iSchool Descriptor

 

Publication analysis


About the publication

Title: iSchool Descriptor

Website: https://slisgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/

Purpose, objective, or mission: “The iSchool Descriptor is waiting to include your internship recaps, book and periodical reviews, job and alumni experiences, event attendee summaries, and any other LIS content that you feel is worth sharing.”1

Target audience: SJSU iSchool students, faculty, and alumni.2

Publisher: SJSU ALASC.3

Peer reviewed? No.4

Type: LIS student newsletter.5

Medium: Online.6

Content: News, ideas, and experiences of students, faculty, and alumni of the SJSU iSchool program. Interviews, advice, in-depth articles on particular facets of both the SJSU iSchool program and new technologies or research affecting the profession as a whole.7

Frequency of publication: Three to four times within the academic year.8

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines: https://ischoolgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/?page_id=2

Types of contributions accepted: Articles, opinion pieces, interviews, personal experiences, and advice are all accepted. The editor looks especially for articles dealing with particular facets of the SLIS program, or for new technologies that affect the profession as a whole. For example, “internship recaps, book and periodical reviews, job and alumni experiences, event attendee summaries, and any other LIS content that you feel is worth sharing.”9

Submission and review process: Articles can be from 250 to 1,000 words, and should be emailed in .doc, .docx, or .rtf files. There is no strict format to follow for writing. If you are writing about a personal experience, feel free to write in first person. Email visual content as JPEG files. The photo should be accompanied by information that describes “who took it, when it was taken, and what is in the picture.”10 The current submission deadline is January 9, 2015.11

Editorial tone: Personal (first person voice can be used), informal, and informative. Written mainly by students for fellow students. “Simple, straightforward language”12 is encouraged by the publication.

Style guide used: None specified.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

For beginners, writing for a student newsletter is an excellent way to get your feet wet in the world of publishing. First of all, the newsletter is less formal in tone and style, making it a less daunting task to write for. Secondly, it will familiarize the new writer with the practices of editing, rewriting, and publishing work. And lastly, there is a smaller pool of authors competing to publish in a student newsletter, so the chances of actually seeing your article in print (or online) is significantly greater. A writer can also gain experience by becoming a guest editor, a position which greatly enhances writing skills.

 

Audience analysis


About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: The vast majority of readers are students of San José State’s iSchool, and number nearly 2,000. Readership also includes iSchool staff and alumni.13

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: Published in California, the publication reaches an international audience of students from 45 states in the US and over 16 countries. iSchool Descriptor is published solely in English, a common language to all students in the program.14

Reader characteristics: Over 81% of the audience is female, with an average age of 37. All the readers have at least one college degree already, and several have graduate degrees in a variety of fields as well. Overall the readers are well-educated and knowledgeable about technology, current information politics, and social service issues. They have concerns that run parallel to the concerns of the library professional.15

The readers work in a variety of fields and have a wide range of interests. Some are already gainfully employed in libraries, museums, and repositories, and some have no prior library experience. Most recent alumni found work in the following fields: academic 21%, public 35%, school 13%, special 20%, vendors 3%, other 6%, private-industry 1.5%.16 As you can see, the range of interests and specialization is quite broad, but all are based in library and information science. This doesn’t include the range of interests and expertise represented by previous occupations and university degrees.

Education and communication are the most important values of this audience. Most readers do not have time to spend hours reading an article and debating its merits. The audience values information on library issues and concerns, on new techniques and programs, job-seeking and interviewing, and issues or technologies affecting their scholarly pursuits. This publication is meant to be a mode of communication and a community bulletin board.17 Networking is very important, especially because the iSchool program is almost entirely based on distance learning, and very few students get to meet and exchange information face to face. The readership is active; many of them are already practitioners in the library field, but they also attend talks, presentations, professional seminars, and conferences.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: As a newsletter for LIS students, the publication assumes the reader has a firm understanding of LIS terminology, and has a general understanding of national library and information science practices and challenges. The readers are also aware of most of the concerns and issues related to the iSchool program offered by San José State. Specialized knowledge will be less familiar to the average reader.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

Readers are busy, multitasking individuals. They are interested in a a wide variety of library and information science issues, concerns, and advice. Readers are looking for brief, informative, and well-written articles concerning issues in the LIS field, and more specifically, in the iSchool program. It is a small audience (under 2000). For this publication general topics would be appropriate, or articles introducing new procedures, techniques, or technologies in the program. Advice or interviews for those seeking employment would be welcome. If an article is on a specialized topic it should assume that most readers will have only a little knowledge about it. Authors can assume the readers understand library terminology and topics, but for specialized fields or topics expect only rudimentary familiarity. The readers will also appreciate a more informal tone, as opposed to a scholarly communication.

Last updated: May 16, 2016


References

Show 17 footnotes

  1. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). Current Submissions Information. SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://ischoolgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/?page_id=2
  2. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). Current Submissions Information. SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://ischoolgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/?page_id=2
  3. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://slisgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/
  4. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). Current Submissions Information. SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://ischoolgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/?page_id=2
  5. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://slisgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/
  6. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://slisgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/
  7. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). Current Submissions Information. SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://ischoolgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/?page_id=2
  8. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://slisgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/
  9. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). Current Submissions Information. SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://ischoolgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/?page_id=2
  10. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). Current Submissions Information. SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://ischoolgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/?page_id=2
  11. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). Current Submissions Information. SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://ischoolgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/?page_id=2
  12. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). Current Submissions Information. SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://ischoolgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/?page_id=2
  13. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://slisgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/
  14. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://slisgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/
  15. San José State University. (2016). SJSU School of Information. Retrieved from http://ischool.sjsu.edu/
  16. San José State University. (2016). Information School Alumni. SJSU School of Information. Retrieved from http://ischool.sjsu.edu/people/information-school-alumni
  17. American Library Association Student Chapter. (2016). SJSU ALASC Descriptor. Retrieved from https://slisgroups.sjsu.edu/alasc/wp-descriptor/
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