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TSHA Style Guide and Information for Authors

Founded in 1897 by a distinguished group of Texans, the Texas State Historical Association is the oldest learned society in the state. Our mission is to foster the appreciation, understanding, teaching, and publication of the rich and unique history of Texas.

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly is the oldest scholarly journal in Texas, continuously published since 1897. The Quarterly brings the latest and most authoritative research in Texas history to a wide audience of history lovers and scholars. Since the Quarterly can publish only sixteen articles each year, it is our editorial policy to publish original research on Texas history topics that have the greatest historical significance and the broadest reader interest. We welcome submissions by graduate students and amateur historians and, provided the articles meet our guidelines, will send them out for review.

As the oldest scholarly press in the state, publishing its first volume in 1917, the TSHA continues to produce a variety of books on exploration, biography, history, culture, architecture, historical sites, and many other topics. The Association publishes approximately six books per year.

The following is an abbreviated style manual intended for use by contributors to the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and for authors submitting book manuscripts. We also suggest that potential authors refer to previous issues of the Quarterly and examine our books to get a sense of the format and style used. Authors should consult the Chicago Manual of Style for general information pertaining to grammar, style, usage, manuscript preparation, and much more. We now use the 15th edition, published in 2003. It has an excellent web site that will help authors use the manual effectively.


"How to Write an Article for the Southwestern Historical Quarterly"
by Editor Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell

Southwestern Historical Quarterly:

Authors are requested to submit three copies of their manuscripts to the editor. These copies facilitate the peer-review process and will not be returned. The title of the article should appear on the manuscript, but the author's name should appear on a separate title page. Articles are reviewed anonymously by scholars who are experts in the article's subject area to evaluate whether the article is appropriate for the Quarterly.

The entire article, including block quotations, footnotes, and figure captions, should be printed double-spaced on one side of 8½ x 11-inch white paper with at least a one-inch margin on all four sides. Notes should be double-spaced and printed as a separate section at the end of the article. All pages of the manuscript should be numbered consecutively throughout. In most cases, we consider forty pages (double-spaced, including notes) to be the maximum acceptable length for a manuscript.

If after peer review and revision an article is accepted for publication, the editors will ask for the manuscript to be submitted on a computer disk. Submission can be on a 3.5-inch disk, a CD ROM, or a Zip disk. The article should be saved as a Microsoft Word document, preferably version 6.0 or later. If you do not use Word, you may be able to save your document as a Word document by using your word processing program's "Save As" command. If you have questions about how to submit your article after it has been accepted for publication, your editor will be able to advise you.

Author's Checklist
  • Submit three copies of your article, with the author's name and biographical information on separate pages.

  • Do not submit your article on disk until it is accepted for publication. Word documents are preferred; use a 3.5-inch disk, CD ROM, or Zip disk.

  • An indication of how the article will be illustrated, with a photocopy designating the source of each illustration must accompany each submission. If an article is accepted, authors will be responsible for obtaining illustrations, securing the necessary permissions to reproduce illustrations, and paying any required usage fees.

  • Authors should examine recent issues of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and consult this guide thoroughly before submitting a manuscript. Authors who are familiar with the style and practices of the Quarterly often have the best chance for publication.

  • Contact the editors if you have questions not addressed in this style guide. Call (940) 369-5240.


Authors should first send a proposal describing the manuscript. The proposal should include information pertaining to the manuscript's subject, length, format, number of illustrations and their sources, potential market, and expected completion date. If available, a table of contents, introduction, and sample chapter should also be included.

The Texas A&M University Press offers a useful outline for standard book proposals on its web site.

If the editors express interest, authors should submit two copies of the manuscripts upon completion. The title of the book should appear on the manuscript, but in order to facilitate our peer-review process the author's name should appear only on a separate title page. Books are reviewed anonymously by reviewers who are experts in the book's subject to determine if the manuscript is suitable for publication.

The entire manuscript should be printed double-spaced on one side of 8½ x 11-inch white paper with at least a one-inch margin on all four sides. Notes should be printed as a separate section. All pages of the manuscript should be numbered consecutively throughout.

If after peer review and revision a book manuscript is accepted for publication, the editors will ask for the manuscript to be submitted on a computer disk. Submissions can be on a 3.5-inch disk, a CD ROM, or a Zip disk. The article should be saved as a Microsoft Word document, preferably version 6.0 or later. If you do not use Word, you may be able to save your document as a Word document by using your word processing program's "Save As" command. If you have questions about how to submit your book manuscript after it has been accepted for publication, your editor will be able to advise you.

Edited documents:

The TSHA frequently publishes edited documents (diaries, letters, and the like). Article-length submissions run in the "Notes and Documents" section of the Quarterly and longer collections are published as books. In each case, the documents in question require a scholarly introduction that puts the material in its historical and historiographical context, including an analysis of the documents that explains their historical significance and uniqueness. In addition, we expect that the documents will be carefully annotated so that footnotes will explain to readers the meaning of references to people, places, and events mentioned in the documents. Editing Historical Documents: A Handbook of Practice (American Association for State and Local History Book Series) by Michael E. Stevens and Steven B. Burg is a good source for those seeking to learn more about the craft of documentary editing.


Both journal articles and book manuscripts undergo a peer review and revision process. In both cases, manuscripts are sent out to experts who provide written evaluations to the editors. Once editors receive evaluations from peer reviewers, these comments and suggestions for revision are shared with the author. Editors and authors then agree on a revision plan and a date for submitting the revised article. When the revised article is received, editors will check it to determine that the revision plan has been executed. At that point, a decision will be made regarding acceptance, rejection, or the need for further revision, and the author will be notified. Because of the small staff and the number of articles and book manuscripts that are being reviewed, this process can take as long as six months. Authors are encouraged to contact the editors at any time regarding the status of their manuscripts.


For most matters of style, for articles and books, we follow the Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003) with minor variations. For spelling and hyphenation of words we follow Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.). If notes are drafted according to the Chicago Manual of Style, we usually find it easy to make any needed adjustments. Please note that we give the names of publishers and that dates are in this format: March 2, 1836, which the 15th edition recommends.


Documentation should be provided for every factual statement that is not of the most common knowledge. It is permissible for an author to group several citations to a paragraph in a single note at the end of that paragraph, but we ask that citations for two or more paragraphs not be grouped together in one note. In other words, each paragraph that needs documentation should have its own note. Notes are numbered consecutively throughout the text by superscript numerals. We also ask that the source of each quotation be indicated in the note if it is not apparent from the context. When a reference covers several pages or several newspaper dates, for instance, the exact page or date from which the quotation is taken should be identified.

In citing archival material, cite in order of smallest grouping to largest, with the repository indicated in parentheses at the end. If a repository or collection is going to be referred to on subsequent references by an abbreviation, please list the selected abbreviation at the end of the note. For example: Ima Hogg Papers, cited hereafter as IHP; Center for American History, cited hereafter as CAH.

Use roman type for "ibid." (which should be used only when referring to the entire previous note) and "et al." In subsequent references to a book or an article, use the author's last name and a shortened title, rather than "loc. cit." or "op. cit." Do not use "passim" or "ff." When citing an entire chapter from a book, use the inclusive page numbers rather than "Chapter 7." When assigning short titles to books for second citations, note that the order of words in the title should not be changed. Multiple citations within a single footnote should be separated by semicolons.

While it is acceptable to use your word processor's capability for embedded footnotes when composing and submitting an article or book manuscript, authors should be aware that upon acceptance of an article or book manuscript for publication, they will be asked to save notes as a separate file and render them double-spaced in the same size type as the rest of the manuscript.

Discursive material in the notes should be limited; if something is important enough to discuss, include it in the text. "See also" references and general bibliographic discussion should be kept to a minimum. A citation should usually mention specific pages within a source that are directly relevant to the article. When a note combines citations with discursive material, the citation should follow the discussion. When a person's name appears for the first time in the discursive part of a note, the name should be cited in full whether or not the full name appears in the text of the article or the name has previously been used in full as part of a citation.

Keep in mind that the purpose of the notes is to enable other researchers to locate and make use of the sources you have cited. Sufficient detail is required in order to enable other people to find the same information. (Examples of Notes)


Illustrations are an important component of our books and Quarterly articles. Authors should indicate upon submission how articles and books will be illustrated. They should provide photocopies of potential illustrations, information regarding the sources of these illustrations, and captions and credits for the illustrations with their submission. Every article in the Quarterly must have at least one illustration for its opening spread, and each article can accommodate from five to ten images. For books and articles, authors should indicate in the margin or within the text of the manuscripts approximately where each illustration should appear, and they should use a numbering system for each illustration that identifies the order in which the illustration will appear (see caption discussion below). If an article or book is accepted for publication and the editors choose to use some or all of the illustrations accompanying the submission, the author will be responsible for providing either 5 x 7-inch black-and-white glossy photographs or digital images of those illustrations. We prefer to use TIFF files if images are submitted electronically. At this stage, your editor can advise you regarding the best way to submit digital images for reproduction.

Authors are responsible for ordering prints or digital files of the illustrations that will be used with their articles. When a manuscript is accepted for publication, the author should immediately order and collect the images to ensure that the editors have them in hand when production begins.

For books with many illustrations, captions and illustrations should be numbered to correspond to the chapter and order in which they will appear (e.g., illustration 1.1 is the first illustration in chapter 1). These numbers should be used in the text to designate the location of each illustration.

Captions for artwork, daguerreotypes, and the like should include the title or subject of the work, the name of the artist, the date, the medium, the dimensions (height by width in feet and inches), and a credit line, in that order. When dimensions are given for an image that has been copied from a book or other printed matter, rather than from the original, they should refer to the size of the original itself, rather than to the size at which it was reproduced. Authors are responsible for securing necessary permissions to reproduce illustrations and for paying the usage fees for the illustrations.


All tabular material should be separate from the text, in a series of tables numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals in the order of their appearance in the text. Each table should be printed on a separate page, double-spaced, and identified by a short descriptive title centered at the top. Notes for tables appear at the bottom of each table and are marked with lowercase superscript letters. Indicate in the text approximately where each table should appear in the text. Do not embed tables as part of the article; save tables as a separate file.


For both books and articles, an author should provide a brief biographical statement that is separate from the text and notes, so that it can be easily removed for the peer review process. This is also the place for an author to thank individuals and institutions for assistance. If an article is accepted for publication in the Quarterly, the acknowledgment will become the first unnumbered note. Such acknowledgments should be brief. For book-length manuscripts acknowledgments and biographical information should be saved as separate files.


The editors recommend that authors interested in publishing dissertations and theses refer to A Guide to Book Publications for Historians by Norman Fiering (American Historical Association, 1979). The University of Texas Press web site also has a Checklist for Revising Dissertations for Book Publication, which offers useful advice.


Southwestern Historical Quarterly:

Authors receive two sets of proofs of their articles. The first set of proofs reflects copyediting and contains queries to the author from the editor. Only minor rewriting is permissible at the first proof stage at the editor's request. The second set of proofs features the final page layout and illustration placement, and only factual errors may be corrected at this time. Authors are expected to return proofs to the editor promptly, and they should keep the editor informed of address changes until they have received proofs. Communication with the editor is essential during the proofs stage, and authors should provide a postal address as well as telephone, fax, and e-mail information for home and office. Please notify the editor promptly if you are going to be at an alternate address for a significant time during the production of your article.


Authors generally receive at least two sets of proofs. The first set of proofs after initial copyediting gives the author an opportunity to correct factual errors, answer editorial queries, and rewrite at the editor's request. The second (and any subsequent proofs) are to correct factual errors and any errors that may have been introduced in the layout process. Once the book is laid out and illustrations are in place, extensive changes are not permitted. Communication with the editor is essential during the production of a book, and authors should provide a postal address as well as telephone, fax, and email information for home and office. Please notify the editor promptly if you are going to be at an alternate address for a significant period of time when your book is being edited.


Southwestern Historical Quarterly:

Authors will receive two copies of the copyright form from the editor with the first set of proofs. One copy is for the author to sign and return to the editor, and the other is for the author's files. As a condition of publication in the Quarterly, the Texas State Historical Association requires authors to grant the Association the copyright to their contributions. Authors must guarantee that the work is original and that it has not been previously published, or, if previously published in whole or in part, that an assignment of copyright in the name of the Texas State Historical Association has been obtained. After a work has been published in the Quarterly, the Association will grant the author, upon written request, permission to republish the work, subject to the author giving proper credit of prior publication to the Quarterly. If there are any questions about copyright issues, please review Chapter 4 in the Chicago Manual of Style or contact the TSHA publications department.


Authors will sign a standard book contract that addresses the issues of copyright, royalties, subsidiary rights, and other matters.


Quarterly authors will receive two free copies of the issue in which their articles are published. Authors wishing to order additional offprint copies of their articles will have the opportunity to do so during the production process. Further information about obtaining offprints is on the copyright form authors receive when their articles are in production.

Book authors will receive ten free copies of their book and a discount on any other copies they wish to order. The book contract also allows for a standard percentage of royalties on book sales.

Many books and Quarterly articles are eligible for TSHA and other awards. Click on the following link to learn more about TSHA Awards and Prizes.