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Instructions for authors

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Papers of the British School at Rome exists to publish work related to the archaeology, history and literature of Italy and other parts of the Mediterranean area up to modern times (and the methodological underpinnings of these fields of study), both by the staff of the British School at Rome and its present and former members, and by members of the academic community engaged in top-quality research in any of these fields. Contributions are expected to be written in such a way as to be intelligible and appeal to the broad interdisciplinary readership of the journal, while also presenting original, cutting-edge research in the individual specialist fields.

Since volume 79 (2011), Papers of the British School at Rome has been published by Cambridge University Press, simultaneously in print and online. From volume 85 (2017), individual papers have appeared online first via Firstview. PBSR is compliant with Green Open Access through Cambridge University Press’s Green archiving policy: Please visit for information on open access policies, compliance with major funding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository. The BSR retains editorial control, and your main, initial point of contact will be the PBSR Editors. Intending authors may wish to consult the Editors in advance about the suitability of potential submissions.

PBSR does not publish special issues. For works that merit and/or require longer treatment, as a monograph, please consult the BSR’s How to Submit a Proposal and Notes for Authors and Editors.


Professor Alison Cooley, Professor Trevor Dean and Professor Aristotle Kallis

Editorial contact:
Professor Alison Cooley, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK


Articles for consideration for publication in PBSR should be sent to the editorial contact electronically. Please ensure that details of your identity are communicated separately, and that on the article itself and any supporting documents (such as the illustrations) your name, institutional affiliation, competing interest statement or any other indication of your identity is not given. You should also ensure that your name does not appear under the ‘Properties’ of electronic documents that you submit.

All articles must be original, and must not be under consideration for publication, or in press, elsewhere. By submitting a paper to the Editors you are indicating that this is the case.

There is no strict upper word limit for papers, although the average paper is in the region of 9,000–10,000 words (including references and notes). We will consider longer papers, but a case should be made to the Editors that the paper’s scope and/or significance justifies the extra space.

PBSR will not normally publish interim reports on archaeological fieldwork in the main section of the journal, although it will consider specialized reports on specific finds and on methodological approaches where the article meets the relevant criteria of quality and definitiveness.

Submissions are normally accepted in English or Italian. Authors planning to submit in any other language should discuss this with the Editors in advance. 

Contributions to PBSR are assessed and approved by the Faculty of Archaeology, History and Letters of the British School at Rome, and are subject to double blind peer review by at least two specialist readers (your name will not be indicated to the specialist readers, and you will not be told their names).

Initial submissions should be sent electronically to the Editors as an e-mail attachment (.doc or .docx, but not a PDF). Articles should be double-spaced, with good margins. It would be helpful, at this initial stage, to send the Editors a 100–200 word summary of the article. At the point of initial submission, any figures should be supplied (at an appropriate resolution) as part of the same document as the text or as at most one separate document. Submissions need not at this stage be fully formatted to PBSR house style, but if the article is accepted it will then need to be formatted using the guidelines below. Authors must make clear to the Editors at this stage if it is essential that any illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed volume.

All authors must include a competing interest declaration in the main body of their email. 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 BSR will publish in the Archaeological Reports section of PBSR short, interim, reports for all projects that are either run by the BSR singly or in collaboration with a partner, or where the BSR has requested the concession from the Superintendency on behalf of a third party. These reports will be subject to peer review by selected members of the BSR’s Faculty of Archaeology, History and Letters.

Archaeological Reports should be written so as to be clear and accessible to all readers of PBSR. They should be no more than 1,500 words (including any bibliographical references and acknowledgements) plus one illustration. You may, if you think it beneficial for the report, include an additional illustration (although with a reduction in the word count of 500 words for a full page figure). Usually the illustration(s) will be reproduced in black and white in the printed volume, although colour can be used online.

Reports should include the following information: the comune, provincia and regione in which the site is located in the title; the overall research aims of the project; the work undertaken in the season; and brief details of specific discoveries. The report should not include details such as context numbers, but rather should aim to provide a clear statement of the results and conclude with a brief indication of the general relevance of the work. Contributions should also follow the guidelines for house style set out below.

You should give the names, academic affiliations and addresses (postal and e-mail) of all authors; but indicate clearly which author will be the main contact. Captions must be supplied for the illustration(s), including any necessary credit line (and, if relevant, the permit to use the illustration).

Reports for this section only should be sent to the Archaeology Officer, no later than 16 May. They should be sent electronically to


The diverse content of PBSR presents problems of uniformity in the style of presentation of articles. Consistency within a paper is the main priority. None the less, it is expected that contributors will, so far as is possible, follow the instructions set out below.


For articles in English, the UK spelling standards should be used. Normally quotations from other languages (including ancient ones) should be accompanied by translations into the language in which the article is written. If a published translation is used, the translator should be acknowledged.

Where Greek is required, a Unicode font should be used (it may also be helpful to submit a PDF file along with the Word file for submissions where a significant amount of Greek text appears). Transliterated Greek should only be used for words and phrases that are well established in English. Greek names and places should be Latinized: Socrates, Cyzicus.


Notes should be numbered consecutively through the text. They should start at 1, and not include, for example, a first note marked by a symbol.

From the 2018 volume onwards, PBSR requires all authors to follow the Harvard (Author-Date) System. The Short Title System will no longer be accepted.

All works cited should be listed in full (alphabetically by author’s surname) in a separate References list, which may be divided into primary and secondary sources. In the text, these works should be cited by author’s surname, year of publication, and page reference (if applicable). Where there are more than three authors, only the first should be named and the others indicated by et al. Citations of authors/works should normally be placed in the text, rather than given as notes (although notes may be used for additional comment, and must be used where separate works by more than three different authors or groups of authors are referenced at a single point). All works listed in the ‘References’ must be referred to in the article.

An appropriate form of note system may be used for primary or archival sources where necessary, including the following information where it is available: Place of deposit, Institution, Series or Author, Title and/or volume number, Date where appropriate, folio (e.g. London, British Library, Additional MS 17,919, Richard Symonds, Notices of Ancient Buildings in and about Rome (1649), fol. 1).

Here are some examples of the style to be used:

Arthur, P. (1985) Settlement and Landuse in Northern Campania during the Late Iron Age and the Roman Period: The Massico and the Garigliano Basin. University of London, Ph.D. thesis.

Barker, G. and Hodges, R. (eds) (1981) Archaeology and Italian Society (British Archaeological Reports, International Series 102). Oxford, British Archaeological Reports.

Brothwell, D. and Higgs, E. (eds) (1969) Science in Archaeology (second edition). London, Thames and Hudson.

Herlihy, D. (1967) Medieval and Renaissance Pistoia. The Social History of an Italian Town, 1200–1430. London/New York, Yale University Press.

Krautheimer, R. (1937–77) Corpus Basilicarum Christianarum Romae, 5 vols. Vatican City, Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana.

Plog, S., Plog, F. and Wait, W. (1978) Decisionmaking in modern surveys. In M.B. Schiffer (ed.), Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory I: 383–482. New York, Academic Press.

Reece, R. (1982) The coins, in D. Whitehouse, G. Barker, R. Reece and D. Reese, The Schola Praeconum I: the coins, pottery, lamps and fauna: 55–6. Papers of the British School at Rome 50: 53–101 plus plates 3–5.

Steinby, E.M. (1999) Scalae Graecae. In E.M. Steinby (ed.), Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae IV (P–S): 241–2. Rome, Quasar.

von Falkenhausen, V. (1983) Il ducato di Gaeta. In G. Galasso (ed.), Storia d’Italia III: 348–9. Turin, UTET.

Wickham, C. (1984) The other transition: from the ancient world to feudalism. Past and Present 103: 3–36.

Please note the following additional points.

Multiple references to the same author and year: these should be labelled, for example, 1985a and 1985b (not 1985 and 1985a).

References in the text to separate works by two or three different authors or groups of authors: these should be given in chronological order, with the earliest first, for example: (Herlihy, 1967, 2005; Arthur, 1985; Herlihy et al. 1997). The same applies to references to separate works by more than three authors or groups of authors, but these should be cited in a footnote, not in the text.

References in text should take the following forms:
‘… as was noted by Smith (1967: 24) …’
‘… this point has been made (Smith, 1967: 24) …’
‘… as Smith (1967, 1968) has shown …’
‘ … (Plog, Plog and Wait, 1978) …’
‘ … (Whitehouse et al., 1982) …’

Please note that page references both in the main text and in footnotes should be preceded by a colon, so Fahlbusch 1977: 758–62; La Rocca 1990: 324.


Abbreviations, for example of journal titles and standard works, should be used only if absolutely necessary. If authors must resort to abbreviations, then a standard list must be referenced in an opening footnote. References in the main text should normally be given in full.

References in English: in book titles initial capitals should be used for all main words, including The or A at the start of a subtitle; in article titles initial capitals should be used only for proper nouns (see examples above).

References in Italian: initial capital letters should be used only for proper nouns in book and article titles.

References in German: initial capital letters should be used for all nouns in book and article titles.

References in French: initial capital letters should be used only for proper nouns in book and article titles, and the first words of subtitles.

Names of periodicals: capital letters should be used for all nouns and adjectives in all languages.

Volume numbers: for periodicals, arabic figures should be used; for books in more than one volume, upper-case Roman numerals should be used. The word volume/vol. should be omitted.

Page numbers: ‘p.’ and ‘pp.’ should be omitted unless they are absolutely essential for clarity. 

Illustrative material: references to illustrative material in other works should be in lower-case letters, for example, ‘fig.’, ‘figs’, ‘table’, ‘tav.’ (unless to works in German, in which case there should be an initial capital).

Miscellaneous matter such as the place of publication, abbreviated form of editors, and ‘and’ should be given in the language in which your article is written.


All illustrations should be referred to as ‘Figures’ and will be integrated within the text. (See below for further details.) Reference must be made in the text to every illustration. They should be numbered according to the occurrence of the major reference in the text. Tables should be referred to as ‘Tables’ and numbered consecutively. The following forms should be used: ‘Fig.’, ‘Figs’, ‘Table’, ‘Tables’ (note the use of capital letters).


Please avoid referring specifically to other pages in the typescript, since the page numbering within the online FirstView version will differ from the final print version. 


Metric units must be used throughout or given as a comparison. (For recommended abbreviations see below.)


Contributors should see the list appended below.


Once your paper has been accepted, illustrations must be submitted electronically as individual files. Some general guidance on creating suitable electronic figures can be found in the ‘Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide’. 

Illustrations must be prepared with the page format of the Papers in mind (maximum available area = 135 × 200 mm, including caption). Colour illustrations should only be used when absolutely necessary, and in the printed volume will normally be included as a black and white image within the text and reproduced in colour in a separate plate section at the end of the volume. All illustrations supplied in colour will be published in colour within the text in the online version, unless otherwise requested.

All images should be numbered in a single sequence, as Figures. 


Once a paper is accepted, please note the following:

• Each illustration must be supplied as a separate file, and must not be included with the text.
• Files should be supplied preferably as TIFF or EPS files.
• For line illustrations, the minimum resolution should be 600 dpi, although 800–1200 dpi is recommended.
• Half-tones should be scanned at 300 dpi.
• Colour illustrations should be scanned at a minimum of 300 dpi.
• Line and tone combination illustrations should be supplied at 600 dpi.
• File names should clearly indicate the author (whether by initials or first part of surname) and figure number.


The strength of lines and lettering on artwork should take account of the degree of reduction expected. Scales should be included, where appropriate, on the drawing and should be metric. North signs should be included also where appropriate.


Colour files must be supplied as CMYK (not RGB) at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. If an image is selected for the cover we may require a higher resolution. Note that the image size must be no smaller than the size at which it will appear in the journal. 

Where images are to be hired, please consult the Editors regarding the production timetable, so that you request them at an appropriate time.


A separate list must be supplied, including sources, copyright details and acknowledgements, if appropriate.


Tables (including tabular catalogues and appendices) should take into account the page format and any necessary reduction required. If a table is particularly complex, a PDF will be required from the contributor in addition to an editable table in Word. Tables should normally be supplied in a separate file, rather than be included within the text of the article.


Where an article relies upon access or linkage to large-scale datasets, you are recommended to discuss digital storage of material with the Editors in advance and to provide clear details when submitting an article for consideration. For PBSR it is anticipated that the default will be storage with CUP. Where previous agreements have been made, the default will be the Archaeology Data Service. Costs of digital storage and maintenance, and all responsibility, lie with the authors and not with the BSR. Acceptance of an article with substantial datasets in digital form will be given only where the Faculty is convinced that such storage is secure and long term.


Contributors must submit the final version of the paper as an e-mail attachment. Please note, however, that any files over 10 MB (or a single e-mail with files totalling more than this) cannot be received as attachments and should be sent through a third party (for example, Dropbox, Hightail or WeTransfer). Where any non-Roman letters or any particular symbols are used, a PDF with the font embedded should be provided.


When submitting the final version of the article, contributors should include a brief summary of their paper (in about 100–200 words). They should also give their title (for example, Prof., Dr, Dott.), full postal and e-mail addresses as they would wish them to appear in the article.


Authors are responsible for obtaining, and paying for, all necessary permissions for the reproduction of illustrative material and for any long or particular textual quotes. In seeking permission, electronic rights must be requested alongside print. You should obtain world rights in the English language. Cambridge University Press is a not-for-profit publisher. The print-run is approximately 760 hard copies, as well as publication as an online journal. A copy of the permit must be sent to the Editors when the final version of the article is submitted.


Authors are required to assign copyright to the BSR. Notwithstanding the assignment of copyright, authors retain the right to reproduce their articles or adapted versions of them in any volume or volumes of which they are editors or authors, subject to normal acknowledgement.

Other rights of authors, including the right to post their articles on personal websites, are detailed on the copyright assignment form which will be sent to all authors when their contribution is accepted and with the proofs. The BSR complies with the general terms and conditions for contributors to Humanities and Social Science journals published by Cambridge University Press. Full details can be found at:

The table below gives the situation regarding rights to deposit versions of your article, as at the time of the preparation of these Notes:

AO = Author’s original                                                           
AM = Accepted manuscript                                                    
FPV = Final, published version                                             
SMUR = Submitted manuscript under review

Personal WebsiteDepartmental/Institutional RepositoryNon-commercial Subject RepositoryCommercial Repository and Social Media Sites *
AOAt any timeAt any timeAt any timeAt any time
SMURAt any timeAt any timeAt any timeAt any time
AMOn acceptance of publicationOn acceptance of publicationOn acceptance of publicationAbstract only in PDF or HTML format no sooner than first publication of the full article
FPVAbstract only in PDF or HTML format no sooner than first publication of the full articleAbstract only in PDF or HTML format no sooner than first publication of the full articleAbstract only in PDF or HTML format no sooner than first publication of the full articleAbstract only in PDF or HTML format no sooner than first publication of the full article

* This includes and similar websites

Full PDFs of final, published articles should not be uploaded to websites such as Authors may if they wish upload an abstract and the first and last pages of an article.


The first-named author will be provided with a final PDF file of the paper. This PDF should not be published online or distributed.


Information about the timetable involved for each volume can be obtained from the Editors.


[Note: # indicates a space.]

Item   Required form
headingsnumbered 1, 2, 3 etc. for main headings, then 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 for subheadings, and so on.
numerals — cardinalone → twenty, 21 →. At beginning of sentence, in words. Include a comma in numbers 1,000 and over (except dates).
numerals — ordinalfirst → twentieth, 21st →. At beginning of sentence, in words.
dates — absolute123 BC  fifth millennium BC  AD 30  fifth century AD
dates — radiocarbon uncalibrated — 46,400 bp; calibrated — 400 cal. BC
dates — precise29 July 1245
1230sas shown (that is, no apostrophe)
number and date ranges1–9  14–19  22–5  134–47  248–314  1974–5  1871–1923, but 356–354 BC.
metric units of lengthuse km  m  mm (that is, without full point; and with numbers as figures, not words); include a space between the number and the unit). For example, 3 km, 4.5 m, 60 mm.
circac.# before figures, otherwise in full as shown
per cent% immediately after figure; per cent in text
directionnortheast  north–south  south  north-northwest. Do not abbreviate.
footnote numbersin superscript, after the full point or other punctuation mark
italicsindividual words not in the language of the article and not in inverted commas should normally be italicized (refer to the current edition of Hart’s Rules for general guidance on such issues)
inverted commasuse single. Display and indent quotes that are more than 50 words: displayed quotes do not require inverted commas. Punctuation follows closing inverted comma in general.
quotationsquotations in a language other than that of the article should not be italicized if they are in inverted commas; otherwise italicize
ize  iseize should be used
hyphenation within wordsavoid if possible, otherwise follow Oxford Spelling Dictionary
accentsinclude all, and ensure that they have shown correctly in a pdf supplied
illustration and table referencesto material in your article, the correct formats are: Fig.  Figs  Table  Tables; to material in other works, fig.  figs  table  tables  plate  plates.
numberuse in full if possible, otherwise no. or nos.
notein references (in text or notes), n.# may be used; however, if there is any room for confusion, give in full
Dr  Prof.  ed.  edsabbreviate as shown (that is, omit full point if last letter of word is part of the contraction: however, see below)
Saint  St  San ...Saint (not St)  San  Santa  Sant’  Santi should be used
e.g.#use ‘for example’ whenever possible; otherwise abbreviate as shown
i.e.#use ‘that is’ whenever possible; otherwise abbreviate as shown
et al.use et al. in text references when there are more than three authors. In list of references all authors must be cited.
cf. [contrast]cf.#
in situ  as shown
passimas shown
midusually should be followed by a hyphen
linel. and ll. may be used for inscriptions 
v. supra etc.use ‘see above’ etc.
MS  MSSfor manuscript(s) — abbreviate as shown
fol.  folsfor folio(s) — abbreviate as shown
r  vfor recto and verso 
ff. not use f. but give next page number; ff. should be avoided, and the end page number given
&do not use
titlesPope/King/Count etc. + name; more generally, the pope/king/count etc. 
Protestant  Catholicas shown
Early Bronze Agenoun — as shown; adjective — lower-case initial letters
names of riversriver Tiber etc.
centuriesfrom the seventh to the ninth centuries twelfth and thirteenth centuries
in the fourth or fifth century 
century (hyphenation)thirteenth-century if used adjectivally
1128–30use a dash where this means from 1128 to 1130
1128/30use a slash where this means at an uncertain point datable between 1128 and 1130 inclusive

 The British School at Rome

Last updated June 2021