Medical Reference Services Quarterly

Publication Profiles > LIS Scholarly Journals > Medical Reference Services Quarterly


Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Medical Reference Services Quarterly

ISSN0276-3869 (print), 1540-9597 (online)


Purpose, objective, or mission: Medical Reference Services Quarterly “covers topics of current interest and practical value in the areas of reference in medicine and related specialties, the biomedical sciences, nursing, and allied health.” The journal publishes practice-oriented and research articles on medical reference services, with a focus on “user education, database searching, and electronic information.”1

Target audience: Medical Reference Services Quarterly is an “essential working tool for medical and health sciences librarians” aimed at “professionals who provide reference and public services to health sciences personnel in clinical, educational, or research settings” in the fields of medicine, biomedical science, nursing, allied health.2

Publisher: Taylor & Francis.3

Peer reviewed? Yes.4

Type: LIS scholarly journal.

Medium: Print and online.5

Content: Medical Reference Services Quarterly publishes original practical and research articles on health sciences librarianship. Regular columns include Online Updates, Emerging Technologies, Hospital Information Services, Informatics Education, From the Literature, and Book Reviews.6 Recent topics include using the Internet for providing medical information, using biomedical databases, managing medical reference services, continuing education, marketing, user education, document delivery, patient education, ready reference, and collection management, all within the context of medical reference services.7

Frequency of publication: Quarterly.8

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines: Instructions for authors

Types of contributions accepted:Medical Reference Services Quarterly covers topics of current interest and practical value in public services librarianship in the areas of medicine and related specialties, including the biomedical sciences, nursing, and allied health. MRSQ has expanded its scope to cover most aspects of health sciences librarianship, including health informatics, information literacy, collection development, and management of health sciences libraries”9

Submission and review process: Submissions are submitted via email to the editor as Word file attachments. Manuscripts are screened for originality.10 Manuscripts are “are peer reviewed using a rigorous, double-blind process” by two reviewers assigned based on subject expertise.11

Editorial tone: Formal and scholarly.

Style guide used: Chicago Publication Manual, 16th ed.12

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Medical Reference Services Quarterly is a journal for LIS professionals who specialize in medical and health science information services in clinical, educational, or research settings, and who produce articles of practical application and original research. Authors should be aware that this is a high-level, “highly acclaimed,” professional and research journal, with an emphasis on articles that analyze and evaluate practical application in all types of medical and health science library and information settings.13


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: Not provided.

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: Medical Reference Services Quarterly is written in English for a U.S.-based audience. The editors and editorial board members are from U.S. institutions.14

Reader characteristics: Readers are likely to be well educated (often having a science or medical degree and an LIS degree) and to expect articles they can apply to improve the services they provide to their users. Readers have a shared interest in reference services, medical information, and technology. Subscribers to this journal seem to value well-researched and well-written articles that will help them in their work.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Readers, given the specific nature and focus of this journal, will probably have a general knowledge of LIS subject matter with extensive, in-depth knowledge of medical reference services and research.

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

Readers and authors will likely be professionals and researchers already in the field of medical reference services. Furthermore, faculty and librarians involved with developing programs on information literacy, embedded librarianship, and library instruction directed to medical and clinical students, for example, will find practical, in-depth articles to read and a high-profile journal in which to publish.

Last updated: February 7, 2018


Show 14 footnotes

  1. “Aims and scope,” Medical Reference Services Quarterly, accessed February 5, 2018,
  2. “Aims and scope.”
  3. “Journal information,” Medical Reference Services Quarterly, accessed February 5, 2018,
  4. “Aims and scope.”
  5. “Journal information.”
  6. Table of Contents, Medical Reference Services Quarterly 37, no. 1 (January 2018),
  7. “Aims and scope.”
  8. “Journal information.”
  9. “Instructions for authors,” Medical Reference Services Quarterly, accessed February 5, 2018,
  10. “Instructions for authors.”
  11. “Aims and scope.”
  12. “Instructions for authors.”
  13. “Aims and scope.”
  14. “Editorial board,” Medical Reference Services Quarterly, accessed February 5, 2018,
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