Public Services Quarterly

Publication Profiles > LIS Scholarly Journals > Public Services Quarterly


Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Public Services Quarterly

ISSN: 1522-8959 (print), 1522-9114 (online)


Purpose, objective, or mission: Public Services Quarterly “covers a broad spectrum of public service issues in academic libraries, presenting practical strategies for implementing new initiatives and research-based insights into effective practices.”1 The journal was formerly known as Public & Access Services Quarterly (1995-2001).2

Target audience: Academic librarians, professors, and LIS graduate students.3

Publisher: Taylor & Francis.4

Peer reviewed? Yes, double-blind peer review.5

Type: LIS scholarly journal.

Medium: Print and online.

Content: Public Services Quarterly publishes research- and practice-based articles, theoretical articles, and case studies.6 Further, the journal publishes regular columns that keep academic librarians up to date in the field of public service with reviews, essays, reports, and commentaries: Internet Resources, Professional Reading, Best of the Literature, Technology, Marketing, Future Voices in Public Services, and Special Libraries, Special Challenges.7

Frequency of publication: 4 issues per year.8

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines: Instructions for authors.

Types of contributions accepted: Public Services Quarterly accepts “research-based and theoretical articles as well as case studies that advance the understanding of public services, including reference and research assistance, information literacy instruction, access and delivery services, and other services to patrons,” as well as those that “examine creative ways to use technology to assist students and faculty.” The journal also accepts practice-based articles, which “should be thoroughly grounded in the literature and should situate the work done in one library into the larger context of the situation.”9

Submission and review process: Public Services Quarterly uses ScholarOne Manuscripts for the submission, revision, and peer-review process. All published articles go though an anonymous double-blind peer review; thematic issues are reviewed at the discretion of the special issue editor.10 Taylor & Francis provides a guide for authors that covers the entire publication process,11 including directions for using ScholarOne Manuscripts12 and an American Psychological Association (APA) reference guide.13

Editorial tone: Published articles are scholarly in tone; the columns are academic but less formal, depending on the content.

Style guide used: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed.14

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

Public Services Quarterly has an established reputation for quality, scholarly writing about public service issues in academic libraries. The journal values scholarship and research that is practical and applicable in academic libraries, so LIS writers should highlight these aspects in their manuscripts. Aside from scholarly research articles, LIS students could contribute to columns specifically seeking the viewpoint of LIS students or provide updates on the latest professional books, websites, and themes in the field.

The Future Voices in Public Services column provides a forum for students in graduate LIS programs “to discuss key issues they see in academic library public services, to envision what they feel librarians in public service have to offer to academia, to tell us of their visions for the profession, or to tell us of research that is going on in library schools.”15


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: Data not available.

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: Public Services Quarterly is a North American English-language journal for an international audience. The editorial board includes librarians from from U.S. and Canadian colleges,16 but the publication aims to cover worldwide issues confronting academic librarians.

Reader characteristics: Public Services Quarterly primarily serves academic librarians, professors, and graduate students.17

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Readers’ knowledge of LIS subject matter is strong, especially as it relates to academic public services. However, the journal is also read by students who may still be developing their LIS knowledge. Further, there is a column written by LIS graduate students that offers fresh perspectives and insights to the field.

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

Readers expect high-level research and scholarship that advances the theory and practice of public service librarianship in the academic setting. They also expect to read regular columns that keep them up to date in a field that is perpetually advancing. Writers need to remember that readers are established academic librarians and graduate students from North America and around the world. The Future Voices in Public Services column is a great way for LIS graduate students to experience the publication process of a highly esteemed journal.

Last updated: March 4, 2018


Show 17 footnotes

  1. “Aims and Scope,” Public Services Quarterly, accessed March 4, 2018,
  2. “Journal Information,” Public Services Quarterly, accessed March 4, 2018,
  3. “Aims and Scope.”
  4. “Aims and Scope.”
  5. “Aims and Scope.”
  6. “Aims and Scope.”
  7. See, for example, Public Services Quarterly 14, 1(2017),
  8. “Journal Information.”
  9. “Instructions for Authors,” Public Services Quarterly, accessed March 4, 2018,
  10. “Instructions for Authors.”
  11. “Author Services,”, accessed March 4, 2018,
  12. “Making Your Submission,”, accessed March 4, 2018,
  13. “Taylor & Francis Standard Reference Style: APA,”, accessed March 4, 2018,
  14. “Instructions for Authors.”
  15. Nancy Dewald, “2015-16 LIS Student Publishing Opportunity,” ALA ILI-L Discussion List, September 22, 2015,
  16. “Editorial Board,” Public Services Quarterly, accessed March 4, 2018,
  17. “Aims and Scope.”
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