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Instructions for contributors

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Notes for Contributors

The following notes provide guidance on the minimum standard that we ask contributors to observe in submitting text and illustrations for publication in the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society (PPS).

Further details and all correspondence should be directed to the Editor, Dr Julie Gardiner, Redroof, Green Road, Codford, Wiltshire, England, BA12 0NW; It is recommended that prospective authors contact the Editor in advance of preparing material for submission.

PPS publishes papers on all aspects of prehistory with an emphasis on the British Isles, Europe, SW Asia, and the countries bordering the Mediterranean. The aim is to present volumes which are wide ranging in both their subject matter and areas of interest, reflecting the broad range of interests of Society members. Individual papers of outstanding methodological, theoretical, or factual merit are also welcome. Articles can be research, excavation reports, surveys, or works of synthesis or review but should be of more than local or regional interest.

Notes and short contributions on significant discoveries, new interpretations, or new methodology are welcome.

Reviews are now published on our website (, where notes for reviewers can also be found.

 PPS is published annually in hard copy in December. Articles are published online in advance of the hard copy using the Cambridge University Press FirstView system, after being refereed, copy edited, and typeset. Articles receive a digital object identifier (DOI) and are fully citable from the point of publication online. It is our general policy not to publish papers online more than 12 month ahead of print publication.

All articles, other than grant-aided excavation reports, should be no longer than 8000 words (excluding bibliography, tables, and captions); authors considering submission of articles of greater length must discuss them with the Editor in advance of submission. Grant-aided excavation reports of up to 25,000 words will be considered; longer reports may be considered but authors are advised to discuss the matter with the Editor before submission.

All articles must begin with a title and the names of all authors and contributors. The postal and email addresses of principal authors should also be provided. Email addresses will be published unless authors indicate that they should not be. All articles must include a brief abstract of 150–250 words which will be translated into French, German, and Spanish.

We encourage the submission of figures in black and white but colour will only be allowed in the hard copy publication if a grant or the authors cover the cost. There is a set charge per image. Supplementary material may be supplied for publication on the web only and this may include colour images (see below).

Reports on state-aided work (English Heritage, Cadw, Historic Scotland etc.) are eligible for a publication grant. The Editor will be pleased to provide an estimate of costs on request. It is essential that manuscripts of all reports eligible for grant-aid, from whatever source, be read by the relevant organisation and a grant approved in principle before it is submitted to PPS. On acceptance of the report for publication a copy of the relevant in-principle offer should be forwarded to the Editor. Reports that are directly the result of developer funded work under PPG 16 must bring a contribution to towards the cost of printing, which should be discussed with the Editor.

Submission of articles to the Proceedings

The process of refereeing and acceptance

We welcome offers of papers for publication and if you would like an indication as to whether your paper is likely to be suitable for consideration please email the Editor with an abstract, likely length, number of figures, and timetable for completion.

Once the article is ready please email a digital copy in Word/RTF of the complete text (including notes, bibliography, appendices, and captions) together with compressed or low resolution versions of the illustrations to the Editor. We can accept paper submissions, in which case three hard copies of all material are required, on the understanding that final submission of the article, if accepted, will be made electronically. Any requirement for digitisation of text or illustrations will be subject to a charge.

Do NOT send an incomplete text. Incomplete articles and those which make no attempt to conform to house style will be returned.

All papers received that are deemed by the Editor to be suitable for consideration are sent to three academic referees and the Editor acts on their advice, forwarding comments to the author as applicable. Unless specifically instructed otherwise by the referees themselves, all refereeing is anonymous. The referees will have acknowledged expertise in the relevant field.

Unless agreed otherwise, the Editor will normally correspond only with the individual author who submits the paper and it is that author’s responsibility to liaise with collaborators.

The Editor will assess, collate, and forward referees’ comments to the author. The article may be rejected at this stage, accepted in principle subject to major revision, accepted subject to minor revisions, or accepted as it stands. The Editor will indicate which of these situation applies and why, and, where resubmission is encouraged, will provide guidance on how to rework the article to make it suitable for PPS. Referees’ comments are advisory, not binding, unlesss otherwise indicated by the Editor and authors are encouraged to discuss any major reworking with the Editor, who will request an indication of when a resubmission may be expected. In the rare case of any major objection by the author to the tenor or detail of referees’ comments, the Editor may, at her discretion, seek adjudication from the Editorial Board. Any decision resulting from that consultation will be deemed final.

Final Submission and Editorial Procedure

Once a paper has been accepted in principle, the author will be asked to submit a final draft accompanied by high resolution images on CD/DVD/memory stick or via the Internet as appropriate. Evidence that any necessary permissions have been obtained for copyrighted material may be requested. All ‘final’ articles are dealt with on a first-come-first-served basis and the Editor will not guarantee to make space available in any specific issue.

The Editor will review the article against the referees’ comments on the original text and indicate to the author if there are any outstanding queries. Where a major rewrite has been requested, a resubmitted article may, at the Editor’s discretion, be returned to one of the original referees for further comment and reassessment and further modification may be requested. Whilst the reworking of any article should involve an iterative discourse with the Editor, it is possible that the article may be rejected at this stage.

The text will be edited for clarity of expression, syntax, and consistency. If changes are minor the Editor will not consult with the author but any substantial changes, or queries regarding, for instance, incomplete bibliographical references, will be discussed and agreed. The images will be checked for size and resolution and any problems notified.

Once queries have been answered, the copy-edited text will be sent to the typesetter. Page proofs are sent to authors as a PDF file which will be downloadable from a URL link. The author will be asked to return any corrections to the Editor within seven working days. It is for the author to decide whether or not fellow contributors receive proofs but all corrections must be collated and returned by the due date by the corresponding author. If nothing is heard from the author by that date it will be assumed that there are no corrections to be made. All corrections must be kept to a minimum, and no rewriting or addition of tables or figures will be allowed. The author may be charged for any rewriting and all changes are at the Editor’s discretion. Any likely charges will be notifified on receipt of proof correcrtions and discussed with the author.

On publication the author will receive a PDF of their article, plus a copy of the journal.

Open Access

CUP operates an open access policy across all its journals. PPS is a Green Standard journal. Please note that all matters pertaining to open access papers are dealt with directly by CUP and the Society has no say in the setting or collection of fees. If you wish your paper to be open access please indicate this to the Editor on submission of the final version.

Submission of articles accepted for publication

The paper should be submitted in Rich Text Format (RTF) or Word in a serif font, preferably Times New Roman, at 12pt with 10pt for any text that is intended to appear in smaller type in the published article, with 1.5 line spacing, justified left.

Please clearly indicate your hierarchy of headings and note that there are only four levels of heading used in PPS: CAPITALS, followed by italic, for the two sizes of text allowed (12 pt, 10 pt).

Articles should be arranged in the following order: Title, author(s) name(s), contributor(s) name(s), abstract, keywords, running head, text, endnotes (if any), acknowledgements (if any), bibliography, appendices, figure legend, and authors’ addresses.

Figures must be supplied as individual graphics files (see below for formats) and tables in a separate file, again as RTF or Word.

Please do NOT

  • use footnotes (endnotes are permissible)
  • incorporate tables or figures in text
  • inset extra line spaces between paragraphs
  • insert double spaces at the beginning of sentences
  • insert spaces before or after obliques or punctuation marks
  • insert hotlinks in the text
  • use ‘track changes’, automatic hyphenation, autoformatted headings, soft hyphens, headers, footers, rules, boxes, or tints
  • use software such as ‘Endnote’ to compile your bibliography or heading hierarchy
  • present your bibliography as a table
  • use underlining where you mean to italicise.


Figure sizing

The maxium image areas for figures (line and photographs) is 200 x 168 mm or 200 x 82 mm for single column, allowing for a one line caption. An additional 5 mm should be allowed for each additional line of caption required. All figures to be supplied at approximately the size in which they are to reproduce in the journal. Please note that figures provided at larger than column/page size will be always be reduced to fit. If reproduction to a specific scale is required figures must, therefore be supplied to fit the correct image area wherever possible (it is NOT possible to print images which exceed the stated maximum size) and must carry a bar scale.

Fold-outs are not allowed. Colour figures may only be used in the print article by prior agreement and if a grant is available to cover the additional cost (see above). All figures supplied in colour will appear in colour in the online version of the paper at no charge to the author.


Scans or digital photographs to be supplied as EPS, TIFF, PDF, or JPEG. To get the best quality these must be saved at a minimum resolution of 400dpi at the actual size they need to print or larger. If it has been agreed that colour photographs will be printed, they must be saved in CMYK mode. If a file is sent at 400dpi, but is smaller than the size it prints it will need to be be enlarged, and in so doing the resolution will proportionately decrease. This cannot be compensated for by the printers. PDF files are not accepted by CUP and will be converted to tifs. If they must be supplied then they must be at press quality resolution.

Line drawings

Files need to be created and saved in a vector based software package such as Freehand or Illustrator on a Macintosh/PC or PC based Corel Draw and supplied as EPS (with fonts embedded and preview activated), PDF (Press Quality resolution, greyscale), TIFF, or JPEG files. Bitmaps and png files cannot be accepted unless high resolution. 

Occasionally it may be necessary to provide figures generated via specialist software (eg, GIS, TiliaGraph, Oxcal). These must be produced at high resolution using an imbedded legible font and in compatible format. Please contact the Editor for advice if necessary. Excel graphs and charts must be sized appropriate to the image area of the journal and converted to Press Quality PDF files.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material is defined as any content that supports, but is not key to, the understanding of a print- and/or online-published item’s message. However, it is not a dumping ground for material that should be in archive. Given that supplementary material is exclusively published online, it may include file types (video, audio) that are incompatible with a print format. All supplementary material is subject to the same peer review process and copyright requirements as all primary content and must therefore be supplied in a format that can be so reviewed. Text files will be copy-edited to the journal house-style but otherwise the content will not be edited nor typeset, but will be published as approved by the Editor. All supplementary material must be referred to in the printed text.

File naming

Supplementary material files should be clearly identified as such. For instance, if John Smith includes a series of Supplementary material tables to be published with his article, the file should be labelled <<JSmith_supp_tables.pdf>>. Individual items of supplementary material should be named in such a way as to clearly identify their content:


It is important for all involved to be able to see at a glance what the file name represents.


All Supplementary material is subject to the same copyright requirements as primary material; this is clearly specified in the copyright form that will be sent to the author with first proofs:

“I/we hereby assign to Cambridge University Press, full copyright in all formats and media in the said contribution, including in any supplementary materials that I/we may author in support of the online version.”

House style

Footnotes and endnotes: Footnotes are not to be used. Endnotes are not encouraged but their position in text is indicated by superscript numbers running in sequence. They should be provided on a separate sheet, please do NOT use automatically generated endnotes.

Radiocarbon dates: please see Appendix 1 for the correct citation of radiocarbon dates. Note that any determination or date expressed as bp is unacceptable. The term kyr is acceptable for early dates rather than BC/BP but should be used consistently.

Abbreviations and contractions: the Editor is responsible for house-style but it would save much time if authors could note the following: in general contractions have no full stop, abbreviations do, except for units of measurement (mm, cm) which also have no ‘s’ and have a space in between the number and measurement (eg, 9 cm).

                eg, / c. / et al. / No. / Nos / Fig. / Figs / ie / mm / ha / kg / g / cf. / etc. / appx (appendix by a cited reference)

Numbers: One to ten to be spelt out, 11 up to 9999, no comma; 10,000 plus, use comma.

Cross-references: Avoid the use of cross-references to specific pages of your text as these can only be inserted (by the author) at the last moment and are very time-consuming. All figures and tables should be referred to in text. The general rule is that all figures and tables are placed as close as possible to the first reference to them in text. Any instructions to the contrary should be indicated on the manuscript.

Bibliographical references in text: use the Harvard system of author and year (Taylor 1989), (Taylor 1989, 123–5), or ‘Taylor (1989, 123) says’. Note that there is no comma before the year but there is before the page reference. For three or more authors use eg Taylor et al. 1978; use a semicolon between references (Taylor 1989; 1990; Smith 1993). Generally where multiple references are cited they should be given in chronological order, or with the major reference first. Papers ‘in prep.’ cannot appear in the bibliography in sufficient detail to be helpful to the reader; reference to them should be avoided (pers. comm. is preferable), a ‘forthcoming’ paper is one which has been accepted for publication and for which it is possible to cite the volume or journal, and for an ‘in press’ paper virtually a full bibliographical reference should be available. Page numbers in both the bibliography and in-text references should be shortened eg, 14–15, 23–5, 114–15, 123–5. All references must be cited in both text and bibliography

Acknowledgements: appear at the end of the main text.

Appendices: No separate bibliography or figure numbers.

Bibliography: Please note that journal and book series titles are always given in full as PPS has an international audience. Books should have place of publication and publisher and papers in multi-author volumes require page numbers. All authors names should be cited in full – et al. is not acceptable in the bibliography. The correct date for a paper in a journal is the year for which the journal was published. If publication is several years behind schedule the actual year of publication may be given in brackets at the end of the reference. The following are examples of different types of entry. Please refer to the most recent volume of PPS for further examples. Note that where a volume is part of a series (eg, British Archaeological Reports, East Anglian Archaeology), only the series is listed not the publisher.

Bibliographical entries in PPS have no final full stop.

Chapter in an edited book

Miles, D. 1981. Social landscapes: Pattern and purpose? In M. Jones & G.W. Dimbleby (eds), The Environment of Man: The Iron Age to the Anglo-Saxon period, 9–18. Oxford: British Archaeological Report 87

Driesch, A. von den. 1975. Die Bewertung pathologischanatomischer Veränderungen an vor- und frühgeschichtlichen Tierknochen. In A.T. Clason (ed.), Archaeozoological Studies, 413–25. Amsterdam: Elsever

Chapter in an edited volume (in which two or more references appear)

Harding, P. 1990. The comparative analysis of four stratified flint assemblages and a knapping cluster. In Richards 1990, 213–25 (with Richards 1990 as a separate reference)

Edited book

Brück, J. (ed.) 2001. Bronze Age Landscapes: Tradition and transformation. Oxford: Oxbow Books

Garrow, D., Gosden, C. & Hill, J.D. (eds). 2008. Rethinking Celtic Art. Oxford: Oxbow Books

Journal article

Bedwin, O. 1980. Neolithic and Iron Age material from a coastal site at Chidham, West Sussex, 1978. Sussex Archaeological Collections 118, 163–70

Holst, M., Rasmussen, M., Kristiansen, K. & Bech, J. 2013. Bronze Age ‘Herostrats’: Ritual, political, and domestic economies in Early Bronze Age Denmark. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 79, 265–96


Helms, M. 1988. Ulysses' Sail: An ethnographic odyssey of power, knowledge, and geographical distance. Princeton: Princeton University Press

Lambrick, G., Robinson, M. & Dodd, A. 2009. The Thames Through Time: The archaeology of the gravel terraces of the Upper and Middle Thames: The Thames Valley in late prehistory, 1500 BC–AD 50. Oxford: Oxford University School of Archaeology

RCHMS (Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of Scotland). 2008. Kilmartin: An inventory of the monuments extracted from Argyle. Volume 6. Edinburgh: RCHMS

Unpublished Report / thesis / paper / in press / forthcoming

Cotswold Archaeology. 2014. South Wales Pipeline Project Site 38.17, Land North of Llwyn-Meurig, Trecastle, Powys: Archaeological Excavation. Cotswold Archaeology: Unpublished typescript report 13315

Bourgeois, Q. 2013. Monuments on the Horizon: The formation of the barrow landscape throughout the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC. Unpublished PhD thesis, Leiden University

Hindson, T. & Elphick, L. 2012. Yews, Taxus baccata L. at Crowhurst Churchyard in Sussex: The Parish Church of St George, visit of May 2012. Unpublished Manuscript

Bradley, R. & Nimura, C. in press. The Use and Reuse of Stone Circles: Fieldwork at five Scottish monuments and its implications. Oxford: Oxbow Books

Connor, A. & Mortimer, R. forthcoming. Prehistoric and Roman Occupation Along Fordham Bypass, Fordham, Cambridgeshire. Norwich: East Anglian Archaeology

Tables: Should be submitted as a separate Word/RTF file. No ruled lines within the table. In tables of numbers please place a dash (-) or 0 where there is no entry. All proof corrections to tables are expensive so all should be checked very carefully before submission.

Figure captions: should be presented as a separate list. PPS does not use separate plate sections, photographs are integrated into text. Line illustrations and photographs should therefore be numbered in one sequence.

Copyright and reproduction fees

A link to the necessary copyright form will be sent to the (leading author) by CUP when proofs are issued. This form should be completed and returned to the CUP address advise,d not to the editor. Failure to sign and return the form will result in non-publication. If an article, including any supplementary materials, includes textual or illustrative material not in the author’s copyright and  not covered by fair use/fair dealing, it is the author’s responsibility to obtain permission from the relevant copyright owner (usually the publisher or via the publisher) for the non-exclusive right to reproduce the material worldwide in all forms and media, including electronic publication.  Please note that illustrative material (such as photographs/drawings) are not included in fair use/fair dealing provisions, even if acknowledged, and permission should be sought for their use in the article. The relevant permission correspondence should be attached to the copyright transfer form and sent to Cambridge University Press. Neither the Prehistoric Society nor Cambridge University Press will pay any reproduction fees arising, these are the responsibility of the author.

The Editor will be pleased to discuss any aspect of the preparation of papers.

Privacy policy

Author data

Author data are stored securely on our internal database alongside the manuscript of their paper/contribution, to which only the Editor and Assistant Editor have access as applicable. In the case of multi-authored contributions only the data relating to a principal author is held beyond publication of the relevant paper/contribution. These data are held indefinitely in our system as this is considered necessary for our legitimate interests in the continued process of academic publication of the society’s journal. By publishing in PPS authors agree to their name and affiliation being published within the journal.

These data are shared only with our typesetter and our publisher, Cambridge University Press, who have all necessary compliances in place

Editorial board members’ data

Editorial board member data are held in order to keep the editorial listing both online and in print up to date. The legal basis for this processing is that it is necessary for our legitimate interests (to publish the journal). The data are held securely in our internal database accessible only to the Editor and Assistant Editor of PPS. These data are shared only with our publisher, Cambridge University Press, who have all necessary compliances in place. By accepting an invitation to join the editorial board, members agree to their name and affiliation being published within the journal. We have a policy of keeping editorial board member data indefinitely, as it can be justified as a legitimate interest of our business.

Reviewers’ data

Reviewers’ personal data are held by the journal’s Editor and Assistant Editor as it is necessary for our legitimate interests (to peer review articles and publish the journal). The journal has a strict policy of anonymous peer review and these data are not passed to any other individual (including authors and other reviewers) or institution, nor to our publisher, without the express, written permission of the reviewer.

Appendix 1: Guidance notes for the use and quotation of radiocarbon dates


All radiocarbon determinations cited should be expressed in radiocarbon years BP (Before Present: AD 1950) and the laboratory reference number quoted, for example: OxA-8006, 4410±40 BP (note: bp is unacceptable). Conventional radiocarbon ages (Stuiver & Polach 1977) should be quoted according to the standards established by the Trondheim convention (Stuiver & Kra 1986). Please quote δ13C and δ15N values if they have been obtained. In order to evaluate a radiocarbon date, a reader needs to know the identification and context of the sample. More detailed guidance as to what information is helpful here, depending on circumstances, is provided by Bayliss (2015, 683–90).

PPS prefers not to use BCE.


The latest available international calibration curve (currently INTCAL13) should be used for calibration and the curve used should be named, as should the software and the method used for calibrating the dates, for example: ‘The radiocarbon dates have been calibrated using the INTCAL13 calibration curve (Reimer et al. 2013), OxCal v4.2 ( and the maximum intercept method (Stuiver & Reimer 1986); radiocarbon results shown in the graphs have been calibrated by the probability method (Stuiver & Reimer 1993)’. Calibrated date ranges should be quoted cal BC or cal AD at 95% (2σ) confidence or probability. It is conventional to round calibrated age ranges outwards, to the nearest 10 years if the error is 25 or more, by 5 if it is less than 25, following Mook (1986).


If statistical modelling is employed, it is important to specify the structure and rationale of the model (Bayliss (2015) provides useful guidance) and the software and calibration dataset used. PPS prefers OxCal (Bronk Ramsey 2009; The most recent version (currently 4.2) should be used. The correct conventions for expression of modelled ranges should be used (see, for instance, Whittle et al. 2011).


Bayliss, A. 2015. Quality in Bayesian chronological models in archaeology. World Archaeology 47(4), 677–700

Bronk Ramsey, C. 2009. Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon 51, 337–60

Mook, W.G. 1986. Business meeting: recommendations/resolutions adopted by the twelfth International Radiocarbon Conference. Radiocarbon 28, 799

Reimer, P.J., Bard, E., Bayliss, A., Beck, J.W., Blackwell, P.G., Bronk Ramsey, C., Buck, C.E., Chenge, H., Edwards, R.L, Friedrich, M., Grootes, P.M., Guilderson, T.P., Haflidason, H., Hajdas, I., Hatté, C., Heaton, T.J., Hoffmann, D.L., Hogg, A.G., Hughen, K.A., Kaiser, K.F., Kromer, B., Manning, S.W., Niu, M., Reimer, R.W., Richards, D.A., Scott, E.M., Southon, J.R., Staff, R.A., Turney, C.S.M. & van der Plicht, J. 2013. Intcal 13 and marine13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 55, 1869–87

Stuiver, M. & Kra, R.S. 1986. Editorial comment. Radiocarbon 28(2B), ii

Stuiver, M. & Polach, H.A. 1977. Reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 19, 355–63

Stuiver, M. & Reimer, P.J. 1986. A computer program for radiocarbon age calculation. Radiocarbon 28, 1022–30

Stuiver, M. & Reimer, P.J. 1993. Extended 14C data base and revised CALIB 3.0 14C age calibration program. Radiocarbon 35, 215–30

Whittle, A., Healy, F. & Bayliss, A. 2011. Gathering Time: Dating the early Neolithic enclosures of southern Britain and Ireland. Oxford: Oxbow Books

Revised July 2018