Thursday, October 16, 2014

Let's Talk About Journals

Professional Journal's fall on a list of things that make me feel out of my element. Before heading back to school I knew they existed and that they served a real and important purpose but without having much direction, career wise, I relegated them to the back of my mind.

Now I have to jump in with both feet. Being informed is important and as we're constantly being told in each class, LIS is changing and we have to keep up. So look at this as my intent to become an informed member of the LIS profession. Bare with me while I figure this journal stuff out.

For this post it seems best to jump in with both feet. I've chosen two journals to thumb through to help.

My first choice is American Archivist. As I'm very interested in doing archival work in some capacity it seemed like a natural choice.  After a few clicks I was able to find out that this journal is published semi annually by the Society of American Archives, is peer reviewed, and all but the most six most recent issues are available for free online.

Their issues contain everything from reviews to case studies, commentaries and research pieces. Everything, of course, focuses on archivists and archives.

In short American Archivist is professionals writing for a professional audience, expanding their knowledge and sharing it with others. 

For my second choice I veered off in a very different direction. After looking at a few list and checking out several more peer reviewed journals that focused on more specific topics and found that while topics were different the general requirements and intentions were the same. Since I wanted to get a full scope of what is available on the internet I decided to look at a professional publication that is not peer reviewed - Library Journal.

Where American Archivist had a very specific audience with closely intertwined interests Library Journal is for the masses. Well, when I'm talking about masses I'm talking about Librarians, bear with me.

Library Journal wasn't what I expected. Without the peer review aspect I was fully prepared to be overrun by ads and click bait articles. While there were definitely ads, as well as headlines that were more colorful than in American Archivist I was impressed by the level of the content.

And when I say content I mean content. Articles upon articles, reviews, news snippets. Admittedly I didn't go through and read everything on the site. I'm a grad student. I have work. There are only so many hours in a day.  However what I read was high quality work, and the subjects were very diverse. There was a bit of something for everyone.

Now that I have a better understanding of the journals and publications that are available to myself as a budding LIS professional I do feel more well informed and a little hopeful.  Even though American Archivist and Library Journal were different in many ways they were both able to convey a passion for their subject, and that passion is contagious.

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