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As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission is previously unpublished (prior conference presentation or posting of drafts on a site dedicated for open peer review is not considered ‘publication’ for these purposes) and not under consideration at any other publication.
  • The submission is in Microsoft Word (DOCX), Open/Libre Office (ODT), or rich text (RTF) format.
  • The submission uses only Unicode fonts (this includes Times New Roman, Arial, and most common fonts found in Microsoft Office and other major suites; consult a full list of Unicode fonts if you are unsure whether your fonts are Unicode-compliant). SBL Hebrew and SBL Greek, both freely available, are preferred for those languages. If specialized fonts are necessary to your manuscript, please state this at the time of submission. In that case, the author will be required to provide fonts for production and publication and also to supply proof that the fonts are available for this use via an open license, or else that permissions have been granted through a purchased license agreement or otherwise obtained from the owner.
  • The submission includes an abstract of 100–150 words.
  • All citations in the submission conform to the current Chicago Manual of Style using the in-line author-date format, with endnotes retained only for commentary or other ancillary, discursive, or explanatory content.
  • If the submission is intended for peer review, it has been stripped of personally identifying authorial information in headers/footers, references, or embedded metadata. (Note: You must check off this box even if your submission is not for peer review.)
  • Any images for publication must comply with the Atla Open Press Visual Materials Guidelines. Please review these guidelines prior to submitting image content. If it is not possible to provide your image(s) in compliance with these guidelines, please indicate this in the "Comments for the Editor" field during the submission process so that alternative arrangements can be made, or contact us in advance at editors-tl@atla.com.
  • The submission files are named with a short form of the submission’s title based on the first three major words (e.g., the file for a submission titled “The Future of Theological Libraries” might be FutureTheologicalLibraries.docx). Supporting files, such as images, tables, etc. indicate the type of supporting material after an underscore, with a number if there are multiple files of the same kind (e.g., the third image supporting the above submission might be FutureTheologicalLibraries_Image3.png). No file name should exceed 50 characters. (Note: The OJS system may alter the name of your file during upload, particularly by appending your user name. During the upload process, please click the pencil-and-paper editing icon next to the file name on the "Review Details" screen to correct this and ensure that the final, uploaded file name conforms to these guidelines.)
  • During the upload process, titles are entered in title capitalization (not sentence capitalization or all capitals) and abstracts are in roman text (not bold or italic; italics for specific words and phrases within the abstract are permitted).
  • If images are included, full attribution or citation has been provided within the text of the submission (including title, artist, etc., as well as the URL if the image came from a website). If the image is reproduced with permission of the copyright holder, evidence of such permission should be attached as a separate file during the submission process. If the image is licensed via Creative Commons, or if the author has reason to believe that the image is otherwise available for use (public domain, fair use, etc.) this should be stated in the comments field during the submissions process.
  • Any potential conflicts of interest have been declared to ensure that all parties are appropriately informed of any relevant considerations while they work on a submission. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include prior publication, personal relationship with guest editors, volume editors or editorial board members or Atla staff, personal convictions that may have a bearing on the work, etc.

Essays address trends, technologies, and practices affecting libraries and librarianship and discuss matters of significant import to the profession. These can be of any length up to 6000 words. Essays may take the form of:

  • opinion pieces on issues relating to theological librarianship and scholarly religious communication,
  • profiles that highlight the life and work of long-time theological librarians who have shown special leadership and/or have made significant contributions to the library profession,
  • descriptions of various library-related features (programs, resources, facilities, management, etc.).

Research articles make an original contribution to research and scholarship in theological librarianship and are subject to peer review. Research articles typically range from 4,000-12,000 words in length; however, these limits are not fixed, and authors are encouraged to consult with the editorial board if their articles fall outside this range.

  • articles based on original research (using any methodology),
  • bibliographic essays discussing significant bodies of literature of interest to theological librarians and placing these in a broader intellectual and/or bibliographic context.

Special forums are periodically invited by the editors through a call for papers. Past forums have been organized around distance learning, exhibiting library collections on African Christianity, providing theological library services to the incarcerated, and other topics. Submissions to forums are generally 750–1000 words and should follow the standard submission guidelines as well as any additional guidance provided in the relevant call for papers. Longer submissions will be accepted at the discretion of the editorial board or guest editor.

Forum submissions are reviewed and curated by the editorial board but are not subject to formal peer review and do not need abstracts. Whenever appropriate to the topic, contributions in the first person—sharing personal experiences or reflections or reporting on projects or initiatives at the author's institution—are welcome alongside third-person critique and analysis, theoretical treatments, and other more conventional forms. Those interested in serving as a guest editor for a special forum are invited to review the guest editor guidelines.

Critical reviews primarily cover reference material (both print and electronic), electronic databases, professional library literature of interest to theological librarians, and other items deemed appropriate by the reviews editor. Reviews should be no more than 1500 words. When you receive your review copy, please send a short confirmation notice to the critical reviews editor.

Please include the citation information at the beginning of the review in the following form:

  • BOOK — Author. Full title of the book. Place: Publisher, Date. Number of pages, Price. ISBN. (Example: Michael McClymond, ed. Encyclopedia of Religious Revivals in America. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2007. 2 vols: 1178 pp. $225.00. Hardcover. ISBN: 0313328285 (set).)
  • ELECTRONIC RESOURCE — Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Full title of the website. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site. Date of resource creation (if available). URL, DOI or permalink. Date accessed. (Example: Cooperative Digital Resources Initiative. American Theological Library Association and Association of Theological Schools. 2003-2015. https://www2.atla.com/digitalresources/. Accessed June 2, 2017.)

The review should begin with a brief description of the book or online resource. Describe the intended audience of the resource. Discuss its strengths and weaknesses. Assess whether the author's aims are achieved. Provide an analysis of the author's style and presentation. Does it have a particular perspective or does it present all sides of an issue objectively? Note whether you would recommend it for purchase.

Reviews must be submitted within two months of receiving the book or the book must be returned.



Unsolicited submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. Cutoffs for inclusion in particular issues are:

  • April issue — December 1 of preceding year (peer-reviewed content); January 4 (all other content)
  • October issue — June 1 (peer-reviewed content); July 1 (all other content).


Submission Instructions

To submit a manuscript, you will need to register (if you have not done so already) and log into our Open Journal Systems (OJS) submission system. You may then visit the Submissions page or your User Dashboard and select Start a New Submission, which will take you to the Submission form where you will select the type of submission you are making, add details about your submission, and upload your document.

If there are multiple authors, only one needs to complete the submission process.

Please be sure to include the complete author, presenter, or submitter name, as well as institutional affiliation and role where appropriate, with all submissions. Accurate and complete information is the responsibility of the submitter. Atla is not responsible for any spelling errors or for the omission of names of presenters or authors. 

Presentation slides, posters, and similar materials cannot be accepted for direct publication, but are encouraged to be linked in the submitted manuscript if available online.


Policies, Costs, and Author Rights

Atla Open Press is committed to a peer-reviewed open access publication model without article processing charges, article submission charges, or other author fees.