What You Need to Know about Publishing Articles for School Libraries

Editors offer suggestions on how to get published

June 27, 2016

The “Write Stuff” panel, from left: Carl Harvey II, Mega Subramaniam, Nancy Everhart, Meg Featheringham, Deb Levitov, and RoseMary Honnold
The “Write Stuff” panel, from left: Carl Harvey II, Mega Subramaniam, Nancy Everhart, Meg Featheringham, Deb Levitov, and RoseMary Honnold

For anyone interested in publishing research about school libraries, Sunday’s panel was the place to be. It included insight from Carl Harvey II from School Library Connection, Mega Subramaniam from School Library Research, Nancy Everhart from School Libraries Worldwide, Meg Featheringham from Knowledge Quest, Deb Levitov from Teacher Librarian, and RoseMary Honnold from VOYA.

These editors started with the basics about their respective journals. School Library Connection publishes 10 issues per year, offers webinars, and utilizes reviewers. School Library Research is an open access journal that accepts submissions on a rolling basis. Its goal is to promote high quality, original research, and literature reviews. School Libraries Worldwide runs much like School Library Research; one major difference is that its audience is global, as its title suggests. Knowledge Quest is published five times a year and includes themed feature articles and nonthemed articles that are submitted for review to the KQ editorial board. Teacher Librarian includes regular columnists, a peer review board, and publishes five nonthematic issues per year. VOYA is not a school library journal but instead focuses on services to teens in public libraries.

All of these publications include some form of a reviewing process. Subramaniam explained that editors would first scan articles to make sure they’re fitting to the rest of the journal and that “most of the time, [an article is] rejected because it’s not fit for School Library Research, but it’s fit for Knowledge Quest.” If an article is deemed suitable by blind reviewers, the journal will then work with the authors on revision.

To avoid rejection, the editors suggested potential authors do their research. “Read the journals so you know what the typical content is like,” Everhart said. Levitov agreed, saying, “It’s good for you to do that homework, it helps everybody.”

In addition to scholarly research, many of these journals are looking for practical application pieces as well. Honnold also said, “When authors tell me about a program, for example, I like to hear how to do it as well as how they did it.”

Featheringham let the audience know that Knowledge Quest has 15-17 bloggers, so there are multiple ways to get involved.

Wrapping up, the editors encouraged audience members to approach them with ideas. “Contact one of us and let’s talk about it,” Harvey said. “One way to assure you’ll never get published is to never talk about it.” For more information, writers can find submission guidelines on each journal’s website.


Three panelists from Sunday’s Top Tech Trends program. From left: Lauren Comito, Laura Costello, and Nick Grove

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