1 February 2009

A new journal: Liburna

The word liburna refers to a type of ship used by the Romans, who took the idea from the Liburnians, an ancient people of the Adriatic. It is also the name of a new journal about human sciences, whose general editors are Xaverio Ballester and Eduardo Ortiz. In the first and current issue, published in November 2008 (see image on the left), we can find some general information about the journal. Let's see an excerpt: "Liburna is dedicated primarily to the publication of articles and book reviews with an interdisciplinary approach to all areas of the Humanities, as well as previously unpublished translations". The eclectic nature of this journal is one of its identifying marks. There are articles about archaeology, literature, linguistic anthropology and other scientific areas, and also a series of poetic texts translated into Spanish (the journal starts with a beautiful poem by Fernando Pessoa called Oda Marítima). One of the aims of Liburna is the publication of articles about languages and literatures that do not generally appear in journals written in the major Western languages. In the first issue, for example, there is an article about the Lithuanian poet Tomas Venclova and a selection of his poems.

Liburna is a serious scientific journal, but also a peculiar one indeed. Let’s take a look, for example, at the following editorial requirements: “The journal’s only “Guidelines” are that bibliographical or explanatory footnotes will not be permitted and authors may not make reference to their own work or to forthcoming publications”. When you look at the articles, with no footnotes, you realize that they look quite different from the ones you usually find in journals. On the other hand, the absence of ‘self-reference’ or ‘self-citations’ results in a different way of organizing the information in the articles, which is quite interesting in itself. For some scholars, writing an article without quoting their own previous publications may be a real challenge!

Another requirement is that “texts will only be published by authors with a Ph.D.”. That excludes me, because I only have a BA and an MA. At least for the moment, because I’m actually planning to start my PhD soon. I must say I’m quite happy to be an ‘independent’ linguist, reading, writing and researching outside the world of academia, but I think that completing a PhD is not a bad idea either. It would be about historical linguistics and I would probably do it at the University of Valencia (other offers are welcome too!).

One of the most interesting sections in Liburna is Consignatario, which includes book reviews. I made my own little contribution to it with a short review (written in English) of Christiansen and Kirby, eds. (2003), Language Evolution, OUP, a book that I have already discussed in this blog (see here).


JoseAngel said...

Pity about the ban on self-references. I am a sucker for them... and not just to increase my index of citations, which I suppose they don't anyway; it's rather that as you are led from one aspect of the subject to another, it's handy to just point out in those directions as they have been developed in your other publications. I suppose it's a different pleasure for most readers, anyway!

Jesús Sanchis said...

Thank you for your comments, JoseAngel. We live in a globalized world where scientific discourse tends to be quite uniform, so maybe the editorial guidelines in Liburna are an interesting experiment in themselves, providing some sort of articles 'with a difference'. Let's wait and see.