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College & Research Libraries Guide for Authors & Reviewers

Overview of Author Guidelines

College & Research Libraries (C&RL) uses a web-based, automated, submission system to track and review manuscripts. The journal provides a template in Word for authors to use.  

Manuscripts should be submitted through the web portal at If you experience any difficulties or have any questions about submitting your manuscript, please contact the editor Wendi Arant Kaspar, (

  1. Submit original, unpublished manuscripts only. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the statements and statistics included. Papers presented at a conference should be identified with the conference name and date in the cover letter.
  2. Author's full name, affiliation, mailing address, e-mail, fax and phone must accompany any manuscript submission. Authors are encouraged to submit their manuscripts as e-mail attachments. Microsoft Word is the preferred format for submission. If circumstances warrant, an author may submit a manuscript in printed form, in which three copies should be sent and these should be machine-printed and double-spaced. An electronic version will be required if the paper is accepted for publication.
  3. Authors' titles, names, affiliations, and e-mail addresses should appear on a cover page only. Do not repeat this information in the text. Using key words from the title, insert a header or footer on each page and include the page number. A 75- to 100-word abstract should precede the body of the article. Although longer works may be considered, 3,000- to 6,000-word manuscripts are most suitable.
  4. Clear, simple prose enhances the presentation of ideas and opinions. The editor especially encourages writing in the active voice.
  5. Local peer review increases a manuscript's quality. Distribute the paper to colleagues, discuss it, and make revisions based on their comments.
  6. Spelling will follow Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition.
  7. College & Research Libraries follows The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Pr., 2010) for capitalization, punctuation, quotations, tables, captions, and elements of bibliographic style.
  8. The author is responsible for verifying all citations carefully. Bibliographic references should be consecutively numbered throughout the manuscript. Double-spaced endnotes should appear on separate pages at the end of the article. The endnotes should be numbered with superscripted numbers (1., 2., etc.).
  9. C&RL follows The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. for references with volume (date): pages. For example:

1. Larry R. Oberg, Mary Kay Schleiter, and Michael Van Houten, "Faculty Perceptions of Librarians at Albion College: Status, Role, Contribution, and Contacts," College & Research Libraries 50 (Mar. 1989): 215-30.

  1. First mention of an article should use the author's full name; subsequent mentions will be by last name only.

Subsequent references should utilize surname, brief title, and page reference. If no other reference intervenes, "Ibid." will be used. Do not underline "Ibid." Op. cit. and loc. cit. are not used. For citations to book or journal page numbers, use 217-19 not p. 217-19. For example:

13. Oberg, Schleiter, and Van Houten, "Faculty Perceptions," 217-19.

Consult C&RL for further examples.

11. Tables and illustrations should appear within the narrative where the author wants it to appear if published. Each illustration or table should have a number and a brief title. Tables should be double-spaced, should follow examples in The Chicago Manual of Style, and should be included in electronic submissions.

12. Submit original, camera-ready art for illustrations, figures, and graphs.

Subject Content/ Scope

College & Research Libraries includes articles in all fields of interest and concern to academic and research libraries. Well-written manuscripts on all aspects of academic and research librarianship will be considered. The focus of the journal is on reports of original research. Manuscripts may also include descriptive narratives of successful and unsuccessful ventures, thoughtful discussions of issues in librarianship, and other suitable subjects.

The editor and the Editorial Board invite submissions relevant to the goals stated in the ACRL Plan for Excellence, as well as the research areas identified in ACRL White Papers and Reports, including the "Value of Academic Libraries" report.

Review of Manuscripts

College & Research Libraries is a refereed journal using anonymous reviewing (for both authors and reviewers). The editor peruses manuscripts and may reject papers that are clearly outside of the scope of the journal. Manuscripts within the scope will be sent to at least two reviewers. For this process, the cover sheet with authors' names and other identifying materials is blocked out or deleted.

Reviewers address themselves to the content and style of the manuscript. Main areas of consideration are:

  • Does the manuscript make a new contribution to the literature?
  • Is the method used appropriate to the subject?
  • Does the evidence presented support the hypothesis?
  • Does the author communicate clearly with an educated, yet not necessarily specialized, audience?
  • Does the literature review place the research or opinions in perspective?

This review process takes ten to twelve weeks. After the decision has been made, the editor writes to the author accepting the manuscript, accepting it contingent on revisions, or rejecting it. Authors may not submit the manuscript to other publications while a C&RL review is in progress.


Once accepted, manuscripts generally appear within a week on C&RL Preprints where they remain publicly available until formal publication occurs within the next twelve months. The editor may offer recommendations for changes when the article is accepted. Further editing may occur to tailor the article to C&RL's style.

The agreement between ACRL and the author is license to publish. The author retains copyright and thus is free to post the article on an institutional or personal web page subsequent to publication in C&RL. All material in the journal may be photocopied for the noncommercial purpose of scientific or educational advancement.

Electronic versions of the articles are also available to subscribers of Education Abstracts Full Text via WilsonWeb (from 1998 to present).


Readers who wish to comment on articles in the journal should address the letters to the editor. Letters should be succinct, no longer than 200 words. Letters will be published on a space-available basis.


College & Research Libraries includes reviews of new publications pertinent to academic and research librarians. Publishers are invited to send review copies and announcements to the Book Review Editor, Mark Shelton, Director of Library Services, College of the Holy Cross, Dinand Library, 1 College Street, Worcester, MA 01601, (508) 793-3371 (office), e-mail:

Prospective reviewers may write to the book review editor indicating their qualifications and special areas of interest.


C&RL is an open access journal. All contents are freely available immediately to the public without charge. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of all contents. Authors retain their copyright and articles are published under a CC-BY-NC license.

C&RL does not assess either article processing charges (APCs) or article submission charges.