Content of entries
Approaching a topic
An Encyclopedia entry should aim to give an anatomy of a topic. It should convey to an inexperienced reader
the basics of the topic, its significance and its place within the subject. Authors should concentrate on the central ideas and debates, using linked references to the annotated bibliography from within the text to refer readers onward to more detailed, specialized or controversial material.
The main users of the Encyclopedia are advanced undergraduates, graduates and researchers in the subject area; professionals, teachers and researchers seeking information outside their areas of specialization; and anyone in related disciplines interested in the subject area. Authors should write for the least experienced likely reader, in so far as they judge this to be possible without loss of accuracy.
As an online publication, it is absolutely key for encyclopedia articles to be formulated in such a way that they are easily found by search engines. Therefore, we require that the following metadata and other items be provided for entries.
The abstract should be approximately 10% of the total length, presenting the content of the entry in summary form and as simply and attractively as is compatible with accuracy. The abstract should be comprehensible independent of the longer part of the entry and it is aimed at readers who wish to find the key information on any topic quickly and easily. Ideally it should begin by addressing the entry headword, in a pithy, definitional style.
Routledge began requiring abstracts for all online content in 2016. Our research has shown that online publications with short abstracts for every entry, chapter, etc. are treated very favorably by search engines and ranking metrics. Content that has abstracts is much more discoverable and generally has a much larger readership.
Keywords consist of closely related words, terms, people, and phrases that are closely related to your article title. You will be asked to provide several keywords for your article, but it is more important that keywords be closely relevant than numerous. If a reader were searching for the keyword term, would this article be useful to them?
Classifications/ category tags
You may select these in Editorial Manager during submission; the classifications are tags or sections which have been identified by the general/section editor and will form the basis of the “browse” feature in the encyclopedia.
Cross-references are links within an article to other articles in the encyclopedia. These are added where they provide useful background to, or a longer discussion of, a concept, person, etc., that is mentioned in your text. At a point where further expansion would benefit a reader, please propose cross-references by marking the relevant point in the text (for example ‘see Plato’). Your contact at Routledge will be able to give you a link to a site where articles in your area can be viewed.
The most significant cross-references should recur in the ‘Related articles’ list at the end of the article, along with any other useful companion articles which did not come up in the main text.
Writing for an online audience
Nearly all research journeys begin with an online search. As search engines are run by algorithms, it is very important that your entry be written in such a way that search crawlers can easily identify and categorize key content. A few suggestions for search engine optimization in your entry are as follows.
Entry titles must quickly and accurately convey exactly what the entry covers, with no ambiguity, colloquialisms, or slang. Titles should also have no more than 55 characters whenever possible. If it is unclear what an entry is about based on the first few words of the title, the title should be changed.
To optimize your text for an online audience, entries should be divided into numbered sections, none of them longer than 1,000 words.
These sections should be given headings, which should be as informative as possible about the content of the section. Insofar as is possible without extensive repetition, sections should be comprehensible as stand- alone units of content.
Further subdivisions should be avoided, but if necessary, repeat the governing heading each time thus:
- Hegelianism outside Germany: France
- Hegelianism outside Germany: Britain
- Hegelianism outside Germany: Italy
Keywords in the text
As mentioned above, we require keywords be provided for all entries. To optimize for online searches, we also recommend that you incorporate keywords in the text, particularly in the abstract and headings, as long as doing so does not compromise your entry’s readability.
Ideas should be expressed as straightforwardly and clearly as possible. Sometimes this will be at the expense of brevity. Too much explanation is better than too little.
Theories and arguments should be conveyed as simply and clearly as they can be without distortion. The important technical vocabulary for the subject should be introduced, and the meanings of the terms explained, but please keep the use of jargon to a minimum.
Spelling and punctuation
UK spelling and punctuation to be used throughout. Please use the Collins Dictionary for the spelling.
Writing from a neutral standpoint
Please write from a point of view that is as neutral, objective and timeless as possible. Avoid first-person exposition and temporally rooted formulations, such as ‘at the moment’ or ‘recently’. Do not use examples or references that will date.
Avoid inappropriate gender-specific language. In particular, avoid the use of he when no particular person is intended, either by using ‘they’ or by repeating the noun where stylistically appropriate. In addition, use human(s), human being(s), person/people rather than man/men where both sexes are meant to be included. Use layperson rather than layman.
Please do not refer to the entry itself, for example with phrases such as ‘in this entry’, or include planning formulations like ‘in section 3 I will…’ Internal references of the form ‘(See §3)’ may be used instead where needed.
Please avoid colloquialisms and informal language, including abbreviations such as ‘it’s’ and ‘they’ve’. Bear in mind that some readers will have a different first language, and that idiomatic phrases vary regionally and are prone to obsolescence.
Capitalization, Italics, and Scare Quotes
Please avoid using these if possible. If a commonly used term seems clumsy or suspect, preferably it should be reformulated. Exceptions may be made only where a term is so prevalent in the literature as to need to be included for clarity.
Numerals and measurements
Spell out numbers under but not including 100.
After each biographical entry title please give dates of birth and death.
Where the individual is still living, use a double hyphen: Cavell, Stanley (1926–).
If approximate dates of birth and death are known, use circa: Francis de Meyronnes (c.1270–c.1325).
If the date of birth is uncertain but the date of death is approximately known, use circa in full: Francis de Meyronnes (d. circa 1325).
If the date of birth is unknown and the date of death is unknown but after 1325: Francis de Meyronnes (d.
If no dates of birth and death are known but a date when the individual was active is known, use floruit: Francis de Meyronnes (fl. 1325); ‘fl. c.’ is also acceptable.
If the date of birth is known but not the death: (1251–?). Mutatis mutandis: (?–1251).
When dates are vague, use for example, (4th century BC).
If no dates are known (existence may be in question), use (dates unknown).
The first time that a foreign title appears, and there is a published translation in the bibliography, put the translation title (in italics) in brackets after it, then use the translation title alone after that (unless the work is so famous that it is always known in its original form, e.g. Aquinas’ Summa theologiae, or unless it’s completely obvious, e.g. Kant-Studien, the name of the journal for Kant studies, or untranslatable, e.g. De Interpretatione).
If in the first instance you are just translating the title of the work and no translation has been published, put it in Roman and don’t thereafter use it to refer to the work.
Do not abbreviate the titles of works.
Numbers should be used for lists of longer items; use semicolons between items if long, unless they are complete sentences, in which case use full points.
Figures and other media
Figures, tables, etc. should not be supplied embedded into the manuscript itself but rather supplied as separate files. Each of these files should be uploaded to Editorial Manager as part of the submission process.
Save each figure/table/box in a separate file and name them by number – i.e., Figure 1, 2. Ensure that you place a callout in the manuscript to indicate where each figure/table/box should be placed, e.g.
<FIGURE 1 HERE>. Note that figure captions should not be part of the figure file.
Figure preferred specifications: saved as a TIFF, JPEG, BMP, PNG, or PSD file.
Line art: 1200 dpi in each dimension and 6000 pixels in width.
Halftone: 300 dpi in each dimension and 1500 pixels in width.
Tables: Table function in Microsoft Word, Excel document
Please also provide a log of all media, including the source, to Routledge. We will use a freelancer to obtain permissions but please note that we reserve the right not to use copyrighted figures and artwork if the rights costs are prohibitively expensive.
References, bibliographies, and further reading
References within the text
References within the text of an article should be indicated by the date of publication:
We use the standard Harvard style for references and the annotated bibliography.
Thus naturalists are externalists, defined by Laurence BonJour (1985), following D. M. Armstrong (1973).
References for quotations should consist of the author's name, the publication date and the page number on which the quoted material is found. Where multiple editions of a standard text exist, the original date of publication should be followed by the date of the edition which the article author has selected. For example:
Better to entrust it to ‘some instinct or mechanical tendency, which may be infallible in its operations, may discover itself at the first appearance of life and thought, and may be independent of all the laboured deductions of the understanding’ (Hume [1748/51] 1975:55).
Exceptions to these forms are references to texts from the ancient, medieval and renaissance periods where the title of the work should be stated (without a date):
Aristotle conceives ‘ethics’ (Magna Moralia 1181a24) as a part of political science.
No one should complain ‘like insolent and incompetent servants, "It’s too much, it’s too difficult, we’re only human, there’s a limit to what a person can cope with"’ (Ad Demetriadem 16).
There may be further exceptions to these guidelines, particularly in the cases of texts from the seventeenth century such as the works of Descartes.
Bibliography and further reading section
All entries should have a section called ‘Bibliography and further reading’, even if there are no references in the text. Biographical entries and entries on groups of people should also have a ‘List of works’.
Please note: every item in the list of works and further reading should have its own annotation. An annotation should be a brief summary (one or two sentences in length) of the content of the work, perhaps with an indication of the level of difficulty. Please mention if an item has a particularly effective bibliography. A full sentence or clause is preferred.
Here are some examples of bibliographic items which may be helpful:
Argyle, M. (1988) Communicative Logic, London: Routledge. (Contributor’s comments.)
Szewski, P. (1962) ‘A New Theorem of Modal Logic’, Journal of Symbolic Logic 47 (3): 15–23. (Contributor’s comments.)
Bronkhorst, J. (ed.) (1994) Proceedings of the Panel on Early Vaisesika, Hong Kong, special issue of
Asiatische Studien/Études Asiatiques 48 (2). (Contributor’s comments.)
------ (1985) ‘Russell’s Logicism versus Oxbridge Logics 1890--1925: A Contribution to the Real History’, Russell: The Journal of the Bertrand Russell Archives, new series, 5: 101--31. (Contributor’s comments.)
Estudios Lulianos (Lullian Studies) (1957--), Palma de Mallorca. (Contributor’s comments.)
Where the date of a work is completely unknown, use (date unknown) after the author’s name.
Please provide issue numbers instead of the month or season of issue for journal articles.
Use et al. in Harvard references within the text itself if there are three or more authors/editors and in the further reading list use where there are six or more authors/editors (list up to six names).
Revising an entry
Unless otherwise stated, an article revision should augment the main article by between 20% and 40% and should also add any significant recent publications to the bibliography. Unless authors have received specific instructions from the Subject Editor, the new material may be added throughout the text, or in the form of a new section or sections, whichever is more appropriate.
Please note: the vast majority of revised articles should be substantial revisions of at least 20% new content. However, there may occasionally be revisions which are not as extensive—these might be necessary from time to time as events or new developments occur (for example, in the instance of a philosopher’s death). Please feel free to contact Routledge in the future if you feel your entry requires a minor update.
When revising and updating an article, please mark your changes to the text in some way, either with a different text colour, or highlighting.
Submission of entries
You will be given instructions on where to upload your completed article by your contact at Routledge.
The following file formats are preferred:
MS Word for Windows document [.doc]
Rich text format [.rtf]
Text only format [.txt]