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Guidelines for authors and reviewers

The best guide as to both content and questions of presentation is the Review itself, but you should also read the appropriate sections here.


Agricultural History Review publishes articles on all aspects of the history of agriculture, rural society and rural economy. The primary focus of the Review is the agrarian and rural history of the British Isles, but the Review also accepts articles on the rural history of Europe, North America and Australasia, especially where they make a comparative contribution to our understanding of British developments. Articles concerning the rural history of the rest of the world will be considered on their merits. There is no formal date range. The Review is open to articles employing a wide range of methodologies. As well as articles which employ an orthodox historical approach, the Review is equally interested in publishing articles which employ archaeological and landscape techniques and ones which utilize the insights derived from quantitative history, from modern literary studies or gender studies. Articles are, however, expected to appeal to a wide audience. The Review does not publish articles whose interest is essentially local.

Submitting an article

Articles can be submitted at any time to Professor R. W. Hoyle. He is willing to discuss projected articles with authors before submission and to advise on whether or not the Review would be interested in carrying work on a specific subject. Articles greatly exceeding the Review’s normal word length should be discussed with the editor before submission.

It is the policy of the Review that all articles should be refereed before acceptance. Authors who wish their work to be refereed anonymously should take care not to identify themselves on their text. Papers will be sent to the Review’s advisors in the form received, including any cover or title pages which name the author or their place of academic domicile.

For preference, a submission should be sent to the editor as an email attachment as either a PDF or a Word file. Footnotes should be placed in a single sequence at the end of the text (as endnotes). Graphs, tables or plates should follow the footnotes: they should not be integrated into the text.

Word length

The maximum length normally acceptable for articles in the Review is 9000-11,000 words, including footnotes. Longer articles of up to 15,000 words will be judged on their merits; but authors may be required to shorten articles as a condition of their acceptance. Shorter articles are particularly welcome.

Tables, charts, maps and other illustrative material should be counted within this limit, and contributors are urged to take this into account when submitting manuscripts. For practical guidance, you should treat one full-page chart or map as the equivalent of 720 words.


Smaller illustrative material should be allowed for in proportion. It is especially important that authors submitting illustrative material attempt to supply clear copy, making sure that legends and label will be readable when reduced in size and adopting a layout which conforms in its proportions to the page format of the Review, 245 x 185 mm. The author is responsible for providing images of publication quality and for the payment of any fees that might be due. For convenience, the initial submission can have the images copied into a Word file on the understanding that higher quality images will be required at a later date. Read the illustration guidelines.

Copyright and permissions

The author(s) of an article are responsible for securing permission to reproduce copyright materials where this is necessary and for the payment of any fees that might be due. Copies of permissions should be made available to the editor on request.

Acceptance of an article

Papers are accepted for refereeing on the understanding that (i) the article is not currently under consideration by any other journal or publisher and (ii) that republication of the article, in a book or collection of essays, is not envisaged in the future. The copyright of all articles accepted for publication in all media will remain with the British Agricultural History Society, but the Society will permit re-publication once a reasonable time has lapsed from publication in the Review. As a not-for-profit charity, no royalties are paid to authors.

The Review is willing to accept articles which do not conform to its house style, on the understanding that, should the article be accepted, authors will make the necessary revisions.

Acceptance of articles by the Review is frequently conditional upon authors making revisions to their articles in the light of referees’ comments. Revised articles should be resubmitted as soon as possible: an article’s place in the Review’s publication schedule depends on the moment at which the revised text is received. Revised texts should be checked with great care for matters of both style and accuracy to avoid corrections to the page proofs. It is a condition of acceptance that the footnotes in the revised text conform to the footnote conventions employed in the Review. Authors will be sent a checklist on the final presentation of articles when their article is accepted. The editor reserves the right to ask a referee to check a revised article before accepting it for future publication.

Revised articles should also be accompanied by:

What happens after that?

Authors will normally be sent the copyedited text of their article for approval before it is sent for setting so that they can make any final corrections or amendments. They will also receive page proofs of their article. It is imperative that the proofs are returned, after careful examination, as quickly as possible. Authors are asked to restrict corrections to mistakes incorporated into the article during copy editing or the setting process. The editor will not look sympathetically on authors who wish to make anything more than minor amendments to proofs. The Review reserves the right to charge authors the cost of making corrections where these could have been detected by the author when their revised typescript was prepared.

The Review will supply authors with 25 offprints gratis, but additional copies may be ordered and supplied at cost price. Those requiring extra offprints should consult the editor well in advance of final printing and certainly no later than at the return of proofs.

Papers are published in print and online (through IngentaConnect). After five years the Review is made available both here and through JSTOR.


The Review also publishes occasional supplements. Proposals for supplements, which may be monographs or collections of essays about a common theme, should in the first instance be sent to the editor, Professor R. W. Hoyle.

Book Reviews

The titles of book reviews and shorter notices should be presented as follows:
JOHN WALTER and ROGER SCHOFIELD (eds), Famine, disease and the social order in early modern society (CUP, 1989). xiv + 335 pp. £35.

No place of publication should be given for books published in London. Where books are published by private presses or local societies, a contact address from which the book can be obtained should be provided. Reviewers should receive with the work to be reviewed bibliographic details of the book in the Review’s house style which they are asked to reproduce exactly at the head of their review.

Book reviews and shorter notices should be confined to the length requested by the reviews editor. Where a book proves to warrant an extended review or a review article (normally a maximum of 3000 words) the agreement of the editors should be sought in advance for such a variation in length. It is acceptable to write a short review where a book can be quickly assessed.

Follow the guidelines for authors, given elsewhere on this page, when writing a review.

The name of the Reviewer should appear at the end of the Review or short notice, in capitals, on the right-hand side of the sheet. For review articles, adopt the layout of an article and identify the books under consideration in a first footnote marked by an asterisk attached to the end of the title.

The Review does not accept unsolicited reviews.

House style

The following style guidelines apply to all content in the Review and its supplements:


The Review follows the conventions of the Oxford University Press in spelling, and will thus use ‘ize’ suffixes for many verbs, for example, ‘organize’, rather than ‘ise’. (The rule affects about 200 verbs, with notable exceptions being: advertise, advise, analyse, chastise, enfranchise, improvise, paralyse, supervise, tantalise, comprise, surmise, surprise, promise.) Authors will find guidance in the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (2005). The editors also use the New Oxford Spelling Dictionary (2005).


The Review does not use a full stop, or point, at the end:

Points are used when the abbreviation does not end in the last letter of the word:

See also County Abbreviations.

Any quotation longer than 50 words should be in a separate, indented paragraph, preceded by an introductory sentence ending in a colon.

Use single inverted commas for

Use double quotation marks within a quotation shorter than 50 words: so Cicely Howell has suggested that ‘perhaps the medieval holding with its culture could be termed “peasant” while the seventeenth-century holding with its qualitatively higher standard of living could be called a “smallholding” or “commercial family farm”’.

Use commas to separate lists of more than two items, and before ‘and’ where sense requires: so ‘On these farms were grown wheat, barley, and turnips’; or ‘Their holdings were large and well-organized, and their leases long’.


For all numbers not exceeding four digits, no comma: so 3478 (not 3,478), but 13,478. Per cent should be spelled out in the text (60 per cent, not 60 percent) but the per cent sign (%) can be used in footnotes and tables.

Always spell out:


For pre-decimal prices: 10s. 4d.; £17 16s. 6¼d.; for decimal prices: £56.75; 54p.

Forms of dates

Friday 6 December 1991; on 6 December 1991; Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 226, 27 August 1757.

Iin the text, months should be given in full (i.e. September), but in footnotes all but May, June and July should be abbreviated (i.e. Sept.).


Use italics or bold as appropriate.


Footnotes should be confined to a reasonable minimum and, where possible, a succession of references in the same paragraph of text should be grouped together into a single clearly-structured footnote. Footnote markers must be placed only at the end of sentences, and numbered consecutively throughout the article. They should be typed, double-spaced, on separate numbered sheets at the end of the text.

Asterisks should not be used except in the single case of a footnote attached to the title of the article, which should be confined in its usage to the acknowledgement of assistance in funding, advice, etc., which relates to the matter of the entire article.

Every table or illustration should be followed by a note giving the source of the data in the case of a table or graph, or of the image in the case of a photograph. If a table requires further notes (for instance, to explain missing data or a change in the basis of calculation), then this should follow the table under the heading Note(s). If footnotes are needed, then they should use superscript letters a, b. c etc.

Footnotes should be confined wherever possible to indicating sources. Lengthy comments or methodological explanations should normally be incorporated into the text or placed in an appendix. Footnotes should not be used for conducting a dialogue with other historians.

Footnotes should be avoided as far as possible in book reviews or shorter notices.

Style for footnotes

Footnotes should be presented in the Review style, to which recent issues will provide guidance. References should be unambiguous, readily comprehensible and consistent with the form of citation adopted by the Review:

Some examples

William Marshall, Review and abstract of the county reports to the Board of Agriculture, (5 vols, 1818), V, p. 13.
Subsequent references would be to Marshall, Review and abstract, V, p. 13.
Ibid., pp. 29-30 may be used for the immediate following reference.

Journals should be cited as follows:

Citations of articles should take the form:
J. A. Clarke, ‘On the farming of Lincolnshire’, J. Royal Agricultural Society of England, 10 (1851), pp. 11-18; subsequently, Clarke, ‘Lincolnshire’, p. 17, never Clarke, op. cit.

Graham Cox, Philip Lowe and Michael Winter, ‘The origins and early development of the National Farmers’ Union’, AgHR 39 (1991), pp. 30-47; subsequently Cox et al, ‘NFU’.

Serial publications, including record society publications, should take the form author or editor’s name(s), title (in italic), followed by (in brackets), serial title, volume number, date of publication, so:

S. Wade Martins and T. Williamson (eds), The farming journal of Randall Burroughes (1794-1799) (Norfolk Record Soc., 58, 1996); on second and subsequent citations this would be Wade Martins and Williamson (eds), Randall Burroughes.

Agrarian history of England and Wales references take the form:
J. Thirsk (ed.), The agrarian history of England and Wales, IV, 1500-1640 (1967) or Alan Everitt, ‘The marketing of agricultural produce’, in J. Thirsk (ed.), The agrarian history of England and Wales, IV, 1500-1640 (1967), pp. 466-592.

Those volumes of the Agrarian History in two volumes take the form:
J. V. Beckett, ‘Agricultural landownership and estate management’, in E. J. T. Collins (ed.), The agrarian history of England and Wales, VII, 1850-1914 (2 vols, 2000), I, pp. 693-758.

Victoria County History references:
The very first VCH reference in an article takes the form, Victoria County History, Borsetshire [hereafter VCH] II, p. 242. Do not give the total number of volumes published for that county or either generic or individual publication dates. Subsequent references take the form VCH Borsetshire III, pp. 1-99; VCH Wessex I, p. 12. But VCH City of York where the volume for Beverley is VCH East Riding III.

Archival citations should follow the same principles:
TNA, E 315/385, fo. 385v (or fos. 385v-387r); BL, Lansdowne Ms 47, no. 5.

It is not necessary to spell out either BL or TNA.

Hertfordshire RO [hereafter HRO], Delme-Radcliffe MSS, DE 1420 B, Edward Radcliffe, London, to Ralph Radcliffe, Hitchin, 7 Sept. 1728.

Thereafter adopt the short form of citation provided no ambiguity arises in archival source reference; thus: HRO, DE 1420 B, 8 Oct. 1729.

Citation of theses and other unpublished typescripts should follow this format:
Raine Morgan, ‘The Root Crop in English Agriculture, 1650-1870’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Reading, 1979), p. 73; subsequent references would be to Morgan, ‘Root Crop’, p. 74.

Parliamentary Papers should be cited in ways which make them intelligible, following the recommended forms:

BPP, 1895, XVI, RC on the Agricultural Depression, p. 546; thereafter BPP, 1895, XVI, p. 547.