Case Studies Series Overview

The Case Studies Series, sponsored by the Publications Board, provides SAA component groups the opportunity to develop and edit a set of freely accessible works relating to a closely-defined area of archival theory or practice. Case Studies are typically 1,500 to 5,000 words in length and serve as examples of archival practice or illustrate issues worthy of broad discussion and debate. Works should be modeled on the successful approach used for Campus Case Studies and Case Studies in Archival Ethics.

Copyright of individual works will be retained by the author; each case study will be published in PDF form under a Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives license.  Works will be freely available in the SAA website, making them broadly accessible and facilitating high impact.

To assist component groups seeking to publish a set of case studies, the SAA Publications Board supplies the following resources:

  • advice and assistance in developing a series theme, call for participation, and authoring template;
  • a review rubric for peer assessment of submissions; and
  • editorial and publishing support from the Publications Board and SAA staff.

The Process

A process has been developed for a component group to establish its own case studies series. Here are the suggested steps:

1. SAA Component Group Chair serves as point of contact with the Publications Board.

2. Component Group Chair consults with the chair of the Publications Board (who is also the SAA Publications Editor) regarding the idea. Once agreement is reached, the Component Group Chair issues the following documents:

a. Call for case studies relating to [topic].  This is published on the component group’s microsite and promoted by the group and SAA.

b. An authoring template, which supplies a prescribed format/citation style. The case study template has the following basic structure, with sub-sections fleshing out what should be required in four areas (these are specific to each project and should be reviewed by Publications Editor before template is released):

 i. Intro/context/problem statement
 ii. Methodology/narrative
 iii. Analysis/discussion
 iv. Reference List Note: Use Chicago Manual of Style Author/Date format for in text citations.

3. Prospective authors submit case study drafts to an email address set up by the SAA. The email and any attachments are auto-forwarded to the Component Group Chair, the Publications Editor, and the Director of Publishing. An auto-reply acknowledging receipt of the message is returned to the submitter.

4. Component Group Chair sends the case study and the assessment rubric to two peer reviewers (i.e., members of the component group or another appropriate other reviewer) for single blind peer review process. The rubric is available for downloading from the SAA website in the publications area, and should also be linked from a component group’s microsite so prospective authors know the criteria and process being used.

5. Typically within three weeks, peer reviewers return completed rubric to Component Group Chair.

6. Component Group Chair reviews feedback, shares with Publications Editor, and makes recommendation. 

7. Publications Editor makes publication decision and conveys it to Component Group Chair and Author.

a. If draft case study is accepted in current form, it is sent to Director of Publishing.

b. If revisions are recommended to draft case study:

i. Publications Editor supplies comments to Component Group Chair and Author.

ii. Author revises draft case study using supplied comments, and sends revised content to Component Group Chair.

iii. Component Group Chair reviews and sends revised version to Publications Editor and Director of Publishing.

c. If rejected, Publications Editor conveys decision to Author.

8. Publications Editor and/or Director of Publishing complete light copyediting.

a. Track changes version sent to Author for review and approval.

b. Author returns clean, final version of case study to Director of Publishing (Google Docs or MS Word Format).

9. Director of Publishing formats and converts case study to PDF for posting/publication on SAA website.

10. Copyright is retained by author, but work is published under Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives license on the SAA website.

Each case studies series will be considered open-ended until terminated by the component group and/or Publications Board.

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Component groups interested in sponsoring or commissioning a series of case studies should contact SAA Publications Editor Christopher J. Prom.