Guidance for prospective authors On Submissions to Past & Present



We welcome new submissions for the journal in all areas. More information for authors, and detailed submission guidelines, can be found from the Oxford University Press here and in Past & Present’s official style guide here. Instructions for online submission can be found here and the online submission website is here.

There’s a guide to getting published in journals here, and another blog post  here about what happens once you’ve submitted an article for consideration. If you are interested in editing a Past & Present supplementary issue, our Publications Editor has compiled and published detailed guidance on what we look for here.

Proposals for possible future supplements, and for volumes in the book series, are always welcome. Please contact the editorial office in the first instance.

Contribution Types

Past & Present articles: we aim to publish well-researched, rigorous articles which speak to both specialists and non-specialists. Our goal is always to open up, not to close down, discussion, and we like articles driven by argument and big debates. No individual subject is excluded, or itself too small (or too large!), so long as it has resonance.

Viewpoint articles: Past & Present is keen to re-introduce Viewpoint articles to the journal and we particularly invite submissions of Viewpoints. These 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. These 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, but our preference is for Viewpoint pieces which are shorter than articles so that they stand apart.

Past & Present Supplements: every year Past & Present publishes a special thematic supplementary issue. The ambition is to make a significant intervention in an important field of historical study: that is, for them to be useful to think with for a wide variety of different historians in different fields (as is intended for the journal). Supplements have a coherent agenda, conceptual framework and set of questions, pursued consistently across all contributions: though the conclusions of individual contributors do not necessarily have to be aligned or even mutually compatible, they do have to be talking about the same thing. They gather together contributions that are individually of a very high standard as well as fulfilling a function as part of the wider whole. This is a lot to ask, so we do not expect an initial proposal to have everything lined up ready-made from the start to match these ambitions. What we are looking for in the initial stages is the potential for it to do so. It typically takes a long time to develop a supplement, and fairly intense back-and-forth exchanges between the supplement series editor, guest editors, and contributors are a normal part of the process.


Growing numbers of funding bodies require that the research they fund be published under an open access mandate. This won’t affect all of our authors but please do talk to us if you have concerns or questions. UK authors should note that in order to be eligible for the next REF, any articles published after 1 April 2016 should be made open access. In accordance with Research England guidelines, our authors may deposit the ‘accepted manuscript’ version* of their articles in institutional and centrally organized repositories, with an embargo period of 24 months from publication. Further details about self-archiving can be found here. We also offer authors the option of paying an APC (article processing charge) to publish their work freely online immediately on publication.

* The ‘accepted manuscript’ version of an article is the final draft author manuscript, including modifications based on referees’ suggestions but before it has undergone copy-editing and proof correction.