I am writing to let you know of a change that may affect your access to the MLA International Bibliography database.
We currently provide the MLA International Bibliography through several vendor platforms and discovery services. After much consideration, which I summarize below, we have concluded that we can best support our customers and end users, as well as the MLA's goals and mission, by selecting a single vendor, EBSCO, for both dedicated and discovery access.
As of 1 January 2019, EBSCO will be the only vendor licensed to sell or renew subscriptions to the bibliography, and the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) will be the only discovery service to include MLA International Bibliography records.
How does this affect your library?
If your library already subscribes to the MLA International Bibliography through EBSCO, your access to the stand-alone database will not be affected.
If you currently subscribe through another vendor, that vendor can continue to provide your library access to the bibliography until the expiration of any annual subscription with a start date earlier than 1 January 2019.
To ease the transition process, all customers who subscribe through another vendor may obtain free concurrent access to the bibliography on EBSCOhost. Access can begin immediately. Please contact your EBSCO representative, or you can find more information through the EBSCO site.
For training purposes, we invite you to make use of our free online course, Understanding the MLA International Bibliography on EBSCO, as well as our many tutorial videos.
Why are we making this change?
As a nonprofit scholarly association, the Modern Language Association (MLA) must always seek the most effective ways to deploy its resources in support of the intellectual and professional lives of its members and their students.
In our maintenance and continual enhancement of the MLA International Bibliography, we have always sought to dedicate the majority of our time and effort to the unique value we provide through the curating and indexing work of the subject experts on our staff and our contributing scholars. Today, as new forms of scholarly communication continue to gain acceptance and international coverage becomes increasingly important to our end users, it is crucial that we minimize time spent on issues not related to developing the index.
Increasingly, we have found that the time and effort required to manage multiple vendors and delivery platforms detract from our focus on that development work. In addition, we have been hearing complaints about the performance of our content on most discovery services, including problems with search and display, usage reporting, and relevance ranking, along with other concerns inconsistent with our end users' needs and goals.
We have thus concluded that it is best for our customers and our end users, as well as for the association itself, to streamline our vendor relationship processes by selecting a single provider for both dedicated and discovery access.
We have selected EBSCO as this provider for several reasons. Over our many years of working with various vendors, we have found EBSCO to be the most responsive to our requests for improvements both to data transfer processes and to the end user experience. Alone among our vendors, EBSCO has been willing to invest its time and effort in developing the new full-text version of the bibliography that will become available for subscription later this month. In terms of discovery, EBSCO's emphasis on high-quality metadata and subject indexing in its EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) aligns with our own data philosophy. In addition, the majority of our customers have already selected EBSCO as their bibliography platform, and nearly every one of them works with EBSCO in some capacity. This will facilitate the transition from another vendor for those who need to switch.
Our intent is not to limit options for customers but instead to improve our overall service for our customers and end users and to support the MLA's mission to advocate for the humanities.
We appreciate your understanding of our need for change, and we look forward to serving you well for years to come.