Instructions for Authors

Instructions to Contributors

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 that contains articles of various lengths and short notes, based upon original work.

Surrey’s Past (formerly the Bulletin), which is published three 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.

For a full article (longer than 7 pages when printed – about 5,000 words) write an abstract that gives an overview of your story and its significance.

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. 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 non-commercial 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 or notes). 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 Historic England) for a grant towards publication costs. Authors should provide the editors with full details of any such application that 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 (copies of previous volumes can be found online at The following notes summarise the main points.

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, 1.5 line spaced, on one side of the paper with 1 inch (2.5cm) margins on all sides. Use Times New Roman font in 12pt for the main text and 10pt for footnotes. Two copies should be supplied to the editors and authors should retain a copy for their own reference. They should be accompanied by printed copies of the illustrations and the approximate position of these marked in the margins of the text. The text and figures should also be supplied either as email attachments or on CD-ROM (WeTransfer etc can also be used).

Set automatic superscript to OFF (File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect options > AutoFormat as you type > Clear tickbox for Ordinals with Superscript). Have the hyphenation function set to OFF and no words broken over line ends (Paragraph > Line and page breaks > Don't hyphenate).

Authors unable to submit material in electronic format are advised to discuss this with the editors.

2.1.4 Copy is sent to the printers on disk in Word format in a simple form with codes for style and layout inserted by the editors. First paragraphs are aligned with the left margin and 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, referencing follows the Harvard system, whereby author’s name, year, and specific page reference(s) appear in parentheses in the body of the text and full details of the source (including place of publication and publisher) are given in an alphabetically arranged Bibliography.

However, where extended references or references to documents are required that would be unwieldy within the text, for example in historical articles, footnotes may used and should be inserted using automatic numbering. 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.

For the arrangement of material in bibliographies, see 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 (see 2.1.1 above).

2.3 Illustrations

All illustrations, whether in line, half-tone or colour, 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. Images and their captions should complement rather than duplicate the text.

Please send your figures as jpgs, tiffs, or eps files, and ensure it is clear from the filename which figure is which. If available, it is preferable to submit your images in high resolution format from the start. However, they can be lower resolution in the first instance if necessary. Once your paper is accepted, we will we ask you to send high resolution digital images for all figures (1200dpi for fine line drawings, 800dpi for simple drawings and 300dpi for half tones and colour) saved at the size at which they are to be printed. Let us know at an early stage if you are not able to submit all images digitally.

It is particularly important for electronically supplied images that there is a printed copy indicating any cropping and adding the figure number for identification. Please also supply the images in the format (monochrome, half tone, colour) and at the scale at which they are to be published.

The maximum print area for any one figure is 205 x 135mm, but you do need to allow space for the caption of at least 10mm. Use text captions and not artwork for the title of figures. Design to avoid unnecessary areas of blank space. Fold-outs are only accepted in exceptional cases. Lettering and numbering on figures should be clear and large enough to be distinctly legible at the size at which they are to be printed. Only give imperial measurements for the illustrations of features or smaller objects if there are special historical reasons for doing so.

2.3.1 Maps and plans

A simple primary location map should be supplied and may be inset into a larger figure. Such a map could include major rivers (eg the Mole, Wey and Thames), the line of the North Downs, and relevant larger settlements marked with dots. The site name is best included in the caption. Frames around drawings are unnecessary unless the plan shows a detail of a larger area.

When maps for publication are based on Ordnance Survey mapping, editions which are out of copyright (50 years rather than 70 years for printed material) should be used wherever possible. The editors should be given details of OS sources that are in copyright in order to obtain permission for reproduction. The date of the map used should be included in the figure caption. On maps and plans, the north point should be shown (a simple style should be used) together with a neat and unobtrusive metric scale (using the abbreviations ‘km’ or ‘m’ for kilometres and metres, eg 10km, 10m).

2.3.2 Finds

Drawings of pottery and other finds should be capable of standing alone to explain the object being portrayed. Illustrations submitted will be expected to show an understanding of conventions commonly used in finds illustration. Care should be taken in, for instance, locating the positions of sections, and ensuring that, in all cases, the light source comes from the top left-hand corner. Different views of an object should be linked using a single short dash. Include a metric scale in all artefact illustrations to avoid error in reduction if a proportional scale only is given and/or, where sizing of images is crucial, provide either a total width or total depth dimension, not ‘size as supplied’ or indicate the size of one element of the total image. When adding measurements to scales close up the measurement and unit of measurement, eg ‘5cm’, not ‘5 cm’.

Pottery is normally drawn at 1:1 for linear reduction to 1:4 or exceptionally to 1:3 (usually for prehistoric pottery).

Small finds (eg of copper alloy) are normally drawn at 2:1 for reduction to 1:1.

Iron is normally drawn at 1:1 for reduction to 1:2 or smaller.

All but the smallest flints are best drawn at 1:1.

Prospective illustrators are urged to refer to the conventions and techniques used in past volumes of the Collections (eg D W Williams, 1999 Some recent finds from Surrey, Surrey Archaeological Collections, 86, 171–­97; for fine quality drawings.

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.

2.4.2 Cross references should be made in the text to items in the supplement. Note that page numbers in the supplement have the prefix ‘S’.

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 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.


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 A4 paper with 2.5cm-wide margins on both sides and held together by paper clips or treasury tags, not by staples. Also a copy of the text and figures should be submitted in electronic format.

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, should be placed at the end: 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.

Septmeber 2023