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Instructions for authors

Archaeological Dialogues

Notes for Authors

Archaeological Dialogues is an international academic journal of archaeology. It has rigorous and extensive peer-review and is recognised as one of the top journals in the field. Archaeological Dialogues is included in the Thomson Reuters Arts and Humanities Citation Index.


We publish a mixture of commissioned and unsolicited articles and welcome unsolicited submissions of interesting and original archaeological work. Manuscripts should be submitted in good English. Please follow these guidelines closely so that we can direct editorial efforts towards achieving quality publication. Manuscripts that fail to conform to these guidelines may be returned to the author for further modification. When submitted to AD manuscripts will be acknowledged on receipt. They will be evaluated first by the editorial board. If scope, quality and language are appropriate they will then be sent to two or more anonymous referees. The editorial board will make a final decision on whether the paper can be accepted, accepted subject to modifications, or rejected. In all cases the author(s) will be given feedback on their submission. The process of evaluation may take up to six months. In the case of a discussion article (see below) comments are then solicited from a range of relevant experts. These are then sent to the author who has the opportunity to make a written reply to the comments. Before an article goes to print authors will receive a copy of the galley proofs for checking. On publication, authors will receive a PDF of their own contribution and a hard copy of the whole issue.

Open Access Policies

Please visit Open Access Publishing at Cambridge for information on our open access policies, compliance with major finding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.


The policy of Archaeological Dialogues is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant Cambridge University Press a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here.

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons licence (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

Types of contributions

Archaeological Dialogues publishes two main types of article: 'discussion articles' and 'articles'. The former are accompanied by published comments and a reply. Discussion articles usually take longer to appear in print because of the time required for comments and reply. Submissions suitable to appear as discussion articles will be selected by the editorial board. The word limit for both discussion articles and articles is 9000 words. In addition, the journal publishes 'provocations' and 'reactions'. These are short pieces normally less than 2000 words which take a novel or provocative stance on a particular topic, likely to initiate a lively dialogue, or which respond to an article previously published in Archaeological Dialogues. Provocations and Reactions can more essay-like in style. They are not subject to full peer review but are reviewed by the editorial board. Review essays and interviews are usually solicited by the editorial board, but scholars with suggestions in this direction are encouraged to contact us.

Submission of contributions

Important notice: We have become aware that there are websites such as University Press Journals, Association of British University Presses and International Agency for Development of Culture, Education and Science (IADCES) which are claiming to offer publication in certain Cambridge University Press journals for a fee. We do not work with such companies. For more information on predatory publishing, please visit the Think Check Submit website

Manuscripts can be sent as email attachments to any of the Editors, or to the central e-mail address Ideally low resolution versions of figures should be submitted at the same time, but eventually high resolution versions will be required.

Authors are solely responsible not only for the contents of their manuscript, but also for securing any legal rights or permissions to submitted materials, included copyright protected materials. The appropriate acknowledgements should be given in figure captions or elsewhere. Manuscripts should not be submitted to (nor should they have been published in) any other journal or publication.

Sections of the manuscript

The manuscript should include the following sections:

  • Text: Number all pages. Start with the Author's name(s) followed by the title of the paper; above the text insert
  • abstract (circa 150 words)
  • 6 keywords. Keywords will be used by CJO to link to other articles and as online search terms. The choice of keywords is therefore important: words already included in the title need not be repeated.
  • Headings: Use only primary and secondary headings and please do not number them. Use lowercase letters for both. Use two or three hard returns after the heading to indicate primary and secondary level headings respectively. Headings should be clearly separated from the following text.
  • Acknowledgements: Should be included in a note attached to the title of the paper
  • Competing interests declaration: Should be included in a note attached to the title of the paper (see below for guidance on what this declaration should look like)
  • Notes: Begin on a separate page; number sequentially; use sparingly
  • References: Begin on a separate page (see guidelines below)
  • Figure captions: Begin on a separate page; list figures sequentially (all plates, illustrations, graphs, tables or other original artwork are numbered as figures)
  • Biographical note: Include at least the name(s), affiliation(s) and full address(es) of authors, a note on interests, other relevant information such as fieldwork projects or recent publications. This should be no longer than 150-200 words (excluding address)

Supplementary material

Authors may submit additional relevant supplementary material which will be considered for online only publication alongside their article. Authors who wish to submit additional material electronically are advised to contact the editors to discuss the best way of doing this.

Comments and reply

  • Comments for a discussion are normally around 1200-1500 words. We suggest that formulaic compliments are omitted in order to focus on the discussant's opinion of the paper. Your comment should be sharp, succinct and thought-provoking. Remember that it is a comment on an article, not an essay in its own right.
  • Please supply a title for your comment
  • Please use primary headings only


  • All figures should be referred to in the text (Fig. 2).
  • Figures should be numbered. Electronically submitted figures should include their number in the file name; hard copies should be numbered lightly in pencil on the back. All hard-copy figures should be 'camera-ready', i.e. suitable for quality reproduction. Bear in mind that figures will usually have to be reduced in size; instructions on the size to which they may be reduced are therefore welcome. Tables should be used sparingly. Figures supplied electronically should be sent as .tif files and of high resolution.
  • Charges apply for all colour figures that appear in the print version of the journal. At the time of submission, contributors should clearly state whether their figures should appear in colour in the online version only, or whether they should appear in colour online and in the print version. There is no charge for including colour figures in the online version of the journal. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.

Electronic text file

  • Our preferred format is MS-Word. Please contact the editors in advance if you plan to send use text in any other format.
  • Minimise embedded formatting, except for italics. Texts should be unjustified and at least one-and-a-half spaced. Paragraphs should be indicated by the insertion of a blank line, not by indentation.
  • Never use more than one space. Do not insert spaces between initials (A.M.J. Derks, not A. M. J. Derks). Punctuation should be followed by a single space, but never preceded by one except when using a dash – which should have a space before and after.


  • Limit the use of abbreviations
  • Do not use abbreviations to denote institutions; write their name in full
  • In general: A.D. and B.C. (not AD and BC); ca (not ca.); cf. (not cf); ed. (not ed); eds (not eds.); e.g. (not eg); et al. (not et al); ibid. (not ibid); Ph.D. (not PhD); P.O. Box (not PO Box); pp. (not pp); 1990s (not 1990's); viz. (not viz). And we prefer C14 method; but 14C (element).

Quotations and quotation marks

Quotations up to four lines should be included in the running text. Quotations exceeding four lines are to be separated from the text by means of a hard return before and after the quotation. Use single 'quotation marks', not " (except for quotations within quotations).


  • Spell out numbers one to nine; express all numbers greater than nine with arabic numerals.
  • Spell out million and billion
  • Spell out numbers that begin sentences
  • Spell out numbers used in a general sense ('thousands of sherds')
  • For dates and time: 40 hours; 30 October 1984; 20th century (but if used as an adjective, 20th-century architecture); 18th Dynasty; 1990s (not 1990's); 1933-34 (not 1933-4)


Distance, area, volume, and weight must be expressed in the metric system.

Radiometric dating conventions

Following established convention the authors should use the following abbreviations: B.P. for uncalibrated dates; Cal. B.P./B.C./A.D. for calibrated dates; B.C. and A.D. for historical dates. B.P. and B.C. follow the date (1235 B.C.); A.D. precedes the date (A.D. 476; but the fifth century A.D.). Please give laboratory abbreviations and number if the radiocarbon age is published for the first time. Identify, and if necessary define the calibration standard and correction factor used.


  • British, not American: artefact, not artifact, medieval, not mediaeval, but follow original in a direct quote;
  • -ize spellings when permitted if preferred, but watch for words like advertise, precise, revise where there is no -ize option;

Use of capitals and lower case letters

  • In general: Keep capitalization to a minimum. You will generally find that when the definite article (the) precedes the noun you use upper case and when the same noun is used adjectivally, lower case is correct (the Government, government policy, the Orient, oriental, the West, western, the Army, the British army).
  • additional examples: to the North, the north-west region, southern Europe, north-east England
  • Concerning archaeological jargon: use upper case for specific, recognised, historical and person based names and lower case for general, common or mundane things. Proper names of periods of time or natural phenomena, historical eras and events take a capital if they have a definite archaeological significance as shown by a consistent usage (Paleozoic era, Carboniferous, Tertiary, (New) Stone Age, Bronze Age, Beaker Folk etc.). Cardinal points and other adjectives are lower case except when they form part of a recognised geographical region, period of time, institution or movement (Low Countries, Old World, House of Commons, Middle English, First World War).
  • Some examples:

    • Latin, French, etc. (substantive),
    • Dutch, European, Romano-British, Near Eastern etc. (adjective),
    • Quarternary, Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Iron Age, Beaker etc. (substantive); use of early/Early, late/Late etc. depends on (in-)definite archaeological significance as shown by (in-)consistent usage; the modifying word is in lower case: Upper Paleolithic period, Anasazi culture, etc.),
    • bronze age site, early bronze age sword etc. (adjective; however Palaeolithic era),
    • the Magdalenian, the Natufian, etc. (substantive),
    • magdalenian, natufian, etc. (adjective),
    • bandceramic pottery, etc. (adjective),
    • New Archaeology,
    • the Renaissance, the Dark Ages, the Mediterranean, (substantive, specific usage; however: the renaissance of ..., mediterranean climate, general usage),
    • names of rivers, mountains, oceans: these names are capitalised along with the generic name (lake , mountain, river, valley etc.) when they are used as part of a name (River Thames, Lake Michigan, Mount Cook etc.). When a generic name is used descriptively rather than as part of a name it is lowercased (the valley of the Mississippi, the Thames river, the Mississippi River valley etc.)
    • title of book: a title of a (non-German) book mentioned in the text should be written with a capital letter for the initial letter of title and for the initial letter of (proper) names.


    Italics are used to mark all non-English words and concepts: Bandkeramik (bandceramic, no italics used), Annales, limes. Abbreviations of Latin phrases however (ibid. etc.) should not be italicised.

    Use italics to mark titles of books and articles which are cited within the text in full.

    Some additions

    • Never use the ampersand (&): please write out the word 'and'.
    • Words in non-Roman alphabets should be transliterated if possible.

    Competing interests declaration

    All authors must include a competing interests declaration in their submission. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author's work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”.


    The use of notes must be limited as far as possible. Essential notes should follow the text (endnotes).


    • within the text: (Myhre 1990) or (Myhre 1990, 12-121) or (Myhre 1990, 21-24) or (cf. Myhre 1990, 34-36) or 'advocated by Myhre (1990; 1996)'. Use 'and' between two authors: (Roymans and Theuws 1990) or (Besteman, Bos and Heidinga 1990). Use 'et al.' for more than three authors (Kolen et al. 1995). (Do not use 'et al.' in the references however.) Use a, b, c etc. for titles published within one year (Waterbolk 1982a; 1982b). If used within parentheses, the above citations do not change parentheses to square brackets: (see the innovative study recently produced by Van der Veer (1994))
    • within References follow the conventions evident in published issues

    Some examples:

    - Bakker, J.A., 1992: The Dutch hunebedden, Ann Arbor.

    - Renfrew, C., M.J. Rowlands and S.A. Segraves (eds), 1982: Theory and explanation in archaeology, London.

    - Webmoore, T., and C. Witmore, 2008: Things are us! A commentary on human/things relations under the banner of a 'social' archaeology, Norwegian Archaeological Review 41, 53-70.

    - Hermann, F.R., and A. Jockenhövel, 1975: Bronzezeitliche Grabhügel mit Pfostenringen bei Edelsberg, Kreis Limburg-Weilburg, Fundberichte aus Hessen 15, 87-127.

    - Kristiansen, K., 1984: Ideology and material culture. An archaeological perspective, in M. Spriggs (ed.), Marxist perspectives in archaeology, Cambridge, 72-100.

    - Ingold, T., 1992: Culture and the perception of the environment, in E. Croll and D. Parkin (eds), Bush base, forest farm. Culture, environment and development, London, 39-56.

    - Pollard, J., 2004: A 'movement of becoming'. Realms of existence in the early Neolithic of southern Britain, in A. Chadwick (ed.), Stories from the landscape. Archaeologies of inhabitation, Oxford (British Archaeological Reports, International Series 1238), 55-70.

    • in non-German titles, use a capital letter only for the initial letter of the title and for the initial word of (proper) names.
    • title and subtitle of a book or article are separated by a full stop (not :) and a space.

Last updated 15 December 2020