Institute of Historical Research conference series – Submission guidelines for editors

About the series

The IHR’s Conference Series publishes edited collections derived from conferences organised at or by UK universities. Like the IHR’s two journals, Historical Research and Reviews in History, the series covers a wide geographical and temporal span: from Britain to the Far East; from the early middle ages to the 20th century. Its Editors encourage the submission of papers from a variety of approaches.

The Conference Series aims to promote research which significantly advances scholarship in a particular field or fields, rather than providing an overview of the current state of knowledge.

Proposals are welcomed from both established scholars and new researchers.

Preparing your proposal

The main purpose of your proposal is to convince the IHR’s Publications Board of the suitability of your publication for inclusion in its Conference Series. You should address the importance of your subject, the academic significance of the proposed volume, the central questions to be addressed by the papers selected for inclusion in the volume, and the potential audience for the work.

At this stage, you should provide a Table of Contents, with chapter titles, and abstracts. If you already have sample chapters available, please include these with your proposal. Your main proposal should be approximately 2,000 words in length, supported by 500-word abstracts for each chapter.

It is initially intended to publish only three volumes per year, and we anticipate receiving considerably more proposals than we can accept. Consequently only the most significant and innovative research will be accepted for publication.

Peer review

An initial assessment of the suitability of your proposal for the series will be carried out by the IHR’s editorial team, with further evaluation undertaken by the Publications Board. The most promising proposals will then be sent to external referees for peer review. The final decision about whether to recommend publication will be made by the Publications Board, in light of the referees’ reports.

It is highly unlikely that all papers delivered at a conference will be suitable for inclusion (see below). It is, therefore, expected that editors will have exercised a degree of peer review before the submission of their proposal. Editors should have reviewed all of the papers identified for inclusion in their volume and they should demonstrate the reason(s) for the selection of particular contributions over others.


Please indicate the provisional title for your publication. This need not be the same as the title of the originating conference, and should give a clear indication of the scope of the volume. Your chosen title should be meaningful for a non-specialist audience.

Reasons for writing

Your proposal should address the reasons why you have chosen to edit a volume of conference proceedings. Are there significant gaps in the literature in this field of research? If there have been other recent relevant publications, you should indicate why yours is different. Is there clear demand for such a publication from a wider audience than those attending the originating conference? Are the selected papers presenting innovative work which should be made available to a wider audience?

Your proposal should also include a substantial overview of the central arguments of the volume, and indicate the groundbreaking nature of the research that is being presented.


It is unlikely that your proposed volume will include all of the papers delivered at a conference. Rather the selected papers should address a particular subject or research question(s) in a coherent and integrated manner. Chapters should fit together, and advance the central argument of the book. In some cases this may require the commissioning of additional chapters, or the refocusing of existing material. In all cases, contributions should be reframed as articles or chapters in a book and not simply reproduce papers as delivered at the conference. They should, in addition, be fully referenced.

About the authors/editors

Please provide a brief CV and list of recent publications for the editor(s) of the volume. You should also provide names and affiliations for all contributors (in each case indicating if they have already agreed to submit their conference paper for publication).

Audience and market

The Institute of Historical Research provides services for academic historians, and this should demonstrably be the primary audience for your publication. The subject matter may, of course, be of interest to a wider secondary audience (e.g. undergraduates, the general public), and you should address this in your proposal if appropriate.


Please indicate an approximate timetable for the submission of your completed text. Have you already secured agreement from your chosen contributors? Do you have the contributions in hand, or will they be subject to significant revision? Will it be necessary to commission new chapters to provide a coherent overview of the chosen topic?


Your proposal should include an estimate of word length. Your completed volume should not exceed 120,000 words, and chapters should not normally be longer than about 10,000. Where longer chapters are to be included, you should provide clear justification for the decision in your proposal. You should also indicate if you are planning to include any illustrations and, whether you have secured permission to reproduce etc. The IHR requires all permissions to be for both print and perpetual online publication. Payment of reproduction fees is the responsibility of contributors and/or editors.

Publication will initially be in print, with a five-year moving wall for online publication. Volumes will be published in hardback, priced at approximately £40, and initial print runs will be between 150 and 250 copies (with print-on-demand a possibility thereafter).

The IHR requires editors to assign copyright to the University of London.

Marketing and promotion

The IHR publishes a wide range of titles for postgraduate historians, including research guides and handbooks, conference proceedings, scholarly journals, annual directories and the results of major research projects such as the Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicane. Books are sold directly by the IHR, through major library suppliers and via Amazon.

Titles in the Conference Series will also be marketed as part of the wider publishing programme of the School of Advanced Study, ensuring interdisciplinary reach.

Style guide

All publications in the series will be produced to the house style used for the IHR’s journal, Historical Research. Full guidelines are available online. There is no requirement for house style to be accommodated at the proposal stage.

Submission of your proposal

Please send your proposal by email to Dr Julie Spraggon, Head of Publications, Institute of Historical Research.