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Instructions for authors

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British Catholic History

Notes for Contributors

The British Catholic History Editorial Board is committed to providing a unique publishing forum to support the innovative, vibrant, transnational, inter-disciplinary study of British and Irish Catholicism. We publish peer-reviewed original research articles, review articles and shorter reviews of works on all aspects of British Catholic history from the fifteenth century up to the present day. Central to our publishing policy is an emphasis on the mufti-faceted, national and international dimensions of British Catholic history which situate British Catholicism within the master narratives of history. The journal welcomes contributions on all approaches to the Catholic experience including the intellectual, political, material, cultural, theological, literary, sociological, philosophical, economic, educational, gendered, artistic, musical, educational and polemical.

Article types

British Catholic History publishes research articles of up to 12,000 words in length and short reviews of selected books of up to 1,000 words in length. The Editor welcomes submission of original work that has not been previously published and is not under consideration elsewhere. Unsolicited book reviews are not accepted but enquiries regarding book reviews for commission are welcome.

Peer review policy

British Catholic History adheres to a double-blind peer-reviewing policy for all articles, in which the identity of the reviewer and the author are always concealed from both parties. In order to facilitate this process, contributors are asked to ensure that their article manuscripts are anonymous, with any information that might directly identify the author removed to a separate covering note.

Submitting your manuscript

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure that you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts should then be submitted electronically to the Editor for consideration.

Dr Katy Gibbons, 

Articles should be submitted in Microsoft Word format or an RTF equivalent. Each figure should be provided as a separate numbered file. Tables may be submitted as XLS files. Figures should be provided in file formats conforming to the artwork guidelines outlined below.

The text should be double-spaced throughout, paginated in the top right-hand corner.

Additional guidelines for article submission

In addition to the main text, each article submission should include:

- An abstract of not more than 200 words.

- A title that should not ideally exceed 20 words.

- Up to five keywords describing the content of the article.

- Figure and table captions and place markers, positioned appropriately within the body text and indicating whether they should appear as portrait or landscape.

- Arabic numbered footnotes, also double spaced.

A separate cover sheet should be provided which should include:

- Contact details for the corresponding author, including email, postal address and telephone number. Please also provide the academic affiliations of all authors.

- Any acknowledgements, whether personal or in reference to funding, that you would wish to appear in the final published article.

Text conventions


Please use British English spelling.


Quotations within running text should be in single quotation marks (double for quotations within quotations). Passages of more than fifty words should be indented and without quotation marks.

Single words or short phrases in foreign languages not used as direct quotations should italicised. Extended quotations from foreign languages should be given in translation in Roman type with the originals replicated in the footnotes.

Where the original spelling of quotations is significant it should be retained, but with conventional contractions slightly expanded and with modern punctuation. Where the original spelling is not significant, it should be modernised.

Dates and numbers

Dates should be expressed as follows: 15 September 1789; the 1580s; the seventeenth century; 181418; 18889. Spell out numbers up to ninety-nine, except when attached to percentages or units.


Please keep capitalisation to a minimum, within the following guidelines: a) the bishop of Salisbury visited Bishop Fisher; b) the Church teaches humility; the church was built in the eighteenth century: the church leaders arrived. Use capitals for Catholic, Protestant (etc.), Puritan, Nonconformist and for words derived from proper names such as Christian, Benedictine.


Italics should be used for titles of books, journals, newspapers, films, plays, stage directions, foreign words, phrases, songs etc. Titles of articles should be enclosed in single inverted commas.


Superscript Arabic numerals indicating footnotes should appear after and not before punctuation. A full bibliographic reference should be given upon first citation of a publication, followed by author surname and abbreviated title thereafter. Titles of journals, periodicals and series should appear in full when first cited, accompanied by the abbreviated form e.g. British Catholic History (hereafter BCH).

The following are provided by way of example:

John Bossy, Peace in the Post-Reformation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 14-22, 52-6.

D. H. Williams, ‘Justification by Faith: a Patristic Doctrine’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History (hereafter JEH) 57 (2006): 649-67.

Diarmaid MacCulloch, ‘Changing Historical Perspectives on the English Reformation: The Last Fifty Years’, in Peter D. Clarke and Charlotte Methuen, eds. The Church on its Past, Studies in Church History 49 (2013), 282-3

Stuart Dynastic Policy and Religious Politics, 16211625, ed. Michael Questier, Camden Fifth Series 34 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press for the Royal Historical Society, 2009), nos. 9, 10, 14, 17.

Muriel St. Clare Byrne, ed. The Lisle Letters, 6 vols (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 4:243

J.M. Wallace-Hadrill, ‘A Background to St Boniface’s Mission’, in Peter Clemoes and Kathleen Hughes, eds. England Before the Conquest: Studies in Primary Sources Presented to Dorothy Whitelock (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), 35-48 at 41.

Tablet, 11 May 1861, 297

E. M. Clerke, ‘The New Crusade’, Dublin Review (January 1889), 12

Catholicae Ecclesiae, Papal Encyclicals Online, (accessed March 24, 2011)

Letters of Manning to Lady Burdett, 19 March 1885 and 22 March 1885, Box 14, Folder 5, MSS 002, Manning Collection (MAN), Pitts Theology Library (PITT), Emory University.

Subsequent citations

Bossy, Peace in the Post-Reformation, 59.

D.H. Williams, ‘Justification by Faith’, 650-52.

MacCulloch, ‘Changing Historical Perspectives’, 28691.

Questier, Stuart Dynastic Policy, no. 14

Lisle Letters, 2:345

Wallace-Hadrill, ‘A Background to St Boniface’s Mission’, 43

Tablet, 11 May 1861, 298

E. M. Clerke, ‘The New Crusade’, 4

Catholicae Ecllesiae, (March 24, 2011)

Manning to Burdett, 19, 22 March, MSS 002, MAN/PITT

Ibid should be italicised and only be used to refer to the immediately preceding citation; please do not use op. cit. or loc cit.

Arabic numbers should be used for all volume numbers of printed books, journals and manuscripts.

Article Structure

Subheadings may be used to provide ‘signposts’ for readers. They should be typed flush left with only the first word and any proper names capitalised.

Please refrain from using ALL CAPS.

Additional guidelines for commissioned book review submission

Review headings should follow the format indicated in the following examples:

Stephen Hamrick, The Catholic Imaginary and the Cults of Elizabeth,1558–1582, Farnham: Ashgate, 2009, pp. viii + 233, £55.00, ISBN: 978-0-7546-6588-5

Vladimir Pecherin, The First Russian Political Émigré. Notes from Beyond the Grave, or Apologia Pro Vita Mea, trans. and ed. Michael R. Katz, University College, Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2008, pp. xx + 197, £42.50, ISBN: 978-1-904558-93-4

At the end of your review, please put the name of your university/institution at the left margin in italics and your name at the right margin.

The word limit is 1,000 for a single book; 1,400 for a joint review of two books.

Artwork, figures and other graphics For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format please see the Cambridge Core Artwork Guide. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable colour figures, these figures will appear in colour online but in black and white in print. A charge applies for the reproduction of colour in print. For specifically requested colour printing, you will receive information regarding the costs from Cambridge University Press after receipt of your accepted article. Datasets and supplemental files All authors of quantitative empirical articles are encouraged to make the data available for data replication purposes. British Catholic History can host such data on the journal's website, and authors wishing to avail themselves of this facility should supply all files electronically once an article has been accepted for publication.

Other types of supplemental material including, but not limited to, images, videos, audio and slideshows can be hosted on the British Catholic History website.

English language editing services

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the Editor and any reviewers. Cambridge University Press lists a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation on the Cambridge Core Language Services page, that authors may contact as appropriate. Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.


The policy of British Catholic History is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant the Catholic Record Society 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 the article 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 license (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 license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.


Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. A copy of the paperwork granting permission will be required should your article be accepted. Any permissions fees must be paid for by the author. For an example of a permissions request form please see the Cambridge Core Artwork Guide.

Open access

British Catholic History operates an open access policy that ensures it is in compliance with the growing number of open access (OA) mandates being put in place by governments, universities and funding bodies around the world. To this end, authors whose articles are accepted for publication are able to post their accepted manuscript* on their personal/departmental websites and their institution’s digital repository as soon as they receive a positive decision from the Editors. Immediate posting of this version is also permitted in non-commercial subject repositories. A link to the final publisher-produced, paginated ‘version of record’ should be included once the article has been through the production process and is up on the Cambridge University Press British Catholic History website.

This policy means that all authors can achieve full compliance with all existing OA policies including those of the RCUK and HEFCE in the UK, the Wellcome Trust, the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding programme and the Australian Research Council. The HEFCE policy, which was announced in March 2014, relates to articles accepted for publication after April 1st 2016. To be eligible for inclusion in the next REF assessment, papers must be deposited in the author’s institutional repository no more than three months after they have been accepted for publication. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that this action is undertaken.

*The ‘accepted manuscript’ is defined as the fully peer-reviewed version of a paper at the point at which it has been accepted for publication by the journal editors but before it is sent to the publisher for copyediting and typesetting.

If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to non-subscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to do so subject to payment of an article processing charge (APC). In these circumstances, the manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let Cambridge University Press know directly if you are choosing this option. More information about the APC price and licensing choices can be found here.

After acceptance

First proofs may be read and corrected by contributors provided that they can guarantee to return the corrected proofs within three days of receiving them. We will email a PDF of the proofs to the corresponding author. Corrections must be confined to typographical errors only.

First named authors of articles will receive a PDF of the final version upon publication.

Further information

Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Editor, Dr Katy Gibbons,

Last updated July 2020