[email protected] Guidelines
All inquiries about potential posts should be sent to the editorial team by emailing us. Editors may request revisions for length, style, relevance, or clarity. Author guidelines can be found below. For an overview of how our editorial process works, view this Prezi.
We welcome proposals for two kinds of posts:
Full-length blog posts: Full-length posts should be under 1,000 words, relevant to issues arising in the field of public history in some way, and written to be accessible to a general audience. Photos are welcomed if they are in the public domain or the post author holds the copyright or has obtained permission to publish them online.
Project Showcase posts: Project Showcase posts are mainly descriptive. For examples, see some of our previous posts in this category. Please include a photo (and/or screen shot for web projects) and any relevant links for further information.
About the blog [email protected] is the peer-edited, multi-interest blog of the National Council on Public History. We publish new, original, short-form work on all aspects of engaging with history in public. Launched in 2012, the blog reaches 12,000-15,000 unique visitors a month and aims to reflect what’s happening both within the professionalized field of public history and at its many edges.
What we publish Most of our posts are either “issue-oriented” pieces exploring some question arising from doing history in public or “showcase” posts describing a project or site. Post topics frequently touch on:
- new exhibits, digital projects, preservation efforts, collections, and other forms of public history
- the politics of competing memories and uses of the past
- hybrid projects and questions (for example, aspects of public history as seen in environmentalism, the arts, and popular or consumer culture)
- professional training, development, and concerns
[email protected] is also the platform for born-digital publications of The Public Historian journal. Those are listed in the Table of Contents of the print journal and can be included in authors’ CVs and résumes as official publications of The Public Historian.
Writing style We welcome a range of writing voices—journalistic, provocative, wonky, scholarly, reflective. The common denominators are that posts should be:
- clear, well-reasoned, and supported by evidence as needed to make your point
- accessible to a general educated audience with an interest in the doing of history in public, and
- informed by some sense of the practice and politics of public culture (for example, a post about a controversy over a public memorial or museum exhibit should reflect some awareness that this is not a first-time or unique occurrence)
We believe there are good ways to engage readers’ attention in a crowded digital environment without any “dumbing down” of ideas. We aim to publish work that reflects one of the widely-held values of public history itself: broad accessibility along with critical and intellectual rigor. Just as with an exhibit panel or news feature, we find that a concise and catchy title, an intriguing first paragraph, and well-chosen illustrations can all help to convey the central point of a well-written blog post. Authors should also be on the lookout for hyperlinks to reliable sources that can supply additional (particularly contextual or background) information on their post’s topic.
Our editorial process [email protected] is peer-edited by volunteer editors with expertise in various areas of public history. Posts originate in a variety of ways: solicitation by editors, proposals by regular authors, development of materials from NCPH and other conferences, or over-the- transom queries. Proposals can be quite simple; an email with a brief description of the topic you’d like to write about and the general gist of your approach or argument will suffice. Email queries can be sent to [email protected]. You may also contact either of the lead editors directly: currently these are Adina Langer for posts on social, environmental, and international issues and public history scholarship, and Will Walker for posts relating to public history exhibits, projects, and consulting; student and new professional voices; and NCPH (including the annual conference).
Once a post proposal has been accepted and the author has submitted a draft, the post will be reviewed by at least two editors, one of whom will work directly with the author on revision and polishing, plus a copy- editor. Posts published by The Public Historian are reviewed by both TPH and [email protected] editors. The editing process can take anywhere from 48 hours (for an already-polished post linked with a timely news story) to several weeks (for posts requiring more revision). For a step-by-step overview of our editorial process, view this Prezi.
Mechanical & legal considerations
Post length: Posts should be between 500 and 1,000 words. Longer pieces may need to be shortened or they may be suitable as multi-part series. “Showcase” posts may be shorter (250- 500 words).
Images: Authors are responsible for supplying images (usually one for every 250-300 words) that are in the public domain or for which the author has permission for online publication. A caption should be included with the draft of the post, along with a note about the source.
Citation: We generally prefer hyperlinks to external sources where possible, and simple endnotes for non-digital sources.
Author credit: Each author should supply a one or two sentence bio.
Comments: Editors will approve comments, as needed, but authors are encouraged to keep an eye on comments and respond to them.
Errata: In order to streamline our editing and posting process, we do not currently give authors a final review of the copyedited post before it appears, unless this is specifically requested. We will, however, immediately correct any errors or make reasonable clarifications after publication.
Publicity: We promote all [email protected] posts through NCPH’s social media and weekly emails to members. We strongly encourage authors to publicize their work through their own network of contacts, particularly on social media, as this increases the “reach” of each post.
Copyright: Authors hold copyright of their work, but we do request that if a piece is re-posted elsewhere, [email protected] be credited as the original publisher, along with the original URL or a hyperlink.