Historical Content Statement and Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The Journal of the Medical Library Association's (JMLA) content dates back to 1898 and may contain language and ideas that are outdated, biased, offensive, harmful, or violent. While JMLA recognizes the importance of preserving the historical record, we wish to proactively address potentially harmful content on a case-by-case basis as we become aware of it. Actions we may take include the possibility of alerting readers of the nature of the content or, in cases where we determine the content is based on discredited science or has followed unethical practices, consulting with the journal's editor(s) to take action.  

We are committed to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion through our publishing. In 2020, we established a JMLA Advisory Equity Workgroup and in 2023 JMLA became a signatory of C4DISC's Joint Statement of Principles.

We invite readers to alert us of any potentially harmful content in JMLA or its previous names (Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 1911-2001, The Aesculapian 1908-1909, Medical Library and Historical Journal 1903-1907, Bulletin of the Association of Medical Librarians 1902, Medical Libraries 1898-1902) that relates to content that may reflect any of the following:

  • White supremacist and colonial ideologies, which include racist, sexist, misogynistic/misogynoir, and xenophobic opinions and attitudes.
  • Discrimination towards or exclusion of diverse views on sexuality, gender, ableism, religion, and more by emailing jmla@journals.pitt.edu 
  • In your email, please
    • Use the following subject line: Issue with Historical Content
    • Provide a link to and the title of the article where the issue exists
    • Describe the nature of the issue

Each case will be reviewed by JMLA's Equity Workgroup alongside the journal editors, and may possibly lead to a warning text in cases of scientifically justified, but offensive or otherwise triggering content.

This statement borrows heavily from the following:

DPLA Digital Public Library of America. Boston (MA): DPLA. DPLA’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Content. [Cited 2023 Jun 7]. Available from: https://dp.la/about/harmful-language-statement

National Archives [Internet]. College Park (MD):  NARA National Archives and Records Administration. NARA’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Content; [modified 2022 Jun 17, cited 2023 Jun 7]. Available from: https://www.archives.gov/research/reparative-description/harmful-content 

Sage. Thousand Oaks (CA): Sage. Historical Content Statement. [Cited 2023 Jun 7]. Available from: https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/journals/historical-content