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Information for Authors

General Information

1) Any submission must be the original work of the author that has not been published previously, as a whole or in part, either in print or electronically, or is soon to be so published.

We will ask that in the case of acceptance for publication in Past and Present, there should be an interval of at least two years between the appearance of the article in the Journal and any subsequent publication (in the same or similar form) elsewhere.

2) The target length for an article is 8,000–10,000 words, excluding notes. If your article is longer than this, please contact the editorial office. We do on very rare occasions consider articles of more than 10,000 words for the journal, but such an article would have to be of exceptional quality and importance to justify its inclusion in the journal: the longer the piece, the higher the bar to acceptance. The number of submissions we receive increases every year, and it is getting ever more difficult to accept long pieces, so we urge authors to keep within the word limits.

We would also ask authors to note that it may take substantially longer for us to make decisions on overlong submissions.

For a Review Article, the target length is 4,000–5,000 words, plus notes.

For a Viewpoint piece, we are flexible in relation to length, but our preference is for Viewpoints to be shorter than articles: we suggest 6,000 words (plus notes) as a rough guide.

Viewpoints might also take the form of a collection of shorter pieces (c. 2,000-3,000 words each) addressing a particular conceptual, historiographical or methodological problem, theme or topic. Our guideline for the maximum length of such collections is 15,000 words (inclusive of notes). We are, however, open to considering other formats and would encourage editors/authors to contact us directly with details for approval of the format before submitting.

Please provide a word count for both text and notes on the first page of the article.

3) Please supply a short (200-250 words) abstract of the article at submission.

4) Style: at submission, we ask that authors ensure that their texts are double spaced and paginated, with footnotes (not endnotes) in arabic not roman numerals. The Past and Present style guidelines can be found below. In the event of acceptance, we will ask authors to render articles according to the full style guide.

5) We hope to reach decisions on most submissions well within four months (and certainly no longer than six), and we will contact you if the refereeing process takes longer than this.

6) We now practise ‘double blind’ reviewing. The main text of any submission should therefore exclude the name(s) of the author(s), affiliations, and any directly personal references, as well as acknowledgements to those who have read the paper. Please also ensure that the title of the file does not include your name.

Acknowledgements and relevant citation of previous work by the author(s) can be incorporated after a paper has been accepted for publication.

We will, as far as is possible, send the readers’ reports on to authors for information once a decision has been taken on a submission. These reports are sent in confidence.

7) Please bear in mind that any article in Past and Present has to be of interest, and fully accessible, to the non-specialist as well as the specialist reader, so:

a/ make clear what the interest of the article to the non-specialist is or may be: e.g., does it change debate on an issue, and if so, how? does it feature new data? and so on;

b/ keep technical/specialist expressions to a minimum and ensure that any expressions that are necessary are carefully defined;

c/ assume little linguistic knowledge. Avoid quotations in languages other than English; quotations from non-English sources must be translated into English (if essential, the full original text can be supplied in a footnote);

d/ footnote references to books or other sources in non-western-European languages should give the original title (transliterated as necessary), followed by an English translation of the title in square brackets.

8) P&P; Viewpoints: we now welcome submissions of pieces specifically intended for consideration as a Viewpoint. Viewpoints should seek to provoke or advance debate, to open up new questions, to define the state or direction of a particular field, to shape trends in historiography at a more general level — always in a way that is comprehensible to non-specialists. They might be relatively specific/substantive with respective to area and period or more theoretical.

Viewpoint articles would generally have a less formal character than journal articles. The scholarly apparatus of research articles need not be applied so rigorously: polemic could have a place, there might be less need for careful nuance or qualification, or for comprehensiveness of coverage, footnoting could be light, and style could be more individual.

Viewpoint pieces could be flexible in form. Two people (or more) might wish to collaborate on an exchange of views. (We think the difference between such exchanges and our Debates would be that they would not focus on one article). We are flexible in relation to length, as noted above, but our preference is for Viewpoint pieces which are shorter than articles so that they stand apart.

As noted above, Viewpoints might also take the form of a collection of shorter pieces addressing a particular conceptual, historiographical or methodological problem, theme or topic.

9) We also welcome submissions of Review Articles, covering one or more important recent publications. As with other articles, it is important that Review Articles appeal and are accessible to the non-specialist as well as the specialist. We prefer Review Articles which supply a view of the state of the field as well as a review of the specific works in question.

10) Please make submissions to be via our online submission website http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/past. Articles should be submitted according to the instructions for online manuscript submission.

All submissions will be acknowledged by email as soon as possible after receipt.

11) Article texts should be in English . We can exceptionally consider for publication articles in some western European languages, but prospective authors must in that case contact the Editors in advance.

A condition of acceptance of an article so submitted would be that the article be translated into English — and vetted by a native English speaker for fluency and idiom.

12) Articles sent to Past and Present for consideration for publication should not be submitted simultaneously to any other journal or journals for refereeing. Authors must never multi-submit! All journals frown on this practice.

13) Notes should be kept to a minimum and, wherever possible, be confined to necessary references. Notes should not be used for ‘sub-texts’. Wherever possible without confusion, references should be grouped together. Notes should rarely exceed 10-20% of the text.

14) Graphs, Tables, Maps, etc., may of course be included in an article when they add materially to the substance or comprehensibility of the argument.

15) Illustrations may also be included where they add materially — up to a maximum of twelve (3–6 is more usual). It is the author’s responsibility to provide high-definition images of any illustrations they wish to include (good-quality prints if hard copy; jpgs etc. if electronic). Images submitted in colour will be reproduced in colour online, and in black and white in the print journal.

It is the author’s responsibility also to obtain any necessary permissions (and to provide us with copies of the relevant documentation). For guidance on this, please contact the Oxford University Press Rights department.

Please note the relatively small page-size of Past and Present (max. 6.75 x 4 inches) when considering possible illustrations for inclusion.

16) Debates. The Journal encourages the publication of constructive Debates on controversial topics and on controversial points made in the course of articles which it has published. In every case where a P&P        article is the subject of a Comment in a Debate, the author of the article critiqued is invited to submit a Reply.

17) Authors of articles that are accepted for publication should note:

(a) there is the option of 'Advance Access'. Advance Access allows for swift online publication in advance of the print issue. For more information, please go to http://past.oxfordjournals.org/papfaq.

(b) proofs: alterations on proof are expensive and must be kept to a minimum;

(c) offprints: authors will receive 25 free offprints, free of charge, if they opt-in to receive them on the Author Services site. Additional offprints may be ordered when proofs are returned. In the case of Debates, offprints will be of the full Debate, not just the author’s contribution to it.

18) P&P;’s Open Access policy : Authors are permitted to deposit the ‘accepted article’ version of their articles in institutional and centrally organized repositories after an embargo period of 24 months. The ‘accepted’ version is the final draft author manuscript, as accepted for publication, including modifications based on referees’ suggestions but before it has undergone copy-editing and proof correction. Before you deposit your article, please refer to our more detailed guidelines at http://www.oxfordjournals.org/access_purchase/self-archiving_policypast.html.

We also offer authors the option of paying an APC (article processing charge) of £1,750 to publish their work freely online immediately on publication. This form of open access publication is offered under a range of licences (CC-BY, CC-BY NC, and CC-BY NC ND). Some types of research funding may stipulate the kind of licence under which authors must publish their work.

We would be very happy to go through the different licences with you if that would be helpful.

Language Editing

Particularly if English is not your first language, before submitting your manuscript you may wish to have it edited for language. This is not a mandatory step, but may help to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.


Please note: permission to reproduce copyright material, for print and online publication in perpetuity, must be cleared and if necessary paid for by the author; this includes applications and payments to DACS, ARS, and similar licensing agencies where appropriate. Evidence in writing that such permissions have been secured from the rights-holder must be made available to the editorial office. It is also the author's responsibility to include acknowledgements as stipulated by the particular institutions. Further information on permissions can be found at http://www.oxfordjournals.org/access_purchase/permissions_guidelines.html


It is a condition of publication in the Journal that authors assign their copyright to the Past and Present Society. This ensures that requests from third parties to reproduce articles are handled efficiently and consistently and will also allow the article to be as widely disseminated as possible. Authors may use their own material in other publications provided that the Journal is acknowledged as the original place of publication, and Oxford University Press is notified in writing and in advance.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ('OUP') may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. Please notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process.


Past & Present authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences. Authors publishing in Past & Present can use the following Creative Commons licences for their articles:
• Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY)
• Creative Commons Non-Commercial licence (CC BY-NC)
• Creative Commons non-Commercial No Derivatives licence (CC BY-NC-ND).
Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

If you choose the open access option, you will be sent an email regarding payment. The open access charges applicable are:

Regular charge - £1850/ $3000 / €2450
Reduced Rate Developing country charge* - £925 / $1500 / €1225
List A Developing country charge* - £0 /$0 / €0
*Visit our Developing Countries page for a list of qualifying countries

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.

Crossref Funding Data Registry
In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here .

Editorial correspondence

All editorial correspondence should be addressed to:

The Editors
Past and Present
103 Walton Street

01865 511147


Author Self-Archiving/Public Access Policy

For information about this journal’s policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page .

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