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Notes for Contributors

Contributions for the Proceedings

Should be on subjects related to the archaeology, history, fine arts, literature, geology or natural history of Dorset. Ideally submissions should not exceed 7,000 words, although longer papers will be considered if of sufficient importance. Notes and shorter contributions are welcome. The Honorary Editor will be pleased to advise intending contributors. All papers submitted will be peer reviewed. We use the Harvard system of referencing.


Papers must be submitted for consideration by 30 November, and shorter contributions and reports by the end of January for publication in June. These deadlines must be strictly adhered to — any contributions submitted late will be considered only for future editions of the Proceedings.

Electronic Submission

Proceedings has a digital production process. The Honorary Editor can receive submissions electronically. Emails should have typescripts attached as separate word processing files — not PDF (Adobe). Larger submissions/attachments over 1MB may need to be sent via a dropbox. Electronic documents should be formatted as below. Alternatively, material can be submitted on a memory stick or disc saved as Word or other current word processing formats — never as a PDF.

Paper submission

We will accept paper-only submissions by agreement only with the Honorary Editor.


The Honorary Editor acknowledges receipt of submissions; if you do not receive a reply within two weeks please enquire. Posted submissions should be sent to the Honorary Editor at the Museum address above.

General advice: If you are inexperienced in scholarly writing, please bear these points in mind:

• Put your work into context by referring to other published research.

• Relate your account to what other people have written on the subject.

• Support generalisations and interpretations by evidence, which may come from other people's cited works. For instance, in the field of local history:

• A paper on Dorset in the Civil War should refer to what other, reputable historians have written about the subject.

• A paper describing changing conditions in a workhouse should say why the changes came about, not just that they occurred, and discuss contemporary changes in other institutions.

• Do not just state baldly that 'the rural poor did not move far from their birthplace', but support that statement by reference to other historians' works.

Do not go over the top. Not every statement needs to end with a citation. A few references to general works will cover much of your needs, and specific sources can be cited in support of particular points. If in doubt, please consult the editor, even at an early stage of your work.


Please use a single style and size of font, with underlining and italics as you would wish them to be used in the published version. Leave a left-hand margin of around 25mm, space the lines generously (minimum 1.15pt), and do not justify the right-hand margin — this should be left ‘ragged’. Please include a word count at the beginning of the document. Please centre title and section headings, and justify sub-headings left. Use the return key after each paragraph, heading or sub-heading, but please do not indent the start of a new paragraph. Use ‘en’ (-) or ‘em’ (—) dashes, as appropriate (please refer to either of the standard style guides, mentioned in the final paragraph of these notes, for correct usage). An ‘em’ dash may be indicated by two hyphens (--) for editing later.

Please remember that your article will be printed in the style of the journal, not in the style of your word-processor. We ask you to stick to the simplest possible layout, and avoid extra formatting and typographical devices. Do not include page breaks and/or page numbers, as these will have to be removed before editing and typesetting. Please include copies of illustrations, tables, maps etc printed separately from the text and numbered. Please mark clearly in the text where you envisage the illustrations being placed. Do not include embedded illustrations in the body of the text.


Illustrations must be clear and easily reproducible. Please bear in mind that illustrations may need to be resized during the typesetting process to fit the available space and/or column or page width. Therefore, if you have an illustration (e.g. a scale archaeological drawing) that needs to be printed to an exact size, please say so and specify the precise dimensions. Ideally every scale drawing should include a visual scale-bar. Please note that articles requiring colour will be subject to annual budget considerations. 

Please include a separate list of captions typed and spaced as the main body of the text, and saved as a separate Word file on the disk. The caption list should include full details of sources, attributions and copyright acknowledgements where appropriate (see below). Photographic files should be submitted in grayscale only, and should be formatted with a minimum of 300dpi as jpeg or tiff files. Graphic images, such as line drawings, maps, charts and diagrams must also be submitted as above but should be at least 600dpi (to check the dpi of any digital image, right-click on the icon of the file, select ‘Properties’, and then click on the ‘Summary’ tab, and go to ‘advanced’ if necessary). Please ensure all scanned illustrations are perfectly square on the screen before saving, as this cannot always be corrected later. Where appropriate, crop images to your satisfaction before submitting them. Please save all image files with the name of the contributor and the figure number to be used in the text (e.g. ‘SmithFig5’).


Observing the copyright of reproduced material is the responsibility of the contributor. The author indemnifies the publisher, the DNHAS and the editors of the Proceedings against any action taken as a result of infringement of copyright. Where an illustration is not the author’s, permission to reproduce must be obtained by the contributor, and the caption should include relevant copyright or photographic acknowledgement. In addition all authors of accepted contributions must sign a separate copyright indemnity agreement covering the use of both images and text, whether the author’s own, or extracts from other works cited in the author’s submission. The copyright form can be found on the Proceedings website pages.


Acknowledgements, Notes and References should be printed at the end of the typescript using the same font size and spacing as the main body of the text. For acceptance, the Harvard system of referencing must be used when including citations in the main body of the text. Please ensure that these correspond precisely to the relevant entry in the Bibliography (see below). Exceptions to Harvard require an agreement with the Honorary Editor. Where other referencing is agreed please use endnotes wherever possible in preference to footnotes, and keep them to a scholarly minimum. Footnotes should be used more sparingly, and only for specific information that cannot be comfortably incorporated within the main body of the text. Do not include references in footnotes. Please check that all notes are present and correctly numbered in the text.

In the Harvard system of referencing, also known as the ‘author-date’ system, cues in the text take the form of the author’s name and the (year) date of the publication within parentheses that enable the reader to identify the work in a list of full references at the end of the text. Full references should be presented as per the following examples:

A reference to a whole book cited in the text (Arkell 1933), will read in the Bibliography as: Arkell, W.J., 1933 The Jurassic System in Great Britain, Clarendon Press, Oxford.

A single reference to a passage in a book cited in the text (Mills, 1977, 230-1), will read: Mills, A.D., 1977 The Place-names of Dorset, Part 1. English Place-name Society, Cambridge.

A reference to a paper cited in the text (Hinton, 1994), will read: Hinton, David A. 1994 ‘Some Anglo-Saxon charters and estates in south-east Dorset’, Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society 116, 11-20.


Authors of major papers will be sent proofs edited in accordance with the ‘house style’ of the Proceedings before publication, usually in PDF format via email. These must be returned within the time-frame specified by the editor. The editor(s) will then incorporate any minor corrections and/or revisions that the author deems necessary into the previously edited version and send a single, final proof to the publisher. If authors do not return their proofs within the allotted time, the existing proofs will be used for the final published version.

All submissions (which should use the Harvard Referencing system) are edited with reference to the MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association) Handbook for Authors, Editors, and Writers of Theses, and the current Hart’s Rules— the Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors. While every effort will be made to ensure that authors are happy with the final proofs, in matters of editing and style the decision of the Honorary Editor is final.

Biographical Note

Contributors are asked to provide a short biography written so that it explains the reasons for their interest in their submitted paper, ideally around 50 words.


Please provide an abstract unless agreed otherwise with your editor. For the Honorary Editor’s reasons for implementing this requirement and guidelines (introduced in 2016) see below.


1. On-line searches typically contain abstracts.

2. Abstracts are an important indicator of papers that are relevant to a particular research project.

3. They are fundamental to the construction of literature reviews.

4. Multi-lingual abstracts have the potential to internationalise research.

5. Abstracts can be used as indicators of an individual’s research activity on sites such as Research Gate.

Typically, an abstract should comprise a series of single sentences that cover the following components:

Problem / question: What is the problem that needs to be solved (or the question that needs to be answered)?

Motivation / justification: Why is it important that the problem be answered / solved? Why is the outcome of the investigation important?

Method / Approach: How was the problem solved or the question answered?

Results: What was the outcome of applying the method to the problem? This section should not betray the punch lines of the text or the paper but give instead a broad impression of success and / or failure.

Conclusions: What are the wider implications of the research? Why are they important?

General considerations

a.     Each section of the abstract should comprise just one sentence.

b.     The abstract should be between 150 and 200 words

c.     Any significant limitations on the results should be indicated

d.     Try to use some key words in the abstract that will be recognised during the course of index searches on-line.

e.     Abstracts should be presented on a single text file in italic script.  They should read as stand-alone summaries that would have relevance on a web page or data base.

What's on
Editorial guidelines for Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Proceedings