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Submissions should be made electronically through this website.
Virginia Libraries journal is fully open access. The journal does not charge fees to authors, readers, or others.
Please ensure that you consider the following guidelines when preparing your manuscript. Failure to do so may delay the processing of your submission.
The following are the types of articles that Virginia Libraries publishes. Word limits are suggestions, not requirements, and include referencing and citation.
We welcome articles that expand on ideas you might have published as blog posts, social media threads, or stories.
Have an idea but not sure where it might fit? Get in touch.
Editorials in Virginia Libraries are written by Virginia Libraries Editors or staff. Among other topics, editorials in Virginia Libraries provide volume content summaries, and describe journal policy or practice changes.
Essay/Commentary pieces allow for more subjectivity and expression of a position on a topic or issue of interest to libraries or library employees. Authors are encouraged to include references, data, illustrations, or information that will aid in understanding the context and issue at hand. Submissions may be lengthy (3,000-5,000 words), or somewhat brief (under 2,000 words). Essay/Commentary examples: “Virginia Library Association Is For All!” (This section is also where we publish the annual VLA President Letter, such as, “VLA: the Place to Connect with Your Colleagues, Enhance Your Skills, and Revolutionize Our Profession.”)
Themed Columns Themed columns synthesize brief reports on a topic from libraries across the state. To propose a themed column topic, please send a one paragraph proposal to the Virginia Libraries Editorial Board at firstname.lastname@example.org. In your proposal, please include the following:
Case Studies address issues that are affecting libraries today by focusing on a narrow set of circumstances and describing the issue in an applied context through an example from the field, or via a fictional scenario. They have a training or educational purpose. This article type should also include references to current trends in the field, current theory, and published works. Case Studies often provide material for professional conversation and so may include a short list of two to four discussion questions at the end of the piece. Submissions should strive for 2,000-5,000 words. Example Case Study: “LibGuides as a Platform for Designing a Library Homepage.”
Best Practice articles take a larger view of an issue. This article type should include real world solutions to issues that are affecting libraries today, and include elements that will assist other libraries in implementing them in their context. Best Practice articles include a literature review with references to current trends in the field and/or current theory. Submissions should strive for 4,500-7,000 words Best Practice Articles are peer-reviewed. Example Best Practice Article: “Serving Military Families in the Public Library.”
Research articles report on in-depth original scholarly research and analysis or research studies. Research articles may provide a review of existing literature on a topic; examine theoretical approaches to topics or issues; report on assessment, survey, focus group, or other studies; or describe an issue or challenge in depth (if based on evidence from published research or original data). Submissions should strive for 4,500 - 7,000 words. Research articles are peer-reviewed. Example Research Article: “The ‘Novel’ Approach: Using Fiction to Increase Empathy.”
To ensure blind peer review, please only list the title and abstract on the submitted manuscript file.
The names of all authors, affiliations, contact details, biography (optional) and the corresponding author details must be completed online as part of the submission process.
Full author names should be included and forenames cannot include only initials. This will enhance the 'findability' of your publication. J. Bloggs is not preferred. The full name, Joe Bloggs is required
The affiliation should ideally include ‘Department, Institution, City, Country’, however only the Institution and Country are mandatory.
All articles must have the main text prefaced by an abstract of no more than 250 words summarizing the main arguments and conclusions of the article. This must have the heading ‘Abstract’ and be easily identified from the start of the main text.
For Research articles, consider using a structured abstract that includes: Introduction, Objectives, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.
A list of up to six key words may be placed below the abstract (optional).
The Abstract and Keywords should also be added to the metadata when making the initial online submission.
The body of the submission should be structured in a logical and easy to follow manner. A clear introduction section should be given that allows non-specialists in the subject an understanding of the publication and a background of the issue(s) involved. Other sections may follow as appropriate for the article type.
Up to three level headings may be present and must be clearly identifiable using different font sizes, bold or italics. We suggest using Headings 1, 2 and 3 in MS-Word’s ‘Style’ section. Research articles should include clearly labeled methods, results, discussion, and conclusion sections.
Every use of information from outside sources must be cited in the text so that it is clear that external material has been used. Sources should be indicated in-text and cited at the end of the article.
Virginia Libraries uses a modified version of the Chicago Manual of Style Endnotes & Bibliography system. Reference citations should be indicated in-text with sequential superscript numbers.
At the end of the manuscript, include a section titled “Notes.” Add a numbered citation for each reference in the order cited, in the order they appear in the text. The first use of a source should use a full bibliographic citation. Shortened citations may be used afterward. The phrase, "ibid." may be used to indicate that an earlier source is cited again in cases where a single source is cited in the immediately preceding note. No additional Bibliography is needed.
For a complete explanation of how to format citations, refer to the full The Chicago Manual of Style Online.
If any of the authors have any competing interests then these must be declared. A short paragraph should be placed before the references.
If there are no competing interests to declare then the following statement should be present: The author(s) has/have no competing interests to declare.
For figures and tables see the section, “Figures / Illustrations & Tables”
Authors may cite relevant supplementary files with their submissions (e.g., datasets, research instruments, templates, etc.) to enhance readers' engagement with their work.
For authors wishing to cite or include datasets or supplementary files the journal recommends that authors consider depositing supplementary files or datasets in a data repository, institutional repository, or disciplinary repository. Figshare, Github, and eLIS are examples of available repositories. For any questions about this at all, please feel free to reach out: email@example.com.
Where applicable, studies must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee and the authors should include a statement within the article text detailing this approval, including the name of the ethics committee and reference number of the approval.
Academic studies should refer to their institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).
The identity of the research subject(s) should be anonymized whenever possible. For research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their legal guardian).
Research involving human subjects, human material, or human data, must have been performed in accordance with appropriate disciplinary guidelines that ensure compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki, which protects the rights of human subjects.
Questions about this - not sure which guidelines to use? Please feel free to reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To ensure high quality of the images and figures in our publications, please provide each figure or image as a separate file and follow the guidelines below.
Tables must be created using a word processor's table function, not tabbed text.
Tables should be included in the manuscript. The final layout will place the tables as close to their first citation as possible.
All tables must be cited within the main text, numbered with Arabic numerals in consecutive order (e.g. Table 1, Table 2, etc.).
Each table must have an accompanying descriptive title. This should clearly and concisely summarize the content and/or use of the table. A short additional table legend is optional to offer a further description of the table. The table title and legend should be placed underneath the table.
Tables should not include:
As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
Figures are all cited in the main text and are uploaded as supplementary files. Figures/images have a resolution of at least 150dpi (300dpi or above preferred). The files are in one of the following formats: JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, EPS (to maximise quality, the original source file is preferred).