Section Policies


The journal welcomes original research and practitioner experience papers, as well as submissions in alternative formats (e.g. video).

Editorial and Commentary | Research Articles | Practice Articles | Theory Articles | Literature Review Articles | Brief Reviews of Books and Products

Editorial and Commentary

Includes editors’ reflections on a topic or introduction to the current issue. Commentary from readers is also welcome. A variety of perspectives are encouraged for submission, including experiential and opinion pieces from library educators, researchers, students, practitioners and collaborators (e.g. publishers, university administrators or disciplinary faculty).

Submissions should be at least 500 words.

Research Articles (Peer-reviewed)

Original findings resulting from quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods research should be submitted for this section. Articles which do not employ an explicitly defined research methodology should be submitted as either a “Practice” or “Theory” contribution.

All research articles must include a structured abstract of no more than 250 words. The structure of the abstract should mirror the required sections outlined below (excluding the literature review section).

All research articles must include, immediately below the abstract on the same page, a section entitled "Implications for Practice." Within this section, authors should provide 3-5 items (arranged in a numerical list) that describe in plain language the implications of the study's findings for library or scholarly communication practice. Authors should focus on why the manuscript should be of concern/interest to readers and how its conclusions will impact practice.

Research articles should include the following primary sections (subordinate sections will vary by paper):

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

Submissions should be between 3,000-6,000 words, though exceptions will be considered.

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Practice Articles (Peer-reviewed)

Case studies and descriptions or evaluations of library-led programs or services should be submitted for this section. Articles should emphasize the promotion of best practices and useful approaches to challenges encountered by library practitioners. Submissions to this section should contribute to a practical understanding of the continued integration of scholarly communication topics into library and information services. Discussion of policy development is also welcome.

All practice articles must include a structured abstract of no more than 250 words. The structure of the abstract should mirror the required sections outlined below (excluding the literature review section).

Practice articles will typically include the following primary sections (subordinate sections will vary by paper):

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Description of Program/Service (potential subsections could include: Lessons Learned, Assessment/Evaluation, etc.)
  • Next Steps

Submissions should be between 3,000-6,000 words, though exceptions will be considered.

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Theory Articles (Peer-reviewed)

Submissions to this section should reflect the continuing development of library and information services through theoretical explorations of issues relevant to the aims and scope of this publication. Authors are encouraged to describe the relevance, significance and application of theoretical discussions to library practice.

All theory articles must include an abstract of no more than 250 words.

Theory articles must include, immediately below the abstract on the same page, a section entitled "Implications for Practice." Within this section, authors should provide 3-5 items (arranged in a numerical list) that describe in plain language the implications of the paper’s content for library or scholarly communication practice. Authors should focus on why the manuscript should be of concern/interest to readers and how its conclusions will impact practice.

Submissions should be between 3,000-6,000 words, though exceptions will be considered.

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Literature Review Articles (Peer-reviewed)

JLSC publishes literature review articles on topics within the journal’s scope. Literature review articles contain an analysis and commentary of the publications on a specific area of research. In larger subject areas, the review may point to significant works in that topic. However, new and emergent areas might have a small enough body of knowledge to be covered in its entirety. The purpose of the literature review article is to describe the general state or condition of the topic under consideration and to analyze and critique the latest trends and developments in that topic.

Literature in the area of scholarly communication is broadly defined and can take different forms, but the primary focus in this section is on peer-reviewed articles, editorials, and grey literature. However, the coverage can include adjunctive sources such as blog posts and publications in informal communication channels. These are all within the scope of sources for a Literature Review Article.

Out of scope for the Literature Review Articles section are annotated bibliographies (i.e., a list of article citations coupled with a brief, plain description of each article) and reviews of individual publications such as books or articles. Authors interested in reviewing individual items should refer to the Brief Reviews of Books and Products section.

While the organization and structure of the literature review article is flexible, the article should include the following elements:

  • Scope: Topic covered, date range covered, geographic and/or language coverage, depth of review (comprehensive, selective, etc.), sources or publication types included (formally published literature, blog posts, discussion lists, social media, etc.) 
  • Objective(s): What question(s) are you attempting to answer by conducting this literature review? 
  • Methods: How was the review conducted? (systematic searching, snowballing, etc.) 
  • Analysis and commentary: Synthesis of significant publications, analysis and critique of the literature, identification of gaps for further research 
  • Reference list: Citation information of all items referenced in the article the author's preferred citation style.
  • Submissions should be between 3,000-6,000 words, though exceptions will be considered.

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Brief Reviews of Books and Products

This section provides a forum for description and critical evaluation of the quality, effectiveness, and value of recent books or products. We welcome reviews of new books on scholarly communication, open access, intellectual property, innovations in publishing, institutional repositories, and other topics within JLSC’s scope. We also accept reviews of products (platforms, tools, websites, software, etc.) that are either new or of growing significance within the scholarly communication community (see 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication for examples of such products). 

Elements of a Review

Review authors are encouraged to include the following components in their review, as relevant:

  • Citation: Please include the title, author/editor, year of publication, publisher, pages, format, unique identifier (ISBN/DOI/URL), and price of the work you’re reviewing at the beginning of your review. When citing a website, please include the pertinent URL, and the date that the items was accessed. 
  • Audience: Who would find this book or tool useful or not useful? 
  • Authority: What background or expertise do the author(s),creator(s), or editor(s) bring to the topic?
  • Content: What are the goals of the book or tool and how well does it meet them? 
  • Quality: Does the book or tool meet basic professional standards? For example, if it’s a website, is it accessible? If it’s a book, do the authors cite their sources? Do you have constructive recommendations for future scholarship on the subject matter or improvements to the tool?
  • Organization: How is the book or tool organized? Is it easy for users to navigate?
  • Importance or context: How does the book or tool contribute to current conversations and needs within scholarly communication? This might include a comparison with similar books or tools. How is this work funded? Is it open source/open access? Is there a user community to support the item?
  • Biography: Include a brief biography of yourself at the end of the review, including your name, institutional/professional affiliation, and a brief description of your expertise in this area.

Reviews should be 500 to 1,000 words.

Reviews Submission Process

The reviews editors may solicit authors and items for review. If you would like to be considered as a reviews author, please do the following:

  • Create an account on the JLSC website, if you are not already registered.
  • If you have a work you’d like to review, please submit a short proposal (1-2 paragraphs) and your CV to the reviews editors at jlscreviews@jlsc-pub.org. Include a statement on any conflicts of interest or connections you have to the authors, editors, or creators of the book or product in your proposal. The reviews editors may decline a proposal if they feel that the connection between the proposed reviewer and the item suggested for review is too close.
  • If you don’t have a specific work in mind, you can also contact the reviews editors for suggestions of relevant books and products to review.

Once you and the reviews editors have agreed upon the book or product to be reviewed, you will be provided with further information about the submission process and given 6 weeks to draft the review. Within six weeks of submitting your draft, you will be notified if it is accepted, accepted with revisions, or rejected. You will have 4 weeks to make any suggested revisions. We cannot guarantee publication of a review based on an initial proposal or draft. Final acceptance is contingent upon the quality of the final manuscript.

Publishers are invited to send suggestions for books and products to be reviewed to the review editors.

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