Guidelines for Articles

Articles and article pitches must be original; not submitted elsewhere, including online platforms; and should be transmitted to us online. All submissions must include contact information for the author(s). 

All articles submitted for publication in Perspectives on History (whether submitted directly by authors or commissioned by editorial staff) are read by the in-house editorial board. The final decision on publication is made by the editorial board, which often must balance several factors in acceptance decisions. Articles submitted to Perspectives Daily for online publication only are reviewed by the Perspectives editorial staff and AHA staff with relevant expertise. 

Any article accepted for publication will become the property of the American Historical Association and will be subject to the copyright policy of the AHA (which include the AHA’s right to publish the article in print as well as any other medium).

Preparation of Articles

Perspectives articles should be written in a journalistic tone. Submissions for Perspectives on History should be no longer than 1,500 words in length; Perspectives Daily articles should be between 800 and 1,000 words. Authors are encouraged to avoid jargon and to ensure that all articles include a strong hook or compelling story in the introduction. Authors writing about teaching should consult the additional Submission Guidelines for Teaching Articles page before submitting a pitch or draft. 

Additionally, authors should use in-line citations and hyperlinks rather than footnotes and endnotes (see below for examples). Spelling, especially of proper names, and all factual information (dates, place names, statistical data, and so on) should be verified by the author(s) before submission.

We encourage authors to supply a working title for their article, although the final determination of headlines, captions, pull quotes, and other forms of display type are made by the editors. 

Author biographies are very brief: name, title, and affiliation. Authors may choose to include include their Twitter handle if they have one they use professionally. 

Example: Ashley E. Bowen is editor of Perspectives on History. She tweets @AEBowenPhD. 

Copyediting for House Style

Perspectives uses the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style and the most recent edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. In general, the editors aim 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 supports the use of gender-neutral language in 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, a copyedited version may be sent to authors for final approval (when major revisions are suggested). Since Perspectives runs on a tight schedule, the editors typically will ask authors to respond within 24 to 48 hours. 

Illustrations

We encourage authors to suggest images or other graphics that can be used as illustrations with their articles. With a few exceptions, we prefer images of people, places, and objects to scanned images of documents or text. These images 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.

Authors must include full citation and permission information for all illustrations they provide. In all cases, it is imperative that the author submitting the images has (or will have secured before publication) permission to reproduce the image, unless the image is clearly indicated to be in the public domain or is available via an open license such as Creative Commons.

Citation Style

Perspectives does not use footnotes or endnotes. Instead, authors should make use of hyperlinks and in-line citations. For charts or graphs requiring a citation in the caption, authors should include a note about the data source in the caption.

  • John Tosh’s The Pursuit of History, for instance, gives the example of Thomas Babington Macaulay’s The History of England (1848), which could be used as a foundational secondary source or a primary window into Victorian political and intellectual life. 
  • Lee’s account of the unmaking of the Jacobean achievement by Charles I appeared in The Road to Revolution: Scotland under Charles I, 1625–37 (Univ. of Illinois Press, 1985), which focused on Charles’s inability to manage the religious and political tensions his father had navigated so well.
  • In Mother Is a Verb, for example, Sarah Knott writes as both a mother and a historian to explore mothering across time and place.
  • Fig. 1: Degree completions in history (absolute number and as a percentage of all bachelor’s degrees), 1997–2019
    Data source: IPEDS Completions Survey from the US Department of Education.

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