S&P Early Access

[Reposted from the S&P Editors Blog]

Visitors to S&P’s homepage will see our newest feature in action. Accepted papers for which we have a LaTeX source file will, with the authors’ permission, now immediately be published in an “early access” version. They will already be assigned their final DOI, so they can be linked and referred to as officially published. This way they can be listed on CVs with all their final citation details (with the sole exception of missing page numbers, since we won’t know how many pages the article has until the final typeset version).

This year’s volume of S&P already shapes up to be epic. We invite you to browse through the amazing collection of articles that our authors have entrusted to S&P.

S&P acquired by LSA

[Crossposted from S&P Editors Blog]

We are excited to share good news about the future of S&P. We have
been working with the LSA on moving S&P out of its current incubating
stage to the next level with fuller support. This morning, the LSA
Executive Committee unanimously approved an agreement to that effect.

As of today, S&P is a full-fledged LSA journal, alongside Language
but independent of it. The LSA will join MIT and the University of Texas
in providing financial support to the journal. In return, S&P is to
become a journal owned by the LSA and titled “Semantics and Pragmatics”
with the subtitle “A Journal of the Linguistic Society of America”.

The day-to-day operations of the journal will not change. The current
editorial team will stay in place. The policies and procedures,
including the open access nature of the journal, will remain as they
are. Big decisions will be made cooperatively by the LSA Executive
Committee, the editors, and the S&P advisory committee.

Both the LSA and the S&P team are excited about this partnership. Open
access is the future of scholarly communication and we intend to work
together to make S&P the best journal in its field and a model for our
discipline and others.

An S&P underground classic

[Crossposted from the S&P Editors Blog:]

Semantics & Pragmatics today published an underground classic, Craige Roberts’ famous paper "Information structure in discourse: Towards an integrated formal theory of pragmatics", which had previously been published in a volume of OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, and then circulated in a slighly edited manuscript form, but was never officially published. With the help of Anders Schoubye, Chris Brown, and Justin Cope, the old manuscript was transformed into LaTeX and formatted for the S&P stylesheet. Craige wrote a new afterword and prepared an annotated bibliography, which is linked from the afterword. We’re proud to be able to make this classic paper and the supplementary material available in an official publication.

Reissuing underground classics is a worthwhile undertaking, we believe. Some famous examples are David Kaplan’s "Demonstratives" published in Themes from Kaplan, Kripke on presupposition published in Linguistic Inquiry, and in a sense also Grice’s William James Lectures. There was also volume 7 of the series "Syntax and Semantics" entitled "Notes from the linguistic underground" (edited by Jim McCawley in 1976), featuring famous papers such as Karttunen’s "Discourse referents" and gems like "Why you can’t do so into the sink" by Lakoff & Ross. So, we are continuing a respectable tradition.

Question for our audience: which other underground classics in semantics and pragmatics should S&P consider publishing? You can email us, comment on our Facebook page or our Google+ page, tweet (cc’ing @semprag), or leave a comment on our Editors Blog.

Citation impact 2008-2010

[Reposted from S&P Editors Blog]

We were curious to see how S&P is doing as far as the impact of published articles on the field is concerned. Below we have compiled a list of all articles published in the four main semantics journals (Linguistics & Philosophy, Natural Language Semantics, Journal of Semantics, Semantics & Pragmatics) since 2008 (the year of S&P’s first published article) that have received 10 citations or more according to Google Scholar. There are not yet any articles published in 2011 on that list. So, let’s focus on the cohort of articles published between 2008 and 2010. The four journals combined published 141 main research articles in that time frame. 54 of those (= 38%) have received 10 or more citations. S&P published fewer articles than the other three journals (11 in fact: 1 in 2008, 3 in 2009, 7 in 2010), since we’re still ramping up the quantity of publications. But S&P already has an outsized share of the top impact articles: we have 5 articles in the Top 20, and an overall rate of 64% of our articles have already received 10 or more citations.

By all accounts then, S&P’s first three years were a resounding success quality-wise. Now, we’ll be working on increasing our quantitive share of the semantics market while not decreasing our quality share. You can help: submit your best work to S&P. You will receive top-notch and fast peer-reviewing and editorial feedback and fast time-to-print. Plus, your work will be openly accessible to anyone with access to an internet connection, rather than being locked behind prohibitive subscription barriers.

[There are other things to notice, such as the domination in the upper range of articles by NLS, distancing the two older journals JoS and, especially, L&P.]

  1. [54 citations] Kehler, Kertz, Rohde et al. – JoS 2008. Coherence and coreference revisited
  2. [53 citations] Hackl – NLS 2009. On the grammar and processing of proportional quantifiers: most versus more than half
  3. [48 citations] Chemla – NLS 2009. Presuppositions of quantified sentences: experimental data
  4. [42 citations] Schlenker – S&P 2009. Local contexts
  5. [37 citations] Rothstein – JoS 2010. Counting and the mass/count distinction
  6. [32 citations] Wilhelm – NLS 2008. Bare nouns and number in Dëne Sųłiné
  7. [31 citations] Barker, Shan – S&P 2008. Donkey anaphora is in-scope binding
  8. [28 citations] Geurts, Pouscoulous – S&P 2009. Embedded implicatures
  9. [28 citations] Breheny – JoS 2008. A new look at the semantics and pragmatics of numerically quantified noun phrases
  10. [27 citations] von Fintel, Gillies – NLS 2010. Must… stay… strong!
  11. [27 citations] Rullmann, Matthewson et al. – NLS 2008. Modals as distributive indefinites
  12. [27 citations] Magri – NLS 2009. A theory of individual-level predicates based on blind mandatory scalar implicatures
  13. [24 citations] Elbourne – L&P 2008. Demonstratives as individual concepts
  14. [22 citations] Chemla – S&P 2009. Universal implicatures and free choice effects: Experimental data
  15. [21 citations] Matushansky – L&P 2008. On the linguistic complexity of proper names
  16. [21 citations] Farkas, Bruce – JoS 2010. On reacting to assertions and polar questions
  17. [21 citations] Alonso-Ovalle, Menendez-Benito – NLS 2010. Modal indefinites
  18. [21 citations] Bale – L&P 2008. A universal scale of comparison
  19. [20 citations] Nouwen – S&P 2010. Two kinds of modified numerals
  20. [20 citations] Singh – L&P 2008. On the interpretation of disjunction: Asymmetric, incremental, and eager for inconsistency
  21. [19 citations] Kissine – NLS 2008. Why will is not a modal
  22. [18 citations] Gualmini, Hulsey, Hacquard et al. – NLS 2008. The Question–Answer Requirement for scope assignment
  23. [18 citations] Harris et al. – L&P 2009. Perspective-shifting with appositives and expressives
  24. [17 citations] Abusch – JoS 2010. Presupposition triggering from alternatives
  25. [17 citations] Ippolito – JoS 2008. On the meaning of only
  26. [17 citations] Hacquard – L&P 2009. On the interaction of aspect and modal auxiliaries
  27. [17 citations] Morzycki – NLS 2009. Degree modification of gradable nouns: size adjectives and adnominal degree morphemes
  28. [17 citations] Lascarides et al. – JoS 2009. Agreement, disputes and commitments in dialogue
  29. [16 citations] Bale et al. – JoS 2009. The interpretation of functional heads: Using comparatives to explore the mass/count distinction
  30. [16 citations] Gillies – S&P 2010. Iffiness
  31. [16 citations] Brasoveanu – L&P 2008. Donkey pluralities: plural information states versus non-atomic individuals
  32. [16 citations] Moltmann – L&P 2009. Degree structure as trope structure: a trope-based analysis of positive and comparative adjectives
  33. [15 citations] Villalta – L&P 2008. Mood and gradability: an investigation of the subjunctive mood in Spanish
  34. [15 citations] Syrett, Kennedy et al. – JoS 2010. Meaning and context in children’s understanding of gradable adjectives
  35. [15 citations] Lascarides et al. – JoS 2009. A formal semantic analysis of gesture
  36. [14 citations] Arregui – L&P 2009. On similarity in counterfactuals
  37. [14 citations] Chemla – JoS 2008. An epistemic step for anti-presuppositions
  38. [13 citations] Abbott – L&P 2008. Presuppositions and common ground
  39. [13 citations] Hacquard – NLS 2010. On the event relativity of modal auxiliaries
  40. [13 citations] Chaves – L&P 2008. Linearization-based word-part ellipsis
  41. [13 citations] Moltmann – NLS 2008. Intensional verbs and their intentional objects
  42. [12 citations] Koenig, Mauner, Bienvenue et al. – JoS 2008. What with? The anatomy of a (proto)-role
  43. [12 citations] Nicolas – L&P 2008. Mass nouns and plural logic
  44. [12 citations] Dekker – L&P 2008. A multi-dimensional treatment of quantification in extraordinary English
  45. [11 citations] Nouwen – NLS 2008. Upper-bounded no more: the exhaustive interpretation of non-strict comparison
  46. [11 citations] Sharvit – L&P 2008. The puzzle of free indirect discourse
  47. [11 citations] Gualmini et al. – JoS 2009. Solving learnability problems in the acquisition of semantics
  48. [11 citations] Brasoveanu – JoS 2010. Decomposing modal quantification
  49. [11 citations] Davis – JoS 2009. Decisions, dynamics and the Japanese particle yo
  50. [11 citations] Lin – NLS 2009. Chinese comparatives and their implicational parameters
  51. [10 citations] Martí – NLS 2008. The semantics of plural indefinite noun phrases in Spanish and Portuguese
  52. [10 citations] Beck – S&P 2010. Quantifiers in than-clauses
  53. [10 citations] Zweig – L&P 2009. Number-neutral bare plurals and the multiplicity implicature
  54. [10 citations] Francez – L&P 2009. Existentials, predication, and modification

[NB: data from February 5, 2012]

Total papers published by the four journals 2008–2010: 141
54 have received 10 citations or more (54/141 = 38%)

Share of the Top 54:

JoS: 15 papers (of 41 published 2008–2010) = 15/41 = 37%
L&P: 17 papers (of 55 published 2008–2010) = 17/55 = 31%
NLS: 15 papers (of 34 published 2008–2010) = 15/34 = 44%
S&P: 7 papers (of 11 published 2008–2010) = 7/11 = 64%

S&P Year-End Stats

[cross-posted from S&P: Editors’ Blog]

Time for a year-end statistical rundown on how S&P is faring.

In 2011, we published 5 main articles and 3 short articles for a total of 331 pages.

The submission rate has almost doubled since 2010. We are very lucky to now have 6 associated editors working hard alongside David and Kai. We received 43 new submissions in 2011, of which we published 5 (three of the articles published in 2011 were originally submitted in 2010) and accepted 6 more (those are in various stages of revision or typesetting). We declined 24 submissions (6 of those were declined without external review, usually within a day or so). For the 29 submissions that were sent out for review and have already been decided on, the average time to the decision was 48 days (our goal is 60 days, which we missed in only a few cases). 8 submissions are still under review.

Our acceptance rate for this year’s submissions was 11/35 = 31% (to be updated when the rest of the submissions have been decided on).

Our articles are each downloaded well over 1000 times per year. Our most downloaded article is Matthewson 2010, which has been downloaded more than 12,000 times so far. By now, some of our articles are building up a good citation rate on Google Scholar. As of 2011, S&P is also indexed in the influential MLA International Bibliography. We will continue to work on having S&P be indexed and ranked by all relevant providers.

All years

2007: 4 submissions, all declined, avg decision: 37 days, acceptance rate: 0%

2008: 16 submissions, 5 published, avg decision: 59 days, acceptance rate: 31%

2009: 21 submissions, 6 published, avg decision: 59 days, acceptance rate: 29%

2010: 25 submissions, 3 published, 1 accepted, avg decision: 58 days, acceptance rate: 16%

2011: 43 submissions, 5 published, 6 accepted, 8 under review, avg decision: 48 days, acceptance rate: 31%

[NB: these stats do not include commentaries or other articles that were not subject to standard external peer review but were solicited by the editors and received expedited editorial review. S&P has published 6 invited commentaries and is about to publish its first “underground classic”. Also NB: one submission from 2010 is still in revision cycle; 2011 stats not final until all decisions made]

Downloads (not including invited commentaries)

as of 12/28/2011:

Matthewson 2010: 12,233 downloads of the pdf of the article
Schlenker 2009: 5,342
Geurts & Pouscoulous 2009: 5,119
Chemla 2009: 4,723
Beck 2010: 4,688
Barker & Shan 2008: 4,318
Nouwen 2010: 3,960
De Swart & Farkas 2010: 3,923
Gillies 2010: 2,513
McCready 2010: 2,604
Barker 2010: 1,827
Franke 2011: 1,779
Rothschild 2011: 1,253
Rothschild & Klinedinst 2011: 698
Abrusán 2011: 681
Khoo 2011: 539
Magri 2011: 287
McClure 2011: 87
Bary & Haug 2011: 63

Google Scholar citation counts

as of 12/29/2011 (links go to Scholar citations):

Schlenker 2009: 42
Barker & Shan 2008: 30
Geurts & Pouscoulous 2009: 28
Chemla 2009: 22
Nouwen 2010: 16
Gillies 2010: 15
Beck 2010: 10
Farkas & DeSwart 2010: 7

Elsevier stumbles upon benefit of electronic publication

[Crossposted from S&P Editors Blog:]

“Elsevier Introduces Article-Based Publishing to Increase Publication Speed”:

Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, announced today the launch of Article-Based Publishing — a new publishing model that publishes articles as final and citable without needing to wait until a journal issue is complete. With an increasing focus on online publishing, there is a growing need for innovative publication models geared towards individual articles instead of the print-based issue model. Article-Based Publishing is the assigning of final citation data on an article-by-article basis, decoupled from the compilation of the journal issue itself.

Article-Based Publishing is major step forward in publishing. Now the article is published in its final form within just a few weeks after acceptance, which provides the journal an important competitive advantage, said Professor Ren Janssen, Editor of Organic Electronics. Authors will be equally pleased to see the results of their research published sooner.

For centuries, academic articles have been published in journals, issue by issue. While this practice has ensured organized citation information, it has also created boundaries for the timing of each published article. Now, Article-Based Publishing makes it possible to publish articles in their final form, with volume, issue and page numbers, before the entire issue is finalised. This new way of publishing speeds up the publication of articles by an average of 7 weeks.

Let us just say “welcome to the club”.

On citing well

[Crossposted from S&P Editors Blog]

The journal Nature Chemical Biology has an editorial that is well worth reading and pondering for other fields as well:

Unfortunately, the editorial is behind a paywall. Here are the main points in excerpts.

The appearance of new ideas and discoveries in the scientific literature is a reflection of ongoing scientific progress. Individual articles are nodes of scientific knowledge, but citations of published work link together the concepts, technologies and advances that define scientific disciplines. Though information technology and databases have helped us to better manage the expanding scientific literature, the quality of our citation maps still hinges on the quality of the bibliographic information contained in each published paper. Because article citations are increasingly used as metrics of researcher productivity, the citation record also affects individual scientists and their institutions. As a result, all participants in the scientific publication process need to ensure that the citation network of the scientific literature is as complete and accurate as possible.

Many factors may stand in the way of good citation practices. […] Each research group has its own referencing habits, and some may feature their own work too prominently or rely on familiar references without a critical examination of whether a particular citation is the most appropriate in the given context. Some researchers may not cite ‘old’ papers either because these are incorrectly viewed as being out of date or because inertia inevitably may encourage authors to cite the articles that show up more frequently in searches or that have appeared recently.

Researchers understandably are motivated, in both professional and personal ways, to have their scientific contributions recognized through citation by their peers. The community also values the accurate assignment of credit and precedence for scientific discoveries. As a result, even an accidental omission of a necessary citation may create an uncomfortable situation for a papers authors. More problematic, however, are cases where authors deliberately omit relevant citations. Because perceived novelty can be an important factor in determining where a manuscript is published, some authors may be tempted to avoid citing earlier or concurrent work from their own laboratories to enhance the apparent advance of a submitted study. In other cases, some authors may consider ongoing scientific disagreements, personal conflicts or competition a sufficient justification for omitting citations of work by others. Clearly authors need to do everything they can to avoid accidental omission of key references, and should never exclude relevant citations for nonscientific reasons. In turn, all scientists, independent of their roles as authors, referees or editors, need to renew their commitment to guaranteeing that literature citations correctly assign credit for ideas and discoveries and are placed thoughtfully in manuscripts and published papers.

Though editors and referees can help, authors are ultimately responsible for the information contained in their published papers. We recommend that authors take several important steps to increase the quality of their citation lists. First, principal investigators need to teach young scientists the appropriate ways to select manuscript references and mentor them in the ethical dimensions of citation. Second, authors need to put as much care into selecting and accurately citing references as they devote to the rest of their manuscripts. As part
of this process, authors should perform comprehensive literature searches as they write and revise manuscripts, so as to identify relevant work that may need to be cited. Before including references in their citation lists, all authors should have read and discussed the candidate references
to ensure that they are the most relevant choices and are called out at the appropriate point in the paper.

The responsibility for maintaining and enhancing the citation network of a discipline resides with all participants: authors, referees, editors and database managers. Thoughtful attention during the writing and review processes remains the first and best approach for ensuring citation quality and the appropriate assignment of credit in published papers. Yet new publishing and database tools that lead us to an interactive multidimensional scientific literature will become essential. As publishers move toward integrating functionality such as real-time commenting on published papers and creating living manuscripts that preserve the snapshot of a research area through the lens of a published paper, while permitting forward and backward linking, the scientific literature is poised to become a richer environment that will support future scientific progress.

At S&P, we are fully committed to these goals, but could surely work harder to improve the citation practices. One of our criteria for evaluating submissions is “contextualization of research”, as spelled out in our inaugural editorial:

Are the main research questions contextualized in terms of earlier related work? Does the paper adequately cite related work? Could the impact of the paper be improved through modifications that would show the relevance of the results to future work in the same or other fields?

Advice to authors: by contextualizing results appropriately, the author not only increases the worth of the paper to the audience, but also makes the job of the editors and reviewers easier. It will be much easier for us to be sure that a paper should be published if we can clearly see what previous work it betters. Authors would do well to flag, both in the abstract and early on in the paper, the relationship of the paper to earlier proposals, and to indicate in broad terms what the relative advantages of the new approach are. Of course, it is then incumbent on the author to make sure that all such claims are fully justified in the main text of the article.

Another aspect of this is that once the relevant citations have been chosen, the bibliographic detail given in the article needs to be as complete and clear as possible:

  • full first names of authors and editors
  • both volume and issue numbers for journal articles
  • page numbers for everything that appeared on numbered pages
  • DOIs for every work that has a DOI (important both for easy access by readers to the cited literature and for all kinds of automated processes, present and future)
  • URLs for unpublished manuscripts and other obscure sources
  • conference proceedings formatted as specified in the Unified Style Sheet for Linguistics

S&P strives towards citing well, which requires continuous attention from authors, reviewers, and editors.

Banner Year for S&P

[Reposted from S&P Editors Blog]

Today marks the start of what we hope will be a banner year for our journal. We just published two articles:

We have three more main articles in production, which should all appear quite soon:

  • Donka Farkas & Henritte deSwart: “The semantics and pragmatics of plurals”
  • Thony Gillies: “Iffiness”
  • Rick Nouwen: “Two kinds of modified numerals”

We also have two or three more commentaries in various stages of submission/production, and are always soliciting commentaries on any of our main articles.

Finally, there are four papers under current review, we’re expecting revised versions of a number of manuscripts, and we’re awaiting several manuscripts that have been promised to us.

All in all, the journal is ramping up phenomenally and this will be the year that the quantity of our output will reach the levels of the other three main journals in our field.

Please help us make the journal more widely known and please submit your work to us. You’ll get excellent reviewing and editorial service and your work will look great thanks to our superior typography and it will be published free of charge and openly accessible to everyone.