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Instructions for authors

Please note - we are no longer accepting submissions via email.


The Editors welcome correspondence (via email) from prospective authors regarding the intellectual focus, word length, and matters of illustration of potential contributions.

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. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and/or translation, and suggest that authors 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.

Manuscript submission

Rural History uses an all-electronic process for receiving and refereeing articles through the ScholarOne system. Papers should be submitted through ScholarOne following the link from Cambridge University Press’s Rural History webpage or the following url: If visiting the site for the first time, users must create a new account by clicking on ‘register here’. Once logged in, authors should click on the ‘Author Centre’ from which point a new submission can be submitted, with step-by-step instructions provided. When your submission is complete you will receive an email confirmation.

Articles should normally be no longer than 10,000 words and should include an abstract of between 150 and 200 words. In addition to standard articles, we also welcome ideas for two new commissioned article types: ‘Classics in Rural History Revisited’, a review of the reception and influence of ‘classic’ texts of rural history; and ‘Where Next in Rural History?’, extended essays considering recent developments and future prospects in the sub-fields of rural history. Both article types should be no more than 8,000 words and presented and formatted in the same style as standard articles. To discuss a commission for either article type please contact one (or all) of the editors by email.

Texts must be completely anonymous to allow double-blind refereeing. Acknowledgements and the like can be added later to submissions which are accepted for publication.

Submission of a manuscript to Rural History is taken to imply that it is the original, entirely unpublished work of the author(s) and is not under review for publication elsewhere in any form.


We welcome illustrations as accompaniments to articles, but it is the responsibility of contributors to provide illustrations in a form suitable for direct reproduction. If you are including tables, graphs, maps or illustrations: a) fine copy must be provided; b) number in sequence throughout the article; c) references to sources and descriptive headings must be attached; d) please indicate clearly where the material is to appear in the text; e) ensure that there is a reference to it in the text. 

Illustrations must be supplied as high resolution electronic files in accordance with CUP's journal artwork guidelines, preferably saved as TIFF or EPS files, not as Postscript files. Line drawings should be scanned at 300 dpi. Halftones should be scanned at 600dpi with the preset dot range from 1-96%. If you wish to compress the files make sure that the ‘lossless’ compression software is used to maintain the quality of the image.

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 but it must be clear that colour is needed to enhance the meaning of the figure, rather than simply being for aesthetic purposes. 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.

Permissions. Contributors should provide full details of the illustration source and obtain permission to reproduce copyright material. Any necessary acknowledgement should be included in the caption.

Competing interests declaration

All authors must include a competing interest 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”.

Publishing ethics

This journal publishes in accordance with Cambridge University Press’s publishing ethics guidelines, which apply to authors, peer reviewers, the editorial office and the journal as a whole. Anyone who believes that these guidelines have not been followed should raise their concern with the editor or email


Contributors will receive a proof of their article for correction of any typesetting errors and any essential factual errors.


All articles in Rural History are published online as individual items ahead of their appearance, both online and print, as part of an issue.  This ensures that articles are made available to read and to cite as soon as possible after their acceptance rather than authors having to wait for the next available space in an issue. Please note that this ‘online-ahead-of-print’ or ‘First View’ publication is treated as the moment of formal publication, after which no changes can be made besides pagination for the issue.

Open Access

Full details of Rural History’s open access policy are available here.


Contributors of submissions published in the journal sign a license to publish with Cambridge University Press. In doing so, contributors retain the right to republish their contribution in a work of their own or a work they are editing without seeking formal permission, provided full acknowledgement is given to the journal. At proof stage contributors will be asked to complete the license to publish. This helps ensure maximum protection against unauthorized use, and helps ensure that requests to reproduce contributions are handled effectively.


Contributors may follow either of the standard conventions: (a) in-text citation of sources; (b) citation in footnotes; (c) In-text citation.

Give author's surname, date of publication and page references (if any) in parentheses in the body of the text, e.g. '(Falassi, 1980b: 114)'. Where a second or subsequent work by a particular author in the same year is cited, references should be distinguished by letters (a, b, c, etc.) placed after the date.

A complete list of references cited, arranged alphabetically by authors' surname, should be typed double- spaced at the end of the article in the form:

Falassi, A. 1980b. Folklore by the Fireside: Text and Context of the Tuscan Veglia (Austin, Texas). 

Give place of publication, but not the publisher. Titles of books, articles and journals should be in the form of the examples in these Notes.

(b) Citation in footnotes. References should be given in notes, numbered consecutively through the typescript with raised numbers. Type the notes double-spaced on separate pages at the end of the article.

Full publication details should be given at first mention, a short form thereafter.

Books: Capitalize the principal words and underline the title. Give place and date of publication. Page references should be preceded by 'p.' or 'pp.' Use 'ed.', 'eds.'.

John Barrell, The Dark Side of the Landscape: the Rural Poor in English Painting, 1730 - 1840 (Cambridge, 1980), p. 89.

D. Kramer (ed.), Critical Approaches to Hardy's Fiction (London,1979), pp. 17 - 18. 

Articles: Capitalize only the first word and proper names in article titles, which should be in single inverted commas. Underline the title of the journal. Use arabic numerals for volume numbers. Do not use 'p.' or 'pp.' with a preceding volume number.

B. Reay, 'The last rising of the agricultural labourers: the battle in Bossenden Wood, 1838', History Workshop 26 (1988), 81 - 2.

Short forms

Barrell, Dark Side, p. 90

Kramer (ed.), Hardy's Fiction, pp.175-6.

Reay, 'The last rising', p. 82.


Quotations should be in single inverted commas, with double used only for quotations within quotations. Quotations of more than about five lines should be set off from the text and indented. Type double- spaced.

Abbreviations and Latin conventions

Cf. Use to mean 'compare', not 'see'. Ibid. Use to refer to an immediately preceding citation. Do not use loc. cit. or op. cit.

et. al. Use for second and subsequent citations of works by three or more authors. Note: f., ff. (with full point), n.d. (when no publication date), passim.

Tables and illustrations

Tables, graphs, maps and line drawings should be provided on separate sheets.

Tables. Tables must be numbered consecutively and referred to in the text as such: '(see Table 1)', not ('see table below)'. The table number and table title should be typed above the table. Type horizontal rules above and below the body of the table and below column headings, but avoid vertical rules. Notes and source(s) should be typed below the bottom rule. 

Last updated 2 June, 2021