Guidelines for Articles
In This Section
Articles and article proposals must be original; not submitted elsewhere, including online platforms; and should be transmitted to us online. If this preferred method cannot be used, please contact the editor to discuss alternatives. All submissions accepted for publication (with a few exceptions, such as reprints of articles) will become the property of the American Historical Association and will be subject to the copyright policies of the AHA (which include the AHA’s right to publish the article in print as well as any other medium). All articles being considered for publication in Perspectives of History (whether submitted directly by authors or commissioned by editorial staff) are read by the in-house editorial board, which, in light of its overall responsibility for the magazine, may make suggestions for revision. The final decision on publication is always made by the Perspectives on History editorial board, which often has to balance several factors in deciding when (and if) an article will be published. Articles submitted to Perspectives Daily for online publication only are reviewed by AHA editorial and administrative staff. All submissions must have complete contact information for the author(s). This should include email addresses, telephone numbers, and mailing addresses.
Preparation of Articles
Articles for Perspectives on History should normally be about 1,500 words in length; Perspectives Daily articles are about 800–1,000 words. We prefer a journalistic style for Perspectives on History and Perspectives Daily articles. Articles should, therefore, have few endnotes (if any; hyperlinks are often more appropriate). Citations should, wherever possible and appropriate, provide the name of publisher, as well as the date and place of publication (see below for examples). We encourage authors of articles to supply a working title for the essay, although the final determination of headlines, captions, pull quotes, and other forms of “display type” are made by the editors. A brief autobiographical description (25-30 words) should be appended at the end of the article, indicating the author's institutional affiliation (if any), recent major publications, interests, and so on. Spelling—especially of proper names used in drafts—and all factual information (dates, place names, statistical data, and so on) provided should be verified by the author(s) before submission.
Copyediting for House Style
When copyediting articles, Perspectives editors use the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style and the most recent edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. In general, the editors attempt to make an author’s prose as effective as possible, both in the author’s interest and that of our publications. The editors seek to remove redundancies and errors—if any—in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Perspectives on History and Perspectives Daily support the use of gender-neutral language in their articles, except when a change in pronoun would lead to a historical inaccuracy. To ensure that no errors are inadvertently introduced into the text in the copyediting process, the copyedited version of articles accepted for publication may be sent to authors for final approval (when major revisions are suggested). Since both Perspectives on History and Perspectives Daily run on a tight schedule, the editors typically will ask authors to respond within 24 to 48 hours. Perspectives editors are happy to work with authors and encourage authors to email or call (202-544-2422) with any questions they may have.
We encourage authors to submit pictures or other graphics that can be used as illustrations with their articles. These should be sent as high-resolution digital files (with a resolution of at least 300 dpi). Digital files of color illustrations and photographs should preferably be rendered in CMYK. If it is not possible to send digital files, we can accept print copies that we can scan and return. Please include credits for illustrations. In all cases, it is imperative that the author submitting the images has (or will have secured before publication) the permission to reproduce the image, unless the image is clearly indicated to be in the public domain.
Some samples are provided here of the most common type of references, but for more detailed information, authors can follow the Chicago Manual of Style.
- Michael Kammen, The Past Before Us (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980), 210-41. (The abbreviation p. or pp. should be omitted.)
- David M. Esposito, “Teaching American History in Indonesia,” Perspectives 36, no. 4 (April 1998): 13-17. (Use Arabic numerals for the volume number even if the journal uses Roman numbers.)
- Peter A. Coclanis, “Publishing in Journals in the 21st Century,” Perspectives on History (April 2011), http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2011/1104/1104for2.cfm. (For citations that refer to the online version of an article—from Perspectives on History or another journal—the page numbers need not be given, as the URL will suffice to locate the article.)
- Diane Ravitch, “Put Teachers to the Test,” Washington Post, February 25, 1998, A17.