Cover of the current issue of the journal Environmental History

Journal style guide

If we accept your work, you will need to provide a new electronic version of your article that conforms to Environmental History's publishing guidelines. These guidelines will be sent to you at that point. We also will give you instructions for the preparation of any graphic materials that accompany your article. If you plan to use any illustrations, maps, or photographs that are taken from a source protected by copyright, you will be responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to use those materials.

If we accept your work, your article also will need to conform to certain standards of style and citation. Our articles have endnotes, for example, not in-text references to a list of sources. Though we will consider submissions that do not meet our style and citation standards, the publication process will proceed much more efficiently if your manuscript conforms from the start. We rely on the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition, 2010).

The following rules cover the most common issues that arise in copyediting:

First person: Except in cases where it is important for authors to foreground their positionality, the journal discourages the use of the first person. Readers will assume that the ideas expressed in a manuscript are those of the author(s) unless they are attributed to others via citation.

Quotations: Use block quotations only for quotes longer than ten typed lines. Do not begin or end quotations with ellipses. Avoid putting quotation marks around a single word, especially for purposes of irony.

Spelling: We use Merriam-Webster's Eleventh New Collegiate Dictionary (2005) as a guide to spelling (including hyphenation, closed or unclosed compounds, etc.), although other modern U.S. dictionaries are usually valid. All spellings are Americanized where appropriate. For plants, trees, and animals mentioned in the text, use common names rather than scientific names (unless there is no common name in English); scientific names may be included in an endnote if warranted.

Capitalization: See Chapter 7 in the Chicago Manual of Style. Generally, minimize the use of capital letters, especially in titles of people and government organizations.

Money: For whole dollars and other basic currency units: One dollar–ninety-nine dollars: write out, with "dollars." For $100 and up: Use numerals and "$" sign. For large, "round" amounts of $1 million or more, use, e.g., $3 million, $55.6 million, $17 billion, etc. For fractions of basic currency units, less than one, spell out the number, e.g., five cents, fifty-seven cents, eight pence, fourteen shillings. For fractions greater than one unit, use numerals and the currency sign, e.g., $2.47, $137.50, £ 3.12.6 (old), £ 3.68 (new). If the currency symbol isn't available, write it out, e.g., 100 yen, seventy-five rubles, 3,000 lira, 4.55 francs.

Dates: Use month-day-year or month-year formats for dates in text or notes, unless date is given otherwise in a title or direct quotation. Examples: "March 24, 1936," "April 1967."

Numbers: Whole numbers from one through one hundred and any number beginning a sentence should be spelled out, as should round numbers if one or two words (e.g., one hundred, ten thousand, five million). For other numbers, numerals should be used.

Abbreviations: See the Chicago Manual of Style, Chapter 10, for general usage. EH frequently abbreviates titles or ranks before a name, on first and subsequent references. Common nouns or short phrases are sometimes preferable to abbreviations or acronyms, especially if the latter are long and obscure. If an acronym or abbreviation is needed, be sure to use the full name or title on first reference, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses, e.g., "National Park Service (NPS)."

Endnotes: Your article should have no more than 100 notes.  Try to limit notes to one at the end of each paragraph; strings of references to a single source, for example, can be combined into one note for a whole paragraph. Use periods and semi-colons to separate different source citations in the note. For source citation styles, see the Chicago Manual of Style, Chapter 14. Be sure to give complete citations for books and periodicals, including place and date of publication AND name of publishing company (books), and volume numbers and publication dates (periodicals). Do not use "p." or "pp." with page numbers. Be very specific about citing archival sources; your note should be adequate so that a reader can find the same source for his or her own use. Use full titles on first reference; short titles may be used on subsequent references, but be sure to include name(s) of author(s) in short references. Always give full names of authors on first reference, even if the author’s name is mentioned in the text.

Citation examples

Examples of full and short citations are given below.


Fred Q. Jones, The Book I Wrote (Philadelphia: Popular Press, 1986), 8-13, 25-78, 101-103, 107-13, 118-57, 178-217.

Jones, Book I Wrote, 12-13, 18-45, 99-107, 109-26.

Fred W. Jones, My Long Book, 3 vols. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), 1:1-35.

Fred W. Jones, Long Book, 2:28.

Fred X. Jones, Adolescence, vol. 2 of The Life and Times of Fred X. Jones (Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1936), 23-337.

Fred Y. Jones, The Book I Wrote in 1873 (1873; reprint, Savannah, Tenn.: Old Timey Press, 1988), 237-69.

Fred Z. Jones, The Book I Wrote in Secret (Privately published, 1917, copy in North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), 802-807.

Fred A. Jones and A. Fred Green, The Book We Wrote Together and Rewrote Later, rev. ed. (Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 246-89.

Fred B. Jones, ed. and trans. by Gloria Sforth, The Book Fred Wrote and Gloria Edited (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, forthcoming), 407-13.


Jane A. Smith, "The Article I Wrote," The Quarterly Journal 10 (April 1976): 11-13. [NOTE: DO NOT give issue number; DO give volume number and date of publication.]

Smith, "Article I Wrote," 12-13.

It is preferable to have complete citations for all periodicals, including volume numbers; however, for popular publications, the date of publication alone is acceptable.

Alfred Peterson, "The Abominable Snowman At 40," National Enquirer, July 17, 1992, 12-14.

Newspaper articles, especially in older newspapers, may be cited by publication and date only, though a complete citation is preferable. If publication site of newspaper is not obvious, include it.

Daily Gleaner (Beltsville, Md.), November 23, 1883, 3.

New York Times, April 18, 1932. VII, 7. [Section VII, Page 7.]

Catherine Parr, "City Says No to New Greenways," Durham (N.C.) Sun, February 18, 1985, 1-B.

Theses, dissertations, academic papers

John L. Brown, "Hoots and Hollers: Appalachian Topography and the Development of Country Music," (Ph.D. diss., North Carolina State University, 1993), ch. 3.

John L. Brown, "Hollerin' in the Holler: The Musical Life of Fancy Gap, Virginia, 1748-1935," (paper presented at the bimonthly meeting of the American Academy for Creative Stuff, Peru, Vt., March 1996).

Government documents

Always specify the appropriate governmental jurisdiction--"U.S.," "Government of Canada," "State of Nevada," "City of Boston," etc.--for appropriate agencies. Use complete titles, not abbreviations, on first references. For published, nonperiodical U.S. Government documents, cite "Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office" as publisher and use citation style for books (above).

U.S. Congress, House Committee on Agriculture, Hearings on Forest Management, 88th Cong., 2d sess., 1964, House Report 28, 1-3.

Archival sources

Frank Stanley to Alfred White, August 24, 1934, Division of Timber Management Reading File, Record Group 95, Box 1320 [hereafter, DTM Reading File], National Archives, Washington, D.C. [hereafter, NA].

Mary Carter to Alfred White, August 26, 1934, DTM Reading File [hereafter, "Carter-White letter"], NA.

Oral and personal sources

Janet P. Bushwhacker, interview with author, May 14, 1995, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (tape recording and handwritten notes in possession of the author).

Remember: Write first-reference citations as specifically as possible so other readers can find the source and use it.

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Please email comments, questions and suggestions to the Digital Editor. Edited 15 April 2024.