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Author Guidelines

2019-2020
Deadline for Spring 2020 issue 
December 16, 2019

About Past Imperfect:

Past Imperfect is a student run, collaborative graduate research journal that is committed to producing thought-provoking, insightful and dynamic interdisciplinary content of the History and Classics Graduate Student Association (HCGSA). This journal strives to represent the individual perspectives of our writers, and authentically communicate both their academic and creative works to our readers. This open access journal provides an opportunity for developing scholars to gain experience with peer-reviewed academic publishing.

What we publish:

Past Imperfect welcomes original research articles and book reviews covering a broad range of both time and geography. The journal especially encourages the submission of revised term papers, conference presentations, or thesis chapters. Articles that appear in Past Imperfect are abstracted in “America: History and Life” and “Historical Abstracts.” Submissions from any discipline are welcome but should be historical in focus.

Who can submit to Spectrum:

 To be published by Spectrum, you must be either:

  • a current graduate student at any post-secondary institution in any faculty, or
  • a recent alumnus of an graduate program (within the last 12 months)

Peer review process:

Submissions will undergo a blind review process by two to three reviewers (including at least one faculty member).

Reviewers make their recommendations for publication based on the following criteria:

  • Clarity and coherence
  • Structured and organized presentation
  • Adherence to the Chicago Manual of Style
  • Based on original research and primary sources
  • Sound methodology
  • Conversant with relevant literature
  • Sophisticated analysis

Open Access Policy:

Past Imperfect provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports greater global exchange of knowledge. Authors will never be charged to submit or publish a manuscript through Spectrum, and all articles will be published under Creative Commons licences. 

Copyright Policy:

By signing the Past Imperfect publication agreement (download here), authors agree to the following:

  • The work has not been previously published in any format;
  • Past Imperfectis granted the royalty-free right to publish and disseminate the work in current and future formats;
  • The work will be published inPast Imperfect under a Creative Commons licence. Past Imperfect encourages authors to publish the work under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence (CC BY 4.0) that allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as they credit the Author(s) for the original creation. Authors may however choose to have their work distributed under any of the Creative Commons licenses currently available by specifying their preferred licence in the publication agreement. A description of the Creative Commons licences is available here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/
  • Authors retain their copyright, including the right to subsequently publish or disseminate their work elsewhere, provided that they make reasonable efforts to ensure that the publication inPast Imperfect is acknowledged. 
  • Authors agree to determine, prior to publication, whether it is necessary to obtain permissions from any third party who hold rights with respect to any photographs, illustrations, drawings, text, or any other material (“third party work”) to be published in connection with your work. Copyright permission will not be necessary if the use is determined to be fair dealing, if the work is in the public domain, or if the rights-holder has granted a Creative Commons or similar licence.
  • All co-authors and investigators (e.g. faculty supervisors) with claims to the intellectual property have read and signed the agreement, thereby providing their consent for the submission to be published inPast Imperfect

Unless otherwise specified, authors guarantee that all parts of the submission are the author’s original work. Submissions containing evidence of plagiarism will not be eligible for publication.

General Author Guidelines:

Submissions not adhering to these guidelines will be returned to the author for revision.

Authorship:  Each submission must have a corresponding author, who is available throughout the submission and review process to respond to editorial or administrative inquiries from the journal. The corresponding author is also responsible for ensuring that all those who qualify for co-authorship are listed as such in the submission, and that all co-authors (including the faculty supervisor, if applicable) review and approve the final version of the submission for publication.

Language: Submissions may be in English. 

Submission Guidelines for Articles and Reviews

Research Articles

Submissions will undergo a blind review process by two to three reviewers (including at least one faculty member).

Reviewers make their recommendations for publication based on the following criteria:

Style & Structure:                                                        Originality & Argumentation

- Approximately 20-30 double-spaced pages        - Based on primary sources

-Clarity and coherence                                               - Sound methodology

-Structured and organized                                        -Conversant with relevant literature

-Adherence to Chicago Manual of Style                  -Sophisticated analysis

Reviews

  • Approximately 4-6 double-spaced pages
  • Reviews of works published in the previous five years
  • Adherence to the Chicago Manual of Style

*All submissions must include one copy your work, which must have all identifiers removed, along with an abstract of no more than 300 words, and a cover page containing your contact information.

File format(s):  Please submit the entire work (including the abstract, cover page, article or review, references, and all figures/tables) Microsoft Word format. 

If your work is accepted for publication, we may request that figures and tables be provided as separate files for the production stage.

Citation Styles: Past Imperfect follows the Chicago Manual of Style.

Images: 

  • When submitting images, please provide the highest-quality image possible (minimum 300dpi resolution).
  • For review purposes, all images should be included in numerical order at the end your Word document. If your work is accepted for publication, you may be asked to submit the original images as separate files.
  • All images must be numbered in the order in which they are referenced in the main text of the submission, and must include a descriptive caption.
  • For images of works of art, your descriptive caption should include: author name, title of work and year created, medium, dimensions, and date and location (incl. institution) of access.
  • Authors agree to determine, prior to publication, whether it is necessary to obtain permissions from any third party who holds rights with respect to any photographs, illustrations, drawings, text, or any other material (“third party work”) to be published in connection with your work. Copyright permission will not be necessary if the use is determined to be fair dealing, if the work is in the public domain, or if the rights-holder has granted a Creative Commons or similar licence. For any third party work included in your submission, please indicate in the caption whether permission is necessary, whether it has been granted, and details about what permissions have been granted.

Acknowledgements (for all non-author contributions): Authors are encouraged to include an acknowledgements section to list any contributions that do not meet the criteria for co-authorship. Examples include acknowledging funding agencies or sponsors for their support, and acknowledging those who were involved in proofreading of the manuscript. Please note that Acknowledgements may be redacted from the submission prior to peer review in order to ensure anonymity of the submission. 

How to submit your work:

All submissions must be submitted via email pastimpe@ualberta.ca, ATTN: Editor or online through the Past Imperfect website. 

For a tutorial on how to submit your files through the Open Journal System platform, please visit: https://openjournalsystems.com/ojs-3-user-guide/ (See Section 9: Authoring)\

Please ensure that all authors on the submission are listed as contributors in the OJS Metadata form. All authors listed in OJS should receive email notification acknowledging the submission. 

You will also be prompted to paste the title and a copy of your abstract into the OJS Metadata form. Please note that reviewers do not have access to the submission metadata, so you must also include this information in your Word document. 

What happens after you submit:

Submission stage:

  • ThePast Imperfect editorial board will do a preliminary review of your submission to ensure that the submission is complete, is an appropriate fit for the aims & scope of Past Imperfect and is of sufficient quality to proceed to peer review. 
  • If your submission meets these basic criteria, a corresponding editor will be assigned to handle your submission through the peer review process.   

Review stage:

  • Peer reviewers will be recruited and assigned to your submission. Reviewers will provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your submission and provide a recommendation to the editors about whether the accept, decline, or request revisions on your submission.
  • Your corresponding editor will consolidate the information from all of the reviews and take their feedback into account when making a final assessment of your submission.  Based on the reviews, and in consultation with thePast Imperfect editorial board, the editor will then notify you of the editorial decision.  There are typically four possible outcomes:
  • Accept- the editor will provide details about what minor revisions are necessary and provide a deadline for submitting your revisions. 
  • Revisions Required - the editor will provide details about what revisions are necessary and provide a deadline for submitting your revisions. You will be asked to submit your revisions, along with an explanation of how you addressed any concerns from the reviewers. The editor will then record a final editorial decision. 
  • Decline- the editor will provide feedback explaining why your submission was not accepted for publication at this time. 
  • Revise & Resubmit- If there are major concerns with your submission that would require the submission to go through a new round of peer review, you may be asked to revise and resubmit for a future issue. Your submission would be treated as a “new” submission and would go through the peer review process again.

Copyediting stage: (Accepted submissions only)

  • Once you have submitted your revisions and they are accepted by the editor, your submission will be passed on to a copyeditor.
  • The copyeditor will review the submission for grammar, style, consistency, and formatting.
  • The copyeditor will notify you of any additional minor revisions that are necessary prior to publication, and will provide a deadline for submitting your copyedits.

Production stage: (Accepted submissions only)

  • Once you have provided a final, copyedited version of your submission, the editors will create a PDF proof of your submission, laid out in thePast Imperfect article template. 
  • The PDF will be sent to you to proofread. This is the final opportunity for you to review and make corrections to your submission prior to publication. You will normally be asked to notify your editor of any required corrections within one week.
  • You will also be asked at this stage to review and sign thePast Imperfect publication agreement. All co-authors must also sign the agreement. In the publication agreement, you must also designate the Creative Commons License you wish to assign to your submission.  

Publication -- congratulations! 

Still have questions? 

Please feel free to contact the Past Imperfect team at pastimpe@ualberta.ca if you have any questions about submitting your work.

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