Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement
Please read the statement here.
Following the example of Journal of Central Asia Studies’ editorial board, we inform that the decision to publish a certain paper is based on the marks (from 1 to 5) given by two independent reviewers on four criteria:
- Criterion of “scientific novelty”: the paper must contain a representative amount of new material, collected by the author during field work or presentation of new results in interpretation of already collected material. Publication of a review is possible if such review contains author’s point of view. Republication of one’s own papers is not permitted. More than one third of information in a paper must be published for the first time in a certain language.
- Criterion “acquaintance with the literature on the question”: the paper should take into account not only theoretical and descriptive works bearing relation to the problem in the studied language, but also achievements on similar issues in other world languages. For example, if we have a study of deep cases in Mari language, it would be useful to account for works on deep case in English, Russian and other European languages, as well as similar research on Finno-Ugric languages. Another example: comparative or historical semantic research should account for the data in all established etymological dictionaries of the languages being analyzed.
- Criterion of “scientific value.”
- Criterion “value of presentment.”
If the two latter criteria require expert evaluation, the first two are more objective and verifiable; therefore, we have explained their meaning in more detail.
Typically, we maintain these criteria, when selecting papers for our journal. But if, regardless of knowledge of the literature, reviewers do find certain value in the work, editorial staff reserves the right to offer the author to elaborate his or her work. With regard to the difficult situation with scientific literature in modern Russia, editorial staff will gladly help authors find necessary publications.
The problem of exchange of information is closely related to the question of scientific level of published papers. It seems that most researchers have certain implicit criteria of informational support, without which a research cannot be viewed as complete. However, during the last decades we often encounter the following situation: let’s assume that a researcher began to investigate etymology, or history, or semantics of certain Kazakh words (we have picked a random language and the field of interest was chosen upon personal predilection of the editor in chief). If the researcher specializes in Kazakh, rather often he or she will cite some works on Kazakh lexicology, and almost always he or she will try to make some diachronic remarks (like “the meaning X has developed from the meaning Y”) Since we do not support strict division between synchronic and diachronic linguistics (most researchers already understand, that a language does not exist independently of the changes occurring in it; and all attempts to find explanation for linguistic phenomena, disregarding diachronic investigation, cannot cause but bewilderment) we can only welcome such excursi. On the other hand for a competent diachronic excursus one has to at least be acquainted with the situation in closely related languages and in written monuments of the Turkic languages. In reality, an author who does not show knowledge of appropriate sources would easily answer to a direct question: “No, I have not used Rasanen’s dictionary (Sevortyan’s, Clauson’s, Old Turkic Dictionary, Doerfer’s book about Turkic and Mongolian borrowings in Persian – the list could be continued); I didn’t know that such works exist. It’s a pity, but I do not read in German (Russian, English, Hungarian…)” Of course, unfamiliarity with the main Turkologic dictionaries, as well as languages, cannot be a valid excuse. Knowledge of the Turkologic literature within the limits of a university course is a necessary condition for publication in our journal. The same concerns works on Mongolian, Tungus-Manchu, Finno-Ugric and other languages as well. If an article deals with language contacts of, say, Mari and Chuvash languages, the author’s task is even more complicated: he or she has to be able to use the literature pertaining to the subject in both language groups. In our example it would be Etymological Dictionary of Chuvash by Fedotov and the dictionary (plus special works on borrowings) by Rasanen, as well as the works by Galkin, Berecki, and Gordeev on Mari phonetics and lexicon, Komi Etymological Dictionary by Lytkin and Gulyaev, and Etymological Dictionary of the Uralic Languages by Redei. Similar examples could be constructed for the works, say, on synchronic typology of related languages or for a theoretical grammar of one of the Uralic or Altaic languages. Typically, we maintain these criteria in selecting papers for the journal. However, if editorial board and the reviewers do find sufficient merit in a work, although the author clearly demonstrates lack of knowledge of the literature, editorial board maintain the right to inform the author about scientific predecessors and to propose him or her to rework the article and to include the earlier achieved results into the paper.