New Issue: Archival Science

Volume 16, Issue 3

(available by purchase/subscription, or find a copy near you)

“Is the archivist a ‘radical atheist’ now? Deconstruction, its new wave, and archival activism”
Richard J. Matthews

“House proud: an ethnography of the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives”
Danielle Cooper

“A marshall in love. Remembering and forgetting queer pasts in the Finnish archives”
Riikka Taavetti

“Jewish archives and archival documents: Israel and the Diaspora”
Silvia Schenkolewski-Kroll

CFP: Practical Technology for Archives

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.7 (2016:Winter).

The submission timeline is as follows:

Proposals due: September 23
Selections made: October 7
1st drafts due: November 4
Draft reviews: November 18
Revisions due: December 2
Publication: December 16

Submission should be sent to:

Practical Technology for Archives
Randall Miles
Managing Editor

New Coordinator of SAA Reviews Portal

Last December, Alexandra Orchard wrote a post about the SAA Reviews Portal. SAA just announced a new Coordinator, Gloria Gonzalez. I was excited to hear about Gloria’s appointment because of her participation in last year’s SNAP issue of Provenance. She was the reviews editor for that issue, and did a great job of thinking outside the book-review box and brought in reviews about three books, a digital platform, software, the Margaret Sanger Papers Project, and the 2015 Midwest Archives Conference.

The SAA Reviews Portal is a great opportunity to share perspectives  about non-book resources. Writing reviews is a great way to practice writing, and there are a plethora of opportunities with the Portal to explore technology and other resources pertinent to archivists. Give it a try!

from “In the Loop”

New Coordinator for The American Archivist Reviews Portal
Please welcome Gloria Gonzalez as the new Coordinator of the Reviews Portal! Gloria is the library strategist at Zepheira, helping academic and public libraries, archives, and rare book libraries incorporate principles from linked data into their work. Gloria succeeds Alexandra Orchard, who was recently named editor of Archival Issues. Interested in reviewing digital collections, websites, or other archival technology for The American Archivist Reviews Portal? Contact Gloria at or follow her on Twitter at @InformaticMonad to stay up-to-date on new tools and resources.


How to Choose a Journal

As I talk to people about publishing, one of the questions I hear the most is “How do I know what journal to publish in?” It’s a great question, and it doesn’t have an easy answer. When I was editor of Provenance, I of course wanted the submissions but it was more important to focus instead on what is best for the author. Many times I suggested other journals if I thought they were more appropriate.

We all strive (dream?) to have an article accepted for American Archivist. They receive a lot of submissions, and it can be tougher. If you’re interested in acceptance rates, you can read the reports online including from the May Council meeting. While I can’t speak for all the archives journals, I seldom received more than 10, and usually less, in any given year for Provenance. Fewer submissions does not mean automatic acceptance, as all go through the peer-review process and not all are accepted for publication. Journal of Archival Organization is quarterly, and more issues may (theoretically) increase the chance of acceptance. Archival Practice has a rolling deadline, meaning that as articles are accepted they are published (after revisions, of course).

And what about non-archives journals? I have no idea about acceptance rates for other disciplines, but don’t limit yourself. The more we publish about what we do and how we do it to non-archivists, the more others will understand our role in documenting society.

Then there’s the chicken-egg dilemma: do you pick a journal and then write, or write and then find a journal? I have no good answer for this either. It really depends on your topic and type of article you’re writing. American Archivist has great guidelines on different types of submissions. But if you follow those, that doesn’t necessarily limit you to that journal. I suggest reading the scope and submission guidelines of several journals to be familiar with what’s out there. Review my list of journals and see what might work for you.

So how to decide? Here is a list of considerations to get you started:

  • Who is your audience? Is it archivists or possibly historians, environmentalists, genealogists, political scientists, journalists, academic faculty, or others?
  • What is your timeframe? Are you publishing for tenure or for fun?
    • If for tenure, is there a requirement to publish in top-tier journals? A number of articles?
    • Does the publication’s CFP/issue release work with your timeline? It can take a year or longer to get published, though some journals may have quicker turnaround times.
  • What is your topic? Is it general in nature? Or does it have a focus such as technology, audiovisual, manuscripts, records management, conservation, or other? Is there a subject-oriented journal that would be most appropriate?
  • Is there a journal that you read and really like the content?
  • Does your article meet the journal’s scope and guidelines?
    • Don’t send it to more than one journal at a time; this is often stipulated in submission guidelines.
  • If declined at one journal, go ahead and send it to another. Different review boards have different ideas of what fits their journal.
    • I’ve said this before but is always a good reminder: don’t take rejection personally. Use the feedback to make your article better and keep going.
  • If you’re not sure, email the editor. Don’t be shy, they want to hear from you! (And trust me, they want submissions).
  • Talk to your peers. Find out what journals they read regularly.
  • Do you have a strong opinion about open-access vs. subscription?

New Issue: Digital Humanities In the Library / Of the Library: A dh+lib Special Issue

I purposely do not include Digital Humanities journals on my list of journals, primarily because they focus more on libraries and scholarly communication, and archives is only sometimes part of that conversation.

However, I peruse them every so often and their most recent issue includes an article by archivists at Smith College, Beth Myers and Jennifer Rajchel. Their article “What Does Digital Feminist Curation Look Like?” is quite interesting.

The journal is open access, so you can read the full issue.

New Issue: Records Management Journal

Table Of Contents: Volume 26 Issue 2

Trusting records: is Blockchain technology the answer?
Victoria Louise Lemieux

Adopting total quality management to enhance service delivery in medical records: Exploring the case of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana
Emmanuel Adjei, Monica Mensah

Archives as a trusted third party in maintaining and preserving digital records in the cloud environment
Wei Guo, Yun Fang, Weimei Pan, Dekun Li

Reasons for the poor provision of information by the government: public opinion
Johanna Gunnlaugsdottir

What lessons can be learned from the US archivist’s digital mandate for 2019 and is there potential for applying them in lower resource countries?
Jason R. Baron, Anne Thurston

Assessing the functionality of the enterprise content management maturity model
Shadrack Katuu


SAA Recap

Attending SAA is one of my favorite things. Seeing old friends, making new, hearing about projects and accomplishments, and seeing the excitement of archivists for our profession. And this year, it was great to go back to Atlanta where my publishing activities officially started.

First, I want to say thank you to those of you who told me this blog is helpful and that you read it. I’ve been doing this for just over a year and one of my upcoming goals is to do more to market it and gain more readership. So please help spread the word! I’m also hoping to get more contributors, so if you’re interested in sharing your experience or know someone who has something to say, let me know.

There were several opportunities at SAA to talk about publishing. I went to the SAA Toast to Authors, hung out at the bookstore, and attended the Write Away! breakfast. And, of course, there were many conversations in between.

I’ve attended the Write Away! breakfast since 2011. I always enjoy seeing the new faces interested in publishing, the ideas and accomplishments of SAA, and talking with people about writing. I talked to my table about the Reference and Access book and received some good tips and ideas of content. Some were already in my plans, which was helpful to know that I’m on the right track, and some were new ideas.

One question directed at SAA was how do archivists know what are topics of interest or what others are working on where they may want contributors or co-authors? I’ve had this or similar discussions several times over the past few years, and I think it’s time we start figuring it out. I have some ideas: an email discussion group, Google spreadsheet to find ideas and collaborators, live Twitter chats, and using this blog. Please post any ideas in the comments. Talking to each other will help advance writing and publishing!