Finding a good fit faster: Tips for writing query letters to LIS journals

Meris Mandernach Longmeier, Jody Condit Fagan


For many librarians, the idea of publishing in a scholarly journal is intimidating, especially for those pursuing tenure or promotion. You may have an idea for an article or even several, but you’re not sure what journal would want them. When we hear such uncertainties from our colleagues, we ask, “Have you considered writing a query letter?” Almost always the answer is “no,” but after people try it, they seem to appreciate the benefits we’ve come to enjoy from this simple practice. In this article we offer practical advice based on our experiences with query letters, supplemented by findings from a survey of more than 50 LIS journal editors. We have extensive publishing and reviewing experience in LIS journals. We define a query letter as an informal email to the journal editor concerning the suitability of a manuscript for publication in a given journal.

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Copyright Meris Mandernach Longmeier, Jody Condit Fagan

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