Volume 11 Number 10
Pointers for Prospective D-Lib Authors
Every month, we receive a number of unsolicited article proposals to consider for D-Lib Magazine. That number has been grown steadily over the years, presumably reflecting both the increasing amount of digital library research and development work as well as the visibility of D-Lib Magazine, both welcome trends from this editor's perspective.
Some of the articles received have been carefully crafted in response to the D-Lib Magazine author guidelines, which are available at the magazine's web site. That makes our work easier, and we hope makes the authors' work easier as well. Articles written according to the guidelines have a better chance of being accepted, but there are other things prospective authors should keep in mind as well.
First, D-Lib is solely electronic and is a magazine, not a peer-reviewed journal. Authors who are accustomed to writing for print journals, especially peer-reviewed scholarly journals, may be surprised at the speed at which production of an issue of D-Lib takes place. Once an article has been accepted and scheduled, the time between submission of the final draft and dissemination of the article is a matter of a few weeks rather than months. That means that articles must be developed to the point where only light editing of them is required. The fact that the format of the magazine is electronic is also one reason we prefer D-Lib articles that are 1,500 to 3,000 words in length and seldom accept articles in excess of 5,000 words.
Second, because D-Lib Magazine is publicly funded, we do not accept articles that are either critical of or that promote commercial products or services. There are many other appropriate venues for that type of article.
Third, and this applies not only to D-Lib Magazine but to any magazine or journal, one of the best ways to know what kind of article is preferred is to peruse a few of the magazine's back issues. What are the topics of articles already accepted and disseminated? Has a particular topic been well covered, or are there aspects not yet addressed that your research article can illuminate? Using the magazine's search page will point to previously published articles on particular topics.
Last, but not least, we are only able to accept a small percentage of submitted articles for dissemination in D-Lib Magazine. That means that we frequently must turn down good articles because each must be considered in light of what has been recently disseminated in D-Lib as well as what we already have scheduled for future issues.
Although time does not permit us to provide detailed feedback on articles submitted for consideration, we welcome original articles that report on results of digital library research, and we will strive to respond to your article proposals in a timely manner.
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