The Annual Review of Linguistics

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Last week, the Annual Reviews' Board of Directors approved a plan to launch an Annual Review of Linguistics, with Barbara Partee and me as co-editors. According to the Annual Reviews' overview page,

Since 1932, Annual Reviews has offered comprehensive, timely collections of critical reviews written by leading scientists. Annual Reviews volumes are published each year for 41 focused disciplines within the Biomedical, Life, Physical, and Social Sciences including Economics.

Since three other new journals had been approved at an earlier meeting, Linguistics will be one of 45 fields covered by Annual Reviews.

The Annual Reviews overview page continues:

Annual Reviews is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide the worldwide scientific community with a useful and intelligent synthesis of the primary research literature for a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines.  Annual Reviews publications are among the most highly cited in scientific literature as indexed by the Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports® (JCR).

Each year, Annual Reviews critically reviews the most significant primary research literature to guide you to the principal contributions of the field and help you keep up to date in your area of research.

A couple of months ago, Barbara and I were asked to draft a Scope Statement, and here's how we started it:

The Annual Review of Linguistics, in publication since 201X, covers significant developments in the field of linguistics, including all scientific approaches to the study of speech, language, and communication, as well as significant applications of speech and language science in technology, medicine, law, education, and public policy. Articles are written for an audience that is centered on the core disciplines of academic linguistics, but extends to researchers, teachers, and students in all fields that are concerned with the forms and functions of human language.

Articles will cover all levels of linguistic analysis, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, as well as their interfaces. And cross-cutting those divisions, reviews may synthesize advances in theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, computational linguistics, language acquisition, language change, language evolution, typology, dialectology, field linguistics and language documentation, and more. The Annual Review of Linguistics promotes an approach that makes the results of these diverse subdisciplines accessible to interested outsiders, and encourages appropriate collaboration across the boundaries of traditional specialization.

In the tradition of other Annual Review publications, the Annual Review of Linguistics will survey the state of the art in well-established areas, will give a clear account of new theoretical and methodological ideas, and will provide a forum for review and debate of intellectually and socially significant issues. In areas where there is significant controversy, our goal will be to address the controversial issues in a way that clarifies the questions at issue, the substantive differences being debated, and the main arguments and evidence, aiming to make the debate as clear as possible for readers.

The Annual Reviews journals count as "Green Open Acess" (via self-archiving), since they permit and even encourage authors to post articles on personal web sites or in other freely accessible archives. Their copyright transfer agreement gives authors “… the nonexclusive right to use, reproduce, distribute, perform, update, create derivatives, and make copies of the work (electronically or in print) in connection with the author’s teaching, conference presentations, lectures, and publications, provided proper attribution is given…”

Annual Reviews work differently from most scientific and technical journals, in that articles are specifically commissioned by the editorial board rather than submitted on the initiative of authors.

A detailed schedule for the Annual Review of Linguistics remains to be worked out. As things stand, the likely sequence of events will be an editorial board meeting in the spring, resulting in a first round of invitations to authors, with publication to begin about a year later.


  1. Matías Guzmán Naranjo said,

    December 16, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    Why not open access?

    [(myl) I've modified the post to make it clear that Annual Reviews' self-archiving policies, as specified in their copyright agreements with authors, count as "Green Open Access", though the publishers' site requires a subscription.]

  2. Simon Greenhill said,

    December 16, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    Wonderful news! The Annual Reviews journals are great, and become a fantastic resource over time.

  3. CFP : Phonetics and Phonology of Sub-Saharan Languages SocioLingo Africa said,

    December 16, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    […] The Annual Review of Linguistics( […]

  4. Carole Chaski said,

    December 17, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    This is great news! The field has needed this for years, and I can't think of any better hands to make this happen. Congratulations!

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