Computational Linguistics Journal Goes Open Access
Hal Daume III over at the excellent NLP Blog has announced from the ACL conference in Ohio that the Computational Linguistics journal will be going open access. The first online and open access issue will be the March 2009 volume.
I know that Robert Dale (who happens to be one of my PhD supervisors) has been working hard towards this for some time now, along with a host of other people from the ACL and CL boards. So thank you and congratulations to all involved!
For those outside the community, the CL journal is arguably the most prestigious journal for our field. Despite this, I find that work seems far more visible when published in the big CL conferences (ACL, Coling, EMNLP etc.). It will be interesting to see how the move to open access changes this balance.
Of course, not having been in Ohio this year, I still have questions about the details – what’s the funding model?, will there be new sections/types of publications accepted?, will each issue contain more papers than previously now there aren’t physical page limits? – but I’m sure I’ll hear the details in time.
The move is not without challenges, but I think this is excellent news for both our CL/NLP communities and for the research community more generally in making high quality published research more easily available to everyone.
Disappointed with GMail Labs
I haven’t seen many others in the email community comment on the recent announcement of GMail Labs yet.
Given the buzz of activity around email in recent years (Xobni, Xoopit, ClearContext, Seriosity etc.) I was expecting that GMail Labs might actually offer some genuinely interesting enhancements to the email experience. Instead, what’s on offer is a mish-mash of tiny incremental gadgets to tweak very specific aspects of GMail. Nothing in the way of more fundamental or experimental features. (And nothing that even attempts to fix any of the long-standing problems with GMail like the automatic adding of all email correspondents to the address book, or the inability to add inline images).
Lifehacker has a run-down of the 13 features available at the launch of GMail Labs. These range from tweaks for including random signatures to the ability to view emails in fixed-width fonts – hardly innovative given such features have been available in unix email clients for, oh, a decade or two. Other features are actually more focused on chat than email (e.g., muzzle for hiding status lines, and ‘pictures in chat’).
I can only hope that things will get more interesting over time, but based on the scale of launch features which apparently warranted a media event around the launch of GMail Labs, I’m not holding my breath.
Perhaps the one bright spot is the creation of a Google Group for discussing existing Lab features and proposals for new features. At least this gives a focus for users to make their suggestions heard (though LifeHacker has been gathering such suggestions for some time now).