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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Collection Development and Access Plan:
Linguistics

Prepared by Sandy Gallup, April 2003
DRAFT for review by the Linguistics Department

Purpose:

The purpose of this Collection Development and Access Plan is threefold. First, it is a tool for the Library to become better informed of the information and data needs of academic programs on campus. Second, it will outline how existing local collections, networked electronic services, and document delivery services are being utilized to meet the bibliographic needs of these programs. Third, it is hoped that this plan will provide the faculty and the library staff a base for dialog concerning future information needs and areas for cooperation. This plan follows the broad guidelines established in Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market: A Framework for the University of Connecticut Libraries, issued by the Chancellor's Library Advisory Committee in March 1999, and the FY 2003 update, Library Collecting for a Digital Age: An FY 2003 Update to Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market.

Contents:

  1. Characteristics of the Community
  2. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns
  3. Current Patterns of Information Service
  4. Emerging Choices

I. Characteristics of the Community

The information community of the Linguistics Department is comprised of three parts: an undergraduate group that is relatively small, working toward a combined major in either philosophy or psychology; a focused, collaborative and successful graduate population; and a faculty group.

Degrees Offered

  • Undergraduate degrees: Major in Linguistics and Psychology
    Major in Linguistics and Philosophy
    Minor in Linguistics
  • Graduate degrees: Ph.D. (no Masters degree program)
    The Department of Linguistics at the University of Connecticut is a leading center for theoretical research in generative grammar, and for experimental research on child language acquisition. The Department offers graduate training leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics, and is noted both for its high standards in graduate teaching, and for considerable success in job placement.

Student Enrollments (2001/2002) 38 doctoral students
5 Linguistics/Philosophy undergraduate majors
3 Linguistics/Psychology undergraduate majors

Of the recent Linguistics Ph.D. recipients (1991-2001), approximately 70% were immediately hired into tenure-track faculty positions or the equivalent, and an additional 15% were awarded post-doctoral research fellowships. Doctoral students in the Linguistics Department are expected to engage in original research throughout their graduate training, and this work often leads to presentations at academic conferences, as well as publications in professional journals. Experimental research in child language acquisition is often done in connection with the excellent facilities at the University's Child Development Laboratories, as well as the Department's own Psycholinguistics Laboratory.

Linguistics Department Faculty 8 Regular faculty
1 Visiting faculty
4 Professors emeriti
3 Adjunct faculty members

Principle areas of teaching & research in the department include:

  1. Syntax. Syntactic structure of human language working within the framework of Chomskian transformational-generative grammar. Investigation of particular languages, basic structural properties of language in general, parametric ways in which languages can differ. Major interests are syntactic universals, the interaction of syntax and semantics, and the formal properties of syntactic systems.
  2. Semantics. Systematic description of the interpretation of natural language expressions on the basis of their syntactic structure. Montague's tradition in formal semantics within the framework of generative grammar. Native speakers' intuitions about the truth and falsity of sentences of their language. Investigation in the semantics of phenomena such as questions, comparatives, clefts, binding, ellipsis and plurals, and general properties of the interpretational mechanism that natural languages employ.
  3. Phonology. Variation in sound patterns of words and phrases, which vary with the syntactic, morphological and phonological contexts in which they occur. Phonology, within a generative framework, attempts to account for this variation by a set of general rules, which will relate abstract phonological representations of words and phrases to the several phonetic shapes they may take in specific contexts. Properties of the levels of representation, the nature of the rules, which relate the abstract and phonetic forms, and the manner in which the rules apply.
  4. Language Acquisition. Empirical evaluation of claim that a child's evolving grammars are governed by innate principles and parameters. Developing new empirical methods for assessing children's grammatical knowledge.

Additional Faculty Interests:

Morphology
American Sign Language (Syntax, Morphology, and Acquisition)
Slavic Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
Learnability Theory
Adult Psycholinguistics (Aphasia, Reading, Sentence Processing)

II. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns

  • Allocated funds for Linguistics:
    Monographs: $ 3,532.81
    Serials: $ 9,249.05
    Total: $ 12,781.86
  • Expenditures for relevant networked services $2,300.00

Electronic indexing, abstracting, and full-text services purchased by the Library’s Networked Services budget (not reflected in the above figures) which support research in Linguistics include: Dissertation Abstracts, LLBA, Linguistics Working Papers Directory, MLA, Philosopher’s Index, PsychInfo, Web of Science, Dow Jones Interactive, Academic Universe, JSTOR. For a more complete list consult the Linguistics Resources by Subject page at: /research/bysubject/ling.htm

III. Current Patterns of Information Service

  1. Characteristics of the Literature
  2. Literature consists of print monographs and print journals with increasing use of electronic journals as they become available as part of an existing print subscription package.
  3. Major publishers for linguistics materials: Benjamins, MIT Press, Elsevier, Kluwer
  4. Language of publication: primarily English with little need to collect in other languages.
  5. Dissertations: Although there is strong interest in dissertations, the Linguistics Department has an extensive collection and the Library usually does not purchase dissertations for the general collections unless specifically requested.
  6. Gray literature: strong interest in working papers, especially from MIT, University of Massachusetts, Rutgers and University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Data sets are of importance to linguistics researchers that are working on child language acquisition topics or working in conjunction with the Child Labs.
  8. Collection Development
    1. Areas of Focus

      Materials are collected to support the teaching and research interests of the department faculty in the major areas of: Syntax, Semantics, Phonology, Language Acquisition (for a more detailed discussion of these areas of focus see section, Characteristics of the Community above). Additionally, materials are purchased to support other faculty Interests which include Morphology, American Sign Language (Syntax, Morphology, and Acquisition), Slavic Linguistics, Historical Linguistics, Learnability Theory, Adult Psycholinguistics (Aphasia, Reading, Sentence Processing)

    2. Acquisition Strategies
      1. Monographs

        The sources most relied upon for acquiring supporting monographic materials: · Yankee Book Peddler (YBP) Approval / Slip Plan. The University of Connecticut Libraries uses the approval plan services of Yankee Book Peddler to supply the bulk of new monographs. Books are received based on a profile that is limited in coverage for the Linguistics Department. Notify slips are provided for items that fall outside the profile but which may be of interest. Some titles are selected and ordered from these slips. Publishers who do not to discount to Yankee or produce less than five titles a year are not covered. Yankee Approval Plan Publishers: see profile at http://www.ybp.com/publisherlists.htm · Textbooks, popular reading, guide books, examinations, laboratory manuals, software and hardware manuals are generally not collected. · Recommendations from faculty and graduate students in Linguistics are always given full consideration. · Catalogs from publishers and reviews from various sources are consulted for materials that might be added to the collections. · Specific subject areas of interest: Syntax Syntacticians: including interest in child language, innate constraints, how inexpert speakers learn, how expert speakers know what a well-formed sentence is, universal grammar Generative grammar (Chomskyan) Optimality theory Semantics Psycholinguistics Language acquisition (primarily first language acquisition and second language acquisition to a lesser degree) Phonology Historical linguistics Sign language, as it demonstrates universals of grammar Computational linguistics Sociolinguistics

      2. Journals

        New journal subscriptions for Linguistics are generally ordered in response to requests from students or faculty, though costs of acquiring articles from the journal via Document Delivery / Interlibrary Loan on an as-needed basis are also considered.

        Electronic journal subscriptions tend to be acquired by recommendation from the bibliographer and not by requests from a student or a faculty member.

      3. Other Media

        New journal subscriptions for Linguistics are generally ordered in response to requests from students or faculty, though costs of acquiring articles from the journal via Document Delivery / Interlibrary Loan on an as-needed basis are also considered. Electronic journal subscriptions tend to be acquired by recommendation from the bibliographer and not by requests from a student or a faculty member.

  9. Access Development

    In order to help Linguistics faculty and students locate the research materials they need, the University of Connecticut Libraries uses a combination of local collections, licensed electronic products, subject and program-based web links, current awareness services, interlibrary loan and document delivery.

    1. Relevant Indexes, Abstracts, Library Catalogs and Bibliographic Utilities

      The current compliment of general electronic indexing, abstracting, full-text services, and current awareness services as well as those specific to the Linguistics Department provided by the Library seems sufficient to meet the above stated objective in most areas.

      We have standing orders for working papers from MIT and University of Massachusetts Amherst. In addition, there is interest in the working papers from University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers. The primary indexing and abstracting of these is through services listed in the Linguistics Working Papers Directory, which is not always easy or current enough for research needs. Electronic citation databases to which the Library subscribes are often not updated on an optimum schedule. Graduate students and researchers are often dependent on each other and shared papers to obtain the citation they need. On occasion, DD/ILL requests are hindered by the lack of available verification for articles published as working papers.

    2. Electronic Journals, Books and Data

      User enthusiasm and economic incentives have caused the library to embrace electronic only access to commercial as well as non-profit journal packages. With the subscription year that begins in January 2004, if a cost savings is available, the libraries are generally converting journal subscriptions that currently bring us both print and electronic copies to electronic-only provision.

      We are making this change on a publisher-by-publisher basis. Many of our electronic journals do not come directly by license from the publisher, but instead through aggregator products such as Lexis-Nexis Academic, Dow-Jones, InfoTrac and Wilson Web. The arrangements between aggregators and publishers are constantly in flux. Only when titles are available through multiple aggregators, in a complete and reasonably current version will the cancellation of print be considered.

      We have resisted going electronic-only up to now because of concerns about long-term, archival access. Commercial publishers cannot be relied upon to archive their content once the prospect of additional sales approaches nil. Although a solution is far from in place, we believe that technologies now under examination, with funding from the National Science Foundation among others, will yield solutions whereby the largest research libraries will undertake the distributed archiving of digital content in all our interest. We expect that even the largest commercial publishers will, ultimately, cooperate with such an arrangement.

      One of the primary goals in the immediate future will be to identify the journals for which we have a subscription but not electronic access, and attempt to add said access. Often the stumbling block for doing so is the license agreement. Additionally, many of the society journals are only now being made available electronically. Often, online access to these titles is free with a print subscription. Retaining access to the already respectable menu of online journals provided by the Library is an ongoing library goal although this effort is becoming increasingly difficult. Because of unsustainable inflation of scholarly journals, electronic only access may be increasingly viewed as a viable option. The question of permanent access to reliable archives of this material is not yet resolved, making such a switch a risky venture.

      Furthermore, electronic journals can be hot linked to web based indexes like Web of Science, and the electronic resources listed above. Additionally, the Library’s electronic journal locator, eCompass, facilitates the identification of specific e-journal titles "owned" by the Library (i.e., accessible via the University internet domain, ".uconn.edu".)

    3. Other Internet-based resources

      The Linguistics Library Liaison maintains a web page that organizes and promotes a wide range of electronic resources for Linguistics, including locally licensed indexing/abstracting services and full-text resources located at: /research/bysubject/ling.htm The liaison welcomes comments on improvements to the page and/or additional sites which should be listed.

    4. Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan

      DD/ILL is an integral part of all our collection development and access plans. DD/ILL data is actively considered in relation to both journal purchase decisions and collection budget planning.

      For the past few years, the number of requests for DD/ILL from Linguistics faculty and students has averaged around 12 requests per year with a graduate student population of 38. Although small in number, the role of DD/ILL requests for Ph.D. research is important.


IV. Emerging Choices

Because journals are critical for Linguistics research and teaching, the clearest challenge in collection development for the Linguistics Department is managing the transition to electronic journals. There are major questions and concerns raised by this transition and no ready answers. As the Library purchases different packages and products, both library staff and the Linguistics Department faculty and students must understand that we are experimenting in the acquisition of journals in this new medium and that permanent electronic access cannot be guaranteed for everything we initially provide. All journal users are encouraged to be active participants in the promotion and evaluation of electronic journals within their subject areas.

As institutions transition toward the digitization of much gray literature, resources such as working papers may become readily available in electronic form from other institutions. Since the University of Connecticut also has working papers to contribute, this is an area in which we have a contribution to make as well as achieving access to the digitized literature of other institutions.

Another emerging direction for Linguistics research and teaching is the further exploration of the acquisition of data sets. With the libraries expanding capacity for providing access to databases and digital materials, there should be further examination of what is needed to provide access to appropriate data sets for Linguistics.

The future of collecting to support the Linguistics Department in a changing information economy
Both continuing inflation in the unit cost of print and electronic publications, and expanding demand for new products and services are anticipated. The Libraries do not expect the University to solve this problem by increasing the Libraries' share of limited University resources. The Libraries hope for a continuation of the current level of support, but cannot regard it as guaranteed. Increasingly though, measures of user behavior: circulation by classification and patron affiliation; database use; and ILL/document delivery activity will play a role in budget decision-making.

The significant evolution in collection development and access patterns requires enhanced communication between library staff and the faculty and students they serve. Ongoing dialogue will help ensure that the best choices are being made and that users are knowledgeable about emerging kinds of library resources in terms of access and intelligent use and the risks involved in some of these choices. The Library Liaison Program will continue to be the primary vehicle for this kind of contact.

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