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 Author Guidelines Minimize

Manuscript Submission

The submission of manuscripts for review and consideration is conducted through the on-line Editorial Manager®. Questions about the suitability or appropriateness of manuscripts for the journal may be discussed in advance of submission by contacting the editor. For inquiries about new submissions to the journal, please contact Christina Rieth or Sarah Herr.

Author Guidelines

Advances in Archaeological Practice publishes original scholarly work on how archaeologists learn about the past, convey findings in the present, or manage resources for the future. Articles are short, succinct, and problem oriented offering tangible take-aways that can be applied quickly to the day-to-day work of archaeologists in academia, government, and private practice. “Practice” is defined broadly and topics can include, but are not limited to, innovations in approach, technique, method, technology, business models, collaboration, compliance, process, ethics, public engagement, stewardship, and training.

There are two types of articles that are published:  research articles and how-to articles.

Research Articles

Manuscripts for research articles are to be problem oriented. They should identify a problem or issue encountered in the practice of archaeology and go on to discuss how that problem was overcome. Readers, regardless of their academic, government, or private employment sector, should be able to quickly identify and associate with the problem, understand the innovative solution, and be able to apply what they have learned to their own work. While the topic of the journal is practice, the journal is a scholarly peer-reviewed journal and manuscripts are to represent substantive works of scholarship equivalent to SAA’s other journals.

The approaches to archaeological practice presented in manuscripts are to be innovative. As the journal title suggests, published articles are to represent advances in practice. Practices that are not original will be considered for publication if they are being applied in new ways or to new aspects of archaeology. Manuscripts that don’t illustrate “successes” will also be considered if they advance archaeological understanding—innovators sometimes make great strides even though the final result was not what was expected.  

The optimal manuscript size is 6,000 words excluding cited references and an abstract. An abstract in both English and Spanish is to be submitted with the manuscript. Professional foreign language translations are the responsibility of the authors and computer-generated translations are not accepted. The SAA Style Guide provides technical guidance for grammar, style, usage, and abbreviations. Readers of Advances in Archaeological Practice come from a wide range of professional settings and, thus, authors should avoid jargon readers cannot easily decipher. Technical terms in specialty areas should be defined. To accommodate authors publishing algorithms, solutions using rapidly changing technology, or other intellectual property that is time sensitive, the journal strives for very quick review and publication of manuscripts. Particular concerns should be conveyed to the editor, although the time of publication can’t be guaranteed.

How-to Articles

The how-to series articles are shorter, peer-reviewed, educational articles written by authors with expertise in a particular area of archaeological practice. The intent is to provide archaeologists with clear, concise, step-by-step guidelines for successfully completing tasks that are or are becoming common practice. As throughout the journal, “practice” is defined broadly; the series covers a wide range of subjects. Topics may be technical, for example presenting the correct steps involved in collecting, preserving, and transporting a particular type of sample taken for laboratory analysis.  Alternatively they may have more of a management or administrative focus, such as providing guidelines for assessing the significance of archaeological sites within the framework of National Historic Preservation Act compliance or developing an archaeological management plan.  Articles may provide suggestions for standardizing or streamlining common tasks or could focus on avoiding common mistakes.

How-to manuscripts should be written for a broad audience and at a level that undergraduate students can comprehend.  These manuscripts are to be focused and short, generally not exceeding 3,500 words (not including the abstracts and references cited). Define specialized terms clearly and avoid excessive use of jargon.  Manuscripts must not cover proprietary approaches or technologies and should not present the appearance of advertising goods or services provided by the authors. Direction for using multiple competitors’ products to the greatest practical extent should be given if applicable. Authors of how-to manuscripts must be established experts on the particular topic as represented by previously published works.

Questions about how-to articles should be directed to the How-to Series editors.

General Considerations

Photographs and Illustrations

Articles published in the journal are required to be well illustrated with color photographs, graphs, maps, and illustrations. There are not charges for the use of color. The number of illustrations is subject to approval by the editor, but as a general rule between 6-8 images is considered ideal for the format. Additional graphics can be accommodated as supplemental material. Authors should critically consider substituting illustrations for text when they are more effective or more efficient in expressing information in the same amount of space. Due to the graphical nature of articles in the journal, conference posters are an ideal starting point for preparing a manuscript.

All digital photographs and graphics submitted must be at least 300 dpi in resolution at 7 inches wide (4 megapixels). Written permission must be obtained from the copyright holder (usually the photographer), and also from each individual depicted in a recognizable fashion in the image. For further questions about copyright permissions, please contact the managing editor at publications@saa.org

Digital and Supplemental Material

Digital materials can be included in published articles. These materials may include three-dimensional models, animations, video, or software applications. Materials may be embedded in the PDF article files or may be included as supplemental material linked to the article. Supplemental materials may also include data, additional graphics, or ancillary materials seminal to the article.  Authors should consult the SAA policy on supplemental material and notify the editor as soon as possible if the inclusion of digital or supplemental material is requested.

Data Availability Statement

Per the policy of the SAA, “All publications of the Society for American Archaeology shall include a "Data Availability Statement" (DAS) in the published manuscript. The DAS will provide information on the disposition and accessibility of the physical and digital data on which the research is based." The DAS should provide the details necessary for readers to easily find and obtain data used in published articles. Generally, a statement stating that the data may be obtained by contacting the author isn’t sufficient. Data, both physical and digital, should be curated at a suitable institution. Occasionally, manuscripts may not be based on specific data. In these cases a DAS is still required but can state that original data were not used in the preparation of the article.

Peer Review

All research and how-to manuscripts are peer reviewed. Advances in Archaeological Practice uses a “double-blind” review process. Thus, submitted manuscripts are not to include a cover page with the names or contact information of the authors. Authors should be mindful of other places in the manuscript where they may disclose their identity:  file names, footers, citations, DAS, acknowledgements, etc. If authors do disclose their identity by choice or error, manuscripts will still be circulated for review and reviewers may be able to know the identity of authors.

Content and Special Issues

Advances in Archaeological Practice does not currently publish reviews, obituaries, news, notes, calendars, or comments. The journal will consider proposals for thematic special issues that align with its scope and structure. These should be sent to the attention of the editor and will be reviewed by the Editorial Board.