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Department of Linguistics, UCLA


The need for a linguist to have a Web page increases as her/his research career progresses and a certain amount of research "product" accumulates.  This being the modern world, it is sensible for you to make it possible for any Web-equipped person in the world to

  • See what your research interests are, and
  • Download your research papers

This becomes particularly critical at job application time.  If a search committee is intrigued by the sample work you've included with your application, they may be hungry for more, and they may try to find more at your Web site.


What to Include

It's useful to place the links to your papers in the context of a brief outline of your research interests, which guide the viewer toward the relevant papers.

It's also useful to post a research bibliography and/or curriculum vitae.

The papers themselves can be included, if this is how you want to do it.  It's also a good idea to post the papers on an archive, which lets people find them (through topic searches) even if they've never heard of you.  Sample archives:  LingBuzz and ROA. Posting on a public archive would also be a good defense against anyone ever plagiarizing you.  You can still include links on your own Web page; you just link to the archive.

Papers are usually posted in PDF. You can get a copy of Adobe Acrobat, for creating PDF files, from our department's Technology Adviser

People differ in terms of whether they like to post things that have been published. A fairly modest approach is to post the last ms. version you have, before it underwent copy editing by the publisher. More brazen is posting the pdf of the actual published version. Publishers differ in what they will legally let you do; you can check this at publication time. It is almost certainly the case that people are more likely to read your work if they can obtain it with a quick and easy click.

If you would like people to have access to the data that served as the basis of your article, you can post that as well. You can also post other things that help your article but would make your article too long to publish.

It's useful to make it easy for people to find you, by providing e-mail and possibly other information.  You have to decide for yourself about any privacy issues this may raise.

A picture of yourself is nice, as long as it looks reasonably professional. For example, don't use a picture where you're being silly; and avoid images that are 90% background and only 10% your own person.

Lastly, there's the issue of how much beautiful formatting and glitz there should be. When visitors see these things on your Web page, they learn that you are clever enough to implement them. On the other hand a very plain Web site might be interpreted as suggesting that you prioritize other things in your professional life. One could go either way on this point. Definitely avoid glitziness that makes the text hard to read.

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Nonprofessional materialIn the early days of the internet academics sometimes constructed Web sites that included lots of personal information (favorite rock bands, wedding pictures, pets, recipes, etc.). Nowadays we have Facebook etc. for this sort of thing, and it's not much of a problem to keep your linguistics pages purely professional. You can also use non-professional web resources for stuff meant to be cute, like a teddy bear clapping his hands.

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Abandoned Web Sites

If you have a Web site that you put up a couple years ago and never updated, it's probably best  to take it down.  Such Web sites are seldom useful to visitors.  They also might convey a bad impression about the owner of the Web site:  owner is no longer working in the field, owner has not been doing anything worth posting, owner has the habit of leaving projects uncompleted, etc..

When you change institutions (like when you get a tenure-track job somewhere) and start a new site, you don't have to leave your old UCLA site abandoned; much better to convert your UCLA home page into a redirect page, leading visitors directly to your new site. Ask members of the Web Page Committee for help if you need it.

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How to Begin

The amount you could learn about setting up Web pages is appallingly large; after all, lots of people set up Web pages for a living. On the other hand, if your goals are content-oriented (i.e. you want people to be able to download your CV and papers), then just a little knowledge should be fine.

I. To get space on the Humanities server to put your Web page, send a message like this one to the Department's Technology Adviser:

"Dear Drake:

I am a graduate student in Linguistics and would like to start a Web Page using CDH's server.  Please locate my page along with the other Linguistics graduate students, in http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/grads/YourName/.  Also, please let me know my logon ID and password.

Thank you very much.

Yours truly,
YourName"

Note that you can also get server space from Bruin On Line; go to this address for information.  One factor that might favor using Humanities Computing instead is that Bruin On Line will probably delete your Web site the moment you get your Ph.D. The Humanities server space, in contrast, is controlled by the Linguistics Department, and we would be happy to keep your UCLA Web page up and running until you tell us otherwise.

II. To create your page, it's easiest to use a Web page editor.  These work on a what-you-see-is-what-you-get basis, and obviate the need to learn the HTML language in which Web pages are written.  A nice free (and cross-platform) editor for Windows is PageBreeze, available here. For Mac, you might try iWeb.

If you're not eager to design a page from scratch, there is an easy way to begin: ask a colleague if you can borrow the format of their home page to use as a template. Assuming they say yes, borrow the page by going to it with a Web browser, then clicking on File, Save As; then putting it in an appropriate folder on your hard disk. You can then edit it to become your own page by opening it with a Web page editor.

III. As the file name for your Home page (the one people will see first), use the title index.htm or index.html.  The reason is that it shortens your web address.  For example, Bruce Hayes's home page can be reached at http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/hayes/, even though its full name (which also works) is http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/hayes/index.htm.

If you already have a suboptimal Home page name, you can move your Home page to index.htm, and replace your old Home page with a page that notifies the user of the change, then autoforwards to the new Home page. Click here to learn how.

IV. To post your page on the server, you need an "FTP" (File Transfer Protocol) program.  This lets you move files from your own hard disk to the folder(s) designated for your use on the Web server.  

Ever since the UCLA Linguistics page got hacked (2011), the staff at CDH (our IT department) have been very strict about uploading security. This is inconvenient, but not hugely so.  In particular, there are two aspects of their policy. 

  • First, you must use a high-security FTP program. For Windows, such a program is WinSCP, available here. For Macs you can try CyberDuck, available here; and for all three main platforms (Windows/Mac/Linux) you can try Filezilla, available here.
  • Second, if you are logging in from off campus, you must connect via the UCLA VPN client (this is an intermediate server that guarantees (since you enter a password) that you really are a UCLA person. For how to connect via the UCLA VPN Client, visit this page.  If you're working from a campus computer, you can skip this step.
  • Finally, please note that in December 2012, the particular site name you have to fill into the WinSCP or similar interface was changed.  For specific directions on this point, please obtain these pdf files:  WinSCP, Cyberduck.

How to use your FTP program

  • First, you tell the program where it can find your Web server.  This location is: sftp.humnet.ucla.edu; if this doesn't work, contact the department's Technology Adviser. (For Bruin On Line pages, click here for directions.)
  • Once the FTP program succeeds in finding the server, you log on with the user ID and password that CDH gave you (see above). 
  • This done, you will usually see two windows.  In one window, you click on the appropriate buttons until you've found the folder on your computer where you keep your own copy of your Web pages. In the other window, you find the folder on the server (or make a new one) where you keep the copy that the server sends out on the Web.  You click on the name of the file you want to move, and click on buttons or drag to move it (up to the server is uploading; down to your computer is downloading).

V. Posting papers and other items.   The FTP program can, in principle, move almost anything to the server, not just Web pages.  For example, you can upload word processing documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls), images (.gif, .jpg etc.), and documents in PDF format (see above for PDF).  To let people download these files, you put links into your Web pages.  Then people who visit your page can download the files by clicking on the links.

The specific way you make this links is:  in your Web page editor, type the words of the link (e.g., the title of a paper). Then, use the mouse to highlight these words. Click on the editor's "Link" button. A special window will come up, into which you type or paste the file name of the downloadable item.

Lastly, you upload both the revised Web page and the downloadable file to the Web server.  Then revisit your Web page (using your normal Web browser) and click on the new link to make sure it really works. (A caution:  if you were previously inspecting your page with your browser, and kept your browser on during the time you made changes and uploaded, then you must click View, Refresh on your browser in order to see the new version.)

VI. Organizing a site. Anything but a very small site needs a folder structure in order to stay organized; if you have any ambitious to make a larger site, try to start early with an effective folder organization. To link to something inside a folder, you use the (site-internal) format FolderName/FileName.suf.

VII. Helping people find your page.  IIf you will notify a member of the Department Web Site Committee, we can put a link to your page on our graduate student directory or faculty directory.

VIII. Often a good place to learn about working with the Web is the Web.  For instance, try typing keywords characterizing what you would like to learn how to do into Google.  

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Feedback

Your input concerning what should go on this page is welcome.  Please contact the current members of the Department Web Site Committee.

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