Guide for Contributors to The Journal

1. Introduction

The Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research is published quarterly, in March, June, September and December. The Hon. Editor welcomes Articles, notes and documents from members and non-members of the Society on any aspect of the history and traditions of the British Army, including the Militia and Volunteer Forces, and armies levied by the Crown in earlier times. Submissions on the history of land forces in the countries of the Commonwealth and former British Empire are also most welcome. The Hon. Editor wishes to point out that articles accompanied by goodquality colour or black-and-white illustrations are especially welcome. All articles are peer refereed and are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life.

Contributions submitted for consideration should be, so far as possible, compiled in accordance with the guidelines below. Items accepted for publication may be returned to the author for corrections to bring them into conformity with these guidelines, if they do not so conform when submitted. Ideally, articles should be no longer than 9,000 words with no more than 500 words allowed for notes. Communications should not exceed 5,000 words. Contributions for the Notes and Documents section do not usually run to more than 1,000 words. Articles should be typed using double spacing and with as little embedded formatting as possible. Headers are not necessary. The optimum positions for illustrations should be marked in the text, but they should not be ‘pasted into’ the electronic file. They must be supplied as separate attachments. All illustrations must be provided with a caption and, where appropriate, an acknowledgement of the source from which they come. Authors must retain a further copy for reference. It is anticipated that provision of material in electronic format will be the norm.

In general, for all matters of style, authors should consult:

  1. R.M. Ritter (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (Oxford: OUP, 2000)
  2. R.M. Ritter (ed.), The Oxford Guide to Style (Oxford: OUP, 2002)

Please note that the editor will also accept as style guides the New Hart’s Rules (OUP, 2006) and the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (OUP, 2006).

2. Notes and quotations

Should also be double spaced, and numbered consecutively throughout the article. Notes should not appear at the foot of each page but should be typed separately at the end of the article. As far as possible, they should be restricted to references only. The editor will cut unnecessary text in notes.


Within the text single quotation marks should be used. Double quotation marks should be used only for quotations within quotations. Quotations of over fifty words should be indented, without quotation marks and should appear in italics.

4. Dates

  1. Write out dates in full and without st, th, rd: 19 June 1976.
  2. Spell out century numbers in full: the nineteenth century (but remember to hyphenate the adjective: nineteenth-century fashion).
  3. For a year that covers more than one calendar year, such as an academic or financial year, use an oblique stroke: 1987/8.
  4. Do not abbreviate months except in notes where (excepting May, June, and July) months should be abbreviated to their first three letters.
  5. Decades should be 1930s, not 1930’s, thirties, or Thirties [note: there is no apostrophe].

6. Numbers

  1. In general, use words for numbers up to ten.
  2. From 11 upwards, use figures
  3. Figures should be spelt out when starting a sentence.
  4. Use a comma in thousands or above, i.e. 9,750, 10,650.
  5. Figures must be used before abbreviations, i.e. 6 km.
  6. Figures are always used for percentages except when starting a sentence. Percent should be in full in the text, % in tables and endnotes.
  7. Write 0.5, not .5.
  8. Page ranges should be as follows: 786-789, not 786-89.
  9. Use numbers for ages, e.g. 45 years old.

7. Capitalisation

Should be used for the specific rather than for the general, as, for example: God, the Queen, the British Army, Regulars, the Regular Army. When referring to individuals, write of ‘Colonel John Burgoyne, 16th (Light) Dragoons’. Elsewhere, you might refer to him as John Burgoyne, colonel of a regiment of Light Dragoons. In the cases of ‘Militia’, ‘Highlanders’, ‘Volunteers’ and other military organisations, when a formed unit is directly referred to the capital letter should be used (eg ‘The Black Watch captured the position and the Highlanders then continued their advance’). Otherwise use lower case, as ‘the attacking force was largely composed of volunteers’.

8. Ranks and Regiments

Designations of rank should be given in full in the text, but abbreviated in footnotes.

9. Italics

Please type in italics or underline (it means the same thing to typesetters). Italics should be used for emphasis only sparingly. The following rules are a guide as to what should and should not be italicized:

  1. Titles of published books (but NOT the Koran, the Bible). Titles of newspapers or other periodicals, long poems, paintings, plays, films, operas and oratorios (but NOT TV or radio programmes, which should be in roman and quotes).
  2. Names of ships should be italicized.
  3. Foreign words or phrases in an English sentence should be italicized, but foreign-language quotes should be treated as normal quotes.

10. Abbreviations

Those to be used are: L/Cpl, Cpl, Sgt, Sgt-Mjr, 2nd Lt, Lt, Capt., Maj., Lt-Col., Col., Brig., Maj-Gen., Lt-Gen., Gen., FM.

11. Regimental names

These should be given as they appear in the Army List for the years under discussion.

12. References/Notes

These should be supplied as endnotes. They should be full enough when first cited to be readily identifiable. Any further citation should be indicated by a clear abbreviation. Avoid art.cit., loc.cit., op.cit. When a reference to a particular page or folio of a single work is followed in the next footnote by a reference to the same item, ibid. (not italic) may be used, but for the sake of clarity it should never be used after citations of more than one work. References to books should indicate author(s) by initial(s) and surname, title in italics with no comma after it, open round brackets, place of publication followed by a colon, the publisher and date of publication, close round brackets a comma, and, finally, page number(s) in the form p. or pp. space and then the number/s. For archival sources list the details of the archive, the title of the document series from which the reference comes, with sender, recipient & date if appropriate) and then the archival document reference number. The first time an archive is stated, it should be spelt out in full. In subsequent citations of documents from the same archive, it should be abbreviated - The National Archives (United Kingdom) and thereafter TNA.

Example One (book): A. Woolrych, Soldiers and Statesmen: The General Council of the Army and its Debates 1647-1648 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 280.

Thereafter use:

Woolrych, Soldiers and Statesmen, pp. 234-256

Example Two (edited volumes): First references to edited volumes should indicate the title in italics, the editor(s), number of volumes, place of publication, publishers and date in round brackets, volume and page/s with a space between the p. or pp. and the number/s.

H.L. Snyder (ed.), The Marlborough-Godolphin Correspondence (3 vols, Oxford: OUP, 1975), Vol. II, p. 28

Thereafter use either:

Snyder, Marlborough-Godolphin Correspondence, II, pp. 25-28

Example Three (book chapters/articles): References to articles and essays should indicate author, title of article in single quotation marks, journal or title of edited essays in italics, editors of essays, place of publication and date in round brackets, volume where appropriate, and page:

(1) R. Davis, ‘English foreign trade, 1660-1700’ in E.M. Carus-Wilson (ed.), Essays in Economic History (3 vols, London, 1957-62), Vol. II, pp. 257-272.

Thereafter use:

Davis, ‘English foreign trade’, p. 264

(2) H.C. McCorry, ‘Rats, lice and Scotchmen: Scottish infantry regiments in the service of France, 1742-62’, JSAHR 74 (1996), pp. 1-38

Thereafter use:

McCorry, ‘Rats, lice and Scotchmen’, p. 45

Example Four (archives): First references to manuscripts should always give the location and collection in full. At the end of the first reference the abbreviation for later references of the same archive should be given in brackets:

(1) National Army Museum, Typescript of letters of Capt Nicholas Delacherois, 9th Foot, 7805-63, f. 45. (Hereafter NAM.)

Thereafter use:

Document details, NAM, Delacherois Letters, 7805-63, f. 56

(2) The National Archives (United Kingdom), Secretary at War Out-letters, Fox to Lt. Smith, 9.1.1752, WO4/48, f. 45. (Hereafter TNA.)

Thereafter use:

Document details, TNA, SaW Out-letters, WO4/48, f. 56

14. Autobiographical note

Authors are required to submit a very brief autobiographical note, which will be printed in a supplementary section of the Journal.