Open Access Publishing: How We Disseminate Research

Professor David Lightfoot has played a leading role in Open Access publishing of key Linguistics journals, revolutionizing the way in which we disseminate research in our field.

Last month the journal Language published the first issue of its 89th volume, which contained its first online, Open Access articles. Language has begun publishing three new online-only sections of the journal: Teaching Linguistics, Phonological Analysis, and Language and Public Policy. More online-only sections will follow soon. Everything that appears in Language, as well as the new Linguistic Society of America (LSA) online journal Semantics and Pragmatics, will be published in Open Access format, available to everybody for no charge. All of this is subject to the rigorous peer-review that Language has been famous for, but the journal will be publishing more and different material. A majority of LSA members already receive Language in online form, and before long the journal will be produced online, containing links, audio and video files, and supplementary data.

After stepping down as President of the LSA in 2011, Professor Lightfoot chaired a Publications Committee that engineered these moves, finding ways to meet the opportunities and challenges of Open Access publishing, notably finding a business model to pay the bills. He has now been appointed as Publications Advisor to help work through the consequences of these innovations.

“I believe that these changes,” says Lightfoot, “bringing the LSA's publishing program into the 21st century, will invigorate the Society and provide new opportunities for new kinds of publication, including new ways of providing more data than we have been used to.”