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Guides to journals in LIS

The LIS publishing process

General advice on academic publishing 


Guides to journals in LIS


NOTE: There is no current, comprehensive printed guide to journals in LIS. The following sources can help identify potential outlets for your work. Once you've selected likely titles, confirm the scope and submission guidelines by examining a recent issue or visiting the publisher's web site.


Bowman, Mary Ann. Library and Information Science Journals and Serials: An Analytical Guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985. (Main Stacks 016.0205 B684l)

         An alphabetical guide to more than 300 English-language titles. Reports information gathered by questionnaire; many details are out-of-date. Typical entries include circulation figures, how manuscripts are selected ("by editor," "refereed," etc.), index coverage, and target audience, along with paragraph-length descriptive annotations.


Genamics JournalSeek

         A database of journal information categorized by discipline, with links to publishers' web sites. Look for LIS under "Computer and Information Science."


InPrint: Publishing Opportunities for College Librarians. Edited by Lynn W. Livingston; compiled by Alice Harrison Bahr and Michael J. McLane. Chicago: Research for College Librarianship Committee, College Libraries Section, ACRL, ALA, 1997.  (Main Stacks 020.97805 B148I)

         A directory of journals that welcome articles by and about college librarians, including journals in higher education as well as library science. Entries indicate acceptance rate, response time, preferred topics, whether the journal is refereed, and more.


Journal Citation Reports

         This licensed ISI database gives a general sense of the comparative importance of journals. Select "Social Science Edition" and the subject category "Information Science and Library Science." Note that JCR covers only 61 journals in LIS.


Library Literature & Information Science Full Text

         Library Lit is an online index and full text source for periodicals in library science. When searching for articles, you can limit your search to peer-reviewed titles. To create a list of all the peer-reviewed titles included in Library Lit, click on "Journal Directory" on the WilsonWeb screen. On the next page, select the Library Literature & Information Science Full Text database and check the box for "Limit to Peer Reviewed."  Then click on the "Display List" button.  An up-to-date list of peer-reviewed journals covered by Library Lit will be generated and displayed.


Library Periodicals: An Annual [sic] Guide for Subscribers, Authors, and Publicists. Edited by Molly Skeen. Alameda, CA: Periodical Guides Publishing Company, 1993.  (Main Stacks 016.02 L6164)

         An alphabetical directory of 150 library-related journals and newsletters published in the U.S. or Canada. Indexed by subject and publisher. Entries include information on subject scope, index coverage, and refereeing. Refereed journals are also listed in an appendix.


Periodicals for LIS research in the UI collections

         Alphabetical lists of print and electronic journals in LIS and related fields.


Schroeder, Carol F., and Gloria G. Roberson, eds. Guide to Publishing Opportunities for Librarians. New York: Haworth Press, 1995.  (Main Stacks 020.97305 Sch76g)

        An alphabetical listing of library-related periodicals, with appended listings of electronic titles and refereed titles. Entries cover scope and content, index coverage, and editorial policies and practices (such as publication lag time, desired article length, peer review, and acceptance rate).


Stevens, Norman D., and Nora B. Stevens,eds. Author's Guide to Journals in Library & Information Science. New York: Haworth Press, 1982.  (Main Stacks 020.5 St47a)

        Aimed at prospective authors, this guide covers North American, British, and international journals. Much of the detailed information, gathered through a survey, is out-of-date. Data includes submission guidelines (e.g. citation style, length), acceptance rates, and notification time. Appropriate and inappropriate topics are noted.


Ulrich International Periodicals Directory

         The licensed electronic version of Ulrich International Periodicals Directory provides the most up-to-date information on print and electronic journals worldwide. Refereed titles are indicated with an icon.  To retrieve a list of LIS periodicals (over 3,400 titles), go to "Browse" and choose "Subject."  Type "library" in the search box.  To limit to refereed titles, use the Advanced Search page.


Research and advice on the LIS publishing process


Academic Writing Librarians .

             This blog is maintained by Helen Fallon, who teaches courses on writing for academic publication.  Look here for her course materials, links and citations to more sources for guidance on the writing process, and recent calls for papers.


Alley, Brian, and Jennifer Cargill. Librarian in Search of a Publisher: How to Get Published. Phoenix: Oryx, 1986.  (Main Stacks 808.02 Al54l)

         Hints for the aspiring author on getting started, writing for varied types of publications (articles, bibliographies, reviews, books, and speeches), and serving as an editor. Written in a conversational style.


Bluh, Pamela, ed. "Special Section: So You Want to be a Writer?" Library Administration & Management 11.1 (Winter 1997): 11-25.  (Main Stacks 025.105 LIA

         Includes three articles: "Becoming a Published Author: Eight Simple Steps for Librarians" by Mary E. Jackson; "Steps Toward Writing a Sure Thing" by Gloriana St. Clair; and "From Book Idea to Contract" by Patricia Glass Schuman and Charles Harmon.


Bluh, Pamela, ed. "Special Section: Write On!" Library Administration & Management 12.3 (Summer 1998): 132-141.  (Main Stacks 025.105 LIA or online)
         Two short how-to pieces: "Preparing Research for Publication" by Joan Giesecke; and "Transforming an Oral Presentation for Publication" by Jerry Di Vecchio.


Crawford, Walt. First Have Something to Say: Writing for the Library Profession. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003.  (Main Stacks 808.06602 C859f or online)
         Contents: Why write? -- Getting started : room for one more -- Journals : tell me something new -- Report, inform, explain, illuminate -- Copyright, contracts, and ethics -- Working with editors -- Reviewing -- Editorial boards and editing -- Nontraditional writing: discussion lists, and weblogs -- Doing it yourself : zines & e-newsletters -- Finding your niche, building your voice -- Overwriting and the second draft -- Books -- Columns and series -- Breaks and blocks -- Believing your own stuff -- Speaking of speaking -- Hiding behind Powerpoint -- Who are you--and what's next?


De Castro, Paola.  Librarians of Babel: A Toolkit for Effective Communication. Oxford: Chandos, 2009.  ( Main Stacks 020.14 D355l

         Contents:  The communication process -- What you should know before writing a paper -- The writing process : technical considerations -- Writing a journal article -- Writing a book, a report or a chapter therein -- Writing conference papers and issuing proceedings -- Using illustrations -- Citing the work of others : how and why -- Editorial revision -- Producing leaflets -- How to organize a conference -- How to produce effective presentations -- How to produce effective posters -- Addressing the media.


Dew, Stephen H. "An editor's tips on publishing in library literature." Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning 2.2 (2005): 3-12.  (Oak Street Facility 027.705 JOL or online)
         Offers good general advice for aspiring librarian-authors, with specific hints for writing articles about library services in distance education. Reprints the referee's checklist for manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning.


Gordon, Rachel Singer.  Publish, Don't Perish: How to Get Published. 

         Sponsored by Emerald, this site offers a wealth of tips on every stage of the writing and publishing process.


Gordon, Rachel Singer. The Librarian's Guide to Writing for Publication. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2004.  (Main Stacks 808.06602 G658l)  

         Contents: Getting started in library publication -- Submitting your work -- Queries and proposals -- Increasing your odds -- Writing and editing your work -- Networking and collaboration -- The academic environment -- Related opportunities -- Writing a book -- Marketing and promotion : yourself and your work -- The electronic environment -- The business of publishing.


Haas, Leslie, Suzanne Milton, and Aimee Quinn. "Surviving the publishing process: a beginner's guide." RQ 36.2 (Winter 1996): 230-246.  (Main Stacks 025.5206 RQ or online)
         Based on responses from 34 journal editors, reports typical acceptance rates, turnaround times, refereeing practices, and revision policies. Summarizes editors' advice to new authors and lists topics on which they wish and do not wish to receive articles. Appendices spotlight journal characteristics (refereed, practical, theoretical, popular, research-oriented), subject focus, and audience.


Hinchliffe, Lisa Janicke, and Jennifer Dorner, eds. How to Get Published in LIS Journals: A Practical Guide. 2nd ed. (Library Connect Series) San Diego: Elsevier,2006.  (HTML) (PDF)
         This booklet offers advice from experts in the field about getting started on a writing project, turning a presentation into an article, polishing your text, and choosing a journal to submit your work to -- plus a behind-the-scenes explanation of the peer review process.


Johnson, Peggy. "Dollars and Sense: Librarians and Contracts for Writing Professionally: The Sanity Clause." Technicalities 19.9 (October 1999): 1, 11-13.  (Main Stacks 020.5 TEC or online)

          Succinct explanations of the standard clauses in book and article contracts.


Langley, Anne, and and Jonathan D. Wallace.    A Practical Writing Guide for Academic Librarians: Keeping it Short and Sweet.  Oxford, England: Chandos, 2010.  (Main Stacks)  

         From the publisher's website:  "...examples and how-to's to all the various types of writing academic librarians will need to do in their careers, from progress reports to project plans, cover letters to case studies, book reviews to blogging. The book includes information on presenting data: specifically, tables, graphs, and charts and focuses on real-life writing examples and situations."  Not about academic publishing, but still potentially useful.


Lorenzen, Michael. "Getting Published: An Overview for Off-Campus Librarians" Journal of Library Administration 49.1 (2009): 23-33.  (Online)
         A publishing how-to guide for distance education librarians.


Mury, Mohammad, and Mitchel Walters. "Writing for Journals in Library and Information Science: A Report of a Survey." Serials Librarian 31.4 (1997): 23-40.  (Oak Street Facility 025.17305 SER or online
         The authors surveyed editors and examined "instructions to authors" sections to create a database of information about 158 LIS journals. Although the web-based database is no longer accessible, its key elements are presented in a table, including each journal's circulation figures, mandated style guide, preferred length of submissions, typical decision time, acceptance rate, and whether the journal is refereed.


Nisonger, Thomas E., and Charles H. Davis. "The perception of library and information science journals by LIS education deans and ARL library directors: A replication of the Kohl-Davis study." College & Research Libraries 66.4 (July 2005): 341-377.  (Main Stacks 027.705 CO or online)
         Reports rankings of LIS journals by the deans of LIS graduate programs and the directors of ARL member libraries, and compares them to each other and to the scores in Journal Citation Reports. The statistical tables reveal different "hierarchies of prestige."


Publish Your Article Outside the Library Field. Chicago: American Library Association, Library Instruction Round Table, 2000.  (Main Stacks 808.02 P9609)
         The sub-title says it all: "A Bibliographic Guide to Non Library and Information Science Journals With Articles on Libraries, Librarians, or Library Services." Listings are organized by subject with a title index. Refereed titles are noted, and full contact information is provided.


Putnam, Laurie L.  "Professional writing and publishing: Resources for librarians."  C&RL News 70.4 (April 2009): 222-225.  ( online )

          Selected, annotated websites to help the librarian-writer identify publishing opportunities, manage the writing process, get help with grammar and style, and connect to other writers and mentors.           


The Researching Librarian 
         For librarians who need "to perform research for purposes of publication, promotion, tenure, or other reasons," this site links to "freely searchable citation and full-text databases, funding information, relevant journals, statistics and statistical methods, useful research tools, current awareness sources, and conference papers and proceedings."


Christian Schloegl, and Wolfgang Petschnig. "Library and information science journals: An editor survey."  Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services 29 (2005) 4-32.  (online)

          This study compares 48 English- and German-language LIS journals on many dimensions, including: type of content; online access; characteristics of authors, readers, and editorial boards; review procedures; time from acceptance to publication; rejection and revision rates. 


Sellen, Betty-Carol, ed. Librarian/Author: A Practical Guide on How to Get Published. New York: Neal-Schuman, 1985.  (Main Stacks 808.02 L616)
         Several publishing insiders and successful authors provide frank advice on breaking into print. Findings from surveys of book publishers and journal editors are reported, including title-level information (much of it now out-of-date).


Smallwood, Carol, ed.  Writing and Publishing: The Librarian’s Handbook.  Chicago: American Library Association, 2010.  (Main Stacks 808.06602 W939)
         Practical how-to guidance covering fiction, poetry, children's books/magazines, self-publishing, literary agents, personal blogging, and other topics, including academic writing.


Via, Barbara J. "Publishing in the journal literature of library and information science: a survey of manuscript review processes and acceptances." College & Research Libraries 57 (July 1996): 365-376. Erratum, 57 (September 1996): 413.  (Main Stacks 027.705 CO or online)
         Reports the manuscript acceptance rates of 68 journals and notes that acceptance rates have risen in recent years. Provides a table of journals grouped by methods of manuscript review.



General advice on academic publishing


Becker, Howard S. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. (SSHEL)


Belcher, Wendy Laura. Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications, 2009. (Literatures & Languages)


Carriuolo, Nancy, Hunter Boylan, Michele Simpson, et al. "Special Feature: Advice for Novice Researchers Who Wish to Publish Their Results." Journal of Developmental Education 31.2 (Winter 2007): 28-31. (Online) -- Although written specifically for the Journal of Developmental Education, the advice in this article is applicable for publishing in any journal.


Day, Abby.  How to Get Research Published in Journals.  2nd ed.  Aldershot, England: Gower, 2007.  (Ebook)


Hartley, James.  Academic Writing and Publishing: A Practical Handbook.  New York: Routledge, 2008.  (Literatures & Languages) -- Emphasizes journal articles, but covers all types of academic writing.


Journal of Scholarly Publishing -- Although primarily concerned with trends in the academic publishing community, this journal also features articles that suggest ways to get published.


Kendall-Tackett, Kathleen A.  How to write for a general audience : a guide for academics who want to share their knowledge with the world and have fun doing it.   Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2007.  (Communications 808.02 K338h


Kitchin, Rob and Duncan Fuller. The Academic's Guide to Publishing London: Sage, 2005. (Main Stacks 070.594 K648a)


Luey, Beth. Handbook for Academic Authors. 5th ed. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2010. (Main Stacks 808.02 L967h 2010) -- Primarily concerned with book publishing, this readable and encouraging guide includes a chapter on journal articles.


McCabe, Linda L., and Edward R. B. McCabe. How to Succeed in Academics. 2nd Ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. (SSHEL) -- See especially chapter 5, "Marketing Your Ideas Through Publications.” This handy book also gives tips on writing research articles, chapters, review articles, abstracts, grant proposals, research data, and curricula vitae, and on preparing for presentations. Examples come mostly from science and medicine.


Olson, Gary M., Ann Zimmerman, and Nathan Bos, eds. Scientific Collaboration on the Internet. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2008. (Engineering 507.2 Sci278)


Publish, Not Perish: The Art & Craft of Publishing in Scholarly Journals -- An excellent online tutorial from the University of Colorado libraries.






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