06 December 2011

Pronunciation of Malay

I have been developing a webpage (here) on the Pronunciation of Malay, built around a paper I wrote together with my UBD colleague, Adrian Clynes, and published in the Journal of the International Phonetic Association (Vol 41, No 2).

Developing a website that is complementary to a paper published in a journal raises some interesting issues. In the website, you can do so many things that are not possible in a printed article, including:
  • linking the recordings directly to the text, so that readers can easily listen to the data
  • linking each in-text citation to its entry in the List of References, to enable readers to follow up a reference with a click of the mouse
  • facilitating cross-referencing, so you don't just find 'see below', but can easily follow through a link
and many more (not all of which I have implemented).

Currently, publishing in international journals is the gold standard by which academics such as me are judged. But I am certain that this is going to change, unless the journals adapt fast (which, of course, they are trying to do). And when that happens, I suspect that printed copies of journals will become quaint relics of a bygone era.

One issue that will remain is how we referee on-line research papers, to ensure that the material that is published is properly vetted. Already, there is too much rubbish available on the Web, and there is a need to sift out the solid research from the dross.

We will see how this is achieved.