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Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians

Call for Papers: Research, Scholarship, and Canadian Academic Librarians

January 13, 2018

The Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship (CJAL) invites article submissions for a special issue on the theme of research, scholarship, and Canadian academic librarians, to be published in May 2019. Members of the Research and Scholarship Committee of the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) will serve as guest editors for this issue: Selinda Berg, Melanie Boyd, David Tkach, and Jenaya Webb.

The nature of what constitutes scholarship for librarians is vague, leaving fundamental questions unanswered. Despite an uncertain, evolving, and sometimes disparate environment, academic librarians nevertheless demonstrate a commitment to advancing scholarship within their profession. One group advancing scholarship within Canadian academic libraries is the CAPAL Research and Scholarship Committee. To foster a greater understanding of the research environment of academic librarians, as well as to capture a scholarly foundation to inform their own work and the work of others, the committee is editing a special issue of CJAL.

This special issue will gather diverse perspectives that engage with the question: What is research and scholarship for academic librarians? The intent is to bring together voices that probe, examine, and reflect on this question. We hope that this special issue will unearth uncertainties, highlight points of divergence and convergence about research and scholarship within the profession, and bring other important questions to the fore.

Some potential questions to which submissions might respond include:

  • How do academic librarians define research and scholarship?
  • What is the value of research and scholarship to the identity and/or work of academic librarians?
  • In the context of our profession, what (if any) is the difference between research and scholarship?
  • How do we reconcile the diverse perspectives of research and scholarship that we may bring to the profession?
  • What is unique about research and scholarship in our profession?
  • What are the ways in which academic librarians theorize and practice research and scholarship?
  • How do differences in library circumstances regarding research and scholarship contribute to a climate of uncertainty and, to some extent, disparity among us?
  • How does a lack of common ground between librarians, and across the profession, render it difficult to support each other individually and collectively in research and scholarship?
  • What is the role of advanced degrees in the scholarly environment of librarians?
  • What is the place of research, scholarship, and creative activity by librarians that is not situated within the discipline of library or information science?
  • What role does academic freedom play in our research and scholarship?
  • How do research and scholarship fit into our daily lives?
  • What is your response to/critique of the committee’s Terms of Reference, in part or in whole?

The editors welcome papers of up to 10,000 words that address these or related questions—from all perspectives, approaches, and methodologies. If the submission has a geographic focus, the focus should be on Canada or have a strong connection to Canada.

Submission Process:

CJAL is an open access, peer-reviewed journal published by the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) and accepts submissions in English and French. Articles submitted for reviews must fit the journal’s Focus and Scope.

Please submit completed papers electronically to CJAL ( by July 1, 2018. In the Comments for the Editor area, please indicate that your submission is intended for the special issue on research and scholarship.

CJAL has a continuous model of publication. Articles accepted for this issue will be published as soon as they are ready, and they will be collected into the special issue when they have all been published. Librarians needing timely publication of their articles for tenure or promotion purposes will benefit from CJAL’s continuous model of publication.

Please direct any questions to:

David Tkach, editorial coordinator,

(via Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians)


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