July 2013

The Monthly Labor Review gets a new look


In terms of readership, circulation of the first issue of the MLR was 8,000 copies; in June 2013, readers accessed 1.1 million page views of MLR content. Much of the content accessed was from the most recent issue, but constant access of the archives implies that the information MLR publishes continues to stay relevant, sometimes even years after initial publication. In fact, among journals covering industrial relations and labor, the Review ranks high in terms of influence.4

A guide to the redesigned homepage

The design of the online MLR had not been touched since its first appearance online in 2005. The BLS nameplate, which appears throughout the website, was absent. The presentation was fairly simple, displaying the table of contents for the current issue. The staff had often received complaints that archival material was difficult to find. 

Please refer to figure 2 to follow along with the description of the changes to the MLR homepage. Users can perform a self-guided tour by hovering over the page to get descriptions of the various elements.

Navigation. With this in mind, the new design brings in the BLS banner and improved navigation, allowing users to get to the rest of the Bureau’s information with a simple click. Just below the BLS banner and top navigation, in the upper left corner is the MLR nameplate, and to the right is the MLR navigation ribbon. This ribbon will appear on all HTML pages of the MLR. The first item in the navigation is the “Home” tab. This will always take readers back to the homepage of the MLR. The next item in the navigation is “Archives.” This menu item has a drop-down list and allows readers to find archival materials by date, subject, department, and author. The next item, “For Authors,” is a page that describes the requirements when submitting materials to the MLR and provides helpful tips for ensuring a speedy response to submissions. The final menu item, “About,” gives some information about the MLR and includes a list of the editorial and technical staff who keep the publication going.

Figure 2

Search box. To the right of the navigation bar is a search box. This is a new feature of the MLR. The search is a full-text search of all MLR content. A great deal of work went into tagging all of the content items with keywords so that the search engine can provide reliable search results.

Articles. In terms of the presentation of the articles on the homepage, the most recent article, which will be labeled “Featured Article,” will always appear in the area just below the nameplate and will be accompanied by an image. As the next article becomes available, the title of what had been the featured article will move to the “Recent Articles” section in the right-hand column. The articles listed in the recent articles section are listed in descending order by when they were first published. To see earlier articles, readers should go to the “Archives” tab in the MLR navigation ribbon.

Book Review. Just below the featured article, readers will find the book review. The change here is that we will begin including an image of the book cover along with a brief description of the review and a link to read the review.


4 Based upon the rankings at

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About the Author

Emily Lloyd Liddel

Emily Lloyd Liddel is executive editor of the Monthly Labor Review, which is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.