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Language survey reports provide basic data about languages and the community of people to whom those languages belong. A normal objective of the surveys is to discover how well the community understands neighboring, or related, varieties. A second objective is to measure language vitality; is the language being passed on to successive generations? Most surveys report about intelligibility between varieties, community bilingualism, language use in selected domains, attitudes toward other languages and dialects—and toward their own language—the vitality of the language, and general cultural and sociolinguistic features of the area surveyed. The data ranges from lexical lists, to test results and short texts used for testing intelligibility, to interview question responses, to notes regarding observed linguistic behavior.
The SIL Electronic Survey Reports (SILESR) series is a peer-reviewed journal published in electronic format by Global Publishing Services (GPS), SIL International (Dallas, TX).
Papers published in SILESR are given a formal citation with series name and issue number. As is standard practice in the academic world, publication in the Electronic Survey Reports series does not preclude revision and later publication in another outlet.
Any SIL staff member may submit a paper for publication in the series. Papers may also be submitted by non-SIL scholars whose work contributes to survey of the world’s languages.
Before submitting a paper, authors should have it reviewed by one of the consulting editors listed on the masthead, and then revised to the satisfaction of the consultant. Authors submit an electronic copy of the paper to the SILESR series editor along with a letter of appraisal from the consultant who reviewed it. If authors have no access to a consultant they may send submissions without an appraisal and the SILESR editor will have it reviewed.
Microsoft Word is the preferred file format for manuscripts. LibreOffice and XLingPap documents, exported to Word, are also acceptable.
Authors should use one of two electronic templates, each of which contains appropriate paragraph and character styles. The SIL Template for Authors is available for either Word 2003 or Word 2007/10. Right click one of these links, then left click “Save link as” (to save the template to your computer). The Reference Guide explains the use of the SIL Template and styles. The Clifton Template may also be used for SILESR papers. Not using one of these templates will lead to delays and possible rejection.
All fonts should be SIL Unicode compliant. (IPA fonts are included in the Charis SIL font set, which is the standard font for both templates.) Authors of manuscripts containing non-Roman text (such as Devanagari, Arabic, or any other non-Roman script) must submit a folder of font files. After approval by the consultant, both an editable electronic version and a PDF file must be submitted to the SILESR Editor.
GPS editors conform manuscripts to the Global Language Program Services GLPS Publications Style Sheet, which generally follows The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition.