For LRTS Authors

FAQ

What is the focus of LRTS?

Library Resources & Technical Services ( LRTS) has been the official journal of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services since 1957. Its purpose is to communicate thoughtful reflection on practice as well as research. Any contribution will be considered that takes a critical approach to the questions and problems facing libraries with regard to:

  • collections (physical and electronic),
  • preservation (including digitization),
  • acquisitions (including economic elements of acquisition and licensing),
  • continuing resources (in all media), and
  • cataloging and classification (of all types of objects).

LRTS is intended to be the primary communication tool of all librarians, information professionals, and educators interested in the above areas. We encourage the submission of papers that deal with any related topic. All submissions will be rigorously reviewed in a double-blind process to insure that all published papers are of high quality. The editor and members of the editorial board will work with authors whose work is promising in order to improve methodology, analysis, or presentation. For the profession to thrive, beginning professionals, as well as experienced librarians, should address the most pressing issues we face. While the peer review process LRTS follows will meet the criteria for those in tenure-track positions, the goal of the journal is to present reflective practice. Papers on operations in libraries will be considered, as long as they communicate an evaluative approach to practice and a serious examination of the work’s impact on libraries in general. We do not limit the journal’s content to a narrow definition of research.

Any interested author can contact the editor ( lrtseditor@ala.org) with an idea for a paper.    

If I have an idea, what should I do first?

If a potential author has an idea for a paper, based on challenges faced in his or her own library or more broadly in the profession, one step to take is to talk to colleagues about it. This issue may be on their minds, as well. They may be able to suggest some ways to examine the challenge so that the author and others can understand it better, or can address it practically. In this early stage, the potential author should look at the recent literature on the topic. Perhaps the challenge has been addressed by others who have written about their approach to solving problems. If little or no literature has been published on the topic, this may be an indication that the time is ripe for a serious approach to the challenge. A critical review of existing literature may reveal that important aspects of the challenge remain to be addressed. At this stage, a potential author can contact the editor about the idea for suggestions or guidance.    

Once I have done the work to tackle a challenge, how do I prepare a manuscript for LRTS?

Begin by consulting the Instructions for Authors. Following the instructions will make a favorable impression on referees who will read and comment on the paper. Also, look at recent issues of the journal for a clear presentation of the format, arrangement, presentation (including tables and figures), and bibliographic style. Asking a colleague to read the manuscript may be helpful. That person may be able to suggest stylistic or substantive changes that can lead to preparation of a better paper.    

How do I submit a paper?

When the paper is in a final form, the author submits it to the editor using the online Editorial Manager system. See Instructions to Authors for more information.    

After I’ve submitted a manuscript to the editor, what happens to it?

The editor examines the paper to insure that it fits within the scope of LRTS and to gain an understanding of the basic issue addressed. The editor then forwards the paper to referees (reviewers) who read and comment on the paper. The referees are practicing professionals or library and information science educators, who have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in the area addressed by the paper and are members of the LRTS Editorial Board. The referees are given approximately one month to review it. The referees assess the importance of the topic to readers of LRTS, documentation of sources and background information, methodology and originality, and the quality of the analysis and presentation. They then make a recommendation to the editor; this can range from not publishing the paper, urging the author to revise the paper substantially and to resubmit it, publishing the paper following minor revisions, or publishing it as submitted. The editor and editorial board are committed to assisting authors to produce publishable papers. If a paper shows promise, but needs more work, and the author wishes to work with a mentor, the editor will pair the author with someone (usually a member of the editorial board) who can help the author with revisions.    

How long does the review process take?

In general, the initial review is completed in about two months. If a paper is accepted with minor revisions or as is, production can begin soon after the completion of the process. If more substantive revisions and a second review are required, the process depends on the author’s completion of a revised manuscript.    

If my paper is accepted for publication, what happens next?

When a paper is accepted, the editor advises the author on proper preparation of the manuscript for publication. The author then resubmits the paper as a revision through online Editorial Manager system. The next step is production. ALA Production staff members copy-edit and typeset the paper and to prepare it for publication in LRTS. Page proofs are provided to the author to ensure that it has no grammatical or typographical errors, The author may be asked to clarify some parts of the paper. Schedule of publication in the journal depends on the backlog of accepted manuscripts. The editor is unable to tell authors exactly when a paper will be published, though most papers appear in print within six months of final acceptance.