Contributors’ Guidelines

Updated: 22 July 2014
PDF Version

Irish Migration Studies in Latin America1
Contributors’ Guidelines

Irish Migration Studies in Latin America (IMSLA) is a journal published by the Society for Irish Latin American Studies (SILAS). IMSLA publishes original research about relations between Ireland and Latin America, Spanish Speaking North America, the Caribbean, and Iberia. Articles from all academic disciplines within the humanities and social sciences are considered. Articles are subject to peer-review, and the journal has an international editorial board. The editors welcome contributions of articles, interdisciplinary essays, biographies, archival sources, and book, film, or website reviews. Articles may be singly or jointly authored, and should follow these Contributors’ Guidelines.

IMSLA is currently published one to two times a year. IMSLA issues are often dedicated to thematic subjects (for example, a country or region, or a particular activity or discipline), and are occasionally guest-edited by invited experts.

The journal is published online ( and is open access. Current and past issues are available free and unrestricted online. The readership of the journal includes academics, students, researchers, genealogists, and people with interests in history, literature, cultural studies, and other aspects of relations between Ireland, Latin America, Spanish speaking North America, the Caribbean, and Iberia.

What the Contributor Needs to Know

      Contributors shall agree that the submission of a contribution to IMSLA received by the editors or guest editors means acceptance of the terms included herein.

To be considered for publication, the material submitted to the editors must comply with these Contributors’ Guidelines, and with additional editorial standards that may be communicated by the editors in each case. Articles will be sent out for blind peer review. Articles may be rejected, accepted with conditions, or accepted. The submission of a contribution means that the contributor agrees that his/her contribution may be published by IMSLA, according to the criteria included in these Contributors’ Guidelines.

Upon publication, contributors shall agree that the copyright of the material published by IMSLA is assigned to the Society for Irish Latin American Studies (SILAS), and includes, but is not limited to, all publication, reproduction, and commercialization rights in all media, on the understanding that internet users will have free access to issues and archived IMSLA contents. A contributor may retain his or her copyright if this requirement is explicitly communicated to the editors at the time of submission. International copyright laws protect third party copyright material published by IMSLA.
Contributors should secure permission from the rights-holders of any work extensively cited in their texts before submitting them to the IMSLA editors. This is particularly important for “Sources” articles.

Contributors shall agree that their contribution may be translated, changed, edited or amended in any way that is appropriate for the publication of said contribution by IMSLA, according to the editors’ criteria. Contributors shall also agree that their name be included below their contribution modified in such way. Since IMSLA editors work on a tight schedule, contributors are not normally able to read and approve an edited draft-copy of their contributions before they are published.

Types of Contributions and Language

      IMSLA publishes different types of work: articles, biographies, reviews, and sources (including transcriptions and reproductions of primary documents, audiovisual materials, photographic galleries, and others). These Contributors’ Guidelines are primarily for Articles, Biographies, and Reviews, but the general criteria apply for any type of submission. Please consult with the editors for the Sources format, as well as for poems, interviews or other types of contributions.

Articles may be submitted for consideration in Spanish, Portuguese, French and English. Consideration of articles will depend upon the availability of peer-reviewers in the language and discipline of the submitted article. Should an article be accepted for publication, and the author so desires, links can be provided to a professional translation of the article (provided by the author and subject to review by a language and discipline expert, if available).

1. Articles

Authors submitting a manuscript should make sure to include:

  • an abstract (objectives, methods, results, and conclusion – max. 150 words)
  • a short description of the author – their affiliation and area of interest (both max. 40 words)
  • email address and daytime telephone number
  • a list of numbered endnotes
  • a list of references alphabetised by author’s surname.

IMSLA follows the New Oxford Style Manual (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), except in instances where the New Oxford Style Manual is at odds with the following submission guidelines.

Articles should not be longer than 5,000 words, including references and notes.

British spelling is used.

When submitting manuscripts, the less formatting the better. Authors should use the same standard font throughout (e.g., Times New Roman), set at 12-point size. Margins should be aligned to the left, not justified right, and automatic hyphenation should be turned off.

Margins should be generous, at least 2.5 cm on each side. Line spacing should be single. No bold text except in headings. Use italics instead of underlining. Paragraphs should not be indented.

Authors should include all diacritics for words in Spanish, Portuguese, French, or other languages, including place a personal names. Other words in languages other than English should be in italics.

Where citations are translated into English by the contributor, the citation in its original language should also be provided as an endnote.

There should only be one space after a period/full stop.

Opening question and exclamation marks should be included in Spanish.

In English, the territorial division partido should read ‘district’.

Ship names are always in italics: the William Peile, HMS Victory, SS Dresden.

Manuscripts should be page-numbered. No additional information should be included in a header or footer.

No contractions (i.e., I’m, he’ll), except those that appear in quotations, should be used. Manuscripts should generally be written in the third person, but authors may use “I”, “we”, and “my” when making an explicit argument.

Authors are asked to limit acknowledgements to colleagues who have offered comments, University and foundation supporters, and previous venues for presentation of the research. Articles should not carry dedications. Acknowledgements should be included in the appropriate endnote.

Sections of the manuscript (e.g., Introduction, Conclusion, etc.) may be identified with subheads if the contributor wishes. Such heading should not be numbered.

Names of organisations abbreviated in the text should be spelled out at first mention (including those the author believes “everyone” knows), with the acronym placed in parentheses. Names of organisations in languages other than English should be spelled out at first mention in English, with the acronym in the original language.

Similarly, people mentioned should be given their full names as commonly known at first mention. IMSLA is intended to attract a readership among readers worldwide, and material that seems known to “everyone” in a contributor’s context may be unfamiliar in other parts of the world. At first mention, names of cities, towns, or provinces should be followed by the name of the country in which they are located. Place names should correspond to contemporary usage during the period under consideration, followed by the place name in current usage in brackets.

Numbers and Others

    Dates should be written using numerals for the day and year and without abbreviations in the DAY MONTH YEAR format: 30 September 1973

    Ordinal numbers should be spelled out (e.g., first, second, thirty-third, NOT 1st, 2nd, 33rd).

    Please avoid any kind of superscript (19th) or subscript (19th) setting.

    Decades: 1770s

    Names of centuries are always spelled out: the sixteenth century, eighteenth-century paintings

    Range of dates: 1955-1983 (not 1955-83).

    Range of pages: 321-350.

    If one uses prepositions, the usage must be consistent: “from 1908 to 1913”, “between 1645 and 1665”. Never: “from 1500-1800” or “between 1815-1855”.

    Volume numbers: for both books and journal, use Arabic rather than Roman numerals.

    In text, single numbers between one and one hundred inclusive are spelled out, as are round numbers above one hundred. However, in a series (“1, 3, and 8”) and with units of measurement (“5 per cent”), numbers are used.

    “Per cent” is used rather that “%” except in tables and notes.

    Possessives of singular nouns are formed by adding apostrophe plus s; the possessive of plural nouns ending in s is formed by adding an apostrophe only. Possessives of proper names follow the same rules.

    In matters of capitalisation we follow the headline style in titles of works (see New Oxford Style Manual, section 5). King, captain, president, etc., are lower-cased except when used as a title: “King George III”; “the president decides”. The indefinite form of capitalised entities is lower-cased: “the Empire and Overseas Committee”, “the committee”.

Quotation Marks

    IMSLA uses double marks, single marks for quotations within quotations. The placing of quotation marks is dependent on the meaning of the sentence, but usually the terminal quotation mark precedes end punctuation.

    Note numbers following a quotation are always outside the quotation marks, usually following the end punctuation.

References and Notes

    IMSLA follows the author-date (Harvard) system, which provides the author’s name and year of publication within the parentheses in the text, and the full details at the end of the work in a list of references. Therefore, citations should be referenced in the text, but not in the notes. Citations normally include three elements: (a) the author’s last name, (b) the year of publication, and (c) the page. Between (a) and (b) there is a space. Between (b) and (c) there is a colon and a space. For example:

      As Smith et al. maintain, “the external atmosphere is free until someone claims for it” (Smith 1999: 104).

      Pedro Jaramillo declared that “he [O’Hara] is an Irish Parliamentarian disguised in Latin American clothes” (Maguire 2001b: 17).

      This attitude was best epitomised by “an appalling sense of Irish-Brazilian boredom” (Quesada 1978 II: 371).

    Short citations (max. three lines) should be embedded in the text. Long citations (four or more lines) should be set off in a separate paragraph.

    Footnotes are reserved for ad hoc comments only, and should be kept to a reasonable number. Notes should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.

    Notes to tables, graphics, or figures should be included in the caption.

    The letters “p.” and “pp.” are added to avoid confusion only when the page numbers are preceded by other numbers, such as dates.

List of References

    The complete list of references should be included at the end of the article. As a general rule, every citation in text should correspond to a parenthetical reference included in the list of references. However, other references not cited in the text may be included in the list as suggested further reading.

    All entries should be listed alphabetically by author’s last name preceded by a hyphen.

    Book examples:

    • Nevin, Kathleen, You’ll Never Go Back (Maynooth: The Cardinal Press, 1999).
    • Ortiz, Rodolofo (ed.), Mi casa es tu casa: Estilos arquitectonicos privados en el Brasil colonial (Madrid: Editora del Sur, 2003). First edition: 1945.
    • Quesada, Fernanda, Irish-Ecuadorean Contributions to International Development (Santiago de Chile: Editorial de la Casa, 1978). Vol. II.

    Article examples:

    • Barrell, David, “The Shamrock Clashes” in The Irish Literary Supplement (Dublin) 39:3 (June 2001), pp. 301-333.
    • Phillis, Sigbert, “The Pigeon in the Hole” in The English-Pacific Times (Lima), 30 October 1975, p. 4.

Illustrations and Tables

    IMSLA is an illustrated journal, therefore the quantity and quality of illustrations is an important part of the contribution. Please submit quality photographs, graphics, painting, maps, etc. in electronic format (fig, jpg). As a rule, at least one illustration should be included for every page of text. High-resolution image files are necessary to be included in the print edition. High-resolution is defined as at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch). The editors and production manager will decide if lower resolution files may be published in the online version.

    Detailed captions should accompany the illustrations, including names of sitters or a description of scene, as well as artist (photographer), year and copyright information.

    Copyrights for illustrations shall be cleared by the contributor with the image rights-holders before sending the files to IMSLA.

    Tables should be submitted embedded in the text, as well as separately in the original file type (e.g., Excel).

2. Biographies

IMSLA’s collection of short biographies are both sections of the serialised publication and entries in the Irish Latin American Dictionary of Biography, which is a permanent feature of the SILAS website.

Biographical contributions should be between 750 and 1,500 words in length (in English).

Biographies should include citations and endnotes. Except where there must be a citation, the source should be included immediately afterwards, between brackets.

Biographical entries should follow the following structure:

  • Family name/s (including maiden name).
  • Christian name/s (including other names and pseudonyms).
  • Years of birth and death.
  • Occupation statement: 1-3 words defining why the biographee was known.
  • Genealogical information: including names of parents, spouse, and children and their years of birth and death.
  • Date and place of birth, formative years, and education.
  • Description of life, including factual information only, with emphasis on the biographee’s achievements for which he or she was known. Avoid qualifying adjectives.
  • Contributions of the biographee (e.g., published works) and opinions of the biographer.
  • Short description of physiognomy and character.
  • Date, place, and circumstances of death and place of burial.
  • Author’s name.

A list of references should be provided at the end, including the major works published about the person (max. ten entries). Where available, manuscript collections should be added, including their location.

When possible, portraits should be added prominently displaying the biographee. Portraits may include photographs, sculptures, paintings or other works of art. Illustrations should be accompanied by captions and copyright information as per above (See 1. Articles, Illustrations and Tables), particularly the name of the artist and the year of production.

3. Reviews

Reviews are short essays following the same general rules as Articles and Biographies, but with a maximum of 2,000 words. The review should contain a summary of the main points of the work under consideration (one quarter of the review). The main focus should be a critical analysis of the book, film, or other reviewed work, including the evaluation of the methodology, offering alternative arguments or suggestions where appropriate. Consideration should be given to the reviewed work’s role and purpose in the context of the historical thought that most influences the author, and the assumptions, values, or analytical frameworks the author employs, as well as his/her use of sources, organisation and presentation. The review should end with the reviewer’s personal evaluation from his/her own approach to the subject, values and preferred methodology.

Errors of fact or typographical errors can be pointed out, but should not be dwelt on unless the reviewer feels that they compromise the validity of the work as a whole. Reviewers are discouraged from indulging in personal comments or attacks.

Reviews should begin with the author(s)/editor(s) and title of the work(s) under review, the publisher, city, year of publication and ISBN of the work. Other publishing information should be included (e.g., number of pages, illustrations, maps, tables, etc.). For films, format (e.g., DVD), duration, and the names of the director, producer, editor, and music composer should be included.

Citations of the book reviewed should be followed by the page number/s in parenthetical notation. Citation of other works and notes should follow the same rules as in Articles (References and Notes).

If possible, please provide the author’s email and postal addresses. The editors will seek to obtain the author’s reply from the reviewed work’s author to be included with the review.

1Except where noted otherwise, these Guidelines are also applicable for contributions to the SILAS website pages.