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Author Guidelines

Be sure to review the Section Policies to determine the correct category for your work (Research, Practice, Commentary, Feature, News, or Letter).



Research and practice articles, features, commentaries, and letters should be submitted using the Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice online submission system. You will need to register as an author on the PaLRaP site in order to submit an article through the online submission system.

Deadlines for Articles:
February 15 (Spring Issue)
August 15 (Fall Issue)

All news items should be submitted using this form.

Deadlines for News:
April 1 (Spring Issue)
October 1 (Fall Issue)



Document formats: Acceptable document formats include DOC, DOCX, and RTF. For other formats, please check with the editors.

Title page: The article title page should be submitted using the following format:

  • Article title
  • Abstract
  • Keywords list

Abstracts: All articles (except News articles and Letters to the Coeditors) should include an abstract of 100 to 150 words. The abstract should appear on the article title page.

Keywords: All articles (except News articles and Letters to the Coeditors) should include up to 10 keywords that convey the main points of the article. The keywords list should appear on the article title page.

Style: Articles should conform to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA Style Manual), 7th edition. See also PaLRaP's "Additional Manuscript Guidelines for Authors" for additional tips on readying your article for submission.

References: References should be carefully checked for completeness, accuracy, and consistency. Manuscripts with inaccurate references or that do not use proper style for citations will be returned to the author(s) for corrections without being reviewed.

Previously published articles: Items that have already been published or are under consideration for publication, either in print or online, will not be accepted.

Images: The journal welcomes the inclusion of appropriate tables, graphics, photos, and illustrations to accompany your article. Be sure to include captions and directions to the editor on placement of the graphics. Images can be embedded directly into the text of the manuscript or uploaded as supplemental files along with the primary text.

Image quality: Because Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice is an online journal, web-quality images (RGB color scheme with 72 DPI) are acceptable and often preferable.

Image formats:

Acceptable formats include

  • JPEGs (Not ideal if the image needs to be resized; JPEG images are always rectangular or square with a solid background)
  • PNGs (Good when a transparent background is preferred)
  • GIFs (Better suited to simple graphics; this format is not preferred for photos)


ENSURING BLIND PEER REVIEW (Research and Practice articles only)

To ensure blind peer review

  • Do not include author name, affiliation, and contact information in the document (including title page/abstract). Replace them as in the following example: "[Author] did the following activities at [Institution] in the spring of 2012." Upon publication, the names and institutions will be added to the manuscript.
  • If citing any of your previous works, in any references or footnotes, use "Author" and year instead of the author's name, article title, etc. Upon publication, the names will be added to the manuscript. 
  • Author identification should be removed from the file properties (see this page for instructions). 

News, features, commentaries, and letters to the coeditors are not submitted for blind peer review and therefore do not have to adhere to peer review guidelines. News items only should be submitted using this form.



Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided and checked for accuracy.
  4. The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal (Research and Practice sections only), the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

    • The authors of the article must not include author name, affiliation, and contact information in the manuscript (including title page/abstract). Replace them as in the following example: "[Author] did the following activities at [Institution] in the spring of 2012." 
    • In any references or footnotes, use "Author" and year instead of the authors' name, article title, etc.
    • Upon publication the names will be added to the manuscript.

    Note: News, features, commentaries, and letters to the coeditors are not peer-reviewed and therefore do not have to follow peer review guidelines.

  7. My research contains no data collected from human subjects OR my research contains data collected from human subjects and I sought and received approval from the institutional review board (IRB) under guidelines provided by the institution with which I am affiliated.

Copyright Notice

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

  1. The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
  2. Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
  3. The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
    1. Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;
    with the understanding that the above condition can be waived with permission from the Author and that where the Work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.
  4. The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  5. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
  6. Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
  7. The Author represents and warrants that:
    1. the Work is the Author’s original work;
    2. the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
    3. the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
    4. the Work has not previously been published;
    5. the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
    6. the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
  8. The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.

Revised 7/21/2020. Revision Description: Updated to APA 7th style.


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