Afrika Kolloquium mit Paul Newman

15.10.2019 17:00

Academic Editing in African Studies: Doing it Right

Paul Newman, Department of Linguistics, Indiana University

Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 5pm

Seminar room 3, Department of African Studies

The editing of professional journals and books is generally done by well-meaning, conscientious colleagues, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. Unfortunately, good intentions do not guarantee good results. The reason is that the editors are typically untrained amateurs without a clear picture of how to do the job properly. Journals are behind schedule; authors wait impatiently to see if and when their articles will appear; peer reviewers are irresponsible or uninformed; and the editors themselves waste enormous time juggling conflicting tasks, and then seldom do it right. The basic problem is not the people, but the fact that the editorial policies and procedures are not organized in a coherent manner. In my “how-to” talk, I shall outline a model of sensible editorial structure and process. My contention is that doing it right — or at least, better — will increase the quality of the output and make the entire operation easier and more efficient for all concerned. My suggestions should prove important whether one is an editor, a future editor, a manuscript reviewer, or an author who has had to tolerate the far-from-ideal editorial processes that currently exist.

Paul Newman is an American linguist active in the study of African languages. He has taught at Yale University, the University of Leiden, and the Centre for the Study of Nigerian Languages at Bayero University in Kano, among others. Currently he is Distinguished Professor at the Department of Linguistics, Indiana University. A great bulk of his academic work is on Chadic languages, especially on Hausa, e.g. The Hausa Language: An Encyclopedic Reference Grammar (2000), A Hausa–English Dictionary (2007). He is also the founder of the Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, a well-known journal in the field of African language studies.