Publish, don't perish – Instalment 9
Oh, the places you'll publish...
Potential and newer librarian authors are often stymied when it comes to finding the perfect places to publish their work. This happens either when we are not aware of the appropriate possibilities, or when we let the sheer number of options overwhelm us. It is useful to start thinking in terms of finding just the right publication outlet for each piece of work's topic, tone, style, and length; this can help you narrow down or identify your best options.
Our literature is so broad and so varied that there are outlets available for just about any type of writing you do; here, I'll give you some representative examples to help get you thinking about possibilities for your own articles. For each, find a brief description of the journal and what it is currently looking for, with a link back to its web site for further information. These should help give an idea of the variety of outlets available, so that you can open your mind when seeking places to publish your own work.
Selected library-related publication outlets
Note that many of these publications also provide tables of contents, sample articles, and/or full text online; reading these before submitting can help you get a sense of the tone, focus, style, and types of articles each publishes. Use these as representative examples, but never limit yourself to just one list – cast a wide net to find the most appropriate place to submit your work.
The official monthly magazine of the American Library Association, which is mailed to all current members. American Libraries seeks informal, yet informative, articles, generally of 600-1,500 words. View the author guidelines.
For librarians and information professionals responsible for managing various types of collections, the quarterly, double-blind peer-reviewed Collection Building provides "practical information on resource sharing, maximizing restricted budgets and the implications of change, particularly in the area of information technology". View the author guidelines.
The official magazine of the Canadian Library association, mailed to current members, Feliciter publishes 400-1,500 word opinion pieces and feature articles on professional concerns and developments. View the author guidelines.
My own publication – seeking short, practical articles on professional development topics for librarians, information professionals, and library workers. Each thematic bi-monthly electronic issue contains four to five contributed articles of around 800-1,000 words. View the upcoming themes and author guidelines.
A free international peer-reviewed electronic journal, although it also publishes some working papers. Intended to publish research widely across information-related disciplines. View the author guidelines.
The "big name" academic double-blind peer-reviewed journal, The Journal of Academic Librarianship publishes articles on issues of import to college and university libraries worldwide. It seeks to publish original research, analysis of policies, practices, issues, and trends, speculation about the future of libraries, analytical bibliographic essays, and philosophical treatises. View the author guidelines.
The official journal of ALA's Library Administration and Management Association, Library Administration & Management publishes a variety of articles, ranging from lengthy features to shorter articles covering management methodology or techniques, interviews and pieces that discuss solutions to a management problem. View the author guidelines.
CILIP's official membership magazine, Update publishes 1,200-2,500 word feature articles, among other sections, on topical issues to library and information work. View the author guidelines.
Another big US general-interest journal, Library Journal publishes articles in several categories, including short opinion pieces and longer feature articles, and also often seeks book reviewers in various subjects. Follow the "submit to LJ tab" from the website homepage to view the author guidelines.
Published twice yearly, the electronic-only LIBRES includes both a peer-reviewed and an essays and opinion section in each issue. It publishes a broad range of topics, including research on library and information-related issues, practical applications, and new interpretations of library practices. View the author guidelines.
Each month, LIScareer publishes several short (1,000-2,000 word), online, practical articles that give career advice to new and potential librarians. Editor Priscilla Shontz says: "LIScareer is a good place to start because it's informal. Articles are written in an informal, conversational style, almost as if the author is talking with or writing an e-mail to someone, offering advice, or sharing his or her experiences. We don't require extensive research, footnotes, etc., and we aren't peer-reviewed. Some of our authors have told us that writing for LIScareer helped them build their confidence to write for more formal publications". View the author guidelines.
A double-blind refereed quarterly journal focusing on informed research in all areas of librarianship. LQ "welcomes the submission of manuscripts by graduate students as well as by already established authorities". View the author guidelines.
A refereed journal, OCLC Systems & Services: International Digital Library Perspectives covers developments in digital libraries and repositories, as well as web-based delivery of cultural content. Articles are generally 1,000-3,000 words; editor Bradford Lee Eden, PhD, notes that "I am always (and I mean always!) looking for articles related to these areas (but will always consider related topics as well): Digital libraries, digital repositories, digital cultural content services, web metadata standards, web markup languages, digital preservation, imaging and digitization techniques, and usability studies". View the author guidelines.
Published twice yearly, The Progressive Librarian explores progressive or radical perspectives on library and information issues. View the author guidelines.
An international serials management journal covering both print and electronic serials, their publishing, their abstracting and indexing, and their collection and processing by libraries. Generally publishes articles of 12-25 double-spaced manuscript pages. View the author guidelines.
Publishes booklists, columns, and articles ranging from 750 up to 3,500 words. Most article authors have first-hand experience working with teens; articles range from author interviews to practical projects to current controversies. View the author guidelines.
Once you are active for some time in a particular sub-field of librarianship, you will get to know its major and relevant journals from your own reading and research. Many will also post regular calls for contributors on relevant e-mail discussion lists. You may also wish to look at Alice Bahr's (Ed.), InPrint: Publishing Opportunities for College Librarians, ACRL; continuously updated, http://acrl.telusys.net/epubs/inprint.html