Call for Proposals: C&RL Topical Issue on Open and Equitable Scholarship

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ACRL’s Research and Scholarly Environment Committee is planning a topical issue of College & Research Libraries (C&RL) around new research on how the academic and research library workforce has accelerated change in the scholarly communications environment. We are particularly interested in articles on recent research that advances the three priority areas established in ACRL’s 2019 report Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications: Creating a More Inclusive Future (available for download or purchase): people, content, and systems.

In that report, the first section on people addresses embracing diversity and inclusion, improving the working lives of people engaged in scholarly communications, and increasing awareness concerning creators’ rights. The second section, content, acknowledges the opportunity for greater inclusion and openness by rethinking what scholarship “counts” and creating more representative and open collections. The third section on systems identifies several avenues to explore: supporting sustainable technological infrastructure, creating systems that permit more access to more people, building mission-aligned organizational and financial systems, and advancing innovation in academic libraries. To learn more about the report, view a recorded webinar from when it was first released.

For this C&RL topical issue, 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. Given the focus of Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications on valuing different ways of knowing, the committee particularly welcomes adventurous scholarship, and we encourage work on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion as they relate to academic libraries and scholarly communication.


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 topical issue, specifically its connection to the ACRL report Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications: Creating a More Inclusive Future, as described above.

Prospective authors should submit a proposal by 5 p.m. Central on Monday, October 3, 2022, for open peer review. Submit via C&RL’s submission system (login required) and please note in your cover page that your submission is a proposal for the Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications topical issue.

Selection Process and Criteria

In keeping with the research agenda’s spirit, submitted proposals will be subject to open peer review, with final selection by the issue editors.

Final Manuscripts

Selected authors should expect to submit a full draft of an article no later than January 9, 2023. 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 drawn from past members of ACRL’s Research and Scholarly Environment Committee who contributed to the Open and Equitable Scholarly Communications report, to revise their manuscripts between January and May 2023. We anticipate that the issue will be published in January 2024.

Issue Editors

The editors for this topical issue will be Nathan Hall (Virginia Tech and former chair of the Research and Scholarly Environment Committee), Kara Malenfant (ACRL staff), and Amanda Nichols Hess (Oakland University and member of the Research and Scholarly Environment Committee). The editors will review proposals, invite authors to prepare manuscripts, engage with authors in developmental editing, and write an introductory editorial for the issue.


Contact the editors: