Instructions for Authors

Surrey Archaeological Collections


1.1 The Society's publications

The Society is concerned with the archaeology and history of the County of Surrey as defined by the boundaries which existed in 1854, when the Society was founded, plus extensions resulting from subsequent boundary changes.

The Society's journal, Surrey Archaeological Collections, is a scholarly publication which contains articles of various lengths and short notes, based upon original work.

The Bulletin, which is published nine times a year, contains announcements and news but also carries short notes and articles of more permanent interest. These are eventually referenced in the Collections, in the report for the year entitled ‘Archaeology in Surrey’.

1.2 Main guidelines

1.2.1 Content

While no limit is specified on the length of articles there is considerable pressure on space and authors should aim to write concisely for publication. Authors can therefore expect to see their work in print sooner if they produce shorter papers. Though the Collections is a learned journal of high standard, most of the Society's members are not professional historians or archaeologists. Articles should therefore be written so as to be intelligible and interesting to the lay reader. Where it is thought desirable to make more detailed information available, consideration should be given to placing such material in the digital supplement (see 2.4 below) or archival deposit.

1.2.2 Presentation

The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) publication Notes for authors (2000) provides advice on methods and procedures. The Society has adopted this house style, with certain exceptions (see 2.1 and 2.2).

1.3 Prospective contributors

Contributors are strongly advised to consult the editors at an early stage. Much time and effort can be saved by obtaining early guidance from the editors on the preparation of manuscripts and illustrations. Authors who plan to publish related work elsewhere are advised to discuss their plans with the editors in order to ensure that unacceptable duplication does not occur.

1.4 Editorial process

The editors make an initial assessment of an article and if it is considered suitable in principle, it is sent to one or more referees for comment. The editors then consider the 

referees' comments and may accept the paper unconditionally at this stage. If there are matters to be resolved, these will be considered by other members of the editorial panel and then discussed with the author. When the final form of the paper has been agreed the author will be asked to supply the text on disk (if possible) and to supply the artwork for printing. The final decision on publication rests with the editors.

1.5 Copyright

Authors may wish to reproduce material, printed or otherwise, from other sources. It is necessary to obtain the permission of the holder of copyright, if this applies, and also to obtain the permission of the owner of the material, whether it is copyright or not. The clearing of copyright and reproduction rights is the author’s responsibility, except in the case of Ordnance Survey maps, for which application is made by the editors.

Please note that the Society deposits electronic copies of the Collections with the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) three years after publication. The articles are then freely available (for personal use only) via the ADS website. Authors should ensure that they have permission for publication in electronic format from holders of copyright and owners of material.

1.6 Offprints

Authors of articles in the Collections receive 10 printed copies free of charge or a pdf (for longer articles). Copies will also be offered for sale to members of the Society and to the public.

1.7 Grants for the preparation of articles and reports

In certain circumstances, the Society may consider awarding grants to members for purposes relevant to publication: to support research projects, which incur exceptional expense, and to provide assistance with the preparation of reports for publication. Details of such grants and application forms may be obtained from the Hon Secretary.

1.8 Page charges

Where reports result from developer-funded work the Society seeks to recover the publication cost from the professional units involved. Units are advised to allow £40 per printed page and £5 per page for the digital supplement. However, special requirements, eg fold-outs, should be discussed with the editors since the cost may be substantially higher.

On occasion, application may be made to another organisation (eg English Heritage) for a grant towards publication costs. Authors should provide the editors with full details of any such application which is proposed or which has already been initiated.

2.1 House style and presentation

2.1.1 Contributors are advised to refer to recent volumes of the Collections to familiarise themselves with the Society's house style. Detailed instructions are given in the CBA Notes for authors (see 1.2.2), copies of which are available from the editors. The following notes summarise the main points and indicate certain exceptions.

2.1.2 Degrees of subordination of headings should be indicated in pencil in the margin of the hard copy (A heading, B heading etc) and in a separate schedule of headings in the case of complex reports. Authors may wish to bear in mind the styles in which these headings will be set when structuring their articles. Excluding the main title, these are in ranking order: Bold Upper and Lower Case, SMALL CAPITALS, Italic, Ordinary type followed by a line space. The use of more than four grades of heading should if possible be avoided and authors are asked to consult the editors if more are required.

2.1.3 Initially, manuscripts should be produced on A4 paper, double spaced, on one side of the paper with wide margins on both sides. They should be held together by paper clips or treasury tags, not by staples. Two copies should be supplied to the editors and authors should retain a copy for their own reference. They should be accompanied by photocopies of the illustrations and the approximate position of these marked in the margins of the text.

2.1.4 Once papers have been accepted and finalised, authors are asked to supply text as an email attachment or on CD-ROM in MS Word for Windows or a compatible format. However, it is not intended to discourage or exclude authors who are unable to do so and those who have difficulty are asked to discuss this with the editors.

Copy is sent to the printers on disk in a simple form with codes for style and layout inserted by the editors. Time and expense will be saved if authors do not use computer-generated heading styles. Footnotes should be saved as either footnotes or endnotes using automatic numbering within the article. Second and subsequent paragraphs should be indented by one tab, otherwise all text should be left-aligned and continuous. No other formatting should be applied. Only one space should be used after a full stop. In the case of tables, these will normally be set by the printer from copy supplied by the author.

2.2 References, Notes and Bibliography

In general, the system of referencing articles follows the CBA’s preferred house style as described in its Notes for authors. The CBA uses the Harvard system, whereby author's name, year, and specific page reference appear in parentheses in the body of the text and full details of the source are given in an alphabetically arranged Bibliography.

However, where extended references or references to documents are required which would be unwieldy within the text, for example in historical articles, a three-tier system may be used as an alternative, consisting of:

(1) a single sequence of superscript numerals in the text, with a new number for each reference even when a reference is repeated. (These may be typed on the line in parentheses in the manuscript).

(2) A sequence of footnotes to which the superscript numerals refer, printed at the foot of the page. These may include:

(a) essential supplementary information
(b) document references in abbreviated form

(c) references to published sources consisting of author's name, date and specific page reference.

NOTE: footnotes should only be used to provide references to sources in a short form with bibliographic details given in the Bibliography. They may also contain supplementary information but this should be kept to a minimum

(3) An alphabetically arranged Bibliography, with separate lists of manuscript and published sources. These lists will serve as keys to abbreviations used in the footnotes.

For the arrangement of material in bibliographies, see CBA Notes for authors, or examples in recent volumes of the Collections. Abbreviations for periodicals should be as indicated in the CBA’s A-Z of British & Irish archaeological periodicals and monograph series (a copy can be obtained from the Hon Editors). For additional local abbreviations, see the page preceding the first article in previous volumes of the Collections.

2.3 Illustrations

All illustrations, whether in line or half-tone, are integrated into the text and should therefore be numbered as a single sequence of figures abbreviated to 'fig(s)’. All figures should be referred to in the text and should be numbered in the order in which they are to appear in the printed article. Their approximate positions in the text should be indicated in pencil in the margins of the manuscript.

For guidance on the production of illustrations, please see separate instructions.

2.4 Digital supplement

2.4.1 Detailed material may be reproduced in the digital supplement (available via the Archaeology Data Service website) rather than printed in the volume. If material is placed in the supplement, it is important to ensure that the printed text stands as a complete and coherent account for the non-specialist reader.

2.4.2 Cross references should be made in the text to items in the supplement.

2.4.3 All material in the supplement is produced directly from the author’s disk, which will be converted into Adobe Acrobat pdf format.

2.4.4 All text and headings should be left-aligned and the hierarchy of heading styles should match that of the printed article: Bold Upper and Lower Case, SMALL CAPITALS, Italic, Ordinary type followed by a line space.

2.4.5 Illustrations intended for the supplement should fit on within an A4, or if necessary, A3 page size.


Authors will be given an opportunity to see and correct proofs and will be provided with basic instructions. The standard proof correction marks are set out in British Standard 5261, 1975-6. For commonly used symbols, see Hart's rules for compositors and readers at the University Press, Oxford (numerous editions, 1904-) and the Modern Humanities Research Association Style book (5th ed 1996).

It is stressed that the aim should be to finalise the article at manuscript stage so that only genuine errors remain to be corrected in the proofs. The Society reserves the right to charge authors for alterations to their original text at this stage.


British Standards Institution, 1975-6 BS 5261 (proof correction) Council for British Archaeology, 2000 Notes for authors

CHECK LIST FOR AUTHORS A. Guidance to editors and printers

1. Style, name, qualifications and address of each author or contributor, as they should appear in the list of contributors to the volume.

2. Name(s) of author(s) as they wish to appear on the title page of the article. In the case of multiple authorship, the name of the co-ordinator with whom the editors should correspond.

3. An indication of the length of the article (approximate number of words in the printed text, and number of supplement pages if applicable).

4. A schedule showing the hierarchy of headings and sub-headings.
5. Lists of any figures, tables, appendices and material intended for the supplement.

6. Any important points concerning presentation or layout which the author wishes to be observed.

7. Full details of any grant application in support of publication which it is proposed to make, or which has already been initiated.

B. The article

1. Two copies of the text, 1.5 line spaced, on one side of A4 paper with wide margins on both sides and held together by paper clips or treasury tags, not by staples.

2. For a complex article, a contents list to be printed at the beginning.
3. For a full article, as opposed to a Note, a short abstract to be printed at the head of the text.

4. Any material additional to the main text, presented on separate sheets: acknowledgements, bibliography, any appendices, footnotes (if used).

5. Any tables, numbered in the order in which they are to be printed, with headings at the top. Their desired positions should be marked in the margins of the manuscript.

6. Any line or half-tone illustrations (see separate guidelines), numbered as a single sequence of figures, not plates, in the order in which they are to be printed. Their approximate positions should be marked in the margins of the manuscript.

7. The full text of captions for figures. These should include any acknowledgement eg photographer, owner, copyright holder.


(September 2021)

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