Write for Information Outlook

Information Outlook provides information professionals with analyses of, and insights into, the trends, issues and people affecting special libraries. Although written primarily by SLA members, articles in Information Outlook also are contributed by futurists, attorneys, academicians, technology professionals, human resources specialists, communications experts—anyone with knowledge or ideas about how information professionals can better serve their clients.

Before You Begin Writing
If you’d like to contribute an article, send an e-mail to Stuart Hales at shales@sla.org that outlines the topic you want to cover, the major points you intend to address, and your qualifications for writing the article.

Your outline will be forwarded to the members of the magazine’s advisory council for their review. Their comments will be shared with you as soon as they are available.

Selecting a Topic
Each issue of Information Outlook contains at least two and as many as five articles that relate to a theme topic. The theme topic for each issue is shown on the editorial calendar.

Prior to submitting your outline, review the editorial calendar to determine whether your article relates to one of the themes. If you think it does, note that fact when you submit your outline so the editor can schedule your article to appear in the corresponding issue of Information Outlook.

If your article does not relate to a theme, it will be considered as a feature article and can be published at any time. Each issue of Information Outlook contains at least one and as many as three feature articles, including an interview with an SLA member.

Writing the Article
As you write the article, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Aim for a length of approximately 2,000 words. If you find that your article is running significantly shorter or longer, review the outline and change the focus as needed.
  • Consider ways to illustrate the article, such as with photos, charts, tables, or sidebars. If you submit photos, please send them in a separate e-mail with suggested captions and the name of the photographer. If you submit charts or tables, include titles and captions and identify their source (if you did not create them yourself).
  • If you borrow language, ideas or concepts from primary or secondary sources when writing your article, be sure to identify them. Place attributions within the text of the article using the author-date style; do not use endnotes or footnotes. Include a list of resources at the end of the article. Note: A URL is not a proper citation.
  • Do not format the article in any way.
  • Use the active voice as much as possible.
  • Refer to the SLA Style Guide for guidance about using SLA-specific language and for general style questions. For other style questions, refer to The Chicago Manual of Style.

Submitting the Article
Before submitting the article, review the following checklist:

  • Suggest a headline and a second-level (deck) headline.
  • Write your byline exactly as you want to see it in print. The byline should consist of your name and any relevant degrees and certifications.
  • Include a couple of biographical sentences (no more than three) that tell who you are and what you do (in essence, why you’re qualified to write the article) and how readers can contact you.
  • Attach a photo (head shot) to publish alongside your bio. Do not embed the head shot into your article; instead, send it as a separate file.
  • If you submit artwork with the article, include captions, credit photographers, and identify sources of information for charts, tables, etc.
  • At the end of the article, list all resources from which you borrowed ideas, language, artwork or concepts or that you feel would be of interest and/or value to readers seeking additional information.
  • Download the publication agreement, sign it, and return it to SLA at the physical or electronic address provided.

Reviewing Changes
Articles submitted for publication will be edited and returned to authors for review. The editor typically will “track” suggested changes so you can easily identify where edits were made. You are responsible for reviewing the edits, accepting or modifying them as you see fit, and returning an approved final copy to the editor.

The editor has discretion to make additional changes during the design stage to accommodate space and style considerations. Article layouts will not be shared with authors.

Keeping in Touch
If you have submitted an outline or article and have not received a reply or if you find that you are running behind schedule, please contact the editor by e-mail at shales@sla.org or by phone at +1.703.647.4919.

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