American Archivist, The

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Publication analysis


About the publication

Title: The American Archivist

Website: http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist

Purpose, objective, or mission: The website of The American Archivist states it “seeks to reflect thinking about theoretical and practical developments in the archival profession.”1 It is the journal of the Society of American Archivists, so the focus is on the cultural, social, legal, and technological developments in North America in particular.2

Target audience: Archivists and special collections librarians.3

Publisher: Society of American Archivists (SAA).4

Peer reviewed? Yes5

Type: LIS and History, scholarly6

Medium: Print and online open access; last six issues available to SAA members and subscribers only, or to the general public for a fee.7

Content: Includes research articles, case studies, commentaries on issues and practices of interest to the field, essays on international archival practices, annotated professional resource bibliographies, discussions of professional practice and initiatives, and letters to the editor on previously published articles and other topics of interest to the field.8

Frequency of publication: Semi-annual.9

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines: http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist/editorialpolicy

Types of contributions accepted: Original research articles, case studies, opinion and editorial pieces, articles concerning international practices or perspectives, professional resource bibliographies, and reviews of books, archival literature, finding aids, microfilm editions, exhibits, and computer software.10

Submission and review process: The preferred maximum length is 8,000 words for research articles and surveys, and 3,000 words for case studies and perspectives. These length requirements may be waived for certain articles in consultation with the editor. All articles should be accompanied by a 100-word abstract. Manuscripts are to be submitted electronically as email attachments in Microsoft Word, double-spaced and pages numbered throughout, with author’s name and address on the title page only.11

The American Archivist is a refereed journal. Each submission will be reviewed by two experts in the subject matter of the submission, and a final decision for publication will be based on their reviews. Final decision normally takes a minimum of three months.12

Acceptance for publication is usually on the condition that specified revisions be made. Once an article is accepted, author will send a short biographical statement and photo. Authors are given the opportunity to approve all editorial changes and to review page proofs for correction of printer’s errors. It usually takes a year for a submission to be seen in print.13

Editorial tone: Scholarly.14

Style guide used: Chicago Manual of Style, latest edition; for professional terminology refer to the definitions outlined in A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology by Richard Pearce-Moses.15

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

If the author is looking for an avenue to enter the conversation of current, scholarly archival practices and the future of conserving information, this may be one of the more prestigious journals through which to pursue publication. Publishing in American Archivist is sure to have weight when interviewing for a position, or to fulfill tenure or promotion requirements for academic libraries or other scholarly institutions.

 

Audience analysis


About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: The American Archivist circulates to around 6,000 members of the Society of American Archivists.16

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: SAA members live and work all over North America. There is no specified or dominant culture or geographic area. This journal is mainly focused on North American archivists and their practices, and all articles are in English. However, this journal expresses a definite interest in the archival practices of their international colleagues, and specifically looks for articles on this subject.17

Reader characteristics: Highly educated individuals, most of whom have at least two university degrees. Most have history and/or library science graduate degrees. There are further specializations in every area imaginable, so a variety of interests are represented here. There is no information provided on age, gender, or ethnicity of the members. This audience works in a variety of professional settings, including universities and higher education, private corporations, nonprofits, historical societies, public and special libraries, art and history museums, religious organizations, and government agencies. Some specializations include acquisition and appraisal, business archives, religious archives, academic archives, museums, description (cataloging), electronic records, government records, manuscript repositories, oral history, preservation, reference and access, and visual materials to name a few. People may work by themselves with little to no assistance, or work in immense academic or private institutions with a fleet of colleagues and assistants. The most striking characteristic of American Archivist readers is that they love and believe in what they do. They are incredibly interested in their profession, and how to continue and expand it into the future. These readers are interested in practical approaches and ideas, as they are practitioners in the real world who are usually short on money, space, and time. Theoretical discussions with no practical applications would be of little value to them.18

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: With extensive knowledge specific of their branch of LIS, these readers are well versed in the history of archiving and preservation and specific technologies and practices, and are often eager to discuss and debate new technologies and future practices in the field. They are familiar with both LIS and archival terminology, concerns, issues, and theories. Archival studies includes several different models used for appraisal, weeding, preservation, etc., which are also discussed in this publication. Not all readers will possess an LIS degree as some enter the field by way of a history or museum education and background.19

Conclusion: Reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

The readers of this publication can be extremely intimidating for the new author and archival professional. Many of SAA’s members have been publishing in this journal (and others) for years, and their names are well-known and carry weight at conferences and national conventions. They have highly specialized and technical knowledge ranging over hundreds of topics, localities, and institutional settings. These readers are professional scholars and practitioners who value both theoretical and applied research in archival science. They will be looking for excellent academic writing, new ideas, or suggestive case studies with relevance to their own repositories. This is a high standard to meet. However, if an author feels he or she has something to add to the conversation of archival studies, this is the right forum. This is where the newest, most significant research, case studies, and experimental models in the field are disseminated and discussed.

Last updated: October 27, 2016


References

Show 19 footnotes

  1. “The American Archivist,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2016, http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist
  2.  “The American Archivist,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2016, http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist
  3.  “The American Archivist,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2016, http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist
  4. The American Archivist, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed October 27, 2016, http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1401982746364/41437
  5.  The American Archivist, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed October 27, 2016, http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1401982746364/41437
  6.  The American Archivist, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed October 27, 2016, http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1401982746364/41437
  7.  “The American Archivist,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2016, http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist
  8. “Editorial Policy,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2014, http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist/editorialpolicy
  9.  The American Archivist, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed October 27, 2016, http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1401982746364/41437
  10. “Editorial Policy,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2014, http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist/editorialpolicy
  11. “Editorial Policy,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2014, http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist/editorialpolicy
  12. “Editorial Policy,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2014, http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist/editorialpolicy
  13. “Editorial Policy,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2014, http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist/editorialpolicy
  14.  The American Archivist, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed October 27, 2016, http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1401982746364/41437
  15. “Editorial Policy,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2014, http://www2.archivists.org/american-archivist/editorialpolicy
  16. “Advertising Opportunities,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2014,  http://www2.archivists.org/advertising
  17. “Advertising Opportunities,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2014,  http://www2.archivists.org/advertising
  18. “So You Want to Be an Archivist,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2016, http://www2.archivists.org/careers/beanarchivist
  19. “So You Want to Be an Archivist,” Society of American Archivists, accessed October 27, 2016, http://www2.archivists.org/careers/beanarchivist
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