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How to Propose an MLA Dockit

MLA DocKits are collections of representative, unedited library documents from a variety of institutions that illustrate the range of approaches to topics related to health sciences libraries. Topics should be addressed from a perspective that is unique to health sciences libraries or should emphasize issues that are not adequately represented in library literature as a whole.

Individuals interested in compiling a DocKit for publication by the Medical Library Association must submit a proposal to the MLA Books Panel.

Proposal Format

Potential DocKits compilers should submit the following information in a written proposal:

1. A statement of the compiler's qualifications, limited to a one-page summary of related work experience, education or training, committee activities, and publications or presentations. In the case of multiple authors (e.g., the project of an MLA section or chapter), the individual(s) with primary responsibility for completion of the project must be clearly identified; for multiple compilers, indicate the areas of project responsibility for each person.

2. A brief narrative of one or two pages that explains:

  • the need for the DocKit
  • the intended audience
  • the purpose of the DocKit
  • the scope of the DocKit
  • the benefits and unique features of the DocKit; how it differs from similar collections of documents (e.g., ARL SpecKits) that may be available elsewhere

3. A detailed description of the content and plans for acquiring documents, including

  • type, source, and number of documents to be included
  • method for collecting documents
  • contributors to be contacted
  • sponsorship of the project, if applicable (e.g., MLA section or chapter)
  • estimated time required to complete the project (because timeliness of DocKit topics is critical, they should be completed within four to six months after being accepted by the Books Panel)
  • detailed description of introductory material
  • estimated length of the completed DocKit

Submission and Review of Proposals

Email proposals to MLA's director of publications. Complete proposals are then forwarded to members of the Books Panel for evaluation. The deadline is open-ended. The Books Panel meets monthly to review proposals, and generally reviews any proposals received at least a week before the meeting.

The decision to accept or reject a proposal is influenced by many factors, including the need for such a publication; its potential market; the author's qualifications (subject knowledge and writing skills); estimated production and marketing costs; and estimated sales. Comments and decisions on proposals are transmitted to prospective authors after the final review.

Approved Proposals

The Books Panel will provide compilers of approved proposals with production guidelines and a letter of agreement from MLA headquarters specifying the rights (including the receipt of author royalties) and responsibilities of the compilers and MLA regarding published DocKits.

The completed DocKit will be reviewed by editorial staff at MLA headquarters. Only the table of contents and introduction will be proofread; the remaining documents will be reviewed briefly for production quality. MLA's Publications Department coordinates the production, printing, and marketing of the kit.

More Information

For more information, contact MLA's director of publications, 312.419.9094 x23.