Guidelines for submissions

Guidelines on typescript presentation for contributors to The British Art Journal 

April 2020

1] All articles must be submitted, preferably by email, in Word or Pages, main text double line spaced [note that this does not mean two spaces between words]. Please switch off tracking. Please use an automated footnote numbering system (NB footnotes, not endnotes). Please do not use elaborate formatting, save where, for example, it is important to indicate the arrangement of a manuscript document (please use only where this is considered essential). Do not use auto-numbering for lists.

Illustrations should be sent by email in the first instance.

For purposes of publication after acceptance of an article, illustrations ought, ideally, to be supplied in high-resolution digital images (300 dpi large enough for reproduction at 20 cm high) by email or on disk; but they can also be supplied in transparency or b/w print.

NOTE The acquisition of illustrations and the payment of fees where applicable for reproduction are the responsibility of the contributor, but the Journal may be informally consulted where excessive reproduction fees might be charged. Please note that the Yale Center for British Art has waived all fees for reproductions: see their website for credit lines. The National Gallery, London, the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery had decided (in effect… ) to waive fees for reproduction in scholarly publications such as The British Art Journal, but there has been an unpleasant recent development in the use of ‘Creative Commons’ licences by them, which may well now involve fees.

The Tate is a bad case in point and the fees there are very high. Be very careful when asked to agree to ‘licensing’ of requested images either by an institution or an agency. In fact, it is best NOT to approach British institutions or picture agencies if the relevant images can be found on the web: do so only if they do not have the images already photographed and digitized and then no doubt fees would be involved.

The V&A appears still to favour academic journals and the National Portrait Gallery, London, does consider waiving fees for scholarly use, although the process on its website can be difficult.

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, The Getty Museum [NB not the Getty photo agency, which is an entirely different thing], the Art Institute of Chicago, the Met in New York and many, many other US museums and institutions and universities allow high-res publishable downloads for any purpose (do not be misled by references to photo agencies: just use the download buttons &c). Try to use free sources.

Colour and black-and-white are equally acceptable.

Copy should be e-mailed to:

2] Please try to keep to the suggested length of the article (if agreed), and send it to us by the deadline date set. If there are any problems, please contact the editorial department immediately.

3] All files/manuscripts must be clearly marked with the author’s name, address, email address, phone number, and a word count.

4] Please keep to our house style when writing captions.

Captions should be written with the information in the following order and style:

Plate Number in bold [NB must be keyed in to text]; title of work in italics; artist; artist’s dates in brackets; date of work [full point]. Medium and support and measurements (height, width, and depth, if applicable, in that order), using metric measurement, usually centimetres, unless especially large [full point]. Collection and location of collection [NO POINT]


Captain Coram by William Hogarth (1697–1764), 1740. Oil on canvas, 26 x 20 cm. Foundling Museum, London


State barge of Frederick, Prince of Wales, designed by William Kent (1685–1748), completed 1732. Length 19 m. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

5] Titles of works are predominantly lower case, except in the case of biblical scenes, eg, The Rest on the Flight into EgyptThe Expulsion from the Temple. For works with titles in foreign languages, the commonly accepted translation into English can be used, but it will remain a matter of taste.

6] All hard copy illustrations, when supplied, should be marked on the back with plate number, a brief caption and the name of the author of the article.

Where any doubt might exist about the orientation of images, for example, in the case of transparencies, and in the case of abstract paintings, the front and/or top must be labelled, or a photo/photocopy of the work should be included to indicate the correct orientation.

7] Plate references should be keyed into the text, within brackets, using Arabic numerals thus: (Pl 2) (no point). Use a separate number for each illustration, including details or versions of a work..

8] In the text, write numbers after ten in digits (11, 12… eg, 20 years old) save where confusion is possible (eg, after a footnote reference).

9] A translation must be supplied (in the form of a footnote) for all quotations in foreign languages.

10] In exhibition reviews, all past and present dates and venues of the exhibition, if touring, should be included at the end of the text, together with names of corporate sponsors and the publication details of the catalogue (author/editors, publisher, place of publication, ISBN and price).

11] Book reviews should give details of the full title of the book, the author, publisher, place of publication, date of publication, number of pages and illustrations, ISBN, and price.

12] Articles should be complete at the time of submission. Limited corrections can be made at galley stage, but excessive corrections at this point should be avoided.


Notes should appear at the foot of each page rather than at the end of the article. When using auto-formatting for footnotes, please use Arabic, 1, 2, 3, etc., and NOT i, ii, iii, etc.

Footnote numbers in the text are inserted after punctuation at the end of the sentence, outside brackets, or at the end of the clause within the sentence, eg:

1854 was to be the artist’s most productive year, justifying what Hunt himself called his ‘oriental mania’.5

Where footnotes contain references to a book, the following format should be followed:

Author/Editor, Title, number of volumes, place of publication, year of publication, volume no., page nos., catalogue number (as applicable but in this order), eg:

Lynn F Jacobs, Early Netherlandish Carved Altarpieces, 1380–1550: Medieval Tastes and Mass Marketing, Cambridge, 1998, p50. [note no point, no space, after p for page].

or, in the case of a series or multi-volume work:

Anne Garrould, ed, Henry Moore: The Complete Drawings, 6 vols, London, 1994–96, V, 1994, p83, no. AG 23.46.

Note: no points, no space, after ‘p’ for page or ‘pp’, no points after initials of authors, in fact, the fewer points the better (eg, ed, ie), save where confusion is possible (always ‘no.’ for number; ‘cat.’ for catalogue; and ‘fig.’ for figure).

Note use of long dash for date and numbers and not hyphens, thus, 1946–57, pp14–17.

If the publication cited is a periodical article, the following style should be followed:

Thomas McGrath, ‘Federico Barocci and the history of pastelli in central Italy’, Apollo, vol CXLVIII, no. 441 (November 1998), pp3–9.

Page numbers should be elided, eg, pp256–8, except in the case of figures less than ten, in which case use, eg, ‘pp303–08’. Where roman numerals such as x, xi are concerned please leave a space: p x, p xi.

If the publication is an exhibition catalogue, please observe the following format:

Author/Editor, Title, exh cat., venue of exhibition [or first venue if more than one], p00, cat. 00.

If, however, the reference is to an exhibition but not to its catalogue, please use single quotation marks: ‘Van Dyck’, Royal Academy, London, 1999.

For lots in sale catalogues, please include the name and location of the auction house, the title of the sale, the date, and the lot number (the latter in brackets).

Other abbreviations in footnotes: ‘MS’/’MSS’ for manuscript references, eg, ‘British Museum Harley MSS 2917’; ‘inv no.’ (inventory no.), ‘acc no.’ (accession no.); ‘exh cat.’ (exhibition catalogue); ‘fol’ (folio) and ‘fols’ (but nb not ‘ff.’); ‘v’ and ‘r’ (following the folio no., recto and verso), ‘c’ (circa) but no space eg, c1760; ‘nd’ (no date)

References to footnotes

n/nn followed by the number (no space, no points, eg, n103/nn23, 587).

Repeated citations of books or periodical articles

After the initial citation, you may wish to avoid repeated use of ‘op cit’, and simple use of the author’s name may be established:

Thomas McGrath, ‘Federico Barocci and the history of pastelli in central Italy’, Apollo, vol CXLVIII, no. 441 (November 1998) (=McGrath), pp3–9.

Thereafter ‘McGrath’ will suffice.

If the author appears in relation to more than one publication, please add date or identifying word:

Thomas McGrath, ‘Federico Barocci and the history of pastelli in central Italy’, Apollo, vol CXLVIII, no. 441 (November 1998) (=McGrath 1998) OR (McGrath Barocci), pp3–9

‘Ibid’ may be used to refer to the immediately preceding reference; ‘idem’ is used if the author only is the same as in the preceding reference but in reference to a different publication.

Other usages


Avoid double spaces between words or before a new sentence.

Avoid returns to make line endings (check your application) and avoid tabs or indents for paragraphs. Double paragraph marks may be used for clarity.