Contributor Guidelines: Articles

Dickens Quarterly publishes articles of c. 5,000–9,000 words, as well as occasional shorter essays and notices. Submissions are welcome from anyone with a scholarly interest in Dickens, regardless of their personal or professional background or affiliation. Every effort will be made to decide on acceptances as quickly as possible. For DQ’s peer-review policy, see Publication Ethics. (The journal also publishes book reviews, but these are almost always commissioned by the reviews editor.)

Potential contributors are asked to submit their work as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or fully compatible open-source file to the general editor, Prof. Dominic Rainsford, at:

Style and references

Like every scholarly journal, DQ has a house style which ensures consistency of presentation. Much time can be saved and fewer changes need to be made if the house style is applied from the start.

DQ style is based upon the MLA Handbook, 8th edition, 2016, with the addition of footnotes where appropriate. Note that the “Works Cited” style in MLA 8th ed. differs significantly from earlier editions. It includes full provision for audio-visual and online sources, as well as all types of printed material. For 8th ed. style in practice, see recent numbers of DQ (June 2020 onwards) or PMLA. The 9th edition of the MLA Handbook is due to be published in April 2021, and will then become our standard guide. The 9th edition will clarify some matters, but is not expected to introduce further significant changes. For the essential features of current MLA style, see MLA Style Center.

In-text citations of Dickens’s works should include both pagination and chapter number (00; ch. 00) and, where applicable, the original book or volume number (00; bk. 00, ch. 00). Citations from any of the following editions of Dickens are acceptable: the Clarendon Dickens; the Oxford Edition of Charles Dickens (inaugurated by Sketches by Boz towards the end of 2020); the latest series of Oxford World’s Classics; the Everyman Dickens (i.e. the series edited in the 1990s by Michael Slater); Norton Critical Editions; and the latest series of Penguin Classics. Use of other printed or online editions is only appropriate where the text in question is not included in any of the series listed above, or where there is a specific scholarly justification, e.g. in an article concerning publication history or digital media. The most appropriate scholarly edition of Dickens’s journalism will usually be Dickens’ Journalism, edited by Michael Slater and John Drew, 4 vols., J. M. Dent, 1994–2000, although in some cases the first-edition texts, e.g. at Dickens Journals Online, may be preferred. References to Dickens’s letters should whenever possible be drawn from The Letters of Charles Dickens, edited by Madeline House et al., 12 vols., Clarendon Press, 1965–2002 (the Pilgrim Edition), or from the ongoing supplements to this edition at The Charles Dickens Letters Project. For references to Forster’s Life, DQ prefers either John Forster, The Life of Charles Dickens, edited by J. W. T. Ley (Cecil Palmer, 1928), or John Forster, The Life of Charles Dickens, edited by A. J. Hoppé (J. M. Dent, 1966).

Spelling, punctuation, and quotations

DQ follows standard American usage in spelling and punctuation, except in quoted material, when the original source should be followed.

Double quotation marks are used in all cases except for quotations-within-quotations and titles-within-titles, where the inner set of quotation marks should be single. Following standard American usage, periods and commas are placed inside closing quotation marks, even if they are not part of the original quotation.

Any quoted material of more than four lines in length should be set as a “displayed” quotation. Please leave a clear line space above and below. Where a quotation is displayed, no quotation marks at the beginning and end are needed, except if the quotation consists of direct speech.

DQ uses the possessive “Dickens’s” (not “Dickens’”), and the same applies to other possessives formed from names ending in “s.”

Dates should be given in the form “7 February 1812,” except in footnotes and the Works Cited, where months with names of longer than four letters are abbreviated according to MLA style, e.g. “7 Feb. 1812.”

In a range of numbers (also in the case of years), the second number should be given in full up to one hundred, e.g. 3–45, 88–100. In the case of larger numbers, the second number is normally reduced to its last two digits, e.g. 133–45, 401–02, 1812–70 (years), unless additional digits are necessary for clarity, e.g. 88–101, 1,598–634.

Ellipses within quotations should be placed within square brackets, […], unless it is obvious that they were not present in the original text. Any other alterations within quotations should also be placed in square brackets. Please always check and double-check all quotations for accuracy, including details of spelling and punctuation.

Illustrations, graphics, and tables

If you wish to include an illustration or graphic in your article, there are a few things that you need to do to ensure a good final image. Remember that the printing area on a page is only 180 mm high by 110 mm wide, i.e. portrait, and that the illustration has to fit within this space. For an image that is landscape in orientation, there are two choices: to reduce the width to 110 mm or to set it sideways. Please remember that, except by prior arrangement, illustrations will be printed in greyscale.

The most crucial point is the resolution size of the image. It needs to be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) at the size it is to be printed. It must be submitted separately from the main text file, preferably as a tiff or high-resolution jpeg. If you want the size of a very small image to be increased, then the resolution has to be proportionately higher as well. Send the production editor a test file if you are not sure if your image is usable.

For line drawings or images that contain text, a sharper image is usually obtained by scanning at 600 dpi at least. Sometimes for text, e.g. copy of manuscript, title pages, etc., it is best to scan at 1,200 dpi. Images on the Internet are often at 72 dpi and look wonderful on screen – but they are quite unsuitable for printing.

If an image is too big to email as an attachment, then use Dropbox or one of the other services for sending large files such as MailBigFile or WeTransfer. Several offer free trials.

Indicate in the text where an image should be placed, e.g. “see Fig. 1,” and make sure that you supply the caption for each image (either as a separate file or at the end of your article). You may include an image in the main text file to indicate its ideal position, but please also supply it separately (as detailed above): an embedded image is not usually usable.

Tables: It is easy to forget when writing on Letter or A4, that a table has to fit into a much smaller space on the DQ page. Please make sure that it will fit, or indicate if it is to be printed sideways. Always supply an example of how it is to look, as it usually has to be reset.

Copyright issues

The permission to use any material that is subject to copyright must be cleared by you and a copy of the permission sent to the general editor. JHUP needs copies of all permissions for its files and will not go to press until all necessary documentation has been received. Please, therefore, obtain any licenses before you submit your final text to the editor. If the required documentation is not in place, the article will be dropped from the issue in question and held over until this requirement is satisfied. Check the “Warranties” section in your Publishing Agreement with JHUP for more details. Please be particularly careful about any material or image downloaded from the internet – not only may the resolution of an image be too low; it may well be under copyright.

Publishing agreement, abstract, and contributor notes

Once your article or review has been accepted for publication, with any revisions that may have been requested, the general editor will forward it to the production editor for setting. Once set, proofs are sent in pdf form to each contributor and to the general editor for checking and correction. Please deal with this as quickly as possible and email all minor amendments to the production editor. Any substantive amendments should be checked with the general editor. Further revised proofs will be sent for checking if necessary.

When your article has been accepted for publication you will need to complete a publishing agreement, using the form sent to you by the general editor. This may need to be accompanied by a permissions statement (see above).

If your contribution is an article or substantial note (more than c. 2,000 words), please send a brief abstract (c. 100–150 words) to the general editor, suitable for printing in the journal. The point is to give readers a quick impression of the main subject and approach.

For all accepted submissions, please send a short biographical statement to the general editor, max. 80 words, comparable to those that you will see in previous issues of DQ. You may wish to emphasise recent or forthcoming publications likely to interest readers of the journal, as well as any other Dickens-related roles or activities. Please also send to the general editor the postal address to which you would like JHUP to send your copy of the issue in question.

Please make sure that you have the general and production editors’ email addresses in your email address book or in the list of exceptions in your spam filter, as many university and other institutional systems block emails with links or attachments from unknown sources.

Editorial address

Prof. Dominic Rainsford
Dept. of English
Aarhus University
Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4
8000 Aarhus C