[open-linguistics] Open Access Journal and Code Repository

Richard Littauer richard.littauer at gmail.com
Wed Sep 21 16:09:33 UTC 2011

Hey Open Linguists,

At the OKFC in Berlin, I presented on my work with
DataONE<https://notebooks.dataone.org/workflows>in the US. There, I
assessed the use of scientific workflows in different
fields (mostly bioinformatics) by looking at information gleaned from a
screen-scraping of myExperiment <http://www.myexperiment.org>, a social
network and repository for scientific workflows. I also presented a short
presentation on what I hoped Linguistics as a field might gain from knowing
about scientific workflows and utilising pipelines in their research - some
of you were there.

  As far as I am aware, there is currently no central repository for
workflows, pipelines, or shell scripts in Linguistics and other, related
social sciences - namely psychology, anthropology, history, classics. As I
come from a Linguistics background, this email comes from that standpoint,
but the same could be said for other fields. It might be worth CCing the
rest of the list.

  This may be do mainly to the fact that Linguistics, especially theoretical
Linguistics, is not computationally heavy, and as there are no programs (not
including NLTK and other computational linguistics add-ons, or others that I
may not know of) whose sole purpose is to help with computational linguistic
workflows (such as Kepler, Taverna, Vixtrails, and others work for the other
sciences). Many published papers today include appendixes with the data
related, but they do not include the code used to parse through that data.
In the interest of reproducible and open science, I am currently trying to
see what interest there is in setting up a public repository of linguistics
scripts/workflows, and a simultaneous open access journal to publish papers,
data, and scripts together in a single place, so that the inquisitive
scientist has all of the tools needed at his disposal to reproduce a paper's
result. The aim is to have the server be powerful enough to run such code
there, or in the cloud, so that installation of the needed software won't be
necessary for each downloader.

  I've been considering this idea for a while, and recently have begun
emailing out to various contacts I know asking for advice, what sort of
set-up they use to run their code, and how to set up an Open Access journal.
I've also been talking to Mark Liberman, the head editor for the Journal of
Experimental Linguistics, who has agreed to help with this venture as long
as I give him a clear idea of what I need and how to go about it.

  So, what I'm asking here is if anyone from the OKF would be keen to help
out with this, as I think it lies well within the OKFs goals, and if there
is any advice, admonitions, links, references, or any help of any sort that
you might be able to give. I am not opposed to setting up a dedicated user
group towards this idea, either, if a few people think it is worth their
time to help. I don't know much about the Semantic Web (although I will at
the end of the two year comp. ling. masters I'm currently in), and it seems
to me that that is where most of the Open Linguistics work is currently
going, so this might be another avenue that the group could follow, for
those with a similar theoretical background.

  Looking forward to any and all responses,
  Richard Littauer
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