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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, notes, and commentaries directed to a wide professional audience. Other sections include those devoted to poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction on matters fundamental to the field; and reviews of books, exhibitions and events, films, sound recordings, and digital/online resources. Its contents are not restricted to folklore in the United States; the Journal publishes materials on folklore and from folklorists anywhere in the world.

The contents of the Journal reflect a wide range of topics and points of view. As the flagship publication of the Society, the Journal reflects concerns of members in both academic and public spheres. Content is grounded in past and current folklore scholarship, and is based on recognized disciplinary methods. Articles present significant research findings and theoretical analyses from the disciplinary perspective of folklore. Notes are narrower in scope and focus on a single, often provocative, issue of definition, interpretation, or practice. Commentaries briefly address topics raised in earlier articles. 

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, and manuscripts for note-length articles should be 8,000-10,000 words, 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.

Manuscripts should be submitted Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf). 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 or flash drive in the mailing containing digital copies as described above. In that case, mail the submission to:

Lisa Gilman, Editor-in-Chief
Journal of American Folklore
Folklore Program, George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MSN 3E4
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444

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.

In 2012, the American Folklore Society adopted policies that make the Journal a Green open access publication. (For more information on the various color-named levels of open access, please visit Green OA means that AFS encourages authors to post pre-prints and post-prints of their Journal contributions in temporary locations, such as personal websites, until such time as the publisher’s version is available. Authors may post publisher’s versions of their Journal contributions to the repository of their home institution as soon as those versions are available. To read the Society's complete Green OA policy, please click here.



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