The Society of American Archivists is publishing a series of case studies designed to facilitate an understanding of issues related to the management of government archives and records. They will be published electronically and distributed through the SAA website under a Creative Commons license, with copyright retained by the authors. Suggested use for these case studies includes as teaching tools in graduate archival education programs and in continuing education workshops, as well as generally by archivists to stimulate dialogue and thought.
The Government Records Section invites individuals to submit case studies drawn from real life. The goal is to develop a series of case studies that address challenges faced by archives responsible for government records, including but not limited to: advocacy, (re)appraisal, custody issues, starting a records program, digitization projects, born-digital records, preservation, access, accountability and transparency.
Furthermore, the goal is to develop a set of case studies from a broad range of repositories, representing all levels of government: local, state, provincial, territorial, tribal, federal, and national. This may include official government repositories, as well as non-government repositories that hold government records.
Case writers may present examples that deal with executive agency records, legislative papers, or judicial records, and may also discuss the challenges related to distinguishing between public records and the personal papers of public officials, intergovernmental relations, and legislative or policy considerations.
Case studies are potentially helpful tools to deal with the wide range of changes experienced by both seasoned veterans and new professionals.
Suggested case study length is 2,500 to 5,000 words. Please use the SUBMISSION FORM as a guideline. Illustrations, such as tables, charts, and digital images, are welcome and should be embedded in the Word document. Include all of the required information—such as institutional identity, authorship, and case summary—in the order that it is requested.
Authors are responsible for understanding and following the principles that govern the “fair use” of quotations and illustrations and for obtaining written permission to publish, where necessary. Accuracy in citations is also the author’s responsibility.
Submit your completed case study as a Word document to
All submissions will be reviewed by two members of the Government Records Section and evaluated according to a RUBRIC. The reviewers will return the case study and completed rubric within three weeks of receipt to the Chair of the GRS, who will then review the feedback and make a publication recommendation to SAA’s Publications Editor. Within five weeks after submission, the case study author will be notified of the publication decision.
A submission will not be considered if is being reviewed by another publishing outlet at the same time, nor if it has been published previously in a similar form.
Once accepted, case studies will be submitted to the SAA Publications Editor and Director of Publishing for light copyediting and, in some instances, may also request minor revisions by the author. After the author signs off on a final version, SAA will format the case study and post it to the website as a PDF.
Copyright of the case study will remain with the author, and SAA will acknowledge this in the copyright line that appears with the case study. Authors will consent, grant, and assign to SAA the non-exclusive right to publish and/or distribute all or any part of the case study throughout the world in electronic or any other medium. In return, SAA agrees to publish the work under a Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives license.
Please direct requests for additional information to PublicationsEditor@archivists.org.