Rowman & Littlefield

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Publisher analysis

About the publisher

Name: Rowman & Littlefield


Purpose, objective, or mission: Rowman & Littlefield “publishes high-quality college texts, entertaining and informative books for general readers, and professional and scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences.”1 Its range of subject areas include library and information services, linguistics, communication, education, psychology, sociology, among others.2

Target audience: Rowman & Littlefield offers “serious works of scholarship, core textbooks for introductory courses, supplemental, affordable paperbacks for alternative approaches to teaching, and general interest and trade books for the curious reader.”3 LIS books are targeted toward practitioners, undergraduate and graduate students, and scholars.

Owner: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group is an independent publishing group4 which also owns one of the largest book distributors in the United States, National Book Network (NBN).5 The publishing group encompasses several imprints, including Lexington Books (specialized and scholarly research), and trade imprints such as Rowman & Littlefield Trade, AltaMira Press, Scarecrow Press and Sheed & Ward.

Are published books peer reviewed? Yes. Authors are asked to provide a list of four to seven potential peer reviewers when submitting a book proposal.6

Types of books published: LIS-specific books run the gamut from primers and practical guides to both introductory and advanced textbooks.7

Medium: Titles are published simultaneously in print and e-book editions.8 Many books are supplemented with multimedia content.9

Topics covered: A range of disciplines across humanities and social sciences, government data, and education.10 LIS-specific topics cover management, archival studies, cataloging and classification, collection development, information technology, literacy instruction, and school librarianship. LIS series include The Practical Guides for Librarians, Library Technology Essentials, and Innovative Practices for Archives and Special Collections.11

Number of titles published per year: Approximately 1,500 academic, reference, professional, and trade books annually (all subjects).12 The number of LIS titles published per year is unknown.

About the publisher’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of submissions accepted: Proposals for publication should be submitted to the appropriate acquisitions editor,14 and include a prospectus, outline (annotated table of contents), author’s CV or resume, one to two brief writing samples, and a list of potential peer reviewers.15 Full book manuscripts are not accepted unless requested by the acquisitions editor. See the publisher’s website for detailed submission guidelines.

Submission and review process: The publisher will acknowledge receipt of a proposal within two weeks, and aims to render a decision on acceptance within three months.16

Editorial tone: Professional and scholarly.

Style guide used: Unknown.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publisher’s potential for LIS authors

Authors include leading academics and respected practitioners. Formal book proposals require a detailed description, author qualifications, previously published works, writing samples, competitive analysis, and potential markets for a book.17 The publisher is well established in its subject areas, and maintains a presence at academic conferences and conventions.18 Rowman & Littlefield is a highly reputable publisher for LIS authors with a proposal for an academic or professional development topic.


Audience analysis

About the publisher’s audience

Size (as measured by average number of copies per title published)A Spring 2017 catalog listed approximately 150 LIS books geared toward students, professionals, and academics.19 Print runs for titles are not publicly available.

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: Rowman & Littlefield is based in the United States, and titles are published in English. Authors are experts and scholars based mostly in the U.S., UK, and Canada, and this may be reflected in the content of material.20 However, as Rowman & Littlefield is an international publisher, books are available to a worldwide audience.21

Reader characteristics: Readers have varying backgrounds within LIS, from management to technology, to instruction and research. Rowman & Littlefield texts are typically used in graduate and professional development courses, though many titles may be of interest to non-LIS readers.22

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Readers are students, academics, and professionals with a strong knowledge of or strong interest in LIS subject matter.

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

With diverse backgrounds, skills, professional duties, and interests, readers are likely seeking specialized LIS knowledge or best practices. Material is theoretical and practical, and provides professional learning for the LIS community.

Last updated: February 2, 2018


Show 22 footnotes

  1. “Home,”, accessed February 2, 2018,
  2. “Subjects,”, accessed February 2, 2018,
  3. “Home.”
  4. “Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group,, accessed February 2, 2018,
  5. “About,”, accessed February 2, 2018,
  6. “Submission Guidelines,”, accessed February 2, 2018,
  7. “Library Services,”, accessed February 2, 2018,
  8. “About.”
  9. “Library Services.”
  10. “About.”
  11. “Library Services.”
  12. “Publisher Details,”, accessed February 2, 2018,
  13. “Submission Guidelines.”
  14. “Editors,”, accessed February 2, 2018,
  15. “Submission Guidelines.”
  16. “Submission Guidelines.”
  17. “Submission Guidelines.”
  18. “Convenions Schedule,”, accessed February 2, 2018,
  19. “Digital Catalogs,, accessed February 2, 2018,
  20. “Digital Catalogs.”
  21. “About.”
  22. “Digital Catalogs.”
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