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Instructions for authors

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Journal of Roman Archaeology

Instructions for Contributors

From volume 34 (2021) JRA is published by Cambridge University Press. The following instructions and policies will apply to all submissions to be considered for publication in the journal in 2021 and beyond.

For enquiries about the JRA Supplementary monograph series, which will continue to be published by John Humphrey, please see here.

The instructions below provide information about making an initial submission for consideration by JRA. If an article is accepted for publication, authors will be expected to format their manuscript in journal style. The JRA Style Guide may be found here.

1. Article types

The Journal of Roman Archaeology welcomes the submission of original research articles ranging from short archaeological notes to full articles up to 15,000 words, including footnotes, figure captions, and bibliography. Articles exceeding this length will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. Proposals for special sections, review articles, or other features may also be made.

Space in JRA's pages is very limited. Some figures and short tables can be printed in the pages of the journal, but JRA cannot print long tables, catalogs, appendices, or large numbers of photos or plans. Such material is normally published online as Supplementary Material. This material is directly linked to the article’s DOI and is always free to access. Please note that JRA and Cambridge do not copy-edit or type-set Supplementary Material; it will be posted online exactly as it was sent to production. Once published online, Supplementary Material can no longer be changed. Please see section 6 below for further information about Supplementary Material.

Articles should be submitted using the journal’s online submission system at .

Editorial decisions will only be made following review of a complete submission. However, authors wishing to seek informal advice on the suitability of their work for JRA are welcome to send an enquiry to the Editorial Office at


The Journal of Roman Archaeology welcomes the submission of original research articles of up to 15,000 words, including references and bibliography. Articles exceeding this length will be considered in exceptional circumstances. Proposals for special sections may also be made, consisting of multiple articles by different authors. All articles should appeal to a readership of Roman archaeologists or historians beyond a specific site, region, or issue and be written in a concise and accessible style.


The expectation is that a note will generally be a shorter article on a more focused topic, 6,000 words or fewer, including references and bibliography. JRA does not publish field reports unless the find is of exceptional importance or the report includes substantial contextualization and discussion. All notes should appeal to a readership of Roman archaeologists or historians beyond the specific site, region, or issue.

Book reviews

This term generally describes the review of a single book, normally in the range of 3,000-5,000 words, including references and bibliography. JRA reviews aim not simply to summarize but to contextualize a book's contribution more broadly. Completed book reviews are reviewed internally by the editorial team and/or members of the editorial and advisory boards. JRA is happy to receive email notifications from authors or presses interested in having their new book reviewed, or from prospective reviewers interested in book reviews, but will reject any unsolicited submissions.

Review articles

Review articles address a particular theme or critical issue within Roman archaeology, either by discussing several recent books on the topic or by focusing on one book of singular importance and breadth. These contributions will normally be in the range of 8,000-12,000 words, including references and bibliography. Each review article will go through the same external peer-review process as articles and notes. JRA welcomes proposals for review articles on certain broad themes related to recent important publications in the field.

2. Peer review policy

All articles published in the Journal of Roman Archaeology go through a double blind peer review process in which the identity of the reviewer and the author(s) are always concealed from both parties. To maintain this anonymity, we ask that any information or references that could be used to identify you, including the acknowledgments, are removed from your manuscript before you submit. There will be an opportunity after peer review to reintroduce elements such as acknowledgments.

The journal's editors and independent reviewers evaluate manuscripts on a range of criteria, including relevance, originality, depth of research, and methodological rigor. We aim to provide clear and constructive feedback to all authors.

Articles are first assessed for suitability, novelty, and scholarly significance by the Editorial Office who may consult with the Editorial Board. Not all submissions will reach the peer review process. If judged appropriate, the work is then sent to outside readers. Authors can expect one of four possible assessments if their work is sent out for peer review: Accept for publication in JRA; Accept with some revisions; Revise and resubmit; Reject.

3. Submitting your manuscript

Articles should be submitted as electronic files using the online submission system at .

The journal operates a double-blind peer review policy, and manuscripts should be suitably anonymised with the removal of all identifying information.

During the submission process, authors should also supply the following:

- a separate title page listing contact details for author(s) including email address and affiliation, and competing interests declaration (see below 'Publication ethics' section for guidance on what this declaration should look like)

- an abstract in the language of submission, no more than 150 words long (authors submitting a manuscript in Italian, French, German or Spanish will also be asked to supply an English abstract if their article is accepted)

- six keywords

- any accompanying figures or tables

Submission of an article to the Journal of Roman Archaeology is taken to imply that it is the original, entirely unpublished work of the author(s) and is not under review for publication elsewhere in any form.

Please contact the Editorial Office ( if you have any questions about the procedure.

4. Formatting

The journal publishes primarily in English, but the editors will consider submissions in Italian, French, German and Spanish. Because JRA's readership is international and multilingual, it is very important that authors write concisely and clearly, avoiding jargon and overly complex or long sentences.

Your manuscript need not follow the full set of JRA text conventions when initially submitted. However, to ensure an efficient, accurate, and anonymous review process, it is important that the manuscript meet the following minimum requirements:

- double spaced throughout (footnotes may be single spaced)

- written in a 12-point serif font, such as Times New Roman.

- fonts should be Unicode

- supplementary material/data included

- fully anonymized for peer review

- references should be in author-date style in the footnotes, with full bibliographic information (for works cited only) at the end of the article

If your contribution is accepted, you will be responsible for bringing the manuscript into line with the full set of text conventions for the Journal of Roman Archaeology. These will be provided on acceptance.

5. Figures and tables

As a rule, submissions of any kind should include no more than one figure per 1,000 words (when counting words all-inclusively), or one figure per 700 words (when counting only the main text). Additional figures may be submitted as Supplementary Materials.

Authors must ensure that they have all necessary permissions for any third party materials to be published with their articles (please see section 10 below).

For the purposes of initial submission, you should supply figures as separate files, indicating in your manuscript where they fall in the text, including an indication of preferred scale and orientation, numbering, and an appropriate caption in each case. Tables may be included within the manuscript.

If your article is accepted for publication, you will be asked to supply high-resolution, digital source files. When resupplying tables, you will need to ensure that every element is accessible for editing –not stored as an image, for example –in order to allow reformatting to match the journal’s publication specifications. Tables should be submitted in Word or Excel format.

For full details of preferred file specifications and minimum quality thresholds, please refer to the CUP Journal Artwork Guide .

If figures are provided in color, they will appear in color online free of charge. Standard print reproduction will be black and white. Please take note of this, particularly when preparing charts or maps which may rely upon color coding to be properly interpreted. Color in print is available at a charge to the authors and information is available from the JRA Production team.

6. Datasets, supplementary material and multimedia files

The Journal of Roman Archaeology highly encourages all authors of articles that feature quantitative analysis or rely on images, materials, protocols, or software code to make data available for replication purposes. Authors should also ensure that they are meeting data replication and deposit requirements stipulated by their funding bodies and institutions as well as any regulations set by governments or other bodies responsible for materials or sites under analysis.

JRA also encourages appropriate citation of data by other researchers.

Authors are also welcome to publish other forms of multimedia supplementary material online wherever it serves to enhance the argument or otherwise enrich an article. This could include, but will not necessarily be limited to, large images, videos, and audio files. A full set of file specifications and instructions concerning supplementary material of this kind can be found here .

JRA can host data as supplementary material 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. This platform ensures that the article and the data are published together and accessible to our readership.

Alternatively, data can be hosted on a site such as the Digital Archaeological Record, the Archaeological Data Service , PANGAEA,Dataverse or DRYAD (or an appropriate institutional or subject repository).

Where the data involve artifact collections and/or records, authors should provide relevant archival information. Authors should also note if materials have been turned over to a state or national repository, institute, organization, or other relevant body.

Data should be cited in the article, and where possible, permanent links should be provided. The easiest route is when data are hosted on the journal’s website, and a link is provided when the article is typeset. Other options might include a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), a tDAR ID, or an ADS collection number.

Useful materials typically include data used for the analysis, images, specialized computer programs or the source code of these algorithms, program recodes, research protocols, and a metadata file that details what is included in the data set and how the results can be reproduced.

Articles should include information about processes by which any data were manipulated.

Original images that have been edited or processed for a journal article may also be provided in their original form. This step may be important when an image is processed to highlight a particular feature, as the original file allows readers to validate the image processing and interpretation of the results.

7. Ethical considerations and Confidential Information

Editorial decisions about which submissions will go forward to peer review take into account archaeological best practices, which include ethical considerations. Authors must have proper permission to publish the material in question and have followed internationally recognized ethical standards of archaeological practice. JRA follows the AIA’s policy on publishing undocumented antiquities and in addition adopts as ethical policy the guidelines and spirit of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and its Annex Rules. Work published in JRA must conform to the provisions of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, First and Second Protocols. JRA will query and may ultimately decline to publish any submission that is not consistent with this framework.

It may not be possible to share publicly some resources, particularly where ethical and cultural sensitivities must be considered. In such cases authors should seek permissions where appropriate. If data cannot be shared, it would be useful to note this constraint in the published article.

Articles should not include sensitive material such as personally identifiable data. In some cases it may not be appropriate to provide exact geographic co-ordinates or other locally identifiable features. De-identified or aggregated data derived from sensitive materials may be appropriate to include, depending on context.

8. Publication ethics

The Journal of Roman Archaeology is published by Cambridge University Press, which is a member of the Committee for Publication Ethics (COPE), whose core practices may be found here

Authors contributing to the journal are expected to adhere to standards established by the relevant professional bodies, such as the AIA’s Code of Ethics and Code of Professional Standards

Further information on JRA's publishing ethics policies and how to raise ethical concerns can be found here

Competing interests declaration

All authors must include a competing interests declaration in their title page. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”.

9. Open Access

JRA is a hybrid journal which means that it can publish Gold Open Access and subscription articles. The journal also has Green OA policy and social sharing policies. Please visit Open Access at Cambridge for information on our Open Access policies, compliance with major finding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

10. Copyright and permissions

The policy of JRA is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant Cambridge University Press a licence to publish their work. In the case of Gold Open Access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here .

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons licence (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

Authors are responsible for obtaining and paying for permission from copyright holders to reproduce any third party materials, including illustrations, tables, figures, or lengthy quotations used in the main article or any accompanying supplementary material. A copy of the paperwork granting permission will be required should the contribution be accepted. Please note that JRA is distributed globally both in print and online; permission must be gained for international, perpetual, digital re-use as well as for print publication.

Information about seeking permissions for third-party materials can be found here .

11. Online Publication and FirstView

JRA uses the FirstView system to publish articles online ahead of the print edition. Once published online no further revisions may be made. Articles published online may be cited by their DOI prior to their assignment to an issue. Articles may not necessarily be published in print in the same order in which they appear online and will be assigned to an appropriate issue at the Editorial Office’s discretion.

12. Digital offprints

Authors of articles will receive a PDF of the final version of their article upon publication. Please note that print offprints are not supplied but are available for purchase upon request.

Please see here for JRA's policy on sharing your work published in the journal.


JRA recommends that all corresponding authors identify themselves using their ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

- Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.

- Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.

- Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

Please see here for further information about ORCID.

Contributors can sign up for an ORCID here .

Last updated August 2021