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Meet the CILIP IL Group Committee: Emma Coonan



What is your role on the committee?

Emma Coonan, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Information Literacy

I’m the Editor-in Chief of the Journal of Information Literacy (JIL), which is the CILIP Information Literacy Group’s journal. My job is to keep the ILG committee updated about how the JIL Editorial Board is managing the journal. And I’m notorious for having used the word “rhizomatic” in a committee meeting about the new ILG logo…

When did you join and why?

When I became editor of JIL, back in summer 2015. That was one of those ‘right place, right time’ moments – the offer to be the next editor-in-chief came completely out of the blue, and I heard my voice saying yes before I even realised I’d made the decision. I’ve never done anything quite like it before, but I absolutely love it!

What do you do in your role?

A lot of reading. I read the articles that are sent in to the journal, plus all the peer review reports about the articles. If the reviewers recommend any changes or reworking of the article, I then read the resubmitted article before passing it over to the copy-editors to work their magic with layout and formatting.

I also run workshops on various aspects of scholarly communications practice, including research design, peer reviewing, and writing scholarly articles. Sending a paper off for publication often feels like dropping it into a black hole; it vanishes without trace for months, and even after it’s been published you’re not sure how it got there. I’d really like journal publishing practices to be much more transparent, and I’d love to help everyone involved in information literacy – whether you think of yourself as a practitioner, researcher, teacher or trainer – to feel more confident about their ability to conduct research and write about it.

What is your day job?

I’m Information Literacy Librarian at UEA (University of East Anglia), the university with the highest rabbit-to-person ratio in the country.

What are your other interests?

As well as learning how to be a journal editor I’m currently learning to sew, to play the piano, and to garden. I do a lot of long walks at weekends, and also dog-walk for the Cinnamon Trust. And I’m very very slowly writing a book about information literacy, teaching, and fear – in between issues of JIL!

Find out more about the work of the CILIP Information Literacy Group.

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