Environmental History is devoted to the history of human interaction with the non-human world. We define our field broadly, and we welcome submissions from scholars in all disciplines that provide insight into important issues in environmental history. We are happy to consider manuscripts about any time and any part of the world. We publish original research articles, gallery essays, book reviews, and forum collections. Please see below for instructions on each type of submission.
We expect research articles to include historical research in primary sources, usually including archival sources. Some manuscripts are rejected immediately because they are too narrowly focused or more suited to another journal. Most manuscripts are sent to two referees for review. The review process is double-blinded. We do not identify authors when we send manuscripts to referees, and we do not identify referees when we share their evaluations with authors. We hope to respond to submissions within 2 to 4 months.
Our acceptance rate is currently between 12 to 15%. This means that we must reject excellent manuscripts. When we evaluate manuscripts, we consider the significance of the topic, the originality of the argument, and the quality of the research and writing. We also consider the potential readership for each piece, and authors should give careful thought to the question of audience. What kind of readers will find your work compelling? If a manuscript is likely to appeal only to a few specialists in one sub-field of environmental history, we probably will not be able to publish the article in the journal.
Manuscript Length: We accept manuscripts up to 10,000 words in length (notes included), but strongly prefer manuscripts in the 8,000-9,000 word range, inclusive of all note text. Please note that we follow the Chicago Manual of Style and expect foot- or endnotes, not in-text citations.
Please read these instructions carefully and follow them closely to ensure that the review and publication of your paper are as efficient as possible. The Editors reserve the right to return manuscripts that are not in accordance with these instructions.
Please see the manuscript preparation guidelines for additional information on preparing your manuscript.
This section of the journal is devoted to the visual and material analysis of environment-related images and objects. Gallery articles are short pieces, from approximately 1,800 to 3,800 words, that focus exclusively on reading and building an argument around a single image, object, or a related group.
Gallery essays, like original research articles, should be submitted online.
A forum is a collection of short, provocative thought pieces on a particular theme. It typically replaces 2 or 3 regular research articles. Think of these pieces not as polished research articles of interest only to people already immersed in the historiography you discuss, but rather as pieces designed to stimulate new research in interesting avenues, engage with students, and draw scholars from other fields into your conversation. All the pieces must be accessible to non-specialists. Interdisciplinary forums are easier than special issues to accommodate within the regular journal, and we encourage people with possible forum topics to contact the editor about ideas.
Total 22,000 to 28,000 words (including notes).
Number of pieces:
The forum should include an introductory essay by the forum editor, plus 4 to 10 shorter pieces that engage in a lively, collaborative conversation with each other. In other words, the contributors must discuss each other’s insights.
Contributors should represent a diverse collection of scholars, preferably from more than one region, field, or disciplinary training. Global proposals receive preference over proposals from scholars within a single nation; interdisciplinary proposals will receive preference over proposals from within a single discipline.
The proposal will resemble an ASEH panel conference proposal. In a single word document, please include:
- Forum title
- Forum editor name, email, and affiliation
- Forum abstract (250 to 400 words)
- For each piece within the proposed forum, include the name of the author, affiliation, email, title of the essay, and abstract (250 to 400 words) for the essay
- Month 0: submission of initial drafts to forum editor. The forum editor will work with the forum authors on their initial drafts. All forum authors should read and comment on drafts of all the pieces, and authors should revise their early drafts in light of each other’s comments.
- Month 3: after the forum editor approves the revisions, she or he will notify the journal editor, and the journal editor will send Scholar One “invited contribution” invitations to forum authors. Authors will submit their invited pieces to Scholar One. The journal editor will send the full set of submissions as a group out for peer review (usually 2 reviewers).
- Month 5-6: reviewers will have the usual 6 to 8 weeks for their reviews. The journal editor will then make a decision about the entire forum and communicate that decision to the forum editor. If appropriate, the forum editor and the journal editor will work with individual authors on the revision process.
- Month 7-8: revisions will be due; if accepted, the forum will be scheduled for the next appropriate issue (issues are typically filled 6 to 9 months in advance).
- Month 9-10: the forum will be published online 7 to 9 weeks after all revisions are completed. The forum will appear in print as scheduled, dependent on space in the issue.
Book reviews are a highly valued component of our journal. Book reviews demonstrate thoughtful engagement and contain stimulating insights about recent publications of interest to our readers. Our reviewers, some of the most knowledgeable scholars in the field, typically provide the following:
1) A careful summary of the work’s central features, including its subject matter, organization, and how the argument is structured; and
2) Analysis of how the work contributes to the relevant field(s) of knowledge and/or theoretical literatures, including any perceived shortcomings.
Book reviews in Environmental History are by invitation only. We do not accept unsolicited book reviews.
Environmental History follows a set of established standards for reviewers. The primary qualification for reviewers is the publication of one major monograph or several major articles in significant journals, although we do occasionally use reviewers with special qualifications who have fewer publications. We also generally require that reviewers have a Ph.D. or its equivalent such as a J.D. or Th.D. Our intent is to ensure that reviewers have experienced the peer-review process themselves and understand the nature and production of historical and environmental studies monographs.
Potential Book Reviewers:
We are continually interested in expanding our list of potential reviewers. Environmental History normally commissions reviews from scholars who have published at least one original monograph or several major articles, and who have a Ph.D. or its equivalent. If you meet these qualifications and would like to be added to our list of potential reviewers, please email us your name, affiliation, C.V., and a short statement noting the fields in which you are interested in reviewing. Please designate your preferred mailing address and one phone number. Please contact the book review editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for taking the time to help contribute to our field of study.
Writing your book review
If you receive an invitation from us, we sincerely hope you can accept. Your review will contribute to our intellectual community, not only by informing readers about recent scholarly publications, but also by more broadly sustaining the practice of serious, careful, and diplomatic yet critical exchange that lies at the heart of the scholarly endeavor.
Please note that we use the most economical shipping method available. For reviewers based in Asia, Europe, and South America this means that you may not receive your book for 6 – 12 weeks.
Book Review Length: Your book review word count should fall within a range of 475-550 words, with the average review about 500 words (including bibliographic information and reviewer information). The editors recognize the challenges of writing a carefully constructed review in so few words. We believe that crafting reviews is a major, if underestimated, contribution to the discipline and study of environmental history and appreciate the efforts you and our colleagues regularly make on all of our behalf.
Once a review is submitted, we edit it for length and style. Reviews that exceed 550 words will be edited—it is very important that reviewers adhere to our word count limits. Reviews that exceed 550 words will be taking word space from other reviewers and in the interest of fairness and equity in allocating word space for each review, our policy is thus to not make exceptions.
Your review needs to follow this format:
Title of Book. By Author’s First and Last Name. Publication City (or Cities): Publisher, Date. Roman numeral pages + Arabic numbered pages. Illustrations, notes, tables, bibliography, and index. Cloth price, paper price.
The Review. Almost all reviews should be no more than 550 words. In rare cases, when reviewers are writing about several books in one review, for instance, the book review editor will allow a higher word count.
Your name and your institutional affiliation as you want them to appear in print after your primary content.
Please keep these points in mind when writing your review
Audience Assume your readers are interested in environmental history but come from a variety of fields and are not experts on the topic of the book.
Tone Reviews should be professional. Authors and readers alike deserve evenhanded assessments
Coverage Readers will want to know:
- What the book is about. Summarize the main points.
- Where the books fit in the literature. Whose work does it support or rebut? Is it novel in topic, argument, or methods?
- How well the author succeeds. What are the book’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Quality of the prose. Is the writing clear and accessible?
- Audiences. Would you recommend this book to the general public? Scholars in a particular field? Environmental historians? Graduate students? Undergraduates (especially as a class text)?
- Quality of production if unusual. Did the publisher show unusual care (e.g., in design, figures, etc.) or sloppiness (e.g., in copy editing, quality of reproductions, etc.), pushing the book above or below the broad middle in quality?
- Overall assessment. How does this book compare to its peer
Edited Collections Give the reader an overview of the book. Illustrate your points with examples from one or more chapters. Perhaps identify chapters that stand out and discuss them in more detail.
- Avoid “I,” “we,” “this writer,” and other self-referential words and phrases.
- Keep quotations from the book brief, and cite the page number in parentheses, for example, “quote” (p. 76).
- If you refer to other books or articles, cite the author, title, publisher or journal, publication date, and page numbers (if needed) in parentheses.
- Use no footnotes.
- Spell out whole numbers from one through one hundred unless in a list; otherwise use numerals.
- Spell out references to particular centuries, but hyphenate when they are used as adjectives (“twentieth century,” “nineteenth-century standards”).
- Use lower case and Arabic numerals to refer to numbered parts of a book (for example, “chapter 3” or “part 2”)
Please submit your review via email to the book review editor at email@example.com. We would prefer the review sent as an attachment, but if necessary it can be sent as text in the message (We prefer documents prepared using MS Word, saved as Word/.doc or .rtf files). Do not save in fast save.
A special issue is defined as a journal issue that extends operational costs beyond the regular budget for each fiscal year. A special issue can be either a) larger-than- normal issue containing extra substantive material or b) an additional issue of the journal, perhaps produced to highlight a specific theme of research. The special issue editor will be in charge of framing the theme, issuing a call for papers, recruiting essays, and working with the journal editor on the revision and peer review process.
Anyone proposing a special issue will prepare a proposal that includes a an abstract, a call for papers as appropriate, and a proposed budget to cover the cost of an additional issue (approximately $20,000). The special issue proposal will need to be approved by both the editor and by a majority vote of the editorial board, in consultation with both societies and Oxford University Press.
In a single word document, please include:
- Special issue title, Special issue editor name, email, and affiliation
- Special issue justification, audience, and abstract (500 to 750 words)
- For each article within the proposed special issue, include the name of the author, affiliation, email, title of the essay, and abstract (250 to 400 words) for the essay
- Budget: after discussing budgets with the journal editor and publisher, include the funding model for covering these costs.