Thursday, April 30, 2015

List of Open Access publishing in linguistics

We're big fans of open access publishing and other ways of distributing knowledge in a fair and accessible way. We're also big fans of lists: we've got a list of resources on linguistic terminology, free online linguistic databases and now also one for open access publishing in linguistics.

If we're missing something in our lists, let us know.

Also: check out our posts tagged with "free PDF" for tips on interesting articles in linguistics that are freely available.

What's the deal with Open Access you ask?
Commonly, tax payers pay for universities and other institutions to do research through funding bodies like the NSF or DFG . Researchers partially communicate with each other and document their research through scholarly publications. These publications are often edited and distributed through large commercial publishing houses. These publications are later bought by university libraries so that other researchers might read it. University libraries are paid by tax payers. There is often a discrepancy between what libraries pay and what value it seems like the publishers actually contribute to the product. Many academic publishers have academics working for free or with little pay as reviewers or editors. Many funding bodies of research are fed up with this model; among other things, they don't like tax payers paying twice. Adding to this, Open Access is also a way of making research more accessible to non-privileged researchers who might not have the resources to pay for publications.

Researchers can work for free or for little pay reviewing and editing for Open Access (OA) journals instead; there is no reason why the quality necessarily would go down if we moved from publishers that charge readers to Open Access. While there are lots of poor-quality OA venues, that is no reason not to do it. We can still evaluate, review and rank OA publishing. If we get senior and highly regarded people to publish, review and edit in OA that would further prove that the quality can be maintained.

This is relevant to all research, and therefore also to linguistics. There are already several ways of publishing OA in linguistics - that's why we're making a list. Some are old initiatives from associations and societies that have always freely distributed proceedings from conferences, working papers etc. Others are relatively new initiatives not specific to linguistics. It's all splendid.

Open Access can mean many things, generally it refers to publishing in academia when readers don't have to pay. It can however be the case that the authors pay. We're listing all different kinds. Here are some handy terms that are good to know:

Gratis Open Access - free online access.

Libre Open Access - free online access plus some additional usage rights. These additional usage rights are often granted through the use of various specific Creative Commons licenses.

Gold Open Access - authors publish in open access journals, which provide immediate open access to all of their articles, usually on the publisher's website. When open access journals do charge processing fees, it is the author's employer or research funder who typically pays the fee, not the individual author, and many journals will waive the fee in cases of financial hardship, or for authors in less-developed countries.

Platinum Open Access - Gold plus the journal or other repository does not charge author fees. The costs associated with scholarly publication are covered by the benevolence of others, such as through volunteer work, donations, subsidies, grants, etc.

Green Open Access - authors self-archiving their publications in an open access repository, with the approval of the formal publisher. For example, many universities archive PhD theses in an open database. ArXiv is another example.

Hybrid Open Access - Hybrid open access journals are subscription journals that provide gold open access only for those individual articles for which their authors (or their authors' institutions or funders) pay an open access publishing fee.

(Blue Open Access - subcategory of Green, but with the specification that the material is shared online on sites such as Academia or Research Gate. I picked up the term from Martin Haspelmath, editor of Language Science Press, and it refers to the color scheme used by many social platforms. This is not a very formal or well-known subcategory, but it does exist and is relevant. The material spread can be pre-prints or even unpublished field notes.)

1 comment: