First Steps: Getting Started with the Commons

1. Create an account. Register if you’re a first-time user, or log in with “Legacy MLA” credentials if you’ve signed up for MLA Commons in the past. If you’re registering, and you’re a member of one of our partner societies (ARLIS/NA, AUPresses, HASTAC, MLA, MSU, SAH), remember to register with the e-mail address associated with that membership.

2. Complete your profile.  Edit your profile and add relevant information to it. Add a photo and help others recognize you the next time you’re at a conference together. Enter academic interests, link to your website, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn profile, and add other information about yourself.

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3. Join a group. Search for and join other groups that share your professional interests.

4. Start a group. If you have a special project or problem on which you want to collaborate with other Commons members, start a group and invite others to join it. Groups can be public, private, or hidden, but in any case you’ll have access to group discussion boards with e-mail notifications, file sharing, and collaborative documents.

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 11.13.22 AM5. Open a discussion. Start a new topic in a group discussion in order to ask a question, share an idea, or look for other members with whom you can collaborate.

6. Start a site. Create a personal site to share information about your scholarship, boost your online presence, or to get feedback on a book or dissertation in progress. Alternatively, make a digital companion to your latest book, with images, audio and video files, and regular updates connecting your work to the world. Teaching or coediting a volume? Create a group website or blog where you can work collaboratively with others. By default, sites on the Commons are open to anyone, but you can restrict yours to its contributors or Commons members if you prefer.

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7. Look for inspiration. View members’ sites and learn how other members have used the Commons as a platform for developing online portfolios, sharing course materials, and offering up work for open peer review.

8. Make connections. Follow members so you can keep up with their research, teaching, and professional projects, and send them a message or mention them using “@username” when you post an update.

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9. Share your work. Deposit a copy of your scholarly and pedagogical materials in our interdisciplinary repository, CORE — whether it’s a published paper, a syllabus, a blog post, an interview, a work in progress, or a data set, CORE allows you to preserve and share all types of scholarly communication. You can even upload image, audio, or video files. CORE content is open to the world, so make sure you write an enticing summary, enter complete information, and tag your deposits to make them easily discoverable!

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