Wilfred Laurier University Press

Submission Guidelines for the Bahá’í Studies Series
Submitting to the Bahá’í Studies Series
General Guidelines
Manuscript Format

Author’s Guidelines 

Submission Guidelines for the Bahá’í Studies Series

The Bahá’í Studies Series is published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in cooperation with the Association for Bahá’í Studies–North America. This series publishes monographs and other works of distinction in Bahá’í Studies, including the study of the Sacred Texts, theology, law, teachings, and principles of the Bahá’í Faith as well as the history of the Bahá’í religion (including its precursor movements, the Shaykhí school and the Bábí religion), its central figures, and the development of the Bahá’í community. Bahá’í Studies also encompasses the application of Bahá’í teachings and principles to the contemporary needs of humanity including (but not limited to) peace, human rights, ethics, governance, development, gender and family, the environment, the arts, race and ethnic relations, and Aboriginal peoples.

Submissions must meet the following criteria:

1. Scope. The project must fall within the scope of the Bahá’í Studies Series. Works in the series must be written for an interdisciplinary scholarly audience that includes Bahá’ís as well as those in the general scholarly public in related disciplines who are interested in Bahá’í topics and perspectives.

2. Originality. The work must demonstrate significant original thinking and present new information. The work must not have been previously published in English (with the exception of sections that may have been published as articles, although such previously published material must not comprise the bulk of the project). The work must not be published or available on the Internet (electronically published). The work must not be under consideration by another publisher.

3. Advance knowledge. The work should open up new avenues of thought or throw new light on a problem; it should make a positive contribution, be of benefit to humanity in some way, e.g., advancing understanding, attitudes, actions.

4. Readability. The language should be clear and understandable by a general interdisciplinary audience; technical terms should be used only when necessary and with sufficient explanation.

5. Scholarship. The organization should be appropriate to the subject; it should demonstrate coherence, cohesion, adequate development of the topic, and proper balance of depth and breadth. The work should demonstrate sound reasoning and critical thinking. It should be fair in argumentation. It should engage with an existing problem and/or literature in the field where relevant; sources should be cited appropriately (and fully) but used only when relevant.

6. Etiquette of expression. the work must be courteous and should critique ideas, not persons. It should not be contentious in spirit or tone.

8. Marketability. The work must have the potential to be successfully marketed by ABS to its readership as well as by Wilfrid Laurier University Press to the academic market. If there are other existing works on the subject, this project must be able to compete successfully with them.

Submitting to the Bahá’í Studies Series

1. Sending a query. To submit a project to the Bahá’í Studies Series, first send a query to the editors at series [@] bahai-studies.ca. You will be sent a questionnaire to obtain further information about your project.

2. Submitting a proposal. If the response to the query is favorable, you will be invited to submit a proposal. Your proposal should include

* a concept statement of up to 5 pages describing the work and explaining the project’s rationale, its place in the literature, methodology, etc.
* a detailed chapter outline of the work
* a sample chapter
* estimated page or word count, the number of illustrations, tables, photographs, etc.
* a schedule for completion
* your curriculum vitae
* (for edited collections) a list of contributors, including institutional affiliations, where applicable

Appraising both proposals and manuscripts for publication requires considerable resources. While authors are free to send simultaneous letters of inquiry, we respectfully ask you to inform us if your work is under consideration elsewhere. Once we agree to consider the manuscript, we ask for the right of first refusal.

When a proposal is received, the editors evaluate the proposal according to the series acceptance criteria. Expert readers’ assessments may be sought at this stage. If the evaluation is favorable, you will be invited to submit a complete manuscript.

3. Submitting your manuscript for peer review. Once your proposal is accepted, the series editor will request that you submit the manuscript for peer review. We ask you to submit an electronic copy in Microsoft Word. It should include (as applicable to the project)

* title page
* table of contents
* foreword, preface, introduction
* text body
* appendices, glossary
* notes
* references, work cited list, or bibliography
* drafts or copies of all tables and illustrations (figures, graphics, maps, photos, etc.), with captions, and locations noted in the manuscript text

Please double-space all text and set it left-justified with a ragged-right margin. Number pages consecutively and include a word count.

The editors will send the manuscript to a minimum of two expert readers to assess the work anonymously and prepare a report on your manuscript. Typical peer review questions include

* Are the objectives of the manuscript clear?
* Is the author thoroughly acquainted with the literature on the subject?
* Is the scholarship sound?
* Does the manuscript as it stands make a significant original contribution to its field?
* How important is it that this manuscript be published?
* Is the manuscript as is stands acceptable for publication? Readers may respond to these questions with Yes, No or Recommend publication in revised form.
* Is the manuscript readable?
* Would the manuscript benefit by being shortened or lengthened?
* How might the readability of the manuscript be improved stylistically or through changes in format?

Once the reports are complete, we will forward blind copies to you with our editorial recommendations. The series editor will ask you to respond to the readers’ comments in writing. Although the peer review process may appear onerous, it almost always results in stronger books. Working with an editor to incorporate and respond to reader’s suggestions can be a creative scholarly process.

4. Approval of publication project. Once the peer review process is complete, and a plan for any necessary revisions has been agreed upon, the series editors present to the ABS Executive Committee a publication proposal for the project including a summary of the project and all readers’ reports with responses, as well as an assessment of the work’s market potential, requesting permission to approve publication. If the project is approved, you will be sent a contract.

5. The contract. The contract specifies the responsibilities of both WLU Press and the author. The author grants to the Press the exclusive right to publish the work. Copyright is usually registered in the name of the Press, since it administers the rights to the work while the book is in print. Once the book is out of print, those rights revert to the author upon request. The contract stipulates royalties, any division of income, the number of complimentary copies an author is entitled to, and lays out submission deadlines. For edited or multi-authored collections, the Press contracts solely with the editor/s, and requests that editor/s arrange simplified contracts with their contributors. We can provide guidance in this.

6. Preparing the manuscript. The author must make all final revisions in response to readers’ criticism and all revisions required by the editors, and must prepare the final manuscript according to the manuscript preparation guidelines below.

Permissions. Our contract specifies that the author is responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce all text, graphics, and images (illustrations, photographs, maps) from copyrighted sources. No permission is required to reproduce work in the public domain or brief quotations. Occasionally copyright holders request a fee for reproduction of materials, and this cost is the responsibility of the author.

Your book cannot proceed to production without a complete permissions file. In order to avoid delays, start your inquiries early. Canadian copyright law is still evolving and does not include explicit fair dealing provisions, so proceed carefully.

General guidelines:

* Obtain permission to reproduce all long quotations or, in the case of poetry, more than 5% of the total work. If possible, paraphrase long passages rather than quote directly. Cumulative quotations from a single work should not exceed 500 words without permission. Material from commercial sources can be particularly sensitive, so err on the side of caution.

* In Canada, most published works enter the public domain 50 years after the death of the author. Reproducing unpublished work can be more complex: discuss these cases with the series editor as soon as possible.

* For tables you design yourself, credit the source of the data. If tables represent an analysis of data from another source, you must obtain permission.

* Photographs: The copyright in a photograph belongs to the owner of the negative, who may or may not be the photographer. If the copyright is owned by an individual, or a corporation owned primarily by an individual, the image passes into the public domain 50 years after the owner’s death. If the copyright is owned by any other type of corporation, the image passes into the public domain 50 years after the making of the initial negative. If you photograph individuals expressly for the purpose of your book, obtain letters of consent from your subjects whenever possible.

* You must obtain permission to quote interviewees who are readily identifiable; all interviewees must be informed of the possibility of publication.

* If you are unable to determine or contact a copyright holder, make an honest and documented attempt to obtain permission: send a registered letter detailing your request to the last known address of the publisher or author. Inform the series editor of any problems early.

Preparing the manuscript for editing. Manuscripts that do not meet the following standards may be returned to you for further work, leading to delays in production. If you have any questions, please contact the series editor.

Please submit a hard copy and an electronic copy of your manuscript. A complete manuscript includes, where applicable:

* title page
* table of contents
* foreword, preface, introduction
* acknowledgements, dedication
* list of tables/illustrations
* text body
* appendix/glossary
* notes
* references, works cited list, or bibliography
* tables
* all illustrations (figures, graphics, maps, photos)
* captions for illustrations
* complete permission file

The electronic copy should be broken into separate files for each component: front matter, individual chapters (labelled by number, not author or title name), bibliography, appendices, etc. Label all discs or attachments clearly, indicating your name, title of manuscript, and the platform, program, and version you have used. If you are transferring your files electronically—by email attachment, for example—please contact the editor before transmitting them.

Manuscript format

* Double-space all text on consecutively numbered, single-sided pages, leaving at least a one-inch margin at top, bottom, and both sides.
* Include as little formatting in your manuscript as possible, as this greatly speeds copy-editing and typesetting.
* Format your text in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf).
* Include permissions to reproduce all material from other sources.
* Submit notes, bibliographies, and reference lists in an appropriate and complete format. For guidance on how to prepare notes and bibliographies in humanities-style documentation, consult The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, or the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition. If your manuscript uses a scientific style, consult the Council of Biology Editors’ (CBE) Scientific Style and Format, or other appropriate style manual in your field. Whatever style you choose, please follow it consistently and correctly throughout the manuscript. If not, we will return the manuscript to you for revision.
* Tables, graphs, maps, illustrations, and other images should not be embedded in the text. Save them in separate electronic files, accompanied by hard copies.

Images: All illustrations, whether graphs, maps, line drawings, photographs, or other images, should be judiciously chosen, and submitted in the highest possible quality. Authors are responsible for providing illustrations that meet our standards of production. Discuss with the series editor any illustrations you intend to include with your manuscript at the earliest opportunity. We reserve the right to limit the number and format of illustrations.

* Include captions with all images.
* Place photocopies of the artwork or a descriptive note in the intended location in the manuscript.
* Submit original photographs or artwork not available in an electronic format with chapter location, captions, and credit lines attached.
* The Press can produce maps requiring professional cartographical services, but the author will be responsible for any additional charges incurred.
* Provide sources and permissions for all tabular materials, charts, graphs, etc. All material must be in electronic format.
* Submit all electronic images in bitmap format, which includes TIFF (*.TIF) and JPEG (*.JPG).
* Bitmaps are measured in dots per inch (dpi). Bitmapped photographic files should be at least 300 dpi at final printed size. For example, an image to be printed 3.5 inches wide should contain at least 1050 (300 dots x 3.5 inches) dots horizontally. Saving a low-resolution file with a higher resolution setting in graphics editing software such as Photoshop does not increase the resolution of the image.
* Image files for the Web are optimized for viewing on a monitor that shows images at 72 dpi—too low in resolution to use in book production. For this reason, GIF images and screen captures are rarely acceptable for print publication.
* Photographs, images with tints, and other grey-scale images must be of good quality with proper contrast. Too-high contrast washes out in print, while too-low contrast renders it darkly illegible.
* Colour images should meet all the requirements of grey-scale images and should be saved in CMYK format.

Multi-author works. Collective works present particular organizational challenges:

* Please standardize all electronic text files into one word-processing format.
* Check that each file contains the final version of each contributor’s work.
* Ensure that all contributors are using the same style of documentation; otherwise, the Press may have to return the manuscript for correction or invoice you for the additional copy-editing costs.
* Confirm that all contributors have obtained permission to reprint any reproduced material, and provide copies of permission-granting forms to the Press.
* Include a list of contributors and their institutional affiliations/biographies.

From Manuscript to Book. Once your manuscript has passed through the peer review process and been accepted for publication, the series editor will consult with you regarding scheduling and your responsibilities from this point forward.

Copy-editing. The editor will ensure the manuscript is well organized, consistent, grammatically correct, and conforms to the style agreed upon by author and editor. Once the manuscript is copy-edited, the editor returns the text to you for review. You will review changes, make corrections as requested, add any necessary information, and answer queries. This is the last opportunity for minor polishing; major rewrites cannot be done at this stage.

WLU Press House Style. WLU Press uses Canadian spellings in accordance with the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd ed. (2004). Where an entry offers a choice of spellings, choose the first. The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the guide we follow for most questions of style. Above all, be consistent. Use inclusive language.

Design and typesetting. The editor reviews the final manuscript copy, ensures that revisions and corrections are incorporated into the electronic file, and passes it to the WLU production department, where the interior design of the book is created. Formatted page proofs are produced.

We reserve the right to determine the appearance of a book but strive to include author input in the process whenever possible. If you have particular ideas about cover images or design, we ask that you discuss them with the editor as early as possible.

Proofreading and indexing. We ask you to read your page proofs for typos, omissions, and errors. You may at this stage begin to prepare an index, but remember that pagination will change somewhat. Once corrections are made to the proofread pages, a set of final page proofs is created and sent to you for indexing. If you wish to hire a professional indexer, the managing editor will help you find one.

Printing. Print and binding takes four to six weeks. When books are delivered, we will send complimentary copies to the author.

Marketing and Sales. Once your manuscript is accepted for publication, we send you an author questionnaire to complete. This document helps us market your book to its greatest potential.