University of Rochester Press Author Guidelines

This guide aims to help you to deliver a finished manuscript that will conform to our specifications and standards. We ask you to read this document before beginning any work on your book, and to keep it at hand for reference during the writing and revising processes.

Download PDF of Author Guidelines

Our indexing guidelines are available as a separate guide on our website.

Delivery Requirements

Materials to include. (1) manuscript file,(2) all illustrations and tables that will appear in the book,(3) list of captions, (4) permissions to reproduce material under copyright, and (5) your completed Blurb Request Form, which your editor will send to you. 

Manuscript file. Your full manuscript, including the front matter, chapters, and back matter, should be compiled and saved in one Microsoft Word file, which you can submit to us via email. When you submit your manuscript file, it must be complete. If you wish to include in your book a dedication page, epigraph, preface, or acknowledgments, please be sure to include those items in the manuscript file.

In the file please separate each chapter with a “section break.”

The introduction should not be given a chapter number. Please do not call an introductory section a “prelude,” “overture,” or “prologue.” Do not call a concluding section a “postlude,” “coda,” or “epilogue.”

Illustrations. Digital photographs and scanned images should be saved in individual Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) files at the proper resolution (see below, p. 7). If you create a graph, map, or line art, please submit both the source file (e.g., an Excel file for a graph) and a PDF file exported directly from the source file. For how to prepare musical examples, see our Eastman Studies in Music Author Guide.

Each file should be labeled “figure” and given a figure number (see p. 6 below for more on how to label and number your illustrations). Figure 4.5, for example, should be saved in a file labeled “figure 4.5.” Under no circumstances should any illustrations be embedded in the manuscript file.

All illustrations and musical examples, along with any necessary permissions documentation, must be submitted with your manuscript file on your delivery date.

Tables. Tables should be saved in separate Microsoft Word files and labeled according to their table number. For example, table 2.1 should be labeled “table 2.1.” Under no circumstances should tables be embedded in chapter files.

Rows and columns in your tables must be created using Word’s table tool so that each entry in a table is in its own discrete Word table cell. Please do not use tabs, spaces, or paragraph breaks to create rows and columns or to separate entries.

List of captions. In a separate Word file labeled “captions,” please include a complete list of all the captions for your illustrations and musical examples.

Permissions documentation. Provide copies of all permissions and permissions correspondence for any copyrighted material that you wish to reproduce in your book, whether textual or illustrative. If a permissions document is for an illustration, label it with the figure number.


Page layout. Pages should be letter size (8.5 x 11 inches) and have one inch margins all around.

Text. Text should be double spaced, including notes, bibliography, and extracts. All text—even chapter titles, subheads, and notes—should appear in Times New Roman font at twelve point size. Do not use boldface or capitalize all the letters in a word. Avoid underlining.

Paragraphs. The first line of each paragraph should be indented a half inch. Do not insert spaces to achieve indentation.

Block quotations. Please indent block quotations by a half inch with left justification only. Generally, quotations with less than seventy-five words should not be blocked. For poetry quotes, arrange the lines as you want them to appear in the book (but double-spaced).

Styles. Do not assign Microsoft Word “styles” to format subheads, block quotations, paragraph indents, etc. Use the default style, called “normal.”

Subheads. If a chapter includes subheads, identify each subhead by typing <1> immediately before the subhead, as in


 If a subsection contains subheads, so that there are subheads within a subsection, identify those subheads with <2>.

 Subheads within a subsection of a subsection, though discouraged, are identified with the code <3>. Thus, a chapter can have three levels of subheads:


<2>Modern Poetry

<3>T. S. Eliot

 Notes. Insert notes using Microsoft Word’s automatic notes feature. Never key in note numbers manually.

 Callouts. Because tables and illustrations are not to be embedded in your manuscript file, insert in the manuscript file callouts that indicate where each table and illustration should be placed when the manuscript is typeset. A callout should be placed on its own line following the paragraph in which the table or illustration is first referenced and should be surrounded by two angled brackets: <<figure 1.1 about here>>.

3. Capitalization, Punctuation, Spelling, Etc.

Style guide. We follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (University of Chicago Press, 2010), on virtually all matters of style, punctuation, capitalization, and hyphenation. We therefore require US-style punctuation (e.g., use double quotations marks, and single quotation marks for quotations within quotations, and place commas and periods inside quotation marks).

Dictionary. We use Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, latest edition. We therefore require US spellings.

Style preferences. Here are a few style preferences to pay attention to in particular:

  • Use the serial comma.
    • Use month-day-year dates. So not “23 June 2011” but “June 23, 2011.” Note that in running text a comma follows the year.
    • Use en dashes rather than hyphens in between number spans. So not “23-29” but “23–29.”
    • Truncate the last number in page ranges as follows: 1–5, 43–44 (do not truncate when the last number is only two digits), 100–102 (do not truncate when the first number is a multiple of 100), 106–7 (don’t repeat the 0), 131–38, 188–213.
    • Use ellipses to indicate omissions from quoted passages. In general do not bracket ellipses. If ellipses appear in the original quotation, please explain this in the note citation (e.g., “ellipses in original”).
    • Spell out whole numbers from zero through one hundred and round multiples of these (i.e., whenever a number one through one hundred is followed by “hundred,” “thousand,” “hundred thousand,” or “million.” For example:


one hundred

nine thousand

fifty-four thousand

three hundred thousand





If many numbers appear within the same paragraph or short section, use numerals, even if they should be spelled out according to the rule above. Also in a sentence or paragraph with many numbers, if you should use numerals for one number in a category, use numerals for other numbers in that category. For example:

Three books are ready for publication—one with 250 pages and two with 300 pages.

 4. Documentation System

Notes and bibliography. We require the Chicago notes-bibliography system, whereby source citations are given in notes and supplemented with a bibliography. Note citations and bibliography entries must be styled according to The Chicago Manual of Style. For more information on this system, including how to style note citations and bibliography entries for various kinds of publications, see chapter 14 of The Chicago Manual of Style. For a free online guide to Chicago-style citations, visit:

End-of-book or end-of-chapter notes. Unless an arrangement has been made with the Press, notes in a single-author book will appear at the end of the book. In a work of collected essays, notes are placed at the end of each chapter.

Full bibliography or selected bibliography. A single-author book should provide a full bibliography, which includes all of the sources cited in the notes. In a full bibliography, published sources (books, essays, articles, etc.) should be listed in one alphabetized list, not divided up into sections (e.g., primary texts and secondary texts). We prefer that a work of collected essays include a selected bibliography. A selected bibliography should include a short headnote explaining the principles of selection.

Single-author book—full bibliography. If your book includes a full bibliography, all note citations should be shortened—even on the first reference to a source—so as to not duplicate the source information already listed in the bibliography. Readers can use the shortened citation to find the source’s full entry in your bibliography.

Here is an example of a bibliography entry for a book, a journal article, and an essay in a work of collected essays:

Geier, Alfred. Plato’s Erotic Thought: The Tree of the Unknown. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2002.

Johnson, Barbara. “Melville’s Fist: The Execution of Billy Budd.” Studies in Romanticism 18, no. 4 (1979): 567–99.

Puri, Michael J. “Adorno’s Ravel.” In Unmasking Ravel: New Perspectives on the Music, edited by Peter Kaminsky, 63–82. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2011.

Your shortened note citations should include only enough information so that the reader can find the full entry in the bibliography: author last name, a shortened title (typically only the main title, not the subtitle), and the pages being referenced. For example:

1 Geier, Plato’s Erotic Thought, 23–26.

2 Johnson, “Melville’s Fist,” 576.

3 Puri, “Adorno’s Ravel,” 72–73.

An author’s full name is included in a shortened citation only if you cite other authors with the same last name.

Single-author book—selected bibliography. If your bibliography includes only a selected list of the published works cited in the notes, you need to provide a full citation in a note on the first reference to the source:

1 Alfred Geier, Plato’s Erotic Thought: The Tree of the Unknown (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2002), 23–26.

2 Barbara Johnson, “Melville’s Fist: The Execution of Billy Budd,” Studies in Romanticism 18, no. 4 (1979): 576.

3 Michael J. Puri, “Adorno’s Ravel,” in Unmasking Ravel: New Perspectives on the Music, ed. Peter Kaminsky (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2011), 72–73.

Subsequent citations should be shortened.

Work of collected essays. For a work of collected essays, each essay should contain full source information, so that the essay can stand alone, independent of the bibliography, full or selected. A full citation must therefore be given in a note on the first reference to a source in each essay. Shortened citations should be used for that source for the reminder of the essay.

5. Illustrations

Overview. Illustrations, often called figures, include digital or scanned photographs, charts, maps, line drawings, musical examples, or anything represented by means of an image rather than text. Illustrations should never be embedded in your manuscript file. Callouts for each illustration should be inserted in your manuscript file to indicate their placement in the text.

Labeling and numbering. All illustrations, other than musical examples, should be called a “figure” and given a figure number. Musical examples should be called an “example” and given an example number.

The figure number should consist of two numbers separated by a period: (1) the number of the chapter in which the figure appears and (2) a numeral indicating the figure’s sequence in the order of figures for the chapter. For example, the fourth figure in chapter 3 should be numbered “figure 3.4.” If your book contains both figures and musical examples, number musical examples independent of figures. For example, the second musical example in chapter 3, even if multiple figures precede it, should be labeled “example 3.2.”

In few cases figures can be numbered in one continuous sequence: figure 1, figure 2, figure 3, etc.

Captions. A caption should contain the figure number, a short description of the illustration, and a credit line. For example:

Figure 1.5. Pablo Picasso, Women of Algiers, oil on canvas, 1955. Coll. Victor M. Ganz. © 2009 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Reproduced with permission from Scala / Art Resource, New York.

Under no circumstances should your caption or figure number appear on your illustration.

Image resolution. Digital photographs should be submitted in TIFF format with a minimum of 300 pixels per inch (ppi) at the physical size it will appear in the book. So if an image is going to be 4.5 inches wide on the page (our standard text block is 4.5 x 7 inches), the digital image must have 300ppi at 4.5 inches wide. Bear in mind that ppi and physical size are inversely related: for any given digital image, if we increase the physical size we will decrease the ppi, and vice versa. So if an image is submitted with 300ppi but at a physical size of 1 inch wide, when we increase the physical size so that it can be seen on the page, the ppi will drop below 300ppi, rendering the file unusable. We will reject image files that do not have 300ppi.

Scans. For photographs, please try to obtain first-generation, museum-quality scans with 300ppi. In most cases a scan of a second-generation image (e.g., a scan of an image in a book) will have poor image quality. Please note that we cannot improve upon the quality of an image, and we will reject images that are markedly blurry, distorted, pixilated, or contain moiré patterns. If you must scan a second-generation image, please use the descreen feature on your scanner.

Camera-ready artwork. Graphs, line art, maps, and musical examples must be professionally drafted in camera-ready form. Musical examples should have 600ppi.

Prints. We do accept first-generation prints (photographs or original printed artwork) sent to us through the mail for scanning. Please label each print with a Post-it note indicating the figure number.

6. Permissions

Author’s responsibilities. You, the author (or the editor of a collection of essays), are legally responsible for complying with copyright, privacy, and libel laws. You are also legally responsible, per your contract with us, for obtaining permission or a license, if needed, to use any material under copyright and to pay any required fees. The following guidelines are intended to help you meet your legal obligations. The University of Rochester Press has no power to release you from them. Nor can we offer legal advice; if you are not sure whether a particular course of action might result in a lawsuit, you should consult an attorney.

Using copyrighted material. Bear in mind that you are liable for any violation of copyright. We therefore recommend that you limit your use of copyrighted material to only what is essential to your argument. If the restrictions on a particular excerpt or image seem excessive, we strongly recommend that you reconsider your use of the material.

Rights needed. For using in your book any material under copyright, you need to obtain from the copyright holder written permission. If a copyright holder requires you to license the rights to reproduce the material, please obtain from the rights holder nonexclusive world rights in all languages and for all editions of your book, including hardback, paperback, and ebook editions.

Ebook rights. Please make sure that all permission letters and licenses from rights holders expressly grant ebook rights. The ebook rights must not be limited to a set number of years. Instead please obtain rights for “the life of the book.” If the rights holder is not willing to license rights for the life of the book, please contact your editor.

Sample letters. We have sample letters that you may use to request permission to use copyrighted material from a rights holder, if the rights holder does not have their own form. You should request that all permission letters be sent to you. Send us photocopies of the letters and any statements defining conditions of use. Retain the originals for your files.

Copyright and public domain. Material created by other people, including images or text, is under copyright, unless copyright has expired and the material is in the public domain.

  • Generally it’s safe to assume that material published in the United States before 1923 is in the public domain.
  • For material published after 1923 and before 1978, terms of copyright vary depending on the circumstances. We therefore recommend inquiring with the estate, literary trust, or an heir of the creator of the material you wish to use.
  • Material created after January 1, 1978, is in copyright for the life of the author + 70 years. Joint works (opera: composer and librettist) date from the life of the longest-lived contributor. Corporate works are different.
  • Terms of copyright for material published in a country other than the United States vary according to the copyright law of that country.

Fair use. The doctrine of fair use is an exception to the copyright law that allows you to quote short extracts from a work without permission from the owner. The law, though, does not explicitly define the boundaries between copyright infringement and fair use. Instead, it uses four factors in considering each use:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

As a rule of thumb, prose extracts of not more than two hundred words and poetry extracts of not more than a few lines (depending on the length of the poem) will fall under fair use. But you generally need permission when using music, art (including figures), photos, tables in books, sound recordings, computer software, etc., even a short excerpt.

Manuscript (unpublished) materials remain under copyright. If they are held in an archive, you will need permission from both the archive and the holder of the literary rights. In the case of letters, it is the author who retains copyright, not the recipient.

Bear in mind that fair use can be difficult to prove, so do not make claims frivolously. Visit the following website for more information on fair use:

More information. Check with your university copyright experts or the library, who may be able to help. We are not trained in copyright law and therefore cannot guarantee that the answer we give is correct, though we can try to point you in the right direction. The following sites have helpful outlines for US copyright law:

For rules concerning copyright law in other countries, consult the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC).