Announcement of Changes, published in the March 2013 (v89:1) of Language

Call for submissions to new online-only journal sections, as published in the March 2013 (v89:1) of Language

The following letter was sent to LSA members on January 31, 2013.  Please scroll down the page for the text of the October 19, 2012 letter on this topic from then-president Keren Rice. 

Dear colleagues,


            For some years the LSA Executive Committee has been working on the Society's publications, considering how best to develop our on-line material, particularly after our eLanguage experiment comes to an end this year.  eLanguage first took the society into the fast-changing world of online publications and the society owes a debt of gratitude to Dieter Stein, his colleagues in Düsseldorf, and the Editorial Board of eLanguage.

            Various communications have been sent out by my predecessors as President of the LSA, outlining surveys, procedures and decisions as we have moved along.  The most comprehensive of these was sent by President Keren Rice in October 2012, and can be found at this url: The Boston meeting this month brought a culmination of many of these efforts, and I am writing now to let you know the developments from that meeting and to summarize the complementary decisions we had reached in October. The LSA now has in place a framework for online publications and is embarking on Open Access publishing in a comprehensive way.

            There are two categories of online-only publications.  First, we have established the first new journal of the LSA to stand alongside Language.  This is Semantics and Pragmatics, hitherto a successful eLanguage journal, edited by Kai von Fintel (MIT) and David Beaver (University of Texas at Austin).  S&P is now one of the top journals in its area, having published many high quality articles, and will bring kudos to the society.  S&P will be published as a "platinum" Open Access journal, with everything available freely and immediately to anyone interested and with no Article Processing Charges (APC's) for authors.

            Second, Language has established four online-only sections, each managed by associate editors.  As previously announced, "Teaching Linguistics" will be managed by Kazuko Hiramatsu (University of Michigan-Flint) and Anne Charity Hudley (William and Mary), and "Language and Public Policy" will be managed by John Baugh (Washington University in St. Louis ) and Donna Christian (Center for Applied Linguistics). To these we now add two others: "Phonological Analysis," managed by Eric Baković (UC San Diego), Eugene Buckley (University of Pennsylvania) and Matt Gordon (UC Santa Barbara), and "Perspectives," which will contain target articles and accompanying discussion and will likely be managed by all of the associate editors of Language. Details for each of these sections will soon appear on the Language website.  Articles will be disseminated as soon as they are ready and made available to anyone with access to Project MUSE, including members of the LSA.  The articles will then be listed in the next issue of Language and will be paginated in that context.  After one year, everything published through Project MUSE - the online-only material AND print Language - will be made available on the LSA website to anyone, including non-members, thereby meeting "green" Open Access standards.  Thus even print Language will be an Open Access publication.  Any article in Language, print or online, may circumvent the one-year embargo if the author pays a modest APC of $400, and the one-year embargo may be waived if the editors judge that the article needs to be published immediately for some compelling reason. 

          All online-only publications will be subject to the strict refereeing requirements that have typified Language from its inception nearly ninety years ago. 

            From the perspective of members interested in starting a journal of the LSA that would stand alongside Language and Semantics and Pragmatics, that journal will need to have a track record of high quality productivity, perhaps after some time as a section of Language, and it will need to have a business model.  For example, Semantics and Pragmatics receives significant financial support from the home universities of the editors, and the proposed business model involves the LSA funding about 40 percent of the journal's running costs.  Another journal might generate 60 percent of its expenses from APC's or some other source, with the LSA again supplying about 40 percent, raised in part from membership dues and charitable contributions for this purpose.

            Members might start a section of Language in a more experimental fashion, without a prior track record of successful publication.  They would receive support through the existing editorial structures of Language.  Proposals likely to increase the readership of Language will be particularly welcome.  Members should discuss ideas for sections with the general editor, now Greg Carlson.

            Decisions to start a new LSA journal or a new section of Language will be taken by the Executive Committee, in the latter case on the advice of the editor. 

            Members of the Executive Committee expect that these innovations will draw new readers to LSA publications and energize the society.  We look forward to hearing ideas from the membership for new areas of publication.


 Ellen Kaisse

President, Linguistic Society of America

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The following letter was sent to LSA members on October 19, 2012.

Dear LSA Members:

I am writing today with an update on the status of the LSA publishing program. As you may recall, the LSA Executive Committee (EC) approved a plan put forward by the ad-hoc Publications Committee to significantly expand Language, by publishing new digital content under an open access framework. Since that time, we have made significant progress in developing this expanded publishing framework and will be refining our plans over the next twelve months. After considerable discussion and deliberation, the EC has now approved the following elements of the LSA’s publishing plan for implementation in 2013:

1) All content published in Language (both print and digital) will be made freely available on the new LSA website after a one-year embargo period.

2) Any author who wishes to have his/her content published immediately via the LSA website, or deposited immediately in an open-access repository of their choosing, may pay an article processing charge (APC) of $400. Waivers of the fee may be granted for articles on especially timely topics.

3) All content published in Language will continue to be hosted by the LSA’s publishing partner, Project Muse. All LSA members will continue to have immediate access to all Language content via Project Muse. All subscribers to a Project Muse collection will have immediate access to Language.

a. The LSA will begin accepting electronic advertising for placement on the Project Muse Language page.

b. The LSA will begin publishing supplemental data for articles hosted by Project Muse.

c. The LSA will permit unaffiliated scholars to purchase single Language articles via Project Muse.

4) Language will begin electronic publishing in three new areas: a) Teaching Linguistics, b) Public Policy, and c) Perspectives. I am pleased that there are editors for the first two of these areas. Kazuko Hiramatsu and Anne Charity Hudley will be the editors of Teaching Linguistics, and John Baugh and Donna Christian will be the editors of Public Policy. We expect that more areas will be added as time goes on.

5) The print edition of Language will continue to be available to any LSA member or institutional subscriber who wishes to receive it. The print edition will NOT include any of the content outlined in items (4) and (3b) above.

6) To assist the Editor of Language in managing this expansion of his duties, a new senior editorial position has been established, and a search committee has been appointed to identify appropriate candidates for this position.

7) The co-journals of eLanguage will continue to publish in their current format until the end of 2013. At that time, the LSA’s agreement with eLanguage will conclude. The LSA Publications Committee is currently engaged in discussions with key stakeholders involved in eLanguage to determine the best plan for managing those areas of LSA publishing in the future. 

8) We expect to report more details about future publishing plans at the LSA Annual Meeting in Boston.

In the meantime, if you have any comments or concerns, please feel free to contact me, any other member of the LSA Executive Committee, or the Secretariat.


Keren Rice

LSA President