MidWinter Conference, January 21, 2012

MLAIB Discussion Group
Midwinter American Library Association Conference
Sheraton Hotel, Trinity 4. Dallas, TX
Saturday, January 21, 2012

Updates from Barbara Chen, Director of Bibliographic Services & Editor, MLA International Bibliography:

  • Barbara Chen opened the discussion group session by thanking all of the field bibliographers for their work during 2011-2012 and noted that training of new field bibliographers is going well. Work on the 2011 index had been completed and the MLAIB is only available online; the last printed volume was for 2009.
  • With the Bibliography now exclusively online, it became necessary to eliminate indexing steps needed only for print. In 2011, MLAIB eliminated “subject strings” to remove redundancies. In 2012, works comparing authors from two different subjects will no longer have to be classified in only one. For example, a work comparing Shakespeare and Hemingway no longer has to be assigned either to English or American literature; it can now be assigned up to five subject areas. Other major changes include adding film directors to classifications and eliminating indexing redundancies in sections on pedagogy.
  • MLAIB asked vendors if they would take the enhancements in fall of 2012. Additionally, if publishers provide metadata, MLAIB will add cited references, starting with Wiley-Blackwell. MLAIB also plans to add abstracts from Dissertation Abstracts International. MLAIB works with four discovery service providers: EBSCO, OCLC, Ex Libris/Primo Central, and Summon (not yet loaded as of January 2012).
  • As of March 2012, Choice reviews will be available to MLA members on the MLA web site. Metadata for book reviews will be added to MLAIB in the fall. Chen’s goal is to include the text of the Choice review in the MLAIB record itself.
  • A major goal of next edition of the MLA Handbook will be to make it easier for students to cite records; the new edition should be out in a couple of years. Kathleen Kluegel hoped that users could give input up front rather than late in the development process; Chen said that the revisers are very interested in getting feedback. Brian Vetruba, Millie Jackson, Sarah Wenzel, and Jim Kelly will be the first to review the new version. Others interested in reviewing the draft should contact Barbara Chen bchen@mla.org to indicate interest in reviewing the draft on the front end.
  • Helene Williams hoped that the new edition will be “forward looking” toward new media that students will use as resources.


Vendor Updates: Kathleen Kluegel asked the vendors to introduce themselves and to provide updates.

  1. Craig Brandt cbrandt@ebsco.com spoke about EBSCO’s authority files enhancements for the Thesaurus and Names as Subjects and said EBSCO provides twenty-six separate index files. He demonstrated “guided style” searching, touching on how field codes are only searchable in UPPER CASE. Labels can be translated into twenty-six languages. Brandt also highlighted “smart linking” of citations to full text in JSTOR, Project MUSE, etc. He briefly spoke about EBSCOHost Mobile for smart phones and Droids; statistics on mobile use for individual databases are not yet available, although this may become possible to collect later. Brian Vetruba asked if it was not possible to modify a mobile search; Brandt explained how to modify via the Search History.
  2. Mary Onorato mary.onorato@cengage.com from Gale spoke about how Gale had corrected open URL bugs and she described standard features, including diacritics, punctuation, Z39.50 support, and persistent URLs . She featured the integration of the Bibliography and the MLA Directory of Periodicals, showing how to move in and out of records for individual articles and journals in the Directory. She also spoke of the integration of names and topics in the thesaurus and highlighted cross-searchability between MLAIB and Literature Resource Center. Although a searcher cannot limit to full text at the start of a search, linking is much easier now.
  3. John Pegum john.pegum@proquest.co.uk highlighted how MLAIB works on ProQuest’s new platform. Many improvements were completed in December of 2011; ProQuest was still working on non-Latin characters early in 2012. He also noted improvements in the Thesaurus. A Narrower Terms and a Broader Terms option is available. Kluegel inquired whether the record count is yet available; when Pegum said not yet, Kluegel advocated including the citation count for each heading. Linking to Project MUSE and JSTOR has improved; work continues on linking to book articles (chapters) and to Boolean searching in the Directory of Periodicals. ProQuest has added a Chat widget for live chat during a search. Dual access to Chadwyck-Healey and Illumna will probably be switched off by September of 2012. Any concerns about this changeover should be sent to http://www.proquest.com/go/migrationtips. Pegum said that LION includes 345 full text journals, 83% of which are actively indexed in the MLAIB. ProQuest is working on licensing of criticism and reference works from Oxford University Press, Routledge, University of Florida, and others. Penguin Classics have been added to LION, including the introductions. In 2012, over 200 Cambridge Companions to Literature have been licensed, with over 3,000 essays.
  4. Jenny Walker jenny.walker@exlibrisgroup.com from Ex Libris/Primo described how MLAIB has been loaded into their discovery service. Their service is unlike that of other full text providers, so libraries need to indicate which provider (such as EBSCO) that they are using.
  5. John Law john.law@serialssolutions.com from Serials Solutions spoke about “Summon,” which was introduced at ALA at Midwinter of 2009; usage of library resources has climbed from 30% to 300%. Summon is geared to users who don’t know where to start and don’t know which database to use. Chen is watchful about what this means for MLAIB.

    MLAIB is broader than many other fields. It is important with MLAIB to authenticate up front and it is crucial to handle metadata in the right way.

    Summon went “live” very fast with other databases and learned that there cannot be any duplicates. Summon had to put in place “match merge” technology, which operates on a higher level than a “dedup,” as it incorporates metadata from all sources of records, including catalog records. As of winter of 2012, there were 800,000,000 items in the database. It has been difficult to deal with user expectations of full text when dealing with abstracting or indexing only databases.

    Summon plans to roll out support for MLAIB at the June 2012 ALA.

18 people in attendance:

Craig Brandt, EBSCO
Stephen Brooks, ProQuest
Liz Brown, Project MUSE
Barbara Chen, MLA
Libby Chenault, U of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Michelle Emanuel, U of Mississippi
Jim Harner, Texas A & M
Kathy Johnson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Kathleen Kluegel, KRS
Heidi Madden, Duke
Mary Onorato, Gale
John Pegum, ProQuest
Mary Sauer-Games, ProQuest
Sheila Smyth, UCI
Christine Stokes, Ex Libris
Lidia Uziel, Yale
Brian Vetruba, Washington University
Helene Williams, University of Washington


Notes by Kathy Johnson, University Libraries, University of Nebraska-Lincoln kjohnson6@unl.edu


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