Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Whence JCLR?

Whence JCLR?: Hal advocates an open-access "Journal of Computational Linguistics Research" (JCLR) on the model of JMLR. I'm with him all the way, until his final sentence:

The biggest thing that would be required would be a bunch of people with white hair who are willing to commit body-and-soul to such a move.

Many of those of us with white (or missing) hair are already up to our necks (or worse) in administration. When I'm asked to do something new, I always ask back "What do you want me to stop doing?" But the current ACL leadership is already spending a lot of time managing publication in conferences and one journal. Except that this effort is mostly wasted in obsolete publication methods instead of leading the move to open access and fast turn-around, quality reviewing. When I had some executive power at ACL, many years ago, before there was a web, I was one of the movers with Stuart Shieber in getting rid a the restrictive copyright assignment for conference and journal publications. What is are current ACL executives doing?

3 comments:

hal said...

very good point -- i don't think that senior people need to run such a beast, but they need to be more than nominally involved...more here.

also, i had no idea that you and stuart were responsible for the copyright lifting -- that's incredible...we all owe you two sincere thanks.

Mark Johnson said...

Well Steve Bird got the ACL Anthology started a few years ago ... doesn't that show that there's life yet in the organization?

Owen Rambow said...

Not quite sure whether lumping the jounral together with the conferences is correct. For example, NAACL HLT 2007 proceedings were on the ACL Anthology web page before the conference started, and were given to conference attendees as CD-ROM. Paper proceedings are available, but need to be purchased separately. So the mode of publication of the conference proceedings has changed considerably recently. And, as Mark says, the ACL Anthology plays a crucial role in this shift.

Owen