MLA Embraces “Green” Open Access

MLA Commons LogoMLA Director of Scholarly Communication Kathleen Fitzpatrick announced that the Modern Language Association is endorsing the open access publishing movement.

Her article, “Openness, value, and scholarly societies – The Modern Language Association model,” published in the December issue of College & Research Libraries, details two immediate steps towards making OA a reality for the society:

  1. MLA has revised all author agreements to make them green open access
  2. MLA has deleveloped a publishing platform which MLA members can use to openly share their scholarly work.  This new platform, MLA Commons, launched at the 2013 MLA Annual Convention in Boston.

These changes are in response to the dual challenges many scholarly societies currently face.  As Fitzpatrick writes:

“twin pressures — the need to enhance the ties between scholars and their organizations while simultaneously doing more with less — begin to suggest that the traditional value proposition of the scholarly society, in which one becomes a member in order to receive the various communications of the society, is no longer as viable as it once was. But there isn’t a clear sense, as yet, of where the society’s value for its members today, not to mention its sources of revenue that allow it to fulfill its mission, might lie. In order to find a way forward, today’s scholarly societies must begin to think differently about their functions, their structures, and their overall goals.”

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