About In the Library with the Lead Pipe
We are a team of librarians working in various types of libraries across the United States. In addition to essays by its editors, In the Library with the Lead Pipe features articles representing other perspectives including educators, administrators, library support staff, and community members. If you’d like to submit an article proposal, please see our submission guidelines.
In the Library with the Lead Pipe is intended to help improve our communities, our libraries, and our professional organizations. Our goal is to explore new ideas and start conversations; to document our concerns and argue for solutions. Each article is peer-reviewed by at least one external and one internal reviewer.
Peer Review Guidelines
Authors are required to have at least one internal reviewer (someone from the Lead Pipe Editorial Board) and at least one external reviewer for their post. It is up to the author to find and coordinate with these reviewers. (The editorial board is happy to offer guidance in identifying and contacting an appropriate reviewer if needed.) The Lead Pipe editor can be the person who invited the author or the author is free to ask one or more of the other editors.
These external reviewers should have some professional connection to, knowledge of, or demonstrated interest in the article’s topic, and the author should be able to make a strong case for their ability and willingness to provide expert review and constructive feedback. Authors can work with someone they already know or reach out to the librarian community. Authors should feel free to work with their Lead Pipe editor to brainstorm for potential reviewers.
Be sure both the author and the reviewers agree on the timeline for feedback. Some authors prefer to work far in advance and allow for two or more rounds of notes. Others work more last minute. Either is fine as long as everyone agrees on the schedule ahead of time.
The format and technology used for feedback is also up to the authors and reviewers. Many of the Lead Pipe editors prefer receiving the draft as a Google Doc, which is good for marking up and for inserting comments. If you prefer MS Word, or paper and a red pen, that’s fine, too.
The content of the feedback might include:
- consistency of voice
- soundness of arguments
- suggestions about the organization and presentation of content in the piece
- questions asking clarity on content that will help the author(s) make edits
From our experience, the best peer-review has addressed specific questions or weaknesses of the article, such as how it’s organized or if it needs more or different content, combined with some dialogue such as, “this makes me think of (x idea) and have you considered including that viewpoint in your post?”