Submitting Manuscripts

Submitting Manuscripts

Manuscripts submitted to the Historical Journal of Massachusetts should not be published or accepted for publication elsewhere, whether in whole or in part.

All articles submitted to the Historical Journal of Massachusetts undergo a rigorous peer review process; typically two expert reviewers and two editors read each submission. We accept less than 40% of all articles submitted. The manuscripts accepted for publication will almost always go through a series of revisions to clarify or sharpen the analysis, arguments, organization, and/or writing. We believe that this in-depth peer review and editing process results in high-quality articles that benefit both our authors and readers.

We encourage the submission of in-depth, fully referenced articles based on an analysis of original primary sources. Submissions based solely on secondary sources are highly discouraged.

The editors encourage submission of in-depth and fully referenced articles based on an analysis of original primary sources. Ideal length is no more than 25 pages of text plus 2-4 pages of endnotes. This translates into a total of approximately 7,000 words. All sources must be fully documented and follow the Chicago Manual of Style format. A guide to the Chicago Manual of Style can be found online here.

We prefer articles that are new in content and interpretation and make a fresh contribution to historical knowledge. In each issue, we seek to publish a range of articles focusing on a variety of time periods and topics in order to best meet the diverse interests of our readers.

We encourage authors to reference the broader historiography for their topic and to situate their particular study within a broader context. Some questions to be considered are: What’s the significance of this particular case study? What contribution does it make to understanding a wider phenomenon? Why should anyone else care about this topic?

Manuscripts will be reviewed by the editor and then sent out for peer review. Accepted articles will be subject to editorial review and revision in consultation with authors. We welcome the submission of photographs and illustrations for all articles. Because we publish only two issues per year, articles are usually published a full year after they have been submitted (minimum).

Teaching Resources

We also welcome articles from high school and middle school teachers that focus on the teaching of Massachusetts history, including descriptions of especially successful lesson plans, class activities, readings, assignments, local or oral history projects, and field trips.

Book Reviews

Please click here for guidelines and the listing of books available for review. We do not accept unsolicited reviews. All book reviews should be 600-1,500 words in length.


  1. Articles should be submitted digitally as a Microsoft Word file. Include your article title in the e-mail subject heading. Do not send documents as PDFs .
  2. Title Page: include your full name, title/status, affiliation, postal and e-mail addresses, and telephone number on the title page only. Do not include identifying information within the manuscript.
  3. All material should be submitted in a single document and compiled in the following order:
    • Title page
    • 100-word abstract
    • 50-word bio
    • Manuscript
    • Captions for illustrations with sources and indication of where to place in text.
  4. All articles should include illustrations or photos. We will work with authors to find images but it’s helpful if you do some preliminary research. Images should be submitted as e-mail attachments in high-resolution JPEG, PNG, or TIF format. Illustrations may include reproductions of primary sources (for example, a page from a diary, a census record, or advertisement).


All manuscripts should conform to the following guidelines.

  • Double-spaced with 1.0-inch margins in Times New Roman font
  • Italicize all titles (books, magazines, newspapers) – do not underline
  • Do not put two spaces after periods
  • Do not use periods between letters in abbreviations (Ex: BA, US)
  • Use serial commas/Oxford comma; that is, include a comma before the word “and” and the last item in a list (for example: red, white, and blue)
  • An acronym that is used repeatedly should be cited in its entirety along with the abbreviation in parenthesis on first reference [EX: Westfield State University (WSU)]
  • Spell out numbers under 100
  • Spell check before submitting
  • Due to our page size, we prefer shorter paragraphs
  • Quotes of more than 3-4 lines (not sentences) should be formatted as a block quote: single space, indent, no quote marks
  • Tables/Charts: e-mail us for instructions


  • Our subscribers have diverse interests and specializations; please define or provide background for terms, events, and references that might not be familiar to the educated public and offer brief identifications for less well-known historical figures (1 sentence)
  • When first introducing historical figures, insert the years of their birth and death in parentheses [Example: Phillis Wheatley (1753-84)]

Endnotes & References

  • Use Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3…)
  • All sources must be fully documented and follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Please see Purdue University’s guide here.
  • Do not attach a separate bibliography or “works cited” page. If you are unfamiliar with historical footnoting, review the full-text articles available on our website. The Journal of American History also offers thorough guidelines for referencing a wide variety of historical sources.
  • Do not use more than one endnote per sentence. If possible, use only one endnote per paragraph. If a paragraph includes several citations, combine the references into a single endnote, as long as the referents remain clear.
  • Italicize all titles (books, magazines, newspapers)–do not underline
  • Dates and all newspaper sources should follow this format: “The Anti-Chinese Law,” New York Times, Aug. 25, 1883, p. 4.
  • Citing archival materials. Citations should always include an identification of the document (which will usually include a date), the name of the collection containing the document, and the repository and city where the document is located. Whenever possible, cite the specific boxes and/or folders and file numbers within the collection by name or number.
    Example:  James L. Fieser, “Drought Relief and Unemployment,” typescript, Oct. 18, 1930, p. 49, Box 14, Folder 3 (Drought File), Herbert Hoover Papers (Herbert Hoover Library, West Branch, Iowa).
  • For multiple references to the same archival collection, abbreviate.
    Example: Sidney Gulick, “Reminiscences,” July 1934, Gulick Papers, folder 14, box 20, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (hereafter referred to as Houghton Library).

Where to Submit

Please send the manuscript as a Microsoft Word document by email to


It is a condition of publication that authors assign copyright or license the publication rights in their articles, including abstracts, to Westfield State University. This enables us to ensure full copyright protection and to disseminate the article and the journal to the widest possible readership in print and electronic formats.

Authors may use the article elsewhere after publication with prior permission from Westfield State University provided that the journal is properly cited as the original source of publication.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any copyrighted material from other published sources and must submit proof of permission upon submission of articles.


We will consider ads for history-related books, magazines, conferences, films, and events. We will also consider exchanging ad space with other publications. Ads should be sized correctly and submitted as final PDF files.

Full-page ad: 5” w x 8” h: $100

Half-page ad: 5”w x 3.75” h: $50

Additional Copies

Authors and book reviewers receive one complimentary copy of the issue. Additional copies may be purchased at $6.00 each (no postage charged). Authors and book reviewers will also receive their articles by e-mail as a complete PDF that they can easily reproduce.