Help Edit Library Philosophy and Practice

The editors of the journal Library Philosophy and Practice recently put out a call to the editorial board (of which I am a member) for help editing the journal. Specifically, they “would like to identify people who would like to take on responsibility for receiving submissions, handling the peer review process, and copyediting articles that have been accepted.” The problem is that there are way more submissions than the current editors can deal with effectively. With the editors’ permission, I’m putting the call out to interested readers. If you would like to participate somehow in editing LPP, please email editor Mary Bolin [mbolin2@unl.edu] and let her know.

For those unfamiliar with the journal, I want to say a bit about it and what I like about it. According to the site, LPP “is a peer-reviewed electronic journal that publishes articles exploring the connection between library practice and the philosophy and theory behind it. These include explorations of current, past, and emerging theories of librarianship and library practice, as well as reports of successful, innovative, or experimental library procedures, methods, or projects in all areas of librarianship, set in the context of applied research.” It’s that, and something more. In addition to more philosophical or theoretical articles, it has also emerged as a journal chronicling library thought and practice on an international scale. It publishes articles on much wider range of topics than most LIS journals.

I published a couple of articles in LPP a few years ago and have third coming out in September. Most likely, in the future if I write any lengthy article on my own (as in, not by invitation), LPP will get first crack at it. Why? A couple of reasons. First, LPP doesn’t require that I pretend to know or care about LIS as a social science. While articles like those are accepted, LPP also stretches to accommodate articles about librarianship from a humanistic perspective. I don’t do surveys, charts, graphs, or statistics, because quantitative research doesn’t answer the sorts of questions I’m interested in, and that I know from experience other librarians are interested in as well. LPP has a large number of  mainstream LIS articles, but it’s also a place to publish philosophical or theoretical articles and qualitative research. Speaking as a humanistic writer, if there are librarians who want to find a place to publish peer-reviewed, indexed, non-quantitative articles, LPP is a great journal to submit to.

The other important fact is that LPP is an open access journal housed in the digital repository at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The content is freely available, permanent, archived, and fully discoverable by search engines. Basically, it’s the kind of academic journal a lot of us would like to see more of. As a librarian, I think LPP embodies the kind of publishing model that is best for the broad dissemination of ideas in the profession.

So if you want to support a wide-ranging, open access LIS journal and get some experience with editing and peer reviewing, this is a good opportunity.

8 thoughts on “Help Edit Library Philosophy and Practice

  1. I’d love to review philosophically inclined articles, but I’m woefully ill-prepared to review the vast majority of articles published in LPP. Most of the accepted articles on the website are quantitative studies of library practice from an international perspective and that’s not really my area of expertise. Has the editorial board given any thought to splitting the journal into two separate publications: one that just covers philosophical issues and another to handle international research and perspectives?

  2. I doubt that would be a possibility, given that two journals means more work. However, you could always volunteer as a reviewer just for more philosophical articles.

  3. Every little bit helps. And when I send in my next article on Rawls and information equality or Nietzsche and intellectual freedom you can give it a rigorous critique.

    • Rigorous indeed. I’m somewhat of a Kantian, so Rawls will do just fine on information equality. But, Nietzsche? Really? Man, now I’ve got to get this peer-review position to see how you intend to make Nietzsche relevant.

    • Or, to be more curious, how might you argue for the seemingly incompatible views of Rawls and Nietzsche? That is, how can you advocate Rawls’s original position in one article and consistently apply Nietzsche’s concept of the ubermensch in another? If anything, I would think that Nietzsche and Rawls offer mutually incompatible theories..

  4. Lane, didn’t mean to leave you hanging. The Rawls/ Nietzsche comparison was sort of a joke, but I don’t think their approaches are as incompatible as you do. If I were to make the argument, I’d probably argue that Nietzsche is fundamentally apolitical, and that the umbermensch is an ethical category rather than a political category. The ubermenchen aren’t necessarily political rulers, but more creative types–artists, scientists, etc.– who create their own values. Their values could fit within Rawls’ explicitly “political” liberalism, where they could thrive in their private capacities as long as they didn’t seek to overthrow the state. Then I might argue that within the original position, even ubermenschen wouldn’t know they are ubermenschen, and thus, if Rawls’ argument is correct, would still choose a Rawlsian state were they to invoke the appropriate Rawlsian conditions.

    Not that I’m interested in making the argument, but that’s the approach I’d take if I were.

    • Hmmm…I’m fairly confident that Nietzsche would explicitly reject anything like Rawls’ system, but I’ll defer to your expertise on the matter.

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