The LSA is pleased to announce that former LSA President Steve Anderson (Yale University) has joined LSA Fellow Heidi Harley (University of Arizona) in pledging up to $10,000 in matching contributions to support the LSA's Open Access publishing program. Anderson (pictured at right) had previously made a matching gift of $10,000 for the same purpose in 2019. A letter from Harley (pictured at right below) seeking donations was sent to LSA members earlier this week:

Dear LSA Member:

As you may know, I am a longtime booster of initiatives to broaden access to journals, conference proceedings, archives and other scholarly materials in our field. I invite you to join me today in a new campaign to support the LSA’s Open Access publishing program by making a charitable donation today. I am matching every contribution made on a one-to-one basis, up to a maximum of $5000.

Why do I care so much about Open Access for academic publishing, including and perhaps especially for linguistics? I reason as follows:

  • The study of language has substantial intrinsic value, both because basic scientific research has intrinsic value, and because a broader understanding of the science of language can help to combat harmful language ideologies, defeat linguistic discrimination, and support minority language communities in keeping their languages and culture vital.
  • The broader the exchange of ideas is, and the more linguists and language communities that participate in it, the better the science is and the more people can benefit from it.
  • We thus have a responsibility to break down barriers to participation in our field.
  • Paywalled publication is a substantial barrier to participation by linguists and language communities around the world.

But quality academic publications are not free, or even cheap, to produce! And for the LSA, which relies on publishing revenue to subsidize other core areas of our mission, moving to a fully open-access model is even more challenging. Over time, we have developed a business model for Open Access that is responsive to our multiple stakeholders in the linguistics community, including authors, readers, and libraries. Our business model for Language includes:

  • Affordable article processing charges (APCs) of $400 for authors who request immediate Open Access, with waivers available for those experiencing financial hardship.
  • Affordable subscription rates for individual members of the LSA, starting at $45 for students and maxing out at $115 for all others requesting a hard copy. Discounts and waivers are available for those experiencing financial hardship.
  • Affordable subscription rates for institutions and libraries, starting at $200 for online access and maxing out at $250 for both hard copy and digital access.
  • A partnership with Project MUSE, a non-profit hosting platform affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University Press, to provide affordable access to libraries and institutions via a range of bundled journal collections.
  • A charitable contribution program, the Open Access Publications Fund, which donors can use to help underwrite the discounts and waivers mentioned above, while helping to keep our prices affordable.
  • Accepting paid advertising in the print and online editions.

All of the above revenue sources enable the LSA to do the following:

If you agree with me that these are worthwhile goals, I hope you will make a donation in whatever amount you can afford. I pledge to enthusiastically match your donation until our goal of raising $10,000 is reached.

With warm regards,

Heidi Harley

Professor of Linguistics

University of Arizona