Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Language Under Discussion is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to promoting open-minded debate on central questions in the study of language, from all relevant disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. Our journal seeks, unapologetically, to promote scholarly discussion of the “big” ques­tions about language—such questions as: What kind of a thing is language? What is the nature of linguistic meaning? How to best conceptualize structure and regularity in human languages? What is the role language plays in culture and how do cultural phenomena reflect on language? What are the roles of cognition and com­mu­ni­ca­tion in language?—We believe that specialized and applied studies are at their best when they are informed by a vision or model of lan­gu­a­ge in general and reflect back on it, just as theoretical discussions are only truly valuable when grounded in empirical research.

Language Under Discussion is designed to actively promote debate among its readers and contributors. Each of the journal’s issues will feature a discussion of a topic or thesis and will remain open for a period of time to eventually include a series of discussion notes on the topic of the issue and a response by the authors of the original contributions.

Language Under Discussion welcomes well-argued contributions from linguists, philosophers, communication theorists, cognitive scientists, sociologists, literary scholars, education scholars, and scholars in any other fields that offer a fresh perspective on language—what it is, how people use it, and how it can be studied and analyzed. We also accept empirical and applied studies, provided their theoretical implications for our understanding of language are clearly stated and are more than trivial.

 

Section Policies

Focus Article

A focus article should present a well-argued and original thesis furthering our understanding of language and/or challenging widely-held beliefs about it. Each focus article finally accepted for publication will be published online as a new issue of the journal. Each issue will remain open for a period of one year, in which discussion notes responding to the focus article will be added to it. The author(s) of the focus article will be welcome to write a response to the arguments raised in the discussion notes, after which the issue will be closed. A focus article may be of any reasonable length. All focus articles undergo rigorous peer-review prior to publication.

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Round-Table Discussion

Roundtable issues consist of a group of articles in which several authors jointly debate and discuss a topic of importance for the study of language. The precise format of discussion and the length of individual contributions to it are flexible. Each proposed roundtable issue will be first reviewed by the editors for the general quality of its contribution and then each article making up the round-table discussion evaluated by external peer reviewers for the soundness of the arguments raised. Once published, each roundtable issue will remain open for one year to additional contributions in the form of discussion notes, weighing in on the subject under discussion.

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Discussion Notes

Discussion notes are shorter papers (preferably not exceeding 1,500 words) offering an argued response to a focus article (or to portions of the contents of a roundtable issue). Discussion notes may agree, partly agree, or disagree with the focus article (and possibly also with other discussion notes in the issue), but should always add something to the perspective presented in it. Discussion notes undergo peer review to determine the basic soundness of the argument. We consider discussion notes to be a form of post-publication peer review for the focus article they respond to (coming on top of the pre-publication peer review). However, each discussion note is also a publication in its own right.

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Peer Review Process

Language Under Discussion is a peer-reviewed open-access journal that combines pre-publication and post-publication peer review.

In Language Under Discussion we seek to turn the peer review process from a form of summary judgment into something more akin to dialogue, aiming to strengthen and improve the papers we publish and the discussion that follows them. An important feature of the review process in LUD is that an initial decision to reject a contribution is not yet a final verdict. If the author(s) of a rejected contribution can convince the editors that the arguments for rejecting the paper are misguided or flawed, or that the critique voiced against the paper more properly belongs to the post-publication discussion stage, we will be glad to publish a suitably revised version of the paper. That said, if the editors remain unconvinced, they will make the final decision to reject.

Once published, papers are open to post-publication peer review in two forms: First, while an issue is open, authors are invited to publish discussion notes around the focus article or round-table contributions in the issue; secondly, all papers published in LUD are open to readers' comments to be published on the paper's journal's web page. A third form of post-publication peer review, which we hope to implement once we manage to overcome some technical obstacles, is to give readers the ability to quantitatively grade the quality of papers they read.

Quick turnaround is a priority for LUD. We are making all efforts to announce the initial decision on a paper within three months from submission (and less than that for discussion notes). Authors of papers rejected by the editors without review will be notified of this decision and of the reasons for it within two weeks. A submission finally accepted for publication will be proofread and published within about two weeks (unless, of course, the author(s) cause(s) delays in the process). All accepted articles will be published under a Creative Commons license, with the author(s) retaining copyright for the work. No charges or fees of any kind are levied on contributors or readers at any stage in the process.

 

Publication Frequency

Focus articles and round-table discussions accepted for publication in Language Under Discussion shall each be published as a separate issue of the journal once finally accepted for publication, copy-edited and proofread. Every new issue of the journal will remain open for one year, during which discussion notes can be added to it.

A new volume of the journal is opened every calendar year. The number of issues in each volume is irregular, and depends on the number of focus articles and round-table discussions accepted for publication.

Some of the issues published each year will contain papers presented at the annual online conference organized by the Language Under Discussion Society.

 

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate free and open access to all of its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. As a general policy, all content is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0), though we will respect explicit requests from authors to use a diifferent Creative Commons license instead.

All Language Under Discussion publications can be shared freely, so long as an acknowledgement is made of the publication's authorship and the journal issue in which it first appeared is correctly cited.

No fees of any kind are levied on authors or readers at any stage.

 

Archiving

This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...