The Modern Language Association and the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship Launch CORE

20 May 2015

The Modern Language Association and the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship Launch CORE

The Modern Language Association (MLA) and Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) are pleased to announce the beta launch of the Commons Open Repository Exchange, or CORE. CORE is a digital repository for MLA members to share and archive all forms of scholarly communication, from conference papers to syllabi, published articles to data sets. It provides MLA Commons members with a persistent, openly accessible storage facility for their scholarly output, using the existing Commons network to share this work and to encourage peer feedback and collaboration.

In 2014 CDRS and the MLA were awarded a $60,000 start-up grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop CORE, designed to link MLA Commons with a preservation repository, modeled on Columbia University’s digital research repository Academic Commons, similarly running on Fedora Commons, Hydra, and Apache Solr. The MLA and CDRS have worked collaboratively to understand how the disciplinary needs of the MLA Commons community might be supported by existing institutional repository technologies and to develop the underlying repository infrastructure accordingly. The team has also worked to investigate the requirements of the Commons front end and to design and implement an interface between the social network and the repository.

By assigning DOIs to works deposited with the repository, CORE provides MLA members with a way to assert their authorship of less traditional forms of scholarly communication such as syllabuses. CORE also allows for the expedient sharing of all forms of research in an open access environment, maximizing discoverability—a huge issue, particularly for junior scholars and graduate students—and facilitating collaboration among scholars. Users can share, collaborate, and preserve their scholarly work within a single system.

Rosemary G. Feal, Executive Director of the Modern Language Association, notes that “the MLA has always worked to support its members’ needs, and this bold new step will provide an important new means for our members to communicate with one another and with the broader public. Producing robust platforms to facilitate such communication requires cross-sector collaboration, and we are grateful for the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the participation of the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship at Columbia University in developing CORE.”

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association and Principal Investigator, CORE, adds: “Knowledge of recent scholarly work in the humanities often spreads at a snail’s pace. By giving our members a way to instantly share their syllabi, conference papers, blog posts, and research, we hope to eliminate some of the barriers to collaboration and discoverability in the humanities and foster the work of our community.”

Barbara Rockenbach, Principal Investigator, CORE, and Director of the Humanities and History Libraries and Interim Associate University Librarian for Collections and Services at Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, said of the launch: “It has been a pleasure for us at Columbia Libraries/Information Services to collaborate with the MLA on this important project. Scholarly societies and academic libraries share many important commonalities in engaging scholars, and the project has already helped us better understand the specific needs of humanists in online environments. And we look forward to much more; CORE is an important first step in our work together.”

CORE can be explored at


The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) and its 28,000 members in 100 countries work to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature. Founded in 1883, the MLA provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. The MLA sustains one of the finest publication programs in the humanities, producing a variety of publications for language and literature professionals and for the general public. More information on MLA programs is available at

The Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) works to increase the utility and impact of research produced at Columbia by creating, adapting, implementing, supporting, and sustaining innovative digital tools and publishing platforms for content delivery, discovery, analysis, data curation, and preservation. The Center engages in extensive outreach, education, and advocacy to ensure that the scholarly work produced at Columbia University has a global reach and accelerates the pace of research across disciplines. CDRS is one of six entities that comprise the Digital Programs and Technology Services branch of Columbia University Libraries/Information Services.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: