Author Guidelines


Articles must describe the outcomes of unpublished original research. These should make a substantial contribution to knowledge and understanding in the subject area. If appropriate, it should be supported by relevant figures and tabulated data.

Articles should be of an appropriate length for the discipline: we recommend 8000 words. Project reports should aim for around 2000 words, reviews around 1000 words, but all word limits are flexible according to the nature of the material.

Referencing Style

This journal recommends the Harvard system of references. Please see the Referencing section below for examples of how to format references for your submission to DES. Authors not submitting in the Harvard style will be responsible for ensuring that references are internally consistent within the manuscript.


Before submission, every effort must be made to ensure that author names are removed from the submitted typescript. This must be done to protect the integrity of the double-blind peer review process that DES operates. See the section Ensuring a Blind Review in the Submission guidelines.

After successful peer review, the following information should then be inserted into the typescript at the start of the copyediting stage. At this point, the title page on the final typescript should include all of the below information, in the same order. No further information should be included:


  • Title
  • Full author name(s)
  • Affiliation(s)
  • Corresponding author’s email address (other author email addresses are optional)
  • Author names must include a forename and a surname. Forenames cannot include only initials.


J. Bloggs is not permitted. The full name, Joe Bloggs, is required.

The affiliation should ideally include, in the following order: ‘Institution’ and ‘City’. However, only the ‘Institution’ is mandatory.


Articles must preface the main text with an abstract of no more than 250 words summarising the main arguments and conclusions of the article. This must be given under the heading ‘Abstract’ and should be clearly separate from the start of the article’s main text.


A list of no more than six keywords should be placed below the abstract (although this is optional). The abstract and keywords should also be added to the article’s metadata; this is done when the initial online submission to DES is made.

Main text

Up to three level headings may be present and must be clearly identifiable using different font sizes, bold or italics. We suggest using Headings 1, 2 and 3 in Microsoft Word’s ‘Style’ menu, found under ‘Format’.


Acknowledgements (optional)

Any acknowledgements must be given in a separate paragraph, titled ‘Acknowledgements’, placed after the main text and before the reference list.


Competing interests

Regardless of whether the author(s) have any competing interests, a declaration must be given as a short paragraph placed before the references section. Please read the Declaring Competing Interests section on the Submissions page, for further information on this.

Ethics and consent (if applicable)

Research involving human subjects, human material or human data, must have been performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Where applicable, the studies must have been approved by an appropriate ethics committee and the authors should include a statement within the article text detailing this approval, including the name of the ethics committee and reference number of the approval. For most research involving human subjects, informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent or guardian in the case of children under 16).


All notes for the article should be inserted as footnotes using the automatic note-insertion tool in Word. NB please do not put note calls in your title, abstract, headings or subheadings.



All references cited within the submission must be listed at the end of the main text file. See the Referencing section below for details of how to set this out.


Language and text

Submissions may be made in French or English.

Spelling and grammar

Authors submitting in English are welcome to use American or British spellings and grammar rules, provided they are used consistently throughout the whole of the submission, for example:


  • Colour (UK) versus Color (US)
  • Centre (UK) versus Center (US)


When referring to proper nouns and normal institutional titles, the official, original spelling must be used:


  • World Health Organization, not World Health Organisation


When quoting from pre-1800 material, the decision to modernise or not is the author’s.


In the title of the submission, the first letter of the first word of the title should be capitalised, in addition to the article, if present, and any proper nouns. 

Quotation marks

For articles in English, use single quotation marks except for when nested quotes are used (e.g. speech contained within a quotation), in which case double quotation marks must be used for the text in the nested quote. Articles written in French should use French guillemets rather than inverted commas for quotations, and single quotes for nested quotations.


Punctuation should always be left outside of the closing quotation mark, unless it belongs to the quote.


Prose quotations of 65 or more words must be given as a block quotation, in an indented paragraph separate from the main text. Block quotations should not be surrounded by quotation marks, and nested quotations within a block quotation should use single quotation marks (or guillemets if the language of the article is French):


The source of the quote must be clear from the text and/or citation.

If some of the original quote is omitted, an ellipsis in square brackets must be used to break the text:

  •  « Tout s’oppose […] à l’attribution du Médiateur à Voltaire »

Additions to the original text, to enhance clarity, must be placed within square brackets:

  • the correspondence reveals a more playful writer ‘try[ing] out his lexical inventions before employing them in the wider public sphere


Works in French or English are quoted in the original language unless the translation itself is under discussion. Quotations from works in other languages should be accompanied by a translation in a footnote.

Use of footnotes

Footnotes should be used only where crucial clarifying information (e.g. translation) needs to be conveyed. Footnote markers should be formatted as superscript Arabic numerals.


Avoid using footnotes for the sole purpose of referencing, as this should be done in-text (see References, below). If a citation is required within a footnote, it must also follow the parenthetical author–date citation format used by DES.


Please insert the footnote marker after the end punctuation of a sentence.

Figures and tables


Figures, including graphs and diagrams, must be professionally and clearly presented. If a figure is not easy to understand or does not appear to be of a suitable quality, the editor may ask for it to be re-rendered, or may decide to omit it.


All figures must be cited within the main text, in consecutive order using Arabic numerals (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).


Each figure must have an accompanying caption with a descriptive main title. This should clearly and concisely summarise the content and/or relevance of the figure. A short, additional figure legend is optional to offer a further description. The source of the image must be included in the caption, along with any relevant copyright information and a statement of permission to reproduce. If using images from an archive, then please provide the name of the archive, the collection and the shelfmark, acquisition or call number together with folio or page number as appropriate.


Figures should be submitted as separate files, which should be clearly named to show what they are. An indicator of the placement of each figure needs to appear in the text file of the article, along with the caption or legend. A list of figures should also be submitted.


If your figure file is a rendered image that includes text, then please present the font as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana. This will ensure that the figure is clearly legible in a sans-serif font.


All figures must be uploaded separately as supplementary files during the submission process, in colour (if possible) and at a resolution of at least 300dpi. Each file should not be more than 20MB in size. Standard formats accepted are: .JPG, .GIF, .PNG, .EPS (please avoid .TIFF).



Tables should be used to display information that is most clearly represented in a grid, with clear column and/or row headings. They must be created using a word processor’s table function; using tabbed text to construct a table is not acceptable and this will not be displayed as a table in the final article. Tables should be included in the main text of the manuscript, as close as possible to their first in-text citation.


All tables must be cited within the main text, numbered with Arabic numerals in consecutive order (e.g., Table 1, Table 2, etc.).


Each table must have an accompanying, descriptive title in the form of a caption. This should clearly and concisely summarise the content and/or use of the table. A short, additional table legend is optional to offer a further description of the table. The table caption and legend should be placed directly underneath the table.


Tables should not include:


  • Rotated text
  • Colour to denote meaning (as this will not display the same on all electronic devices)
  • Images
  • Multiple parts (e.g., ‘Table 1a’ and ‘Table 1b’). These should either be merged into one table, or separated into ‘Table 1’ and ‘Table 2’.


The following guidance is based on the Harvard system of referencing.


References in the text

Every use of information from other sources must be cited in the text so that it is clear that external material has been used.


If the author’s name is not mentioned in the main text sentence, use the author’s surname and the date of the reference in parenthesis:

  • 18th-century authors often reused others’ material freely (Duhaime 2016).

If the author’s name is part of the main text, then the year should follow the name in parenthesis:

  • As Duhaime (2016) showed, 18th-century authors often reused others’ material freely.

Multiple references are separated by semi-colons:

  • (Duhaime 2016; Spencer 2019)

If three or fewer authors are cited from the same citation, then all should be listed. If four or more authors are part of the citation then ‘et al.’ should follow the first author name:

  • (Tolonen, Mäkelä and Lahti 2022)
  • (Vesanto et al. 2017)

If citations are used from the same author and the same year, then a lowercase letter, starting from ‘a’, should be placed after the year:

  • (Jones 2013a; Jones 2013b)

If specific pages are being cited then the page number (signalled by the abbreviation p., or pp. for multiple pages) should follow the year after a comma:

  • (Kaye 1988, p.xxxv)
  • (Vesanto et al. 2017, pp.54–58)

Please do not include uniform resource locators (URLs) and digital object identifiers (DOIs) in parenthetical citations, but rather cite the author or page title, and then include all details, including the URL or DOI, in the references list at the end of the article.


References list

All sources cited in the main text of the article must be listed as full references at the end of the text file, in alphabetical order of the authors’ surnames (given in bold).


All cited materials should be included in the ‘References’ section. Works that have not been cited within the main text, but that the author wishes to share with the reader, must be mentioned as additional information in footnotes that explain the relevance of the work. This will ensure that all works within the reference list are cited within the text.


If multiple works by the same author are being listed, the author’s name must be listed for each individual entry. Dashes should not be used. For several items by a single author, order first by date (oldest to newest). If there are two or more with same date, those should be ordered in alphabetical order by title.


Unlike the in-text citations, in the reference list all authors of the work should be listed (‘et al.’ should, if possible, be avoided).


DOIs should be included for all online publications, where possible.


Reference Format


Polasky J. 2015. Revolutions without Borders: The Call to Liberty in the Atlantic World. New Haven CT: Yale University Press.


Multiple authors or editors

Raven J., Small H. and Tadmor N. (eds) 1996. The Practice and Representation of Reading in England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Chapters in edited volume

Rozendaal J. forthcoming. ‘The Bookseller and the lady: the literary ambitions of Anna de Sterke and her dealings with bookseller Luchtmans’. In: Epstein N. and Watson E. (eds) Gender and the Book. Leiden: Brill.

Staves S. 2007. ‘ “Books without which I cannot write”: how did eighteenth-century women writers get the books they read?’. In: Batchelor J. and Kaplan C. (eds) Women and Material Culture, 1660–1830. London: Palgrave, 192–211.


Hunt L. 2016. ‘Revolutionary time and regeneration’. In: Diciottesimo secolo 1, 62–76.



Grégoire H. 1793. Indirizzo ai cittadini del dipartimento dell’Alpi Marittime. Anon. (trans.). Nice: Cougnet.



Reading Experience Database, 1450–1945. ‘What is a “Reading Experience”?’. The Open University.


Newspaper articles/journalism

Obama B. and Robinson M. 2015. ‘President Obama & Marilynne Robinson: a conversation in Iowa’. In: New York Review of Books (5 November).