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Author Guidelines

Authors are invited to submit manuscripts that fall within the focus of the journal. Please read the information on the Peer Review Process and follow the guidelines below.

LIBER Quarterly provides immediate open access to its content. Author(s) retain copyright of their articles. Articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0)

If you have any questions you can contact the Principal Contact.

Publication fees: Authors are not asked to pay Article Processing Charges (APC)s. Costs related to its publication are currently covered by LIBER.

Publications are accepted in the following sections:

      1. Articles should conform to the generally accepted standards for all scientific papers: they should be underpinned by good research or by a systematic approach and may lead to general conclusions in a broad cultural and institutional landscape. Especially welcome are all innovative contributions related to the activities of LIBER, with an emphasis on collaborative aspects and library cooperation within Europe.

      2. Review papers should present the current status of a given topic. They synthesize the results from the primary literature to produce a coherent argument about a topic or a systematic description of a field. This requires critical judgments and organization of the material. Although a review paper is not about a particular project or piece of research, it should give an original perspective or new understanding of the topic. The reader of the review should gain an overview of the current debates, the main people working in the field and recent major advances. The review should conclude with a discussion of outstanding issues and likely future directions for research and development. (Acknowledgement: In defining these criteria we have drawn on the criteria used by the following sources: Reviews of Modern Physics; Communication in the biological sciences; University of Texas.)

      3. Case studies present in depth studies of particular situations in an illustrative way, without restricting themselves to a single research procedure. A case study records the practices of the profession by narrowing down a very broad field of research into one, real-world topic and providing factual evidence and revealing facts or information otherwise ignored or unknown. While critical judgment and organization of the material are required, generally, writers should stick to the facts by providing a fairly modest and honest record of the events. With a short introduction, a case study should provide an explanation, why is the given case particularly interesting. The case study has to contain the most important information obtained about it, followed by a plan for analysing the problem at hand and the options to solve it. (Acknowledgement: In defining these criteria we have drawn on the criteria used by the following sources: Brian Budgell in Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 52(4), 199-204 and

      4. Practice papers* LIBER Quarterly (LQ) practice papers should describe new ways of delivering services and solving problems within a library and information service (LIS) setting. LQ practice papers should present practices that have been developed and tested, and that encourage and enable the community to think differently about their own practice. The practice described is expected to be addressing new situations or requirements emerging in LIS settings and/or demonstrating a significant improvement on existing practice in LIS settings. While a theoretical analysis and comparison of alternative practices may be useful, the ultimate criterion for the quality of the practice should lie in the success and transferability of its practical application. Papers should, where appropriate, indicate if/how the practice can be scaled, transferred and/or internationalised. A  paper describing a best practice should include a description of the problem for whose solution the new or refined practice was needed and discuss how the practice was developed. There should be clear justification for why it can be described as best practice, for example,
        • It has been demonstrably successfully applied in a practice setting
        • It has been robustly evidenced as highly likely to succeed in a practice setting
        • It has been tested against alternative practice and evidenced as an improvement
        • It has won significant peer approval (e.g. via awards)

        There may be fewer references in a best practice paper than an academic paper, academic review or academic case study, depending on the nature of the change being presented. Authors are advised to reference any common frameworks or methods taken from the literature. A best practice paper should have a form and structure that enables the content to be understood by a professional, academic and wider audience. *This is version 1.1 of the LQ practice paper guidelines for authors. It is expected to evolve as the LQ practice library grows.

      5. Book reviews should be of the scholarly type: they should be written by experts in the field being reviewed, and go beyond summarizing the book by evaluating the issues and methods discussed in the book. (Acknowledgement: We used the distinction between types of book reviews given by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; see


Detailed Guidelines

1. General

Manuscripts should be submitted to this site, either in MS Word or in OpenOffice/LibreOffice Writer format. Do not send a PDF-file! They must be written in English, UK spelling (e.g., ‘organise’ instead of ‘organize’, ‘colour’ instead of ‘color’,…). Authors who are not native English speakers are strongly recommended to have their texts read and corrected by a native English speaking colleague. The paper should include an abstract (except for book reviews) and two or three key words. The sections and subsections of the paper should be numbered.

Avoid using the first person singular (I) in your text, write ‘we’ instead, or use a description like ‘This work…’.

Tables must be embedded in the text, figures also embedded and preferably added in separate files. Figures and tables should be numbered consecutively, provided with a caption (below the figures, but above the tables). The main text should contain at least one reference to each figure and table. Pay attention to the readability of all text inside the figures.

Avoid inserting tables that are too long. If necessary, you can move them to an appendix, or add separate data files to be uploaded in the Harvard Dataverse (with appropriate linking between paper and data). Remember that a graph (which can be produced from a table with, e.g., MS Excel) gives a much better visual presentation of numerical data than a table.

Special attention must be given to the references, where we follow the APA-7 style (American Psychological Association 2020, see Remark that there are some important changes from the previous version (APA-6), which was used up to volume 30 of our journal. More details are given below.

2. The author field

The information about the author(s) of the paper consists of the following elements:

      • Name and surname
      • Affiliation (subsection, organisation, city, country)
      • E-mail address, followed by ORCID number


Peter Johnson
Library of Medicine, University of Patagonia, Brussels, Belgium;

Titles (such as Ph.D, Professor,…) or functions (such as Library Director) are not included in the author field. When submitting a paper, you can fill in such information in the author info form, and this will become visible to the readers when they click on your name (in the HTML version of the paper). The ORCID website is also an ideal place to provide such personal information. It is therefore strongly recommended that authors register for a free ORCID number.

3. The Abstract

Abstracts should clearly explain the most important aspects of the paper. These include the objectives of the work (what is it about, why is it important?), a historical situation of the problem (what other approaches have been tried, what was the common knowledge at the start of your project?), a description of the methodology followed for obtaining your results, and finally a brief summary of the results obtained. Do not include citations to references in the abstract, since this is intended to be available as stand-alone information about the paper.

Give minimum 3 and maximum 5 keywords, separated by a semicolon (“;”). Example:
Key Words: library; university; research; open access journals

4. The Introduction and further structure of the paper

It is recommended to structure the paper in numbered sections, subsections, and – if necessary - sub-subsections.

The introduction should not be a repetition of the abstract, but it should describe more explicitly the starting point of your result: what is the problem that you wanted to solve, what were the questions that needed to be answered. This will usually require some description of the background of your topic.

Subsequent sections may contain a discussion of related work by other authors (or by yourself), a detailed description of the methodology followed for treating your subject (was it a user survey, a study of the literature, a theoretical analysis, an empirical testing of various approaches, or what?), a clear description of the results obtained, and certainly a conclusion in which you comment on your results and elaborate on their value and applicability, especially from the point of view of the knowledge and information transfer through our academic and research libraries.

5. Notes

You can insert notes, e.g. for pointing to the website of mentioned organisations, or for making small side remarks. Since the HTML version of the paper contains no pagination, we use end notes instead of foot notes.

6. Citations and references

Special attention must be given to the references and citations. All references should be cited at least once in the text and to each citation there should correspond an item in the reference list. We are following the APA-7 Style (2020 – See examples in The most important points of this style are described below, and illustrated in some examples.

6.1. Citations

When citing previous publications (most often from books, journal articles or websites), the simplest information required is the surname of the author and the year of publication. This must be sufficient to identify the corresponding item (with full information about the source) in the reference list. When the work has more than one author, the rules were simplified in APA-7: with two authors you should mention both names, with more than two authors you use “et al.” (unless more information is necessary for resolving ambiguity in the reference list).

There are different rules for in-text citations and for citations in parentheses. The rules should be clear from the following examples:

      • In text:
        • Johnson (2015)
        • Johnson and Stevenson (2017)
        • Johnson et al. (2016)
        • In parenthesis:
          • (Johnson, 2015)
          • (Johnson & Stevenson, 2017)
          • (Johnson et al., 2016)


      • When more than one reference has the same author name and year, you may add ‘a’, ‘b’,… to the year, or use the first initial if it concerns two different authors with the same surname (e.g. Johnson & Stevenson, 2017a; A. Peters, 2015; M.Peters, 2015).
      • When citing more than one work in parentheses, they should be ordered alphabetically and separated by semicolons: (Beard, 2019; Johnson et al., 2012; Zeno & Trump, 1989).

6.2. References

Also the rules for the formatting of references have been simplified, with a strong emphasis on the use of persistent identifiers, especially the DOI in the format, and mentioning more authors (up to 20) for multi-authored works. It is no longer required to mention the location of the publisher of a book (some multinationals have worldwide offices…). Instead of explaining the various rules, we show the most important ones by examples. Please follow strictly the formats (including capitalisation and use of italics).
Please remark that in the titles of books and journal articles only the first word and the names of persons and organisations are capitalised. The journal title itself may have more capitalised words.

- Johnson, D.A. (2015). Full title of the book. John Wiley & Sons.
- Johnson, D.A., & Stevenson, R.G. (Eds.). (2017). Full title of the book. John Wiley & Sons.
Chapter in edited book:
- Franck, T., Stone, C.H., & Travers, K. (2011). Title of the chapter. In D.A. Johnson, & R.G. Stevenson (Eds.), Full title of the book (pp. 124-158). John Wiley & Sons.
Journal article: (do not include URL from academic databases)
- Stevens, X. (2009). Title of the article. Title of the Journal, 39(2), 78-93.
- Mueller, T. (2018). Title of the article. PLoS ONE 13(2), Article e12354.
Report by organisation:
- National Cancer Institute. (2019). Taking time: Support for people with cancer (NIH Publication No. 18-2059). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.
Newspaper article:
- Carey, B. (2019, March 22). Can we get better at forgetting? The New York Times.

7. End of the paper

In order to promote Open Science, LIBER Quarterly stimulates the publication of the full research data underlying its published papers. The data should be restricted to the work's scope. In the case of datasets, please avoid binary formats in favour of long-term readability - CSV or alike are most welcome. Contact the journal manager in order to store them in the journal’s dataset at Harvard Dataverse. A link to those data will be published at the end of the paper.

Some additional information may be added in an appendix, e.g., the full text of a questionnaire used during the performed research.

If the article is resulting from an EC or ERC project, please mention the Grant Agreement number and the name of the project. You may also add a short Acknowledgement to people or organisations that have supported your research or assisted in the preparation of the manuscript.


Submission Preparation Checklist

All submissions must meet the following requirements.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • All authors have given permission to be listed on the submitted paper. The corresponding author is authorized to speak on behalf of the authors.
  • The author warrants and represents that the work does not infringe upon any copyright, proprietary, or personal right of any third party. If the work contains any material that is owned or controlled by a third party, the author certifies that he/she has obtained permission for its use and that the material is clearly acknowledged within the text.
  • The author declares the absence of any conflict of interest.
  • Two or three key words have been added, after the abstract.
  • DOIs for the references have been provided, whenever available (Use the following format: https://doi/org/......)
  • The text and references adhere to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.

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