IFLA Journal is pleased to announce a Special Issue on “Artificial Intelligence (AI): Transforming Global Librarianship”. With the rapid advancements in Generative AI (e.g., ChatGPT 4, LLMs) and human interfacing (e.g., visual and voice prompting), we are at a pivotal stage of the potential transformation of library services and librarianship through the impact of AI. AI is evolving at an unprecedented pace: some of the advances that were anticipated to occur in the next 20 to 30 years are already a reality. We have reached a stage of difficulty in predicting the future as we don’t know what we don’t know. This Special Issue seeks to explore the known and unknown potential impact of AI advancements on various dimensions of future of library service and librarianship with a global scope.

Co-Chief Guest Editors:

Xuemao Wang
Dean of Libraries and Charles Deering McCormick University Librarian
Northwestern University, United States of America

Andrew Cox
Senior lecturer, Digital Societies Research Group
Information School, The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

The Special Issue reflects IFLA Journal’s tradition for timely discussion and the widest community engagement with emerging trends, cutting-edge best-practice, and innovative research. We invite all interested researchers and practitioners to submit their proposals to the Special Issue for constructive feedback. Researchers and practitioners can then implement the initial feedback before submission to the Special Issue. Contributions can relate to any LIS sector. We particularly welcome contributions from outside the global north. The Special Issue seeks to publish innovative and empirical papers, as well as best-practice case studies that address transformational issues related (not in a priority order), but not limited, to AI and:

  • Societal, environmental, governance, regulatory, and legal issues in libraries
  • Ethical and privacy issues
  • Trust, disinformation and misinformation
  • Digital sustainability
  • Library and information science theory, research methodologies, and conceptual developments.
  • Libraries’ strategic planning, value proposition, and visioning
  • Technological implementation challenges along with legacy core library services
  • Augmentation and replacement of human activities in library services
  • Library users’ behavior and perceptions, preferences, choice sets and decision making on library personalized services
  • Analysis and prediction of user behavior
  • Partnerships in resources sharing
  • Library branding and marketing, publicity activities.
  • Search engines and discovery tools (content creation, search algorithms, and personalization)
  • Library social media, from content creation to consumption, on influencers and social ads
  • Product development and innovation on open-source software development
  • Library service models
  • Metadata generation and organization
  • Digitization and digital collection creation, discovery, organization, dissemination and preservation
  • Issues around Indigenous knowledge and data sovereignty
  • Library reference and research consultation services
  • Systematic reviews, citation management and research contents summarization
  • Scholarly communication, publishing and content preservation
  • Information literacy and library instruction education
  • Library workforce development
  • Development, and implementation across diverse geographical regions and linguistic communities

Manuscript Submission Process and Key Dates:

  • Full instructions for submissions, including formatting, style, and submissions portal can be found on the IFLA Journal Submissions Guidelines webpage.  IFLA Journal uses Sage Harvard reference style. Review the guidelines on Sage Harvard to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
  • IFLA Journal is hosted on ScholarOne™ Manuscripts, a web based online submission and peer review system. Please read the Manuscript Submission guidelines, and then simply visit the IFLA Journal Manuscript submission webpage to login and submit your article online.
  • When prompted in the submission system, note that the submission is for the Special Issue on Artificial Intelligence: (AI): Transforming Global Librarianship.
  • Papers will be reviewed according to the IFLA Journal double-blind review process.
  • The Special Issue will follow a two-stage submission process.
  • Stage 1: Submission of extended abstracts, due 1 March 2024
  • Submission of an extended abstract is not compulsory to the full paper submission, but it is highly encouraged. Extended abstracts must not exceed 1500 words or 6 double-spaced pages. Extended abstracts will be reviewed only by the co-chief guest editors and small selected group experts.
  • Preliminarily selected authors submitting an extended abstract will be given constructive feedback. The constructive feedback will aim to develop the papers further.
  • Stage 2: Paper submission, due 1 July 2024
    Full papers are due 1 July 2024, via the ScholarOne™ Manuscripts submission system. All papers must be submitted in the IFLA Journal Special Issue category.

Tentative schedule:

  • Submissions open: 15 November 2023
  • Submissions for extended abstract feedback deadline: 1 March 2024
  • Final paper submission deadline: 1 July 2024
  • Expected publication: First Quarter- 2025

About IFLA Journal

  • IFLA Journal is an international journal publishing peer reviewed articles on library and information services and the social, political and economic issues that impact access to information through libraries. The Journal publishes research, case studies and essays that reflect the broad spectrum of the profession internationally. All articles are subject to peer review. Articles are published in English.
  • Abstracts will be translated by IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) into the other working languages of IFLA—Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian or Spanish—for publication.
  • IFLA Journal is published by Sage Publications and is the official journal of IFLA, and has an international readership consisting of academic institutions, professional organizations, and IFLA members who all receive a free subscription to the journal.
  • Each issue of IFLA Journal is made available Open Access upon publication on IFLA’s website. Authors are also encouraged to make the accepted version of their manuscripts available in their personal or institutional repositories.