This document provides guidance to our authors and editors as they prepare for publication articles and books related to Pre-Columbian studies. The submission guide deals with the process that typically occurs from submission through publication. For matters of style—the general principles we follow in grammar, usage, and other matters relating to texts—please refer to the Style Guide. Further questions not covered in these guides can be addressed to the Pre-Columbian department by email or by phone 202-339-6440.
At this time Dumbarton Oaks does not accept unsolicited book-length manuscripts for consideration in Pre-Columbian studies.
Most of our publications are planned and developed internally, and fall into a few discrete categories:
- edited proceedings of symposia and colloquia,
- catalogues of our collections,
- and monographs.
Every book we publish has one or more authors or volume editors, who are responsible for the content. Throughout the process authors or volume editors work with one or two sponsoring editors, who are responsible for presenting new articles or titles to the editorial and/or series boards, conducting the peer-review process, and ensuring that authors and volume editors meet deadlines and other expectations, including those discussed in this guide. All authors and volume editors should consult the sponsoring editor for any instructions or supplements that may supersede or augment this document.
All Dumbarton Oaks authors and volume editors can expect to go through an established sequence of events: initial submission, review and revision, final submission, and production of the book.
When submitted for the first time, all manuscripts should be as complete as possible, as if ready for publication. Any manuscript deemed critically deficient will be returned to the author or rejected.
All initial submissions should be sent electronically, by e-mail. No hardcopy is necessary, unless specially requested. Text files should be sent in either Microsoft Word (.doc) or Rich Text File (.rtf) format.
At the initial submission, images may be sent as low-resolution digital images or as legible photocopies, of a quality sufficient for the peer-review process. For the final submission of all images please consult our Artwork Submission Guide. The work on securing permissions and the best quality images should begin in earnest only after the manuscript has been accepted.
Initial submissions should be sent to the relevant sponsoring and volume editors.
Review and revision
Most submissions are evaluated by peer review, to evaluate the quality of the manuscript.
The evaluations that emerge from peer review, in tandem with input from the editors and the editorial board, help determine whether a manuscript is rejected or accepted. Accepted articles are classified as needing either minor or major revisions. Authors of accepted manuscripts will be given a report and asked to revise their manuscript. If a manuscript has been accepted with major revisions, the corrected version may be reviewed a second time, to determine whether the manuscript is suitable for publication.
Toward the end of this process authors of accepted manuscripts will be asked to sign a letter of agreement, which serves as a contractual obligation.
Final submissions differ from initial submissions in some respects. In the final submission a printed hard copy of both text and images should accompany the electronic version.
These additional points, if overlooked in the initial submission, should be observed:
- Text should be double-spaced, with pages numbered consecutively;
- Use endnotes, not footnotes;
- The text should be in an easily readable twelve-point font, preferably with serifs (e.g., Times);
- Text should be left-justified, with indentations made by a hard tab (not merely formatting the paragraph to have initial indentation);
- Use only hard returns at the end of paragraphs or headers, and use tabs for paragraph indents;
- Headers should be capitalized headline style, not given in full caps (Finds, not FINDS);
- Do not insert a line space between paragraphs; leave extra space between paragraphs only if it is required in the printed article;
- Leave wide margins of at least 1.25 inches on all sides;
The manuscript should be arranged as follows:
- Title page, including full name of author(s) and institutional affiliation, as you wish it to appear in the publication
- Acknowledgments, if any (given as a separate block of text, not as a note)
- Notes, if any (converted to endnotes)
- References cited
- Appendices, if any
- Tables, if any
- List of illustrations and captions
- Illustrations—printouts of digital images or photocopies of prints, accompanied by a checklist (see below)
Before printing the final version, proofread the entire manuscript carefully, paying particular attention to the following points:
- Check spelling in general using the spellcheck function of your word processor;
- Verify that all proper names and place names have been spelled correctly and consistently;
- Verify that all quotations and facts are accurate and that citations are complete and accurate;
- Make sure that all accents and other special characters and symbols appear correctly;
- Double-check that annotation is complete; adding or deleting notes later in the process is time-consuming and can introduce errors.
Changes made in an article once set into type are costly; authors who request excessive changes will be charged for amounts above ten percent of the initial cost of composition. They should, therefore, submit only clean and carefully revised copy, prepared according to the style guide. A manuscript not prepared in this manner, even though accepted for publication, may be returned for revision.
All images should be submitted in the best form possible, with the requisite permissions, ready for publication (see our Artwork Submission Guide). Provide a checklist of images, indicating for each illustration what permissions have been secured and what restrictions, if any, there are on the use of the images. Dumbarton Oaks reserves the right to drop an image from a project if the image does not meet the necessary standards.
Once books are in production at Dumbarton Oaks authors' and volume editors' responsibilities are not yet at an end. Several months into the process authors and volume editors will receive a copyedited form of their manuscript, and they will be expected to address any last-minute queries that arise. Sometime later first-page proofs will be sent for proofreading. If you are expected to provide one or more indexes for the book, you will prepare these later, at the stage of second-page proofs. Dumbarton Oaks will do its best to accommodate authors' and volume editors' schedules, but the production schedule is determined in the context of our entire production schedule.