[CFP] Language Documentation Collections: Assessment and Recognition

I’m very happy to share some information about an upcoming special collection that I’m contributing to and one which should be of interest to Docling members. If you are considering submitting or have any questions, feel free to send me a message! Here is the full call for papers.

And hope you have a happy Friday :sunflower:




Language Documentation Collections: Assessment and Recognition


In reaction to the rapid decline in linguistic diversity around the world, there has been a broad call for the increased allocation of resources and efforts to support the documentation of endangered languages and linguistic practices, and furthermore the active participation of speech communities in the documentation process (Himmelmann, 1998; Rice, 2011). This is reflected in the emergence of journals, conferences and workshops, as well as funding agencies and programs dedicated to supporting the discipline of language documentation.

Despite these encouraging developments, the lack of “guidelines and metrics for evaluating data creation, curation, sharing, and re-use” (Berez-Kroeker et al., 2018) poses a significant challenge for practitioners of language documentation, who often struggle to earn recognition from the academic community for the documentary records that they produce (Riesberg, 2018), reflecting a discipline-specific manifestation of broader lack of recognition of the merit of open scholarship for review and hiring (Alperin et al. 2019). There is an expressed need specifically for peer-review of documentary outputs, but no established standards for doing so (Thieberger et al., 2016; LSA Executive Committee, 2018; Woodbury, 2014; Haspelmath and Michaelis, 2014).

The aim of this Special Collection of the Journal of Open Humanities Data (JOHD) is to develop a detailed outline of what an effective peer-review process for documentary materials might look like, and how such a system would foster better recognition for these materials in academic evaluation systems such as in hiring, promotion, and tenure. We welcome contributions that explore assessment criteria and procedures, as well as peer-authored reviews and curator-authored case studies of documentary materials.

Submissions on the following topics and related areas are encouraged:

  • Articles discussing models of assessment for:

  • Applications of levels of access (e.g. Open Access, restricted access, sensitive materials, community access) and associated intellectual property information and reusability

  • Data organization, quality of collection description, and artifact metadata

  • Quantity, quality, and modality of the artifacts included in the collection

  • File formats and software dependencies

  • Comprehensiveness of the documentary record (e.g. diversity of speakers, speech genres, and speaker interactivity)

  • Provenance of the collection, lifecycle and evolution of the data, version control and history, long-term preservation.

  • Capacity for reuse of language documentation data for cross-disciplinary endeavors

  • Articles discussing assessment procedures and recognition, such as:

  • Contextual assessment which takes social, technological, and linguistic factors into account

  • The roles of individual reviewers and/or authoritative bodies in conducting assessment and promoting recognition and reuse of materials

  • Assessment by community members and other non-academic peers

  • Internal assessment procedures in use by language archives

  • Assessment at multiple developmental stages of the documentary record

  • Labor issues and reward systems for performing assessments

  • The role of assessment in improving recognition of documentary materials or contributing to the further development of the materials (i.e. users as curators)

  • Variation in regional or national assessment standards

  • Peer-authored reviews or curator-authored case studies of documentary materials that illustrate or engage with one or more of the above points.

Submission Instructions

All submissions should be 3,000-6,000 words in length (references not included), and will be considered full length research papers in the JOHD submission system. The deadline for submissions to this special collection is July 1st, 2021. Manuscripts will be sent for single-blind peer review after editorial consideration, and accepted papers will be published online in the journal’s special collection. Please follow the submission guidelines to submit your manuscript and please indicate that you are submitting to the special collection on Language Documentation in your cover letter.

1 Like

Wow, this looks great. If only I had not taken a solemn vow of monogamy to my dissertation I would take a shot myself!