CFP: Journal of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives

reposted from A&A listserv:

Reminder: Call for Papers: Journal of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives, Issue no. 46

Important Dates
March 7, 2016: Expression of interest deadline (this is a new extended date)
March 15, 2016: Full article submission deadline
April 30, 2016: Journal release

Editor: Bertram Lyons (

General Call for Papers
IASA Journal invites proposals covering general topics of interest to the sound and audiovisual archives communities throughout the world. Articles, reviews, essays, and technical documents are welcome.

Issue no. 46 special considerations:

We encourage submissions that respond to critical issues for audiovisual archives today:
* Degradation in legacy physical collections, especially magnetic carriers
* Obsolescence of playback equipment and strategies for acquiring spare parts for playback machines
* Selecting sustainable and compatible target codecs and wrappers for A-to-D video reformatting projects
* The proliferation of born-digital audiovisual formats and codecs
* Planning for the necessary technical infrastructure needed to ingest and manage the large digital collections being created and acquired at sound and audiovisual archives worldwide
* Intellectual property rights
* Metadata strategies for time-based media objects
* Providing meaningful and useful access to sound and audiovisual collections for researchers of all kinds and in all locations

Please consider submitting an article covering one of these topics or the results of independent research that would be of interest to the IASA membership.

Abstracts (maximum 250 words each) may be in French, German, Spanish, or English. Images can be sent as digital images in GIF, JPEG, PDF, PNG,
or TIFF formats.

Please send expressions of interest no later than March 4, 2016, via email to the editor:

Information for authors

1. Once accepted, final articles must be submitted to the editor by March 15, 2016.
2. Soft copy as a .doc file for text should be submitted with minimal formatting.
3. Illustrations (photographs, diagrams, tables, maps, etc) may be submitted as low resolution files placed in the .doc file AND high-resolution versions for publication must also be sent separately as attachments.
4. Use footnotes not endnotes.
5. References should be listed at the end of the article in alphabetic order and chronologically for each author and should adhere to the guidelines of the Chicago Manual of
 Style (
6. Authors are encouraged to submit original research or to develop their conference 
presentations into more detailed accounts and/or arguments for publication in the journal. In principle, articles should be no longer than 5,000 words.

Information for advertisers

Enquiries about advertising should be sent to the Editor ( Current rates can be seen on the website at

Please contact with any questions.

Thanks, and best —

Bertram Lyons, Editor, IASA Journal


Bertram Lyons, CA
AVPreserve |

Learn Everything Pt. 2: Review a Journal or Article!

I’ve been thinking more about the challenges we all face in keeping up with scholarly literature. This came up on the SNAP Twitter chat and I wrote more about it a couple weeks ago. Eira Tansey has a great calendar she uses (which she graciously allowed me to add here).

We all know it’s overwhelming to know where to start. Do you start with the latest issue of American Archivist? Read that Archival Issues that’s been sitting on your desk for four years? Look at the plethora of online journals? Or find articles about a certain topic of interest?

As I thought about this, it emphasized a gap: there are few reviews of journals or articles, the focus is more on books, exhibits, software, or other tools. The American Archivist reviews portal has a review of the Provenance Advocacy issue, and I did a profile of VIEW. After I wrote that post, I intended to continue to feature journals (besides CFP or new issues/articles). But it’s a lot for one person to do.

So here’s my proposal: I’d like anyone interested to contribute to this blog by reviewing articles and/or journals. You can write as many as you want, as often as you want. You choose what you want to write about and I’ll post it. All along, I’ve wanted this blog to have multiple contributors and I’ve had a few guest posts (for which I’m grateful for). Think about it: it encourages you to read the literature AND gives you an opportunity to write!

I created a sign-up sheet to avoid overlap. Feel free to add anything. Know that it won’t be my intention to moderate what you write (though I’ll gladly offer feedback if you want it). For all the guest posts so far, I haven’t changed a word. I believe it’s important to have multiple voices and perspectives, so I see my role as only posting what you write.

I hope you like this idea and I especially hope to hear from you!

New Article: Archival Practice

I’ve mostly posted new articles/issues based on what I see on the A&A listserv. While helpful, it’s very limiting and I will try to be better about broadening those announcements.

To start, I happened to go to the Archival Practice website and noticed a new article:

The home stretch: developing automated solutions for legacy container list data at the Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries
by: Natalie Baur, Lyn MacCorkle, Sevika Singh

Going forward, please let me know if you or someone you know publishes an article or book. Thanks!

Research: Choose Your Own Adventure

Research is like a choose your own adventure book – picking among multiple paths to see how it ends. To me, research is both fun and challenging. Fun, because I enjoy digging, reading, and seeing what I find. Challenging, because it’s hard to decide where to stop.

As I write the reference and access book, I discover more and more resources I wasn’t aware of. I’m reading historic books to familiarize myself with the development of reference services and how they were viewed by the profession. Being a good researcher, I frequently look at the footnotes. While I’m under no delusion that I know all the books and articles written about reference, I am surprised at how many cited sources I didn’t know about. It’s quite interesting and emphasizes how important scholarship has always been for the profession. One book leads to another, which leads to an article, which leads to a report, and so on. Hence, the “choose your own adventure” analogy. Theoretically, I know there is a finite number of sources published, but it’s difficult to see the end of the research trail.

However, there is a downside. I want to read everything, yet I know that is impossible. I went through this when I wrote my dissertation. My concern was (is) missing that crucial piece that when others read the book they’ll wonder why I didn’t include it. That’s an emotional reaction rather than a logical one.

Intellectually I know that I can’t, nor shouldn’t, include everything written about reference and access. It is a huge topic and I will drive myself crazy if I try to include everything. Keeping the readers in mind, I want to provide a breadth of resources they will find helpful while not being overwhelming. Not all of these references need to be citations, but could be in a “further reading” section.

I wish I had the magic formula on finding that balance. At my job, I frequently help students with research and often warn them about doing too much research. Advice that I need to take myself. It is hard to decide how much is enough. For example, there is general consensus of the importance of access throughout pretty much all historical scholarship. So, how many citations are enough? Is it worth including not just the usual players but some of the more obscure and lesser-known archives manuals and writings?

Right now, I’m still in the early stage of writing. I’m following the citations, getting items through interlibrary loan, and reading much that I’ve never read before. The choose-your-own-adventure I’m on is fun, albeit time consuming. I’m nearly to the point where what I read is pretty repetitive, which is one way to know that I’ve read enough about that particular topic (though I’ll still probably read more). My other practice is to force myself to stop and finish writing that section. Then as I write, questions will arise and I’ll notice gaps, then do more research to fill in where necessary. Luckily, I have many more research adventures to go.

Call for Reviewers: Practical Technology in Archives

reposted from A&A listserv:

Practical Technology for Archives is a peer-reviewed journal concerning the hands-on aspects of archival work. We are looking for one or two new reviewers. Each reviewer for the journal is asked to review one or two article proposals and one or two article drafts. These reviews are done in a fairly tight timeframe, with only two weeks for each.

If you are interested, please let me know.

Thank you,

Practical Technology for Archives
Randall Miles
Managing Editor

CFP: Practical Technology for Archives

reposted from A&A listserv:

Practical Technology for Archives is an open-access, peer-reviewed, electronic journal focused on the practical application of technology to address challenges encountered in working with archives. Our goal is to provide a timely resource, published semi-annually, that addresses issues of interest to practitioners, and to foster community interaction through monitored comments. Submissions may be full articles, brief tips and techniques, AV tutorials, reviews (tools, software, books), or post-grant technical reports. Please visit for more information.

The editorial board of Practical Technology for Archives is calling for proposals/abstracts for Issue no.6 (2016:Summer).

The submission timeline is as follows:

Proposals due: March 18
Selections made: April 1
1st drafts due: April 29
Draft reviews: May 13
Revisions due: May 27
Publication: June 10

Submission should be sent to:
Practical Technology for Archives
Randall Miles
Managing Editor

New Article: JCAS

reposted from A&A listserv:

The Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies announces publication of Volume 3, Article 3, “A Comparative Study of User Experience between Physical Objects and Their Digital Surrogates,” by Anastasia Varnalis-Weigle, Ph.D. candidate at Simmons College School of Library and Information Science.

While the LAM community has made strides in designing new ways to access digital collections, the question remains: what are users losing in sensory (sight, touch, sound, smell) and emotional experience at the digital level? The author examines this question by enlisting a phenomenological approach consisting of observation and semi-structured interviews with student, faculty, and staff at a large academic institution. Download the article here.

The JCAS is a peer-reviewed, online, open access journal sponsored by the Yale University Library and New England Archivists (NEA). Follow the JCAS on Twitter and Facebook!

Lily Troia, JCAS Social Media Consultant
Dean’s Fellow for Digital Media Outreach
MLIS Candidate ’16
Simmons School of Library and Information Science

Guest Post: Developing a Research Agenda

thank you Eira Tansey for your contribution!

When I was on the academic archivist job market a few years ago, I interviewed at one institution where I was warned during lunch to have a very narrowly focused answer to the dean’s inevitable question about my research agenda. I was strongly advised to make it clear that I had a tightly-defined research agenda, that my research interests weren’t all over the place, and that I was aiming for high-profile titles in which to publish my work. The only problem was that at the time I was searching for my first professional position, and as a paraprofessional I had only just started dipping my toe into publishing — all I had in print with a chapter in Kate Theimer’s book on description. Furthermore, my graduate program did not heavily emphasize or acculturate students into pursuing publishing opportunities. I don’t recall how I answered the question during my meeting with the dean (however I do remember his bone-crushing handshake!), but the broader question of “What is my research agenda?” is a question where my answers are rapidly evolving.

I lucked out and ended up at an institution that is a far better fit than the previously-mentioned one for a multitude of reasons. At my institution, librarians have faculty status and we have multiple paths to tenure (see our criteria: Some library faculty choose to build their tenure case (and preceding reappointment and promotion applications) around publications, others choose different routes. Since I started two years ago, I have prioritized building up my record around “publishing or creative works.” Unlike some institutions that clearly articulate how many articles are required for a successful tenure bid, or specifications on journal rankings, our criteria is very open-ended. There are pros and cons to this. On the one hand, it allows generous flexibility in choosing experimental publishing outlets (new interdisciplinary open-access title with funky journal design layouts? sure, why not!). On the other hand, because we don’t have clear guidelines, there are fewer objective benchmarks to be evaluated against.

I should pause here to describe what I mean when I say a “research agenda.” I don’t believe you have to have faculty status, professional status, or even a full-time job working in archives to have a research agenda. You don’t have to know statistical methods or have grant funding (although obviously the more you have of both, the more you can do!). But you do have to have an idea worth exploring, more than some superficial things to say about it, and the ability to eventually sit down, tune out distractions, and write. As far as I can discern, a “research agenda” is a broad scope of work in various stages across one’s career that has interconnecting intellectual tissue underneath what might look like many unrelated interests. When I think of well-known archivists and imagine their research agendas, I think of how certain archivists are associated with certain areas of archival theory and practice (e.g., Rand Jimerson on archives and social justice, Terry Cook and Helen Samuels with appraisal, Mark Greene with processing and collection development, etc).

When I first started getting serious about committing to professional writing, I chafed against the idea of a research agenda. It seemed so restrictive, and I have so many boundless interests, why not move from topic to topic, even if they’re completely unrelated? But as I’ve accrued some publications on my CV, I’m beginning to see the wisdom of targeting my focus towards a certain direction for the foreseeable future. To contribute something worth publishing, one should be familiar with the literature written on that subject. Depending on the topic, this could mean a lot of writing — and then you have to figure out where your contribution fits into that landscape. It is a lot of work to review literature on an existing subject (, and I’m beginning to see one of the greatest arguments for having a focused research agenda: you don’t have to reacquaint yourself with a whole new body of knowledge every time you begin a new project.

I should note here that I think this process of writing about a bunch of different topics, and then finding one’s calling towards a specific area is fairly common. Certainly, it echoes the many college students who have undeclared majors for a long time, or how many young professionals switch career fields. For fun, I looked at the CVs of some well-known archivists, and you can certainly see how over time, their output begins to coalesce around a few main topics (for example, Mark Greene

Right now I’m feeling the call to explore the intersection of archives, the environment, and climate change. I feel compelled to build a research agenda around this in a way I haven’t felt about other topics. This is occurring while my other “scattered focus” writing projects are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a whole range of issues I still care about (privacy! erasure and marginalization of archival labor! everything ever to do with appraisal! public records laws!), and every day I think things like “What we really need is a comparative study of unionization among archivists! WHY ISN’T ANYONE WRITING ABOUT THIS? I WANT TO READ ABOUT IT! Should I work on this?!?!?!” so I’m at a juncture where I feel a little twinge of sadness at the idea of not trying to write about everything unexplored. It doesn’t help that I have a “future ideas to pursue” list of dozens of half-baked ideas I add to on a semi-regular basis. Mostly I just try to be vocal about the topics I think are unexplored within archives-land and trust that someone, at some point, will feel inspired to write all the articles I know I could never manage on my own, but that I so desperately want to read.

How have you decided what to write about? Do you “write what you want to read”? Do you enter the conversation like a game of double dutch (credit for this to Jarrett Drake: Has your research focus shifted as you grow as a writer?

New Article: JCAS

reposted from A&A listserv:

The JCAS announces publication of Volume 3, Article 2, “Archiving Governance in Palestine,” by Caitlin M. Davis, University of New Mexico. This paper provides a preliminary investigation of the material-semiotics of archives in Palestine, exploring the peculiar ways in which the form and content of archival documents, architectures, and circulatory networks actually help to engender—not just reflect—some (new) realities of governance.

Download the article here.

The JCAS is a peer-reviewed, online, open access journal sponsored by the Yale University Library and New England Archivists (NEA). Follow the JCAS on Twitter and Facebook!

Lily Troia, JCAS Social Media Consultant

Lily Cristina Troia
Dean’s Fellow for Digital Media Outreach
MLIS Candidate ’16
Simmons School of Library and Information Science

Finalizing a Journal Issue

Putting together a journal issue requires a lot of steps and details. As I finish my last issue of Provenance, I thought people might be interested in steps required to finalize an issue.

The editor facilitates the peer-review process, assigning submissions to reviewers. Once those reviews are complete, the editor takes that feedback to register a decision. For Provenance, it is accept with minor revisions, accept with major revisions, and declined. Submitters receive that notification along with the reviewers’ feedback. Generally, this happens throughout spring and summer, with the most submissions received around the end of July due date. Once it is known which articles are selected for publication, then the bulk of an editor’s job begins.

All articles need some editing. There is always a mix of minor, some, and major editing needed. There’s generally 1-2 articles that only need a few minor edits, mostly technical with an occasional clarification. Next are articles that require a thorough editing, primarily technical with perhaps a few questions/clarifications. Last, there are articles that go through several drafts before being publication ready. These authors have solid and strong ideas, but need to rewrite/rework paragraphs or sections, reorganize, the article, incorporate additional research (generally only one or two articles or books to support their statements), or heavier copyediting. The latter, of course, is often hard and stressful for the author, but my ultimate goal is to bring out the best in their writing.

This back and forth with authors for edit can go on for several weeks. What I do as editor is check grammar, punctuation, footnotes for proper citations and formatting, credit/citation for photographs, charts in black and white (only our cover is in color), proper use of quotes, section headings, clear articulation of arguments and evidence, and so forth. I want to retain the authors’ voices and do my best not to rewrite, though I will sometimes offer suggestions. For example: if there is a confusing section I will note that and ask for clarification; I’ll ask for citations if they were not included; or ask for reduction/expansion of thoughts or arguments.

Generally, I make a first pass for all these possibilities and return to the author with tracked changes and comments. The author will then return it with further edits and respond to comments. I try to communicate that most are just suggestions. I have had authors clarify why they don’t want to make a suggested change and I honor those requests. Then, I ask the authors to sign publishing agreements and provide short biographies. I also make sure I have addresses for non-SGA member authors.

After the content is more or less final, then I will start formatting to adhere to Provenance standards, meaning The Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition. Across all articles, I make formatting changes for consistency such as title/author headings, section headings, use of numbers, citation format, font size, paragraph spacing, etc. This goes for the articles, reviews, and any other content (like editor’s notes). It’s very gratifying to see all of that come together.

When this is complete, I decide on the table of contents. It’s subjective, but my goal is to make the reading flow well. As Provenance publishes any topic related to archives, it’s seldom that two articles are on the same topic (at least in my tenure). Sometimes it’s easy, but with the current issue which will have 7 articles, it was hard to decide.

I also do both the front and back matter. The front matter includes picking a cover photo, updating the editorial board list, and the table of contents. The cover image is sometimes easy and sometimes hard. If an article includes photos, I try to use one of those. Last year there were no photos, so I worked with an author to create an image. The 2011 issue included original artwork. As a teaser, what will be on the upcoming issue is my favorite yet. It was provided by a professional photographer who graciously allowed us to use it at no charge. Regardless of where the image comes from, it directly ties into one of the articles. The back matter is the easiest: updating the SGA board list and information for contributors.

Editors of some journals write an editor’s note for each issue. I’ve written a few, but not for every issue. I did choose to write one this year, as it is my last issue. I previously wrote ones for the special issues completed. That is entirely up to the editor.

At last, finalizing the issue is getting closer. Once I have all of this complete, I send it to the managing editor for markup. She will fix any technical issues I may have missed, format it in Publisher, and assign page numbers. After that is complete, individual PDFs are sent to the authors for one final review. At this stage, only minor corrections are completed. I review the entire issue one more time and also give any corrections.

Once all the authors approve their articles, the managing editor will fix anything necessary then work with the printer. She coordinates the printing and mailing. She works with SGA to compile a mailing list that includes members and non-member authors. We decide on a number to print, as two copies go to the SGA archives and we want to have a few extra for individual purchase or replacement. We go into the printers’ queue, so we never quite know how long it will take. But generally 4-6 weeks later, it arrives in the mail. It’s always a happy day when I see the result of the work of so many people.