World Libraries

Guidelines for Submission to World Libraries

We invite articles on any topic concerning libraries and information services throughout the world, particularly in developing countries. Material related to indigenous peoples is especially welcome. We are also interested in studies of the impact of library and information services on governmental decision making in any country.

A wide scope is preferred. Material that deals with an entire nation or several nations will be useful to more readers than items that are limited to the activities of a single library.

World Libraries attracts a diverse international readership. When preparing documents for submission, consider the following:

  • Cultures, educational backgrounds, and fields of study vary greatly among readers.
  • English may not be the first language of many readers.
  • Many readers may not be a part of academia.

Although nearly all contributors are skilled writers, your attention to the following guidelines will help the World Libraries staff spend less time editing your work and ensure that your message is communicated clearly to readers.

1. All readers will better understand your message through simple explanations and less complex sentences. Shorter sentences and paragraphs are best suited to electronic publications. Refer to the Writing Tips section for further information on creating concise text for a diverse international audience.

2. Use consistency in style and format. The specified guidelines for style as well as abstract, citation, reference, and submission formats create a smoother editorial process for World Libraries staff members. Consistency in these elements also minimizes readers' confusion about the treatment of various elements. (Refer to Style Guidelines, Citation Format, Reference Format, and Abstract Format for further information.)

3. The entire document should be accurately typed and double-spaced. All pages should be numbered, starting with the title page. Use only a basic, widely available font like Courier or Times New Roman, 12 point. Do not justify or break words at the right margin.

4. Each manuscript should contain the following elements:

  • A title
  • An abstract
  • Names of authors and institution affiliations (include e-mail addresses)
  • Brief biographical statement identified with the heading "About the Author"
  • Clearly labeled contents that include an introduction, discussion, and conclusion
  • Internal citations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes (if any)
  • References

5. Submit one complete copy of your manuscript as an e-mail attachment to We accept Microsoft Word, HTML, PDF, or plain text formats. If submitting your manuscript as a PDF file, send another copy of the manuscript as plain or ASCII text with all of the figures attached as separate, clearly labeled .GIF or .JPG files. If submitting your manuscript in HTML format, please keep the code as simple as possible.

Or you may mail a hard copy or digital version to:

World Libraries
Dominican University
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
7900 West Division Street
River Forest, Illinois 60305

6. Material of any length will be considered. In certain cases, articles may be edited into "research summaries" or divided into parts over more than one issue. This will be done only with the author's permission, however.

7. Material submitted should not have been previously published in this form, nor should it be under consideration for publication elsewhere, unless by specific agreement with the editor of World Libraries. If the material has been previously published in some other form (as a conference paper, for example), that information should be specified after the title on the first page.

8. Unsolicited book reviews will not be accepted. Book reviews are initiated directly by the Editor, who asks a specific person to review a particular book.

9. Place the title of the paper at the top of the first page of the manuscript. Follow the title by the full name of all authors, their professional titles or positions, institutional affiliations, and e-mail addresses. If one author should function as the point of contact for questions or comments, please indicate this with the phrase "direct comments to" followed by the author's e-mail address.

Do not include the author(s) name anywhere else in the document, except the title page. This way, anonymity can be maintained when your manuscript is reviewed by our staff.

Title and author information should appear on the first page as follows:

Title  Author(s)  Professional Title/Position  Institutional Affiliation(s)  E-mail Addresses  Direct Comments  to: e-mail address

10. Illustrations, figures, and tables should be included as separate .GIF or .JPG files, named simply as figure1.gif, figure2.gif, etc. They should be embedded in their proper place in the document with captions or marked in the manuscript in this fashion: Insert figure1.gif here, caption. Additional data, illustrations, commentary, and complicated or long tables should be placed in consecutively numbered appendices at the end of the manuscript.

11. Notes in the manuscript should be consecutively numbered, and collected at the end of the paper after the conclusion and before the References section.


All papers submitted to World Libraries for consideration must include an abstract, or a brief summary of a paper's fundamental findings and conclusions. A well-written abstract will pique the interest of readers by succinctly presenting that facts and ideas that build a paper. Follow these guidelines:

  • Place the abstract before the formal contents of the paper and after the title and author information.
  • Limit the abstract to between three and five sentences.
  • State the main ideas of the paper only, avoiding unnecessary details and explanations that are addressed in the body of the paper.
  • Do not include references or notes in the abstract.
  • Use proper grammar, punctuation, and English language conventions.


World Libraries follows the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003). Authors may wish to consult Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996) for a convenient digest of the directions presented in the Chicago Manual. If you have any questions concerning reference format, send an email to

Editorial Process

The flow of a typical article, from author to publication:

  1. An author is contacted by an editor to write an article or an author submits an article to the editors.
  2. The Editorial Office reviews the article.
  3. The author is asked to complete any revisions.
  4. The revised paper is reviewed and accepted for publication.
  5. The article is submitted to the production team.
  6. The production team performs editing, markup, and layout design.
  7. A draft version is prepared.
  8. Authors, editors and production staff review the contents of the draft.
  9. Authors, editors and production staff make corrections as necessary.
  10. The final approved article is published to the World Libraries' Web site.


Authors submitting a paper to World Libraries automatically agree to assign a limited license to World Libraries if and when the manuscript is accepted for publication. This license allows World Libraries to publish a manuscript in a given issue.

Articles published in World Libraries are protected by copyright, which is retained by individual authors. Authors control translation and reproduction rights to their works as published in World Libraries.

World Libraries allows authors to attach a Creative Commons copyright license to his or her work, a license in which the author determines how his or her work can be used. For more information on the types of licenses available, visit

Authors submitting a paper to World Libraries do so with the understanding that Internet publishing is both an opportunity and a challenge. In this environment, authors and publishers do not always have the means to protect against unauthorized copying or editing of copyright-protected works.

World Libraries is a copyrighted product, and all rights are reserved worldwide. Permissions to use any materials appearing in World Libraries should be directed to

Downloads of specific portions of World Libraries articles are permitted for personal use only, not for commercial use or resale. Educational uses of World Libraries are permitted with permission of the authors of specific works appearing in World Libraries.


World Libraries respects the privacy of both its readers and its contributors. To that end, World Libraries does not collect in its logs or other server tools the exact identities of its readers. World Libraries does not require its readers to sign in or to secure a unique ID or password. World Libraries does not use cookies.

World Libraries collects general information in its logs on the origins of users at the highest domain levels. Usage patterns are tracked in World Libraries to assist editors in making decisions about future content. In addition, this information is used for research on usage patterns to improve the site over time.

E-mail addresses used by World Libraries to notify readers of new issues as they appear are not disclosed to third parties.

Please direct any questions about World Libraries' privacy policy to

Writing Tips

Consider the following tips for creating concise text:

Be Specific

Be specific about all references to time, quantity, etc.

Instead of using currently or recently, specify last spring. Often when now and currently are implied, these words can be deleted without loss of meaning.

Instead of saying several units were added, give a number or a rough estimate, such as almost 100.

Use Shorter Words

Choose short, familiar words whenever possible.

When more than 15 percent of your words (except verbs and proper nouns) are three or more syllables, readers work too hard to understand your message. To reduce larger words, consider these tips:

Use about instead of approximately; use rather than utilize. Convert nouns ending in -ion into verbs.

Use "We considered . . ." instead of "We took into consideration . . . ."

Replace endeavor with try, aggregate with total, and optimum with best.

Delete Extra Words

Making your point without extraneous words helps readers clearly understand your message.

Evaluate every that in your text. Often that can be deleted without loss of meaning.

Avoid starting sentences with "In order to . . . ." By deleting the words "in order," you lose no meaning.

Rarely is the word very needed. Consider deleting it or choosing another word. Very good can be excellent, and very important can be key.

Use Shorter Sentences

Keep at least 75 percent of your sentences an average length of 10-20 words. If a sentence is longer than three typed lines, consider shortening it.

Think of your sentence lengths as music: quick, quick, slow becomes short, short, longer. Pleasing variations help your readers pay attention.

Use Shorter Paragraphs

Keep at least 75 percent of your paragraphs one to three sentences long. If a paragraph is more than five typed lines, consider shortening it.

Avoid Clichés & Jargon

Choose original ways of writing your message, avoiding well-known phrases such as, When push comes to shove and By the same token. These clichés and well-worn phrases will bore your readers.

Avoid the use of jargon whenever possible. This type of language or terminology will serve only to confuse readers who may be unfamiliar with your field of study.

Watch Use of "It"

Avoid starting a sentence or clause with It unless the pronoun has a clear antecedent.

Watch Use of "There"

Avoid starting sentences with There to prevent the use of "empty" introductory language.

Use Strong Verbs

Use "strong" verbs whenever possible. Forms of the verb to be (e.g. am, is, are, was, were) do not maintain readers' interest.

Instead of saying, "The meeting was productive," consider, "The meeting generated good ideas for . . . ."

Favor the Active Voice

Favor the active voice over the passive voice to avoid vagueness unless the action is more important than the doer of the action.

Use of the imperative is a good technique for attracting readers and minimizing the use of passive voice constructions.

Ask "So what?"

After you've written your text, evaluate every sentence by asking yourself, Why is this particular piece of information important to my readers?

If you cannot answer the question adequately about a sentence, consider deleting it.

Style Guidelines

For general Internet writing style and usage, authors are encouraged to consult Wired Style: Principles of English Usage in the Digital Age, edited by Constance Hale (San Francisco: HardWired, 1996).

For World Libraries' editorial purposes, please adhere to these style guidelines when referencing the following:


Acronyms and abbreviations should be spelled out the first time they are used. Any that are in languages other than English should be spelled out in the original language and in English.

For example, state World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), allowing the use of WIPO later in the manuscript.


Dates should appear in date-month-year format, 30 Nov 2004.

Electronic Mail

Refer to electronic mail as e-mail or E-mail, but not email or Email.


The Internet should be called the Internet, not the internet, the net, the Net, or the 'Net.


Correct diacritical markings are essential in all languages that have them.


The numbers zero through nine should be spelled out except when referring to data or measurements, such as "The figure measures 3 pixels by 2 pixels ...."

All whole numbers above nine should appear as Arabic numerals, such as 10, 11, 12,....

Ordinal numbers should be spelled out, as in twentieth.

A number at the start of a sentence should be spelled out, as in "Fourteen search engines were examined .... "


Write percent, not %.


Favor the use of the second-person pronoun, you, over the indefinite third-person singular pronoun, one.

Do not assume that the pronoun for a third-person singular noun is him or he. To avoid awkward constructions like he/she, revise sentences.

Spelling (American vs. British)

It is acceptable for writers to use the British spelling or American spelling of words that appear differently in both, such as favour-favor or catalogue-catalog. The author's spelling will be retained in the published version.

Tables & Figures

Capitalize all references to your own tables and figures, such as "see Figure 1" or "see Table 2 below".

Always spell out the words Figure or Table in reference to illustrations in the course of the paper.

Use lower case for references to figures or tables in cited literature, such as (Kokomo, 1999, figure 8) or (Dolton, 1968, table 5).

Verb Tense

Choose a verb tense and maintain its use throughout the document. Carefully consider use of the future tense, as often it is unnecessary.

In discussions of the literature, use the past tense, as in "Valauskas (1990) remarked that ...."

World Wide Web

Use the Web or the World Wide Web, but not the web.

Citation Format

Citations in the course of the manuscript should appear in the following ways:

General Format

The last name of the author of a cited work should appear in the paper, followed by the year of publication of the book, paper, report, or document, as in (Jones, 1990).

If there are several references to authors with the same surname, initials should be used to differentiate between the authors, as in (C. Jones, 1990; D. Jones, 1985).

Two Authors

For references containing two authors, list the authors in order of their appearance in the original publication, followed by date of publication, as in (Smith and Jones, 1986).

Three or More Authors

If a reference contains three or more authors, the citation should appear as (Rogers et al., 1980).

Publications in Press

Cite publications in press (i.e. those documents accepted for publication but not yet published) as (Rivers, in press).

Direct Quotations

Cite direct quotations as (Merrell, 1994, p. 98).

Indirect Quotations

A citation can refer to text written by one author embedded in the text of a book or paper written by another author, such as (Ransmayr in Rothenberg, 1995).

Multiple Quotations

Multiple citations can appear in whatever order the author deems relevant, such as (Shane and Cushing, 1991; Chalmers, 1990; Kendall and Wells, 1992).

Final Checklist

Use the following checklist to ensure that your text is ready for submission to World Libraries:

My introductory text quickly engages readers' interest because it does one of the following:

  • Tells a short tale that leads to the main point;
  • Immediately surprises readers with new information; or
  • Presents about three short ideas or examples, and then summarizes their significance in one sentence.

I have made my text as concise as possible while maintaining its logic and completeness. Each word I have included is essential. (Refer to Writing Tips for further information.)

I have formatted the text according to World Libraries' stated requirements.

I have avoided dull language by using lively verbs where appropriate and specific examples with clear references to time, size, etc. (Refer to Writing Tips for further information.)

My entire document is consistent with World Libraries' stated style guidelines. (Refer to Style Guidelines for further information.)

All of my references, bibliographic notes, endnotes, and/or footnotes are consistent throughout the document and meet World Libraries' stated requirements. (Refer to Citation Format and Reference Format for further information.)

I have included a succinct abstract that clearly states my paper's fundamental findings and conclusions. The abstract meets World Libraries' stated requirements. (Refer to Abstract Format for further information.)

My text has been proofread carefully more than once to eliminate all inaccuracies in fact, word choice, spelling, and grammar. (Refer to Writing Tips for further information.)

Online Resources

To assist you with the self-editing process, World Libraries has compiled the following list of online resources on grammar and style. You may wish to consult these resources prior to submitting your manuscript for consideration.


This site offers advice and guidance for writers at all levels of scholarship as well as a portal to other sources of help for writers.

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

This site is online companion to the print version of Jane Straus's The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, an excellent resource for examining the rules of punctuation.

Common Errors in English

Written by Paul Brians, Professor of English at Washington State University, this informational page examines the most common errors in the English language. While the site focuses on the proper use of American English, it also offers valuable tips for anyone writing in English.