Submission Guidelines

Journal of American Folklore

Information for Contributors

The Journal of American Folklore, the quarterly journal of the American Folklore Society since the Society's founding in 1888, publishes scholarly articles, notes, and commentaries directed to a wide professional audience. Other sections include those devoted to poetry, short fiction, and creative non-fiction on matters fundamental to the field; and reviews of books, exhibitions and events, films, sound recordings, and digital/online resources.

The content of the Journal reflects a wide range of topics and points of view. As the flagship publication of the Society, the Journal reflects concerns of members in both academic and public spheres. Content is grounded in past and current folklore scholarship, and is based on recognized disciplinary methods. Articles present significant research findings and theoretical analyses from the disciplinary perspective of folklore. Notes are narrower in scope and focus on a single, often provocative, issue of definition, interpretation, or practice. Commentaries briefly address topics raised in earlier articles. The content is not restricted to folklore in the United States; the Journal publishes materials on folklore and from folklorists anywhere in the world.

Article manuscripts should be submitted according to the guidelines outlined below. Submissions are acknowledged on receipt and are evaluated first by the JAF editorial staff, and then, if found appropriate for the journal, are sent for “double blind” review to two qualified referees. The staff attempts to keep authors informed about the review process via e-mail; current and accurate e-mail addresses expedite this communication. Outside reviews may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to be completed. Authors are notified as soon as a decision has been made on whether to accept or reject a manuscript. Acceptance may be either outright or contingent on the completion of recommended changes. Rejection may be outright or with the possibility of revision and resubmission for a new evaluation. The editors reserve the right to reject or return for revision any material submitted, on the grounds of inappropriate subject matter, quality, or length. Submitted manuscripts should not have been published elsewhere and must not be under concurrent consideration by any other journal.

Reviews and review articles are generally requested by the review editors, but the editors welcome queries from scholars concerned with particular areas of folklore research. Expressions of willingness to review from scholars with particular expertise are welcomed. Colleagues who wish to write an obituary should contact the editors.

The guidelines for article submission are as follows. Essay manuscripts should be 10,000-15,000 words in length, including abstract, notes, and bibliography. The article must begin with a 50- to 75-word abstract that summarizes the essential points and findings of the article. Potential authors should submit article manuscripts through the online submission system found here:

Make a new Manuscript Submission Upload account
Log into existing Manuscript Submission Upload account

Manuscripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf) and should not include the author’s name or any references within the text that would identify the author to the manuscript reviewers. Passages that would identify the author can be marked in the following manner to indicate excised words: (****). Figures should be embedded in this version just as they would ideally be placed in the published text. Possible supplementary materials (e.g., additional photographs, sound files, video footage, etc.) that might accompany the article in its online version should be described in a cover letter addressed to the editors. If the article is accepted for publication, authors should submit electronic files of all photos and/or figures. Authors who prefer to submit an article by hard copy rather than by email attachment may do so as long as they include a CD in the mailing containing digital copies as described above. In that case, mail the submission to: Journal of American Folklore, The Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology, Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Blvd #61029, Bowling Green, KY, 42101-1029.

Photographs accompanying articles that are accepted for publication must be at a resolution of 300 DPI or higher and should be in TIFF format. JPG format is not accepted. Line drawings, maps, and tables should be submitted in black-and-white at a resolution of 1200 DPI. Small files may be submitted as attachments; contact the editors regarding the submission of larger files. Permissions for all included photos and/or other supplemental materials are the responsibility of the author and must be supplied before publication can proceed. No supplemental files need be submitted until the editors have indicated acceptance of the manuscript. For further information on figure formatting and permissions, please contact the editors.

JAF generally follows the 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010, also available online). Close examination of the most current issue of JAF provides a helpful model for correct JAF style and form. For spelling, refer to Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1986) or the latest edition of its abridgment, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. If two or more spellings are given, use the first. In all quotations from the printed text, the actual spelling in the original is used. Authors should avoid unnecessary use of gender-exclusive language.


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