Monday, July 9, 2007

" Shifting the paradigm in linguistics from academic publishing to scholarly communication"

PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference 2007 July 11 - 13, 2007


Cornelius Puschmann
University of Duesseldorf, Germany

Speaker Profile: Cornelius Puschmasnn is a PhD student in English linguistics at the University of Duesseldorf, Germany. He is studying the corporate blog communication on the Web. He has experience as a web developer. He has melded his interests in the pursuit to bring open access to the linguistic discipline with the vision of making research more accessible and relevant. A blog on eLanguage has been developed for those desiring further information about the progress of the project.


C. Puschman presented the development of an electronic journal, eLanguage, which could be defined as a disciplinary cooperative. The focus of his presentation was the journal itself, eLanguage, the technical aspects, the present scenario and the potential in the future.

The journal, eLanguage, is an aggregator for peer-reviewed content for Open Access journals in linguistics. It is a platform for the academic community as well as a source of meta information on academic linguistics. The project partners are HBZ, the University of Duesseldorf, and the Linguistic Society of America (LSA).

The print form of Language started in 1924 start with 7000 individual and institute subscribers. It is available via Project MUSE. It has a narrowed focus, is slower to publish issues and has high production and dissemination costs. The goal of developing an eVersion is to widen the field to be inclusive to more authors and topics, to reduce cost and facilitate access.

The organization is similar to most publishing structures. There is an editor in chief and a editorial board which reviews journal proposals. There is also a team or researchers behind a prospective new journal. Once the material for the journal is approved then the journals are managed independently. The journal then submits its content to ejournal and HBZ does the technical aspects.

The eJournal uses a mashup of tools: PKP OJS 2.1.1 and wordpress 2.2. The people setting up these journals often want more rigidity in the structure of the program to make it easier for them. eLanguage now online although it is not officially running its first issue. The site is a co-journal site showing the contents and 5 last articles of the journals on the main page, with a blog and a master feed which aggregates all the content.

The project relies on open source systems. All second-level products are based on first level FOSS technologies and protocols and PHP, MySQL, Apache and Rss/Atom. They are reliable,well supported and well-documented products. The eLanguage project is also using external tools for added services:

Google domain tools

Google custom search

Google mail

Google groups

Google analytics (web stats)

Technoratie (blog management)

Feedburner (feed diagnostics)

Three goals for maximum accessibility are, to make all articles accessible through a search, through both library catalogs and commercial searches and to make access to the content independent from access the website by using feeds. The benefits of this system are the readers have easy access, the authors have no cost and there are faster publications and for the editors have control over their own publications.

The issues being encountered in the set up are, the time involved in finding content, getting people to trust OA, a multi-continent team and a simpler OJS UI.

The future: Beyond the Paper Metaphor
Publishing is the future. What remains is the to enable the creation and dissemination of content in new ways.

eLanguage is a journal this is developed to be supplemental to the Linguistics Society of America's prestigious Language, print journal. It addresses the artificial scarcity of access and publishing enhanced by a costly and highly focussed content. The ejournal respects the value of the intellectual property of the authors, encouraging the rigors of high quality articles but also allowing for a wider range of topics, quickly published research, and open access. It address the concern about lost opportunities. The goal is to increase information and research disseminated in the linguistics field to increase research and enhance intellectual incentive of sharing yet protecting ideas.

The economic issues involved in creating open access can now follow the historical model of patronage. The publication of online journals and the production of open source software is being fostered no only by foundations and individuals but universities are fostering an atmosphere of productive creativity in areas with serve their own propagation (producing research material) but also to serve in the dissemination of the ideas to the public. Communication the public realm is imperative to retain authority, prestige, and build admissions to the programs.

It will be interesting to observe the development of these projects in not only creating an online publishing model but in fact observing the revolution that my be caused by the whole move towards open access, online material and open public knowledge. Peer-review may become crowd sourcing, and academics may become 'living' for many in the public sphere rather than reserved for distinct groups, creating a democratic knowledge. Knowledge to many students has become dead or 'already done' or known. This may inspire the opening up ideas and contributions to many ways of thinking, responding and understanding creating a global knowledge society rather than pockets.

More preliminary information about eLanguage:

Organizations participating in the development of the platform:
Linguistic Society of America

University of Düsseldorf, Germany

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