About the Journal
We have an introductory video about publishing in JIL which is a useful overview of our aims and scope.
Founded in 2007, the Journal of Information Literacy (JIL) is an international peer-reviewed journal and is aimed at librarians, information professionals and academics who teach and/or research aspects of information literacy. The journal includes articles from established and new authors that investigate many different areas of information literacy, including school, academic and national libraries, health care settings, and the public sector such as the workplace and government.
The Journal of Information Literacy seeks innovative and challenging research articles and project reports which push the boundaries of information literacy thinking in theory, practice and method, and which aim to develop deep and critical understandings of the role, contribution and impact of information literacies in everyday contexts, education, health care and the workplace. Submissions that do not substantially reference, review and contribute to scholarship in the field of information literacy will not be considered.
We generally do not publish articles about digital literacy or educational technology but will consider submissions in these areas if they are grounded in, and contribute to, the literature and scholarship of information literacy.
If in doubt, please send an enquiry about the suitability of your prospective submission to the journal's editors. We actively encourage and support submissions from underrepresented groups -- such as by race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and disability -- in the information sector as well as the sharing of expertise between all information literacy professionals. We also welcome inquiries about or suggestions of alternative formats, including multimedia or art/illustration-based work.
We encourage authors to formally recognise the work of everyone who has contributed to scholarly output (e.g., open peer review, crediting contributors such as research assistants) in an acknowledgements section (post peer-review).
We follow ICMJE recommendations that authorship of a paper should be based on the following 4 criteria:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
- Final approval of the version to be published; AND
- Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
Contributors who do not meet the above criteria for authorship should be acknowledged. Examples of activities that may not qualify someone for authorship are: acquisition of funding; general supervision of a research group or general administrative support; writing assistance, technical editing, language editing, and proofreading. These contributions should be specified (e.g. collected data) and acknowledged individually or as a group. CRediT provides a helpful list of contributor roles for this purpose.
In line with JIL's criteria for authorship -- as well as COPE's position statement on Authorship and AI tools -- AI tools such as ChatGPT or other large language models are not considered authors, as their content is not created with human intentionality and cannot be replicated. Therefore, authors of manuscripts submitted to JIL may not cite content created by AI tools. The exception to this rule is if the topic of the manuscript explicitly explores AI content and information literacy.
If authors use AI tools in the writing of the manuscript or the creation of images or other graphical elements, they must disclose this use in the Methods section of their article, including which tools were used, how they were used, and why they were used. They must also list this use in the Declarations section of the article. Ultimately, authors are responsible for the content of their manuscripts and, as outlined in our plagiarism policy, must not present text or images generated by AI tools as their own.
We encourage the use of inclusive language in all journal submissions. Inclusive language refers to sensitively chosen words that should be free from bias, stereotyping, sexism, racism, and negative connotations, and describe people in the ways in which they wish to be described. The use of inclusive language acknowledges diversity, respect and difference.
General guidelines for reducing bias in writing include: Describing appropriately, including only focusing on relevant characteristics but acknowledging that differences do exist; and Being sensitive to labels, including acknowledging humanity and avoiding false hierarchies. For more details, please consult the APA Guide for reducing bias.
Specific recommendations for authors
- Choose gender-neutral terms whenever possible when writing about collective or generic subjects.
- Avoid unnecessarily binary terms (e.g., men and women, he or she) when a gender-neutral one will do (e.g., students, they).
- Always use an individual’s appropriate name, title, pronouns (and/or other gendered morphology). If you don’t know what gendered language a person uses, find out by consulting their website or official biography, or by asking.
Based on Linguistic Society of America recommendations.
JIL’s author name change policy allows authors to retrospectively update their names or pronouns in any work published in JIL, including peer-reviewed articles, project reports and book reviews. Authors may change their name for numerous reasons including marriage, divorce, religion, gender identity and other personal reasons. JIL respects the rights of our authors to their identities and we are committed to ensuring a person’s bibliography is attributable to the same name and/or pronoun. Authors may also update any email addresses, biography photos, and other identifiers that are connected to the change in author name.
Authors wishing to make such changes should contact JIL’s Editor in Chief, JIL@cilip.org.uk. Changes will be made directly to the article PDF. We will also re-send article metadata to the services that abstract and index JIL such as EBSCO.
Specific actions we have taken include:
- Recognise a range of expertise: Once reviews have been written, the Editor explicitly works to frame reviewer comments to support author revisions; we are willing to imagine the field beyond our individual perspectives.
- Recognise harmful scholarly work: We have identified and replaced exclusionary terms or descriptions in aims and scope, journal information, and other journal documentation.
- Prioritise humanity over production: We proactively contact reviewers to offer deadline extensions or new deadlines and update authors accordingly.
- Make the review process transparent: Our peer review process is described in detail on the journal website so that new or emerging authors know what to expect at every stage of the publication process.
- Value the labor of those involved in the review process: We document the number of reviews each person has conducted to avoid overburdening specific scholars and are explicit about the number of reviews an editorial board member is expected to conduct.
- Commit to inclusivity among reviewers and in editorial board makeup: We invite editorial board members who reflect the diversity of the field and actively encourage the recruitment of peer reviewers from under-represented and marginalised groups.
JIL follows a double-anonymous peer review process, meaning that articles are read by at least two reviewers who have no knowledge of the author’s identity
The role of the peer reviewer is twofold: Firstly, to advise the editor as to whether the paper is suitable for publication and, if so, what stage of development it has reached. This is done by providing one of the following recommendations:
- Accept with no changes
- Minor revisions: accept if specified minor changes are made; no re-review is necessary
- Resubmit for review: substantial changes are needed before the article is resubmitted for a second round of peer review with the same reviewers
- Inappropriate for publication by JIL: this is generally because the scope of the article sits outside the journal’s remit or because the reviewer feels that no amount of editing would raise the article to the required standards.
Secondly, the peer reviewer will act as a constructively critical friend to the author, providing detailed and practical feedback on all the aspects of the article found in the review form. Where changes to an article are suggested, the rationale for the suggestion should be clearly explained and contextualised with reference to the field of information literacy research and its methods. Feedback should be constructive, comprehensive and courteous, particularly if changes to the article reviewed are suggested. The role of peer reviewer is a privileged one and must be undertaken with empathy and integrity. Dismissive language, insufficient engagement with the work, and one-sentence feedback are not acceptable.
Reviewers will assess an article from the perspective of JIL readers at large and not just from their own viewpoint. This means that even if they personally like the article they should ensure that the topic is of relevance to a wider audience. Reviewers will also ensure that authors use language that is accessible to readers without specialist knowledge (for example in technical fields such as mobile technology or gaming). If the article employs a register that is overly specialist or technical, reviewers should highlight this problem and make recommendations on how to address it. In order to provide comprehensive, structured and workable feedback reviewers should use the review form.
A reviewer should call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the paper being reviewed and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge. Reviewers are also asked to identify and highlight relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.
JIL has an acceptance rate of around 30% for articles submitted to the journal. The most common reason we decline submissions is because they do not match the journal's priorities and standards, which are extensively detailed in our guidelines for submission. Please read the guidelines carefully and consider sending a query letter at any stage of your research. We are always happy to receive query letters and discuss with you the fit of your project with the goals of the journal.
By submitting their articles to JIL the author(s) retain the copyright, but grant the right of first publication to the journal (including publication in print and electronic media). From December 2015 articles published in JIL are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike Licence.
JIL provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. The journal is published under the Diamond/Platinum Open Access model because the CILIP Information Literacy Group believes that knowledge should be shared. JIL is therefore free and requires no subscription. In addition, authors are not required to pay a fee to be published in JIL.
JIL does not publish data sets directly. We highly recommend that you deposit your data in a trusted repository and provide a link in your article to the data sets in the repository. For example, we suggest that any quantitative research is pre-registered using the Open Science Framework, or an equivalent, and that quantitative and qualitative data produced as part of research is deposited within an institutional Repository, the Open Science Framework platform, or an equivalent in accordance with any ethical approval given to your study. A link to your data will be placed alongside your article. An accessibility statement should be provided when data is not open access.
The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) defines plagiarism as:
“When somebody presents the work of others (data, words or theories) as if they were his/her own and without proper acknowledgment."
For JIL, plagiarism can be said to have taken place when data, images, words, or chunks of text have been taken from other sources of information without appropriate and unambiguous attribution. Self-plagiarism or text-recycling can be said to have occurred when unattributed chunks of the same text appear in an author’s previous research publication. Care must also be taken to ensure appropriate attribution and citation when paraphrasing and summarising the work of others. Any material taken verbatim from another source needs to be clearly identified by the use of quotation marks and identification of the source.
Any allegations of plagiarism, self-plagiarism/text-recycling and/or academic malpractice will be investigated by the Editor-in-Chief and the Managing Editor, following COPE guidelines. If allegations are found to be with merit, the Editor will contact all authors of the paper and request an explanation. If these allegations cannot be resolved, the Editor will refer the case to the author’s institution. When plagiarism is evident pre-publication, it may be returned to the authors with a request to correct the issues, or the paper may be rejected, in alignment with COPE Guidelines. When plagiarism is evident post-publication, JIL will correct or retract the original publication depending on the degree of plagiarism, in alignment with COPE Guidelines.
The Journal of Information Literacy is committed to open and equitable systems of scholarship. The journal fully supports and endorses the recommendations and guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). We expect all submissions to follow COPE guidelines, particularly those regarding authorship and conflict of interest.
All manuscripts submitted to JIL must contain a Declarations section at the end of the main text. The information listed below must be included:
- Ethics approval: This must be included in all cases, even if already mentioned in the body of the article. Please confirm whether the article was submitted for ethical review and the ethics approval number/code, if available. If ethical approval was not gained, please provide a brief explanation, such as 'Ethical review was not considered necessary in alignment with [institution’s] guidance on the conduct of ethical research.’
- Funding: This must be included in all cases. Please state whether the research was supported by a grant or other external funding, and provide the grant name and number if available. If the answer is 'not applicable,' simply note 'not applicable' for this section.
- AI-generated content: This must be included in all cases, even if it is already discussed in the Methods section. Please confirm whether AI tools have been used in the writing of the manuscript or the creation of images or other graphical elements, and, if they have, confirm which tools were used, how and why (this follows our policy on authorship and AI-generated content).
- Acknowledgements: This sub-heading is optional and can be omitted entirely if acknowledgements do not need to be included.
Find more information about preparing your manuscript here.
Editors are responsible for decisions on corrections and retractions. Editors will not alter or remove published content. However, editors reserve the right to issue expressions of concerns, corrections or retractions if there is proof of author or research misconduct or inaccurate content. When investigating allegations of misconduct, the editor will follow the COPE flowcharts as the basis for decisions. Expressions of concern and corrections will be published on the article landing page, linking directly to the related version of the article. Retraction notices will be published on the article landing page, linking directly to the related version of the article. The version of record PDF will not change, other than for a watermark with the word “retracted” on each page. The retraction statement should include the reason for retraction (to distinguish misconduct from honest error) and avoid defamatory or libellous statements.
JIL is the professional journal of the CILIP Information Literacy Group. The group encourages debate and the exchange of knowledge in all aspects of information literacy. The group:
- Maintains an active email list: lis-infoliteracy
- Organises the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC)
- Maintains the Information Literacy website
- Highlights effective practice through the annual Information Literacy Award.
The journal maintains a living document detailing the changes we have made and are planning to make for accessibility (front-end and back-end of the system).
JIL is freely available on the open web. Published works are also indexed in the following sources:
- DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)
- ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
- LISA (Library and Information Science Abstracts)
- LISTA (Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts)
- And can be found through browsing in Browzine.