Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Journal Editor's Perspective - Reference Services Review

Guest post by Eleanor Mitchell and  Sarah Barbara Watstein

As co-editors of Reference Services Review (RSR), we hope that authors will enjoy the authoring and publication experience; the following tips and aha’s promise to make the academic writing journey a fulfilling one!

  1. Why Write? Why Publish? Before you begin, think about why you want to write and publish. Do you want to demonstrate or share expertise? Advance in your position or career? Obtain funding? Develop/build community? Enhance the visibility of your institution/library/program? Do writing and publication bring you professional or personal satisfaction? Reflecting on why you want to write and publish at the head end of your work ensures both focus and momentum.
  2. Journal Options: Identify and assess journal options (publishing options/outlets). Review the journal purpose, editorial objectives, availability, intended audience, guidance for potential authors, colleague-mentoring opportunities.
  3. The Right Fit: Select the appropriate journal for your topic, your style and approach, your preferred audience, your time-frame.  If you have an off -hand, editorial style of writing, and use an informal tone, make sure the journal you are considering publishes this sort of writing.  However, sometimes, in our journal (Reference Services Review) we will include an opinion piece or an interview or a point-counterpoint style article if the topic seems provocative and relevant. Similarly, sometimes a submission may seem tangential or almost off-topic for our areas of focus; with additional work and refocusing, articles of this sort have become among the most highly downloaded by our readers.  If your topic and perspective are compelling, take a chance.
  4. Making Contact: If you have questions about whether or not a journal is “the right fit,” contact the editor or co-editor, attend conferences or events and stop by the publisher’s booth(s), reach out to members of the journal’s Editorial Advisory Board, or track down published authors.
  5. Author Guidelines: Adhere to manuscript requirements (format; tables, figures and illustrations; references”) and follow manuscript submission guidelines.
  6. Manuscript Submission: Submit your best and final work: don’t send something half-baked or clearly unedited. However, RSR has a long editorial tradition, established by our long time founding editor and legend Ilene Rockman, of working closely with authors, particularly first time authors, to help them at different points in the process. Whether it is sharpening the thesis, clarifying the arguments, or bringing additional sources or perspectives to bear, our reviewers and editors often provide essential guidance. Frequently authors will correspond with us outside the submission process to jump start their writing process.
  7. The Editorial Process: Familiarize yourself with the manuscript review and revision process for the journal you’ve selected.
  8. The Revising Process – Do’s and Don’ts: Do read the reviews carefully. Decide whether to revise or not. As you revise, take care to respond to the reviewer’s/reviewers’ comments. And, take care to complete your revisions in a timely manner. When in doubt, check in with the journal editor. Remember not to internalize or personalize the reviewer’s/reviewers’ comments.
  9. Copyright, Permissions and Access: Familiarize yourself with the copyright and permissions policies of the journal, including guidance on published article reuse by authors and others. Some journals/publishers assist authors in fulfilling funder open access mandates by depositing the accepted version of their article in a designated public repository within the required time period.
  10. If Your Article is Rejected: Read the reviews carefully. Consider the reasons provided. Either plan to rewrite/resubmit or plan to resubmit elsewhere.

Librarians doing research, PhDs etc

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Journal Editor's Perspective - JOLIS

Guest post by 


Previous Editors have provided some sound advice in the Top Tips from journal editors section, so I’ll just pick up on a few points in the context of submitting to JOLIS. 

1.    Guidelines:  Firstly, reading the Guidelines for Authors carefully is a must.  Not only will this help you prepare your manuscript in the correct format but the Guidelines also indicate the scope of the journal and whether your paper will be a good fit.  Take a look at previous issues and the “About” page on the journal homepage to check this out, too.  Two basic items you should look out for when formatting are anonymity – ensure there’s no identifying information including self-citations; and referencing – please use the house style.
2.    Implications of the research: For JOLIS, the practical implications of any research for library and information services is very important. These should be highlighted in the Introduction, with an explanation of the practical problem or issues the research is investigating, and the Discussion/Conclusion which should draw out lessons to be learnt and how the research contributes to practice.  Case studies from one country or even one institution are acceptable but you need to spend some time in your paper discussing the relevance of your findings for a wider, international audience and for library or information service practice more generally.
3.    Literature review: We also expect a thorough and critical literature review so that we can see that authors have engaged with relevant theory and the body of knowledge in our discipline and often beyond.  The literature review should be a thematic synthesis of previous work, not just a listing of previous studies and their findings one by one.  Again, the Conclusion should indicate how the work adds to our knowledge and understanding of the topic and, if appropriate, how it builds on or contributes to relevant theory.  It’s also a good idea to cite relevant work from the journal to which you are submitting!  It shows that you are familiar with the journal and have thought about the best outlet for your paper.
4.    Communication: We welcome submissions from around the globe. JOLIS is committed to publishing the best international research but please ensure that if you are not writing in your own language that your work is thoroughly proofread and copyedited before submission.  We can’t do this for you and if the quality of communication is poor, you run the risk of your paper being a desk-reject, i.e. rejected before peer review.  Most journal publishers offer editing services, although you generally have to pay for these.

5.    Reviewers’ Comments: Finally, I echo the thoughts of previous posts; please don’t feel affronted by the comments of reviewers.  I know (as an author myself) that it’s difficult not to be dismayed at negative comments on your carefully crafted piece.  But remember, incredibly few papers are accepted without some kind of revision and reviewers are genuinely trying to offer you constructive guidance so you can make your paper even better!