The Année Philologique, a critical and analytical bibliography of Greco-Latin Antiquity, has existed since the 1920s : over the years, its generalist orientation has made it a working tool that is useful for all, whatever one's specialty may be. Since its creation and its dissemination on paper, it has been a bibliographical tool that is universally recognized, utilized, and appreciated by students of Antiquity throughout the world. Since 2002, its dissemination online has facilitated the access of an ever-broader public to the bibliographical data it offers.
However, this irreplaceable tool is threatened, in the very near future, with disappearing in its current form, and perhaps with simply ceasing publication.
The cause of this threat is simple : the German office of the Année Philologique, the Zweigstelle Heidelberg, must close its doors at the end of the fiscal year 2012, unless a durable source of funding is found. The Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, which has funded it until now, has let it be known that it will cut off all subsidies at that date. In so doing, it is applying the government's decision to no longer fund continuing projects and positions, but to henceforth grant funds only to short-term scientific operations, answering to invitations to tender. If it were to take effect at the planned date, this programmed closure would have disastrous consequences for the entire project : with it, the totality of German-language research, whose importance for the classical humanities is known to all, would cease to be covered by our publication. Quantitatively, this would mean a decrease of approximately 30% of the bibliographical items made available to the public.
Unless a solution is found, the consequences will boil down to a sinister alternative : the transformation of a project of high scientific value into a bargain-basement search engine, or the outright disappearance of the publication.
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
L'Année Philologique in danger
The German office of the Année Philologique is due to have its funding withdrawn at the end of the year, seriously jeopardising the validity of the publication as a comprehensive bibliographic source.
From their website: