Manuscript Preparation Guidelines

The University of Chicago Press prefers manuscripts submitted in electronic form in Microsoft Word. We can also work with files prepared in LaTeX (please consult your acquiring editor for special instructions if you plan to submit LaTeX files). The advantage of electronic manuscripts is that they can be edited and prepared for publication without having to retype anything. Please keep in mind, however, that a design for your book will be created by our design staff, and the final edited files will be converted to a typesetting program from which the page proofs will be created. So please keep it simple—if you spend a lot of time using your software to format your manuscript and customize the way it looks, we, in turn, must spend time paring your manuscript back to its basic elements to ensure that the whole process goes smoothly.

Please use the following guidelines to ensure that the electronic manuscript and printouts you submit to us will be ready to edit without further ado. Contact your editor if you have any questions!




Your manuscript should be double-spaced throughout. The printouts you provide should be single-sided with every page numbered. No two pages of your manuscript should have the same number. Either number the pages according to section (e.g., “Author last name, chap. 1, p. 57”; “Author last name, tables, p. 12”) or consecutively throughout the manuscript (e.g., “Author last name, p. 1”). Use the same typeface (or font) throughout the entire manuscript. For information about special characters, please see below.

Sections and Headings

Do not assign “styles” to achieve different formats for subheads, block quotes, paragraph indents, etc. The default, or “normal,” style should be the only style in your manuscript. (If your program assigns a special style to automatic notes, however, that’s okay.) If a chapter has more than one level of subheads, differentiate them by typing (using angle brackets) <A>, <B>, or <C> at the beginning of each subhead, as appropriate. It is also acceptable to differentiate subheads visually (with centering, bolding, underlining, etc.), but please be consistent in the way you use such formatting.

Spacing and Indentation

  • Do not use the space bar to achieve tabs or indents or to align text.
  • Do not use the space bar or the tab key to start a new line, format block quotations, or create hanging indents for your bibliography.
  • Format prose extracts (block quotations) and verse extracts with your word processor’s feature for indenting paragraphs (0.5 inch). Insert a hard return only at the end of a paragraph or a line of verse.
  • Do not insert an additional hard return to create extra space between paragraphs. Where you want a space break in the book, type “<space>” on a line by itself.
  • Do not use the automatic hyphenation feature. There should be no “optional” hyphens in your manuscript.
  • Do not “justify” text to the right margin.

Special Characters

Use the same font throughout the entire manuscript. Produce any special characters using your word-processing program’s built-in “special characters” set. If you need a character that’s not available, you can use a descriptive shorthand enclosed in angle brackets. For example, <bhook>aci might indicate that the typesetter should render the Hausa word …ďaci. Do not “make” a character by combining more than one character, or by using graphics or codes. If you use a special font to create characters, please alert your acquiring editor and send a test file early in the process so that we can see whether the font is compatible with our system. When you submit your manuscript, include a list of special characters and, if applicable, include their angle-bracketed shorthand descriptions.

Hidden Text, Comments, and Field Codes

Make sure that there are no comments, annotations, field codes, or hidden text whatsoever in the final version of the manuscript that you submit to the Press. In addition, make sure that all “tracked changes” or other revision marks have been accepted as final (i.e., there should be no revision marks, hidden or otherwise, in the final manuscript).


Boxes/Sidebars, Tables, and Figures

Separating Boxes/Sidebars, Tables, and Figures from the Text

Each text box/sidebar, table, or figure of any kind (including photographs, maps, charts, and graphs) must be submitted in files separate from those of the main text. File names of figures should follow Chicago’s convention: “Smith_ch1_001.tif” or “Smith_001.tif.” (See our Digital Art Digest and Art Submission Requirements for more information.)


Text boxes/sidebars, tables, and figures should be numbered separately. Furthermore, if your book will have a color gallery, number color plates separately from black and white images.

Indicating Placement

To indicate ideal placement in the text, please place a bracketed, sequentially numbered “callout” on a separate line in the manuscript between paragraphs that indicates placement: [Figure 1.1 about here]. Do not embed figures in the text files. The typesetter will attempt to follow your callouts, while adhering to the specifications of the book design we provide.

Preparing a List of Captions

Include a separate, sequentially numbered list of captions that matches the callouts in the manuscript with the proper caption and credit line (or source), if any, for each illustration. For additional information on captions and credit lines, please refer to the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, 3.21 – 3.36. Please note that the list of captions is different from a list of tables or illustrations that might appear in the front matter of the book. If a list of tables or illustrations is also required, it should be prepared separately as part of the front matter and not include full captions or credits.


Documentation Guidelines

Inserting Notes

To insert notes, use your software’s built-in note-making feature. Use the feature “as is”; please don’t reset any of the options. The benefit of the built-in notes feature is that it connects the text of a specific note with a specific place in the text. These “embedded” notes can be moved, combined, or deleted with ease; the number in the text will always carry its note text with it, and the notes will automatically renumber as needed. (Never renumber notes by typing over the automatically generated numbers.) Notes to tables should be numbered separately and it may be necessary to submit each table in a separate file to ensure that the note numbering starts anew with each table. All formatting (of number size and style, placement of the notes relative to the book as a whole, and even conversion of endnotes to footnotes and vice versa) will be done by the typesetter. In most cases, notes will be placed at the end of the book or at the end of each chapter for edited volumes. If you feel there is a compelling reason for placing notes at the foot of the page, please contact your acquiring editor.

Formatting Notes and Bibliographies

Our Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide is available online for your reference. Please note that we don’t insist on Chicago style, but we do ask that you adhere to a few basic requirements before submitting your final manuscript. Do not assume that software tools for managing references (e.g., Endnote) will generate bibliographies/reference lists that are ready to send. You will need to check your notes and bibliography carefully and edit as needed before submitting your manuscript. Please ensure that all field codes and hidden text are stripped from your bibliography before sending it.

  • Endnote (or footnote) citations should read sentence-style; that is, the authors’ names must read naturally (not reversed with surname first), and the citations may not have periods in the middle. (When several citations appear in a row, it has to be clear where one ends and the next one begins. Periods in the middle of citations cause confusion in this regard.) The publication information should be in parentheses, as is required by all major style guides: (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).
  • Unlike in notes, surnames must come first in bibliographies and reference lists for ease of scanning down the page’s alphabetical order.

 Manuscript Preperation Guidlines Image

  • Please note that full citations in notes are not necessary as long as complete bibliographic information is provided in your bibliography or reference list. Shortened versions of citations in notes are recommended, in fact: e.g., Melville, Moby Dick. Manuscripts that do not have a bibliography or reference list must give full citations the first time a work is cited in the notes (preferably the first time in each chapter); thereafter, short citations should be used. If you are using an Author/Date reference style instead of notes and a bibliography, the year of publication must immediately follow the author’s name in each entry of your reference list.
  • Do not manually create hanging indents for your bibliography or reference list by using hard returns and tabs in the middle of an entry. Instead, either use the hanging indent feature in your word-processing program or format each entry like a normal paragraph with a first line indent.


Manuscript Submission Guidelines


We do not accept final submissions via e-mail. Submit all e-files on a flash drive or CD, labeling it to include the name of the software and fonts you used to produce your manuscript (e.g., “Word 2007 for Windows 7; Times New Roman and PMingLiU fonts”; “Word 2003 for Windows XP; Gentium font”), or contact your acquiring editor to arrange FTP delivery.

Organizing Your Files

All the elements in your manuscript should be easy to identify. Save each chapter as a separate file. Each additional part of your manuscript—front matter, introduction, references, appendixes, tables, figures, etc., should also be saved as separate files. Chapters or similar divisions should be named “Author last name ch-01,” “Author last name ch-02,” and so forth (or something similar) so that they appear in correct order.

Completeness of Your Text

Your final submission should include the complete text, including title page, table of contents, list of illustrations (if appropriate), any image captions, and acknowledgments. A word about acknowledgments: For a book intended to reach non-specialist readers, acknowledgments should appear at the back of the book rather than in the front matter. If your book has its origins in a dissertation, your acknowledgments should not draw attention to this fact, as it will discourage library sales and book review attention.

Preparing Printout

Please submit the final electronic files for your manuscript along with one single-sided, double-spaced copy made from those same files. The printout you provide is used to validate the electronic files. The electronic files and the printout that the Press receives must match exactly. Please check the printout to ensure that any special characters have been rendered correctly and remember to include a list of special characters (if applicable). If your manuscript has many special characters or equations, please send a PDF in addition to the working files, for us to use for reference. Do not make any changes to the electronic files after you have printed out the final manuscript. If you must make changes after you have prepared the final printout, do so on the printout (hard copy) in colored pencil. Supply a list of page numbers with changes, and, if you have included any information for the copyeditor in your manuscript files, please also point out the location.

Submitting Figures and Permissions

Regardless of whether you submit your art in electronic form, include a printout or photocopy of each figure (including slides, transparencies, etc.) with your manuscript, labeled by author last name and figure number. See our Art Submission Guidelines for more information.

Supply one copy of all permissions documentation, labeled by figure number or, for text, by chapter/MS page/note number, etc. Permissions in a foreign language must be translated prior to submission. See our Permissions Guidelines for more information.


Abstracts and Keywords for Online Discoverability


The publishing world is now a “mixed model” environment in which the printed book is joined by other technologies that lead readers to scholarly content. In line with this trend, the University of Chicago Press is working with library e-book vendors and other partners to make book content more widely available and easier to access for faculty and students.

In order to enable the text of your book to be fully searchable alongside other online content—a crucial feature in ensuring its discoverability—we need you to create an abstract and to identify keywords for the full text of your book as well as abstracts and keywords for each chapter. By creating these, you will ensure that the contents of your book are represented as you think best and most appropriate. This information may well be the primary means by which students, academics, and researchers are led to your content in its digital forms.



Abstracts and Keywords are input online through our Abstract and Keyword Portal. You will receive an email giving you access to this Portal once your book has been transmitted.


The book abstract should provide a clear idea of the main arguments and conclusions of your book, while chapter abstracts should give an overview of the content of each chapter, including the introduction and conclusion. The book abstract may be no more than 250 words, and chapter abstracts may be no more than 200 words. Where possible, you should adopt an impersonal voice rather than using personal pronouns: “This chapter discusses...” rather than: “In this chapter, I discuss...”


Abstracts cannot be more than one paragraph in length and cannot contain the following:


  • lists of any kind;
  • tables;
  • footnotes or endnotes;
  • graphics; or
  • boxed material.


Only the following special formatting is allowed:


  • italics;
  • bold;
  • small caps; or
  • superscript/subscript.


Please suggest 5–10 keywords for the book as well as 5-10 keywords for each chapter, including the introduction and conclusion. The keywords will enable the full text of the book to be searchable online. Keywords are equivalent to terms in an index in a printed work and distinguish the most important ideas, names, and concepts in the book.


  • Each keyword should be kept short, one word where possible (though two- and three-word specialist terms are also acceptable where necessary);
  • A keyword should not be too generalized;
  • A keyword cannot contain punctuation of any sort (i.e., no commas, periods, colons, semi-colons, etc.);
  • Keywords should not be too generalized;
  • Each keyword should appear in the accompanying abstract;
  • A keyword can be drawn from the book or chapter title, as long as it also appears in the text of the related abstract;
  • A keyword must be all lower case except for proper nouns;
  • A keyword for names should be presented as “John Smith” rather than “Smith, John”; and
  • No special formatting (e.g., italics, bold, superscript text, etc.).


Before submitting your abstracts and keywords, please consult the following checklist:


  • Are abstracts and keywords provided for the book and all chapters (including those without numbers)?
  • Is each abstract a single paragraph and does not contain lists, footnotes, images, boxed material, or tables?
  • Do the book title and author’s name match the main text exactly?
  • Do chapter titles (and chapter authors, where appropriate) match the main text exactly?
  • Are at least 3 keywords provided and no more than 10 keywords?
  • Is each keyword short (one word where possible, two or three word specialized terms where necessary)?
  • Are keywords lower case, except for proper nouns?
  • Do keywords contain special formatting?
  • Do keywords use punctuation (e.g., inverted commas or quotation marks)?

Expanded Guidelines for Edited Volumes

Checklist for final submission of edited volumes


Contributor contact information

  • Using the template provided, create a contact information list of all contributors and volume editors (mailing and e-mail addresses, phone numbers), arranged alphabetically or by chapter.
  • The accuracy of this list is very important, as it will be used by the Press throughout the publication process to (1) send publication agreements to contributors, (2) contact contributors during editing, and (3) deliver chapter pdfs and copies of the book to contributors upon publication.
  • The Press uses FedEx for all correspondence that cannot be delivered electronically. FedEx will not deliver to PO Boxes, so it’s imperative that contact information include full street addresses for each contributor, not just department names. Phone numbers are necessary because they are required by FedEx, and provide an alternative mode of communication for the manuscript editor.


List of contributors

  • Create a list of contributors to be published in the back matter of the book, which includes names, departments/affiliations, cities/states, and countries but not full street addresses, e-mail addresses, or phone numbers (example below). Be sure to list this item in your table of contents.
  • John Smith

     Department of Biochemistry

     The University of Chicago

     Chicago, IL 60637



All elements of your book should be consistent throughout in content and format

  • Please refer to the more detailed information about formatting found above under Manuscript Preparation Guidelines.
  • All the elements in your manuscript should be easy to identify. Save each chapter as a separate file. Each additional part of your manuscript—front matter, introduction, references, appendixes, figures, etc.—should also be saved as separate files. Chapters or similar divisions should be named “ch-01,” “ch-02,” and so forth (or something similar) so that they appear in correct order if there are more than nine.
  • Remove all chapter abstracts and contact information from individual chapters.
  • Include acknowledgments at the end of each chapter, if appropriate.
  • Ensure that in-text citations have corresponding entries in the references. Each chapter should either have its own reference list or all references should be merged at the back of the book.
  • Make sure chapter appendixes are double numbered (e.g., “Appendix 1.1,” “Appendix 5.1”) and appear in the table of contents.


Boxes/sidebars, tables, and figures

  • All elements should be double numbered by chapter—“Figure 1.1,” “Box 1.1,” “Table 1.1,” etc.—and chapters should include bracketed callouts to indicate their placement in the text. Callouts should appear on a separate line in the manuscript between paragraphs (e.g., “[Insert fig. 1.1 here]”; “[Insert table 1.1. here]”).
  • Tables and boxes/sidebars should be submitted as separate, individual text files, removed from the main text and clearly labeled (e.g., “Table 1.1.doc,” “Box 1.1.doc”). These elements are typically typeset by design.
  • Likewise, figures should be submitted as separate files, clearly named according to Chicago’s file-naming conventions, with the lead volume editor’s last name (e.g., “Smith_ch1_001.tif,” “Smith_ch5_001.pdf”). Art should not be embedded in the text.
  • If any figures are to appear in tables or boxes, they should be numbered alphabetically (e.g., “Figure A,” “Figure B,” “Figure C”) and the files should be named as such (e.g., “Smith_table1.1_A.tif,” “Smith_box1.1_A.pdf”).
  • All art must be print-ready (free of typos and of sufficient line weight and resolution). See our Digital Art Digest and Art Submission Requirements for more information.
  • With rare exception (as discussed with your editor), art will be reproduced in black and white. The Press will convert any color photos to grayscale, but all line art should be black and white, with judicious use of gray tones. Ensure that any mention of color in the captions is edited appropriately to accommodate black-and-white reproduction.
  • All figure captions should be merged into one Word file and should include the date of origin of each figure, if known. Any credit language in the captions should be accompanied by the appropriate permissions documentation (see our Permission Guidelines for more information). Captions should not appear in the main text or as part of your figures.


Delivering the final manuscript

  • Contributors should confirm prior to submission of the final manuscript that their chapter is the correct version to be edited. Volume editors should collect index entries from each contributor to use in preparing the index.
  • Submit two double-spaced, single-sided hard copies of all text to match the accompanying electronic files. Boxes/sidebars, tables, figures, and captions should be collated separately.
  • No two pages of your manuscript should have the same number, and no page should be submitted unnumbered. Number the pages according to section (e.g., “chap. 1, p. 57”).
  • Submit two single-sided hard copies of all illustrations, with one illustration per page. The image file name (as described above) and date should appear on each printout to match the accompanying electronic files.
  • Submit all e-files on a flash drive or CD, or contact your editor to arrange ftp delivery. We do not accept final manuscript submissions via e-mail.


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