Information Outlook


Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Information Outlook

ISSN: 1091-0808 (Print) and 1938-3819 (Online)1


Purpose, objective, or mission: Information Outlook is the official publication of the Special Libraries Association (SLA). The SLA “promotes and strengthens its members through learning, networking, and community building initiatives.”2

Target audience: Information Outlook is targeted towards their membership of information professionals, specifically those working in special libraries.

Publisher: Special Libraries Association (SLA).3

Peer reviewed? No4

Type: LIS professional news.5

Medium: Print and online.6

Content: Per their website, the publication contains “articles on timely topics such as data curation, digital asset management, bibliometrics, and value co-creation; columns about technology, copyright law, and other issues of perpetual interest; and interviews with SLA members, offering a close-up look at information professionals in different disciplines, work environments, and countries.”7

Frequency of publication: Bi-monthly.8

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: From the “Write for IO,” “Although written primarily by SLA members, articles in Information Outlook also are contributed by futurists, attorneys, academicians, technology professionals, human resources specialists, communications experts–anyone with knowledge or ideas about how information professionals can better serve their clients.”9

Submission and review process: Interested authors should send a query email to the current editor with an outline of your topic along with your qualifications. The editor will forward your query to the advisory council for review. The guidelines encourage illustrated article of approximately 2,000 words in length.10

Editorial tone: Written in an active voice following the SLA style guide provided in the submission guidelines.11

Style guide used: Current edition of Chicago Manual of Style.12

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Information Outlook is an excellent forum for LIS authors writing on topics of interest to special libraries. Since there is such a wide variety of special library types, there are a number of topics that can be addressed. Despite differences among particular types of special libraries, many experiences and situations can be generalized and made applicable to all of Information Outlook readers.13

Although this is not a scholarly journal, Information Outlook is a highly respected journal, and LIS authors would benefit from having their work published by the SLA.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: Over 4,000.14

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The Special Libraries Association has 49 regional chapters. The majority are located in the United States, but there are also chapters in Canada, Africa, the Arabian Gulf, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. In addition to the regional chapters, SLA boasts members in 75 countries.15 Information Outlook is published in English, but circulates to members in other countries as well (as listed above). Issues pertaining to special librarians will be of general interest to all readers, but there may be some regional/cultural specifics that might not be applicable to readers in different countries.16

Reader characteristics: The readers of Information Outlook are individuals who typically hold a library degree. Many have master’s degrees in subject specialties as well. There is gender diversity in the audience, and they range in age, typically from late 20s upwards. They may be brand new to the profession or they may be upper management with many years of experience. All readers of Information Outlook are special librarians, and therefore they have a common mission and values, and much in common within the profession. However, they work in settings that are incredibly varied, both in size and type. Readers might work alone or in large organizations, and might specialize in institutions such as government, medical, legal, and academic libraries.17 The readers of Information Outlook care specifically about issues pertaining to special libraries. According to the publication’s website, its readers are interested in articles about “administration, organization, marketing, and operations.” They value information that will help their organizations stay successful and stay informed of the latest developments and technologies.18

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Readers of Information Outlook are extremely knowledgeable about issues relating to library and information science. They will be at different stages of their careers, of course, with some readers having more experience and expertise than others, but writers can assume a basic level of knowledge and can expect readers to understand LIS jargon.19

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

Information Outlook‘s readers are hungry for the latest information about issues that impact special libraries. They want to read articles that have practical application in their day-to-day lives and careers. As stated on SLA’s website, “readers want to read articles about new techniques, new ideas, new trends…They’re interested in growing their organizations and in planning their careers…They want to know how to confront problems and how to avoid them.” The profession is comprised of individuals who “strategically use information…to advance the mission of the organization…through the development, deployment, and management of information resources and services.”20

Potential authors can reach this audience effectively by providing case studies and real-world examples, and by focusing on what is new and innovative in the field. Most special librarians are technologically savvy and interested in cutting-edge applications that will help them accomplish their professional goals and serve their patrons. They will also likely have limited time to devote to professional reading, and will only devote that time to articles and reviews that are relevant and timely. Therefore, authors will be best served by submitting writing that is direct and to the point.

Last updated: June 9, 2019


Show 20 footnotes

  1. ProQuest, “Information Outlook,” Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed June 9, 2019,
  2. Special Libraries Association, “About SLA,” accessed June 9, 2019,
  3. ProQuest. Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.
  4. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.
  5. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.
  6. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.
  7. Special Libraries Association, “Information Outlook,” accessed June 9, 2019,
  8. Special Libraries Association, “2019 Editorial and Advertising Calendar,” accessed June 9, 2019,
  9. Special Libraries Association, “Write for Information Outlook,” accessed June 9, 2019,
  10. Special Libraries Association, “Write for Information Outlook.”
  11. Special Libraries Association, “Write for Information Outlook.”
  12. Special Libraries Association, “Write for Information Outlook.”
  13. Special Libraries Association, “About SLA,” accessed June 9, 2019,
  14. Special Libraries Association, “Association Finances,” accessed June 9, 2019,
  15. Special Libraries Association, “Chapters,” accessed June 9, 2019,
  16. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.
  17. Special Libraries Association, “About SLA.”
  18. Special Libraries Association, “Editorial and Advertising Calendar.”
  19. Special Libraries Association, “About SLA.”
  20. Special Libraries Association, “About SLA.”
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