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Author Submission Guidelines

The Middle East Quarterly encourages submissions from a wide range of authors: Americans and non-Americans, policy analysts, journalists, and government officials, established figures and new writers.

The Quarterly seeks to publish original materials, that is to say, ones that have not appeared anywhere before. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis for articles that appear online and have not received much attention. In such cases, authors are requested to remove the materials from the internet before their publication in the Quarterly.

Please submit work by e-mail to the Managing Editor of the Quarterly: Manuscripts will be acknowledged upon receipt with an indication of the approximate length of the review process. The Managing Editor will respond to any questions on the manuscript submission process. Submitted manuscripts are reviewed by a plagiarism detection program.

The following are the style guidelines for the Quarterly. Please read them carefully before sending us your article and make every effort to conform your work to these standards. Thank you.


The editors have three main goals for the Quarterly: to educate Americans about a particularly volatile and dangerous region; to construct a framework for U.S. policy in the Middle East; and to guide American policy.

The Middle East Quarterly is neither strictly academic nor popular but attempts to bridge these two worlds. This implies a tension: articles need to be cutting edge (to interest the specialist) and accessible (to attract the general reader). They should be both scholarly and opinionated. In addition, they should address the concerns of a primarily American audience.

To achieve all these goals, the editors especially prize articles with new information and generally shy away from statements of opinion. Articles should contain full references; complex arguments are welcome. At the same time, the text should be lucid enough to reach a general readership. We also ask authors to write in such a way so that even readers who disagree with their conclusions will read their work; that is, do not hit the reader on the head with your views, but let them emerge from the information.

The Editorial Process

Joseph Williams, the author of a leading book on writing, notes that "we writers are our own worst editors because we know too much about our subject to experience vicariously how a reader largely innocent of our knowledge will read." Agreeing with this observation and believing that a journal's reputation depends in good part on the clarity of its material, the Quarterly has an active editorial process, during which the editors often suggest substantial changes in presentation and wording.

Also, to present each issue as a cohesive whole, the editors reserve the right to title articles; and to link it with other articles in a debate format or in some other fashion. The vagaries of publishing mean that these decisions are often taken just before going to press.


The Quarterly covers a geographic area from Morocco to Afghanistan but concentrates on the area from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. The general focus is post-World War II, with a look backward when appropriate.

About one-third of the articles touch on the Arab-Israeli conflict and a good number on the Persian Gulf region and on Islamic issues. Turkey is a particular interest, as is the phenomenon of Muslim life in Europe and the United States. Other major topics include oil, terrorism, intellectual life, domestic politics, and U.S. foreign policy.

Articles should mostly focus on the Middle East itself then (in almost all cases) end with policy recommendations for governments or other institutions (e.g., business leaders, foundations, the media).


Most full-length articles are between 3,000-5,000 words. Please submit your article as an MS Word document or in Rich Text Format. Please do not submit a PDF or hard copy.

Usage Authorities

We rely on the American Heritage Dictionary for spelling, meaning, and hyphenation of words.

The University of Chicago Press's Chicago Manual of Style is our principal guide for format.

We sometimes use H. W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, 2d ed. rev., for matters of grammar and word usage.

The following guidelines supplement these reference works.

Transliteration of Foreign Languages

Use scholarly transliterations but retain well-known names in their familiar spelling (Cairo, Gamal Abdel Nasser).

For Arabic, spell sun-letters phonetically; thus, ash-shams, not al-shams.


Direct quotations should cite the original source.

If a quote derives from a printed text, please include the page number(s).

Accuracy is more important than stylistic consistency so direct quotations should exactly reproduce the original source -- in wording, capitalization, and punctuation. Use square brackets [] to show author's interpolations.

Ellipses of three dots, each separated by one space ( ... ) indicate omissions in a quoted passage. Ellipses of four dots with no space before the first indicate that the omitted section includes the end of a sentence that closes with a period.

Footnote Citations

For specific rules on footnote forms, we urge you to look at an issue of the Quarterly. In particular, please note:

We use footnotes for citing sources of quotations and little-known facts, and intriguing and controversial sources of hard data. In principal, notes should not involve substantive discussions, though exceptions are made. Nor should they be a battleground for debate with other writers (if that's important to the argument, it should be in the text).

Provide references to specific pages, not to whole books.

We strongly discourage vanity footnotes (that is, reference to one's own writings).

For newspaper and newsmagazine articles, do not include the reporter's name, headline, or page number (unless the article is an opinion piece, such as an op-ed): The New York Times, Dec. 22, 2000.

Cite titles in the original language, transliterated when necessary, but without English translation.

References to material in FBIS and JPRS must include the original source, referred to in the original language. FBIS and JPRS references are optional.


Please consult chapter 8 of the Manual of Style for detailed rules on numbers.

Generally, whole numbers from one to ninety-nine are spelled out (as are their multiples with "hundred," "thousand," "million," etc.), while other numbers are expressed in figures.

We use dates in the style of "January 1, 2000," not "1 January 2000."


Keep acronyms to a minimum and spell them out in full on first usage, with the acronym in parentheses. This applies even to such well-known acronyms as PLO and NATO.

Name foreign political organizations and parties in English with the foreign language name (and the acronym if it is widely known by acronym) following in parentheses: Worker's Party of Kurdistan (Partiya Karkerana Kurdistan, or PKK).

Give the full name for each individual introduced into the text and footnotes. Use titles (and sometimes affiliations, if appropriate) when mentioning an individual for the first time.

Wherever possible, provide the names of cited authors in the text itself; that is, not "As one author explained ... " but "As Marshall Hodgson explained ... "

When referring to periodicals, include the grammatical article within the italicized name: The Wall Street Journal.

Both "Islamist" and "fundamentalist Muslim" are acceptable, but please use only one of these formulations (and not "Islamic fundamentalist").

Try to use the historical present of verbs wherever possible, but narrate specific events with the past case.

Use the word "peace" cautiously, remembering that everyone wants peace – on his terms. Nazis were in their own hoping to create a peaceful world. We prefer such terms as "resolution," "harmonious relations," and "non-violent."