Cover of the current issue of the journal Environmental History

How to submit articles to EH

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 covering any time period or time frame and any part of the world. This page describes each type of article we publish and how to submit them.

General instructions

(Here are the links to Editorial Manager and our Style guide.)

We welcome and appreciate authors' interest in publishing in Environmental History. Please read and follow these instructions carefully 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.

Different article types are accepted at different levels of completion. We accept research articles and Gallery essays as unsolicited, finished manuscripts. Book reviews are by invitation only, but we invite you to contact us if you would like to join our list of potential reviewers. For every other kind of article please contact us before submitting a proposal. See below for details.

The text of your manuscript, including image captions, should be submitted as a Microsoft Word file (normally a .docx). The images themselves should not be in the Word file, but uploaded separately; they will be automatically appended to the PDF that is distributed to referees. We follow the Chicago Manual of Style and expect footnotes or endnotes, not in-text citations. In addition all submissions must conform to EH's style guide.

Our publisher is the University of Chicago Press; please see UCP's EH page for Editorial Manager and further guidance on submitting articles to EH.

Research articles

We accept research article manuscripts of up to 9,500 words (notes included), but strongly prefer 8,000-9,000. We hope to respond to submissions within 2 to 4 months. Some manuscripts are rejected immediately because they are too narrowly focused, are more suited to another journal, or have obvious and significant issues that seriously undermine the prospects of successfully navigating peer review. Most manuscripts are sent to two referees for review. The review process is double-blinded; we do not identify manuscript authors when we send drafts to referees, and we do not identify referees when we share their evaluations with authors.

Guidelines for referees of research articles

Because the journal can only accept about 12 percent of the submissions it receives, it asks referees to rigorously evaluate manuscripts by considering a number of criteria. Even the best manuscripts can usually use some strengthening in one or more of those areas, and so the journal almost never accepts a manuscript without an initial round of revisions. Indeed, the journal can only offer a Revise and Resubmit decision when it sees a clear path to publication. With that in mind, here are the criteria the journal asks reviewers to consider.

Significance: How important is the subject of this piece to the field of environmental history? How likely is it to spur conversation in the field? Is it likely to be widely cited?

Quality: Are the argument, intervention, and narrative arc all clear? Is the piece well-structured and well-written? Is the evidence to support the argument richly sourced? Please note that we expect evidence to include primary sources, usually including archival sources.

Originality: How original is the author’s argument? How does this piece contribute to scholarly debate? Does it challenge conventional understandings, or does it simply confirm what environmental historians already know or would be likely to guess?

Historiographical engagement: Is the manuscript well situated in the historiographical landscape it inhabits? Does it draw upon and engage relevant debates within the field of environmental history? Do the citations reflect the diverse authorship that marks the field of environmental history?

Audience: Is it aimed principally or only incidentally at environmental historians? Will it appeal to a wide swath of environmental historians? Might it find an audience beyond the field by underscoring the significance of environmental history to other subfields? If changes are needed to broaden the manuscript's appeal beyond specialists in a particular area, how extensive would they need to be?

Authors considering submission should be aware that the editors take all of these criteria seriously. To offer historiographical engagement as an example, a manuscript that adequately situates its argument in the relevant historiography must engage recent debates in a way that clearly reflects an awareness of current contours of the field – a field that is increasingly diverse, both demographically and methodologically. At the same time, however, successful manuscripts cannot ignore germane historiographical debates that stretch back decades. Manuscripts that fail on either count are unlikely to successfully navigate peer review.

Since April 2003, Gallery essays have appeared in each issue of EH. Photographs, cartoons, posters, botanical prints, and maps offer insight into the past, and Gallery essays aim to spark discussion about the wealth of visual materials in our field. Some explain how an image came to be, while others explore an image’s historical impact. Some consider images as sources. We often can learn something about environmental history from a visual source that we cannot learn as well–- or at all–- from written sources. Other Gallery essays focus on the use of visual materials in teaching.

What Gallery essays are not

The essays in the Gallery section of Environmental History are not typical history essays with images attached. These essays are not meant to be shortened versions of longer history essays that might appear in the journal, but with images thrown in to supplement or support an argument being made by the author in the essay. The images in the Gallery essays, in other words, are not mere “window dressing” for arguments made from other historical source materials.

What Gallery essays are

Gallery essays begin with the image(s) or other material object(s). The argument of each essay derives from the visual images. This is very different than stating an historical argument, and then supplementing it with images. In many ways, the essays we’re interested in are similar in approach to American Studies or Cultural Studies methodologies, which often examine visual materials as historic texts. The images in Gallery essays, in other words, are texts that are “read” by the author to make his/her argument in the essay. These images thus must be rich enough, and complex enough, to warrant detailed scrutiny and analysis.

Length

In general, Gallery essays run between 6-10 manuscript pages or between 1,800 and 3,800 words, including notes. (In certain cases, we can accept submissions that are a bit longer.)

If your essay is accepted

You will receive a Graphics Information Sheet in a separate email that provides instructions on publishing images, including proper resolutions, permissions, and figure captions. Please remember that obtaining the images and permissions can be a long process and that all images, figure captions, and permissions are due at the time of your final manuscript submission.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the journal’s Gallery and Film Forum Editor.

Book reviews

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.

PLEASE NOTE: The book review process is now handled by the Environmental History book review editor(s). Publishers and authors who want their books reviewed will no longer send copies to the Forest History Society. Instead, copies should be sent to the address below.

Address to send books for review:
Sarah Stanford-Mcintyre
45 S 38th St
Boulder CO 80305

Potential book reviewers

Book reviews in EH are by invitation only; we do not accept unsolicited book reviews. We are continually interested in expanding our list of potential reviewers. EH 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. 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. 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. Thank you for taking the time to help contribute to our field of study.

Book review length

Your book review should fall within 650-750 words, with most reviews about 700 words (including bibliographic information and reviewer information). In rare cases, such as when reviewers are writing about several books in one review, the book review editors will allow a higher word count. 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.

Book review format

Book review audience

Keep in mind who readers of EH are and their interest in environmental history, but remember that they come from a variety of fields and are not necessarily experts on this book’s topic.

Book review tone

Remember that reviews should be professional. Authors and readers alike deserve even-handed assessments.

Book review coverage

Most readers will want to know:

Book review editing

Once a review is submitted, we edit it for length and style. Reviews that exceed 750 words will be edited— it is very important that reviewers adhere to our word count limits. Reviews that exceed 750 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.

Film Forums

Environmental History runs an annual Film Forum in each April issue. This section features approximately three to five reviews of films that address important issues and events related to environmental history. The Film Forum emphasizes recent films, though occasionally reviews of older films may also be included. The Film Forum does not attempt a comprehensive overview of the numerous films produced about the environment, but rather aims to provide EH readers with critical commentary on a sampling of films pertinent to our field.

Guidelines

Film title. Directed by Director’s Name. Name of Production Company, Year of Release. Running Time.

Example: The Land Beneath Our Feet. Directed by Sarita Siegel and Gregg Mitman. Alchemy Films, 2016. 60 minutes.

Procedure

Film reviews will be commissioned by the journal’s Gallery and Film Forum Editor. Potential reviewers may also propose films for possible review; please send suggestions for reviews to the Gallery and Film Forum Editor.

Forums

A forum is a discussion of a particular theme via several provocative thought pieces. It typically replaces 2 or 3 regular research articles.

When considering a potential forum, 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. We encourage people with possible forum topics to contact the editor about ideas.

Forum length

Total 12,000-15,000 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

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.

Proposal content

To propose a forum, contact the journal co-editors. The proposal will resemble an ASEH panel conference proposal. In a single Word document, please include:

Typical Forum schedule

Teaching modules

Teaching modules are designed to be utilized by secondary school teachers in the 7-12 classroom. They are published here at environmentalhistory.net, no payment or login required.

Authors interested in submitting a teaching module should contact the journal co-editors.

Field Notes

Field notes are a peer-reviewed online feature that provides new insights into the practice of environmental history scholarship in the field, wherever that may be. We invite short essays, especially media-rich ones, that illuminate all parts of the research process, including, but not limited to, field work, archives, interdisciplinarity, digital tools and sources, outreach, and so on. Essays can also revisit classic texts through innovative readings or provide overviews of emerging research areas. Field Notes are published free of charge or login here at environmentalhistory.net.

Authors interested in submitting a Field Note should contact the journal co-editors.

Source Notes

In January 2006, Editor Mark Cioc added a “Sources” section to the journal to showcase unusual and innovative source materials of use to environmental historians. Authors interested in submitting a Source Note should contact the journal co-editors.

Reflections essays

In January 2003 Editor Adam Rome introduced a new section, Reflections. These essays draw on personal experience and reflect on broad issues in the field. They are particularly well-suited for teaching. Authors interested in submitting a Reflections essay should contact the journal editors.

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