Journal #7: Comparative Analysis of Professional Journals

After looking through an exhaustive (and exhausting!) list of LIS journals by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I chose The American Archivist and School Librarian.  I accessed both through Wayne State’s library.

The American Archivist

1. General Information:  This journal is published twice a year by the Society of American Archivists.  2012 was the 75th year of the society and the editor’s letter of the Fall/Winter 2012 issue was devoted to comparing and contrasting the then and the now.  Each issue of the journal includes articles and book reviews.  In the subscription information section, the type and manufacturing process of the paper the journal is printed on is given.  I found this charming, but also rather pertinent since it is a journal for archivists!

2. Intended Audience:  As stated in the first issue from 1938 and quoted in the Fall/Winter 2012 issue the intended audience is members of the archival profession.

3. Kinds of Materials Published:  The American Archivist, a scholarly journal; The American Archivist Online, past journals (over 3 years old), Archival Outlook, a newsletter for members, and a number of free publications such as volunteer resource information, content standards and case studies.

4. Peer-reviewed?:  Yes.  Everything that appears (articles and book reviews) in the journal is peer-reviewed.  It is a double-blind process and each item is peer-reviewed by 3 reviewers.  The rubrics for peer review are available on the SAA website.  Peer-reviewing is important because it leads to higher quality articles.

5. Of interest: The journal seemed like it would have a narrow focus and appeal to archivists only.  However in the Fall/Winter 2012 issue, there were two articles that were applicable to other audiences.  One is an article about archival teaching packets (“Archival Document Packets: A Teaching Module in Advocacy Training Using the Papers of Governor Dick Thornburgh” by R. Cox, J. Alcalá and L. Bowler) which would appeal to educators and another about Native Americans’ rights in regard to their traditional culture which would especially appeal to any library with a Native American population (“A Defense of Native Americans’ Rights over Their Traditional Cultural Expressions” by K. Mathiesen). 

School Librarian

1. General Information:  This journal is published quarterly by the School Librarian Association located in the UK.  The journal looks more like a magazine than a scholarly journal (full color, many pictures and graphics, etc.).  Perhaps journal has a different meaning to our friends across the pond.  Like The American Archivist, this journal is in its 75th year.    

2. Intended Audience:  School librarians, especially in the UK (this is a British publication)

3. Kinds of Materials Published:  books; School Librarian, their quarterly journal; case studies; guidelines; reading lists

4.  Peer-reviewed?: According to the list I read, it is peer reviewed but I couldn’t find any information or confirmation of that within the journal or on the website.

5.  Of interest:  There are book reviews and articles that would interest any school librarian however, the articles regarding standards, curriculum or events tied to national holidays would only be of interest to British librarians.   The review section, on the other hand, has 6 subsections (by ages and by genres) that would interest any librarian, regardless of geographical location.


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