mind:

1) Easily changeable output that creates a history of article versions.

2) The possibility to reach a higher number of 'reviewers', where
contributions/submissions on an open platform can be commented upon,
rewritten according to comments by colleagues, and discussed about. This
has the potential to take editing load from the 'prestigeous' editors.

Ways at looking how to combine a rigorous selection process of 'editing'
and the strengths of the genre can also be explored, e.g.: A selection
committee could then collect or select the most advanced, best or most
contested submissions into several issues or volumes each year which in
turn are then distributed to a wider audience of subscribers online.
This could also include ensuing discussions and reactions.

Lastly, I would like to add that 'online' publication is probably not going
to be "a once and for all" solution to the problems Mark raised. Access to
the internet is not a given and will probably not be for a long time in
many parts of the world. Ultimately, every researcher should find ways to
make data accessible to the various stakeholders such as the community,
local scientific community, local ministries of education, local libraries,
etc. in ways that makes the best possible use of the existing 'publishing'
possibilities and options. This will never be perfect, but one could, for
example, negotiate with the community and with publishers how to best make
the publications available to them. Maybe the publishers would be willing
to give a certain number of books for free to key members of the community,
local libraries etc., maybe community members are fine with 'grey'
literature publications of the manuscript that was submitted. But this all
depends on the situation and the wishes and goals of all the stakeholders
involved. The role of the researcher then should be to manage all this in
ways that are acceptable to most.

Kind regards,


Frank Seidel, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Center for African Studies at the University of Florida
University of Florida
427 Grinter Hall - PO Box 115560
Gainesville, FL 32611-5560
Tel: 352.392.2183
Fax: 352.392.2435

On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 6:18 AM, Christian Lehmann <
christian.lehmann at> wrote:

> Dear Nigel and everybody,
> that is exactly the proposal that I have been waiting for and would have
> made myself. I am willing to cooperate in your working group.
> Just a few thoughts:
> 1) Apart from a few idealists, most of those colleagues who have the
> necessary standing to draw prestige to the online linguistics publishing
> facility and are "prepared to be tough in terms of peer review and quality
> selection" would want some kind of remuneration for their service. That's
> the way this world is; we know it from experience with people who are on
> editorial or advisory boards of journals and series. That remuneration is
> not necessarily money, although that option would always work if money is
> available. The problem is that it detracts from the outspoken goal of
> making such publications freely available.
> 2) One might therefore think of a model where a member of that online
> publishing board takes on the duty of reviewing one book or two articles
> every two years and gets some (immaterial) benefit in return. (Ideas wanted
> of what that might be.)
> 3) Since your idea in itself is exactly what is needed, I assume that
> there will be, in the mid-run, more than one such online linguistics
> publishing facility. In order to get the idea running, it might be useful
> to allocate it rather highly. I offer to submit it to the CIPL Executive
> Committee, if that seems reasonable to members of your working group. CIPL
> fulfills a couple of presuppositions for that role:
> - It is international and, indeed, in charge of a couple of permanent
> agenda on behalf of linguists worldwide.
> - It has a certain prestige (although not quite the prestige that it ought
> to have).
> - It has a certain infrastructure (although, again, that aspect remains
> improvable).
> - It disposes of some money (although, again, ...) and might have the
> possibility to raise some more.
> Best,
> Christian
> --
> Prof. Dr. Christian Lehmann
> Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft
> Universität Erfurt
> Postf. 900221
> D - 99105 Erfurt
> Tel.:   +49/361/737-4201    (selbst)
>        +49/361/737-4200    (Sekr.)
> Fax:    +49/361/737-4209
> E-Post: Christian.Lehmann at Uni-Erfurt.**De
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