Hi everybody! I hope you and yours are well!
The MLA CORE is part of the MLA’s Digital Commons (“the scholarly network for MLA members”) and serves as a central repository for digital projects, code, articles, manuscripts, syllabi and more. MLA CORE serves as a tool for increasing the impact of research that might not “count” otherwise in academia.
First, MLA CORE sends out “community notifications” to members of digital groups the author is a part of. The site also addresses a more logistical challenge of trying to grow the audience for one’s work by creating unique identifiers (DOIs, or Digital Object Identifiers) that facilitate citation of them in scholarly works. The ability to select the appropriate licensure is embedded in the MLA CORE, which also serves as an archive of the objects submitted. Overall, it’s encouraging to see an academic association providing tools that help address the problem of only a few types of projects and work counting toward scholarly success.
There are a few ways to explore the items that are part of this collection. You can choose browse or search within one of their collections or you can search the whole repository. Within both the collection and whole database search, you can search by author, subject, tag, or title. I found it interesting that the most commonly uploaded items are articles and book chapters, which might highlight that these are still the most (I believe) valued forms of scholarly by many. I did notice that there were 33 datasets in the repository. Some of these looked very interesting (titles ranged from “Tweets Database-US President Power” to “Foucault’s Toolbox Master Spreadsheet 2019-4”)!
To start off, I started to explore The Comics Collection because that sounded fun. It was! This also contained a pretty wide range of materials. Some submissions were conference posters while others were comics themselves. I perused a course syllabus that was included in the comics collection because students of the course were assigned a comic analysis and visual language analysis. It was a fascinating way to organize materials that otherwise not seem very related at all.
Overall, I think this looks like a great to for growing the audience of perhaps less traditional academic work. I noticed that people shared work from a wide range of disciplines. I wonder if this predominates with scholars of English because of the association with the MLA. I noticed that in the AHA Guidelines for the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians (https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/digital-history-resources/evaluation-of-digital-scholarship-in-history/guidelines-for-the-professional-evaluation-of-digital-scholarship-by-historians) the authors recommended that the AHA create a “curated gallery of ongoing digital scholarship so that historians can learn directly from one another as they conceive, build, and interpret new forms of scholarship.” I found some interesting resources for doing Digital History on their site, but didn’t find a curated gallery of dighist projects.