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Author Guidelines

All documents must be submitted to the appropriate editor in editable text format. Links to a shared drive space are preferred to email attachments.

Submissions are considered based on quality and usefulness to the profession instead of length (or 1500 – 6000 words, not counting references, if you would like more guidance). Images, tables and figures require captions to ensure accessibility. Please submit these accompanying files separately.

In addition to the manuscript, the primary author is responsible for submitting the following:

  1. Abstract of 400 words or less,
  2. 4-10 keywords for their article,
  3. Brief author biographies - including the full names of all authors and their affiliation and email addresses

If the text includes copyrighted material (such as images), please be prepared to address these with your corresponding editor. Authors can submit a separate note with their manuscript detailing the relevant copyright information and outlining the process they used to obtain permission to publish the copyrighted material in the journal.

Authors are invited to make submissions in either English or French. If submissions are made in French, the title and abstract must be submitted in English.


Book Reviews


The Book Reviews section is published to help readers select content for their library collections or professional work. Reviews should contain the following:

Submission Details

1. Bibliographic Citation

This should include: author, title, edition, place of publication, publisher, date, number of pages, price (if known) and ISBN. 

Bussey, Ben and Spudis, Paul D. The Clementine Atlas of the Moon. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2004. 316p. $80.00 US. ISBN 0-521-81528-2.2. 

2. Review

The review should describe and critically evaluate the work. Typical review elements include:

  • Scope, purpose and content of the work; 
  • Intended audience; writing style; 
  • Background and authority of the author; 
  • How the work compares with other titles on the same subject; 
  • Usefulness as a research tool / any unique features/ its suitability for library collections.


The length of the review is at the reviewer’s discretion but should normally reflect the importance of the work. A typical review is about 500 words.

Opinions expressed in reviews are those of the reviewer, not of the ACMLA. 


GIS Trends


The GIS Trends column relates to current goings-on in the rapidly changing digital world. This can include anything, from new tools in software; new players in the commercial or open-source GIS world; new modes of developing or storing data, or anything else that impacts GIS work and workflows for information professionals. Some examples include the vertical integration of ArcGIS Products; the geographic digital divide; digital asset management systems; Story Maps; new GIS services offered at libraries; and more.

Submission Details


The format of the column is up to the writer; generally, it has tended toward less formal information structures, but writers are free to present however they think best represents the information, so long as it presents the information in a manner accessible to the current or future spatial information librarian. Previous columns are openly accessible for inspiration, going back to 2016. Length is up to the author – generally aim for less than four pages, though this may depend on format and content.


Writers should present content about what’s currently happening in GIS work. Discussions of new versions of software should be avoided unless they offer noticeable differences in the user experience or usage.


Digital Exhibits


This section aims to provide space to share digital outputs that are unaccompanied by academic text.

Submission Details

Digital Exhibits can include the following:

  • Web maps
  • Mobile applications
  • Static maps
  • Story maps
  • Gallery exhibits
  • Other media


Software & Data Reviews


The purpose of this section is to review software and/or data products to help readers select appropriate tools for their libraries and professional work.

Submission Details

The review should describe and critically evaluate the tools. Review elements can include:

  • A description of the software or data products, their features, capabilities, limitations, requirements, installation, documentation, support, license, cost, etc
  • Evaluations of quality, usability, functionality, reliability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability based on author experience
  • Critical analysis of the software or data products, comparing them with other similar or alternative products, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses
  • Impact of the tool or data set on the research community and practice.


  • Reviewers must acknowledge any funding or support received for conducting the review or using the software or data products.
  • Reviews should cite the software or data products using persistent identifiers (such as DOIs) and include information about their availability and accessibility.
  • Reviews should also cite any underlying data or software needed to understand, evaluate, and build upon the reviewed products.
  • Reviews are typically between 500 and 2000 words.
  • Opinions expressed in reviews are those of the reviewer, not of the ACMLA.


Student Voices


The Student Voices section is new (2023) to The Bulletin and aims to:

  • Promote a diversity of experiences, knowledge types, and, ultimately, voices in the ACMLA Bulletin
  • Promote work developed by early career researchers, cartographers, and artists as it relates to map libraries and archives.
  • Offer a simple way for the above group to be introduced to and potentially get involved with the ACMLA.
  • Promote submissions to the ACMLA’s student paper award

Submission Details 

Submissions for this section must come from a student currently enrolled in a post-secondary program at a Canadian institution. Submissions should align with the ACMLA’s objectives in some way and can cover topics including but not limited to:

  • Creating, curating, and using cartographic resources from library and archival collections (e.g., fire insurance plans, aerial photographs, historical sheet maps)
  • Methods and tools for the creative and/or innovative presentation of maps and geospatial data
  • Research, discussion, or innovations involving the use of or access to historical or contemporary cartographic materials, geospatial data or information
  • Research, discussion, or reflections regarding the role of student library workers in the context of map libraries or archives

Academic submissions

  • Academic papers should be 2000-3000 words, excluding references. Accepted citations are MLA, APA, and Chicago.
  • Please submit all material to the Student Voices editor with the subject line “ACMLA Student Voices -submission”.
  • Academic submissions will automatically be considered for the ACMLA Student Paper Award for the academic year submitted.
  • Work must be the author’s own- no part of the submission can be plagiarized (including self-plagiarized)
  • Submissions will go through a review process by the Student Voices editor and, potentially, a member of the ACMLA Bulletin editorial team.

Creative submissions

  • Creative submissions include static or web maps (unaccompanied by an academic text), creative writing, critical artwork, and fiction. If you wish to submit other types of media, please email the Student Voices editor to confirm the format.
  • Please submit all material to the Student Voices editor with the subject line “ACMLA Student Voices -submission”.
  • Work must be the author’s own- no part of the submission can be plagiarized (including self-plagiarized). 
  • Submissions will go through a review process by the Student Voices editor and, potentially, a member of the ACMLA Bulletin editorial team.




This section aims to share news items among readers and act as a record for the Association.

Submission Details

News items can include the following:

  • AGM Minutes
  • Membership lists
  • Call for proposals for Carto
  • ACMLA Award winners
  • News from the Association Executive 
  • Any other member accolades or accomplishments


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