Updated Submission Guidelines for What We Publish

It’s been about a year since we updated our publication schedule, and we thought it a good time to revisit our submission guidelines and clarify the description of the types of articles we publish, too. If you’ve been thinking about submitting to In the Library with the Lead Pipe, take a look at these updates (also available under the Submission Guidelines tab).


We publish high quality peer-reviewed articles in a range of formats. Whilst we are open to suggestions for new article types and formats, including material previously published in part or full, we expect proposals to include unique and substantial new content from the author. Examples of material we would publish include:

  • Original research with a discussion of its consequences and an argument for action that makes a unique, significant contribution to the professional literature.
  • Articles arguing for a particular approach, strategy or development in librarianship, with practical examples of how it might be achieved.
  • Transformative works with additional explanatory or interpretive content. For example, a transcription of an interview or panel discussion, with a substantial introduction explaining the importance of the subject to librarianship and a discussion of related literature.


To propose an article, please submit the following to itlwtlp at gmail dot com:

1. An abstract of your proposed article (200 word maximum);
2. A link to (or attachment with) an example of your writing; and
3. Your current resume/CV or a brief biography. (Our goal is to share perspectives from across the library community, so this item is intended to give us a sense of who you are, with what type of library you are associated, if any, and what perspective you bring to the topic.)

Alternately, you may submit a completed article. It should be approximately 2,000-5,000 words with citations as appropriate. If submitting a completed article please ensure it follows our style guide.

A member of the Editorial Board will respond to your message within a week. In general, we will make a decision based on how well your proposal seems to fit our goals, content, and style. We will include in our initial decision email any thoughts your submission raised among the Editorial Board.


If we like the sound of your initial proposal, we will proceed to the next step in the submissions process: Framework Questions. This step is vital in allowing the Editorial Board to have a stronger sense of your proposed article, your thesis, and what your article would contribute to the professional literature. We are interested in well written articles that have actionable solutions, and we intend that these questions will help frame your idea appropriately. We expect the Framework Questions will be answered thoughtfully and completely:

1. What specific event or experience led you to be passionate about this topic?
2. What 5-7 things are most interesting to you about your topic?
3. Of those 5-7 things, what are the 3 most important things to consider about your topic and why are they the most critical?
4. What problem is your article addressing and what actions do you want readers to take after reading it?
5. Is your topic more relevant to someone in an academic, school, public, government, private, medical setting, etc.? If so, how is your topic meaningful to someone not in that target audience?
6. In what ways does your article build upon and/or contribute to the existing literature? Provide 3 annotated citations. Depending upon your topic, these citations may be for research on which your article is based; examples that reinforce issues that you’re raising in your article; articles to which yours is responding; conversations to which you are adding; etc.
7. What do you want your readers to remember after they finish reading your article?

The Editorial Board may ask additional questions or request further clarification after receipt of the Framework Questions before determining the final status of the proposal.


If we choose to accept your proposal, you will be assigned a Publishing Editor who will guide you through the Lead Pipe Publication Process.

Please see the About Page for information on Open Access, Copyright, Licensing, and Article Processing Fees.