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State Historical Society of Iowa

Article Submissions

You are invited to submit articles, edited documents, and other annotated, unpublished primary materials on Iowa history, as well as subjects concerning the nation and the Midwest with an Iowa focus. Regional and local studies of political, economic, social, cultural, ethnic, institutional, archeological, and architectural history are welcome.

You may also apply a Research Grant for Authors to receive a stipend to support original research and interpretive writing related to Iowa history. As part of the program, grant recipients produce an annotated manuscript targeted for the Annals of Iowa.

Please contact Annals editor Andrew Klumpp to submit potential manuscripts or with any questions.

Editorial Procedures

These guidelines for the editorial procedures and practices of The Annals of Iowa are offered to clarify what authors may expect when they submit their work to the Annals as well as to indicate what the editor of the Annals expects of potential authors and reviewers. The sequence of topics in this set of guidelines roughly follows the stages of the publication process, with articles discussed first, book reviews later.

Making Submissions

Send submissions as either Word documents or pdfs to Andrew Klumpp, editor, The Annals of Iowa, at The only compensation offered by the Annals is ten free copies of the issue in which the author’s article appears and a 40 percent discount on the purchase of additional copies. The editor expects submissions to meet the criteria generally established for scholarly journal articles. That means, in short, that submitted manuscripts should (1) contain a clear thesis statement that represents an original and significant contribution to the existing literature in the field; (2) state the thesis clearly, support it adequately, and develop it in a way that is logical, convincing, and appropriate; (3) be based on primary research that relates to a body of acknowledged secondary literature; and (4) be clearly written, well organized, and properly documented.

Authors may make their submission via e-mail attachment. The editor prefers submissions of 7,000–10,000 words, although both longer and shorter manuscripts will be considered. Authors’ names should appear only on a separate title page. For submissions outside of this range, authors are encouraged to contact the Editor prior to submission.

Notes will appear as footnotes in articles published in the Annals, but authors may use either footnotes or endnotes for submissions. The style should conform to that recommended by The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (University of Chicago Press). Bibliographies are not necessary.

Illustrations or suggestions for illustrations are welcome. The author is responsible for copyright release and reprint permission.

Authors should acquaint themselves with the guidelines that govern “fair use” of quotations from sources, and authors who quote extensively from primary or secondary sources should obtain written permission to do so. For all general matters of technical style, including capitalization, punctuation, and use of numbers in the text, authors should refer to The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. The editor also strongly urges authors to consult The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White, and “How to Write History,” by Stephen Cox (Annals of Iowa 49 [1988]: 261–67).

By preparing manuscripts in accordance with these guidelines, authors can help speed along both the evaluation of their submissions and the processing of them once they are accepted for publication. The editor welcomes inquiries about these guidelines and directs interested authors to sample articles available in our back catalog here.

Multiple Submissions and Previous Publication

The Annals of Iowa will not entertain a submission that has been previously published or that is being considered by another journal at the same time. If other articles based on the same or closely related research have been previously published or are under consideration for publication elsewhere, the author should inform the editor. In most cases, the editor is happy to consider submissions based wholly or in part on conference or other public presentations. In such cases, however, the author should inform the editor of the prior history of the submission, and since conference presentations are generally considered “work in progress,” authors should not submit such papers until after they have been presented and commentators’ responses have informed any revision of the manuscript.


The editor of the Annals will acknowledge receipt of all submissions within one week of their receipt. Because manuscripts and acknowledgments do get lost on occasion, an author who does not receive such acknowledgment within a reasonable time should inquire.

Initial Evaluation

The editor makes an initial judgment of submissions as they are received to determine whether they merit further evaluation. If the submission does not meet the scholarly standards demanded by the journal, or if its subject matter is inappropriate to the scope of the journal, the editor may reject the submission at this stage without providing a detailed critique, since authors are expected to acquaint themselves with the character and scope of journals to which they submit their work. If the submission is deemed worthy of further evaluation, the editor occasionally may request some revision before sending it to outside readers. Usually, though, outside readers will be consulted at this stage.

Outside Readers

The Annals of Iowa is a refereed journal. Before making a decision regarding publication of a submission, the editor will consult one or more external readers. Although the system of peer evaluation prolongs the time between submission and final decision, it is important to ensure both the expert assessment of submissions and the quality of articles accepted for publication. In choosing readers, the editor seeks referees with a record of publication that indicates an understanding of the role of scholarly publishing as well as expertise on the subject of the submission to be evaluated. The editor tries to avoid choosing scholars known to be or to have been close associates of the author, but some fields of specialization are so small that it is not possible to find qualified readers who are not well acquainted with the author.

Blind Evaluations

To help ensure the impartiality of evaluations, the editor removes the name or other identification of the author from the submission before sending it out for evaluation. The editor also sends reports to authors without disclosing readers’ names, except when readers prefer to forgo anonymity.

Length of Time for Evaluation

The length of time required for evaluation of individual submissions varies according to the nature of the submission and the schedules of the editor and the readers, but the editor’s goal in all cases is to notify authors of the result of the evaluation of their submission no more than 90 days after the submission has been received. The editor will notify the author if a delay seems likely—if, for example, readers prove hard to secure or sharply differing opinions among a first set of readers make it necessary to seek additional opinions. An author who has not heard from the editor within the specified period of time allotted for the evaluation process should contact the editor.

Conditions of Acceptance

Once the readers’ reports reach the editorial office, the editor reassesses the submission in light of the reports and reaches a decision. There are several options: the editor may reject the submission and offer little or no encouragement to believe that revision would improve its chances; encourage revision and resubmission without making a commitment to eventual publication; accept it on condition that specified revisions are made; or, in rare cases, accept it without revision. Because the range of contingencies is broad, the editor tries to communicate clearly to authors the status or prospects of their submission and the requirements for securing final, unconditional acceptance. If that is not clear, the author should request clarification before proceeding further.

In most cases, the editor will send readers’ reports to authors of both accepted and rejected submissions. In the case of conditional acceptance, the editor will indicate how the readers’ comments are to be used in revision. Before revising, the author should resolve any doubts about how to proceed by writing for further, clearer guidance.

Schedule for Publication

The editor’s letter offering final, unconditional acceptance of the submission will, whenever possible, specify the issue in which the author’s article will appear and when the author may expect to receive the copyedited submission as it is prepared for publication.

An author who agrees to acceptance of a submission for publication may not withdraw it from the journal except in extreme and unusual circumstances. The editor, of course, is similarly bound, and may not remove an accepted submission from the publication schedule except in extreme and unusual circumstances.

Copyediting the Manuscript

The editor of The Annals of Iowa copyedits accepted submissions for conformity to the journal’s house style for footnote form, special terms, capitalization, punctuation, and the like, as well as standard grammar and spelling. The editor of the Annals also edits for clarity, consistency, and conciseness, but always with the intent of preserving the author’s voice. The editor may often suggest larger changes, such as adding or deleting material, rewriting ambiguous passages, or rearranging sentences or paragraphs to improve the flow of the narrative or argument. The editor may query the author about such matters as internal inconsistencies, incomplete footnotes, or apparent errors of fact.

The editor sends copyedited page proofs to authors to approve editorial changes, to respond to queries, and to make any necessary last-minute changes. The editor expects authors to engage actively not only queries but editorial suggestions as well. Editorial suggestions are just suggestions; except on matters related to technical aspects of house style, the editor respects the right of authors to restore passages to their original state, but hopes that where there are differences, author and editor can work out mutually acceptable revisions that are better than both the original passage and the editor’s suggested revision. Editors try not to make arbitrary revisions, but we recognize that our revisions are not always the best solutions to perceived problems; we ask only that authors take our suggestions seriously, recognizing that maximum clarity is in the author’s as well as the journal’s best interest, and that is what we should both be striving for. Where editors perceive problems or lack of clarity, we are happiest when authors do find solutions that are better than ours.

In addition to reading proofs for matters of substance, authors should attend to any typographical errors, marking them on the margin of the page. If there are grammatical or factual errors, authors should call them to the editor’s attention.

Offprints of the Article

The Annals does not make offprints available to authors. Each author will receive ten free copies of the issue of the Annals in which their article appears. Authors may purchase additional copies at a 40 percent discount off the regular price of a single issue. Authors who wish to order additional copies should inquire when they return their copyedited proofs to the editor, since extra copies will not be printed after the regular order has been submitted to the printer.

Interval before Publication

Authors frequently submit portions of forthcoming books or other work in progress for publication in historical journals. The practice is a healthy one that enables journals to publish the best current scholarship, and authors to present their findings at an early stage. The Annals has no established policy on the lapse of time between the publication of an article and its appearance in substantially the same form in a larger publication, but authors should alert the editor to the likely time of publication of a larger work that contains their article or a substantial portion thereof. They should also inquire as to the required form for acknowledging the journal article in the larger work.

Copyright and Reprint Policy

The editor of the Annals of Iowa asks all authors to assign copyright for their article to the publisher of the journal, the State Historical Society of Iowa. The Society is an ongoing institution capable of protecting copyright over a long period. We also receive occasional requests from noncommercial publishers (such as local historical societies or community history groups) to reprint articles from the Annals. In the interest of long-term protection and making historical material (originally published with the support of public funds) readily available to the public, we think it desirable for the Society to hold copyright on Annals articles.

The Society will grant authors permission for subsequent use of their own material in their own work without restriction. The Society will also undertake to protect authors’ interests against unfair use of their articles. Working through the Copyright Clearance Center in New York, we are able to control photocopying of authors’ articles. Free copying is allowed for personal use, scholarly research or reference, and limited classroom teaching. There is a fee imposed for photocopying beyond the provisions of “fair use.” For copies made for other purposes, the user must pay one dollar for each copy of the article. Part of the fee goes to the Copyright Clearance Center to defray processing, the balance to the Society.

Assigning Book Reviews

The Annals of Iowa discourages submission of unsolicited reviews, and does not assign books on request, but the editor welcomes suggestions of books that should be reviewed. The editor also welcomes requests from scholars to have their names placed on file as potential reviewers.

When a book is chosen for review, the editor seeks a reviewer knowledgeable about the subject, prescribes an approximate number of words, and states a deadline. By accepting an assignment, a reviewer tacitly accepts these stipulations. The only payment the reviewer receives is the review copy of the book and a free issue of the journal in which the review appears. The editor will send with the review copy a set of instructions outlining what is expected from the reviewer. The content of reviews, unless wildly irrelevant or libelous, is up to the reviewer. If the editor elects to publish correspondence from authors, or others, in response to book reviews, the reviewer will be given a chance to respond.

Processing Reviews

The editor will edit book reviews for clarity, consistency, and conciseness, as well as for grammar, spelling, syntax, and conformity to house style in such matters as punctuation and capitalization. Recognizing that reviews are essentially commissioned work, the editor makes a special effort to ensure that copyediting does not alter the reviewer’s voice or opinions about the book under review. Reviewers will have the opportunity to approve page proofs.

Publication of Book Reviews

The editor of the Annals will not reveal the reviewer’s name to the author or publisher of the book before the issue is in press. Once the issue has been printed, the editor will send copies of each review to the publisher of each book. It is the publisher’s responsibility to send a copy to the author. Reviewers will receive a free copy of the issue of the Annals in which their review appears.


By making these guidelines available to authors and potential authors, the editor hopes to avoid potential misunderstandings in the process of developing articles; authors can do their part to avoid misunderstandings by taking responsibility for understanding the subjects covered by these guidelines and questioning the editor about matters that are unclear. If authors and editors keep channels of communication open and question each other whenever ambiguities arise, the potential for problems will be minimized. Authors and editors have the same goal, after all: the best possible presentation of the author’s work.

All correspondence, including manuscript submissions, related to The Annals of Iowa should be directed to Andrew Klumpp, editor, The Annals of Iowa, State Historical Society of Iowa, 600 East Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319 or