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Making Literature on Linguistics Available for Free

German Research Foundation Supports Open Access Publication Series with More than 575,000 Euros

№ 012/2014 from Jan 15, 2014

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved funding amounting to more than 575,000 euros for a publication project headed by the linguist Prof. Dr. Stefan Müller at Freie Universität Berlin and Martin Haspelmath at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. With their project, the Language Science Press, they aim to make more than 100 books covering various fields of linguistics, available to the academic community by 2016. The project is supported by a community of nearly 400 prominent linguists from around the world who, following an initiative made by Stefan Müller in August 2012, teamed up in order to gain independence from academic publishing companies.

As the DFG announced, the proposal submitted by Stefan Müller and Martin Haspelmath is one of two proposals approved for funding in a series entitled "Open Access Scholarly Monographs and Monographic Series."

The money is to be used to create an infrastructure that the academic community can use for publishing and managing open access publications. "The platform that we want to develop will include several linguistic series with minimal cost," said Stefan Müller. In addition to reviewing the publications, which is already done by the academic community, those participating also want to take over the more expensive and time-consuming steps in production such as proofreading and typesetting. They plan to set up an incentive program with members getting points for work they completed.

Müller and his colleagues want to set technical standards. Even if most of the software for the production of linguistic books is available, some formal requirements still need to be resolved. This includes converting special text processing files with linguistic symbols, complex graphics, and example sentences from other writing systems such as Arabic and Hebrew to e-book format.

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Stefan Müller, Institute of German and Dutch Languages and Literatures, Tel.: +49 30 838-52973; Email: