Thinking about submitting to the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies? Really need a peer-reviewed article for your CV (for the academic job market/tenure/promotion)? Or are you done with peer reviewers (especially reviewer #2!) but would like to share your discoveries and insights with the LMM community? Does your work not really fit the conventional article format, and you’re wondering what medium might best suit your ideas? Perhaps you’re looking to do something creative?

Below, I’ll provide an overview of the publication types that the Journal has published and is open to publishing. I’ll also take a look at the review processes to give you, as a potential Journal contributor, a sense of what might be an appropriate route for you and your particular submission.

1) What kind of material does the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies publish?

Many kinds, is the short answer!

The Journal’s “Aims and Scope” provides an overview of many possible publication types.

And for an overview of all the material the Journal has published so far, check out our “Directory.”

Here’s a breakdown by type:

Articles. These are the longer reflections on a topic that we typically think of when we think scholarly journal. Our first article was by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly and our most recent (as of writing) is by Laura Leden.
Videos. Would an audiovisual element really make your topic come to life? Two 2018 LMMI conference presentations have become Journal publications. Trinna S. Frever’s presentation may have been pre-recorded, but she still managed to get lively engagement from conference delegates. It later became a peer-reviewed article. Carolyn Collins spoke about Montgomery’s scrapbooks, and of course this highly visual topic is an ideal fit for a video publication.
Creative Writing. Ever wanted to continue or reimagine the story of one of Montgomery’s characters? Or does prose not quite capture your response to Montgomery’s writing? Good news: the Journal is open to creative submissions and has published fiction by Anna Rose Johnson and poetry by Julie A. Sellers.
Exhibits. Journal student assistants have helped create visual exhibits for Bonnie Tulloch and Andrea McKenzie. Interested in displaying your work through an exhibit like this? Let us know, and, if Journal resources allow, we’d be happy to support this.

We’d also welcome short notes about recent discoveries (a way to publicly claim your ideas and share with the LMM community) and visual art like painting or photography relating to Montgomery.

Your ideas. Do the formats above not quite fit with your work? We’d love to hear your ideas for other submission types and may be able to work with you to make what you’re imagining a reality.

2) What happens after I submit? What does the review process look like?

Full details on the Journal’s review processes can be found under “Editorial and Peer Review.”

And here’s an overview of a) Peer Review and b) Editorial Review.

a) Peer Review:

  • Open to all submission types! Not just articles. The Journal has published peer-reviewed articles (so far, by Laura Leden, Michael B. Pass, Trinna S. Frever, Mary Beth Cavert, Bonnie J. Tulloch, E. Holly Pike, Heather Thomson, Brenton D.G. Dickieson, Catherine Sheldrick Ross and Åsa Warnqvist, Julie A. Sellers, and Margaret Mackey);  and creative pieces (by Johnson and Sellers). Not sure if a piece has been peer reviewed or not? Review information is available at the top of each publication, along with other publication information.
  • Double blind (the author doesn’t know who the reviewer is, and the reviewer doesn’t know the author’s name).
  • Reviewer has six weeks to evaluate the submission.
  • Typically, we aim for one LMM expert and one content expert (for example, if an author’s piece is on LMM and education, then we might look for a second reviewer working on education and children’s literature, but not necessarily LMM-related).
  • For articles, the reviewers evaluate the significance of subject; quality of research and arguments; connection to conversations in the field(s); relationship to theoretical/critical/scholarly contexts; standard of academic writing.
  • For creative pieces, the reviewers evaluate significance of subject; artistic merit; connection to Montgomery’s life, works, legacy; relationship to Montgomery Studies. 
  • Peer reviewers give written feedback to the author.
  • Peer reviewers choose one of four recommendations (with #2 and #3 being most common):
    • 1) Publish, with the nominal revisions listed below.
    • 2) Accept, only if the substantial revisions noted below are completed.
    • 3) Reject, with recommendation for major revisions and request resubmission.
    • 4) Reject, for the reasons stated below.
  • By the end of the process, two peer reviewers have to say, “Yes! Publish/Accept.”

Contributors/authorswhy peer review might be right for you:

  • You’re aiming for or are in an academic career. Peer-reviewed publications are the cornerstone of a strong research program and vital for success in hiring, tenure, and promotion applications in academia.
  • You’d like to receive substantial feedback from recognized experts in your field, even if you’re not embarking on a scholarly career.

Editorial Review:

  • Open to all submission types! We’ve published editorially reviewed articles, including our very first publication by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly and one by Mary Beth Cavert, as well as other publication types like McKenzie’s exhibit.
  • Editorial reviewers are two Journal board members or scholars working in a relevant field who view or read the submission.
  • Not necessarily double blind (for example, one reviewer may be the editor or co-editor, so blind review is not possible).
  • Reviewer has six weeks to evaluate the submission.
  • Editorial reviewers respond in one of three ways:
    • 1) Approve: If there are no significant content problems and only minor style/structure/formatting problems.
    • 2) Return to contributor: If there are significant content problems and/or substantial style/structure/formatting problems that need to be addressed. What are the problems?
    • 3) Reject: The problems are too great for the piece to be revised for publication.

Contributors/authorswhy editorial review might be right for you:

  • Peer review is not important for your career stage or professional goals.
  • You’d like to see your work in print soon-ish. Editorial review is typically a speedier process to publication than peer review.
  • You’d like some feedback on your work but don’t think you or this particular piece needs the detailed feedback and the usually intensive rewriting and editing demanded by the peer-review process. (Of course, editorially reviewed pieces will still require some rewriting and editing!)
  • You want to share your interesting LMM work, but the topic or approach is not scholarly in the traditional sense so peer review doesn’t seem like the best fit.

Not sure what review process is right for you? We’re happy to consult.

Interested in being a reviewer? It can be difficult to find reviewers, so we’d love to hear from you. Let us know the areas you’d be open to reviewing in and your availability (for example, willingness to review once a year or once every quarter).

Still have questions? Contact us with those too:

Submitted by Kate Scarth, Chair of L.M. Montgomery Studies and editor of the Journal

Next (June 21, 28): “Elizabeth Epperly Early Career Paper Award,” by Bonnie Tulloch

Banner image of PEI waves. Anne Victoria Photography, 2018