Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) is a peer-reviewed journal that aims to advance the knowledgebase and practice of health sciences librarianship.

JMLA welcomes the submission of any original manuscript that seeks to improve the practice of health sciences librarianship; to extend the knowledgebase on the organization, delivery, use, and impact of information on health care, biomedical research, and health professionals’ education; or to describe important developments in or the history of the health sciences library profession and related fields. As part of JMLA’s Equity Initiative, we issue a continuing call for manuscripts that address social injustices; speak to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workforce and among our user communities; share critical perspectives on health sciences librarianship; or are authored by individuals who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.

Manuscripts are reviewed for possible publication with the understanding that they have not been published, submitted, or accepted for publication by another peer-reviewed journal. Presentation of a paper at a conference or inclusion of a preliminary report in published proceedings is not considered prior publication provided that the submitted manuscript is substantially more complete than the initial report and any duplicative material is kept to a minimum. Specific cases should be referred to the editor.

Material published on the JMLA site and issues prior to 2016 are also available through PubMed Central (PMC)


Section Policies


Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

President's Page

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Lectures and Awards

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Special Paper

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Knowledge Synthesis

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Original Investigation

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Case Report

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Virtual Project

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

History Matters

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Letter to the Editor

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Book Review

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Resource Review

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

JMLA uses a double-anonymous peer review process in which the names of authors are not revealed to reviewers and the names of reviewers are not revealed to authors. Authors may provide the names and email addresses of up to five potential reviewers who are well qualified to comment on the work and would not have a conflict of interest with the authors (e.g., not direct colleagues or recent co-authors), which should be entered into the "Comments for the Editor" box during manuscript submission. Authors may also identify specific individuals who should not review their manuscript. Taking these suggestions into consideration, the editor typically assigns three reviewers to each manuscript. Reviewers are asked to use JMLA's peer reviewer guidelines to inform their comments and recommendation. JMLA aims to complete the review process and provide feedback to authors within 6-8 weeks of submission.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content. Our publisher, the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh, abides by the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of Open Access:

By “open access” to [peer-reviewed research literature], we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.

Researchers engage in discovery for the public good, yet because of cost barriers or use restrictions imposed by other publishers, research results are not available to the full community of potential users. It is our mission to support a greater global exchange of knowledge by making the research published in this journal open to the public and reusable under the terms of a Creative Commons CC-BY license.

Furthermore, we encourage authors to post their prepublication manuscript in institutional repositories or on their websites prior to and during the submission process, and to post the publisher’s final formatted PDF version after publication. These practices benefit authors with productive exchanges as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.

There are no article processing charges, submissions fees, or any other costs required of authors to submit articles to or publish articles in this journal.



This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration.


Data Sharing Policy

JMLA requires authors of Original Investigation, Case Report, and Special Paper articles to (1) place the de-identified data associated with the manuscript in a repository and (2) include a Data Availability Statement in the manuscript describing where and how the data can be accessed.

JMLA defines data as the digital materials underlying the results described in the manuscript, including but not limited to spreadsheets, text files, interview recordings or transcripts, images, videos, output from statistical software, and computer code or scripts. Authors are expected to deposit at least the minimum amount of data needed to reproduce the results described in the manuscript.

Data can be placed in any repository that makes data publicly available and provides a unique persistent identifier, including institutional repositories, general repositories (e.g., Figshare, Open Science Framework, Zenodo, Dryad, Harvard Dataverse, OpenICPSR), or discipline-specific repositories.

The Data Availability Statement should be placed in the manuscript at the end of the main text before the references. This statement must include (1) an indication of the location of the data; (2) a unique identifier, such as a digital object identifier (DOI), accession number, or persistent uniform resource locator (URL); and (3) any instructions for accessing the data, if applicable.

Example Data Availability Statement:

“Data associated with this article are available in the Open Science Framework at <insert url>.”

Exceptions to this policy will be made in rare cases in which de-identified data cannot be shared due to their proprietary nature or participant privacy concerns. See more detailed information.



All persons designated as authors should meet the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)'s guidelines for determining authorship. Authorship can be changed at any point before manuscript acceptance. 


Request Replacement Issues (Claims)

Missing a print issue? Please submit your request for a replacement to Jim Westwood. Claims must be filed no earlier than three weeks and no later than six months from the publication’s month of issue. Because of limited supplies, we cannot fill requests more than six months after the publication date. Older issues of the JMLA may be accessed for free through PubMed Central.