Modern Language Association Committee on Scholarly Editions
Recurring Annual Deadlines
The MLA's year begins in July and ends in June; terms of membership on the CSE follow the same schedule.
- July 1: terms of new CSE members begin
- mid July: program proofs and presenter forms sent from the MLA convention office to the CSE session organizer for review, with specific deadline for return. NB: Presenter forms require information from each presenter detailing any requests for equipment (projectors, etc.) and any equipment the presenter plans to provide (e.g., what kind of computer running what OS using what applications, etc.)
- Agenda for the annual meeting should be circulated in late August
- Draft annual report for the CSE should be circulated in late August
- The Committee's annual meeting is in mid-September, usually all day Thursday and half the day Friday.
- The annual report should be reviewed and approved at the meeting.
- The annual schedule should be reviewed with MLA staff at the meeting, to fix specific dates for events that shift dates from year to year, and to make sure that no standing dates have changed, and no new items need to be added.
- Minutes from the previous year's meeting should be approved at the meeting.
- Check at the annual meeting to see that the list of approved editions from the previous year's annual report has been added to the list on the MLA's web site.
- Check at the meeting to see that the list of members has been updated on the MLA web site and on the CSE mailing list.
- The topic or topics of the CSE sessions at the MLA's annual convention should be set at the CSE's September meeting, and a member of the CSE should be designated to organize the sessions.
- Every year, two or three members will rotate off the committee. The CSE should use part of its annual meeting to discuss nominees to fill vacancies in the upcoming year. It will be particularly useful if members arrive at the meeting with information about potential nominees in hand.
- Every year, a new co-chair should be nominated by the CSE. The new co-chair should be someone in his or her second year on the Committee, and he or she should begin to serve a two-year term as co-chair in his or her third year on the Committee.
- At every annual meeting of the CSE, the date of the next year's meeting should be set.
- Minutes for the current year's annual meeting should be posted for Committee review by the end of September.
- CSE sessions take place at the MLA convention.
- Early January: add the latest annual report to the Committee's official public web site.
- Early January (some time in the first week--the exact date changes from year to year): call for papers for the CSE sessions at the upcoming convention delivered to the MLA newsletter; private invitations sent by this date as well. Presenters must be MLA members by next April 7th.
- mid January (date changes from year to year): Nominations for new members of the CSE delivered to the MLA for the February meeting of the Executive Council. Use CSE's standard form for nominations, outlining briefly the committee's charge, the expertise currently represented on the committee, the goals of the nominations, and the expertise represented in the candidates. The Committee should nominate at least one principal and one alternate for each open seat, and nominees should not be consulted in advance by the Committee. NB: one of the members of the CSE is normally a publisher's representative.
- Mid-January: Nomination of the chair-elect should be forwarded to the MLA Executive Council for approval at their February meeting.
- April 7: Form containing final CSE session program copy for the MLA convention program is due at the convention office.
- April 7: MLA forms to the presenters in the CSE sessions at the upcoming convention; these forms include final information about AV and computer equipment needs for the session.
- In odd-numbered years, the CSE should inform editors of volumes sealed during the past two years of the opportunity to submit those volumes for one of two biennial MLA prizes: The Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters, or The Modern Language Association Prize for a Distinguished Scholarly Edition. No book may compete for more than one prize. Four copies must be submitted for a volume to be considered, and the deadline for submission is May 1st. For information on eligibility and requirements for submission, write or call Annie Reiser, coordinator of book prizes and special projects (646 576-5141; firstname.lastname@example.org).
- June 30th: Terms of outgoing CSE members end
Initiating a Review:
- Ideally, editions should be submitted for review when they are nearing publication, preferably in the proof stage, so that it is not too late to make changes that might be recommended during the review process. However, editions already in print may also be reviewed.
- Editors may suggest the names of potential vettors, provided that the review would pose no conflict of interest for the vettor.
- Vettors may review multiple volumes at one time, as long as at least 10% of each volume is reviewed for accuracy.
- Reviews should be assigned to a review manager on the Committee--normally but not necessarily the chair or chair-elect. The review manager is responsible for all scheduling, communication, and paperwork associated with the review.
- Vettors should be appointed using the standard CSE letter of appointment, which makes clear the timetable, the vettor's fee, and the nature of the report that the Committee expects. The letter of appointment should be accompanied with a copy of, or pointer to, the CSE's current Guidelines for Scholarly Editions and the Current Guiding Questions.
Conducting a Review:
See also Bob Hirst's notes on post-report procedures.
- Vettors do not need to make a site visit to conduct a review; reviews can be based on xeroxed or emailed materials. If vettors do travel to visit the editor, travel expenses will be the responsibility of the editor or the vettor.
- Vettors should attend to the advice and prompts offered in the letter of appointment, guidelines, and guiding questions.
- In the event that the volume under review is one of a series, vettors should consult textual essays from previous volumes and should be provided with vettors' reports from the inspection of those volumes. The particular concerns in this case are two: that statements of method should not be repeated automatically from one volume to the next when actual practice may have changed, and that problems which may have been called to the attention of editors in earlier reviews should not reoccur in later volumes.
- Vettors are encouraged to communicate with the review manager if questions arise during the course of the review.
- Vettors are requested to copy the review manager on all communication with the editor during the review process.
- Editors are requested to copy the review manager on all communication with the vettor during the review process.
Completing a Review:
- Reviews should be completed within three months of being assigned.
- Checks for the vettor's honorarium can only be requested when a review is complete.
- Request forms should be sent to the MLA by fax, to initiate payment for the vettor.
- Paper record of the review process should be mailed to the MLA when the review is complete.
- Assuming a successful outcome, the review manager should send a hard-copy letter to the publisher, with congratulations on the sealing of the volume, and with a reminder that the seal may be used in marketing the volume.