Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship Revue canadienne de bibliothéconomie universitaire

Editor(s): Nicole Doro, Cal Murgu, Eveline Houtman, Karen Nicholson


Focus and Scope

The Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship / Revue canadienne de bibliothéconomie universitaire (CJAL/Rcbu) is a bilingual, open access journal published by CAPAL/ACBES. Submissons need not have a geographical focus; however, if they do, the focus should be on Canada or have a strong connection to Canada.

The journal publishes articles on topics related to the profession of academic librarianship or the discipline of library and information studies. For CAPAL/ACBES, defining features of academic librarians are that they are members of a profession committed to fostering and upholding the core academic values and principles associated with teaching, learning, and research in higher education, and they play an integral role in supporting the academic missions of post-secondary institutions. 

Nonetheless, CJAL/Rcbu is open to articles by and about any academic library workers. By emphasizing librarianship, we are focusing on the people who are the core of academic libraries, not on the buildings or organizations that come to mind when we hear “academic libraries.”


We encourage readers to sign up for the publishing notification service for this journal. Use the Register link at the top of the home page for the journal. This registration will result in the reader receiving the Table of Contents by email for each new issue of the journal. This list also allows the journal to claim a certain level of support or readership. See the journal's Privacy Statement, which assures readers that their name and email address will not be used for other purposes.

Back issues (5 issues)

Permanent archiving of articles on Érudit is provided by Portico.

Editorial policy and ethics

The journal is open to all research methodologies. We welcome theoretical work that may not be suitable for traditional, empirical-focused LIS journals. We also welcome more typical research studies, with a defined research question, methods, analysis, and discussion. Format, structure, and approach are less important than content---our emphasis is on publishing strong articles that add something new to the literature.

The articles we publish must present substantive analysis of a topic. Why is the article’s topic or finding significant---what is the “so what?” for librarianship? If you are describing a program or service, draw from the broader context (such as theory or other literature) to show that the program or service is relevant and important. If you are presenting findings from a research study, those findings need to be situated in the broader context of theory and literature to show how and why they are significant. If you are writing a theoretical exploration or critique, it needs to have compelling arguments that are grounded in scholarly discourse.

Our editors and reviewers have high standards; at the same time, we aim to support and encourage authors whose work does not initially meet those standards. We recognize that authors may face challenges in conducting research and writing for scholarly publication. We ask reviewers to give specific, constructive feedback. Editorial board members are available to mentor authors through their revisions on a paper, particularly for papers that get a “revise and resubmit” decision following peer review and therefore need to make substantial changes to their article.

Peer Review Process

Submissions are reviewed first by an editor to confirm that the submission is appropriate for the Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship. This step typically occurs within two weeks of submission. This editorial review considers questions such as:

  • Is the submission within the Aims and Scope?
  • Is the submission readable and within the desired word count?
  • Has the submission been published elsewhere?
  • Has the submission document been anonymized?

Editors must declare any conflicts of interest and if necessary disqualify themselves from involvement in the assessment of a manuscript. If the article is published, the declaration and explanations will be clearly indicated on the published paper with links to details (if necessary).

When the editor has determined that the submission is appropriate to be considered for publication, he/she contacts potential reviewers. Editors do not also serve as reviewers. Each submission is normally reviewed by two reviewers. Reviewers are asked to submit their reviews within four weeks and to follow the CJAL Reviewer Guidelines (see below).

Our goal is for reviews to be double-blind, such that neither the author(s) nor reviewers know each other’s identity. In some situations, however, such as submissions originating from CAPAL/ACBES conference papers, double-blind review may not be possible to achieve. In that case, the review will be single-blind, with the reviewers knowing the author’s identity.

The editor considers the reviewers’ comments and recommendations and replies to the author. This reply includes any requests for revisions as well as a recommendation on inclusion in the journal, based on the reviewers’ input. The author(s) are encouraged to respond to requests for revisions with a revised manuscript, or with clarifications or questions, as appropriate.

The editors make the final decision about publication.

Potential reviewers are invited to contact the editors with a copy of their CV and a brief statement of the areas they are qualified to review. The editors will seek out potential reviewers who have expertise in the area of a particular submission.

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  • Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License that allows others to use and share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal, as long as it is not used for commercial purposes. This license does not waive the author’s moral rights.
  • Authors may choose a different Creative Commons license that allows reuse and remixing of content (CC BY, CC BY-SA, OR CC BY-NC-SA) by indicating their preference to the editors.

Information for contributors


In order to ensure blind peer review, do not include the name of author(s), or any information that would identify the author(s), anywhere in the document.

When referencing other publications by the author, use “Author” and year in the references and bibliography, instead of the authors’ name, article title, etc.

When referring to the university or library where the author works, remove the identifying part of the name, such as “University of XXX” or “XXX Library.”

Author names should be removed from the properties for any files submitted.

Conflict of Interest

Authors must declare any conflict of interest to the editors at the time of submission. If the article is published, the declaration will be clearly indicated on the published paper with links to details (if necessary). Please seek advice from the editorial team if you are unsure of what constitutes a conflict of interest.


The text must be double-spaced, use a 12-point font, and employ italics rather than underlining (except with URL addresses). All illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end. Do not include headers or footers, with the exception of page numbers.


Article submissions must include an abstract of about 200 words.

Remember that a well-written abstract will promote readership of your article. An effective abstract will do the following:

  • It must motivate: Why do we care about the problem and the findings?
  • It must provide a problem statement: What problem are you trying to solve?
  • It must describe an approach: How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem?
  • It must describe the results: What are the findings?
  • It must summarize the conclusions: What are the implications of your findings?

(adapted from University of Toronto Press,


The article is 3,000 to 6,000 words and no more than 10,000 words. Book reviews are about 1,000 words. For articles, the abstract is about 200 words and follows the suggestions in item 9 of the Submission Preparation Checklist.


Submissions are accepted in French or English. Note that abstracts and keywords will be published in both languages. The editors are responsible for the translation of these elements.

Citations and Spelling

The journal uses the author-date citation style as described in the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. However, authors are free to use another style if they think it is more suitable for their paper; if so, include a rationale in the comments to the editor.

The submission must include a bibliography of all works cited. Use footnotes rather than endnotes.

Matter that the author has taken word-for-word from another source must be enclosed in quotation marks (or clearly set off in an indented paragraph) and fully and accurately cited in the  bibliography. Quotations that run longer than three lines should be set off in an indented paragraph of their own. Ideas, arguments, and other matter that the author has paraphrased, arranged, or used from another source must be fully and accurately cited in the bibliography.

Where available, provide URLs or DOIs for works cited.

Spelling follows the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd ed. (2004). If more than one spelling is provided there, use the first one.


Any image files must be supplied in a standard format such as .jpeg or .tiff, with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (600 dpi or higher is preferred). Please use the following file-naming convention, matching the sequence of each image’s presentation in the article:




It is the author's responsibility to obtain permission to use any material, such as images, for which the author is not the creator. The author will pay any associated costs. Brief quotations do not require copyright permission. Author are encouraged to seek permissions as early as possible. A copy of the email/letter from the copyright holder, granting permission for re-use, should accompany the manuscript in order to demonstrate that permission to reproduce the copyrighted material has been received.

Editorial board


Nicole Doro, McMaster University
Eveline Houtman, University of Toronto
Karen Nicholson, University of Guelph
Cal Murgu, Brock University

Editorial Board Members

Ian Beilin, Columbia University
Karine Fournier, University of Ottawa
David James Hudson, University of Guelph
Carol Leibiger, University of South Dakota
Sean Luyk, University of Alberta
Ebony Magnus, Simon Fraser University
Eva Revitt, MacEwan University
Lisa Sloniowski, York University
Cecilia Tellis, University of Ottawa

Former Editors

Kristin Hoffman, University of Western Ontario (2014-2021)
Monica Fazekas, University of Western Ontario (2014-2019)
Marie-Ève Ménard, Université de Montréal (2015-2020)
Lisa Richmond, Wheaton College (2014-2019)