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The seminal resource for language and literature joins 6,000 Summon content participants

The Modern Language Association (MLA) has signed an agreement with Serials Solutions, a business unit of ProQuest, to include its quintessential MLA International Bibliography in the Summon™ web-scale discovery service. The agreement enables the Bibliography to be discoverable through the Summon service, a pioneering technology that provides instant searching of library collections – from books and videos to e-resources at the article level, integrated and accessible from a single search box.

The MLA International Bibliography provides a subject index to print and electronic books, articles and web sites published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. Coverage includes literature from all over the world—Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. Folklore is represented by folk literature, music, art, rituals, and belief systems. Linguistics and language materials range from history and theory of linguistics, comparative linguistics, semantics, stylistics, and syntax to translation. Other topics include literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts (film, radio, television, theater), history of printing and publishing, rhetoric and composition, and teaching. Compiled by the staff of the MLA Office of Bibliographic Information Services with the cooperation of more than 100 contributing bibliographers in the United States and abroad, it presently includes over 2.2 million records with 72,000 books and articles added annually.

MLA is part of a burgeoning movement of information providers who are choosing to make their content more discoverable to researchers, students and faculty via this groundbreaking service.  Each new participant adds to the service’s ability to fully represent the library collection. 

The Summon service has already been tested for its content scope and comprehensiveness by libraries around the world. For example, at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University, the first commercial adopter of the Summon™ service, Ron Berry, the library’s Director of Technology and Information Resources looked at the library’s top 100 downloaded titles from EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier and compared them against the Summon™ list of content.  The results:  99% coverage.  He then compared the top 50 JSTOR titles and top 50 titles from its OCLC databases. “In both cases all of the titles were indexed in Summon. This was compelling evidence to the power of a unified index and the ease of which our users could gain access to core academic titles,” says Mr. Berry.  “I’m absolutely confident that we are providing access to the breadth of our collection. All it takes is five minutes of searching to see how many of our licensed resources are being utilized in the Summon result sets.”

The Summon™ Service launched worldwide beta testing in January with key content providers ProQuest and Gale, plus key contributors such as Springer, Taylor & Francis, and SAGE. Since then, the program has continued to accelerate with major publishing additions such as Ingram Digital, LexisNexis®, Publishing Technology – provider of the scholarly research platform IngentaConnect™ – ThomsonReuters ISI Web of Science®, ABC-CLIO, IEEE, Emerald, Scitation publishers, the Royal Society, scores of scholarly publishers and university presses, and more.  The service is now available commercially and has been adopted by dozens of universities on three continents.

The Summon™ service is built with all-new technology aimed at addressing a fundamental barrier between libraries and users:  the lack of a simple, obvious starting point for library research. This web-scale discovery service overcomes that obstacle, by allowing users to enter a search term in a library-branded search box, triggering an instant single search against its massive content store and the library’s local catalog. It then rapidly delivers relevancy-ranked results in one integrated list.  The Summon™ service provides simplicity and portability (with a new mobile app) for users and exposes the breadth of the library’s content, allowing more resources to be discovered – a boon for libraries, who want to get more from collection investments, and publishers, who want to drive greater usage. 

The Summon™ web-scale discovery service is hosted by Serials Solutions.


About the MLA

Founded in 1883, the Modern Language Association of America provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. MLA members host an annual convention and other meetings, work with related organizations, and sustain one of the finest publishing programs in the humanities. For over a hundred years, members have worked to strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature. For more information, please visit or call 1-646-576-5000.

About Serials Solutions

Founded by a librarian for librarians in 2000, Serials Solutions is the global leader in E-Resource Access and Management Services (ERAMS) that serves more than 2,000 libraries of all sizes and types. Serials Solutions® KnowledgeWorks, the authoritative e-resource knowledgebase, is the foundation for Serials Solutions® 360, the only complete and integrated e-resource access and management solution. Serials Solutions recently introduced the Summon™ web-scale discovery service, a revolutionary tool that provides instant access to the full breadth of the library’s collection through a single search.

Serials Solutions also is the exclusive source for™ and Ulrich’s Serials Analysis System™ worldwide, and represents the AquaBrowser® Discovery Layer in the academic market in North America and Australia. The WebFeat® federated search service recently acquired by ProQuest soon will be incorporated into the Serials Solutions family of access and discovery services.


Serials Solutions provides fast implementation, easy customization, and outstanding value to libraries throughout the world.

Serials Solutions is a division of ProQuest LLC.

About ProQuest LLC

ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the culmination of experience from many respected brands, including CSA™, UMI®, Chadwyck-Healey™, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich’s™, RefWorks®, COS™, and Dialog® brands now in the ProQuest family, the company continues to build on its legacy of responsive people in partnership with librarians.

ProQuest consistently seeks new ways to support researchers and quality research. More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered technology, ProQuest offers a depth and breadth of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment. For more information, visit or the ProQuest parent company website,

06 November 2009

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