The Board of Directors of the Medical Library Association (MLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Katherine G. Akers as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA), effective immediately. Published for over 105 years, the JMLA is the leading peer-reviewed scholarly journal with a focus on original research papers drawn from health sciences information throughout the world. Akers—who is the biomedical research and data specialist at Shiffman Medical Library, Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan—served as interim editor and oversaw the day-to-day operations of the JMLA as well as the transition of the JMLA to digital format utilizing the OJS platform. Akers will serve a three-year term.
Akers will build on the excellent position that the JMLA holds in its field and will further enhance the journal’s quality and reputation, as well as establish a strategic vision for the journal. “I will strive to cultivate relationships with the journal’s readers, authors, reviewers, editorial board members, and MLA Board of Directors and staff to ensure that the JMLA remains the preeminent journal in health sciences librarianship and information science and continues to serve the MLA membership and the profession well,” stated Akers.
Originally trained as a researcher in psychology and neuroscience, Akers was brought into the profession through a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Academic Libraries hosted by Emory University and the University of Michigan. Akers now uses her background in science and research to support the information needs and scholarship of biomedical researchers at Wayne State University. Akers has published extensively as both a scientist and a professional librarian; presented at numerous regional, national, and international conferences; organized professional development events; and served as a reviewer for several journals and funding agencies.
The MLA Board thanks all the members of the JMLA Editor-in-Chief Search Committee including Mark E. Funk, AHIP, FMLA, and T. Scott Plutchak, AHIP, FMLA, who served as cochairs of the search committee, Ellen M. Aaronson, AHIP; Kevin Read; Susan S. Starr; and Lisa K. Traditi, AHIP, as well as Kevin Baliozian, MLA executive director, for their work and dedication. There were several qualified applicants for the position, and the committee members committed their time to the process of selection by evaluating each candidate on an established set of competency domains and other critical areas, conducting personal interviews with the highly qualified individuals before making their recommendation.
Please join MLA in welcoming Katherine Akers to the position of editor-in-chief of the JMLA. MLA is fortunate to have such a talented individual in the position to build on the work of past editors and to take us to new heights in these times of rapid change in the health information community.