Submissions guidelines for JNC

Editorial policy

Our editorial policy is to provide a public forum for open, frank, and professional discussion of a wide range of topics. Articles will be considered on their own merits rather than the reputations or credentials of the writers.

If your article is truly outstanding, we might suggest submission to one of the very few paying journals out there. But there aren't many of those, and they are backlogged for years. Thus our starting the e-journals.


All electronic submissions to this journal must satisfy the technical requirements of the publisher. For these, see the "Guidelines for EJMAS articles":


 The submission does not meet our current needs, please do not take the rejection personally. Writing is like anything else,  it takes time to master. Be patient, write from the center, and in time, publication (and peer approval) will come.

 We like your idea but think it needs some work, we'll make suggestions and ask you to resubmit later. We will not, however, do the rewriting for you.

 Your article seems to meet our needs, then it will be submitted to other members of the EJMAS community for review. Technical articles in particular must be reviewed by someone with some expertise in that field prior to publication.

Final approval of all submissions is a responsibility shared by the publisher and the editor. The publisher, if you were wondering, wins all ties.

Material is welcomed in the following categories.

Commentary on published material

 Comments will be hyperlinked to the published item. If strongly opposed to a viewpoint or perspective, remember that nobody forced you to come to this website and nobody made you pay money to read any article posted to it. So be brief, be fair, and above all, be professional in your criticism.


 As nobody made you read anything we posted to this website, there is no need to blast authors for having had the temerity to disagree with tenets of your faith or world- view. The purpose of letters is therefore to correct factual errors, reinforce ideas, outline opposing points of view, and suggest factors that may have been overlooked. In short, be brief, be fair, and above all be professional.

 To allow hyperlinking to the referenced article, letters are best focused on a single issue and limited to 300 words or less. If you need to write more, then what you need to do is submit a feature article rather than a letter.

Feature articles

 Feature articles average 2,500-5,000 words in length. They can be biographical, how-to, philosophical, or historical. When submitting feature articles, the following rules apply.

 No plagiarism. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1983) defines plagiarism as passing "off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own: use (a created production) without crediting the source ~ vi: commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source." Extensive paraphrasing -- that is, restating someone else's ideas in your own words -- can be considered a form of plagiarism.

 Organize your thoughts. Good writing is hard work. For best results, write as you speak. Put your most important thoughts up front rather than burying them at the back in a flurry of big words. Eliminate excess words. In general, this means writing what you want to say, then cutting the text in half. Use active rather than passive constructions. In other words, he did it rather than it was done. Finally, avoid jargon and foreign terms. While this may sound harsh, our feeling is that if you can't explain something in simple English, then you probably don't know what you're talking about well enough to write about it.

 Ideas must be backed up by facts. "My teacher says" is hearsay, not fact.

 If criticizing,  include constructive suggestions. "My teacher is better than your teacher" is not a constructive suggestion, nor is telling someone where you think they should spend eternity.

 Provide documentation. Footnotes are not necessary, but sufficient identification of the source must be provided to allow readers to easily verify your claims. If citing archival documents, include full annotation in a note so that other researchers can obtain copies; if citing obscure foreign-language texts, then provide summaries of translation as well as archival locations.

 If you use footnotes, be sure to consult the "Guidelines for EJMAS articles, and Submissions to the ejournals" before making your submission.

 If appropriate, include a recommended reading list. This doesn't have to be every book ever written, but should contain enough published sources to satisfy the interested general reader.

 Recheck everything before submission.  Read the text aloud. Does it make sense as a spoken document? It should. Next let it sit a couple days, as it is amazing how errors creep into your word-processor and change your words when you are not looking. After that, find a literate friend to read your paper, and follow his or her advice concerning literary improvements. After all, if a friend misunderstands something you wrote, then just think what people who don't agree with you will say. Finally, triple- check spelling and grammar -- spellcheckers and grammar programs are wonderful, but they are not infallible.


 The editors will consider republication of previously-published articles. Permissions must be given by the copyright holders and previous publication data must be provided.

 Reprints most likely to be considered for posting are ones having significant general or historical interest.

Historical articles

 For our purposes, a historical article is anything written before 1950 that is out of print and for which copyright has NOT been renewed. All material submitted must provide complete citation of the author, publisher, and date of publication, plus any necessary annotations. Readers should be advised that as we do not edit or bowdlerize historical articles, they may contain politically incorrect or racially offensive terms and usage.


 The translation of a copyrighted work requires permission from the copyright owner, otherwise it constitutes the theft of intellectual property. Since we cannot afford to pay for permissions, the translations we are most interested in seeing are translations of documents of significant historical value that were published more than 50 years ago, or unpublished documents whose authors have been dead for more than 75 years and whose estates have not renewed copyright.

 As translations should be fairly literal, annotation is strongly encouraged.

Book reviews

 Book reviews should be 350-700 words. Be sure to include the book's author, publisher (including city), year of publication, number of pages, and cost of book.

 When reviewing a book, the idea is not to criticize but to be fair. If the book is good, say so -- and then back up your assertion using examples from the book. But even the best book could have been better. So what should the next author do to produce an even more superlative book?

 Of course, if the book is bad, say that, too. Be professional; be specific; and avoid making personal attacks.

 Include a few words for the publisher, too. Are the pictures well-reproduced? Is the binding secure? Is the paper of good quality? Is the editing good? Is the price fair?

 In short, a book is a community effort, and everyone involved deserves recognition for his or her efforts.

JNC Nov 1999.