Submission Guidelines for Authors

Download Submission Guidelines (PDF)

Download Submission Form 2014 (PDF)

Reviewer Guidelines

Download Reviewer Guidelines (PDF)


NEXUS is a graduate student publication of the McMaster University Department of Anthropology, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. We seek to feature student works from all subfields of anthropology, and welcome analytical, applied, theoretical, literature reviews, and methodological contributions (as well as book reviews). Please browse the past issues of the journal for examples of the types of works that the journal has published in the past – all issues are now freely available with OPEN ACCESS on our new website, thanks to DigitalCommons from Bepress and the libraries of McMaster University!

Online submission ONLY

Nexus is moving to a new site! In order to avoid issues during the migration to our new site, we will be accepting submissions for the 2014 issue via email ONLY. Manuscripts must be accompanied by a completed submission form (available through the website). Please indicate ‘submission 2014’ in the subject line of your email and ensure that you have attached both your manuscript and submission form. In order to expedite the review and publication process, all manuscripts should be prepared prior to submission according to the specific format requirements. Once the new site has launched, we will upload your manuscript to it and you will receive updates through the system.

Manuscript preparation (prior to online submission)

Your article will be submitted online in several separate parts in order to conceal your identity during the double-blind reviewing process. Only your editor will know your identity and that of your reviewers throughout the entire process. To facilitate this, please separate your manuscript into the following documents in preparation for online submission:

  1. Cover letter - plain text; will only be seen by editorial staff; use to directly communicate relevant information about your submission with the editor(s). Please enter into the submission form.
  2. Abstract - plain text; approximately 250 words summarizing the main points of your article. Please enter into the submission form.
  3. Article - Word document (.DOC only); body text, references, figures & tables
  4. Acknowledgements - plain text; can contain author identifying information, will NOT be revealed to reviewers. Please enter into the submission form.

You will also be required to submit the following information in the submission form:

  1. Author Information
    • Full name(s)
    • Email address(es)
    • Institution or academic affiliation (include your department in parentheses, if applicable)
    • Author Order (the submitting author will be the corresponding author unless otherwise noted
  2. Article Title
  3. Shortened Title (or "running head," 50 characters or less)
  4. Keywords (such as agency, ancient DNA, identity, the Maya, etc.)
  5. Subject Area (please choose from archaeology, biological/physical anthropology, linguistics, sociocultural anthropology, or other)
  6. Type of Submission (article or book review)

Your full name(s), academic/professional affiliation(s) (where the work/research for your article was mainly performed), current email address for the article contact person (the "corresponding author," whose email will be published in the article) and current professional mailing address (usually a departmental address) will be included in the published document. Please communicate to the editor if you would prefer otherwise, although in general this information will be deemed necessary in order to publish your article.

Manuscript Components

Cover letter

If you wish, in your cover letter, you may direct brief comments to the editor concerning your submission (such as placing it in the context of the anthropological literature, or why it would make an appropriate contribution to Nexus). If there are special circumstances or information concerning your article of which the editors should be made aware (such as the article is a re-submission of a previously reviewed manuscript), you should include this in the cover letter. Please remember that as Nexus is a student journal, the editorial staff changes yearly and are not immediately familiar with past submissions that did not go to press. You should provide all relevant author or affiliation information in your cover letter.


A one paragraph (250 words) informative abstract should accompany your article. When published, abstract will precede introductory section of text. This should be written in complete sentences. Clearly and concisely state your objectives, principle observations, and conclusions.

Your abstract can be submitted in plain text. If special formatting is required (such as scientific characters or italicized text), you may turn on “HTML” formatting. Next to the abstract submission box is a link entitled “Find out how to include HTML tags,” which will guide you through the use of HTML coding. If you include HTML tags, please select “Paragraphs formatted with HTML tags” from the format drop-down list below the abstract text box.

Article body

The order of your article text should be: (a) body text, (b) references, and (c) figures.

A. Main text

The full length of your article should be no longer than 6500 words (approximately 25 pages). PLEASE submit your article in .doc format (NOT .docx). You may also include a PDF document of your article (although not instead of a Word document), but as the system will automatically create a PDF for you, this is not necessary. The system will also remove any author identifying information when creating a PDF. Manuscripts should be submitted double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font. This facilitates easy reading during the review process.

Where possible, your text should be subdivided with titled headings. Subtitle headings may also be used, but only sparingly or when absolutely necessary. Unfamiliar or new abbreviations and terms should be fully explained and defined when first used in text. The use of footnotes throughout the text to include short, supplementary information is acceptable, but please use sparingly. Wherever possible, consider integrating footnote material into the main body text for improving readability.

B. References

In text, references must be cited within parentheses using the author-date style (no footnote citation). Page numbers should be included whenever appropriate, and by necessity when referencing concepts or data found on specific pages in a source text. The use of "et al." in in-text references is acceptable when reference is made to publications with three or more authors.

Please use the Chicago Style of referencing (for example, you may find samples of the Chicago referencing style here: http://library.duke.edu/research/citing/workscited/index.html). Please see a full Chicago style guide (available online or at your local library) for a more detailed description of the referencing requirements.

In-text reference example

(Smith et al. 2002, 27)

References section examples

Journal Article
Hammond, Michael. 1980. Anthropology as a weapon of social combat in late-nineteenth-century France. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 16: 118-32.

Keller, Evelyn Fox. 2000. The Century of the Gene. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 300p.

C. Figures (table, illustrations and charts)

Each table, illustration, or chart should be included on separate, individual pages after the References section, either as an image within the document or as a typed Word table. Each figure page should include (1) figure number, (2) title, and (3) brief, descriptive caption. In the caption, please clearly define all abbreviations or acronyms found in your tables/figures (even if this information is found in your body text). Images and charts should be referred to as "Figures," and tables (text-only) should be referred to as "Tables," numbered separately but sequentially within each category (i.e. Figures 1-8 and Tables 1-3).

Colour images are welcomed and encouraged, made possible by online publication (however, as not all readers will be able to print colour images, check black-and-white print quality prior to submission). Images should be formatted as .JPG, .GIF, or other internet-ready formats. All figures should not need any further artwork or typesetting, and should not be larger than 12cm by 18cm. For text within images (such as chart axes or numbers), please utilize easy-to-read fonts such as Adobe Caslon Pro or Helvetica (the journal fonts, which are preferred), Arial, or Times New Roman. Tables should be formatted as Microsoft Word/Excel tables. Please see previously published articles for examples of acceptable charts, figures, and table organization.

Any copyrighting of figures is the sole responsibility of the author. Please include figure credits where appropriate and necessary.

With online publishing, multimedia inclusions beyond images and tables are now possible within published works: possibilities include short videos, Flash presentations, and more. Please send these contributions separately to , or host them elsewhere online and communicate the link via e-mail. Decisions regarding the relevance and appropriateness of multimedia submissions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

D. Supplementary material

If necessary, open access to additional supplementary material (such as lengthy appendices, supplementary data, etc.) for your article can be provided online; however, the relevance and necessity of such additions will be accessed on a case-by-case basis by the editorial staff. The online format of the journal is flexible regarding attachment of appendices to the final PDF of the article itself, so separate files of supplementary material may not be necessary.


Nexus encourages authors to acknowledge all parties who aided in the production of the research contributing to the submitted manuscript (but whose contributions were not sufficient enough to warrant authorship), including (but not limited to) funding bodies (scholarships and research funds), supervisors, and research assistants. Your acknowledgements will not be seen by any reviewers, and will only be added to your manuscript if it is accepted for publication.

Evaluation and peer-review process

NEXUS is a refereed journal, and all articles are evaluated by at least two peer referees. Our review process is double-blind (both author and referees remain anonymous to one another). All efforts will be made to locate reviewers outside of your academic circle so as to avoid the potential for authorship identification during the review process.


Please direct any questions about our submission process or requirements that are not covered in our submission guidelines to . Please consider Nexus for your works in anthropology!