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Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited
The Electronic Library: New scope and writing suggestions
The Electronic Library (TEL, www.emeraldinsight.com/journal/el) is a peer-reviewed journal founded in 1983 by Dr David Raitt. TEL previously published articles in the broad areas of the application of technology in information environments, covering many aspects of digital libraries (http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/authors/interviews/tel.htm).
In Emerald’s effort to broaden the impact of its library studies and information and knowledge management journal publications, the scope of TEL has been refocused on the organization of information. Specifically, TEL’s strapline has changed to “digital information organization and use”.
This editorial endeavours to explain to TEL authors and readers TEL’s new aims and scope. Also provided are the editors’ observations and suggestions to potential authors on how to write scholarly articles for TEL.
New aims and scope for The Electronic Library
You may have noticed that the TEL home page (http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=el) specifies its aims and scope as follows:
The Electronic Library (TEL) publishes digital information research. It is particularly interested in information organization for knowledge creation, discovery, access, and sharing. Information behaviour research in this context is also welcomed. All types of digital objects are included; for example, data, records, documents, and files.
After the above statements, the page provides a list of contexts or areas in which information organization is conducted:
“The journal welcomes submissions on:
Personal digital archiving;
The cultural record;
Social media interaction and analysis;
Security and governance;
Language and lexicons; and
Classification and coding”.
The Editor-in-Chief applies the above aims and scope to judge each manuscript that is submitted prior to peer review. Out-of-scope submissions are rejected. It is recommended that TEL authors carefully consider the appropriateness of their manuscript based on the above aims and scope before submitting their work to TEL.
Information organization and its related concepts
Information organization, or the organization of information, is the focus of TEL as one of the information science journals published by Emerald. What is information organization? Information organization is one of the phases or steps in the iterative loop of knowledge generation, which includes information collection, organization, retrieval, use, evaluation and new knowledge creation. Information organization addresses how different types of data and information could be better organized for information access and use. As specified by Taylor and Joudrey (2009, p. 2) and Lambe (2007, p. 3), we organize information so we can manage it and retrieve it later on. Below is a partial list of concepts related to information organization:
Access points, Authority control, Bibliographic control, Classification, Cataloguing, Categorization, Clustering, Data modelling, Databases, Indexing, Information architecture, Information extraction, Metadata, Resource description and access, Schema, Shelving, Summarization, Tagging, Taxonomy, Thesaurus, Transformation, Web directories.
Manuscript submission will be considered within the scope of TEL if it addresses one or more major concepts in information organization. In other words, TEL is interested in publishing articles that develop innovative ideas related to data or information organization theories, frameworks, standards, systems/tools and evaluation. The digital items to be organized can be documents, texts, images, audio files, video files or a mix of these objects. We encourage submissions applying manual, automatic and semi-automatic approaches on data and information organization. Comparative studies are also welcome.
TEL authors can be information practitioners and researchers. Information practitioners in libraries, museums, information centres and research institutes are welcome to submit all types of papers, especially technical papers and case studies, to report their experience of organizing information for their users. Researchers in information science, library science and computer science are encouraged to write TEL research papers and conceptual papers, as well as other types. The types of papers TEL accepts are listed in its author guidelines (http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=el).
Submissions that are out-of-scope or insignificant
Guided by TEL’s new scope, the editors are likely to reject submissions that are not related to data or information organization, such as bibliometric studies and pure user behavioural studies applying survey methods. Exceptions are made for the types of studies that develop innovative approaches to organize collected data for the purposes of expediting data analysis or research finding assessment.
In general, survey studies exploring the use of information resources in a particular library, a university or a nation will not be accepted unless the study provides generalizable new knowledge for information resource organization for a particular community or population.
We expect that a submission will address one or more well thought-out problems or challenges in information organization and be designed with a rigorous research methodology. The study should have more than local interest and bring new knowledge to TEL readers. It is highly recommended that authors complete all the fields in the structured abstract, including the research limitations/implications, practical implications and social implications, to facilitate editors and reviewers’ understanding of the significance of the submission. Studies that do not have a good research design and bring no new knowledge will be considered insignificant.
Suggestions to potential authors of The Electronic Library
Below is a list of suggestions offered to potential TEL authors for successful submissions:
Choose an appropriate topic that is relevant to the organization of information, as discussed above.
Serve as a reviewer for TEL. Serving as a reviewer will help you to understand the review criteria of the journal and to learn from other authors.
Conduct your study following good research methodology. Taking one or more research method courses at the PhD or master’s level will help. One can also self-teach by studying textbooks on research methodology. Creswell (2014) can be a good reference for research design.
Write your manuscript referencing scientific writing guidelines. One such reference book is that by Gastel and Day (2016).
Follow the requirements specified in TEL’s author guidelines (http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=el) for choosing a descriptive title and keywords and writing an informative abstract and complete all the information you can, especially the optional items, such as implications of your study.
We wish you great success in pursuing scholarly publication! Please write to us if you have any questions.
Creswell, J.W. (2014), Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Gastel, B. and Day, R.A. (2016), How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, 8th ed., Greenwood Publishing Group, Santa Barbara, CA.
Lambe, P. (2007), Organising Knowledge: Taxonomies, Knowledge and Organisational Effectiveness, Chandos Publishing Limited, Oxford.
Taylor, A.G. and Joudrey, D.N. (2009), The Organization of Information, 3rd ed., Libraries Unlimited, Westport, CT.