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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Section Guidelines

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. The primary audiences for articles in this section are academic librarians and library educators, but we encourage contributions from all academic disciplines and from institutional administrators. Please send 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. The primary audiences for this section are academic librarians and other library personnel or educators who are engaged in information literacy instruction. Please send 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, and as a general rule, they tend to be shorter in overall length than research and innovative practice articles. Please send a query to the interim section 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. Both the books and their reviews speak to librarians and other professionals in higher education who are concerned with teaching and learning. Reviews are generally solicited, but interested reviewers are welcome to contact the section editor, Jacqulyn A. Williams, at jawilliams3@vcu.edu.

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Manuscript Preparation

[NOTE: 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.]

CIL seeks manuscripts on subject matter of interest to professionals in the area of higher education who are committed to advancing information literacy. Manuscripts may be theoretical, research-based, or of a practical nature. It is recommended that prospective authors query the CIL editors before submitting their works, but it is not necessary.

CIL manuscripts must adhere to formatting guidelines set forth in The Publication Manual of Style of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition. This rule applies to all aspects of manuscript: format, grammar, usage, cited references, and bibliography. Footnotes are not permitted.

Users of citation management software (Zotero, EndNote, etc.) must remove all field codes before submitting their work.

CIL manuscripts must be submitted electronically as Microsoft Word or RTF documents. Title pages are unnecessary; author information is automatically associated with each manuscript by virtue of metadata captured during the submission process.

Author name(s) and institutional affiliations should appear nowhere in submitted manuscripts. Bracketed placeholders are the preferred method of blinding submissions for the peer review process: e.g., [Author name(s)], [Institution name], [Institution initials], etc.

Manuscripts for the Research Articles or Innovative Practices sections should not exceed 5000 words, including abstracts and references. The length of manuscripts for the Perspectives and Book Reviews sections are negotiated with section editors.

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

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.

Submissions for the Research Papers, Innovative Practices, and Perspectives sections require author-provided keywords for the metadata.

Unless theoretical in nature, the body of Research Articles should be arranged into appropriate headings for social science papers: abstract, introduction, literature review, methods, findings/results, discussion, and conclusions. 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.

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.

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

  • Tables are not to exceed 1/2 of a standard manuscript page in length. Data should be entered into columns and rows. Data in each cell should be left-justified, vertically-centered. Use of bold and italic font is permitted, but otherwise the table should have minimal formatting.
  • Images should be formatted as PNG or TIF files, no more than 500 pixels (W) by 300 pixels (D), 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 layout 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 submitted as supplementary files. If accepted for publication, the manuscript will have these supplements attached to the final article, but they should not be included with or embedded in the manuscript itself.
  • Appendices are permitted, but no individual appendix should be more than a single manuscript page in length. Authors should consider posting appendices exceeding one page as supplementary files instead.

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 of a simple URL: for example: http://dx.doi.org/xxxxx/xxxxx.

CIL authors are responsible for obtaining any necessary written permission to use copyrighted material, and to pay any and all relevant fees. Appropriate credit should be provided in the manuscript.

Authors are responsible for consulting their institutional review board (IRB) office to ensure that their research adheres to institutional expectations and ethical standards.

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

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Manuscript Review

CIL's manuscript review process is double blind. The review process generally takes six to eight weeks to complete. Authors are notified promptly when a decision on their manuscript is made. Manuscripts are not returned unless they have been accepted for publication and revisions are required. Accepted manuscripts are published according to the journal's publication schedule.

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