GPQ Submission Instructions

Great Plains Quarterly welcomes the submission of manuscripts and essays that are both solidly researched and engagingly written. In all cases contributions must be free of specialized jargon so they can be read, understood, and appreciated by persons in other academic fields and by interested laypersons. Blind review procedures are followed for all contributions to the Quarterly. The decision to publish an article rests with the editor in consultation with associate editors.

We do not accept articles currently under consideration by other journals or that have been previously published elsewhere. Authors in doubt about what constitutes prior publication should consult the editor.

Total length of manuscripts, including notes and illustrations, should not exceed 14,000 words or 30 pages, but shorter contributions will be preferred. All copy, including endnotes and captions, should be double spaced. References in the notes should conform to the mode specified in The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed., 2003) or the Quarterly Style Sheet(download or see below) and the Images Style Sheet.

Electronic submissions via email are required. Please be sure to include a cover letter with your mailing address and phone number. Send submissions to the Editor at

By submitting a manuscript, you agree to be added to the Center's email list. Those on the list get notices about Center events, exhibitions and conferences.

To ensure that the editing and production of your manuscript will proceed smoothly and expeditiously, we ask you to prepare the final copy according to the following specifications:

  1. Title and author should be put on a separate title page. Title alone should appear at the top of the first page.
  2. Double space throughout the manuscript, including extracts (quoted matter), notes, and any other supplementary material.
  3. Introduce extra spacing only where it will appear on the printed page: around headings, before and after extracts, or to indicate a break in the discussion.
  4. Quotations that will make five or more lines in typescript are usually treated as extracts. They are distinguished by extra space above and below, and by indenting an extra five spaces on the left.
  5. Notes should be typed separately from the text and placed at the end of the manuscript. Note number in text should be in superscript, but in Notes section, note number should be regular text style. Use regular paragraph indentation for the first line of each note. Notes are to be numbered consecutively. If a note is added or deleted, renumber all the notes following. Note: we do not use footnotes, only endnotes.
  6. Tables should be prepared separately from the text and placed at the end of the manuscript. They are to be numbered consecutively throughout the entire manuscript. Indicate by number in the margin of the text the appropriate placement of each table.
  7. Images should be scanned at 350 dpi or higher and saved as a TIF or EPS file. We prefer a width of 5 5/8" for images. Images, figures (graphs and other line drawings) and maps should be numbered consecutively throughout the text. Indicate by number in the text (Fig. 1), the appropriate placement of each. The permissions to reprint, the acquisition of photographs, and the preparation of maps and other graphic material for publication are the responsibility of the author.
  8. Manuscript pages should be numbered.

Style Guide

General style notes

The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed., 2010) is followed except where noted. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) is used to check spelling and hyphenation.

Date style (CMS 6.45 and 9.32)

October 17, 2003
If year is omitted: May 10 (not May 10th)

Number style

Spell out whole numbers one through one hundred); use numerals for 101 and above. (CMS 9.2)
Follow above rule for ordinals (e.g., seventy-fifth, 101st, 102nd, 103rd, etc.)

Exceptions to above:

Very large numbers (use numeral + million): 6 million
Use numerals with “percent” (do not use %): 81 percent, 9 percent
Use numerals with “degrees”: 40 degrees north latitude
For abbreviation of inclusive numbers, including years, follow CMS 9.60 and 9.63. Example of correct elision of years: 1803–5; not 1803–05
Use an en dash to connect inclusive numbers (CMS 6.78 and 9.58): 1993–2000, pages 75–100.

Examples of number style:

3,538; 6,000 (use comma)
(1), (2), (3) run in lists
forty inches (It is also permissible to use numerals to express a physical quantity: 5 inches, 7 feet)
nineteenth century

Currency (CMS 9.21): Follow the same general rule for spelling out numbers. If number is spelled out, so is “dollars.” If numeral is used, the symbol $ is used.
six dollars
$2,500,000 or $2.5 million

Fractional amounts over one dollar are set in numeral: $1.25

Whole dollar amounts are set with zeros after the decimal point only when they appear in the same context with fractional amounts: “We sold them for $7.00 and in three months raised the price to $7.75.”


For titles of works mentioned in text, follow CMS 8.154–195.

Names and terms of special note
Tribal names: GPQ preference is to use the singular form as a collective noun. Where the plural is used (e.g., the Hopis), please change it to the collective singular (e.g., the Hopi). Do not follow CMS 7.9, which recommends adding s to tribal names to form the plural.
Capitalize “Native” when it stands alone and is used in the sense of Native Americans.
Use of “on the Great Plains” vs. “in the Great Plains.” Use the latter to emphasize that the Great Plains is a region.
Treat “Great Plains” as a collective singular noun (as in the above sentence).


Use an ellipsis (three spaced dots) to indicate omission of material from a quoted passage (CMS 13.51).
Changes of capitalization must be indicated by bracketing the letter concerned (CMS 13.16).
Space between initials: J. R. Miller; M. F. K. Fisher (CMS 10.12) [This applies when it is the person’s preference to use initials (e.g., H. G. Wells); otherwise, authors’ names are normally given as they appear on the title pages of their books (CMS 15.12).
Do not set off “Jr.” with commas. (CMS 6.47).


Follow the hyphenation guide at CMS 7.85 for compounds and words formed with prefixes.


U.S. Abbreviate U.S. as an adjective. In general, spell out “United States” in subject noun form.
In notes, abbreviate states and provinces in publishers’ data using the two-letter, no-period postal abbreviations: “Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.”
Use CMS 10.26–29 for list of abbreviations.
Times of day in even, half, and quarter hours are usually spelled out (CMS 9.38), but numerals are used when exact moments are to be emphasized.
Numerals are used with a.m. and p.m. but not with o’clock.
Use UNL, UNO, UNK, UNMC for University of Nebraska–Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center.


Set off as a block quoted material of forty words or more. Start the quotation on a new line, indented a half inch from the left margin.

Callouts and Captions

Callouts in text: (Fig. 3) or (Table 1)

Caption: Fig. 1. Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Courtesy of the Nebraska State Historical Society.


Note style

Use “ibid.” to refer to a single work cited in the note immediately preceding. It must never be used if the preceding note contains more than one citation. (Use ibid. judiciously; a long string of ibid.’s should be replaced by page numbers in text.)
For many text citations to a work, use parenthetical page numbers rather than many notes. In the first full note citation, instruct the reader that “Further citations to Title of Work are given in parentheses in the text.”
If there is more than one work discussed in text, differentiate with abbreviated forms, for example, the works Cheyenne Autumn and Crazy Horse are cited as (CA, 85) and (CH, 104).
Italicize city names in newspaper citations: Saskatoon Star-Phoenix
Do not use initial article in newspaper titles: New York Times, not The New York Times.
Publishers’ names: Use short form for betterknown publishers (e.g., “Macmillan” instead of “The Macmillan Company”). Include full name of publisher if it is lesser known (but spell out “&”).
Don’t shorten university press names.
Give state or province postal abbreviation for cities of publication that may not be well known: (Boulder, CO: Westview Press). Omit abbreviation for major cities: Baltimore: Putnam.
Omit state or province when it is in the publisher’s name: Ames: Iowa State University Press
Reprint data is given as follows: (1802; reprint, New York: Dover, 1956)
Capitalize spring, summer, fall, winter in periodical citations (CMS 14.180).
Spell out names of months in notes (not Jan., Feb., etc.).

Examples of notes and their subsequent shortened citations


1. Donald Worster, Under Western Skies: Nature and History in the American West (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 136–53.

2. Worster, Under Western Skies, 139.

3. Ibid., 140.

Journal article

4. Barbara Belya, “Inland Journeys, Native Maps,” Cartographica 33, no. 3 (1996): 1–16.

5. Belya, “Inland Journeys,” 4.

6. G. Malcolm Lewis, “An Early Map on the Skin of the Area Later to Become Indiana and Illinois,” British Library Journal 22, no. 1 (Spring 1996): 66–87. Article in edited, multiauthor book (CMS 14.112)

7. Yi-Fu Tuan, “Geopiety: A Theme in Man’s Attachment to Nature and to Place,” in Geographies of the Mind, ed. D. Lowenthal and M. Bowden, 11–39 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975).

8. Tuan, “Geopiety,” 22. Chapter or part of single-author book (CMS 14.111)

9. Henry Nash Smith, “The Garden of the World,” bk. 3 of Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1950), 121–260.

10. Smith, “Garden of the World,” 157. Paper presented at a meeting (CMS 14.226)

11. David Driskell, “Aaron Douglas: Singing a New Song of Heritage” (paper presented at the African Americans and the Great Plains Symposium, Lincoln, NE, February 1995), 10.

12. Driskell, “Aaron Douglas,” 10. Popular magazine (CMS 14.199–202)

13. Joan Acocella, “Cather and the Academy,” New Yorker, November 27 1995, 56–71. (While a specific page number may be cited, the inclusive page numbers may be omitted, since they are often widely separated by extraneous material.)

14. Acocella, “Cather and the Academy,” 60.

Newspaper (CMS 14.203–13)

15. “Wheat Pool Is Factor in Enid Grain Handling,” Enid Morning News, November 18, 1928. (Page numbers may usually be omitted in newspaper citations, but a section number or name may be given. CMS 14.203)

16. “Wheat Pool,” Enid Morning News. Interviews and Personal communications (CMS 14.218–22)

17. Gerald Frazier, interview by author, October 29, 1996, Enid, OK.

18. Frazier, interview.

19. Gwen Puckett Mercer, letter to author, November 9, 1996.

20. Mercer, letter.

Book review (CMS 14.215)

21. Paul Theroux, “The Wizard of Kansas,” review of PrairyErth, by W. L. Heat-Moon, New York Times Book Review, October 27, 1991, 25–26.

22. Jeanie Thompson, review of Weather Central, by Ted Kooser, Southern Humanities Review 30 (1996): 407. Dissertation or thesis (CMS 14.224)

23. Philip J. Nelson, “The Elusive Balance: The Small Community in Mass Society, 1940–1960” (PhD diss., Iowa State University, 1996

24. Harry Hornby, “Locating the Eastern Terminus of the Union Pacific Railroad” (master’s thesis, University of Nebraska, 1946), 2, 7.Archival material (unpublished) (CMS 14.240)

25. Meeting minutes of the Union of Saskatchewan Indians, January 4, 1946, R834, F37, Saskatchewan Archives, Saskatoon.

26. Meeting minutes, Union of Saskatchewan Indians.

Dictionary (CMS 14.247)

27. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 8th ed., s.v. “agnosticism.” Informally published website content (CMS 17.245)

28. Association of Benedictine Colleges and Universities, “ACBU Member Institutions,” (accessed September 5, 2003).

29. “ACBU Member Institutions.” Online journal article (CMS 17.184)

30. Barbara A. Thiesen, “Every Beginning Is Hard: Darlington Mennonite Mission, 1880–1902,” Mennonite Life 61, no. 2 (June 2006): 1–36,

Television show

31. Friends, episode no. 153, first braodcast November 16, 2000, by NBC, directed by David Schwimmer and written by Scott Silveri.

Great Plains Quarterly uses The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed., 2003) and the Great Plains Quarterly Style Sheet as its reference guides. Scroll below to see the style sheet.