Crossref updates DOI display guidelines

CrossRef, the organization that administers the DOI system for linking to academic articles, has updated their display guidelines.

Before today, one was supposed to display DOIs as follows: doi:10.3765/sp.4, which is not immediately recognizable as a linkable URL. Usually, one would then associate a link to with that display text to make it clickable (on a webpage or in a pdf).

Now, the display text itself is supposed to be the immediately recognizable URL

This will necessitate updating all kinds of stylesheets, such as the sp.bst BibTeX style that we developed for S&P (and which implements almost the entire Unified Stylesheet for Linguistics Journals). Expect an update to sp.bst soon. Going forward, all S&P articles will comply with the new guidelines. We will also update the S&P website to display all DOIs in the new format.


It has not escaped our attention that we haven’t published an article in the past six months. This is not because we are not fielding lots of submissions nor because those submissions are of insufficient quality. Our sense is that this lumpiness of the publication schedule is part of what happens in a smallish field when you publish new articles as they become ready. Traditional journals hold on to articles until they are ready to bundle them into an issue that they publish on a more or less fixed schedule. This may help to keep the journal visible on a regular basis, a goal we will have to achieve in a different way.

We plan to even out the lumpiness a bit by encouraging more short articles & commentaries and also by using this blog more consistently as a way to keep the journal visible.

By the way, we have two articles about to be published very soon:

  • Michael Franke: “Quantity implicatures, exhaustive interpretation, and rational conversation”
  • Nathan Klinedinst and Daniel Rothschild: “Exhaustivity in questions with non-factives”

In addition, there are six articles in various stages of revision and five articles currently under peer review for the first time. Plus, we expect many of you to send us the fruits of your productive summers!

Associate Editors

[Update: added Hotze Rullmann to the roster!]

The journal has been very busy this past year, with lots of submission to shepherd through our rigorous and speedy process. To make the workload manageable, we have expanded the Editorial Team beyond the two founding co-editors (David Beaver and Kai von Fintel), we now have five six associate editors:

Josh, Rick, and Magda have been with us for quite a while. Regine, Hotze, and Katrin joined us very recently and we are hoping to add a few more associate editors in the near to medium term future. Associate editors will shepherd 4—6 articles through the peer review process each year. So, if you submit a paper to S&P (which you should!), you may deal with one of these people.

Thank you to our associate editors for taking on this important job and helping make S&P into one of the top journals in our field.

Elsevier stumbles upon benefit of electronic publication

“Elsevier Introduces Article-Based Publishing to Increase Publication Speed”:

Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, announced today the launch of Article-Based Publishing — a new publishing model that publishes articles as final and citable without needing to wait until a journal issue is complete. With an increasing focus on online publishing, there is a growing need for innovative publication models geared towards individual articles instead of the print-based issue model. Article-Based Publishing is the assigning of final citation data on an article-by-article basis, decoupled from the compilation of the journal issue itself.

“Article-Based Publishing is major step forward in publishing. Now the article is published in its final form within just a few weeks after acceptance, which provides the journal an important competitive advantage,” said Professor René Janssen, Editor of Organic Electronics. “Authors will be equally pleased to see the results of their research published sooner.”

For centuries, academic articles have been published in journals, issue by issue. While this practice has ensured organized citation information, it has also created boundaries for the timing of each published article. Now, Article-Based Publishing makes it possible to publish articles in their final form, with volume, issue and page numbers, before the entire issue is finalised. This new way of publishing speeds up the publication of articles by an average of 7 weeks.

Let us just say “welcome to the club”.

eLanguage Outage

This past weekend, the server that hosts eLanguage and its associated journals, including Semantics & Pragmatics, was the subject of a malicious attack from hackers. The technical staff has been working hard at getting eLanguage back up. While this has been going on, the URL for S&P points to a temporary page, from which all published articles are downloadable. We should note that the official links for S&P papers via their DOIs also point to this back-up location, so access to the articles we have published is not disrupted.

We expect eLanguage and S&P to be fully functional again in the next couple of days. In the mean time, if you have a question about submitting to the journal or any other business, please email us at

[Update: eLanguage and S&P are back up and functional.]

S&P Stats Update (mid-year)

Since Semantics and Pragmatics opened the doors on November 28, 2007, we have had 57 submissions of regular articles and 6 submitted commentaries. We have published 11 articles (and 5 commentaries), are waiting for a revised version of 1 article, have one commentary in production, have 7 articles currently under review, and rejected 38 submissions.

Our acceptance rate (12/49) is 24%.

9 submissions were declined without external review. That decision was made in an average of 6 days.

For the 41 submissions that we sent out for external review and that we have made a first decision on, the average time to the first decision was 56 days and the median time was 52 days (there were a few submissions that took us far too long, which is skewing the average a bit). Our target is a maximum of 60 days (4 weeks for review and 4-5 weeks for editorial work), so we’re doing fine.

This year, S&P has published 419 pages (7 main articles, 3 commentaries), and more to come; clearly, quantity-wise we are now publishing in the same ballpark as the old journals, and quality-wise, we believe we hold more than our own. As far as service to our authors is concerned (speed and quality of editorial review), we believe we are lightyears ahead. Here are two recent quotes from authors (one from a rejected paper, one from a published paper):

“[We] are very grateful for the detailed feedback. Please convey our thanks to the reviewers for their useful work.”

“You guys are ruining us for dealing with other semantics journals, with turnarounds measured in weeks instead of years, high-quality refereeing, sensible editorial judgments, and open access.”

Thanks for all your support.