Author Guidelines


General Guidelines

CIL does not accept simultaneously submitted or previously published manuscripts. However, CIL welcomes and encourages the submission of papers developed from professional presentations. Manuscripts derived from published conference proceedings must be sufficiently distinct from the original work and include unique content. Questions concerning this policy should be directed to the editors at editors@comminfolit.org.

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Types of Submissions

Research Articles: This section of CIL includes peer-reviewed feature articles that are research-based or theoretical in nature. Literature review papers are generally discouraged, but those including in-depth investigation and noteworthy conclusions will be considered. Please review the Research Articles section policies for a fuller description and send relevant queries to the editors at editors@comminfolit.org.

Innovative Practices: This section of CIL presents peer-reviewed case studies that report on innovative information literacy instruction practices that are relevant to higher education contexts. Please review the Innovative Practices section policies for a fuller description and send relevant queries to the section editors at innovativepractices@comminfolit.org.

Perspectives: This section includes novel, insightful, or even controversial essays of interest to academic librarians or library educators. Essays in this section are not subject to peer-review. Please review the Perspectives section policies for a fuller description and send relevant queries to the editor Stewart Brower at stewart-brower@ouhsc.edu before submitting a manuscript for consideration.

Book Reviews: This section includes reviews of books in the area of information literacy theory, research, and practice. Reviews are generally solicited, but interested reviewers are welcome to contact the section editor Please read the Book Reviews section policies for a fuller description and send relevant queries to Jacqulyn A. Williams at jawilliams3@vcu.edu.

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Format and Length

CIL manuscripts must be submitted electronically as Microsoft Word or RTF documents. Title pages are not necessary; author information is automatically associated with each manuscript by virtue of metadata captured during the submission process.

Manuscripts submitted to the Research Articles or Innovative Practices sections are limited to 5000 words of main body text. All other elements (e.g., abstracts, tables, figures, references, or appendices) are excluded from this word limit. The length of manuscripts submitted to the Perspectives and Book Reviews sections is negotiated with the editors of those sections.

Abstracts for the Research Papers, Innovative Practices, and Perspectives sections should not exceed 150 words. Abstracts are not necessary for Book Reviews.

Unless theoretical in nature, the body of Research Articles should be arranged into appropriate headings for social science papers: abstract, keywords, introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, conclusions, and appendices. Headings may vary for Innovative Practices or Perspectives section manuscripts. Other headings may be used as well, as dictated by the needs of the article. However, only a single level of subheadings is permitted beneath a major heading. Altogether, only two levels of headings are permitted within the manuscript.

Manuscripts should be double-spaced, with 12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch top and bottom margins, and 1.25-inch left and right margins.

Paragraphs should be left-justified and should begin with a tab indentation.

Sentences should be separated by a single space.

Headers and footers should not be used.

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Citation Style

CIL manuscripts must adhere to formatting guidelines set forth in The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), Seventh Edition. This rule applies to all aspects of the manuscript: format, grammar, usage, in-text citations, and reference list. Footnotes are not permitted.

CIL authors must include available Digital Object Identifier (DOI) information in their cited references. (This is a requirement for all members of the Publishers International Linking Association, Inc.) All DOIs should be added in the form https://doi.org/xxxxx/xxxxx.

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Figures, Images, Tables

Figures, images, and tables should be embedded in manuscripts, with exceptions for size noted below. Tables, images, and illustrations should be used sparingly and should follow these guidelines:

  • Tables should not exceed 1/2 of a standard manuscript page in length. Data entry should follow APA Style and have minimal formatting.
  • Images should be formatted as PNG or TIF files, no more than 500 pixels (W) by 300 pixels (H), on white background.
  • Images should not include any title (i.e. "Figure 1" or "Chart 3") as a part of the image itself. Images should instead be embedded into the manuscript, followed by the image title in square brackets: for example, [FIGURE 2 -- Types of institutions]. Authors should reference their images or tables in the body of the manuscript: for example, “as noted in Table 3.” However, authors should not reference images in the text of the manuscript as having any particular location: for example, “In the table above” or “In the following image.” The Production Editor will determine the location of any tables and images in the final proofs of the article.
  • Tables that exceed 1/2 page in length, or other collected data such as spreadsheets, may be included in the appendix or submitted separately as supplemental files. Supplemental files may be linked to from within the final version of accepted manuscripts.

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Writing Stylistics

CIL’s readership is already familiar with the concept of information literacy and its application in library science. There is no need to provide a perfunctory definition of the term.

The preferred narrative voice for Research Article submissions is third-person (e.g., “the authors,” “the researchers,” etc.), although allowances are given for limited use of the editorial “we” when appropriate. Third-person is also the preferred narrative voice for Book Reviews (e.g., "the reviewer,” “this reviewer” ). First- or third-person narrative voice may be acceptable for Innovative Practices or Perspectives section submissions, depending on the particular circumstances of those works.

CIL endorses gender-inclusive language including the use of a subject’s self-disclosed personal pronouns or, in keeping with APA Style (7th ed.), the singular “they." In cases where pronouns are unknown, authors may also consider rephrasing sentences in order to avoid the use of pronouns.

The editors reserve the right to edit manuscripts for style, clarity, and length.

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Communicating with Authors

Prior to submission, authors must add the domains of pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu and comminfolit.org as safe senders to prevent their institutional email filters from blocking automated messages.

CIL prefers that all authors use their institutional email accounts for communications. The use of personal email addresses (e.g., Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) for publishing in CIL is actively discouraged. Authors should contact the editors if they have adequate reasoning for not using their institutional email accounts.

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Submission Checklist

Author(s) have ensured that their manuscript matches the scope of CIL.

Author name(s) and institutional affiliations have been removed from the manuscript. Please use bracketed placeholders as the preferred method for blinding submissions for the peer-review process: e.g., [Author name(s)], [Institution name], [Institution initials], etc.

Field codes from citation management software (Zotero, EndNote, etc.) have been removed from the manuscript.

Three to seven keywords have been provided for the metadata (for submissions to the Research, Innovative Practices, and Perspectives sections).

Author(s) have consulted with their institutional review board (IRB) office to ensure that their research adheres to institutional expectations and ethical standards.

Author(s) have obtained any necessary written permission to use copyrighted material, paid relevant fees, and given appropriate credit in the manuscript.

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