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JMLA Goes All Digital in 2023

The Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) will only be available in digital formats starting with the 2023 editions. The decision was made collaboratively, as a way of furthering JMLA’s mission and of sustainably optimizing MLA member dues and staff time.

As of the January 2023 JMLA issue, MLA will no longer be providing print copies of the journal. (The remaining 2022 issues for July and October will have printed copies available). Instead, JMLA will continue to offer open access to all its content in addition to a new downloadable PDF that contains all content for each issue. We are also programming each future JMLA edition as a free “flip book,” similar to what was developed for the 2022 Preliminary Program. A link is included here so that you can try it out.

For many years, JMLA has been an open access journal. On the “About” page, we cite the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of Open Access, explaining it this way:

By ‘open access,’ we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

We are proud of our open access status. It is JMLA’s mission to support a greater global exchange of knowledge by making the research published in this journal open to the public and reusable under the Creative Commons license.

JMLA also takes this another step. Our publication is unusual among peer-reviewed journals in that we do not charge article processing fees, submission fees, or any other costs that are typically required of authors to submit or publish articles in journals. These fees usually defray the cost of journal production and can run to hundreds of dollars paid by authors and potential authors. JMLA editors felt that these fees would potentially create a barrier for authors wanting to submit a manuscript. Among publishers, JMLA’s publishing model is often considered the highest level of open access.

Because of this publishing model, JMLA is completely supported by MLA member dues. Until 2023, print copies of JMLA have been available via subscriptions and additional fees. In addition, MLA headquarters has been printing additional copies and paying storage fees in order to fulfill replacement or back issue requests throughout the year. By transitioning to all-digital format for JMLA issues, MLA is able to make a more sustainable financial decision.

Thank you for your continued support of JMLA. We look forward to sharing our content with you in newer digital formats that we hope you will enjoy.

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