MLA Directory of Periodicals: A Guide to Journals and Series in Languages and Literatures [1978– ]. New York: MLA, 1979– . Available online only through vendors of the MLAIB (G335) or, for MLA members, through Updated biannually.

A directory to c. 7,100 print and electronic serials devoted to studies of language or literatures (other than classical Greek or Latin) and included at some point on the MLAIB Master List of Periodicals (the list at was temporarily unavailable as of 24 October 2012; see instead Academic Database Assessment Tool (ADAT), currently hosted by the Center for Research Libraries and jointly supported by JISC Collections []; the Master List in the front matter of the print volumes of MLAIB [G335] is not cumulative). Entries typically include MLAIB acronym, scope (articles, notes, reviews, bibliographies), subjects covered, language published, publication information (including ISSN, frequency, circulation, format), indication whether the journal is peer reviewed, editorial and subscription information, and submission details (restrictions on contributors; submission fees and page charges; manuscript length and number of copies required; style manual; time interval between submission and editorial decision and between acceptance and publication; whether a journal has a blind or anonymous submissions policy; number of referees; and number of manuscripts submitted, accepted, and published each year). Since some editors do not respond to requests for verification, information carried over from earlier updates may be outdated. The accessibility of the data in these records varies markedly depending on the vendor.

Although it is not comprehensive and is outdated in some of its information, the MLA Directory is the best source for identifying serials that specialize in an author or topic and for determining where to submit a manuscript. Authors should, of course, verify submission requirements by consulting the most recent copy of the serial or visiting its Web site.


Patterson, Margaret C. Author Newsletters and Journals: An International Annotated Bibliography of Serial Publications Concerned with the Life and Works of Individual Authors. Detroit: Gale, 1979. 497 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 19. Z6513.P37 [PN4836] 016.809.

A bibliography of 1,129 currently published and defunct serials, arranged alphabetically by author (with additions on pp. 357–65). Entries typically include bibliographical, editorial, and subscription information; description of contents; languages published; reprint availability; and indexing information (in both the publication and standard serial bibliographies and abstracts). Seven appendixes analyze listings in a variety of ways (e.g., by centuries and authors, and by indexing and abstracting services). Title index. Updated by Patterson’s “Author Newsletters and Journals: Supplement 1 [2, 3],” Serials Review 8.4 (1982): 61–72; 10.1 (1984): 51–59; 11.3 (1985): 31–44. Patterson provides a wealth of detail on specialized serials, many of which are not indexed by the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G of this Guide. A revised edition is now needed.

Additional current author journals are listed in Bracken, Reference Works in British and American Literature (M1357).


Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Ulrichsweb. ProQuest, 2013. 26 Aug. 2013. <>. Updated weekly.

Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory: Including Irregular Serials and Annuals (Ulrich’s). New Providence: ProQuest, 1932– . Annual. Title varies. Z6941.U5 011.

A bibliographic database of information on more than 300,000 regularly and irregularly published serials (print and electronic) published worldwide. The Search box allows users to search by title, ISSN, or keyword. The Advanced Search screen allows users to combine record fields (such as title, ISSN, publisher, language, and subject) and to limit searches in a variety of ways (e.g., refereed publications, date, language, availability through document vendors, and publisher). Each entry provides basic editorial and subscription information, ISSN, e-mail address, URL, electronic and other formats, an indication whether the journal is refereed (not always accurate), an incomplete (and sometimes inaccurate) list of serial bibliographies and abstracts that index the publication, and—for some periodicals—a brief description of contents or editorial focus, a link to tables of contents, and reviews published in a limited number of journals.

Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory classifies by subject only active serials and those which ceased publication within the past three years, includes much less information than the electronic versions, and is cumbersome to search. Following the subject classification are indexes of providers of online serials, of providers of serials published on CD-ROM, of serials that have ceased publication within the past three years, of publications by international organizations, of ISSNs, and of titles.

Given the ephemerality of many periodicals, the ease with which they begin and cease publication, and their proneness to frequent changes in editorial personnel or publisher, it is hardly surprising that directories such as Ulrichsweb are so full of errors or outdated information and omit so many publications.

See also

Anson and Maylath, “Journals in Composition” (U5605).

Dictionary of Literary Biography: Yearbook (J600a).

Directory of Literary Societies and Author Collections (E210a).

Related Works


Periodical Title Abbreviations: Covering Periodical Title Abbreviations, Database Abbreviations, and Selected Monograph Abbreviations in Science, the Social Sciences, the Humanities, Law, Medicine, Religion, Library Science, Engineering, Education, Business, Art, and Many Other Fields. Comp. and ed. Leland G. Alkire, Jr., and Cheryl Westerman-Alkire. 17th ed. 2 vols. Detroit: Thomson-Gale, 2007. Z6945.A2 P47 [PN4832] 050′.148.

A dictionary of periodical acronyms and abbreviations used by some of the major serial bibliographies, indexes, and abstracts. Coverage is limited primarily to North American and British publications and does not include all works in section G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts. Vol. 1 is an acronym list; vol. 2, a title list. Although coverage is far from exhaustive and includes some serial bibliographies that no longer use acronyms, the work is occasionally useful for interpreting the acronym or abbreviated title for a journal not included in the MLA Directory of Periodicals (K615) or the lists prefacing MLAIB (G335), ABELL (G340), or other standard language or literature bibliographies.

Acronyms and abbreviations of journals in classical studies are more fully covered in Wellington, Dictionary of Bibliographic Abbreviations Found in the Scholarship of Classical Studies (S4890a). A useful supplement for foreign journals is ITA: Internationale Titelabkürzungen von Zeitschriften, Zeitungen, wichtigen Handbüchern, Wörterbüchern, Gesetzen, Institutionen, usw. / International Title Abbreviations of Periodicals, Newspapers, Important Handbooks, Dictionaries, Laws, Institutions, etc., 12th ed., 3 vols. (Munich: Saur, 2009; CD-ROM).