Job Announcement: Editor of Manuscripts

Editor of Manuscripts

Manuscripts is the quarterly journal of The Manuscript Society.  Tracing its history to 1948, The Manuscript Society has grown to an international membership of approximately 750 individuals and institutions.  The journal is presently published only in a paper edition.

Duties:  The Editor has complete oversight of the publication of Manuscripts. The position solicits and edits articles for publication; coordinates peer review of submissions as appropriate; obtains copyright and author approval forms; proofreads, collates proofs, etc.; prepares the journal’s index for the Fall issue; works directly with the person responsible for design and layout; works with the printer to maintain a timely publication schedule and to develop a high-quality product; and works effectively with the coeditors for “Auction Trends” and “Reviews” sections of Manuscripts and the editor of The Manuscript Society’s News.  The Editor also serves on the Publications Committee, participates on a regular basis with the Executive Committee, reports at Board of Trustees meetings, and attends annual meetings.

Desirable Qualifications: Demonstrated ability to write well, as exhibited through publications, editorial projects, service on editorial boards, etc.  Broad knowledge about collecting manuscripts and archives, American history or other pertinent humanities background.  Familiarity with current trends in electronic text submission, editing, and publication, including handling of PDF files.  Ability to collaborate and work well with authors, assistant editors, production staff, design staff, the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees and other members of The Manuscript Society.  Ability to plan and adhere to schedules.  Ability to provide attention to detail, to inspire contributors, and to work well under pressure and with a variety of people. Familiarity with word-processing programs and electronic document transfer via the Internet. Budgeting experience desirable.  Familiarity with The Manuscript Society, its goals and the role Manuscripts has in realizing them.

Salary is $2,750.00 per issue.  Expenses to attend board and annual meetings are covered by the Society. The initial appointment is for two years with the possibility for re-appointment. There will be a six-month probation period.

We are looking for someone who is innovative, creative and a team player.

Interested candidates are asked to submit their application (CV, cover letter, and examples of their work) to the Mr. Allen Ottens, Chairman, Editor Search Committee, 1802 Old Oaks Court, Rockford, IL 61108; email:


Job Announcement: Associate Editor, The Papers of the Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen

The University of South Carolina Department of History seeks an Associate Editor to assist in the editing and preparation of the digital edition of the Papers of the Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen.**

Minimum qualification: MA in American History or closely related field, experience in scholarly editing.

Preferred qualifications: ABD or PhD in American History or closely related field, with knowledge of early national South Carolina history, diplomatic history, or military history. A reading and translation ability in French or Spanish is desirable but not required.

Responsibilities include:

  • Researching new documents, creating original transcriptions of texts, and verification (proofreading) of transcriptions of texts against source document for accuracy and formatting.
  • Conducting detailed research for annotation (broader subjects as well as identifications and cross references); drafting and editing of annotation and editorial notes.
  • Entry of texts and annotation information and citations into the DocTracker database system
  • Assisting Project Director with grant applications and grant reports
  • Assisting in preparation of digital files for publisher.
  • Supervising student workers and/or interns.

Job is posted at the University of South Carolina jobs website, . Position will remain open until filled.

**This is a full-time temporary position ending on September 30, 2020 with possibility of extension.


Position Opening – Editor of Journal of Education for Library and Information Science

The Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) is seeking applications from individuals to assume the position of Editor-Designate of its official quarterly, refereed journal, Journal of Education for Library and Information Science(JELIS). The Editor will build on the success of the present editors and will lead in the advancement of knowledge by working with the Editorial Board and University of Toronto Press. The incoming Editor will have the unique opportunity to shape the literature of library and information science education. The new Editor will assume responsibilities with Issue #1, 2019. The initial term of service is three years, with the possibility of renewal. The deadline for application is December 21, 2017. ALISE is open to applications from two individuals who would like to work as co-editors.


  • Relevant library and information science (LIS) education experience
  • Experience as a researcher within the field of LIS
  • Familiarity with the evolving landscape of scholarly publishing
  • Awareness of the LIS community and the intellectual and practical developments in the field
  • Vision for the future direction of JELIS
  • Experience with journal editorial work, particularly copy-editing, managing the peer review process, and working with production
  • Familiarity with electronic publishing
  • Ability to work in an electronic environment
  • Attention to details, including deadlines and costs
  • Commitment to attending ALISE Annual Conferences

The incoming Editor will receive a per-issue honorarium to support editorial expenses. The Editor’s home institution should be willing to provide the support necessary for success. Examples of institutional support that have been provided in the past include office space, supplies, and other overhead expenses and editorial internships for students. Applicants who are not associated with an institution should provide evidence of ability to provide the support necessary for success without institutional backing.

Interested individuals should send the following to Louise Spiteri, Chair of the Search Committee:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Writing sample (e.g., a copy of a recently-published article)
  • Evidence of editing or reviewing experience
  • Statement of vision for the journal
  • Name and contact information of three individuals who can assess potential as journal editor
  • Statement from the applicant’s home institution affirming the specific nature of institutional support forthcoming or evidence of ability to provide the support necessary for success without institutional backing.

For further information on the journal, see the Publications section of or

Please send electronic copies of application materials to:
Dr. Louise Spiteri, Chair,
JELIS Editor Search Committee

Submission Deadline for Applications: Dec. 21, 2017

Note that the ALISE Board-appointed JELIS Editor Search Committee will be interviewing applicants (in person or remotely) at the ALISE 2018 Annual Conference (February 6-9, 2018) in Denver, Colorado

Additional Information on JELIS

As the official publication of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science (JELIS), is a refereed journal published quarterly, and serves as a forum for discussion and presentation of research and issues within the field of library and information science (LIS) education. JELIS is indexed by EBSCO, ProQuest, JSTOR, Scopus, and other database vendors.

The Editor is responsible for the management and publication of JELIS and is appointed by the Board of Directors. The term of office is three years. The Editor is required to submit an annual report to the Board of Directors at the annual conference. The Editor works with the JELIS Editorial Board, and the ALISE management firm to meet the objectives of the journal. The ALISE Director for External Relations serves as the Editor’s liaison to the ALISE Board of Directors.

The JELIS Editorial Board is a body that is charged with advising the Editor on matters concerning the scholarly content and direction of JELIS, and acts also as a referee on articles submitted for publication. The Editorial Board is appointed by the Editor and the annual meeting of the Editorial Board is held at the ALISE annual conference.

The Editor is responsible for ensuring the long-term success of the journal and works with the ALISE Director for External Relations regarding any managerial issues related to the journal.

The ALISE management firm is responsible for handling all the business aspects of the publication of JELIS such as liaising with the publisher, subscriptions, marketing, and advertising. Andrew Estep, ALISE Executive Director, is the point of contact for contractual and technical matters.

When is a Chapter Done?

I officially submitted my first chapter (yay!). I have chunks written for all the chapters, but am now focusing on finishing individual chapters rather than writing bits and pieces throughout.

Finishing a chapter is a challenge, because how do I know when it’s actually done? It’s easy to keep tweaking, to check “just one” more article or book, and to wordsmith every sentence. There are definitely parts that I don’t consider quite done, but at this point I need feedback before I finalize. My rationale is that I don’t want to spend extensive time on a certain section if it will be removed or I need to take it in another direction.

This is a different process from writing an article, which needs to be very solid before submission (though editing and feedback will occur). The AFS series editor provides feedback throughout the whole book process, which is extremely helpful. I included notes and questions about my thought process, as well as specific parts I want advice. As I wrote previously, writing and feedback is a conversation. An editor’s review raises points I didn’t consider, and answers the questions I have.

There’s no particular way to know when a chapter is done. Truly, no chapter will be officially done until the book goes to press. Right now, it’s when what I’m doing is more tweaking and refining, instead of writing. While I want the language to be professional and clear, at some point a copyeditor will refine the text for consistency and to meet SAA’s standards. I strive to achieve those standards, but I also recognize that a fresh review will fix what I overlook. Plus, setting it aside for a while will give me a new perspective when I receive feedback and go to revise it.

It is a good feeling to officially have one chapter done, though I have several to go. It’s progress, and motivation to move on to the next chapter. Writing a book is a slow and long process, but it’s definitely moving along.

Writing Progress

I recently received feedback on my reference and access book draft. A previous post describes my writing process, and of course several times I’ve mentioned the importance of feedback. The notes I received are extremely helpful, as there are thoughts, questions, and suggestions that never crossed my mind but once I read them, make perfect sense.

Naturally, some are easy fixes and some require more thought and/or research. As a pretty scattered writer, meaning I jump from section to section, I expect that makes it difficult for the reader. I think frequently about the book’s organization. The aspects of reference and access overlap continually, and at times it’s difficult to sort out which points should go where. I also make a lot of notes about ideas and thoughts, and even questions about what should be included, what requires more in-depth discussion versus making a reference and referring to other literature.

Feedback is not a reader stating do-this or do-that and the writer complying. It’s a conversation about how to develop, organize, expand, eliminate, cite, reference, discuss, and write. That conversation leads to the writer achieving a better understanding on how the text is read and interpreted, as well as the reader gaining a better understanding of the writer’s goals and thought processes.

For me, this conversation increases my motivation. Notes and feedback provide clarity in my mind about how to proceed and if I’m on the right track. I’ve spent the past few days reviewing the comments, rewriting, reorganizing, and rethinking. And all this has now led to a milestone – 25,000 words (about 65 pages). While I still have a long way to go, I see what I’ve accomplished so far.

And writing is about accomplishments: the first page, first chapter, first draft, first feedback, etc. So as you write, don’t just think about where you need to go, think about what you already achieved.

How I Write

I have several posts that address writing. The most important point is to write, write, write. So how to write? There is, of course, no one answer. Everyone has different methods, discipline, style, etc. Each person must decide what works best for him/her.

Writing is a process. One needs to figure out what process works best for him/her. MIT has a good outline of the process, as does the Purdue OWL, and here’s a fun little video. The process is difficult, time-consuming, and challenging. But it’s also rewarding, confidence-building, and achievable.

My process, if it can be called that, is to write in a scattered way. Meaning, I’ll spend some time writing about reference interviews, the next day perhaps I’ll write about ethics, then the next day I’ll write about research methods. There isn’t necessarily a rhyme or reason, but that works for me. Some authors succeed at writing in a linear fashion, but I learned a long time ago that does not work for me and only causes stress and angst. I succeed more at jumping around to different topics.

Part of why this happens is that I’ll be reading a book about all aspects of reference and I want to make notes in different sections and chapters of my book. I’ll jump around so I don’t lose or forget those thoughts. It’s more important for me to get ideas and thoughts down, even if they are a bit jumbled, so that I can go back and revise it into coherence.

One hurdle I overcame while writing my dissertation was to not attempt perfect writing (see above resources). At first, I got stuck on trying to make a sentence perfect and I spent too much time on that sentence/paragraph that I lost thoughts and ideas. Most of the writing process is actually editing and revising, so struggling at the beginning to be perfect causes frustration and stress. The more one writes, the better it will become over time. There are many variations of the quote “There’s no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.” Plus, an editor will always change, edit, suggest, and revise.

To someone else reading it, my writing appears very jumbled. Sometimes I write full sentences, but I also write thoughts, ideas, questions, notes, and quotes. When reading, I’ll find a good quote, copy and cite it. Later, I’ll decide which quotes are appropriate in full, which can be combined, which can be deleted, which should be a footnote mention only, and which I’ll revise into my own words (keeping proper citations, of course).

Much of my early drafts are notes: include this idea, don’t forget to talk about that, brief outlines, asking myself questions, and lists of topics. It’s more important to me to get those thoughts down than to flush out every idea. I find it much easier to write through revision than try to achieve complete and coherent writing at the beginning.

Other times, I’ll just write. One tip I learned while writing my dissertation was to cover my monitor so I couldn’t see my spelling and grammatical mistakes. I did this in 15 minute chunks over many days. This was a great help to get me started and to just get the ideas written. Over time, I no longer cover my monitor but I still use that tactic. It’s gratifying to do this because I see the page numbers continue to increase, which makes me more motivated to continue.

I can’t emphasize enough to dispel the idea of writing perfectly. Just Google “there’s no such thing as perfect writing” and you will see that every author abides by it. Overcoming that obstacle takes time, but is most liberating. So go forth and write!

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.