Library technologists (developers, programmers, sysadmins, and systems librarians) need better ways to share information both among themselves and with the library community as a whole, including public and technical services staff, library management, and other non-IT specialists. The code4lib journal facilitates technical communication by publishing articles on tools, specs, and challenges in the world of library technology. The journal focuses on showcasing practical hacks, working code, best practices, and implementation issues, and also includes higher-level discussions of large projects or challenges pertaining to information technology in libraries. It is what Roy Tennant calls a "truly technical rag" for libraries.


The code4lib journal publishes two types of articles:

  1. Features: Longer, more formal articles on topics such as large projects, trends, or theoretical issues.
  2. Hacks: Shorter articles on successful or failed projects, calls to action, common mistakes, useful techniques, and actual code.

Issues are formally released every two months, but individual articles may be available prior to the official publication date.

Editorial Policies


Anyone may submit material to be considered for publication in the code4lib journal. The editorial board also reserves the right to solicit submissions from conference presenters, bloggers, and anyone else who has something interesting and useful to say. The submission process is the same for both types of articles; the review board decides which type of article a given submission is.

Editorial Review

All articles considered for publication are subject to the following editorial process:

  1. The submissions editor receives submissions, solicited and otherwise, and conducts a preliminary review based on the following criteria:
    • usefulness;
    • newness;
    • relevance.
  2. Articles that satisfy the above criteria are made available for review and comment by the review board and the broader community.
  3. Based on comments made during the review process, the review board votes on whether to publish an article. Possible votes are:
    • Approved without further revision.
    • Approved, but some revisions required.
    • Rejected.
  4. The review board also votes on what type of article it will be published as -- a "feature" or a "hack".
  5. Articles requiring revision are revised by the author based on comments from the review board and the broader community, then resubmitted for another vote. This may occur more than once depending on how the review board votes.
  6. Articles not requiring further revision are published in a subsequent issue of the journal.


New issues are released every two months.

Articles which have been finalized for publication may be made available as "pre-release" articles prior to their official publication date.


Authors hold the copyright in their works. Articles are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs2.5 License, which permits reproduction of unaltered copies of articles for non-commercial purposes. Since the author retains copyright, parties interested in other arrangements (such as commercial republication or publication of derivative works) should contact the author to make arrangements.