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Journal of American Folklore Information for Contributors

The Journal of American Folklore, the quarterly journal of the American Folklore Society since the Society’s founding in 1888, publishes scholarly articles and other features, notes, and commentaries directed at a wide variety of audiences, as well as separate sections devoted to reviews and obituaries. Materials reviewed in the Journal include books, exhibitions and events, sound recordings, films and videos, websites and Internet media. The content of the Journal reflects a wide range of professional concerns, theoretical orientations, and communicative modes.

The Journal publishes articles, reviews, polemics, notes on practice, poetry and short fiction on matters fundamental to the field, commentaries, and obituaries. “Articles” present significant research findings and theoretical analyses from folklore and related fields. They may include black-and-white photos and other figures; additional photos or supplementary media may be included in the journal’s associated web site. “Reviews” are of many kinds and are usually assigned. “Polemics” are narrower in scope and focus on a single, often provocative issue of significance to the field. “Notes on practice” are informational pieces focusing on essential or specialized tasks that folklorists undertake in their work. “Commentaries,” included in the “Dialogues” section, address topics raised in earlier articles. The views expressed in the journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the society or its officers.

Article manuscripts should be submitted according to the guidelines outlined below. Submissions are acknowledged on receipt and are evaluated first by the Journal editorial staff, and then, if found appropriate for the Journal, are sent for “double blind” review to two qualified referees. The staff attempts to keep authors informed about the review process via e-mail; current and accurate e-mail addresses expedite this communication. Outside reviews may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to be completed. Authors are notified as soon as a decision has been made on whether to accept or reject a manuscript. Acceptance may be either outright or contingent on the completion of recommended changes. Rejection may be outright or with the possibility of revision and resubmission for a new evaluation. The editors reserve the right to reject or return for revision any material submitted, on the grounds of inappropriate subject matter, quality, or length. Submitted manuscripts should not have been published elsewhere and must not be under concurrent consideration by any other journal.

Reviews and review articles are generally requested by the review editors, but the editors welcome queries from scholars concerned with particular areas of folklore research. Expressions of willingness to review from scholars with particular expertise are welcomed. Colleagues who wish to write an obituary should contact the editors.

The guidelines for article submission are as follows. Essay manuscripts should be 10,000-15,000 words in length, including abstract, notes, and bibliography. The article must begin with a 50- to 75-word abstract that summarizes the essential points and findings of the article. Potential authors should submit article manuscripts through the online submission system, available at

Manuscripts should be submitted Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf) and should not include the author’s name or any references within the text that would identify the author to the manuscript reviewers. Passages that would identify the author can be marked in the following manner to indicate excised words: (****). Figures should be embedded in this version just as they would ideally be placed in the published text.

The American Folklore Society and the University of Illinois Press now maintain a Journal multimedia site that onto which authors can publish audio and visual materials to evidence and supplement their Journal-published work. We encourage authors to submit multimedia materials to supplement their text submissions. These components may include still-image files, moving-image files, sound files, and other materials that enhance published articles. Possible supplementary materials (e.g., additional photographs, sound files, video footage, etc.) that might accompany the article in its online version should be described in a note addressed to the editors. If the article is accepted for publication, authors should submit electronic files of all photos and/or figures.

Authors who prefer to submit an article by hard copy rather than by email attachment may do so as long as they include a CD in the mailing containing digital copies as described above. In that case, mail the submission to: Journal of American Folklore, The Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd #61029, Bowling Green KY 42101-1029 USA.

Photographs accompanying articles that are accepted for publication must be at a resolution of 300 DPI or higher and should be in TIFF format. JPG format is not accepted. Line drawings, maps, and tables should be submitted in black-and-white at a resolution of 1200 DPI. Small files may be submitted as attachments; contact the editors regarding the submission of larger files. Permissions for all included photos and/or other supplemental materials are the responsibility of the author and must be supplied before publication can proceed. No supplemental files need be submitted until the editors have indicated acceptance of the manuscript. For further information on figure formatting and permissions, please contact the editors.

The Journal generally follows the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010, also available online). Close examination of the most current issue provides a helpful model for correct Journal style and form. For spelling, refer to Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1986) or the latest edition of its abridgment, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. If two or more spellings are given, use the first. In all quotations from the printed text, the actual spelling in the original is used. Authors should avoid unnecessary use of gender-exclusive language.


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American Folklore Society
Mershon Center, The Ohio State University, 1501 Neil Avenue, Columbus OH 43201-2602 USA
614/292-4715; fax: 614/292-2199;

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