Tips for Submitting an Article to YALSA’s Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults (JRLYA)

Greetings from the JRLYA Advisory Board! Have you ever thought about submitting an article to #JRLYA, but maybe you need a refresher in how to prepare an article for a peer-reviewed journal?  Well then, this blog post is for you! Following is a list of tips to help you get your work ready to submit:

  1. First, do a bit of research.  If you’re not a regular reader of the journal in question, look at a few articles in some of the previous issues to make sure your work will fit.
  2. Next, carefully read the call for submissions, if there is one, and make sure your article clearly connects to the theme.
  3. If there is no specific theme, make sure that your article is a good fit for the journal.  Is your subject matter appropriate?  (In the case of #JRLYA, does your article report research related to teens (ages 12 – 18) and libraries?)
  4. Carefully read the writer’s guidelines.  Is your paper formatted correctly?  Do you know how and when to submit it, and to whom?  (For #JRLYA, you can find the writer’s guidelines here: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/author-guidelines/)
  5. If you are submitting to a journal that primarily publishes research articles (like #JRLYA), rather than a trade journal, is your article written in scholarly language?  Generally, this means more formal, as opposed to conversational, English.
  6. Usually, articles prepared for peer-reviewed journals follow a basic format: Introduction > Literature Review > Purpose/Research Question(s) > Methods > Results > Conclusion(s)
    1. Introduction: the introduction should give a brief overview of the subject matter and a focus for the rest of the paper (the intro is usually around 1-2 paragraphs).
    2. Literature Review: the literature review should summarize the existing body of related work.
    3. Purpose/Research Question(s): here you should state the purpose of the research and/or the research questions that drove the project’s design and implementation (this is generally not more than a paragraph or two).
    4. Methods: what did you do?  What were your methods?  Summarize your approach step by step.
    5. Results: this is where you give your facts and figures – what did the data show?
    6. Conclusions: this is where you tell the audience why they should care about the research you conducted – what did the data analysis bring to light that makes this important? Also, what still needs to be done?
  7. Finally, PROOFREAD! Articles are often rejected due to poor grammar and multiple typos.

Hopefully, this blog post has demystified the article prep process a bit.  We hope that you will consider writing up your project and submitting it to #JRLYA!  You can contact the journal editor at yalsaresearch@gmail.com, and be sure to check out the latest issue at http://www.yalsa.ala.org/jrlya/!

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