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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®. The submission of reviews for the Digital Reviews section of the journal is through the Digital Reviews Editor. All reviews will be commissioned by the Digital Reviews Editor, and while unsolicited contributions are not encouraged, general expressions of interest from prospective reviewers are welcome and may be sent by email directly to the editor. Questions about the suitability or appropriateness of manuscripts for the journal may be discussed in advance of submission by contacting the editor.


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 and best practices  in technique, method, technology, business models, collaboration, compliance, process, ethics, public engagement, stewardship, and training.


Two types of articles that are published:  research articles and how-to articles. The journal also publishes digital reviews.


Research Articles

Manuscripts for research articles must 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.  Authors are therefore encouraged to format their articles to provide clear learning points, rather than lengthy narrative discussions.  It is important to stress that while the topic of the research article 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.


As the journal title suggests, published articles are to represent advances in practice. Practices that are not original will only be considered for publication if they are being applied in new ways or to new aspects of archaeology. Manuscripts do not need to illustrate “successes,” 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 editors maintain a list of people available as translators for a small fee, but all monetary transactions are the responsibility of the authors and the translator. 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 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.


Digital Reviews

Digital Reviews are 1500-2000 word assessments of digital media applications that have been produced to engage general and specialist audiences with archaeology and heritage. Going beyond standard book or exhibition reviews, these commentaries are intended to subject current initiatives directed at archaeology’s digitally-savvy publics to comparison and critical reflection. They might explore discipline-relevant blogs, YouTube videos, virtual reality or augmented reality applications, TED talks, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat sites, web-based crowdsourcing projects, online collections, video games, virtual worlds or other media of interest to wide markets. Review authors will provide constructive, professional and courteous – yet critically-engaged – appraisals of the content, significance and impact of these media. Each review should be oriented around a discussion of one, two or three medium-specific digital initiatives (e.g., mobile apps or virtual museums), briefly summarizing them, contextualizing them against one another (and against related initiatives), and offering thoughtful critique of their presentation, methods, objectives and emotional, physical and intellectual effects upon audiences.


Reviews should be written for a wide readership and at a level that high school students can comprehend. Authors are encouraged to reprint their reviews on their personal or professional webpages (giving clear acknowledgment to Advances in Archaeological Practice as the original publication venue), in order to broaden the reach and accessibility of the commentary. Reviews should (1) rigorously evaluate archaeology’s digital media; (2) showcase to readers the breadth and depth of relevant digital media production today; and (3) provide a space of comparison between - and critical engagement with - such productions to enable others to build upon them.

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. This can be time consuming, so authors are encouraged to start this process early. 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. Videos, while encouraged, cannot be uploaded to Editorial Manager. Please contact the editor for transfer information.



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 is a paragraph that provides 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, in the data availability statement, 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.


Converting your file to pdf format does not remove embedded identity information. For guidance on removing your identity from Microsoft documents, see the following: 



Content and Special Issues

Advances in Archaeological Practice does not currently publish obituaries, news, notes, calendars, or comments. The journal will consider proposals for thematic special issues or special sections of 4 to 6 papers 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.


Editors Decisions

The wording of editor’s decisions used by Advances in Archaeological Practice is different than that traditionally used by other journals.  Accept, with some level of review is equivalent to Accept with Minor Revisions. Revise and Resubmit for limited review is equivalent to Accept with Major Revisions, Revise and Resubmit for Full Review is similar to Revise and Resubmit, and Reject is Reject.



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