Guidelines for Authors

Submitting Your Manuscript for Review

If an editor expresses interest in reviewing your full manuscript, please submit two (2) hard copies, plus a CD containing an electronic copy./If you have questions about our editorial program or submissions policy as described above, please us with the subject line “Manuscript Submission.”

Mail manuscripts to:
Penn State University Press
820 North University Drive
University Support Building 1, Suite C
University Park, PA 16802-1003

Submitting Your Final Manuscript

Final manuscripts must be complete. We ask that you submit it via e-mail or on CD, DVD, or flash drive. Please fill out and submit your Author Information and Jacket Design Forms. Your manuscript will not be sent to copyediting and a detailed production schedule will not be prepared until all components have been received.

The electronic copy of your manuscript should be submitted on a CD, DVD, or flash drive. Files should be saved in Microsoft Word format. Please do not submit files in any other format.

Manuscripts must also include a table of contents and a list of illustrations if the book will be illustrated.

The electronic files that you submit to the Press will eventually be used to typeset your book. The Press will not do any re-keying except to enter the editorial changes to which you and the manuscript editor agree. The resulting page proofs will be clean and as error-free as possible. For the editing and typesetting process to work efficiently, you must be careful and consistent in preparing your manuscript and disk.

The disk that you send to the Press for editing and typesetting must contain the final version of the manuscript. Discrepancies between the disk and the hard copy will result in time-consuming problems during editing and in typesetting—problems that could be costly to you and delay the book.

After submitting your final disk, under no circumstances should you submit additional disks containing further corrections or changes. You will have an opportunity to make changes when you review the copyedited manuscript.

House Style:
In general, the Press follows the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) and the first spellings and hyphenation in Webster's Third New International Dictionary or Webster's Tenth New Collegiate Dictionary. Please tell us about any stylistic preferences you have: for example, spelling idiosyncratic to the work; field-specific abbreviations, conventions, and terminology used; the style guide followed for the notes and bibliography (MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, the Harvard Bluebook, APA, “Art Bulletin Style Guide”).

Preparing the Electronic Text:
Print out the complete manuscript double-spaced, including all extracts, notes (whether footnotes, endnotes, or chapter-end notes), bibliography, and other apparatus. Print out all lists of abbreviations or acronyms, lists of contributors, lists of illustrations, lists of tables and figures–double-spaced. Print out everything double-spaced.
Create a new file for each chapter or other major subdivision of the book and name the files sequentially: Preface and Acknowledgments, Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, . . . Appendix, Bibliography.

Keep formatting to a minimum. Most or all formatting must be removed before typesetting can begin. Where style is concerned, less is more: optimally, use one type-size, one font (except where others are needed for special diacritics or non-Latin alphabets), as few styles as possible, no hidden text, no colored text, no borders or other ornaments, and no fields.

Do not type chapter titles or other heads and subheads in full caps. Do not italicize subheads (unless some contain titles themselves).

To indent paragraphs, use only the tab key. Never use the spacebar or your word processor's automatic indent feature.

Do not insert an extra space between paragraphs unless you intend to signify a break in the text. All paragraphs must be indicated by an indent, achieved by using the tab key.

Turn off the right justification and proportional letter-spacing feature on word processors and printers before printing the manuscript. When lines in a manuscript have been justified, it is difficult to make an accurate character count.

For poetry and other line-for-line material and lists, never indent by using the spacebar. Use only the tab key.

Never, ever, use the letter 'l' in place of the number 1.

Number the manuscript pages consecutively, not chapter by chapter. Number them consecutively to the end of the manuscript. However, number the front matter separately using lowercase roman numerals.

Please spell-check all files for spelling errors. This is a crucial function because the author is responsible for proofreading the page proofs.

Notes: Place the notes in the manuscript at the end of each chapter. Do not insert them at the bottom of the manuscript pages even if they will be true footnotes in the finished book. Number the notes consecutively by chapter. We recommend, as the last step before submitting your manuscript, that you make sure the note numbers in the text match the number of notes themselves. Doing this will prevent costly errors and delays.

Bibliography: Where bibliographic information is concerned, more is more: optimally, submit complete information (for example, full first names of persons, full names of periodicals, subtitles of all works) and let the Press abbreviate according to our house style, which follows the Chicago Manual of Style.

Captions: Submit complete and final captions in a separate file. Include permission and credit lines as requested by the source of the illustration.

Tables: Place tables in a separate file or files. Do not include them as part of the text file unless they are fairly simple in format. We must have an accurate printout of the tables so the typesetter can follow the format easily. When typing tables, use the tab key, not the spacebar, to define columns.

All original artwork must be sent with your final manuscript. For the best quality reproductions, we prefer transparencies, slides, or continuous-tone photographs. If none of these are available, we will accept digital files (see below). Maps, diagrams, and other line art should also be included. Do not scan images from printed sources or use printouts as original images. Please send photocopies of the original images, which will be helpful to the copyeditor during production.

Please obtain from relevant sources so that you can organize and check the color and quality of the images before they are sent to Penn State Press. A figure number should be included with every piece of art and corresponding permission form. Please also include a list with the preferred size of each image within the book (full page, half page, quarter page, etc.).

Details of illustrations must be noted. On a copy of the illustration, please show clearly where to crop the image.

Transparencies and Slides:
Transparencies or slides are best for color illustrations. The optimal size for transparencies is 4 x 5 inches or larger.

In the event that transparencies must be rented, you may, after obtaining the express permission of the Press, elect to delay the rental until the production process is further along. However, color photocopies of the image should still be provided with your manuscript. Even for these delayed rentals, permission to reproduce the image must still be obtained, with a copy of the permissions letter sent to the Press.

These should be continuous-tone prints and not printouts of digital files. If a printout is all that is available, request the digital file used for the printout instead. (link on continuous-tone prints)

For black-and-white pictures, submit glossy prints between 5 x 7 and 9 x 12 inches in size. Be sure that they are suitable for reproduction, with high contrast and no obvious imperfections. Use prints from previously printed material only as a last resort. They will reproduce at a substantially lower quality.

Number photographs by attaching a small Post-It on the back of the photo. Do not write directly on the back of the photo. Please be careful to use a pencil or permanent marker on the Post-It note so that ink will not bleed on to other photos. Never write on the back of a photo with ink or ballpoint pen of any color. Never use paper clips.

Digital Images:
Because of the wide variance in quality of scanners, and scanning software, we prefer digital images only as a last resort. If you do include digital images, please also send color proofs of these images to ensure proper reproduction.

Digital art files should be submitted at actual size to fit your book, with a resolution of 300 dpi or higher. (Line art needs to be 1200 dpi.) TIFF files are preferred, but JPG files are acceptable.

File names should match figure numbers.

Maps that are submitted as digital files also need to be 300 dpi/1200 dpi at actual size. EPS files are preferred. If you have used fonts in creating maps, line art, and the like, include them on your disk. We will need both the printer font and the screen font.

Provide a laser print of each map or piece of digital art. If you have questions, contact our Production Department at (814) 863-8061.

If your manuscript contains charts or graphs, please include the native file from which each figure was created (generally a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Do not embed the figure in your chapter document.

Click here for more about Digital Submissions

Authors must obtain and pay for permission to reproduce every image in the book before submitting the manuscript. Permission must also be obtained for text taken from other sources. The Press will not obtain permission for authors.

Unless you are otherwise instructed, please obtain permission for nonexclusive English-language rights throughout the world in all formats including electronic.

Please write the figure number of the corresponding illustration(s) in pencil on all permissions.

Please retain a copy of all permissions for your own records. Remember to copy both sides of the document if there is any text on the back. The reverse side often contains important information about the terms of the reproduction.

Permission granted by e-mail should be printed and included with other permissions with the final manuscript.

The preceding guidelines apply to all images and text that are protected by copyright. Material that is in the public domain or that is covered by fair use does not require permission. For more information, please read this primer on copyright.

Again, we cannot send your final manuscript until all elements have been submitted: the manuscript, all pictures, all permissions, and the Author Information and Jacket Design Forms. We will not create a production schedule until your submission is complete.

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