Manuscript Guidelines

Basic Requirements

  • Only members of the American Quilt Study Group may submit manuscripts for presentation at the annual seminar and publication inUncoverings. Membership applications and dues may accompany submitted manuscripts. Submissions from paid employees of member institutions will be accepted.
  • Submissions for Uncoverings must be in the form of complete papers. Proposals, abstracts, or other incomplete submissions will not be considered.
  • Manuscript topics should relate to quilts, quiltmaking, quiltmakers, the textiles and materials of quilts, or a closely related subject.
  • Before submitting manuscripts, prospective authors should examine recent volumes of Uncoverings to determine if their articles are appropriate for this journal.
  • The submitted manuscript must be based on the author's own original research and analysis.
  • Papers selected for publication in Uncoverings must not have been previously published elsewhere. To determine if earlier versions of a paper constitute prior publication, please contact the Uncoverings editor or the Paper Selection chair.
  • Submitted manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with AQSG’s guidelines for style and format, as outlined below. While manuscripts will not be rejected outright for disregarding guidelines, readers will make note of deviations that hinder the evaluation process.
  • Authors whose papers are accepted must be able to attend the entire Seminar and present their papers. They must also be available to work with the editor during the publication year to revise and proof their papers as needed. (See The Editing Process, below.)
  • AQSG holds the copyright for each volume of Uncoverings and any reproduction (print or online) of the volume as a whole. Individual authors retain copyright of their own articles in any other form.
  • Authors do not receive payment for their articles, but each author receives three copies of the volume containing her/his article.

The Submission Process

  • Submissions must be postmarked no later than June 1 for papers to be presented in October of the following calendar year, fifteen months later.
  • Authors must submit the following:
    • 1 cover sheet with your paper title, your name, mailing/email addresses, and phone/fax numbers. This is the only place your name appears.
    • 7 copies of the completed paper, beginning with a 200-word abstract and ending with collected notes, along with appendices, if applicable.
    • 7 photocopied sets of illustrations with captions. (See Submitting Illustrations, below.)
  • Secure each copy of manuscript and illustrations with staples, paper clips, or binder clips, so that no pages are loose. Simple pocket folders are also acceptable, but please avoid comb bindings, three-hole folders, or other devices that are difficult to remove.
  • Mail submissions to American Quilt Study Group, 1610 L Street Lincoln, NE 68508-2509.
  • Submissions by fax or e-mail are not accepted.
  • Submitted materials cannot be returned to the author. Therefore, authors should think twice before sending costly reproductions or presentation folders.

The Review Process

  • The AQSG office receives the submitted manuscripts, checks them for postmark and completeness, retains one copy and the cover sheet, and repackages them to send to the five readers and the Paper Selection chair.
  • Each year, the Paper Selection chair selects five readers from a pool of quilt researchers who have volunteered to perform this function.
  • The number of submissions varies from year to year, usually between ten and twenty-five.
  • Readers evaluate the manuscripts blind, that is, without knowing the identities of the authors.
  • Readers rank each paper using a ten-point scale to address the following criteria:
    • Significance. Does the paper make a contribution to the field? Does it present new or little-known material based upon original research, or does it treat familiar material in an innovative, new, or stimulating manner? Will the paper have productive and lasting impact? Has the paper, or anything very similar, been published recently? (1-10 points)
    • Quality of Research.  Is the scholarship sound and thorough? Is the author’s thesis valid, convincing, and supported by evidence? Are the author’s citations appropriate, accurate, and complete? Is the author in command of both primary sources and standard secondary literature appropriate to the topic? Should the author have cited additional sources? (1-10 points)
    • Presentation.  Is the paper well organized, clearly presented, and written in an interesting manner? Is the length within the specified range? Did the author follow the AQSG manuscript guidelines? Are the citations in the correct form? Is the paper written primarily in active rather than passive voice? Would the manuscript benefit from substantive rewriting or reorganization? (1-10 points)
    • Publication Readiness. (10) Publishable with minor editing. (9-7) Publishable with editing and further work by author. (6-4) Publishable with major editing and significant further work by author. (3-1) Not publishable.
  • The readers report their rankings to the Paper Selection chair, who compiles the scores and reports the results to the AQSG executive director, the board of directors, and the editor of Uncoverings.
  • Copies of submitted manuscripts are destroyed after review. The names of authors whose manuscripts are not accepted are not revealed to the readers.
  • The paper selection process typically takes three to four months. Authors will be notified, usually by November 1, whether their manuscripts were selected.
  • Each author receives a summary of the readers’ comments. Authors whose papers are not accepted will be encouraged to revise and resubmit when such encouragement is warranted.
  • Authors whose papers are not accepted (and those submitting manuscripts for the first time) are encouraged to enlist the advice of a mentor. For assistance, contact the chair of the AQSG Mentoring Committee. (Contact information is available in Blanket Statements or from the AQSG office.) Alternatively, authors may identify and contact potential mentors themselves. Generally, an author should contact a mentor a minimum of two months before the submission deadline.
  • A well-written, well-organized paper based on thorough, original research on a quilt-related topic, and citing appropriate resources has an excellent chance of being accepted.
  • If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please contact the AQSG office.

Manuscript Format

  • Submitted manuscripts should be 4,500 to 9,000 words in length, including notes.
  • Use standard letter-sized (8.5 x 11 inches or A4) white paper for your manuscript, illustrations, and any appended material.
  • Double-space the entire text, including abstract and quotations. (Endnotes do not need to be double-spaced.)
  • Use 12-point Times New Roman (or an equivalent font) for all text.
  • Do not justify right margins.
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph.
  • Number the pages consecutively for text and notes.
  • Begin your manuscript with an abstract—no more than 200 words—which includes the following elements:
    • A statement of the research purpose or question
    • A brief summary of the research content or subject
    • A description of the research methods and/or principal sources
    • A statement of the main conclusions or findings of the research project
  • The text of the paper follows the abstract, followed by the collected endnotes. Begin Notes and References on a separate page. (See Notes and References below.)
  • Following the text, include a list of captions for your suggested illustrations, then copies of the images themselves. (See Submitting Illustrations below.)
  • The author’s name should appear only on the cover sheet. It is not necessary to remove the author’s name from self-cited references in the endnotes, but please use discretion in such references.

General Style

  • In general, AQSG refers to The Chicago Manual of Style for questions of style and usage.
  • Use italics for book titles and periodical titles. Enclose the titles of articles in double quotation marks.
  • Capitalize the names of specific quilts and patterns (e.g., the Temperance quilt or Nine Patch), but present types of quilts or techniques in lower case (e.g., chintz appliqué, crazy quilts, or mourning quilts). Quilts which are considered by their makers to be works of art (e.g., Study in Scarlet) may be italicized.
  • In most instances, quiltmaking is one word, as is quiltmaker.
  • Use American spellings, e.g., catalog instead of catalogue.
  • Whenever possible, write in active voice. For example, “The group made quilts for charity” (active voice), not “Quilts were made for charity”(passive voice).
  • Generally, avoid use of informal contractions, except for quoted passages. Use did not instead of didn't.
  • Abbreviations: (Refer to Chicago Manual.) Except for very commonly accepted abbreviations (such as e.g., etc., Dr.), spell out words in the text. State names may be abbreviated in notes and captions only, using two-letter postal codes.
  • Dates and numbers: (Refer to Chicago Manual.)
    • Use nineteenth century, not 19th or Nineteenth.
    • Use 1890s, not 1890's.
    • Use 1856-1882, not 1856-82.
    • Generally spell out numbers less than 100, use numerals for higher numbers.
    • Use commas in numbers of 1,000 or more.
    • Use 3 percent, not 3% or three percent.
  • Short quotations will be incorporated in the text and enclosed with double quotation marks. In general, a longer quotation (two or more sentences which run four or more lines in length) should be set apart as a block quotation, indented from the left margin. Use your word processor's built-in function, usually on the ruler or in the format menu, to indent the paragraph. If indented, do not use quotation marks. Remember to double-space block quotations.
  • Use an ellipsis (. . .) to indicate omissions from quotations. Indicate the deletion of a full sentence or more by the inclusion of a period before the ellipsis. Do not use an ellipsis at the beginning of a quotation. Either type an ellipsis as three periods separated by spaces, or use the special three-dot character available in your word-processing program.
  • Supplementary material (such as graphs, charts, or lists) may be attached as one or more appendices. Appended text should be included in the word-length total.

Notes and References

  • Uncoverings follows the note-based documentation system favored by writers in the humanities rather than the author-date system typical of the social sciences.
  • In Uncoverings, all cited sources, annotations, and references are collected into a “Notes and References” section at the end of each paper.
  • AQSG guidelines are consistent with the Chicago Manual’s specifications for endnotes in a work without a separate bibliography.
  • The first mention of a cited source provides the complete citation; subsequent references to the same work may be abbreviated.
  • Notes and references should be numbered in the order they appear in your text.
  • Generally, the note number should be placed at the end of the pertinent sentence or paragraph, after the punctuation. Use a superscript number (set above the line) without parentheses.
  • Modern word-processing programs include a function to automatically insert, number, and arrange endnotes. The presence of these embedded notes no longer creates problems in the publication process, and authors are encouraged to use this automatic function.
  • Notes should include all references to the following:
    • Published works
    • Unpublished works
    • Oral communications
    • Quilt or textile collections
    • Other sources of your data.
  • Authors should use caution when citing Internet sources. Given a choice, refer to online sources most likely to remain stable and available, such as those sponsored by established organizations and institutions. If a source is available in print as well as on the Internet, you may cite both sources. For Internet citations, omit the "http://" prefix.
  • It is the author’s responsibility to double-check all notes for accuracy. The reputation of a scholarly journal is compromised by inaccurate or incomplete citations.
  • For examples of specific types of note formats, please refer to recent volumes of Uncoverings.

Submitting Illustrations

  • AQSG welcomes the submission of illustrations that visually enhance the content and illustrate the concepts or points of a paper.
  • Illustrations may include photographs, graphic illustrations, drawings, graphs, charts, or maps.
  • Each illustration should be submitted on a separate sheet.
  • Identify each illustration by number, e.g., Figure x.
  • Captions for all illustrations should be collected in a single list of figures, separate from the images.
  • Illustrations accompanying your submission cannot be returned. Instead, send photocopies, either color or black-and-white, of sufficient quality for readers to evaluate their applicability.
  • The number of published illustrations varies, from zero to fifteen per paper. A typical paper might include five to ten illustrations.
  • Authors whose papers are selected will be required to obtain written permission to use images owned by others and to pay any costs related to the use or duplication of these images. (See Permissions, below.)

The Editing Process

  • If your paper is selected, you will be expected to work with the editor to revise it for publication. The editor and authors will correspond primarily by email.
  • The editor will ask you to send your paper as an email attachment in MS Word. If you use a different word-processing program, a different version of Word, or a different operating system, you may need to convert your files to a compatible format each time you send a revision.
  • The editor will use the Track Changes function in MS Word to mark up your paper.
  • Typically, the editing process begins in November and continues as needed until May, when the revised papers and illustrations are sent to the designer. During the summer, authors will have an opportunity to proof the final version of their published papers. (Only overt errors may be changed at this point.)
  • The published volume of Uncoverings will be available at the AQSG seminar concurrent with the oral presentation of the papers.

Illustrations for Publication

  • If your paper is accepted, you will be asked to supply high-quality images for publication. Uncoverings accepts color slides and transparencies; original artwork such as sketches, maps, and diagrams; and digital files.
  • The editor and the designer will determine which/how many illustrations will be published, and which/how many illustrations will be printed in color.
  • Each illustration should include a text reference in parentheses, e.g., (figure 1) at the appropriate place in the text. The designer will make every effort to place the image of each figure as close as possible to its text reference while working within the parameters the of the layout.
  • Color illustrations are located in a color insert in the center of the published volume.
  • Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission as needed to publish photographs or other illustrations. (See Permissions below.)
  • Authors are responsible for costs of photographs or other graphic illustrations for their articles. Some institutions will provide reproduction-quality images at reduced cost for scholarly, un-reimbursed articles, so be sure to ask.
  • Digital illustrations: The file-name of each digital image must clearly identify the image it contains. For example, “Josephine Baker fan quilt figure 4” not “Photo 4.” All digital files must have a .tif extension; jpg-extension files will not be acceptable. All digital files must be sent to the designer on a CD. Digital files sent as email attachments are not acceptable. Label each CD with your name and the shortened title of your paper.
  • Transparencies: Color or black-and-white slides and transparencies (not negatives) are acceptable. Each image should be identified with author’s name and figure number.
  • Photographs: Black-and-white photos should measure at least 5 x 7 inches and submitted on glossy paper. Please leave white margins around the photographs: do not cut the photo. If you wish to have a portion of the photograph highlighted or a portion cropped, please provide a photocopy of the illustration showing the desired cropping.
  • Do not write directly on the back of a photo because even a slight impression on the paper can damage the surface. Number each photograph or illustration with the figure number (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Write the figure number in pencil on the margin of the illustration or on a sticker or post-it note which should be then placed on the edge of the illustration.
  • Other artwork: If submitting artwork such as a diagram, map or sketch, make sure you have retained a copy of your artwork. Artwork submitted must be the original version, prepared in black on a white background. Artwork sent should be scan-ready and suitable for publication. The maximum finished size for artwork in Uncoverings is 4.25 x 7 inches. The type for any text in the artwork needs to be legible at this scale. Label each page of artwork with your name and the figure number, written in the margin or on a post-it note.
  • Submitted illustrations judged by the designer to be of insufficient quality for publication may be rejected. The designer will contact the author suggesting options for photo-editing. Authors are responsible for any costs involved in photo-editing.
  • Captions for illustrations should be descriptive and informative and should include the source of the illustration. The captions should be supplied as a separate text file labeled “lastname captions.doc.”
  • If your article will be published with both color and black-and-white illustrations, you will be asked to submit separate numbered lists for figures and color plates.
  • The editor and designer select a professional-quality 4 x 5 color transparency for the cover photograph of each volume of Uncoverings.Authors are welcome to suggest appropriate photographs for the cover.

Permissions

  • An author may refer to any published work without special permission.
  • For materials requiring permission for publication, authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from the owner of the copyright.
  • If you publish a substantial quotation (usually defined as more than a couple of continuous paragraphs) from a book, periodical, pamphlet, or any work published and copyrighted after 1928, you must have written permission of the copyright owner. The concept of “fair use” is not clearly defined, so if you are unsure whether you need to obtain permission, read the appropriate section in the Chicago Manual.
  • If you use photographs, graphic material, or other illustrations from an unpublished source, you must have permission from the owner of the work. This may be the library or historical society where the work is housed, an individual, or an heir of the originator.
  • Generally, Uncoverings does not publish color illustrations of photographs that are already available in recent publications.
  • The living author of any letter owns the reproduction rights. For such letters in a public collection, ask if these rights have been transferred.
  • The subject of a recorded interview owns the reproduction rights. When recording an interview, it is customary to request the subject to sign a release form, giving permission for the interviewer to use the recorded information for specified purposes.
  • If you quote material from an oral interview (not recorded), an unpublished lecture, or a conversation, it is customary to give the subject an opportunity to check the quoted material for accuracy. You need to show them only the pages in which their quotations appear. They do no need to approve your paper or your opinions; they need only to check that their words and thoughts are represented accurately. It is, however, common courtesy to allow the person to suggest changes in grammar, syntax, or word choice in informal quotations.
  • It is the author’s responsibility to obtain any necessary permissions in writing. Permission will nearly always be granted but it may take some time.
  • Authors are responsible for obtaining and retaining these permission documents; they do not need to submit them to the editor or to AQSG.
  • The owner of reproduction rights, whether an institution or an individual, may specify the form of acknowledgment that should appear in your endnote or caption. It is the author’s responsibility to ask how this acknowledgment should be worded and to ensure that this information is accurately cited in the publication.