Style Guide & Formatting Requirements

See the Journal Policies for information before submitting.

Instructions for Authors:

  1. Document Format:
    • MS Word (preferred) or RTF. Submit your manuscript, including tables, figures, appendices, etc., as a single file.
    • Do not include a title page or abstract. (Begin the document with the introduction. The abstract is entered separately during the submission process, and a title page will be generated by the editors).
    • Do not include page numbers, headers, or footers.
    • Margins: 1” top and bottom; 1.5” right and left.
  2. Document Length:
    • Between 3,000 - 7,000 words for manuscripts. Between 500-1,500 words for book reviews. Authors wishing to submit manuscripts outside of this word count should first consult with the Editor-in-Chief.
    • Document length is inclusive of all components of the manuscript (body and references, but not abstract).
    • Abstracts are 150-250 word length.
  3. Paragraphs:
    • Text is to be single-spaced, including References page, with no extra spacing between paragraphs, except surrounding a block quote (6pt spacing before and after paragraph).
    • Section headings will have an addition of 6pt spacing before and after.
    • Indent the first line of each paragraph, except those following a section header.
    • Paragraph text is justified, with the exception of headings and references which follow APA 6th edition formatting as to alignment and indentation.
  4. Font:
    • Use Times for the entire manuscript (including headings) except, possibly, where special symbols are needed.
    • Text should be 12-pt, with possible exceptions for tables or footnotes (10-pt).
    • All text should be black in color, with the possible exception of hyperlinks.
    • Use italics for foreign terms, emphasis, and titles of works as per APA guidelines. Usage of underlining is discouraged. Bold text should be confined to headings.
  5. References:
    • All source citations should appear in-text and be in APA format. Works cited (References) should be in APA format.
    • For book reviews, include a full APA citation for the work being reviewed.
  6. Supporting Data: All tables, charts, graphs, and diagrams used should be positioned in the body of the manuscript. For figures or data that cannot be supplied in MS Word, contact the Editor-in-Chief for guidance.
  7. Blind Review: Authors must ensure their name does not appear anywhere in the document, including the document file name, the abstract, or the main body of the paper. All identifying features that may be linked to author identity (e.g., reference to author's workplace, publications, events, and accomplishments easily associated to the author) should be blacked over or eliminated from the text. Author name and contact information may be included only on the cover page (this is distinct from a title page) if one is submitted.
  8. Language: English (American). Except for common foreign words and phrases, the use of foreign words and phrases should be avoided. Authors should use Standard English grammar. See Writing Resources section below for further guidance.
  9. Style: Where not otherwise specified, manuscripts should conform to APA style and formatting. Current APA is 6th edition.

Submissions to the journal which do not comply with the style and formatting requirements as listed here may be rejected without further consideration.

Please avoid the use of first person narrative in your manuscript. If you believe that this type of language is necessary to the paper, please keep it to a minimum as per APA guidelines.

Writing Resources

Manuscripts are to be prepared in accordance with the APA Publication Manual, 6th edition except for where specified otherwise above. In addition to the Manual, this section lists selected general resources that may be helpful to authors submitting work for publication.

See the Journal Policies (Peer Review) for information regarding criteria of assessment of manuscripts and book reviews.

APA Style

Webinars and “How-to” videos

SRJ Overview (6:39)

Former EIC Tamarack Hockin gives a brief overview of the SRJ, how to submit, what editors look for when reviewing your submission, and benefits of submitting. Note: Presentation is from 2016, so while it is still relatively current, we do now also accept Evidence Summariesas a submission option.

Workshops & Webinars

Joining the Conversation: Tips for Strengthening Your Academic Voice (1:01:11)

SRJ’s former Content Editor Emmanuel Te gives an honest, encouraging, specific and detailed deep dive into academic writing. He discusses the differences between a successful course paper and a successful journal submission. I addresses how to adjust your course paper to meet SRJ or other journal guidelines, and why you should consider publishing. He walks viewers through the rubrics that SRJ Content Editors use when evaluating a paper for submission, offers helpful and detailed guidance on how to meet those rubric elements. He explains how editors view submissions, reviews a sample paper, and identifies common “traps” writers can fall into. Clocking in at over an hour, this is a comprehensive and detailed overview directly from an editor’s perspective of how to ensure your paper is journal-ready.

Publish a Great Book Review (48:13)

Devon Lee, a former SRJ Content Editor, and Dr. Anthony Bernier, Faculty Advisor to SRJ and Professor at the School of Information at San Jose State University, present "Publish A Great Book Review." This webinar workshop guides participants through the process of analyzing an academic work for review, and provides an analysis of the structural components of excellent published reviews.

Target Your Audience: The Art of the Abstract (29:22)

Capture the essence of your research or literature review with a well-crafted abstract that holds the reader's attention. In this online workshop, Devon Lee breaks down the characteristics of a great abstract and help student writers communicate the value of their work. This session is for students looking to get published in the MLIS field, submit a conference abstract, or simply improve their graduate writing.

Quick Tips

What’s in it for me? Publishing in the SRJ (1:36)

Emmanuel Te talks about the process and benefits of publishing in SRJ as a graduate student.

Thinking about Presentation: Writing for the Journal (1:19)

Former SRJ Content Editor Brooke Heskett, covers the basics to consider before submitting your manuscript.

Altering Your Course Paper for

SRJ Publication: Writing for a broader audience (2:57) Emmanuel Te provides guidance and specific direction on altering your iSchool course paper to provide context on the subject, so it becomes appropriate for a broader academic audience.

Selected Readings

Book Review Resources

College & Research Libraries publishes academic book reviews that may be useful as a reference for reviewers. Some recent examples include:

  • Greene, H. (2015). [Review of the book The living library: An intellectual ecosystem, by P. Steele, D. Cronrath, S. P. Vicchio & N.F. Foster]. College & Research Libraries, 76(6), 843-844.
  • Johnson, K. (2015). [Review of the book The quality infrastructure: Measuring, analyzing, and improving library services, edited by S.A. Murphy]. College & Research Libraries, 76(1), 115-116.

Coming soon - How submitting to the Journal can help you meet your Portfolio Core Competencies