If you are looking for our Submissions Guidelines, please see the Article Submissions section below.
Information for Social Change Policies and Procedures
These policies and procedures are broadly intended to provide general operational guidance, an organisational constitution and procedural system for the Web site and publication called Information for Social Change.
Terms of Reference
- Information for Social Change Information for Social Change (acronym ISC) is an international, volunteer-based association (affiliated with CILIP – the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), whose primary mission is to debate and comment on issues of social justice, censorship, freedom and ethics in the information and library context. Information for Social Change can be described as a radical organisation, insofar as one of the group’s aims is to debate and where necessary challenge dominant paradigms or perspectives in the library and information sector. The scope and remit of Information for Social Change is not however limited to the traditional library sector but encompasses a broad spectrum of issues impacting access to information, information literacy and the wider role of information users in society. Information for Social Change has two member-driven organs – a Web site (http://www.libr.org/isc) and a periodical (journal) which is published (twice a year) via the internet, the international standard serial number for the ISC journal is: ISSN 1364-694X (print) ISSN 1756-901X (online)
- Information for Social Change Web Site The ISC Web site (http://www.libr.org/isc) provides up-to-date commentary on library, information and related issues, the site also provides access to back-issues of the ISC journal, contact details for the ISC Editorial Board and a range of incidental publications and book reviews.
- ISC Editorial Board Information for Social Change is a collective organisation, driven by a small number of volunteer Editorial Board members, these individuals comprise an organisational committee directing general strategy for the group and perform a range of functions to maintain, update and process content for the ISC Web site and journal. Due to the international context of ISC and considerable distances between Editorial Board members, communication via email is an important form of communication for the Editorial Board and other ISC contributors.
- Information for Social Change Member ‘Information for Social Change Member’ describes any individual who actively contributes to ISC through editorial or written contributions, other forms of support (such as web hosting), correspondents working in partner organisations, or individuals who are in any other way a part of the ISC network.
- Information for Social Change members have a variety of relationships with other Library bodies, including the World Social Forum (http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br) and CILIP (The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). CILIP is a registered charity and the leading professional body for library and information workers in the UK. (See: http://www.cilip.org.uk/specialinterestgroups/organisationsinliaison).
Information for Social Change is committed to promoting alternatives to the dominant paradigms of library and information work.
The ways by which information is controlled and mediated has a serious influence on the ways people think, how they communicate, what they believe is the “real world”, what the limits of the permissible are. This applies equally to information that comes through the channels of the mass media, through our bookshops or through our libraries.
Of course, free and equal access to information is a myth throughout the world, although different situations pertain in different countries. Control is more explicit and cruder in some places, more “sophisticated” and more invisible elsewhere (for example in Britain). One of the aims of Information for Social Change is to document these situations.
But we want to go further than that, documenting also the alternatives to this control, the radical and progressive channels by which truly unfettered, unmediated ideas may circulate. And further still: to encourage information workers to come together, to share ideas, to foster these alternatives – whether we are publishers, librarians, booksellers, communication workers or distributors. Whoever you are, if you are in sympathy with us, join us.
Aims and Objectives
- To address issues of freedom of information as they affect library and information work.
- To challenge and oppose all forms of censorship and ideological restrictions.
- To promote alternatives to mainstream library and information provision.
- To provide a forum for the exchange of radical views on library and information issues.
- To debate ethics and freedom within the library and information professions.
- To challenge the dominant paradigms of library and information work.
Information for Social Change has a primary focus on the Information and Library sector and associated areas of activity, including – but not limited to: Public and general library service provision in the social context, specialist library provision (such as postgraduate or medical libraries), special collections, historical archives and museums (in the context of access to information as an historical testimonial), volunteer and independent librarianship, informal lending and information sharing networks, digital information sources and the Internet and World Wide Web as a medium for open exchange of information, education and communication. Information for Social Change also focuses on trends in the use of information and how it is accessed, e.g. the trend towards digital and online information, the emergence of the Information Worker in the labour economy and economic aspects of Information such as Copyright, Patents and traditional knowledge in the developing world.
Information for Social Change is outward looking and considers issues in an international context. To this effect ISC has contributors and Editorial Board members from a wide range of countries and regions. Information for Social Change aims to reflect the wider information context without boundaries, including regular coverage of the World Social Forum in Nairobi and correspondence with activists across a range of national groups and organisations.
Information for Social Change aspires to reflect a variety of perspectives, ideologies and polemic views whilst maintaining a reflective approach to debating and understanding the library and information sector and related areas. ISC does not espouse any single ideological perspective, however, through its stated aims and objectives, ISC aspires to reflect on issues of social justice, freedom of expression in the arts, mass media and free press, access to information and other issues impacting the social context for users of information.
Whilst having a primary focus on the Information sector and related activities across society and the international context, Information for Social Change aspires to a broad and holistic view, encompassing cultural, organisational, socio-economic, philosophical and political aspects. To this effect, ISC encourages individual participation from a variety of backgrounds, vocations and professions. Previous issues of ISC have focused on educational issues, gender issues, the newspaper industry, Globalisation issues and Social Exclusion.
Information for Social Change has a special remit for examining issues of social justice in the wider information sector, however, the journal takes a broad and flexible approach to this mission, encompassing writing and debate from a range of related sectors and areas of interest. Previous topics have included:
- Libraries & Information in the World Social Forum context.
- Public finances and libraries.
- Blogs, wikis, Web2 and self-publishing.
- Neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism in the information and education context.
- Corporatism and the privatisation debate.
- Moral and ethical information issues.
- ICT, digital libraries and e-learning.
- Education and Libraries.
- Copyright, patents and traditional knowledge.
- Globalisation (e.g. World Trade Organisation’s GATS and TRIPS agreements).
- Perspectives on global issues, e.g. conflict and pacifism, ecological and green issues.
Information for Social Change adopts a flexible and pragmatic approach to vocational, professional and interest-based writing, encouraging descriptive and reflective writing alongside formal articles. To this effect ISC encourages contributions outside the strict parameters of academic writing, however, general guidelines apply to all submissions (see Textual Guidelines below).
Note on Book reviews, short commentary etc.
Book reviews, short commentary, event feedback, poems and other informal writings are also invited for inclusion in the journal; the guidelines below offer only a general guide for these submissions, please contact the issue editor(s) to discuss your book review, short commentary or similar writing in the first instance.
- Please choose one of the following publication options (note – articles published in the journal are also published on the Web site):
- General publication in any forthcoming issue of ISC.
- Publication in a specific topical issue of ISC (for forthcoming special issue topics see the forthcoming issues link above).
- Publication on the Web site only (as an ‘occasional paper’).
- Submissions should primarily be made by email to the current Special Issue Editor(s) – see editorial board link above, or submit general articles to: email@example.com
- Authors are welcome to email Special Issue Editor(s) or any member of the Editorial Board for a general discussion of their article ideas or plan before submitting a more complete manuscript.
- In your submission email, please indicate your full name, primary organisational association – e.g. place of work, professional or interest group association(s), optionally it may be helpful to provide further contact details, e.g. address, phone number.
- The language of submissions should be in English (UK, US or International), this stipulation reflects the editorial resources of ISC and does not reflect any linguistic or national preference. When resources permit we will seek translations of abstracts, titles or summaries.
- Documents should preferably be submitted in one of the following formats:
- ‘.DOC’ format (Document) – i.e. created with either Microsoft Word, Open Office, Star Office or compatible software.
- ‘.RTF’ format (Rich Text).
- Any other format that can be opened with Microsoft Word (e.g. .WPS, .WRI format).
- In extenuating circumstances, submission may also be made in other formats such as plain text or HTML, please contact the Editorial Board if you have a problem using any of the formats mentioned above.
- Articles should focus on a specific topic or other area of interest, i.e. avoiding general discourse on a very wide subject.
- A clearly defined heading or title should be used.
- An abstract or summary may be useful to introduce longer articles.
- The article may benefit from use of sections or parts to clearly define and present each aspect of the paper, which could be displayed using sub-headings.
- Articles should contain some form of structure (e.g. introduction to topic, argument, conclusions).
- Bibliographic referencing should be used where sources are cited, whilst a formal method is not essential, the Harvard Referencing method is highly recommended (see Appendix 2).
- Reasonable explanation of unusual, technical or specialist terminology should be provided for readers, i.e. in the body of the text or as an attached glossary.
- Use of clear, plain language is encouraged to ensure the writing is accessible.
Note on sensitive or offensive material:
- Information for Social Change does not publish defamatory, libellous, sensitive or other potentially illegal content (however it should be noted that whilst Information for Social Change respects the broad spectrum of ideological, political and religious views, ISC also seeks to actively encourage reflective debate, including in some cases critical and reflective writing on established legal and ideological conventions).
- Information for Social Change does not publish material which could be construed as being generally offensive or offensive to any ethnic or specific group.
- Care should be taken to avoid plagiarism (e.g. citing sources without use of clear references or credit given for authors).
Copyright of submissions:
- The author retains copyright over their own works submitted to ISC, however through the act of submitting material for publication it should be understood that the author grants ISC permission to publish this work through its various channels (Web site and journal). If an article (or other written contribution) is published elsewhere the author should state that it was first published in ISC with details of the issue, date of publication etc.
Typical articles should total no more than 2500 words, however ISC may consider longer works for special issues or incidental publication via the Web site.
The journal submission deadlines will be displayed on the Information for Social Change Web site (section entitled ‘Forthcoming ISC Issues’). The submission deadline will be set approximately 4 months before the date of publication.
ISC aspires to a robust submission review process which reflects a ‘peer-review’ approach undertaken by the Special Issue Editor(s) and diverse range of specialist information workers within the ISC membership; currently the review process (for the journal and Web site publications) is as follows:
- Article is submitted by email to the Editorial Board (optionally stating for which specific special issue the article is intended or if it is intended only for publication on the Web site).
- Article is read by the Special Issue Editor(s) for general suitability for inclusion in the issue (or if submitted for Web publication only, this can be reviewed by any member of the Editorial Board with suitable knowledge of the article topic); the following options are available to the editor(s):
- ACCEPTANCE (for issue) – If the article meets the general submission requirements it may be considered as ‘accepted’ for inclusion in the issue (or for inclusion on the ISC Web site if this was specifically requested), a process of discussion may optionally then take place between the contributor and Special Issue Editor(s) to refine the article as appropriate for publication. Once the article is finalised the article may be passed directly to the Copy Editor for inclusion in the issue.
- ACCEPTANCE (alternative) – If the article is suitable for general publication with ISC but inappropriate for the topic of the special issue the editor(s) may suggest using the article for another forthcoming issue or publication via the Web site as an occasional paper.
- If the Special Issue Editor(s)’ initial reading identifies issues relating to the suitability of the article, appropriateness for the journal or Special Issue, significant issues relating to submission guidelines or other concerns, the editor(s) may follow one or more of the following actions:
- Pass the article to another Editorial Board member (2 nd opinion) to discuss specific issues and determine an editorial option to pursue.
- REFERAL (develop further) – If the editor(s) feel the article does merit publication but has significant content issues or problems related to submission guidelines, the editor(s) may respond to the author with appropriate feedback to significantly re-write the article. Subsequent liaison between the editor(s) and author should allow the article to be reconsidered for acceptance.
- REFERAL (refer back to guidelines) – If the article topic or content is generally inappropriate for the ISC journal or Web site, the editor(s) may provide feedback to describe problematic issues and invite the author to read the ISC submission guidelines before making a new submission.
Further ISC Journal Editorial Process
The editorial process for the journal involves the following stages:
- Article submitted (usually via email, see section 2.2).
- Articles reviewed by Special Issue Editor(s) on incidental basis and decision taken on individual articles for publication.
- Accepted articles undergo final discussion and development phase between Special Issue Editor(s) and authors to ensure -
- articles meet submission criteria, such as bibliographic and citation style.
- articles are converted to Microsoft Word format.
- articles are clearly formatted to reflect textual clarity, using headings, sub-headings, fonts, paragraphs etc.
- The articles are passed to the Copy Editor to re-format in Adobe Acrobat format, ensuring consistent headings, font, paragraph, indentation and margin settings are applied. A table of contents, frontispiece and other layout aspects are also applied to the finished issue (see Appendix 1).
- The issue is made available to the Editorial Board for a final review phase before agreeing to go live.
Once the finished issue is available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format (and has been agreed to represent the final version), authorisation is given by the Special Issue Editor(s) to the Copy Editor for publication. Publication (twice a year) is achieved through several channels:
- Publication via ISC Web site The PDF is made available on the ‘Table of Contents’ section in the ISC Web site, under the special issue heading (i.e. the theme or topic of the issue). The PDF document is made available as a complete document (single file) and also split into separate articles to allow downloading as individual documents. The editorial, frontispiece and contents are also provided as separate documents. Information is also provided to inform the user of file size in Kilobytes to best decide how to download the issue.
- You can view ISC updates/ new issues via our RSS feed or via other social network channels such as Facebook.
In addition to publication via the Web site and RSS/ Social Networks, the special issue is publicised and disseminated via a range of additional channels, including:
- Notification on the organisational or professional email lists of ISC members (e.g. within their own workplace or professional association).
- Notification via Web technologies, such as blogs, wikis, forums etc.
- Distribution of printed issues at events attended by ISC members.
- Indexing ISC on various online portals, OPACS and other repositories (under development).
- Discussion of ISC at speaking events by ISC members.
Open Access Principles/ Policy
Information for Social Change is distribured according to Open Access principles and was an early adopter of openly accessible WWW publishing. All Content in the ISC Web site is distributed on the basis of the Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 (CC BY-NC-ND) also see the Legal Code (the full license). Due for the need to allow sharing, with full attribution and credit for works across the many channels whereby ISC is disseminated, ISC has decided to define all site content under the BY-NC-ND license to ensure a clearly defined sharing license is in place. If any ISC contributor whose works feature in ISC do not wish their works to be defined under this license, please contact the ISC Editorial board.
You are free:
to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
Under the following conditions:
- Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
- Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
- No Derivative Works — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
With the understanding that:
Waiver— Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
Public Domain— Where the work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.
Other Rights— In no way are any of the following rights affected by the license:
- Your fair dealing or fair use rights, or other applicable copyright exceptions and limitations;
- The author’s moral rights;
- Rights other persons may have either in the work itself or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights.
Notice— For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to the license web page.
Information for Social Change is an Organisation in Liaison with the registered charity and professional body, CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), ISC is similarly a non-profit organisation. The infrastructure used by ISC is almost entirely based on the internet and freely donated resources (e.g. Web server hosting, contributor time and expertise); ISC is indebted to Rory Litwin and Library Juice for the use of this Web hosting.
As a consequence of its non-profit making status, ISC does not have funds or assets and consequently is not in a position to offer financial remuneration for article contributions to the journal, all contributions and submissions are therefore made on a voluntary basis. Additionally, the internet has provided the means to disseminate ISC via the Web and push technologies such as email to ‘subscribers’, providing an effective method for distribution of the ISC journal and a radical alternative to the traditional, profit-bound approaches to traditional journal publishing.
Should a description of Information for Social Change be required for inclusion on an external Web site, please cite our official mission statement (see section 1.2). Please also create hyperlinks using either a ‘parent’, ‘top’ or ‘blank’ link target (i.e. do not link to the ISC Web site within a frame window, but open the link in a new window or over the existing browser window).
When citing Information for Social Change in the press, please use the official name ‘Information for Social Change’ and if necessary refer to our mission statement, aims and objectives. For further contact details, please email an appropriate member of the Editorial Board (see link above).
Information for Social Change is committed to disseminating and encouraging reflective and radical debate across the information community and related areas of interest, to this effect, ISC members are encouraged to participate and attend a wide range of conferences, professional events, workshops and other collective meetings.
Where possible, Information for Social Change encourages cooperation with organisations who support any of our organisational aims or mission. Recent examples of liaison and cooperation with external organisations have included a mini-conference on Globalisation issues with the Career Development Group Wales (a CILIP group) and participation by ISC members in World Social Forum events at Nairobi. Suggestions for cooperation between ISC and external bodies should be raised by ISC members and discussed through the ISC email discussion list.
Information for Social Change has a formal relationship with CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) as an Organisation in Liaison and has strong links with a wide range of other organisations through the Editorial Board membership (see link above). ISC is also actively seeking to foster a relationship with UNISON (a major UK union) to promote common interests regarding the public service sector.
Information for Social Change is primarily facilitated by a small group of contributors who also oversee the daily running of the Web site, journal and other activities; the Editorial Board members contribute to ISC discussions (via the ISC committee email list), support the development of the ISC journal, liaise with article contributors, maintain links with individuals in external organisations, arrange events, conferences and workshops in partnership with external bodies and maintain the ISC Web site; additionally, many members of the Editorial board contribute articles and other writing to the ISC journal.
Special Issue Editors are Advisory Board members who volunteer to coordinate an individual journal issue, focusing on a particular topic or theme; there may be several editors for any particular issue. Special Issue Editors are the primary contact(s) for their own individual special issue (i.e. for contributor submissions). Once a special issue is published, the role of the Special Editor comes to an end, however, these individuals may continue to act as a point of contact for their issue and associated specialist topic. ISC encourages the practice of appointing Special Issue Editors outside the Editorial Board.
Whilst Information for Social Change operates on a collective basis, with shared aims and division of labour between contributors where possible, it is necessary to have some specialist roles to facilitate particular functions.
The Webmaster is responsible for updating the Information for Social Change Web site and maintaining the online subscription system. The Webmaster also maintains Web based site tracking statistics, the Web search facility and other special features found on the Web site. The Webmaster is also responsible for receiving and processing general site enquiries (sent to firstname.lastname@example.org). Whilst some aspects of the role are technical, there is some requirement to format Web documents, arrange layout, develop graphics and structure resources using a navigation hierarchy. The Webmaster liaises closely with the ISC Editorial Board to implement site changes.
The role of Copy Editor is closely linked to the technical role of the Webmaster and is typically performed by the Web editor. The Copy Editor is responsible for collating and processing the ISC journal issue from original Word format to Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format, this involves editing for appearance and layout. The Copy editor also constructs the issue frontispiece (graphical front page) and Contents page. This role involves liaison with the Special Issue Editor(s) to develop the issue to a professional standard for dissemination and publication. See Appendix 1 for the publication specifications
This role is undertaken on a rolling basis by any number of contributors or Editorial Board members, involving sending details of the latest issue to email lists, blogs, discussion forums and other channels. This role is still being defined under the terms of these procedures.
This role will seek to coordinate and ensure quality systems for suitable review of submitted articles for inclusion in the issue and Web site, including use of the article submission procedures cited in this policy document.
The responsibilities for this role include:
- Identifying individuals knowledgeable in particular areas or disciplines to develop an expert database of review contributors.
- Liaising with expert reviewers and Special Issue Editors to facilitate a ‘peer review’ process.
- Coordinating a peer review phase following the initial review of articles by Special Issue Editors to inform the Special Issue Editors’ decision for acceptance of the article.
Information for Social Change is indebted to a large number of contributors who have authored articles, book reviews, occasional papers, new stories and other writing to the journal and Web site. Contributors are asked to conform where possible to typical conventions of writing and submission guidelines (as described in this document).
ISC contributors, Editorial Board members and general users of ISC systems are asked to adhere to reasonable standards of conduct in order to maintain a congenial and professional environment in which to participate in Information for Social Change as a collective organisation and maintain the professional integrity of the group. ISC members and users are asked to:
- Maintain a courteous and friendly manner when interacting with other ISC members and users.
- Refrain from ‘flaming’ (causing wilful offence or use of language which could be construed as offensive) via internet based communication media such as discussion boards and email.
- Maintain general professional conduct in accordance to the ethical framework of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP): http://www.cilip.org.uk/professionalguidance/ethics
Breach of the above requirements may result in removal from ISC systems, email discussion list or similar measures to maintain the integrity of Information for Social Change.
Whilst some contact details and personal information is available via the Information for Social Change Web site (e.g. for Editorial Board members), we ask Web site users, contributors and other interested parties to respect the boundaries of privacy and use these contact details appropriately and in a reasonable manner.
The subscription system used by ISC provides reasonable mechanisms to allow an opt-out by subscribers and complies with data protection legislation by recording only the email address of subscribers on our secure system, these email addresses are used only for the purposes described on the subscription site (journal delivery to the subscriber email address), the address itself is only retained as long as the subscriber chooses to remain on our system (providing an email alerts opt-out link via the subscriber email and the ability to delete their account via their personal site profile, thus erasing all personal data held).
The Web site has been constructed to function in a wide range of Web browsers, mobile technology (such as PDAs) and across a range of operating systems. The site has been audited for Web standards such as XHTML 1.0 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Most documents on the Web site are provided in either Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format, instructions are provided via the Web site to download free viewers to access these file formats.
Information for Social Change recommends use of the Harvard Referencing method for formal article submissions, see appendix 2 for further guidelines. Also see:
Information for Social Change recommends use of a standard referencing method for consistent citation of sources to reduce the possibility of referencing without adequately crediting the author. For further details on plagiarism, see:
All contributors retain personal copyright over their individual contributions; articles and other documents published via ISC may be distributed and shared freely by email and hardcopy, but should not be modified or edited.
No part of ISC (Web site of journal issues) should be charged for, unless specific arrangements are made with individual contributors.
For further information on Information for Social Change, please see the Web site:
Layout Parameters for the ISC Issue (in PDF format)
- Page dimensions – A4 (21 x 29.7 cm)
- Layout – portrait
- Font – verdana
- Font weight – normal
- Font size – 11 pt
- Headings – 16 pt
- Sub-headings -14 pt
- Margins – 2.54 cm
- Indentation – left aligned
- Text colour – black
- Page Numbering – bottom right, font size 10 pt, Arial, normal
- Header – Information for Social Change Issue [no]
- Other details – inclusion of frontispiece (single A4 cover containing the issue topic, publication season, publication year), inclusion of contents page with page references.
- Division of contents – Editorial, Features (articles), Book Reviews, Latest News.