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Author Guidelines

JIL Submission Guidelines

All contributions must be submitted through the journal’s website to ensure that the editing process is appropriately recorded and managed. For this reason we regret that it is not possible to consider papers submitted directly to the Managing Editor, although prospective authors may contact her for a preliminary discussion on their submission. Submissions to JIL must be previously unpublished and must not be under review or consideration by another journal. By submitting their articles to JIL the author(s) grant the right of first publication to the journal (including publication in print and electronic media). To ensure the broadest possible audience for the Journal of Information Literacy the editorial team has set up a number of agreements which stipulate that the journal’s issues will be included on one or more subscription databases, although the articles will still be available free of charge and in full text format. If you wish to have your article excluded from these agreements please state so in the ‘Comments to Editor’ box on the submission form.

JIL promotes the investigation of information literacy in all its facets and this is reflected in the structure of the journal.

Notes for authors of peer-reviewed papers

Papers in this section include articles based on submissions to the LILAC conference as well as those directly submitted to the journal. The papers should include research-based or practice-based investigations and be between 3,000 and 8,000 words, excluding references. A research-based study is expected to contribute to the information literacy debate by providing a critical review of an aspect of information literacy research that extends the boundaries of the information literacy community's understanding about this phenomenon. A practice-based study may, for example, assess the impact of an information literacy initiative delivered as part of a specific educational strategy, or a CPD programme that arises from the context of educational or professional developments. The rationale for placing research-based and practice-based papers under the same category is based on JIL's commitment to bridge the gap between theory and practice within the information literacy debate in the UK and internationally. This is accomplished by ensuring that both research-based and practice-based submissions adhere to the publishing standards set by the journal, namely a critical and reflective exposition of the topic examined, supported by appropriate evidence from the literature and/or practice. Authors must use the article template, which can be found here. Please use English rather than American spelling. Authors must also supply an abstract, which should cover the following areas (Do not use these headings within the abstract):

  • purpose of the study;
  • originality and value of the paper and relevance to the IL community;
  • research design employed;
  • implications of the study for the IL community.

Authors should also include a list of at least four keywords that describe the main themes of the paper (NB JIL generates its own controlled vocabulary to enhance the searching facilities of the site, but we do think that authors would find the selection of their own keywords helpful in setting the key themes conveyed by their paper). To facilitate the blind review process name, title, affiliation and contact details of all authors should NOT be given on the title page and their institutions should NOT be identified anywhere else in the paper. Authors and institutions should be replaced by anonymising text, e.g. XXX

Authors should also ensure that:

a.       the focus of the paper is clear and that it is fully relevant to the IL debate (one of the main problems encountered is the lack of definition of IL  within the context of the paper and how this fits in within the greater scope of JIL).

b.      the paper presents clearly articulated aims and objectives of the work/study

c.       the paper provides a brief review of previous related work, hence placing the work in context and also indicate how the authors work has added to what has gone before.

d.      the paper provides an appropriate account of the methods used to generate data (in case of empirical studies) and why they chose this approach In addition it should include an analysis of the findings (one of the main problems is that some papers present the findings in a descriptive rather than analytical way and this relates to analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data).

e.      Having presented their 'findings' or analysis, the author(s) should follow this with a discussion of the implications of the findings and relate these back, if possible, to the literature review.

f.        The authors should either in the discussion or conclusion critically reflect on their work and how it could have been improved and, if appropriate ideas for further work/study.

g.       The conclusions should indicate whether the author(s) have succeeded, or not, to undertake and complete the aims and objectives of the work/study, reflect critically on the work/study (as indicated above); make recommendations, if appropriate, and suggestions for further work/study.

Notes for authors and reviewers of peer-reviewed papers

Articles are reviewed anonymously and feedback is given to the author(s) with suggested corrections, improvements and clarifications where needed. (NB the author(s) should consider these changes carefully, but should feel free to provide justifications for not changing the papers in line with the suggested amendments). In order to provide comprehensive feedback reviewers need to use the review form, or at least structure their review based on the heading of this form. The quality of the feedback is particularly important when an article is not accepted by JIL as it provides an account of how this decision was made.

The review process consists of the following of stages:

1.       Submission

2.       Article is reviewed and recommendations are made by the peer reviewers on the suitability of the submission and the extent of the changes required.

3.       Feedback on article from reviewers and editor are sent to the author for amendments.

4.       Submission of amended article. If the changes requested by the reviewers are substantial the article is sent back to them so that they can comment on the amended version of the article. If the changes are minor then the article goes directly to the editor who supervises the final editing stage.

5.       Final corrections by editor (this stage may occur more over a number of stages depending on the extent of the changes required) before the article is accepted for publication. If the changes made do not address the concerns made by peers and editor the article could be declined at this stage.

6.       Copyediting of article where the copyeditor finalises the layout in consultation with the author(s).

The role of the reviewer is twofold:

1) To be a critical, but constructive friend to the author and provide detailed feedback on all the aspects of the article found in the review form and recommend one of the outcomes listed on this form. Please note that feedback needs to be comprehensive particularly if changes to the article reviewed are suggested. One sentence feedback is not acceptable.

2) To advise the editor as to whether the paper is suitable for publication and if so at what stage of the publication process it is at.  In other words reviewers need to provide a recommendation ranging from:

a.       Accept with no changes,

b.      Accept if specified minor revisions are made (no re-review necessary),

c.       Substantial changes are needed before the article is resubmitted for a second round of peer review with the same reviewers (resubmit for review),

d.      Inappropriate for publication by JIL (normally because the scope of the article sits outside the journal’s remit or because the reviewer does not feel that no amount of editing would raise the article to the required standards).

Reviewers should assess an article from the perspective of JIL readers at large and not just from their own perspective. This means that even if they personally like the article they should ensure that the topic is of relevance to a wider audience.  Reviewers should also ensure that author(s) cover the topic using language that is accessible to readers without specialist knowledge (as is the case for papers which deal with technical jargon such as mobile technology or gaming). If the article is jargon ridden then reviewers should highlight this problem and make recommendations on how to address it.

Authors should ensure that any observation, derivation, or argument that has been previously published should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the paper being reviewed and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge. Reviewers are also asked to identify and highlight relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.

JIL has an acceptance rate of 44% for articles submitted to the journal.

Notes for reviewers of books and other relevant literature

The journal publishes reviews from a wide range of media, such as books, e-books, websites on the topic of information literacy and software fostering information literacy practices. Reviews should discuss appropriateness for the intended target audience, readability, currency, content and overall value. The suggested length for reviews is 750-1,000 words. Please use the book review template which can be found here.

Conference corner

We welcome accounts of information literacy events, such as conferences, seminars and workshops that have taken place both in the UK and other countries. The suggested length for these types of contributions is 500 words and may include photos of the event. Submissions for the Conference corner should be structured as follows: Title of the contribution, details of the author(s), short account. Please submit the file in Word or RTF.

IL Projects

Contributions to this section include updates on projects for the purpose of raising awareness of the project or disseminating their findings to the IL community at large. The suggested length is 500 words and may include images, diagrams etc. Submissions for the IL project should be structured as follows: Title of the contribution, details of the author(s), short account. Please submit the file in Word or RTF.

Students’ view of IL

Submissions for this section consist of papers drawn from research (theoretical or applied) undertaken by students as part of a post-graduate course in LIS and other cognate disciplines, such as education or media. Contributions to this section should be structured as follows: Title, Author, summary of the research undertaken (covering:  outline of research and audience targeted, main findings and conclusion) and list of references. The suggested length is 1,000 words. Please submit the file in Word or RTF.


You must ensure that you present an accurate account of your research and that the work you submit is your own. Where you have used the words or ideas of others, you must quote or cite them appropriately. Failure to do this may have serious repercussions (see the journal’s Publication Ethics and Publication Misconduct Statement for more details). Referencing should be in Harvard style. See or for the particular conventions used.
It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that any material used in the article, such as photographs, images, charts or tables, may be used without infringing copyright.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in Microsoft Word or RTF file format.
  3. When available, the URLs to access references online are provided, including those for open access versions of the reference. The URLs are ready to click (e.g.,
  4. If a peer reviewed paper or book review it has been submitted using the template provided. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, please note that authors and institutions should be replaced by anonymising text, eg XXX
  5. The bibliographic requirements outlined in the Referencing section of the Author Guidelines are adhered to.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Copyright Notice

The Journal of Information Literacy ( JIL) is an open access title and authors retain copyright in their articles and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike Licence.  You are free to deposit a copy in your institutional repository but we would appreciate an acknowlegement that it was first published in the Journal of Information Literacy with a link back to the JIL site. To ensure the broadest possible audience for the Journal of Information Literacy the editorial team has set up a number of agreements which stipulate that the journal’s issues will be included on one or more subscription databases, although the articles will still be available free of charge and in full text format. If you wish to have your article excluded from these agreements please state so in the ‘Comments to Editor’ box.


Privacy Statement

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