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Special Collection

Language Documentation Collections: Assessment and Recognition

Collection launched: 10 Mar 2021

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.

For the full call for papers, see this document.