Annual Conference, June 21st, 2003

ALA Annual Meeting – 2003
Saturday, June 21st, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
ACRL President’s Suite in the Sheraton Centre
Toronto, Canada

1. Welcome and Introductions Attendees (listed below) introduced themselves.

2. Discussion:

  • Vendors – An interface poll was taken. No one present subscribed to Gale, subscriptions to the other vendors were fairly evenly distributed. Some schools were making switches, primarily due to pricing considerations. A question arose as to how long separate interfaces would be maintained for Silver Platter and Ovid since Ovid bought Silver Platter. The latest information that anyone present had was that Ovid still planned to continue to offer and support SP.
  • Field/Volunteer Bibliographers (ABELL and MLA) – Several people mentioned having received an invitation from ABELL to become volunteer indexers. Veteran volunteers were able to provide advice. The time commitment was noted to be relatively high (one must agree to index 10 titles per year), however, one could choose journals with different publication frequencies as a mitigation measure. It was noted that ABELL has changed its submission procedures somewhat frequently over the years, so that indexers had to keep relearning the mechanics. It was also noted that ABELL has improved its indexing, so that indexers choose from a list of subject headings to assign to each article. Only one person present indicated that she was currently a field bibliographer for the MLAIB. Someone asked how our library administrations view this kind of work – as a service or as a scholarly activity. Responses varied. Many people said “service,” however many also agreed that the work could be presented in one’s dossier in such a way as to emphasize the scholarly aspects of indexing.
  • Discussion Group administration – It was noted that a two-year term for a chair would be more likely to sustain momentum and ensure continuity. It was proposed that the Group return to its past practice of having a vice chair/chair elect who would serve for one year and then serve as chair the following year. This way the chair would also have some assistance. A new chair and vice chair will be sought over the Group’s list serve.
  • “Scholarly” or “Peer reviewed” search limit

3. Update from MLA Headquarters Barbara Chen was unable to attend ALA. She sent Robert Means, Chair, a written report to share. The text follows. Barbara Chen’s report, dated June 21, 2003:

I apologize for my absence because I always looked forward to speaking to you and hearing your comments on the Bibliography. Please feel free to email me at or call (646 576-5076) with any suggestions.

1. We completed our indexing for 2002 with 66,084 citations – our largest index ever!!

2. We sent vendors the first 2003 download in May with 5,748 records.

3. Retrospective data files were sent to vendors at the end of April. I am happy to report all have loaded it on their systems. This update includes links to J-STOR full text.

4. We continue our commitment to clean up the older files. We have begun a systematic review of 1962-1980. With 600,000 records, it will take some time. We are also continuing to revise subject headings to make them more consistent across all the years.

5. We are also continuing our investigation to digitize 1926-1962 print volumes. I expect to have some news by Midwinter. Comments are most welcome.

6. J-STOR: We are almost half-way through our indexing quest for the almost 70,000 feature articles in the J-STOR Language and Literature collection. More records and links will come with the October 2003 retro update. We will also provide links to previously indexed records outside of this collection. 88 additional journals will be linked. (Not every article in these journals had be indexed.)

7. The Directory of Periodicals is now available on all platforms; Subject thesaurus is available on all platforms; Names thesaurus is available on Ebsco, Gale and OCLC (new).

8. All files sent to vendors using Latin 1 alphabet beginning in October. This allows for display of accents and diacritics. Ebsco, Gale and OCLC have implemented this.

9. We are working on stabilizing our electronic pricing from vendor to vendor for 2004. We want you to choose your MLA platform based on search features and compatibility with your system.

10. PMLA is now available through Ingenta for a yearly subscription of $300. For this you will receive the print and electronic versions of PMLA and Profession. There is now a free trial period of 3 months. Contact Ingenta or for details.

4. Planning for Midwinter The Group discussed the value of having regularly scheduled vendor demos, and proposed that these be held regularly at ALA Midwinter meetings. Vendors should be asked to demonstrate new features and describe plans for future developments. Members would not only like to learn from vendors but would also like an opportunity to provide input. Annual meetings would be used for general discussion.

5. Meeting Adjourned ______________________

In attendance: Laura Fuderer (Notre Dame), Kathleen Kluegel (UIUC)), Judy Reynolds (San Jose State), Michaelyn Burnette (UC Berkeley), Madeline Copp (Johns Hopkins), Diana King (UC Davis), John Novak (UC Irvine), Kristine Anderson (Purdue), Michael Macan (US Naval Academy), Bethany Close (Ebsco), Susanna Van Sant (UMd), Gail Hueting (UIUC)

Emailed Updates from Vendors:

Gale: Just launched JSTOR linking functionality in our Literature Resource Center (LRC) with MLA Bibliography offering.

In July, we’re following up with JSTOR linking for MLA on our InfoTrac platform. (You may recall that, at Midwinter, MLA Bibliography Editor Barbara Chen announced the addition of JSTOR tags to the MLA data. Well, Gale needed to complete base code changes on our end to enable linking through to JSTOR in our applications, so this is the fruit of that labor.) Please note that customers will need to be JSTOR subscribers to access JSTOR full text. This is something we might need to clarify further in the attached press release.

This MLA-JSTOR partnership was all very fortuitous because Gale and JSTOR already had a linking agreement in place. So Gale—being partners of both MLA and JSTOR—was able to make this work. It was just a matter of securing the resources internally to make the necessary changes to the application. In any event, it’s alive in LRC with MLA, and will follow in July for MLA on InfoTrac.



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