Skip to main content Accessibility help
Instructions for authors

The British Journal for the History of Science (BJHS) is the journal of the British Society for the History of Science, the major national body for this subject in Britain. One of the premier journals in the field, it publishes high quality papers and review articles in all aspects of the history of science. There are four issues per year comprising an annual volume of around 750 pages. BJHS also includes an extensive book review section and thematic issues are published on important problems or topics.

Contributions are very welcome. They should be sent to the BJHS Editorial Assistant, Mrs Trish Hatton, email They are considered on the understanding that they are unpublished and are not on offer to another journal. Contributions should be submitted in electronic form as an email attachment, preferably in MS Word format. Please be sure to follow all instructions carefully as failure to do so may impair the Editor’s and Publisher’s ability to treat the submission in a timely fashion. Article length should not ordinarily exceed 10,000 words, including footnotes and references, except by special prior arrangement with the Editor.

Informal editorial enquiries (not submissions) may be sent to the BJHS Editor, Prof. Amanda Rees, Department of Sociology, University of York, York, YO10 5D, UK, email

Books for review should be sent to the Reviews Editor, Sam Robinson, email

BJHS Formatting Guide:

It is the authors’ (and guest editors’ if applicable) responsibility to ensure that submissions are correctly formatted according to the following style guide. Submissions that have not been formatted appropriately may be returned to authors for correction.

Articles should be submitted with all text double-spaced with a margin, in Times Font, size 12 (this applies to the main text and footnotes).

We can only accept submissions in the format of Microsoft Word Files. Please do not submit PDFs or documents in other formats.

The author’s name will be omitted until reviewing is completed.

Please include an abstract of 150–200 words after the title.

Institutional address(es) and acknowledgements will be added at the end of the paper before the notes, after the peer review process. Do not include acknowledgements or your own address as part of the first draft.

Long quotations should be inset. Short quotations should be given single quotation marks, but quotes within quotes have double quotation marks.

Spelling should follow the Oxford English Dictionary. All papers should be rigorously documented. References to primary and secondary sources must be set as endnotes, not as footnotes, and typed in double spacing and numbered consecutively. Cite as follows:

1 Boris Smetov and Dmitri Blogski, Chemistry in the Eighteenth Century, 2nd edn (tr. Robert Roe), 5 vols., Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1886–1914, vol. 3, p. iii, pp. 237–238.

2 John Doe, ‘Searching for gravity waves’, in Andrew Burn and Zigmund Trent (eds.), The History of Physics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982, pp. 22–24.

Note that book titles have all words capitalized but for article titles only the first word is capitalized. The names of disciplines e.g. biology are not capitalized in article titles. Note that publishing details are not in brackets.

3 Doe, op. cit. (2), pp. 23–24. Always use ‘op. cit.’ to refer to previously cited references. Do not use ‘ibid’.

4 Nicodemus Brown, ‘Developments of the cathode ray’, Journal of Physics (1972) 7, pp. 25-31.

Spell out journal titles. Give complete page run of articles cited and, where appropriate, the page number to which the citation refers.

5 John Herschel to George Peacock, 17 May 1836, Herschel Papers, Royal Astronomical Society, London (subsequently HP), Box 1234, 56.

Citing websites:

Name of author, ‘Title’, Journal (date – day, month, year) issue number, http…, accessed [12 May 2019].

For manuscript sources please supply whatever information is necessary for the reference to be found. Subsequent references can be cited by name, date, abbreviated source, box, page or folio number.

There should be no section heading for the introduction.

Please add semi-colons between citations, and when a comment follows a citation it should begin with capital letter. E.g.

Nicodemus Brown, ‘Developments of the cathode ray’, Journal of Physics (1972) 7, pp. 25-31; it should be recognized, however…

Dates should be in the order day, month, year, with no commas between. 12 April 1979.

Reference numbers should always be at the end of sentences and come after a full stop.

Two or more initials should not have a space between them. E.g. S.R.E. Werrett.

Images: All images sent with the original paper should be low-resolution files and sent separately from the main paper, with the figure captions included in the main paper, near where you would prefer the picture to appear. Pictures can be sent by email or a file transfer system, such as Dropbox. Final submissions of high-resolution images should be made once the paper has been approved for publication. At that time they should be sent as high-resolution tif or jpg files by email if the files are small, or by a file transfer system i.e. Dropbox. If this is not possible, a CD may be sent. They may appear as colour or black and white online but will only appear in black and white in any printed version.

Line drawings should be submitted electronically, as jpg, tif or eps files, scanned at 300dpi or as Excel documents. (If drawn they should be bold in black ink on white paper, feint-ruled graph paper or tracing paper).

The place of the illustration should be indicated in the margin of the text.

Permission to reproduce material is entirely the author’s responsibility and should be cited where given. At proof stage you will be asked to provide evidence of permissions, which may be provided in electronic form.

Open Access

You will have the option to publish your article as Gold Open Access, enabling the final published version to be made freely available under a Creative Commons license. You might be required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) for Gold Open Access. You may be eligible for a waiver or discount, for example if your institution is part of a Read and Publish sales agreement with Cambridge University Press. For more information about your Open Access options, please see here. For more information about the benefits of choosing to publish Open Access, see here.

If authors request Open Access, copies of articles will be made available subject to the terms of a choice of Creative Commons licences: CC-BY, CC-BY-NC-SA or CC-BY-NC-ND.


Joint contributors should note that proofs will be sent to the first named author unless the Editor is otherwise informed.

It is the author’s responsibility to secure any necessary permission for publication.

For more information about copyright terms for BJHS, please visit

For more information about submitting artwork please visit

Last Updated 10th July 2020