Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Speaking of the MLA

Am I a loooser for actually mailing them offprints of the two (two!) articles of mine that have yet to be indexed in the MLA Bibliography?

One of them is more than two years old. And if they ain't indexed in the database, ain't no one going to be able to find them.

Still. I can't help but feel that sending in one's own offprints is Not Quite On.


Pantagruelle said...

If it it's Not Quite On, who cares? Do you know personally the people will be receiving the off-prints and/or is it someone in Renaissance who you might know in the future? If not, I would say that getting your articles indexed trumps any worries about seeming too eager or self-promoting.

The World Shakespeare Bibliography regularly puts out a call for people to send in their article details to make sure that they don't miss anything, and I've sent them my publication details. MLA is a mammoth beast and it's easy to get overlooked, which is all the more reason to make sure you don't. Increasing the chances of someone in your field finding and reading your article seems to me more important that what someone who is probably outside your field thinks about you.

Doctor Cleveland said...

*Makes "L" sign with thumb, forefinger, and forehead.*

No. Of course not.

What Now? said...

I was so unhappy about how my very first article was indexed by the MLA (stupid keywords, and not including as a keyword the major author the article was about) that I wrote to them demanding (in a polite but firm sort of way) a revision to the index. And by gum, they did it!

Dr. Virago said...

No, you're not a loser at all. The bibliographers can't catch everything and, in fact, they *invite* you to send stuff they've missed. My book was one such thing, since it was given a freakin' social history LOC number, so I followed the directions on the MLA site for getting something indexed, and now it's there!

And What Now, I didn't know you could get the index terms changed! Good to know!

Shane in Utah said...

I can top that for shameless self-promotion: I once told the author of an article that I was reviewing (double blind) for a journal that she should cite an essay I had published a couple of years before. In my defense, her argument about the novel was one that I had critiqued pretty thoroughly in my piece--not that I thought mine should be the last word on the subject, only that I thought that my article (in a very high-profile journal, might I add) deserved to be acknowledged, at least. Still, it felt kinda... pathetic, I guess is the word I'm looking for.

But no, asking MLA to index your articles can't even compare to my hubris on the shameless self-marketing front. It just seems sensible to me.

Flavia said...

Hooray! I'm not a loser! (Surely not, if you all say I'm not.)

And Shane: I think that's actually pretty common. I haven't had the opportunity to do the same, but I'm sure I'd be likewise tempted and likewise a bit embarrassed about it. . . but I guess it comes down to the same thing: if we don't self-promote, no one does it for us.