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Guidelines for Submissions

Guidelines for Submissions

Speculum is a scholarly journal 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, and submissions in other languages will not be considered.

Articles | Peer Review Policies | Submission Instructions

Book Reviews | Manuscript Preparation | Citations


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.


Following 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 of all submissions. 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.


Authors should submit their articles online at If an accepted article includes illustrations, the author will be responsible for supplying high-quality glossy photographs or TIFF files and permissions to reproduce them in print and online.


Reviews are assigned by the Book Review Editors, and unsolicited reviews will not be considered. Scholars who wish to review for Speculum should contact the Editor at


Manuscripts should be submitted in digital format to the Editorial Manager system. They should be set in a commonly used, cross-platform typeface, preferably Georgia or Cambria. For non-Roman faces, such as Greek, Arabic, Hebrew and other faces, please use one of the fonts commonly accepted in your field. Please make sure that these faces appear correctly in your test printout before submitting the digital version to us via Editorial Manager. Authors should use a 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; use ragged right rather than justified margins. 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 manuscript should be paginated consecutively from start to finish. Notes should be submitted as footnotes. Captions and illustrations should be placed at the very end.

Please create a printout and proofread it before submission. Special characters, accents and other diacriticals must print clearly and unambiguously.

Most of the prescriptions that follow are concerned with citation style. For matters not discussed here, authors should refer to recent issues of the journal. For usage issues not found in Speculum, please consult the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.


The author is responsible for the accuracy of quotations and citations, which should be verified before the manuscript is submitted. Speculum will not fact-check your submission and readers will consider accuracy of detail in their reviews.

The guiding principle for citations is maximum clarity for the reader rather than brevity. When in doubt, the author should err on the side of providing more rather than less information.

Arabic numerals are to be used for volume, part, and section numbers. This is true for journal volume numbers, for volume numbers and other subdivisions in a series, and for volume numbers in a multivolume work. It is also true for the subdivisions of classical and medieval texts.

Roman numerals are retained when the original work uses them for page numbers. They are also retained for manuscript shelf marks, where as much as possible the usage of the library should be followed.

Primary Sources | Secondary Works | Book Citations | Articles | Manuscripts | Ancient and Medieval Works | Series of Primary Sources | Other Matters

Primary sources

Models for the citation of classical and medieval works are the following:

1. Medieval Author, Opus 2.4.1, ed. Modern Editor (City, 1990), p. 135.

2. Medieval Author, Opus 2.4.1, ed. Editor, p. 135.

3. Medieval Author, Opus 2.4.1.

4. Medieval Author, Opus 2.4.1, line 5.

5. Medieval Author, Opus 2.4.1, p. 135.

6. Matt. 5.21; 1 Cor. 2.12.

Note 1 is a standard first citation. The subdivisions of the medieval work follow the title without intervening punctuation, in descending order, separated by periods. For example, Opus is divided into books, sections, and chapters, and the sample citation should be read as book 2, section 4, chapter 1.

Once the edition of a work has been provided in the first citation, subsequent references are shortened as in note 2, or even more as in notes 3, 4, or 5. The nature of the work and its editorial history will determine which version is required.

Note 6 shows standard biblical citations, which likewise use periods as the divider between subdivisions, in this instance between chapter and verse.

If the reader might have difficulty deciphering this system as it applies to a given work, the reference should be spelled out in full.

Secondary works

Models for the citation of secondary works are the following:

7. John Doe, Book Title (City, 1995), pp. 27-31.

8. Jane Smith, "Article Title," Journal 24 (1992), 2-14.

9. Doe, Short Title, p. 76; Smith, "Short Title," p. 9.

The abbreviations "p." and "pp." are almost always used with page references to modern printed works. The most notable exception is full citations of journal articles, where the convention of providing in sequence the volume number, publication date, and page numbers is so well established that further specification is unnecessary. Provide inclusive pages rather than "f." or "ff." Do not omit the space following "p." and "pp."


Authors' names should be cited as they appear on the title page. Do not abbreviate given names to initials.

Publishers should be omitted; the parentheses should include only the place and date of publication (and reprint information, where applicable). If the publisher lists more than one location, it is usually sufficient to cite only the first location in the list. The conventional English form of place-names should be given ("Turin," not "Torino"; "Munich," not "München"), with the addition of the country or state if required ("Cambridge, Mass.," or "Cambridge, Eng.").

Simplest form

Susan Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (New York, 1994), pp. 18-19, 92-93, and 118-19.

Later editions and reprints

Frank Barlow, The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042-1216, 4th ed. (London, 1988), pp. 224-26.

Charles H. Beeson, A Primer of Medieval Latin: An Anthology of Prose and Poetry (Chicago, 1925; repr. Washington, D.C., 1986), pp. 25-27.

Multiple volumes

Max Manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters, 3 vols. (Munich, 1911-31), 1:78. [The citation is to volume 1, page 78. The following citation is equally correct.]

Max Manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters, 1 (Munich, 1911), p. 78.

Monographs in a series

Arno Borst, Die Katharer, Schriften der Monumenta Germaniae Historica 12 (Stuttgart, 1953), pp. 112-15. [Series information is sometimes essential for locating books and ought to be included in such cases; the series should always be included when there is a series number.]

Edited or translated works

Hildegard of Bingen, The Letters of Hildegard of Bingen,1, trans. Joseph L. Baird and Radd K. Ehrman (New York, 1994), pp. 34-35. [Here the abbreviation "trans." means "translated by" and does not change when there is more than one translator.]

Emil Friedberg, ed., Corpus iuris canonici, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1879-81), 2:lxiv. [Here the abbreviation "ed." means "editor"; the plural is "eds."]

Georges Duby, Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages, trans. Jane Dunnet (Chicago, 1994), pp. vii and 25.

Foreign titles

In Latin titles capitalize only the first word, proper nouns, and proper adjectives. In French, Italian, and Spanish titles capitalize only the first word and proper nouns. Follow the prevailing rules for the given language in the capitalization of other foreign titles.

Titles in languages other than classical and medieval Latin and Greek, French, Italian, German, and Spanish may be translated. The translation follows the title in square brackets and is not italicized; only the first word and proper nouns and adjectives are capitalized.

Boris Poršnev, Feodalism i narodnye massy [Feudalism and the masses] (Moscow, 1964), pp. 22-50.

Subsequent references

Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals, p. 97.

Use short titles rather than "op. cit." "Ibid." may be used for successive references to the same work within a single note; it may also be used for a work cited in the immediately preceding note when only one work is listed in the prior note.

If there is a considerable gap between the first reference and the next citation, it is a help to the reader to use this form:

Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals (see above, n. 5), p. 97.

If the work by Reynolds is cited frequently throughout the article, the first reference may include the indication "hereafter cited as Reynolds." Subsequent references take the form "Reynolds, p. 97."


Do not abbreviate journal titles. One of the few exceptions is PMLA, where the abbreviation has become the main title of the journal.

When an article is cited more than once, give full page references in the first citation; otherwise it is acceptable to cite only the relevant page(s).

Anne Walters Robertson, "The Mass of Guillaume de Machaut in the Cathedral of Reims," in Plainsong in the Age of Polyphony, ed. Thomas Forest Kelly, Cambridge Studies in Performance Practice 2 (Cambridge, Eng., 1991), pp. 100-139, at p. 135.

Anna Carlotta Dionisotti, "On Bede, Grammars, and Greek," Revue bénédictine 92 (1982), 129.

Robert Bourgeois, "La théorie de la connaissance intellectuelle chez Henri de Gand," Revue de philosophie, n.s., 6 (1936), 238-59.

Subsequent references

Robertson, "Mass," p. 129.


Both in the text and in the notes the abbreviation "MS" (plural "MSS") is used only when it precedes a shelf mark. Cite the shelf mark according to the practice of the given library. Folio numbers should include a recto/verso reference, abbreviated and written on the line, not as a superscript. The abbreviation of "folio" is "fol." (plural "fols.").

The first reference to a manuscript should give the place-name, the name of the library, and the shelf mark:

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 4117, fols. 108v-145r.

Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Vat. lat. 6055, fols. 151r-228v.

Subsequent references

BnF lat. 4117, fol. 108r. [If the context allows, "lat. 4117" may be sufficient.]

Vat. lat. 6055, fol. 151r.


For canonical collections, registers, and other specialized texts, the prevailing abbreviations and style of citation should be used. In citing standard editions of poetry it is often sufficient to cite line numbers without page references.

Bede, Historia ecclesiastica 2.3, ed. and trans. Bertram Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford, 1969), pp. 142-45.

Dante, Inferno 11.13-14, trans. Mark Musa, Dante's Inferno (Bloomington, Ind., 1995), p. 89.

The Battle of Maldon, lines 42-61, ed. D. G. Scragg (Manchester, Eng., 1981), pp. 58-59. Marie de France, Le Chaitivel, lines 231-32, ed. Jean Rychner, Les Lais de Marie de France, Les Classiques Français du Moyen Âge 93 (Paris, 1966; repr. 1971).

Subsequent references

Bede, Historia ecclesiastica 3.16, pp. 262-63.

Inferno 3.58-60, p. 35.

Battle of Maldon, lines 312-19, p. 67.

Le Chaitivel, lines 9-180.

Recurring references to primary sources may sometimes be treated economically within the text.


Titles of such collections and abbreviations thereof are not italicized. The abbreviations CCCM and CCSL (Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis and Series Latina), MGH (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, and the titles of its various sections), and PL (Migne's Patrologia Latina) need not be explained; the names of other collections should be given in full when first cited. The volume number and page number are separated by a colon, with no space between the elements.

PL 123:347.

MGH SS 13:229.

If the series is subdivided

MGH LL 2/1:263. [Section 2, volume 1, page 263.]

Full citation of an edited work in a series

Alcuin, Vita Willibrordi, ed. Wilhelm Levison, MGH SS rer. Merov. 7 (Hannover, 1920), pp. 113-41.


1. References to modern authors. The first mention of a modern author in the text should include the given name (or initials, if that is the author's preferred form).

2. Notes. Notes should be succinct and should be confined to material necessary to support assertions in the text. Footnotes should be avoided in reviews.

3. Abbreviations. The period should not be omitted after abbreviations. French place-names containing "Saint" are normally spelled out, and the hyphen is essential: "Saint-Denis."

4. Italics and quotation marks. Isolated words and phrases in foreign languages should be italicized. Short quotations should be in roman type within quotation marks, but quotations of more than a hundred words of prose or of more than two lines of poetry should be treated as block quotations (typed double-spaced and indented, without quotation marks). Single quotation marks are reserved for quotations within quotations and for definitions in a linguistic context: Estrusia might be associated with extrusis 'pushed out, thrust forth'. Note that punctuation is placed outside the single quotation marks used for definitions; in all other circumstances commas and periods are placed within quotation marks.

5. Scholarly reference words. Words and abbreviations such as "et al.," "ibid." "passim," "e.g.," "i.e.," and "ca." should not be italicized. The only exception is "[sic]." Note that "cf." means "compare" and should not be used when "see" or "see also" is the accurate expression.

6. Dates. Use the form "1390s," not "1390's" or spelled out. Centuries should be spelled out; the adjectival form requires a hyphen, as in "twelfth-century manuscript."

7. Capitalization. "Middle Ages" is capitalized, but "medieval" is not. "Church" is generally lowercased, unless it is part of the official name of a denomination or building, or unless it refers to the universal Church. "Bible" is capitalized, but "biblical" is not. For general guidelines on capitalization consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Chicago and London: University of London Press, 2010).

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