MLA IB In Academic Libraries Discussion Group Minutes
Annual Conference, June 24, 2006
New Orleans, Louisiana


Attendees: At the end

I. Designation of 2006-2007 posts

II. Barbara Chen -- MLA IB updates

Sample searches:

new Shakespeare entries - 4,700

James Joyce - 576

Emily Dickinson - 220

German literature - 17,783

IV. David Wright -- Directory of Periodicals

First published in 1970, the original Directory of Journal and Series in the Humanities included 10 fields of information on 1,524 periodicals and was published once every two years. The Directory in its current electronic form includes 75 fields of information for 4,403 periodicals and is updated twice per year. We’ve come a long way in 36 years.

Current number of periodicals (as of 19 June 2006): 4,403 records (3,289 journals and 1,114 book series). This number is down from a high of about 4,500 in 2003 due to more extensive research and diligence in our checking of the current Directory.

We now also include short records for those periodicals dropped from the Directory after 1981 (these are periodicals that have ceased publication or changed titles) these abbreviated records include the periodical title, the old acronym, the scope, the languages published, the publisher, and the ISSN. We will include 1,614 of these records in the next update as well as any periodicals that cease publication from now on.

We currently include 125 periodicals that are exclusively electronic in 15 different subject areas. We continue to see these numbers rise as editors, authors, librarians, and users make us aware of new or existing e-journals within our scope. We are now working on a way to index individual articles from those e-journals that do not fit in our scope but that may have an article that falls within the scope of the Bibliography.

In March of this year we sent out questionnaires for update to all of the active journals in the Directory. We do this every two years and have so far received and updated 864 questionnaires (almost a third of the total of Directory records). While these updated questionnaires will continue to trickle in over the next few months, the deadline for the July update of the Directory is June 29th. Any questionnaires received after that date will be included in the January 2007 update of the Directory. We are currently exploring options for an e-mail or online update system that would eliminate or reduce the amount of mailing needed to update the Directory records.

We are currently looking for a new periodical tracking system for the Directory that would help us spot missing issues and lapses in subscriptions automatically. Any suggestions or recommendations from this group would be greatly appreciated.

We are also working with project MUSE to find periodical issues that may have been missed in past years for indexing in the Bibliography.

Standardizing the subject index terms used in Directory records. Originally the subject index terms were created for the print Directory and were meant to be converted to keywords when the Directory became electronic only after 1999. This conversion has been a slow process and we hope to have completed the transition to keywords by early 2007.

V. General Discussion

Faye Christenberry discussed a project she worked on with Gale Publishers at the University of Washington. It involved English majors, most of them seniors. The gist of it was

Attendees:

Barbara Chen (MLA); Liz Brown (Project MUSE); Mike Diaz (ProQuest); Mary Sauer-Gaines (ProQuest); Kathleen Kluegel (U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign); Faye Christenberry (U of Wash); Jeanne Pavy (U of New Orleans); Kristine Anderson (Purdue): Laura Fuderer (Notre Dame); Mary Onorato (Thomson Gale); Bryon Rivers (EBSCO); Bethany Close (EBSCO); Tim Hackman (U of Maryland, College Park); Jane Faulkner (U of Calif, Santa Barbara); David Wright (MLA - Dir. of Periodicals); John Novak (U of Calif, Irvine)