MLA News Policy Manual
The MLA News is a current awareness publication published by the Medical Library Association ten times each year, with the June/July and November/December issues combined.
Its purpose is to publish newsworthy information about MLA’s products and services, the profession, and to provide it s members with a vehicle to publish information relevant to the profession and MLA unit activities.
The volunteer editor has the responsibility for administering the publication of the MLA News with adherence to the policies defined in the Policy Manual. The editor is appointed by the board of directors for a three-year term and may be reappointed for a second term.
According to the MLA Bylaws, Article IV, Section 4.C., "The editor of the MLA News shall have final authority over content and format of the News within the limits of the budget and association purposes. In exercising this authority, the editor shall consult with the board of directors and any committee or holder of any position established by the board to advise on News matters."
The editor is responsible for the content of the MLA News, selects material for publication, and makes general editorial changes in copy as needed.
Associate Editors (Department and Column Editors)
The editor designates subject editors who are responsible for soliciting and editing information for a specific ongoing topic.
The executive director is the publisher of all association publications. Business policies regarding the MLA News are made by the executive director in consultation with the board of directors.
MLA's publications department is responsible for copyediting, layout, design, production, printing, and mailing. The director of publications and other staff submit copy and write articles for publication. This department also solicits display advertising and handles "Employment Opportunities."
Items considered relevant for publication include
Calendar items are published no more than twice. News items are published only once. Personals are limited to fifty words and must be MLA members. All news items and articles are limited to 700 words (one printed page). All articles must submitted via email and should be single-spaced and include "MLA News copy" in the subject line. The reprinting of items from other sources should be avoided whenever possible.
Recurring articles are established by the editor if there is a need for such, determined by reader inquiry or response. The editor shall then designate an associate editor to be responsible for soliciting and editing information about that issue.
Items not considered viable for inclusion for the MLA News, either as a regular article or as a single feature, are information/queries of a personal nature, such as requests for journal backfiles, etc. Exceptions may be made for international inquiries where alternative approaches are not available. Extensive survey questionnaires are also not printed in the MLA News.
Letters to the Editor
This section is designed to serve as a sounding board for members of the organization and readers of the MLA News to express their views concerning any aspect of the profession, the association, or any item previously published in the MLA News. The following guidelines apply.
Short articles may be included at the discretion of the editor. These articles should meet the traditional journalistic criteria of being newsworthy and timely. The following guidelines apply.
Photographs may be included at the discretion of the editor if they are deemed of general interest to the readers, relevant to the content of the news item they describe, and fall within the economic resources of the publication.
The MLA News goes to press the last week of the month preceding the date of issue. All items for inclusion in the forthcoming issue should be submitted to the editor by the twenty-fifth of the second month preceding the month of issue. No exceptions, except as noted below, will be made.
Items about specific topics for which there is an associate editor should be submitted directly to the associate editor at least two weeks before copy is due to the editor.
Advertisements of two types are accepted for the News:
All display ad reservations, solicited by MLA's advertising coordinator, are due by the fifth of the month preceding the month of issue. In order to balance advertising content and resultant revenue with editorial content, advertising rates are set by the director of publications in consultation with the executive director, the director of financial and administrative services, and the advertising coordinator. "Employment Opportunities" listings are accepted until the 20th of the month preceding the month of issue.
Two avenues have been determined as viable methods of measuring the effectiveness of the MLA News in meeting its objectives.
The first method is subjective but allows the editor to respond immediately and specifically to any problems concerning the MLA News as perceived by its readers.
The second method offers a mechanism by which the MLA News might be evaluated in a quantitative, objective manner on a regular basis.
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2009 November 03