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 includes 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 review the Book Reviews section policies for a fuller description and send relevant queries to the editor at jawilliams3@vcu.edu.

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Format and Length

Word processing: CIL manuscripts must be submitted electronically as Microsoft Word or RTF documents.

Length: 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.

Structure: 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.

Title pages: Title pages are not necessary. Author information is automatically associated with each manuscript by virtue of metadata captured during the submission process.

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

Appendices and supplements: Appendices should be used sparingly; they are for materials that are necessary to understand, evaluate, and replicate the research presented in a manuscript. Supplements are additional materials that do not affect the ability to understand the research. The editors have the final decision on whether to include materials in the appendices or to ask the author(s) to host supplemental materials through their institutional repository.

Editing: Refer to Revision Checklist below for instructions on fonts, sentences, paragraphs, headings, spacing, margins, headers and footers, figures and tables, and citation style.

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Writing Stylistics

Audience: 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.

Narrative voice: 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.

Inclusivity: 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.

Final word: 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 need to use a personal email account.

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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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Revision Checklist (after peer review)

  • Page size: Letter (8.5x11 inches)
  • Margins: 1 inch on top and bottom, 1.25 inch on left and right
  • Headers and footers: Do not use headers and footers except for page numbers.
  • Font size: Heading 1 = 16 pt, heading 2 = 14 pt, text = 12 pt
  • Headings: Only two levels are permitted. Use Heading 1 and Heading 2 styles.
  • Paragraphs: Left justified with .5 inch indent of first line. Use Paragraph settings in Word, not tab key to indent.
  • Sentences: Separate with single space. Use Find/Replace to remove instances of two spaces.
  • Length: Does not exceed 5,000 words for main body for Research and Innovative Practices articles.
  • Tables: 1. Follow the table formatting guidelines of the APA Publication Manual (7th ed.). 2. Embed tables in text. 3. Call out tables in the text (e.g., see Table 1). Do not indicate the location of the table (e.g., above or below). 4. Place tables exceeding the length of one half a page into an appendix, and note its placement accordingly in text.
  • Figures: 1. Follow the figures formatting guidelines of the APA Publication Manual (7th ed.). 2. Do not include the figure title in the image. Put the figure number and title in bold text before the image. 3. Use a legible sans serif font between 8 and 12 pts for text with in the image (e.g., axis labels). 4. Use graphic creation tools within Word or graphics software. 5. Resolution should be 300 to 600 dpi. 6. Maximum width = 6 inches, maximum height = 4.5 inches. 7. Cite and seek permission to use any image you did not create.
  • References: 1. Follow the references formatting guidelines of the APA Publication Manual (7th ed.). 2. Follow the same manual's in-text formatting guidelines, including direct quotation and paraphrasing. 3. Most journal article citations have a DOI in the form https://doi.org/xxxxx/xxxxx. Use CrossRef to find DOIs. If no DOI is assigned, end the citation with [no DOI assigned] to inform the copyeditor. 4. Do not use footnotes. Incorporate footnotes into the body of the text. If a note is absolutely necessary, create a Notes section immediately before the References section. 5. Confirm that all items cited in the Reference list appear in the text and all in-text citations appear in the References list. 6. Remove field codes generated by citation management software (EndNote, Zotero, etc.).
  • Copyediting: 1. Follow verb tense guidelines of the APA Publication Manual (7th ed.). 2. Check grammar and spelling. Use Grammar Girl's Editing Checklist and Merriam-Webster online dictionary.
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