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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The text has not been previously edited or compelling reasons for a new edition have been submitted with the edition.
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word (.doc / .docx) or RTF (.rtf) file format.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • The instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The reproductions of the original manuscript pages (preferably digital) are legible and ready to submit as supplementary files.

Author Guidelines

Each submission must contain four elements: a general introduction, manuscript description, a statement of editorial conventions, and the edited text. Introductory material will be in English. In addition, each submission must be accompanied by facsimiles of all base manuscript pages (for evaluation purposes). An edition submitted to OSTMAR may include supplementary non-text materials intended for publication, such as images or sound files, or encoded text materials, such as marked-up text (e.g. in XML). Authors are responsible for obtaining all relevant permissions and paying any related fees for publication of the text or any supplementary materials.


Submissions should be in .doc or .rtf form. Citations should follow Chicago style guidelines. The body and footnotes should be double spaced and in a 12 point font. Accompanying facsimiles of the manuscript for evaluation should be in .jpg or .tif format. Supplementary material should be submitted in separate files, in well-supported standard formats (*preferred):

  • for semantically marked-up text: XML, preferably conforming to the guidelines of TEI-P5
  • for images: GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF*
  • for audio: WAV*, AIFF, MP3
  • for video: AVI*, MOV

If material is to be submitted in other formats, please contact the General Editor before submission.

The Introduction (1500 words exclusive of notes)

This section should provide a broad introduction to the text aimed at a general academic audience. It should provide the reader with basic guidelines for understanding and interpreting the text. Its overall purpose is descriptive, and any analysis of the text should serve this larger goal. Although it may identify certain aspects as significant and focus on these, it should also attend to elements of the text which may be unfamiliar to a non-specialist. The introduction must include references to relevant scholarly work on comparable texts and a discussion of its genre. Where relevant it should also include a discussion of the text's manuscript context and/or its history. For an example please see Frank Klaassen, "Three Early Modern Magic Rituals to Spoil Witches."

Manuscript Description

The depth of the manuscript description may vary a great deal depending on its relevance to the interpretation of the text, but in general authors should seek to provide this information in a concise fashion. At a minimum it must include the full shelf mark, dating of the manuscript, and its geographic origin. The shelf mark should follow Kristeller's conventions (i.e., city in native language, full name of library in native language, collection, and number). See P. O. Kristeller, and S. Krämer, Latin Manuscript Books before 1600: A List of the Printed Catalogues and Unpublished Inventories of Extant Collections(München: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 1993).

The Editorial Conventions

Submissions must contain a brief discussion of editorial conventions, particularly where they deviate from the guidelines suggested below.

The Text and Apparatus

The great temporal, disciplinary, and linguistic scope of OSTMAR makes impossible the establishment of a uniform set of editorial principles. The editorial approach may in some cases be informed by the text under consideration or accepted conventions for a particular language or discipline. However, certain general principles should inform all editions. Deviations from them should be discussed with OSTMAR editors in advance of submission and ultimately indicated in the introductory material. In general OSTMAR regards minimal editorial intervention as preferable. The textual apparatus should be included in the footnotes. Diplomatic editions may be preferable, particularly where a greater transparency to the original is demanded by the text.

  • The mise-en-page of an acrostic or scholastic distinctio, for example, should be represented in the edition as an indispensible element in understanding the text.

The line-endings of the edition should reflect those of the original manuscript. Lines should be numbered consecutively in fives in the right margin and should generally exclude titles. Folio breaks should be indicated in the left margin. Standard abbreviations may be silently expanded so long as this is indicated in the introduction. Ambiguous cases should be indicated in the apparatus. Where the editor wishes to mark letters added in the expansions of abbreviations, they should appear in italics.

  • Special symbols or characters such as astrological sigils may be reproduced with a corresponding special character from a modern font so long as the meaning of the sigil is indicated in the notes.

The original morphology should be maintained. Clear scribal errors in the manuscript may be corrected in the text for readability, so long as such cases are indicated in the apparatus.

  • In the text: ...knyght...
  • In the apparatus: knyght] kynght

The original letterforms should be maintained. At the same time, ambiguous forms such as ȝ and þ, which may have been used as an abbreviation rather than a letterform, may be transcribed according to their phonetic intention.

  • E.g., iuvenis should not be corrected to juvenis, nor vncle, to uncle.

In cases where it will not affect the sense of any part of the text but will increase readability, punctuation may be modernized so long as this is indicated in the introduction. In cases where punctuation imposes one of two or more possible readings upon the text, it is generally preferable to maintain the original punctuation throughout and to include a discussion of the various possible readings of any ambiguities in the notes. In cases where modern punctuation cannot accommodate the sense of some part of the text, original punctuation should be maintained throughout. Marginal and interlinear additions to the text by the original scribe should be indicated by forward and reverse primes. Subsequent corrections to the text may be included at the discretion of the editor but this must be indicated in the introduction.

  • ...with `the´ blood of a dead man...

Conjectural readings of illegible words or letters in the base manuscript due to damage or erasure should be enclosed in angle brackets. Where conjectural readings are not possible, the missing text may be indicated with an ellipsis.

  • ...with the <bloo>d of a dead man...
  • ...after <…> then...
Supplementary Materials

Supplementary materials must be supplied with clear labels. Brief notes contextualizing or describing the material may be included. Where appropriate, the source of the material must be clearly indicated, and documentation to show that permission to publish has been granted must be submitted before publication.


This section is dedicated to original textual editions and may include translations.

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