Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

A peer-reviewed journal for all academic librarians and information professionals serving academic departments or affiliated institutions including centers, institutes, specialized collections, and special units within or related to academic units. Well-written manuscripts that are of interest to these communities will be considered, including:

  • implementation of new initiatives and best practices;
  • original and significant research findings with practical applications;
  • analysis of issues and trends;
  • descriptive narratives of successful and unsuccessful ventures;
  • examination of the role of libraries in meeting specialized client needs.

Special current interests include:

  • Information technology applications, deployment, and effects in libraries and scholarship
  • Library administration and management (mentoring, training and development, fiduciary and budgeting issues, managing multiple locations)
  • Role of the library in university mission / strategy
  • Collections management
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Information literacy among target populations
  • Space planning
  • Higher education policy
  • Marketing
  • User Experience, user studies and needs analysis
  • Resource sharing
  • Institutional Repositories
  • Electronic serials management


Section Policies


Peer Reviewed Research Papers
1. Generally not more than 25 manuscript pages, single spaced.
2. APA Style
3. Complete bibliography
4. Abstract of not more than 300 words and at least three keywords (not more than 10)
5. Peer review requires the cover page with name and affiliation of the author(s) and the paper be submitted as separate documents.
6. The website currently only accepts .doc and .rtf formats

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Think Pieces

These types of articles are intended to spur discussion amongst scholars on message boards for each piece. These are not blind peer reviewed; however, they are screened by the Editor.
1. 3-15 manuscript pages, single spaced
2. 1000-6000 words total
3. APA Style (unless it is inappropriate for the type of essay being submitted)
4. Abstract of not more than 300 words and as least three keywords (not more than 10)
5. The pieces should aim to ask provocative questions for future research and debate, rather than provide definitive answers.
6. We encourage the use of visual aids such as images, video clips, or links.
7. The website currently only accepts .doc and .rtf formats.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Interactive Online Exhibits and Demonstrations

Interactive Online Exhibits and Demonstrations
1. Format and content should be proposed to the editor(s).
2. Abstract or description of not more than 300 words.
3. Links to examples, if available.
4. The website currently only accepts .doc and .rtf formats for the description

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

Papers submitted to PAL must be original. By submitting a manuscript for review, author(s) acknowledge first publication rights are granted to PAL. Submission of a manuscript implies that the work described has not been published; that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; and that its publication has been approved by all coauthors and the responsible authorities at the institute where the work was conducted.

As publisher, we are providing a process for your intellectual property to be reviewed by and distributed to your peers. It is the author’s responsibility to obtain all necessary permissions for the inclusion of copyrighted materials, such as figures and tables from other publications, and has paid any and all necessary fees. Appropriate credit should be shown in the body of the work. Previously published work will not be considered for publication; we do not accept any simultaneous submissions. Practical Academic Librarianship will, however, accept manuscripts based on presentations made at conferences sponsored by the Special Library Association, at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief. After initial screening by the editor, all appropriate articles will undergo rigorous blind peer review by two reviewers. We aim to provide a fast and thorough review, and the reviewers’ assistance in this process is much appreciated. An important goal of PAL is to speed the review process; the reviewing process will take approximately six weeks for papers of 25 pages or less.


Publication Frequency

Practical Academic Librarianship publishes items as soon as they are ready by adding articles to the "current" volume's Table of Contents. The journal publishes two issues a year. The first issue runs January 1 - June 30 and the second issue runs July 1 - December 31.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.



This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...


ISSN: 1947-0037