American Archivist is the semi-annual journal of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). It seeks to reflect thinking about theoretical and practical developments in the archival profession about the relationships between archivists and the creators and users of archives; and about cultural, social, legal, and technological developments that affect the nature of recorded information and the need to create and maintain it. The journal also provides a forum for the evaluation of the literature that affects, and is affected by, emerging archival theory and practice. We strive to publish contributions that advance the core organizational values and strategic goals of SAA.

American Archivist is a refereed journal. Each submission will be reviewed by experts in the subject matter of the submission, and a final decision for publication will be based on this review.

American Archivist features a variety of types and lengths of articles (length requirements can be waived for certain articles in consultation with the editor). To submit, go to and create an account. Inquiries should be directed to Christopher (Cal) Lee, Editor, American Archivist, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 216 Lenoir, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599. Email:

Research Articles are analytical and critical expositions based on original investigation or on systematic review of literature. A wide variety of subjects is encouraged. (Maximum length: 8,000 words)

Case Studies are analytical reports of projects or activities that take place in a specific setting and offer the basis for emulation or comparison in other settings. (Maximum length: 3,000 words)

Perspectives are commentaries or reflective or opinion pieces addressing issues or practices that concern archivists and their constituents. (Maximum length: 3,000 words)

International Scene pieces may include elements of any of the above formats in covering archival developments outside the United States. (Maximum length: 5,000 words)

Professional Resources can be annotated bibliographies, other items designed for practical use within the profession, or essays that review developments (as opposed to the literature) in specified areas in a way that describes particular initiatives and places them in the context of broader trends. (Length varies)

The Forum contains letters to the editor commenting on recently published articles or other topics of interest to the profession. (Nota Bene: Letters to the editor are published to allow readers' viewpoints to be shared. The responsibility for accuracy remains with the letters' authors. The opinions and information are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the Society of American Archivists.)

The Reviews section provides a forum for the evaluation of the literature that affects, and is affected by, emerging archival theory and practice. In addition to reviews of monographs and reports and comparative analyses of publications in American Archivist, the Reviews Portal ( creates space for the evaluation of emerging technologies and resources that archivists use and create, facilitating the preservation and stewardship of archival materials and greater engagement with users. Reviewers are selected by the Reviews Editor. Direct inquiries or send literature to be reviewed to the Reviews Editor: Bethany Anderson, Natural and Applied Sciences Archivist and Assistant Professor, University Archives, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Email:

Manuscripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word. Text (including lengthy block quotations) should be double-spaced. Endnotes should be used. All pages should be numbered. The author's name and address should appear only on the title page, which should be separate from the main text of the manuscript. All articles must be accompanied by a 250-word abstract and author's biographical statement.

Figures and tables are welcome for all types of articles. Please embed figures and tables in the text and include captions for each. Captions should be short descriptors of the content rather than full sentences. Also be sure to reference each figure or table from somewhere in the body of the text. Digital images (300 dpi; .tif or .jpg) will be required if the article is accepted for publication.

Editors of the American Archivist use the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style as the standard of style and endnote format. Terms having special meanings for members of the profession should conform to the definitions in A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology by Richard Pearce-Moses (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2005). Authors' variations from these standards should be minimal and purposeful.

The author is responsible for understanding and following the principles that govern the “fair use” of quotations and illustrations and for obtaining written permission to publish, where necessary. Accuracy in endnote citations is also the author's responsibility, although the editors may occasionally confirm the accuracy of selected citations.

Manuscripts are sent out (without the author's name) for peer review by three readers who evaluate them and recommend acceptance, rejection, or revision. Author notification of a final decision normally takes a minimum of three months. Acceptance for publication is usually on the condition that specified revisions be made. If an article is accepted, the author will also send a biographical statement (no more than 100 words in length) and photo (300 dpi, jpg). Authors are given the opportunity to approve all editorial changes and to review page proofs for correction of printer's errors. The minimum editorial and production cycle—which includes receipt of a manuscript, review, acceptance, revision, page layout, printing, and distribution—is approximately twelve months; various factors can affect that time period.

Upon publication, authors will receive two complimentary copies of the journal in which their articles appear; reviewers receive a complimentary PDF.

Authors retain copyright of their work and license publication to the journal. Except where otherwise noted, content in the journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

With the exception of select articles in the three most recent volumes, content in American Archivist is open access.

Address additional inquiries about American Archivist to Teresa Brinati, Director of Publishing, or Abigail Christian, Archival Outlook Editor and Production Coordinator, Society of American Archivists, 17 North State Street, Suite 1425, Chicago, IL, 60602–3315. Telephone (312) 606–0722. Toll-free (866) 722–7858. Fax (312) 606–0728. Email;