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IFLA Journal

IFLA Journal

Other Titles in:
Archiving | Library Studies

eISSN: 17452651 | ISSN: 03400352 | Current volume: 50 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Quarterly
IFLA Journal is an international journal publishing peer reviewed articles on library and information services and the social, political and economic issues that impact access to information through libraries. The Journal publishes research, case studies and essays that reflect the broad spectrum of the profession internationally. All articles are subject to peer review. Articles are published in English. Abstracts will be translated by IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) into the other working languages of IFLA - Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian or Spanish - for publication.

IFLA Journal is the official journal of IFLA, and has an international readership consisting of academic institutions, professional organizations, and IFLA members who all receive a free subscription to the journal. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

All issues of the IFLA Journal are available to browse online.

IFLA Journal is an international journal publishing peer reviewed articles on library and information services and the social, political and economic issues that impact access to information through libraries. The Journal publishes research, case studies and essays that reflect the broad spectrum of the profession internationally. All articles are subject to peer review. Articles are published in English. Abstracts will be translated by IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) into the other working languages of IFLA - Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian or Spanish - for publication.

IFLA Journal is the official journal of IFLA, and has an international readership consisting of academic institutions, professional organizations, and IFLA members who all receive a free subscription to the journal.

Steve Witt University of Illinois, USA
Anne Goulding Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Editorial Committee
Sanjay Kumar Bihani Library and Information Officer Ministry of External Affairs, India
Dr. Josiline Chigwada University of South Africa, South Africa
Dr. Amanda Cossham Open Polytechnic to Open Polytechnic – Te Pukenga., New Zealand.
Milena Dobreva-McPherson University College London Qatar, Qatar
Dr. Amany M Elsayed (Africa Representative) Helwan University, Egypt
Perla Innocenti University of Northumbria at Newcastle, UK
Mahmood Khosrowjerdi Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA), Norway
Dr. Krystyna K Matusiak University of Denver, USA
Debbie Rabina Pratt Institute, USA
Dr. Egbert J. Sanchez-Vanderkast (Latin America and Caribbean Representative) Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliotecológicas y de la Información, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Dr. Diljit Singh University of Malaya (retired), Malaysia
Dr. Anna Maria Tammaro University of Parma, Italy
Dr. Shali Zhang Auburn University, USA
Dr. Lihong Zhou Wuhan University, China
  • Abi/inform
  • Academic Search Premier
  • Business Source Corporate
  • Compendex
  • Current Awareness Abstracts
  • IBZ: International Bibliography of Periodical Literature
  • IBZ: International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Information Science and Technology Abstracts
  • Inspec
  • Library Information Science Abstracts
  • Library Literature & Information Science
  • SciVal
  • Scopus
  • Sociological Abstracts
    1. Editorial Policies
      1.1 Peer review policy
      1.2 Authorship
    2. Article types
      2.1 Research Data
    3. How to submit your manuscript
    4. Publishing Policies
      4.1 Publication Ethics
      4.1.1 Plagiarism
      4.2 Journal Contributor's publishing agreement
      4.3 Sage Choice and Open Access
    5. Journal contributor’s publishing agreement
      5.1 ORCiD
    6. Other conventions
    7. Acknowledgments
      7.1 Funding acknowledgement
    8. Permissions
    9. Manuscript style
      9.1 File types
      9.2 Journal style
      9.3 Reference style
      9.4 Manuscript preparation
      9.4.1 Keywords and abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
      9.4.2 Corresponding Author Contact
      9.4.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
      9.4.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
      9.4.5 English language editing services
      9.4.6 Author Biographies
    10. After acceptance
      10.1 Sage production
      10.2 E-prints
    11. Further information

    IFLA Journal welcomes articles in all fields of interest and concern to libraries and the information professions. Manuscripts on all aspects of librarianship will be considered. The journal focuses on reports of original research. Manuscripts may also include descriptive narratives of successful and unsuccessful ventures, thoughtful discussions of issues in librarianship, and other suitable subjects.
    The Editor and the Editorial Board invite submissions relevant to the wide range of research areas identified in IFLA's Strategic Programmes and professional activities.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that IFLA Journal may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.
    If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    If you have any questions about publishing with Sage, please visit the Sage Journal Solutions Portal

    1. Editorial policies

    1.1 Peer review policy

    All unsolicited articles are refereed anonymously by a member of the Editorial Committee and a member of a panel of external reviewers, whose decision with regard to the publication of any article or feature is final. All manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible, and authors should expect to have reviewer's comments within approximately 6 weeks of submission.

    1.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

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    2. Article types

    Articles and features are normally published only in English. Authors whose first language is not English should not be inhibited from submitting contributors in English because of this; the correction of minor grammatical and linguistic errors in English is considered to be an integral part of the editorial process. Further information on English language editing services is given in 9.4.5.

    Articles should normally be between 3000 and 8000 words in length. Articles must be original contributions which have not been published elsewhere, and which are not under consideration elsewhere.

    Articles should be accompanied by an English-language abstract of not more than 150 words, five or six keywords, and a brief statement of the professional qualifications and experience of the author(s), including current official designation and full address and contact details.

    Authors are expected to check their work carefully before submitting it, particularly with regard to factual accuracy, completeness and consistency. They should provide sufficient background information to enable readers unfamiliar with the activity or country being described to understand it easily. Acronyms and abbreviations should be spelled out in full the first time they are used.

    Other contributions

    The primary language of publication for contributions other than articles and features is English, but such contributions may be published in the other working languages of IFLA - French, German, Russian or Spanish - if appropriate.

    Article types published in IFLA Journal

    Original Articles

    Original articles constitute traditional empirical research, drawing on quantitative, qualitative, or mixed research methodologies. 

    Review Articles

    A review article provides a detailed and authoritative summation of the current state of research and understanding on an important topic within the field.  A review article should not only document important figures working on a topic but also examine recent advances, current debates, gaps, and future directions for research on the topic.

    Case Studies

    Case Studies provide a valuable record of practices of the LIS professions.  As a distinct qualitative methodology, case studies for IFLA journal research both practical and theoretical issues in the field by focusing on a single case. A case study should not be approached as a means to promote the problems or accomplishments of an institution. 


    Provide informed analysis of viewpoints, trends, and controversies within the field of LIS.  For example, an essay may contribute an important conceptual analysis of policies that impact and contribute to the information environment as it impacts the profession locally and/or globally. Further, essays may provide the basis for further empirical research, policy analysis, action, or theorizing within the field. 

    2.1 Research Data

    The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the Sage Research Data policy pages.

    Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:

    • share your research data in a relevant public data repository
    • include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
    • cite this data in your research

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    3. How to submit your manuscript

    IFLA Journal is hosted on ScholarOne™ Manuscripts, a web based online submission and peer review system Sage Track. Please read the Manuscript Submission guidelines below, and then simply visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is possible that you will have had an account created.

    All papers must be submitted via the online system. If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, please contact Steve Witt, Editor:

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    4. Publishing policies

    4.1 Publication ethics

    Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway

    4.1.1 Plagiarism

    IFLA Journal and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of articles published in the journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked using duplication-checking software. Where an article is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal or all Sage journals, or appropriate legal action.

    4.2 Journal contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright.  Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.

    4.3 Sage Choice and Open Access

    If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to non subscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to be included in Sage Choice, subject to payment of a publication fee. The manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let Sage know directly if you are choosing Sage Choice. To check journal eligibility and the publication fee, please visit Sage Choice. For more information on open access options and compliance at Sage, including self author archiving deposits (green open access) visit Sage Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    5. Declaration of conflicting interests

    IFLA Journal encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.

    5.1 ORCiD 

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized. 

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

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    6. Other conventions

    None applicable.

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    7. Acknowledgements

    Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an `Acknowledgements' section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

    7.1 Funding Acknowledgement

    To comply with the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers issued by the Research Information Network (RIN), IFLA Journal additionally requires all Authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit Funding Acknowledgements on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding or state in your acknowledgments that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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    8. Permissions
    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.

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    9. Manuscript style

    9.1 File types

    Only electronic files conforming to the journal's guidelines will be accepted. Preferred formats for the text and tables of your manuscript are Word DOC, RTF, XLS. LaTeX files are also accepted. Please also refer to additional guideline on submitting artwork below.

    9.2 Journal Style

    IFLA Journal conforms to the Sage house style. Click here to review guidelines on Sage UK House Style.

    9.3 Reference Style

    IFLA Journal operates a Sage Harvard reference style. Click here to review the guidelines on Sage Harvard to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    9.4. Manuscript Preparation

    The text should be double-spaced throughout and with a minimum of 3cm for left and right hand margins and 5cm at head and foot. Text should be standard 10 or 12 point.

    9.4.1 Keywords and Abstracts: Helping readers find your article online

    The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting Sage's Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

    9.4.2 Corresponding Author Contact with the following

    Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Full and complete academic affiliations are required for all corresponding and co-authors. These details should be presented separately to the main text of the article to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    9.4.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage's Manuscript Submission Guidelines.
    If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable colour figures, these figures will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. If a charge applies you will be informed by your Sage Production Editor. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article. Please note: Bitmap based files (i.e. with .tiff or .jpeg extension) require a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Line art should be supplied with a resolution of 600 dpi.

    9.4.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files

    IFLA Journal does not currently accept supplemental files.

    9.4.5 English Language Editing services

    Non-English speaking authors who would like to refine their use of language in their manuscripts might consider using a professional editing service. Visit Sage Language Services for further information.

    9.4.6 Author Biographies

    IFLA Journal publishes author biographies at the end of your published article. Please provide short biographies for all authors on the title page file of your manuscript.

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    10. After acceptance           

    10.1 Sage Production

    Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. 

    10.2 E-Prints

    Sage provides authors with access to a PDF of their final article. For further information please visit this page.

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    11. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the Manuscript Submission process should be sent to the Editorial Office as follows:

    Steve Witt


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