Reference & User Services Quarterly

Publication Profiles > LIS Scholarly Journals > Reference & User Services Quarterly

 

Publication analysis


About the publication

Title: Reference & User Services Quarterly

Website: http://www.rusq.org/

Purpose, objective, or mission: From the website: “€œReference & User Services Quarterly is the official journal of the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association. Its purpose is to disseminate information of interest to reference librarians, information specialists, and other professionals involved in user-oriented library services.”1

Target audience: Academic; special adult (library and information science).2

Publisher: American Library Association (ALA).3

Peer reviewed? Yes. Articles are double-blind peer reviewed.4

Type: LIS scholarly. This academic journal communicates information regarding user-oriented library services to librarians in special, public, and academic libraries.5

Medium: Print; online, full text (advertising and illustrations not available online).6

Content: In addition to trends and resources related to reference and instruction, articles also address news of the association, professional development, and literature reviews.7 Past feature articles include a survey of public library patrons’ reading habits entitled, “Learning from leisure reading,” a description of successful outreach methods for academic librarians employed at the University of Buffalo Libraries, and a literature analysis of instruction materials for academic libraries. Columns include, “Accidental Technologist,” “The Alert Collector,” “Information Literacy & Instruction,” “Management,” and more.8

Frequency of publication: Quarterly (fall, winter, spring, summer).9

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines: http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx

Types of contributions accepted: Original, unpublished feature articles of 4,000 to 7,000 words that fall within the journal’s scope are preferred.10

Submission and review process: This journal’s submission guidelines indicate that authors should send complete manuscripts, and does not state query procedures.11

All articles must be submitted digitally by email and prepared using standard processing software (such as Microsoft Word). Files should be named to indicate the name(s) of the author and content (text or figures). Submit to the current editor’s email as per the instructions.12

See the guidelines at http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx for specific formatting information.13

The editorial review process generally takes eight weeks. From the website: “Referees may recommend that a manuscript be accepted for publication as is, accepted and returned for minor revision not requiring further referee action, returned for major revision requiring additional referee input, not accepted for publication, or referred for possible inclusion as an entry in a column rather than as a feature article. The final decision rests with the editor. Most manuscripts require some author revisions.”14

Authors have the option to choose a limited license or full copyright agreement form, though the website does not provide detailed information other than, “RUSQ subscribes to a generous educational use policy. You may deposit your article in an institutional or disciplinary repository subsequent to publication in RUSQ.”15

Editorial tone: Articles should be grammatically correct and written in a simple, readable style. Although the journal is scholarly, articles are written in a very clear and instructional manner, without the use of overly “scholarly” jargon.16

Style guide used: Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., and its companion website. See submission guidelines for specific examples of required endnote format. Merriam-Webster’€™s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., or the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary should be consulted for questions relating to spelling and word division.17

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Reference & User Services Quarterly is an ideal place for public, academic, and special librarians to publish scholarly journal articles that are peer reviewed and contribute useful and proven techniques, resources, and guidelines to implementing successful reference services to all types of library users. Authors should also review the different columns published in each issue to see if their article fits into one of those categories, and, if so, tailor their article accordingly. Although this journal is not ideal for newer LIS authors, once a librarian or information professional has experience in the field, this would be an ideal place to publish scholarly articles based on quantified surveys and services provided to library users in a professional setting. a recent article discussed organic farming research resources.

 

Audience analysis


About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: According to a rate card published in May 2010 this publication had a circulation of approximately 5,000 and its web site received more than 350 hits per month. Additionally, “€œReadership engagement with the publication is high. The typical recipient has read all four of the last four issues, spending 49 minutes looking through each one. Nearly one out of three (31%) pass Reference & User Services Quarterly along to others, extending its reach to an additional 3,000 readers.”€18

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: United States and the journal is written in American English.19 While it is safe to say librarians in other English-speaking countries read Reference & User Services Quarterly, the majority of readers are American. This publication is written for an arm of the ALA. The publication reaches all parts of the United States, so avoid local or location specific terminology. Culturally, because Reference & User Services Quarterly is affiliated with the ALA, readers are concerned with issue related to both to libraries in America and are aware of more global perspectives on these issues.20

Reader characteristics: Readers of Reference & User Services Quarterly are highly educated individuals familiar with scholarly articles. These readers understand specialized technical jargon related to the publication’s subject matter. Readers do not want overly simplified articles; they want well-researched and documented studies along with reliable advice they can use to further their careers. Reference & User Services Quarterly readers are librarians in academic, public and special libraries. More specifically, these readers are involved in reference and user services in their libraries, and therefore it is safe to use terminology and vernacular specific to these environments. Furthermore, because readers all deal with the service-oriented side of librarianship, a certain level of empathy for the particular challenges and rewards of this segment of the profession can be assumed. Readers of Reference & User Services Quarterly expect objective articles aimed at furthering the profession. While the subject matter is somewhat conservative, the slant of the publication is neither conservative nor progressive. Readers are biased toward appreciating the value of reference services. Therefore, articles that confirm rather than persuade the value of these services should be well received.21

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Readers of Reference & User Services Quarterly are very familiar with LIS subject matter because not only do they all work in the field, but by reading this publication, it shows they have advanced understanding and interest in continuing their education on LIS topics. Furthermore, most Reference & User Services Quarterly readers hold membership in both RUSA and ALA.22

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

Readers of Reference & User Services Quarterly are primarily librarians working in all types of libraries and information centers.The librarians who read this publication include “librarians employed by academic, public, and special libraries. They include reference librarians, administrators, public services librarians, interlibrary loan librarians, business information specialists, bibliographers, and consultants.”23 Potential authors must take into consideration the fact that readers belong to a certain segment of the library and information science field, particularly on the service side of librarianship, and articles must be aimed at informing and advising this portion of the profession. The most important thing for authors to keep in mind is the scholarly bent of the feature articles and the categories in which the other type of articles fall into, such as reviews and columns. Authors should aim to inform their readers of new and proven techniques, products and services that will further the goals of user-oriented library services.

Last updated: October 30, 2014


References

Show 23 footnotes

  1. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Welcome to Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ). Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/home/main.mpx
  2. SerialsSolutions. (2014). Reference & User Services Quarterly. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1403565220832/52314
  3. SerialsSolutions. (2014). Reference & User Services Quarterly. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1403565220832/52314
  4. SerialsSolutions. (2014). Reference & User Services Quarterly. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1403565220832/52314
  5. SerialsSolutions. (2014). Reference & User Services Quarterly. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1403565220832/52314
  6. SerialsSolutions. (2014). Reference & User Services Quarterly. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1403565220832/52314
  7. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  8. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Journal (Archives). Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/content/L74261/
  9. SerialsSolutions. (2014). Reference & User Services Quarterly. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1403565220832/52314
  10. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  11. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  12. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  13. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  14. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  15. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  16. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  17. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  18. Reference and User Services Association. (2010). 2010 Rate Card. Retrieved from www.rusq.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/2010ratecardfinal.pdf. Note: Website no longer available.
  19. SerialsSolutions. (2014). Reference & User Services Quarterly. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Retrieved from http://ulrichsweb.serialssolutions.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/title/1403565220832/52314
  20. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  21. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  22. Reference and User Services Association. (2014). Instructions to Authors. Retrieved from http://rusa.metapress.com/support/for-authors.mpx
  23. Reference and User Services Association. (2010). 2010 Rate Card. Retrieved from www.rusq.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/2010ratecardfinal.pdf. Note: Website no longer available.
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