Midwinter Conference, January 21, 2006

MLA Discussion Group — Minutes
Midwinter Meeting, January 21, 2006
San Antonio, Texas

 


Discussion Leader: John Novak (UC Irvine)

Attendees : Diana King (UC Davis); Abby Yochelson (Library of Congress); Kathleen Kluegel (U. of Illinois); Mary E. Bogan (Emporia State U.); Joan Petit (U. of North Carolina); Judy Olsen (Villanova U.); Sarah Brechner (ProQuest); Milee Diaz (ProQuest); Heather Washington (ProQuest); Faye Christenberry (U. of Washington); Juliet Kerico (Indiana State U.); Miriam Laslai (Hosotos CC, CUNY); Douglas Black (Nova Southeastern U.); Dawn Lawson (New York U.); Priscilla Finley (UNLV); Richard Bleiler (U. of CT); Linda Behrend (U. of Tennessee); Meg Meiman (American U.); Michael Macan (U.S. Naval Academy); Dan Coffey (Iowa State U.); Marcia Anderson (Arizona State U.); Jill Newby (U. of Arizona); Reid Larson (Hamilton College); Ping Situ (U. of Arizona); Saudi Edwards (Rice U.); Jim Harner (Texas A&M U.); Madeline Copp (Johns Hopkins U.); Angela Courtney (Indiana U. Bloomington); Bryan Rivers (EBSCO Publishing); Bethany Close (EBSCO Publishing); Sophie Lesinglue (USC); C. Alan Golden (CSA); Patrick Julius (CSA); Nicola Gues (CSA); Jennifer Howell (CSA); Aimee Leverette (CSA); Lanna Fuderer (Norte Dame); Terese Heidenwolf (Lafayette College); Paul Hover (Virginia Tech); Peg Bassette (Gale); Jim Draper (Thomson Gale); Mary Onorato (Thomson Gale); Sharon Elteto (Portland State, Oregon); Michael Rodriguez (Michigan State U.); Kristine Anderson (Purdue); Millie Jackson (Grand Valley State U.); Mary Sauer-Games (ProQuest); Shelby Anfinson-Comeau (Louisiana State U. at Eunice); John Tofanelli (Columbia U.); Michaelyn Burnette (U. of California, Berkeley); Jen Stevens (George Mason U.); Barbara Chen (MLA)

Barbara Chen’s Presentation

  • The electronic version of the bibliography now includes 1,755,719 bibliographic records. The number of records contained in the 2004 print bibliography was comparable to our previous two volumes, with almost 66,000 citations. The volume was delivered to customers in fall 2005.
  • The electronic Directory of Periodicals (DOP) contains data for 4,370 current journals and book serials, and historical information for 1,621additional periodicals. This historical data assists users in locating retrospective material more easily. Twenty-seven new electronic-only journals were added in 2005, bringing our e-journal total to 121. In 2006, we will send questionnaires to editors of all current titles requesting updated information.
  • In 2005, we concluded our arrangements with Ovid/SilverPlatter. Customers were given a full year to complete their subscriptions and then painlessly transitioned to other vendors.
  • April 2005 enhancements included the addition of DOIs (digital object identifiers), if available, to records. The presence of DOIs makes automatic linking of citations to electronic full text more precise.
  • In September 2005, we introduced a detailed guide to the online Bibliography, entitled “How to Use the MLA International Bibliography”, onto our website.
  • Retrospective conversion of the 1926-62 printed volumes, scheduled for release in April 2006, will be offered to libraries with current subscriptions. We are very excited by this enhancement and the wealth of scholarship it brings to our users. All 160,000 records have been reviewed, with data entry, and fielding errors corrected. Journal abbreviations and acronyms for almost 3,500 titles have been expanded, full journal names standardized and ISSNs attached. We are now standardizing almost 11,000 subject names and terms. Approximately 1,200 names and terms remain to be completed. After the April introduction, we will continue to strengthen the file with JSTOR links as available.
  • Cleanup of 1963-1980 records also continues. The task of standardizing journal titles and adding ISSNs has been completed. Subject terminology discrepancies have been identified and corrected for 1963 and 1964 records. After the initial release of the older 1926-1962 file, this subject work will proceed.
  • Movement from Wade-Giles to Pinyan transliteration for Chinese material is planned for Spring 2006.
  • With a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the bibliography staff began to index the fifty-eight journals in JSTOR’s language and literature collection in late 2001. Most of the material had either never been indexed before or had not used our rich CIFT structure for determining terms. By October 2005, 69,467 language and literature records had been indexed and added our online database. JSTOR links had been included for an additional 12,632 records. Presently 82,099 links are available to users. In December 2005, the grant expired and the project completed. The remaining 6,500 indexed/linked records will be added in April 2006.
  • In January 2006, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation accepted our proposal allowing us to keep the unspent JSTOR grant moneys to index the language and literature articles in JSTOR’s Asian Studies collection. We will also use some of the funds to link our 1926-1962 retrospective records to JSTOR full text that had not already been included as part of the language and literature collection. The project is due to be completed in May 2007.
  • We continue to work towards semi-automated book acquisition procedures using electronic data from OCLC’s Worldcat database. We expect this will allow us to be more comprehensive with our book citation efforts. It has taken over a year to implement and we are almost in production.
  • The second ten recipients for the MLA field bibliographer fellowships were selected in spring 2005 from 18 candidates. Included in the mix were several librarians. Anyone interested in applying for a 2006 fellowship, please contact me at bchen@mla.org.

Vendor Presentations

Those vendors who provided ALA Midwinter PowerPoint presentations can be found below (eventually, they will be moved to the MLAIB in Acad. Lib Web site):

https://webfiles.uci.edu/novakj/MLA_Discussion_Group/index.html

Other Presenters: Tam Dalyrymple (OCLC)

Tam indicated that the MLA constitutes 3.2% of all click throughs occurring in FirstSearch. In reponse to the needs of MLA users, OCLC is developing an MLA Plus feature in Firstsearch. This interface enhancement will allow a user to search up to 3 databases simultaneously. Firstsearch also includes links to OCLC interlibrary loan. When Ms. Dalrymple asked the audience to indicate what enhancements they were hoping to see, it was suggested that OCLC work to better specify usage statistics to include the time of day. In addition, items that made it on the Federated Searching Wishlist were an organized counting of hits, and hits organized by item type with the records from a library’s OPAC as the first on the results list.

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