Monday, April 3, 2017

My top tips for Writing for publication

Guest post by Sigrid Kelsey, General Editor, Catholic Library World

 Choosing a topic
Choosing a compelling and original topic can be one of the most challenging and most important aspects of writing an article that will be accepted into a journal. Articles should contribute something new to professional literature and inspire readers in their professional work and research. Authors should search the literature before embarking on a writing topic to make sure their topics are covering something new.
Calls for submissions are an excellent way to find appropriate and sought-after topics to write on. Professional blogs, email lists, social media sites, and websites often post calls for papers and submissions with suggested topics. Querying an editor is another way to learn what a journal editor is seeking. Some editors are in search authors to write on various topics that their readers have requested. When choosing a topic, an author also should be qualified to write on it.

Journal guidelines
Authors should consult journal websites for instructions to authors. These provide guidelines for topics, appropriate length and style, directions on submissions, and information about how the submission process works.  

Writing style
After writing an article, authors should reread their articles keeping in mind grammar, style and readability. Here are some tips to avoid common stylistic mistakes:

·         Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence, with each sentence relating to it.

·         Second person should be avoided at all times, and over-use of first person should be avoided.

·         Sentence structure should be varied for interest.

·         Sentences should avoid ambiguity, with pronouns clearly referring to specific nouns.

·         Articles submitted to peer reviewed journals should be written in a formal business style, avoiding the casual style often seen on blogs.

·         Proper citation styles should be adhered to, and plagiarism should be avoided.

·         Opinions should be backed up by research.

Peer reviews
Peer reviews are meant to be constructive, and responding to suggestions by peers before publication leads to better quality articles and advances scholarship in the field.

Book reviews
Book reviews are an excellent way to start writing. Catholic Library World publishes 100 book reviews per issue and has more than 200 reviewers dedicated to reviewing books on many topics. Book reviews serve an important function in the library science profession, and they are an excellent way to become familiar with both the literature one reviews, and with the writing and submission process.

Authors should feel free to email me at about writing for Catholic Library World, or visit
Sigrid Kelsey is Director of Communications and Publications at LSU Libraries.  Kelsey has written numerous published articles and book chapters, co-edited five books, and has been the editor of a Catholic Library World, the official journal of the Catholic Library Association, since 2010. Under her leadership, the CLW received 3rd place in the 2013 Catholic Press Awards for General Excellence. At LSU, she oversees the ejournal hosting function and strategic communications for the Libraries. She has received several awards for her job performance and research, including the 2009 Association of College and Research Libraries Louisiana Chapter’s Scholar Librarian of the Year Award, the national Innovation in College Librarianship Award, awarded by the College Libraries Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries division of the American Library Association, and the Baton Rouge Business Report’s Forty under 40 award. She also serves on the Praeger ABC-CLIO Library Advisory Board.

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