How to Submit a Proposal for Review

Proposals are required for most projects and publications, though the level of approval required varies by publication. Consider the intended audience for the project or publication, how widely it might be distributed, and the assumed permanence of the medium used for publication. Currently, there are three levels of approval: Liaison, Executive Committee, and ACRL (formerly referred to as “Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3”):

Consult the “When are Proposals Needed?” flowchart to determine what type of proposal and approval is needed for a publication/project.

 Types of Proposals and Approval Process

 1. No approval needed:

Generally, information about the work of an IS committee shared informally via social media (including via Facebook and Twitter) does not need formal approval.




·        Posts to the Instruction Section’s Facebook page

·        Tweets using the Instruction Section’s hashtag #acrlis

2. Executive Committee liaison approval needed:

Liaison approval is needed for publications that are produced for use solely within the ACRL Instruction Section and generally function as a “work product” of a committee or task force. Liaison level approval also applies to information shared informally with a limited audience outside of the committee (such as listserv messages or conference program materials).


No formal request form needs to be completed; discuss the work with the committee’s Executive Committee liaison.

Average turnaround time for response to proposal:

A few days.


·        News (e.g. event announcements sent to email lists or posted to the IS web site)

·        The themes serial publications (such as Tips and Trends)

·        Committee websites

·        Conference program materials (promotional materials and conference handouts)

·        ACRL IS newsletter contributions

·        ILI-L posts (regarding IS committee work)

3. Executive Committee approval needed (no form required):

Executive Committee approval is necessary for publications and projects that are intended to reach beyond the IS committee structure to an audience including the IS membership and beyond.  While new publications and projects require an Executive Committee Publication/Project Proposal Form (see below); revisions or updates to existing publications and projects only need IS approval.


Ask the committee’s IS Executive Committee liaison to send the information about the project/publication to be reviewed to the IS Executive Committee

Average turnaround time for response to proposal:

2 weeks.


·        Conference program proposals

·        New issues of serial publications (examples of existing publications are: 5 Things; Tips and Trends)

·        Revisions to any of the following: Bibliographies, Directories, Guides, Checklists, Tip Sheets


4. Executive Committee approval and Publication/Project Proposal Form needed:

A proposal to the Executive Committee is necessary for publications that circulate within the IS, but may be accessible to others outside of the Section or that must be reviewed for alignment with greater ACRL requirements. New project or publication proposals, changes to the scope, purpose, or format of existing committee documents, and anything informally published (via web or print) for a wider audience (intended to reach IS membership and beyond) should be reviewed and approved by the IS Executive Committee.


Complete the Executive Committee Publication/Project Proposal Form and send it to your Executive Committee liaison. [Keep in mind that ideas can be presented to the Executive Committee via the committee liaison prior to completing the form.]

Average turnaround time for response to proposal:

2 weeks.


·        The original concept of social media initiatives including: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Wikis (if publicly available), Blogs, Podcasts/Vodcasts, etc.Note: No approval is needed for individual posts, hashtags, etc.

·        Brochures or flyers for distribution to the ACRL IS membership

·        ACRL IS policies and procedures

·        Articles or white papers for distribution to ACRL IS membership

·        Poster session proposals from ACRL IS committees

·        Any new projects or publications, including: Bibliographies, Directories, Guides, Checklists, Tip Sheets, New serial publications (e.g. an entirely new publication; a new issue of an existing publication (such as Tips and Trends) does not require a publication proposal form (see above)). 

·        Videos for the ACRL IS membership


5. ACRL approval needed: Surveys

ACRL level approval is required for all surveys, including surveys sent only to IS members, surveys sent to ILI-L, or surveys distributed beyond the community of instruction librarians (to other listservs, or to the ACRL or ALA membership).


Complete a Survey Proposal form and submit it to the committee’s Executive Committee liaison. Once the Executive Committee approves the survey proposal, they forward the proposal to the ALA Office of Research and Statistics for their approval.

Average turnaround time for response to proposal:

2-3 weeks


·        Surveys sent to ACRL IS membership (unless limited to IS committee membership, i.e. survey to determine a convenient meeting time)

·        Surveys distributed beyond the ACRL IS membership


6. ACRL approval needed: Publications and projects other than surveys

ACRL level approval is also required for publications and projects intended for a wide audience as well as for formal publications in print or online. ACRL has the first option on any publications by ACRL units (including the Instruction Section).


Consult with your Executive Committee liaison before starting the project and throughout the process. Carefully review the ACRL Publications guidelines and complete ACRL’s Publication Proposal form.

Average turnaround time for response to proposal:

2 weeks minimum (longer for formal publications or guidelines)


·        Articles or white papers for distribution to individuals outside of the ACRL IS membership

·        Brochures for distribution beyond the ACRL IS membership

·        Flyers for distribution beyond the ACRL IS membership

·        Guidelines

·        Handbooks

·        Manuals

·        Models or model statements

·        Strategic plans

·        Standards for the ACRL IS or shared standards

·        Videos for distribution beyond the ACRL IS membership


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