Comparison of LIS Journals: American Archivist and Journal of Academic Librarianship

There are tons of LIS journals available for library professionals as well as people who have an interest in the field. As an MLIS student concentrating on Archival Administration, my pursuits tend to lean toward archival journals such as The American Archivist, which is a bi-yearly journal published by the Society of American Archivists organization. However, it would be very biased for me to solely focus on reading material from archival journals, and in order to develop a more well rounded perspective of the LIS profession it is necessary to learn and take an interest in other LIS  journals.

The Journal of Academic Librarianship,(JAL) for instance, is a very well respected, international publication that focuses on issues pertaining to higher-educational institutions. Throughout this post, I’ll be comparing both publications and explaining certain details that are pertinent to each journal such as their targeted audience, the types of issues they focus on, and what are their intentions for their readers.


The Journal of Academic Librarianship, an international and refereed journal, publishes articles that focus on problems and issues germane to college and university libraries. JAL provides a forum for authors to present research findings and, where applicable, their practical applications and significance; analyze policies, practices, issues, and trends; speculate about the future of academic librarianship; present analytical bibliographic essays and philosophical treatises. JAL also provides special features in each issue which include book reviews on subjects of interest to academic librarians, information on academic library technology issues, research in international librarianship, digests of special reports, and a guide to sources and analysis of library metrics (The Journal of Academic Librarianship).

Elizabeth Blakesley, an instruction librarian at Washington State University, is the new editor of the publication. Her first editorial appeared in the January issue of the publication where she gave a brief introduction and discussed the sort of topics she plans to explore such as OERs/OATs, career and job seeking issues, communication, leadership, and liaison librarianship (Blakesley, 2015).

For authors who want to submit their work to the journal, there are a list of guidelines listed on the journal site for them to follow, which can be viewed here. The journal is peer-reviewed and I believe this is important because since academic librarianship is such a narrow field, the material needs to be reviewed by people who in the same profession.

The American Archivist

The American Archivist, which is published by the Society of American Archivists,  provides a forum for discussion of trends and issues in archival theory and practice. It presents current research and thought about developments in the archival profession, the relationships between archivists and the creators and users of archives; and the cultural, social, legal, and technological developments that affect the nature of recorded information and the need to create and maintain it (The American Archivist).

The journal is peer-reviewed research articles, case studies, in-depth perspectives, and international scene papers address a wide variety of topics, The American Archivist has the largest circulation of any English-language archives journal.

The guidelines for submitting articles to the publication can be viewed here. The editor of the journal is Gregory Hunter.


Blakesley, E. (2015). Introduction: Editorial. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 1.

(n.d.). Retrieved from The American Archivist:

The Journal of Academic Librarianship. (n.d.). Retrieved from Elvevier:

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