Advice on Publishing in Journals

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Articles on Writing in LIS

  • Nicholson, S. (2006). Writing your First Scholarly Article: A Guide for Budding Authors in Librarianship. Information Technology and Libraries 25(2) 108-111.
  • Publishing in LIS Journals for Beginners from the NexGenLib wiki
  • Bradley, F. (2006) NLS2006: Something to talk about, InCite, May, pp. 14.

Fallon, H. (2009). A writing Support Programme for Irish Academic Librarians. Library Review 58(6), pp. 414-422 Fallon, H. (2009). The Academic Writing Toolkit: Writing for Peer-Reviewed and Professional Journals. SCONUL Focus, 45, pp. 66-71

Get started on writing your first article

If you are unsure where to start use your abstract as your guide and then begin with an outline covering the following points:

  • What your article is about: research, technology, your work, study or life experiences?
  • Why you are writing this paper: are you reporting findings, giving advice, or increasing awareness of a service or technology?
  • What else is out there on this topic?

While you are writing, keep in mind the journal's themes and the audience.

Brush up your research skills

Surveys can be a great way of collecting information on your topic. These books can help you to brush up your research skills if you are writing a paper that includes a survey:

  • Busha C H, Harter S P. Research methods in librarianship: techniques and interpretation. New York: Academic Press, 1980
  • Powell R, Connaway L S. Basic Research Methods for Librarians. 4th ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.


If you are using a essay, report or even blog post that you have already written as the basis for your paper, start by taking a look at the structure. You will probably need to add or remove parts of your work, see if there are any new relevant references.

Talk to other writers

There are many places to contact other writers in the LIS profession online. Mailing lists, such as ALIAREAP and NMRTWRITER can connect you with other researchers.

  • The Library Writer’s Blog also posts useful advice as well as sources for publishing opportunities, and the *Researching Librarian has a database of useful tools and resources.

More advice

  • Gordon, Rachel Singer. The librarian's guide to writing for publication. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2004.
  • Crawford, Walt. First have something to say: writing for the library profession. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003.