Author Guidelines

Writing for an encyclopedia requires a highly specialized form of writing that is sometimes difficult even for experienced authors. If you have any questions our staff is here to help.

Contact us at editor@cals.org or (501) 320-5753.

The staff reserves the right to reassign late or poorly written entries to a new author. We also reserve the right to reject any entry submitted.

Be Brief! An Encyclopedia, by nature, presents brief overviews of topics that often have had entire books devoted to them. For the sake of brevity, please consider the following suggestions.

    • Focus on your subject. Remember your entry will include links to related entries that will help flesh out the big picture of the subject.
    • Focus on Arkansas. The impact, influence, or connection of the subject to Arkansas, if not obvious, should be prominently presented in the entry. Briefly convey if the subject has regional, national, or international significance.
    • Pay attention to your word count. This table will give you an estimate of word counts per typed page for double spaced 12-pt Times New Roman font, on an 8 ½” x 11″ page with 1″ margins.

250 words = 1 page 500 words = 2 pages 750 words = 3 pages 1,000 words = 4 pages 1,500 words = 6 pages

Be Encyclopedic! The editorial staff will use as much of your original language as possible but will edit for a consistent voice throughout the Encyclopedia. You can assist us by doing the following.

  • Write objectively. Entries should be neither overly favorable nor critical. If the subject is controversial, explain the controversy as well as conflicting points of view.
  • Write clearly. The encyclopedia should be usable by scholars and students. Avoid jargon as much as possible; when you must include such technical terms in the entry explain them clearly.
  • Do not take for granted that readers are familiar with your subject.
  • Include Resources. In the “For additional information” section of your entry, include resources where the reader can use to find more information on the topic. These should not include private papers, but items accessible by the general public. They should include websites only if they are your subject’s official site or a scholarly or academic site devoted to your topic.

Be Professional!

  • Don’t break copyright laws. Most material published prior to 1920 may be quoted with no copyright problems. As a rule, only brief passages of prose should be quoted from material published 1920 and after. Please do not quote materials that you have published previously. Even though you can claim authorship, your inclusion of full sentences or salient phrases that have appeared in prior publication may constitute an infringement of copyright. Instead, reword any statements you wish to draw upon from your previous works.
  • Don’t reproduce errors in older texts. Use primary documents whenever possible.
  • Keep your deadlines. This project depends on hundreds of people meeting their deadlines, and each missed deadline makes the project that much harder to manage efficiently.

Please follow these instructions for submitting your entry:

E-mail

  • Email your entry as a Microsoft Word document attachment. If you do not use Word, save the file as a Rich Text Format file (extension .rtf).
  • Include your name, and phone number, and the title of your entry in the body of your email message. Include an alternate email address if available.
  • Send email submissions to editor@cals.org with the title of the entry in the subject line. If receipt of your submission has not been confirmed within five business days, please contact Guy Lancaster, via email or phone: editor@cals.org; (501) 320-5753.

Media

You are strongly encouraged to submit media to accompany your entry (photographs, illustrations, maps, graphs, audios, and/or videos) or suggestions for these and where to find them. You may also submit digital copies of media.

If you send originals or digital copies, please follow these specifications:

  • Images: For digital photos, JPG or TIF images no smaller than 2,000 pixels on the largest side, 300 DPI is required. We can also accept original slides, camera negatives, and photographic prints.
  • Video: Accepted in hard copy VHS format, DVD format, or MPEG computer format.
  • Audio: Accepted in cassette, CD, or MP3 format.

If known, include the original source for the media (i.e., history archive, photographer, personal collector, company that produced the material). Include captions or labels for names, locations, events, and the year of the production whenever possible.

If you send in original materials and wish them returned to you, alert staff to this and be sure your name and address are affixed to each item. Also, include a self-addressed stamped envelope so staff can return your materials. If you submit a photograph or other visual material from a publication or collection, note this source so encyclopedia staff can obtain permission to use it and avoid copyright infringement. If we use your photograph, tape, etc., and you would like a digital copy of it, please let us know.

  1. Initial Edit – Once an entry is received, the EOA staff will evaluate it for appropriateness and content. The entry is also subject to editing for style, accuracy, clarity, and content. An editor will perform an initial edit and make notes of areas needing further detail, explanation, or clarification. Entries in need of significant revision will be returned to their authors for reworking, and they will receive a new deadline.
  2. Outside Review – Our staff historian will read the entry and assign a reviewer with expertise in the subject area who will then review the entry. The reviewer may make recommendations for additional information to enhance the entry.
  3. Queries to Author – After the initial edit and review, the entry will be returned to you with queries and suggestions and assigned a deadline for your revision.
  4. Fact Checking – When we receive your revised entry, it will be sent to one of our fact checkers. Although the EOA staff will verify as much factual material in each entry as possible, all authors are required to review dates, names, descriptions, and all other facts before submitting their entries. You as the author have primary responsibility for the accuracy of the information presented over your name.
  5. Copyediting – Following fact checking, your entry will be thoroughly copyedited in accord with the house style guide, which is largely adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style.
  6. Author Approval – After this process is completed, the entry will be returned to you for final approval. At this point we will require you to sign off on the entry and release copyright to the encyclopedia.
  7. Updating – Once it is online, your entry may be updated as new information about the subject comes to light, or new developments warrant a change (people dying, historic structures being renovated, etc.). You should feel free to contact the Encyclopedia of Arkansas staff should you become aware of information that needs updating. We try to keep our entries as current as possible.