SCS Board Resolution on Abstract Publication

Resolution approved by the Board of Directors of the SCS, Jan. 6, 2019

The SCS Board of Directors approved the following recommendation at its meeting on January 6, 2019. It will be communicated to journal editors and to classics editors at relevant presses, that is, those whose publications fall under the responsibility of the American Office. We will also investigate whether the recommendation can be more widely discussed and adopted.

Board Resolution

In view of the ever-growing number of articles and chapters in collective volumes that the American Office for L’Année philologique is responsible for processing, it is the strong recommendation of the SCS that journal and volume editors regard it as a best practice and a routine adjunct of the publication process that each article or chapter be accompanied by a brief abstract and a list of keywords.

To ensure the utility of abstracts and keywords for the efficient compilation of data for APh, please take note of the following guidelines:

1. The abstract should give a concise but informative summary of the article’s or chapter’s content, indicating important points of argumentation and main conclusions.

2. The abstract should refer to the types of evidence adduced in drawing these conclusions, and give specific information about the most important items.

  • literary: cite the author or genre, and if an author, cite the works discussed and the most significant passages (The recommended abbreviations of Greek works are as in LSJ or DGE [http://www.filol.csic.es/dge/lst/2lst1.htm], and of Latin works as in TLL.)
  • epigraphical:  cite the most significant inscriptions
  • papyrological: cite the papyri (for the standard abbreviations, use the Checklist at http://papyri.info/docs/checklist)
  • artistic: cite the significant pieces, remembering to include museum inventory numbers
  • manuscript evidence: cite the library and shelfmark
  • archaeological: include the name of the sponsoring institution and the nature of the evidence (such as field report)

3. Abstract and keywords should be provided under a Creative Commons license.

Reasoning for this Resolution

Over the past couple of years, the SCS Board of Directors and its Advisory Board on the American Office of L’Année philologique has been following the progress of the transition of the classical bibliographic database to a new publisher and provider of online access, namely Brepols. This change came about because SIBC (Société Internationale de Bibliographie Classique) found it necessary to make new arrangements since the previous platform could no longer be sustained.

This transition has been a source of uncertainty for at least two reasons. First, the different pricing structure used by Brepols has made it unclear for the moment how many old subscribers have maintained their subscriptions or how many new subscribers have been acquired. Second, changes both in the level of projected revenue to be shared among local offices and in the terms governing the royalties to SCS for the data that was originally developed by the Database of Classical Bibliography have made it likely that these sources will provide less support than previously toward the budget of the American Office. The actual decrease, if any, will not be clear until the effects of the transition are fully understood in the next year or two.

The other important aspect of the transition has been the change in workflow for the bibliographers at the local offices. Initially, productivity was, as expected, reduced somewhat as people were learning the new system, but now productivity is normal once more. Brepols is experimenting with technological solutions that could one day improve productivity, but these efforts are still embryonic. Brepols also wants to improve the online database by encouraging the bibliographers to enter more keywords for piece.

Meanwhile, the amount of material that would ideally be covered in the database keeps growing year by year. The American Office is responsible for journals and numerous collective volumes originating in English-speaking countries, and some from elsewhere. Some journals and edited volumes already publish abstracts of their articles, and these abstracts are often a great help to the bibliographers, since a good abstract significantly shortens the time a bibliographer needs to devote to the associated article or chapter. The Advisory Board concluded that one way to help the personnel of the American Office meet the challenge of the ever-increasing material is to recommend that the practice of including abstracts (and keywords) be much more widely adopted and that the usefulness of abstracts be promoted by giving guidance about what will smooth the workflow for the bibliographers. The recommendation includes the notion that abstracts ought to be provided with a Creative Commons license, since the point of the abstract is to inform potential readers and attract them to the full article, not to earn revenue through the assertion of copyright restrictions.

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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Silius Italicus Poetry and Historiography, a Conference at Washington University in St. Louis, March 23rd 2013, 10AM-4:30PM.  After a long and varied career as a lawyer and politician, Silius Italicus devoted his last years to the writing of poetry. During the reign of Domitian (81-96 CE) he composed an extensive epic on the Second Punic War, choosing the third decade of Livy as his main source and Virgil’s Aeneid as the predominant epic model. Silius’ poetic achievements have not met with much approval over the centuries: for many modern scholars, his work has been a classic example of a rather slavish and uninspired form of imitatio. During the last few decades, however, a reappraisal has taken place, and scholars have begun to appreciate the striking originality of Silius’ approach to his topic.

The papers of this conference will focus on an important part of this new appreciation: aspects of Silius’ relationship to the older historiographical and epic tradition that have not previously been appreciated. They will not only provide new insights for specialists, but they will also present a lively introduction both to an author who deserves more scholarly attention and to a literary practice—the mixing of historiography and poetry—that has played an important role from the time of Herodotus until today.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 02/20/2013 - 6:26pm by Adam Blistein.

Charles Luther Babcock died December 7, 2012 at the age of 88. He was born in Whittier California, May 26, 1924. After attending Whittier Union High School, he enrolled in the University of California—Berkeley in 1941, where he became a member of ROTC. In 1943 he entered the US Army and served in General Patton’s Third Army in the invasion of Germany in 1945. There, as Second Lieutenant, he earned the Bronze Medal for leading his platoon through heavy fire at Neumarkt, assisting the wounded, personally liberating nine POWs and capturing the local civilian leader of the resistance. After the war as Captain he became aide-de-camp to Maj. Gen. John Coulter, who went on to become Deputy Commander of the Fourth Army.

In 1947 Capt. Babcock resumed his studies at Berkeley, where he earned a BA (Phi Beta Kappa) in Latin in 1948 and a PhD in Classics in 1953, with a dissertation on The Dating of the Capitoline Fasti and the Erasure of the Antonii Names, written under Arthur E. Gordon. So began Charles Babcock’s lifelong interest in Latin Epigraphy and the history of the Roman Empire. He continued his pursuit of Roman history and epigraphy at the American Academy in Rome as a Fulbright Scholar and Academy Fellow (1953-55). While sailing to Rome with other Americans heading for the Academy, he met Mary A. Taylor, a graduate student from Bryn Mawr. They were married in 1955 and raised three children.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Tue, 02/19/2013 - 8:28pm by .

Jim Halporn was born in New York City, grew up on Long Island and carried his accent from there for his whole life — much of it spent far from there. His mother Louisa taught English in the public schools. His father Robert brought much of the influence of his Gymnasium education and Viennese values to educating his son. (Much later, in retirement, Robert moved to Bloomington, where he took a number of Latin and Greek classes with his son’s Indiana University colleagues.)

After a year at St. John’s College, Jim entered Columbia College with the full intention of becoming a chemist, despite his strong interest in literature — from childhood he was a constant reader of anything at hand. That interest, the year at St. John’s, and the first-year humanities courses at Columbia influenced his decision by his senior year to major in classics rather than chemistry. He then concentrated on Latin and started Greek in order to prepare for the Masters degree program at Columbia; following that, he earned his Ph.D. at Cornell. His previous scientific training and inclination gave him a discipline and focus that was an asset to his linguistic and philological future. While at Columbia, he was coxswain for the junior varsity crew. Chosen for his very lightweight physique, his winter training consisted of smoking and playing cards while the oarsmen worked out. He was bemused to have earned a letter in the sport.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 02/14/2013 - 6:07pm by Adam Blistein.

Last October Jeffrey Henderson began a discussion of one of the major recommendations to emerge from the APA Board’s March 2012 retreat, that our organization should change its name so as better to reflect who we are and what we aim to do.  In late November he reported to the membership on the over 200 comments received to date, and announced a discussion forum to host further debate.  At our Board meeting in Seattle, we took note of the responses and had a wide-ranging discussion of the views of the membership, which at that point were running about 3 to 1 in favor of a change of name, although without consensus on an alternative. 

After a lengthy and full discussion, the Board voted in favor of a change of name, to “Society for Classical Studies”, with “Founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association” as a permanent subtitle. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 02/14/2013 - 1:20am by Adam Blistein.

On February 6, President Denis Feeney and I on behalf of the APA submitted comments to a British Parliamentary Committee investigating the government’s policy on Open Access (OA). Although most scholars support OA in principle, a recent proposal in the UK, resulting from a high-level report in 2012 (the Finch Report), has raised concerns particularly among scholars in the humanities. The proposal would require all UK research that is supported by public funds to be published in OA journals,  with the costs to be borne by the researchers themselves rather than the journals. The proposal is complex and the issues are difficult, but Denis and I have tried to present a concise summary (as required by the Committee) of our concerns.

I would be happy to hear any comments you might have on the matter.
Michael Gagarin, VP for Publication and Research (gagarin@austin.utexas.edu)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 02/08/2013 - 5:11pm by Adam Blistein.

David C. Young, Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of Florida (http://web.classics.ufl.edu/faculty/faculty_o/young.html), died February 5, 2013. An internationally recognized scholar of Pindar and a pioneer in the history of the Olympic games, David was recognized with a Lifetime Distinguished Scholar Award in 2007 by the International Society of Olympic Historians. He taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1963-1989) and was a visiting professor at Stanford (1974, 1976) and the University of Michigan (1973, 1983) before joining the faculty at the University of Florida where he was a beloved teacher who inspired students for twenty years.

The Department of Classics at the University of Florida will post information here http://web.classics.ufl.edu/index.html regarding a memorial service to be held in his honor in Gainesville, FL. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we may assist you to attend.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 4:01pm by Adam Blistein.

As noted earlier, Craig Gibson has been appointed Editor of Transactions effective January 5, 2014.  However, he will handle new submissions effective immediately.  Please send all submissions electronically to tapa@uiowa.edu, following TAPA guidelines.  Katharina Volk will remain the official Editor through 2013 and in charge of producing this year's issues (143.1 and 2).

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Sun, 02/03/2013 - 4:07pm by Adam Blistein.

As Chair of the Search Committee, I am happy to report that Professor Craig Gibson of the University of Iowa has accepted our invitation to become the next Editor of the Transactions of the American Philological Association.  Professor Gibson is a distinguished and very productive scholar of ancient literature and its intersections with other aspects of ancient culture.  His term as Editor will run from January 5, 2014 to January 7, 2018.  An announcement concerning the transition of responsibility from current Editor Katharina Volk to Professor Gibson and protocol for submission of manuscripts will soon be published on the web site and in the Association Newsletter.

I want to thank the other members of the Search Committee (John Bodel, Jeff Henderson, Chris Kraus, and Adam Blistein) for their assistance in the completion of this successful search.  I also very much appreciate the interest that the Committee saw from the other highly qualified candidates for this position.  Finally, we are grateful to Department of Classics of the University of Iowa for its support of the arrangements necessary to enable Professor Gibson to accept this position. 

Michael Gagarin
Vice President for Publications and Research

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 7:48pm by Adam Blistein.

After three weeks, the 144th Annual Meeting in Seattle is receding into history, and it is a good moment to take stock of what a successful meeting it proved to be.  The host department from UW-Seattle, led by Ruby Blondell and Alain Gowing, did a superb job, and we thank them all for helping to make the Meeting such a success.  Even the Northwest weather cooperated to make Seattle a great venue for us: on my fourth visit to Seattle I finally got to see Mt. Rainier.  There was a tremendous program of panels and performances, even if your officers, including the President, were unable to emerge from their seclusion in committee rooms to enjoy more than a small fraction of the riches on offer.

In the Plenary Session, we honored a remarkable group of teachers and scholars for their achievements. From the point of view of our Association’s history and future, the most significant moment in the Plenary Session was the celebration of the triumphant conclusion of the Gateway Campaign, steered to its harbor by President Jeffrey Henderson.  It was a delight to see the Campaign Committee members being honored, and to see Distinguished Service Awards presented to the three visionary and energetic APA members who provided such outstanding leadership from the beginning to the end of the Campaign: Ward W. Briggs, David H. Porter, and Michael C.J. Putnam.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 7:46pm by Adam Blistein.

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