Call for Proposals: C&RL Special Issue on Academic Library Impact

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C&RL mastheadACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee is planning a special issue of College & Research Libraries (C&RL) around new research on the impact of academic libraries on student learning and success in higher education. We are particularly interested in articles on recent research that advances the six priority areas established in ACRL’s 2017 report, Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research (prepared for ACRL by OCLC Research and available for download or purchase). Overall, these focus on ways in which libraries can increase student learning and success and communicate their value to higher education stakeholders.

The research may use any investigative methods appropriate to addressing the research question(s). These include but are not limited to standard quantitative and qualitative approaches, as well as critical evaluations, case studies, reflective essays, and (auto)ethnography. Articles resulting from collaborative research involving librarians and other higher education stakeholders, such as institutional researchers, faculty, administration, students, or community partners are particularly welcome. We also encourage work on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion as they relate to academic libraries.


Proposals should be a maximum of 750 words. They should clearly outline the methodology and findings of the research, as well as its relevance to this special issue, specifically its connection to the ACRL report Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research, as described above.

Prospective authors should submit a proposal by 5 p.m. Central Time on Monday, April 29, 2019, for blind peer review.  Submit via C&RL’s submission system (login required) and please note in your cover letter that your submission is a proposal for the Academic Library Impact special issue.

Selection process and criteria

Proposals will be selected in a blind peer review process. Peer reviewers for the proposals will be drawn from ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee.

Final manuscripts

Selected authors should expect to submit a full draft of an article no later than August 5, 2019. Final manuscripts should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words. Articles should be formatted in accordance with C&RL’s standard author guidelines. Authors whose proposals are accepted should expect to engage in a developmental editing process, working with the issue editors and reviewers to revise their manuscripts between August and December 2019. We anticipate that the issue will be published in April 2020.

Issue editors

The editors for this special issue will be Jill Becker (University of Kansas; vice-chair of the Value of Academic Libraries Committee) and Sara Goek (ACRL). The editors will review proposals, invite authors to prepare manuscripts, engage with authors in developmental editing, and write an introductory essay for the issue.


Contact the editors: