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Guidelines for Submissions
(Rev. October 2015)

Speculum, published quarterly since 1926, was the first scholarly journal in North America devoted exclusively to the Middle Ages. It is open to contributions in all fields studying the Middle Ages, a period ranging from approximately 500 to 1500. The primary emphasis is on Western Europe, but Arabic, Byzantine, Hebrew, and Slavic studies are also included. The language of publication is English.


Articles may be submitted on any medieval topic. All disciplines, methodologies, and approaches are welcome. In keeping with the Academy's goal of representing all fields of medieval studies, individual issues usually include articles on a variety of subjects, in a variety of disciplines.

Articles on interdisciplinary topics or articles that tackle large interpretative questions, undertake the synthetic analysis of major methodologies, or consider newer theoretical approaches to medieval studies are encouraged. Highly focused studies are welcome, but preference will be given to articles of interest to readers in more than one discipline and beyond the specialty in question. Authors should consider the multidisciplinary audience of Speculum, should craft their material to appeal to a large audience of medievalists, and should provide sufficient context for readers who are not already experts in the subject matter of their articles.

Translations and editions of medieval texts will be considered for publication when they are an essential part of a larger study; in such cases, the edition or translation may be included as an appendix.

Articles should present original scholarship of the highest quality. Preliminary notes on research still in progress are not acceptable, since Speculum articles should be mature pieces of work, likely to be of long-term value. Work that will soon be published in essentially the same form as part of a book or that is already available on the Internet should not be submitted. Articles are considered for publication on the assumption that they are not being considered for publication by another journal.

The current average decision time for article submissions is three months.


After the Editor's initial determination of the appropriateness of a submission for publication in this journal, Speculum follows a policy of double-blind peer review. The author's identity is not known to the reader evaluating the submission, and the author does not know the identity of the reader. The article should include only its title, not the name of its author. An author should avoid self-identification in the argument or documentation of the article. The author's name should not appear as an element in running heads of the typescript.


Manuscripts must use 12-point type with double spacing throughout, including notes.  Italics should be employed as needed, but boldface should be avoided.  Ample margins (at least one inch on all sides) should be provided.  Additional space should not be inserted routinely between paragraphs or between notes; use subheads when necessary to signal a division between sections of the text.  The parts of the manuscript should be printed in the following order: text, appendices, notes.  The manuscript should be paginated consecutively from start to finish.  Notes should be printed as endnotes, not footnotes.  Captions and illustrations should be placed at the very end.

Authors should consult the Speculum Style Sheet before submitting their articles.

Articles should be submitted online at as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file


Speculum provides representative review coverage of the work published in all fields, methodologies, periods, and geographical regions of medieval studies.  Collections of essays and digital works may be reviewed in the journal in addition to books and monographs.

Reviewers are chosen by the Book Review Editors for their expertise in the subject matter. The ideal reviewer is sympathetic but critical, without overweening prejudice for or against the author, the subject, or the methodology. Personal conflicts of interest are especially to be avoided. The length of the review is determined by the appropriate Book Review Editor. Deadlines are normally four months from the date of assignment.

The Editor and Book Review Editors do their best to ensure that reviews are fair to the author and to the work. Although reviewers speak for themselves, and their judgments should not be understood to be sanctioned by the editors, the Editor of Speculum reserves the right to reject reviews that do not meet the expected criteria and standards of competence and fairness.

The first criterion by which a review is judged is that it provides a clear description of the content of the book and of the author's method and purpose. Thereafter the Editor looks for honest and fair critical judgment, applied to an assessment of the book's strengths and weaknesses, and for an indication of the importance of the book in the context of other scholarship.

Elaborate scholarly apparatus (footnotes, charts, illustrations) is normally to be avoided. Long lists of errata are rarely permitted--a summary statement and a few examples are usually adequate.

Reviews are assigned by the Book Review Editors, and unsolicited reviews will not be considered. Anyone who reviews a book in Speculum should not review the same book elsewhere. If you are invited to submit a review for Speculum, we ask that you keep your role as reviewer confidential until the review has been published. Scholars who wish to review for Speculum should contact the Editor at

Publication Agreement Form

All accepted submissions to Speculum must be accompanied by a completed publication agreement form, downloadable here.  Instructions for completing the Speculum publication agreement form may be downloaded from here.

Copyright ©2016 The Medieval Academy of America
Opinions expressed by members in print, video, or online represent their personal views, not necessarily those of the Medieval Academy of America.

The Medieval Academy of America
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Phone: (617) 491-1622
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