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Instructions for contributors

Founded in 1961, the peer-reviewed Journal of British Studies (JBS) is dedicated to the advancement of scholarly understanding of British history and culture from the Middle Ages through the present. Drawing on both established and emerging approaches, JBS presents scholarly articles and book reviews by authors who wish to share their ideas on British society, politics, law, economics, and the arts. Explorations in the history of the British Isles and the British Empire may be conceived in the broadest way chronologically, geographically, and thematically, and put British experience in European, comparative, transnational, and global contexts. The Journal publishes the work of scholars with an established international reputation and offers a prominent forum for younger scholars. Contributions are aimed both at specialists and nonspecialists.

Download the Journal of British Studies instructions for contributors here: Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (279 KB).

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Journal of British Studies

Aims and Scope

Founded in 1961, the peer-reviewed Journal of British Studies (JBS) is dedicated to the advancement of scholarly understanding of British history and culture from the Middle Ages through the present. Drawing on both established and emerging approaches, JBS presents scholarly articles and book reviews by authors who wish to share their ideas on British society, politics, law, economics, and the arts. Explorations in the history of the British Isles and the British Empire may be conceived in the broadest way chronologically, geographically, and thematically, and put British experience in European, comparative, transnational, and global contexts. The Journal publishes the work of scholars with an established international reputation and offers a prominent forum for younger scholars. Contributions are aimed both at specialists and non-specialists.

Article Types

The Journal publishes research articles and book reviews, with each coordinated by a different editorial office.

Book Reviews

Unsolicited book reviews are not accepted, but for more information about the Journal’s book review policy click here.

Research Articles

JBS publishes research articles that are of interest to the specialist and non-specialist reader. To ensure that your contribution is fully accessible and stimulating to the general reader, it is crucial that you situate your article in its historiographical context and make clear the wider significance of your research.

Any submission must:

  • be the original work of the author(s);
  • not have been published previously, either as a whole or in part, either in print or electronically; and
  • not currently be under consideration or accepted, in whole or in part, for publication elsewhere.

Articles should normally be between 8,000 and 12,000 words in length, exclusive of footnotes. Footnotes should be kept to a minimum and not used for "sub-texts." Wherever possible without introducing confusion, references should be grouped together.

You may of course include tables, maps, and images in your article if they are integral to the argument or add significantly to its substance or intelligibility.

Peer Review Policy

The Journal adheres to a double-blind peer-reviewing policy in which the identity of the reviewer and the author are concealed from both parties. Submissions must be completely anonymous. Acknowledgements can be added later to submissions that are accepted for publication.

We aim to reach decisions on most submissions within three months, and certainly no longer than five. We will contact you if the refereeing process takes longer than this.

Manuscript Submission

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure that you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

Authors should submit manuscripts online via the Journal of British Studies Editorial Manager system at You will need to create an account if you do not have one. If you are unsure if you have an account, or if you have forgotten your password, use the password help function provided. Please contact the editorial office at if you have any questions about the procedure, or wish to make a submission by another means.

Preparing Your Manuscript

Follow the style guidelines below regarding the format of your manuscript and references. The system relies on automated processing to create a PDF file from your submission. If you do not follow these instructions, your submission cannot be processed and will not be received by the journal office.

At the top of the first page of the manuscript, please provide word counts for your article: one that includes footnotes and one that does not.

Prepare your manuscript, including tables, using a recent version of Microsoft Word and save it in .doc or .docx format.

If you used any revision or editorial tracking tools in your word-processing program, be sure the final version of your manuscript does not contain tracked changes.

Anonymize your files and text: Do not include a title page, any acknowledgements, or your abstract (there will be a place to enter that as you upload your document into our system). In the text and citations, replace any information that would identify the author(s) by substituting words such as: [citation deleted to maintain the integrity of the review process]. Do not add any running headers or footers that would identify authors. Refer to your own references in the third person. For example, write "Smith has demonstrated," not "I have previously demonstrated" [reference]. Check that all identifiers have been removed from electronic files, including your documents prepared using Microsoft Word.

Current MS Word instructions:

Authors should submit any figures as separate files, in TIFF (.tif) or EPS (.eps) (not GIF [.gif] or JPEG [.jpg] format). For further guidelines concerning the electronic submission of images, please see the Guidelines for Artwork.

Submitting Your Manuscript

The online submission software (Editorial Manager) will automatically create a single PDF document containing your main text and reduced-resolution versions of any figures and tables you have submitted.

In addition to the main manuscript text, including tables and figures, you will be asked to provide the following items during the submission process:

  • A title of not more than 30 words
  • An abstract of not more than 200 words
  • Name(s), affiliation(s), and contact information for the corresponding author(s)
  • A statement regarding any conflicts of interest

To submit a new manuscript, go to, choose "Submit New Manuscript" and then follow the on-screen instructions. You move between steps by clicking on the "Next" button on each screen or back to the previous screen by clicking on the "Previous" button. Please do not use the "Back" or "Forward" buttons on your browser, as the information you have entered will not be saved. At any stage you can stop the submission process. Everything you have typed into the system will be saved, and the partially completed submission will appear under "Incomplete Submissions" on the Homepage’s Main Menu. To return to the submission process, you will need to click on "Edit Submission" for the relevant manuscript title. You can save any partial information entered and return later to edit any or all fields, but you can only submit your manuscript once you have entered all the required information.

The submission pages will ask you to follow these steps:

1. Select Article Type: Original Manuscript.

2. Enter the title of your manuscript (up to 30 words).

3. Edit author details.

4. Enter the abstract of your manuscript. The abstract may be cut and pasted from a word- processing program; however, the formatting will be lost (up to 200 words).

5. Select classifications for your manuscript. Please choose a minimum of one term per category (period; geographical area; thematic and conceptual field).

6. Please respond to a series of additional question concerning your submission. For additional information and instructions click on the blue links labeled "instructions."

7. You have the option of adding any comments to the editors.

8. Select the country of your current residence or academic affiliation from the drop-down menu.

9. Attach Files: When you come to upload your manuscript files, enter individual files by entering the item type (e.g. manuscript or figure) and a description, and choose each file by either clicking on "Choose Files" or dragging and dropping the relevant files directly to the area indicated on the screen. Repeat these steps until you have uploaded all required files. Only the manuscript is a required item; all others are optional. When you are done, click "Next."

10. Click on the button, "Build PDF for my Approval."

11. The next screen will ask you to go to the Submissions Waiting for Author’s Approval page, where a link to the PDF will appear once Editorial Manager has built it.

12. Go to "Action Links" and select "View Submission" to view the PDF.

If the files have not been uploaded correctly or you would like to make final changes, select "Edit Submission" to upload correct versions of any or all files.

When you are content with the uploaded manuscript proof, click on "Approve Submission."

After the manuscript has been submitted, you will see a confirmation screen. If you do not see this, your manuscript has not been successfully submitted to the journal. If this is the case, please click the "Incomplete Submissions" link on the Author Main Menu where the paper will be awaiting your attention. When the editorial office has received your submission, you will receive an email confirmation.

Conflicts of Interest

All authors will be required to declare any conflicts of interest at the point of submission. A signed declaration of the same will be required at the point of an article's acceptance. Conflicts of interest may be financial, institutional, or linked to collaborative relationships, and include any situation or arrangement that might be seen to compromise the perceived impartiality of you and/or your co-author(s) in relation to the conclusions or implications of your research. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring any conflicts of interest affecting co-authors are similarly declared. On receipt of a declaration, the Editor may require further information but will contact the corresponding author if any conflict of interest may affect review or publication of the contribution. All referees engaged in the peer review process are also required to declare conflicts of interests upon agreement to review manuscripts.

Revised and Final Versions of Manuscripts

If you are submitting a revised manuscript, please include your responses to the Editor’s and reviewers' comments as part of a cover letter file. When submitting a revised manuscript with figures, include all figures, even if they have not changed since the previous version.

The final version of your manuscript must be submitted in Word (.doc or .docx) or Rich Text (.rtf) format because your keystrokes will be used in publication. For both revised and final versions of manuscripts, please observe the same formatting instructions outlined in this document.

Please note that authors of accepted manuscripts may be required to submit high-resolution hard copies of all figures during production, as not all digital art files are usable.

General Specifications

Research Article Style Guidelines

Manuscripts submitted for consideration to the Journal should be carefully proofread and fully documented. Notes should appear as footnotes (not endnotes) and be 12 pt, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and formatted according to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

As the Journal employs a blind-reviewing process, all obvious references by which the referees could identify the author must be removed by the author prior to submission. In particular, do not include a title page.

The manuscript should have 1-inch margins all around and should be double-spaced throughout, including the text, all quotations, equations, appendices, references, footnotes, tables, figure legends, and headings.

Grammatical Conventions

The Journal adheres to the grammatical conventions outlined in The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. By incorporating these into your initial draft, you will save yourself considerable time during the revision process. Articles published in previous issues of the Journal are an excellent resource for answers to most questions concerning grammar. Listed below are two of the most frequently encountered issues:

  • Use the Oxford comma. Always insert a comma before the "and" between the last and second-to-last items in a list.

Apples, pears, and oranges are all fruits.

  • If a sentence ends in a quotation, always place the period inside the quotation marks, rather than outside.

As Julius said, "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war."

Citation Guidelines

Follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, with appropriate allowances for reference to manuscript sources that require special forms of reference. Note that in references to scholarly literature, all titles, in the text and in footnotes, should be capitalized. Titles of printed primary sources published up to 1900 retain their original capitalization.

Dates should be consistent with the Journal style, for example, 10 January 1856.

The Journal uses the following style for footnote references to printed documents:

First reference to a book:

A. James Hammerton, Cruelty and Companionship: Conflict in Nineteenth-Century Married Life (London, 1992), 16.

[Note that the publisher is not identified in the reference and that the first reference includes the full title, including any material placed after a colon. Provide the author’s full name in the first citation precisely as printed in the publication. Italicize titles for book titles.]

Second reference to a book:

Hammerton, Cruelty and Companionship, 119.

[Note that only author’s surname, a short title, and page reference are included.]

First reference to a journal article:

James Buzard, "The Uses of Romanticism: Byron and the Victorian Continental Tour," Victorian Studies 35, no. 1 (Autumn 1991): 29–49.

[Note also the inclusion of the issue number and month/quarter of publication. "vol." is not included to designate volume. Include full page run for a journal article, and also for chapter of an edited collection, on first mention.] If you also wish to reference a particular page, please use this format:

James Buzard, "The Uses of Romanticism: Byron and the Victorian Continental Tour," Victorian Studies 35, no. 1 (Autumn 1991): 29–49, at 36.

Second reference to a journal article:

Buzzard, "Uses of Romanticism," 37.

[Note use of author’s surname and short title of article.]

First reference to a contribution to a multi-author work:

Anne Carr and Douglas J. Schurrman, "Religion and Feminism: A Reformist Christian Analysis," in Religion, Feminism, and the Family, ed. Anne Carr and Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen (Louisville, KY, 1996), 11–32.

Second reference to a contribution to a multi-author work:

Carr and Schurrman, "Religion and Feminism," 27.

[Note that "ed." is used when abbreviating "edited by." For a book with multiple editors, use "eds." (If a book has an editor and a volume number, the order is: editor name, vol. #); but when there are four or more authors, cite only the first author followed by "et al."]

Additional notes:

Note the use of double quotation marks and placement of comma inside quotation marks. If a title ends in a question mark or exclamation point, place the comma after, i.e. Title?, page number.

PhD dissertation:

Mihwa Choi, "Contesting Imaginaries in Death Rituals during the Northern Song Dynasty" (PhD diss., University of Chicago, 2008.)

[Note: we don’t designate that it is unpublished.]

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias:

Oxford English Dictionary Online, s.v. "property, n.,", accessed 4 February 2016.

The Encyclopaedia of Sport, vol. 1, s.v. "Ladies’ Lawn Tennis," by Lottie Dod (London, 1897), 618.

Archival Citations

For all archival repositories (with the exception of The National Archives) the name of the repository appears at the end of the citation (after the document name, date, collection, and folder reference).

For citations from The National Archives, please refer to

British Library citations to additional manuscripts (Add. Mss) should read:

"Dr Turners Speech in Parliament, 11 March 1625," BL Add. MSS. 22474, fol. 11v.

Other examples:

Maude Royden, "Extracts from May Mission Speeches delivered in London," 11 May 1910, 7/AMR/1/81, FL379, 3–5, The Women’s Library (henceforth TWL)

Copy of Queen Elizabeth’s speech before Parliament, 10 February 1558/9, Lansdowne MS 94, fol. 29, British Library.

[Note: folio is abbreviated as fol.; folios abbreviated as fols., not f. or fs.]

Parliamentary Papers

Churchill, Speech to the House of Commons, 18 January 1945, Parliamentary Debates, Commons, 5th series, vol. 407 (194445), cols. 425–46.

Guidelines for footnotes

  • Additional references should be prefaced with see also instead of and see or also see.
  • Use "ibid." to reference the same citation as in the previous footnote but avoid ibid. if there are several references in the previous footnote. Do not use "op. cit." or "passim" in footnotes.
  • Use "idem" (and the relevant alternatives eadem, iidem, eaedem) when several works by the same author(s) are cited successively in the same note.
  • Semi-colon for multiple sources in notes goes outside quotations
  • Format for dates: day month (spelled out, no abbreviations) year: 7 August 1938

Accepted Research Articles

Authors of accepted manuscripts are responsible for providing an electronic file, which must adhere strictly to the guidelines outlined in this document. Accepted manuscripts that depart significantly from the house style will be returned for revision prior to being considered for copy editing by Cambridge University Press. This may delay publication of your article by three, six, or more months.

Please do not justify the right margin. Avoid hyphenating words at the end of lines; be sure to turn off this option in your software package.

Please note that except in direct quotations, the Journal uses American (not British English) spelling (labor, not labour; defense, not defence; color, not colour, etc.) throughout both the text and the footnotes. The Journal also uses American punctuation, which means that double (not single) quotation marks are employed and that punctuation is contained within (not outside) the quotation marks. For illustrations of this style, see the description of footnote form in the previous section.

Word-Processing Programs

To facilitate preparation of your file for typesetting, please keep it as free of formatting codes as possible—unnecessary line spacing, style codes, strange fonts, macros, and so forth. All such codes will have to be located and deleted from your file before it is typeset, which can add considerable time to the editing process. When possible, use just the default settings of the word-processing program you are using.

Use hard returns only at the ends of paragraphs or between sections of the manuscript—don’t insert them mid-paragraph when you are unhappy with the way that the line breaks. Use tabs to indent the first line of a paragraph. Do not include section or page breaks.

Most important: Please be consistent. If you use two hyphens to indicate a long dash or a superscript letter "o" for a degree sign, continue to use that system throughout the manuscript.

If you are using any rare or ambiguous special characters, please indicate these in your cover letter in case we cannot identify them in the electronic file.

Authors of accepted manuscripts will provide a few sentences indicating their affiliation, but we are unable to include any information on authors’ previous publications.

Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement; Permissions; Grant Information

Upon delivery of your accepted manuscript, the editorial office will request a signed copyright transfer form, evidence of all necessary third-party permissions, and grant information related to the article.

Transfer of Copyright

Contributors of accepted articles will be asked to assign their copyright, on certain conditions, to the North American Conference on British Studies so that their interest may be collectively safeguarded. Transfer of copyright will not preclude the republication of the article in part or in full by the author in any volume of which they are the editor or author. Authors also retain the right to make multiple hard copies for non-commercial purposes, such as in support of course teaching.


Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, maps, tables, figures, or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. A copy of the paperwork granting permission will be required by the Cambridge production editor before accepted manuscripts can be processed. Any permissions fees must be paid for by the author. For an example of a permissions request form please see the Guidelines for Artwork. Please bear in mind that obtaining permissions can easily take several weeks.

Open Access

JBS has an open access policy that ensures it is in compliance with the growing number of open access (OA) mandates being put in place by governments, universities, and funding bodies around the world. To this end, authors whose articles are accepted for publication are able to post their accepted manuscript on their personal/departmental websites and their institution’s digital repository as soon as they receive a positive decision from the Editor. Immediate posting of this version is also permitted in non-commercial subject repositories such as RePEC. A link to the final publisher-produced, paginated "version of record" should be included once the article has been through the production process and is up on the Cambridge University Press JBS website.

Datasets and Supplemental Files

All authors of quantitative empirical articles are encouraged to make the data available for data replication purposes. The Journal can host such data on the journal’s website, and authors wishing to avail themselves of this facility should supply all files electronically once an article has been accepted for publication. Alternatively the data can be hosted on a site such as Dataverse or DRYAD, and a link provided in the article.

Required materials typically include all data used for the analysis, specialized computer programs or the source code of these algorithms, program recodes, and a file that details what is included in the data set and how the results can be reproduced. Confidential material such as the names of survey respondents must be removed. All material will be published on the website of the Journal together with the online version of the article. Authors will be responsible for responding to enquiries about data replication.

Other types of supplemental material including, but not limited to, images, videos, podcasts, and slideshows can be hosted on the Cambridge University Press JBS website.

Further Information

Language Editing Services

Contributions written in English are welcomed from all countries. Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. Cambridge offers a service which authors can learn about here. Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.

If you have any questions about manuscript preparation that are not fully explained in this guide, please contact the editorial office at

Editorial correspondence should be sent to the following address:

Jeff Collins/Sandra den Otter

Queen’s University Department of History

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall

Kingston, Ontario

Canada K7L 3N6