Little History and Background of Rusq

Reference & User Services Quarterly is the official journal of the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association. Its purpose is to disseminate information of interest to reference librarians, information specialists, and other professionals involved in user-oriented library services. This Web site serves as an online companion to the print edition.

Manuscript Preparation

Please follow these procedures when preparing manuscripts to be submitted to RUSQ. Manuscripts that fail to comply with RUSQ style may be returned without evaluation.


Submit only original, unpublished articles on subjects within RUSQ‘s scope. Manuscripts based on the work of RUSA committees will only be considered for the columns sections of RUSQ. Articles of four thousand to seven thousand words are preferred.


Write the article in a grammatically correct, simple, readable style. Remember that the author is responsible for the accuracy of all statements in the article, including the accuracy of references and quotations.

Consult the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., or the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary ( for questions relating to spelling and word division.

As the authority for punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, note forms, etc., consult The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), 15th ed. (Univ. of Chicago Pr., 2003). CMOS has a companion website (

Give the article a brief title; if the title is not descriptive of content, add a brief subtitle. On a separate page give the title, the name(s) of the author(s), and the title and affiliation of each. Manuscripts based on conference presentations should identify the conference by name and date on this page.

On a separate page, type the title and subtitle, followed by a brief abstract typed double-spaced. Do not identify the author(s) here or elsewhere in the manuscript.

Prepare tables, figures, illustrations, and photographs. Each table should be provided as a separate word processing or MS Excel file. It should be given an Arabic number and a title and cited in the text. Tables, figures, illustrations, and photographs should be numbered in the order in which they are first referenced in the text. Each column in a table should have a heading. Table footnotes and sources, if any, should be typed double-spaced beneath the table.

Each figure should be provided as an individual file, given an Arabic number and a title, and be cited by number in the text. Computer-generated figures should be embedded in Word files or provided as Excel files; Excel files are preferred. Resolution for all figures must be at least 300 dots per inch.

Screen captures, such as those of Web sites, must be at high resolution (300 dpi) and formatted for black-and-white or grayscale reproduction. URLs for screen captures must be provided.

When selecting or preparing drawings or photographs, keep in mind that they should be large enough and clear enough to permit a reduction of one-half to one-third.

Avoid referring to tables and figures with phrases such as “the following,” “above,” or “below”; it may be impossible to place the tables or figures to correspond. Refer always to “table 2,” “figure 6,” and so on.

RUSQ uses the numbered endnote style described in chapter 16 of CMOS. Endnote numbers should appear in the text as superscripts at the ends of sentences. When more than one item is referenced in a sentence, a single endnote number should be used and the items included in the endnote as in example 13 below. Automatic embedded footnote or embedded endnote features of word processors should not be used.