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November, 2009, marked the 500th manuscript to be submitted to SIL’s Electronic Survey Reports (SILESR). Beginning publication in 1999, SILESR has become the most popular of SIL’s academic publication series. In October 2009, there were 60,324 visits to the website. About a third of the time the readers went just to the abstract and another third, to the Table of Contents or other. The final third opened a full survey report. SILESR now has 229 articles on-line, written by 201 authors reporting on 420 languages spoken in 53 countries of the world.

Authors publishing the highest number of reports are:

The staff of SILESR wishes to honor Dr. Frank E. Robbins who helped initiate this publication and has served on the Board since the publication’s inception. As Executive Vice President, Robbins commissioned SIL’s modern language survey thrust in1983. He served as an instructor in some of the earliest training courses for language surveyors as well as helping to develop the Strategy Formulation Tool that is particularly useful for language assessment. Dr. Robbins, who is retiring this year from the SILESR Advisory Board, has given constant support for language survey and is much appreciated.

Dr. M. Paul Lewis will take Dr. Robbins’ place on the Advisory Board. Lewis served as managing editor of the early issues of SILESR. He has maintained involvement with the sociolinguistic aspects of language survey and chaired the 1997 International Language Assessment Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Dr. Lewis is currently editor of Ethnologue and is an active contributor to the field of language endangerment.

Other Board members and institutions with which they are associated are: