Guidelines for Articles
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 any other medium). All articles being considered for publication (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 Perspectives on History, 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.All submissions must have complete contact information for the author(s). This should include e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers (if available), and mailing addresses.
Preparation of Articles
Articles should normally be about 1,200 words in length (about six double-spaced pages), with a maximum of 1,500 words. We prefer a journalistic style for Perspectives on History articles. Articles should, therefore, have no more than five endnotes. 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 and to insert subheadings at appropriate places to improve the readability of text. A brief (25-30 words) autobiographical description 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 authors before submission.
Copyediting for House Style
When copyediting articles, Perspectives on History editors use the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style and the 11th 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 Perspectives on History. The editors seek to remove redundancies and errors—if any—in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Perspectives on History supports the use of gender-neutral language in its 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 Perspectives on History runs on a tight schedule, the editors typically will ask authors to respond within 4 to 5 days. Perspectives on History editors are happy to work with authors and encourage authors to e-mail 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. 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.