Greetings, and welcome to the last issue of 2021. My editorial duties began officially after the SAA business meeting this past spring, and so this issue—like the previous one—carries accepted submissions largely overseen by our previous editor, Lynn Gamble. As is common practice in publishing, articles that have been accepted can take many months to wend their way through copyediting, production, proofing by the authors, and final edits. These then sit in a queue, and they are placed in the next available hard copy issue. American Antiquity (AAQ) produces four issues a year, with about 12 articles, reports, and commentaries per issue. We have a firm number of pages that we are permitted to publish in a given annual cycle, so if there are longer articles, we necessarily publish fewer in any given issue.
Because I am especially interested in seeing more submissions from early and mid-career authors, I am enthusiastically inviting and warmly encouraging those who might not see AAQ as the journal of choice for their work to consider it. This would include those who focus on historical and contemporary sites, those who study marginalized and less well-known cultures, those who use social theory to frame interpretations of the data, those who use interdisciplinarity, and those whose work is deeply rooted in meaningful and inclusive interpretive frameworks that include community members, descendants, or others who bring different voices and perspectives.
First, a quick overview of AAQ guidelines. The SAA Communications Committee, along with the editors of all of the journals published by the SAA, revised and updated the information for authors and the style guide that we adhere to. This document is labeled “revised July 2021,” and it is the only relevant version for potential authors. Because there are many older versions on the web, I am providing the URL for the document by which authors must abide (<https://documents.saa.org/container/docs/default-source/doc-publications/style-guide/saa-style-guide_english_updated_2021_final08023c15928949dabd02faafb269fb1c.pdf?sfvrsn=c1f41c1b_2>). The title of the PDF document in full is “Editorial Policy, Information for Authors, and Style Guide for American Antiquity, Latin American Antiquity, and Advances in Archaeological Practice. Revised July 2021.”
Authors submit manuscripts to the editor for consideration as (1) articles, (2) reports, (3) comments, or (4) forum pieces. In brief, articles are longer than reports and address topics of major importance in a way that reaches out to a broad audience of professional archaeologists and the informed public. Reports often have more technical content, address a specific topic, and may have a smaller and more targeted audience. Comments correct major errors of fact or provide new information directly relevant to an article published previously in AAQ. A forum contribution is an essay of opinion on current issues or topics of immediate significance to a broad archaeological and bioarchaeological audience. Book reviews are handled by AAQ Book Review Editor Christopher Rodning.
AAQ has a fixed limit of 10,000 words for articles and forums, 3,000 words for reports, and approximately 1,000 words for comments. In general, we will not permit any submission to exceed these word limits. Word count includes all text elements (abstracts, data availability statement, notes, figure captions, acknowledgments, table text, and references cited). AAQ allows 10 figures for articles and five figures for reports. The journal allows three tables per submission. A manuscript should include a title page, English and Spanish abstracts with keywords (200 words each), body text, acknowledgments, data availability statement, supplemental materials list (if applicable), references cited, figure captions, and list of tables. Supplemental materials may be available to readers as complementary online additions to the published article. Figures, tables, and supplemental materials are uploaded in separate files.
Out of respect for diverse cultural traditions and opinions on this topic, photographs of full or explicit human remains are not generally encouraged or accepted for publication in AAQ. There are additional guidelines for the presentation of data and citation of references. There is also a lengthier and more in-depth discussion about ethics and a discussion about replacing restrictive and exclusionary words and language with phrases that invite less colonial, racist, or sexist connotations.
Feel free to run ideas by me at an early stage if you would like help in crafting the submission, or if you have any queries about the general process (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am here to help the broadest possible set of authors bring their work to light. I hope to be talking with many of you soon.