MLA Field Bibliographers

Indexing form (log-in required)

The MLA International Bibliography is compiled by MLA staff members with the assistance of volunteer specialists called field bibliographers. Field bibliographers add new citations to the bibliography by recording publishing information and defining their subject, content, and form. 


1. Service to the profession—students, scholars, teachers, and researchers.
Indexing for the MLA International Bibliography allows one to contribute to literary scholarship by ensuring that important texts are accessible to present and future scholars.

2. Deepened knowledge of a specialty.
Field bibliographers have the opportunity to read publications in their fields regularly, allowing them to keep aware of current interests, trends, and scholarship.

3. Exposure to new areas of inquiry.
Indexing allows bibliographers to broaden the scope of their knowledge. It educates them on new topics, which later become part of their teaching and their curriculum decisions.

4. Sharpening of research skills through notation and classification.
Field bibliographers gain invaluable insights into using libraries, the MLA International Bibliography, and other scholarly resources, insights that would be difficult to achieve any other way.

5. Institutional recognition.
Field bibliographers are credited on the MLA Web site. Upon request, the MLA can also provide a letter to a bibliographer’s dean, department head, or supervisor that emphasizes the value of the work being performed and the scholarly skills required by the service. 

Please note that field bibliographer work is unpaid. Bibliographers may, however, apply for an MLA Bibliography fellowship.


Field bibliographers may cover journals, books series, or stand-alone essay collections and monographs. Bibliographers are responsible for at least five periodicals (or enough for at least a hundred citations) per year and should have regular access to the material they cover.  

Indexing of the MLA International Bibliography requires the bibliographer to assign descriptive terms in a consistent structure and to adhere to a standard citation format. Bibliographers may submit their work in an online form or in print. All submitted material is edited and entered into the bibliography’s database.

Becoming a Field Bibliographer

Faculty members, independent scholars, librarians, and graduate students are welcome to contribute to the MLA International Bibliography. Through their contributions to the bibliography, they provide an important service both to individual scholars and to the international scholarly community. If you are interested in becoming a bibliographer, please send a letter indicating the area in which you would like to work along with your résumé to the address below. 

Barbara Chen, Editor
MLA International Bibliography
85 Broad Street, suite 500
New York, NY 10004-2434

Bibliographers must be MLA members. They are appointed by the executive director of the MLA.


Field bibliographers are trained individually by the MLA staff. Training starts with several telephone sessions to introduce each bibliographer to MLA indexing practices. 

Field bibliographers are also encouraged to meet with the editor, Barbara Chen, at the MLA Annual Convention; at one of the American Library Association semiannual conventions; or, if the bibliographer is located in the tristate area, at the MLA headquarters office in New York City. If bibliographers are not able to meet the editor in person, they can correspond with the field bibliographer training manager by e-mail. 

Contributors to the Bibliography for 2015

Distinguished Bibliographers 

Distinguished bibliographers are those who have contributed continuously for more than twenty years.

  • Neal Baker

  • Faye Christenberry

  • Steven J. Daniell

  • Ann Willardson Engar

  • Joe K. Fugate

  • James L. Harner

  • Lila M. Harper

  • Marla Harris

  • John M. Jeep

  • Thomas W. Juntune

  • James Keller

  • James R. Kelly

  • Eric Leuschner

  • Michael Markiw

  • Diana T. Mériz

  • Jana Papcunová

  • Avis Kuwahara Payne

  • Rosa E. Penna

  • Phillip J. Wolfe

Senior Bibliographers

Senior bibliographers are those who have contributed continuously for more than ten years.

  • Rebecca Day Babcock

  • Helena Calogeridis

  • Laura Fuderer

  • Mark Groundland

  • Eduardo Lolo

  • Susan Oliver

  • Pearlie Mae Peters

Field Bibliographers

Assistant Bibliographers

  • Chad E. Buterbaugh

  • Mathilde F. Lind

  • Cheikh T. Lo