Professional Journals

April 1, 2013

Journal 1
American Archivist is the journal of Society of American Archivists (SAA). It has been in publication since 1938 and is published semi-annually (cite). Unfortunately, you must be a member of SAA in order to view the most recent (within 3-4 years) electronic versions of the journal online. Fortunately, the Purdy-Kresge Library at Wayne State University has the most recent publications. They also have electronic copies of the publications up to the year 2009. I did discover that limited electronic versions of the more recent publications are available online, usually the cover page and one-two articles.

Intended audience(s)
Members of SAA and professional archivists, though member of the public can access older issues.

Kinds of materials it publishes
American Archivist reflects the thinking about practical and theoretical developments in the archival profession. The journal also addresses relationships between archivists those who use archives. Furthermore, it addresses social, legal, and technological developments that affect the profession and the nature of recorded information. The journal contains articles, case studies, book reviews, and in-depth perspectives. One article from the Spring/Summer 2012 issue was an address from SAA president Helen Tibbo regarding SAA’s diamond jubilee (75 year anniversary). The address focused on how SAA had changed and came of age in the digital era (Tibbo 2012). This was not an article but a transcript of an address given by Tibbo at an event celebrating SAA’s anniversary. The fall/winter 2009 issue contained a short article about how the readers view American Archivist. The article states that because the journal was going to be moving towards becoming an electronic publication it may be time to re-envision American Archivist. The journal was looking for feedback from its readers. I liked this short article because it shows that American Archivists cares about and listens to its readers to give them what they want.

Is the journal peer reviewed?
American Archivist is peer reviewed. Also, when the occasion calls for it, a supplement of peer-reviewed content that was not able to be included in the regular issue appears online only and has unrestricted access.

Any characteristics you find of particular interest
As I am in the Archival Administration Certificate program this is an important journal for me to read and keep up with. It should be a great resource to keep me apprised of current events and practices in the archival profession. Also, the journal could be a good resource when it comes time to look for a job.

Journal 2
College & Research Libraries is a bimonthly journal that features scholarly research in academic librarianship. It is a publication of The Association of College & Research Libraries which is a division of the ALA (ACRL, 2013). Every issue from 1997 to present are available online with unrestricted access. I chose this publication because one of the journals for this entry was suggested to be from a field of LIS not within our career purview.

Intended audience(s)
The ACRL is a professional association comprised of academic librarians and interested individuals. These are the intended audiences of College & Research Libraries. However, since the public has open access to the publication, they are also one the audiences reached by the journal.

Kinds of materials it publishes
College & Research Libraries primarily publishes content and articles pertaining to the academic librarianship field. One article from the January 2013 issue that I found particular interesting was about library services offered at international branches of U.S. colleges and institutions of higher learning. The article discusses the experiences of the librarians, challenges, and how the library collaborates with their main U.S. institution. The journal conducted surveys of forty librarians from international library branches of U.S. colleges. The questions were mainly about references questions received at the libraries and services provided (Green, 2013). I think I found this article interesting because when I was an undergraduate I spent a semester abroad in England. My semester was spent at Harlaxton College, a branch of my university in Indiana, University of Evansville (UE). I remember the librarian telling us that they were able to offer JSTOR through UE’s account. She said how it was quite the “battle” to get JSTOR to allow access to Harlaxton Students because we were in a different country than UE, who held the JSTPR account. Thankfully, they were able to come to an agreement because I used JSTOR many times while abroad to write papers and do other research. Another article I found interesting was from the November 2012 issue, Unusual Suspects: The Case of Insider Theft in Research Libraries and Special Collections. The article talks about libraries and special collections need to create and maintain security procedures to prevent particularly insider theft (Samuelson, Sare, and Coker, 2012).
The journal also does book reviews of relevant subject matter.

Is the journal peer reviewed
College & Research Libraries does not appear to be peer reviewed. Rather, it has an editorial board that is comprised of several people from academic institutions all over the United States.

Any characteristics you find of particular interest
While the journal definitely has some interesting articles and reviews, this probably will not be a journal I read regularly because it pertains to a field of LIS that is not in my career purview. However, since I can get this journal online without any subscription I may peruse it every once in a while.

How are the journals similar?
Both journals contain reviews of books and articles relevant to their respective fields. The journals are also both professional with the articles and reviews written by people in the field. Both journals offer at least some of the past and current issues online so the public and not just members can view the content.

How are the journals different?
The journals have different focuses and contain different subject matter. Only one journal (American Archivist) is peer reviewed. The journals have different intended audiences but both audiences are in the LIS field. The journals also have different publication schedules American Archivist is published twice a year while College & Research Libraries is published every other month. Thus, College & Research Libraries published more journals every year. However, this did not seem to negatively affect the content of the journal.

What do these similarities and differences tell you about the LIS field?
The two journals tell me how big the LIS field is and just how much it can encompass. These journals contain different subject matter but are about the same field. There really is much more to LIS than people realize. You can have two journals, one about archives and records, the other about college libraries and you might not think these two journals could possibly be related. But they are, they both are about fields within LIS.


ACRL Association of College & Research Libraries. (2013). Publications. Retrieved from

Green, H. (January 2013) Libraries across land and sea: Academic library services on international branch campuses. College Research Libraries. vol 74., no. 1. Retrieved from

Pugh, M. J. (2009). Readers: What do you think about the american archivist? The American Archivist. vol. 72, no. 2, pp. 305-310. Retrieved from

Samuelson, T., Sare, L., and Coker, C. (November 2012). Unusual suspects: The case of insider theft in research libraries and special collections. College & Research Libraries. vol. 73, no. 6. Retrieved from

The Society of American Archivists. (2013). Welcome to American archivist online. Retrieved from

Tibbo, H. (2012). On the occasion of SAA’s diamond jubilee: A profession coming of age in the digital era. The American Archivist. vol. 75, no. 1, pp. 16-34. Retrieved from

No author. (2013). College & research libraries. Retrieved from


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