New Open Access Journal in Linguistics, co-edited by MIT Professor Kai von Fintel, Launched May 2007

New Open Access Journal in Linguistics
MIT Professor of Linguistics Kai von Fintel (pictured below) and his colleague David Beaver (Univ. of Texas at Austin) have announced the launch of a new peer-reviewed open access journal in linguistics, called Semantics & Pragmatics. The journal’s launch was announced at the annual meeting of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) on May 13, 2007, at the University of Connecticut. A call for papers is expected in September 2007, and the first articles are expected to appear in early 2008.

Prof. von Fintel with baseball

The goal of the new journal is to reach the widest possible audience as quickly as possible, while maintaining a formal peer-review process and allowing authors to maintain control over their own work. Semantics & Pragmatics will ask authors to allow the journal a non-exclusive right to publish, while leaving copyright ownership with the author.

The editors see Semantics & Pragmatics as offering the “next step in the scientific publishing revolution,” following the transition that has taken place in Linguistics, where the primary distribution channel for new research results is now preprint servers and authors’ web pages.

Business Plan
Some of the significant aspects of the business plan:

  • Start-up Funding: The editors are seeking institutional support for the start-up phase. The MIT Libraries will be providing partial funding for the first year through a modest grant.
  • Publishing Software: The editors plan to use open source software from Open Journal Systems from the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University.
  • Archiving: The journal plans to make arrangements for archiving through discussions with the Libraries’ Dspace team and is examining services for e-journal archiving such as Portico. They plan to offer an annual volume through a print-on-demand service for those who would like the print as an archival format.

Blogging the Start-up Process
Beaver and von Fintel will be blogging the entire start-up process, offering a unique inside view of the business of starting up an open access journal. To follow their progress, visit the editors’ blog.

If you have questions about open access journals please visit the Libraries’ FAQ on open access or contact