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Version 1.04 as of 21.5.2004 (16:30 EET)
PhD dissertation may be either a monograph or a collection of refereed articles (plus a summary). The articles might be published either on a scientific journal or in conference proceedings with a similar editorial an refereeing process.
Journals may accept longer articles than conferences and often more space would be needed to treat research results properly. The quality standards among conferences vary.
There are a few reasons why PhD students should base their dissertations on a collection of articles rather than writing a monograph: (1) It is faster, therefore one does not lose the value of contributions because someone else produces similar results. (2) The PhD student and the supervisor can follow up the progress and the completion of the full PhD dissertation. (3) The student gets feedback from independent experts in addition to the supervisor.
In some previous discussions in smaller circles, it has been understood that there is a bottleneck in the availability of existing LT journals. There are too few journals and it takes too long a time for any article to be published. Not all good manuscripts would fit in.
On the other hand, there are lots of conferences around, and it is fairly easy to find suitable meetings, but submitting a paper to a conference assumes the participation, and often substantial costs because of travelling and accommodation. The deadlines or conferences are arbitrary, and might not suit to the schedules of PhD students.
In addition to the PhD students who might need a journal, the NGSLT, fortunately, has some vital resources, most notably the supervisors of these students and the departments where they work. The supervisors, obviously, have an interest in the successful completion of the dissertations and they are exactly the same persons who can act as referees and domain editors in journals.
Assuming that the NGSLT is an attractive choice for PhD students because of its course offerings, students would like to enroll to the NGSLT. This enrolling might assume that the supervisor makes some commitment of volonteering for the refereeing process.
Please, have a look at material discussing so called open access publishing in the net, eg. the Budapest Open Access Initiative where practical issues of electronic publishing are discussed and lots of pointers are given to existing electronic journals. The Open Access Journal Business Guides treat the economic and other aspects or running an electronic journal.
There is more than enough material about open access publishing in the web. See a short bookmark file on the topic.
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