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Guidelines for Submission of Articles

  for Possible Publication in The Portolan

The Portolan
, while the journal of the Washington Map Society, does not focus only on Washington, DC and the surrounding region. Just as our membership is very scattered, in many US states and numerous foreign countries, the articles published cover a wide range of topics related to map history, map collecting and cartography. See the index to the contents of The Portolan and you will see the wide range of subjects so far appearing in the journal.

Our articles come from many sources. Some are summaries or articles based on presentations before the society. Some are articles that have won (or received honorable mention) in the society's annual Ristow Prize Competition. Some are contributed by members based on individual research or travels that have included cartographic experiences. Still others are contributed by scholars or researchers from throughout the world who wish to present their writing to a worldwide audience of map aficionados, academics and national and university libraries.

To submit an article for possible inclusion in The Portolan, please refer to the following guidelines.

Manuscript Preparation

Please submit your manuscript as follows:

  • The preferred length is 3,500 to 7,000 words.
  • Submit your article digitally via email attachment.
  • On the first page, date and title your manuscript and include your full name, address, and phone and fax numbers, and e-mail address. On the second page, include the title of your paper, but with no personal identifying information. Always put the new date on any revised manuscripts.
  • You may use script, italics, or all-caps (all capital letters) as your text typeface or to emphasize words or phrases. Instead, indicate words that you think should be emphasized or italicized (e.g.. book titles. foreign words) or you may underline them. The entries will be converted to italic, as appropriate. Use such emphasis sparingly, however. Frequent switching from roman to italic type disrupts the flow.
  • Indent paragraphs. Five spaces or tabs are fine. Be consistent.
  • Type only one space-not two-between sentences within a paragraph.
  • If you are typing the numeral 1-in 1919, for example, remember to use the 1 key and not the lower-case letter I.
  • If you embed images with your proposed article, also include a digital copy of the article which is TEXT ONLY.

Endnotes are preferred.


In the study of the history of cartography, graphics help so much in the understanding of the material. Thus, graphics are a vital part of every article in The Portolan.

Please include print-ready graphic images to support the manuscript, and provide caption titling of each suggested graphic. The digital copy of the submitted copy may have images embedded with the text, but the final article must be provided in TEXT-ONLY form for facilitating of journal preparation.

If the article is accepted for publication, images suggested to be used with the article must be provided digitally by using services such as or Dropbox. Images may be in color or black and white – and must be of high resolution (minimum 300 ppi) for use in the journal.

Low resolution images will not reproduce well and will detract from the article, thus acceptance of the article may depend on the quality of the images provided. Indicate the source of the graphics and reproduction permissions granted already (for example from a University Library) so the graphics can be easily incorporated into the journal. Lack of source image permissions may delay publication of the article if it is accepted.

The normal article will contain about three pages of graphics. They may be of varying sizes.

Prior Submission of the Proposed Article

Indicate if the article being submitted has been previously submitted to any other publication. If so, indicate the status of that submission. The Portolan wishes to be first publisher, with no similar submissions appearing in related journals.

Style References

Submissions should reflect the most current editions of the following style references:

  • for citation style - The Chicago Manual of Style
  • for punctuation style - Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style
  • for spelling style - Webster's Collegiate Dictionary


Contact Information for Inquiries or Submission of Manuscripts:

Submit article for consideration to the Editor, Andrew Adamson, at

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