APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology
Submission Guidelines for Authors

Papers submitted to the APT Bulletin are assumed to be original work that has not been published previously and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Please refer to the guidelines below on what the editor considers to have been previously published.

Published papers become the legal copyright of APT. Preference will be given to papers that discuss work that has been completed, rather than studies or purely speculative material, and to papers in which the author has been directly involved in the project.


APT Bulletin articles usually fall into one or more of the following content categories: 

  1. Development of an innovative technique useful to those in preservation practice (diagnostic, chemical, etc.) 
  2. New knowledge related to historic technologies or systems 
  3. Application of established restoration techniques in a new way 
  4. Description of a new or time-tested material or practice of a traditional craft 
  5. Development of a new concept, hypothesis, theory, or other aspect of the philosophy of preservation 
  6. Case studies that demonstrate excellence in practice, or "best practices" 
  7. History of building materials, technologies, or systems 

Please review your manuscript carefully before submitting it. Do not send us your first draft; it is often helpful to ask a colleague to read your paper and offer comments on content and clarity of presentation.  As stated by Strunk and White in their iconic The Elements of Style, “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”

Format and Style Guidelines 

For endnotes, bibliography, and other matters of style, authors must follow the Chicago Manual of Style and APT Bulletin usage. 

  1. Please use Standard American English spelling and grammar. 
  2. Numbers
      • Please spell out numbers one through nine; use numerals for all other numbers.
      • However, use numerals for all dimensions, and spell out units of measurement (4 feet, 6 inches). In articles with large amounts of technical data, abbreviations for measurement may be used (2 ft. 3 in.; 5 m).
      • Dates should be written as follows: "the 1984-1985 repair project"; "I worked for him for 20 years"; the 1920s.
      • Spell out months and use punctuation as follows: “In October 1997 we…”; “On October 25, 2004, we…”
  3. Please consult the Chicago Manual of Style’s online Citation Quick Guide when formatting citations.

So that the review and editing process goes smoothly for everyone, we ask that you follow the submission preparation guidelines below. 

Author Checklist for Submitting an Article

Your submission should consist of the following materials:

•   Manuscript text:
    o Two electronic Microsoft Word versions of your paper, which can be sent via email: one masked (all author-identifying information removed), one with author-identifying information included.
    o Endnotes (rather than footnotes), if applicable, must be numbered consecutively throughout the text in superscript (not embedded), then placed at the end of the paper. The form of endnotes and bibliographies must follow the Chicago Manual of Style: see the Chicago Manual of Style’s online Citation Quick Guide when formatting citations. A bibliography is not necessary if all important sources are given in the endnotes. Accurate preparation of this material is the author's responsibility.

•   Supplementary information:
    o A brief statement of how your article meets one or more of the above content categories.
    o A sentence describing your role in the project.
    o A brief statement indicating whether the article or similar information has been previously published (refer to the guidelines below on what the editor considers to have been previously published).
    o A one-sentence "teaser" of up to 25 words to be placed at the beginning of the article, which should serve as an enticement to the potential reader. Do not repeat information already in the article title.
    o An abstract (100 to 150 words).
    o An author biography (25 to 50 words), for each author. You may also include your email address, if you wish.
    o Please indicate the word count, which should be determined by the "tools/word count" function in Microsoft Word. Articles should be between 1,500 to 4,000 words, including end notes.

•   Images:
    o Six to ten illustrations (including tables). These should be high-resolution electronic files in a TIFF, EPS, or JPEG format, with each image as a separate, individual file (do not imbed images in text), preferably as CMYK. Images should be 350 dpi at a size of 3” by 5.” Image files can be sent via filesharing sites such as Dropbox, or saved to disc or flash drive and sent via mail.
    o Illustration captions. Each illustration must have its own number (Fig. 1, Fig. 2; not Fig. 1a, 1b) and its own caption. Please do not overlap images or combine them. Callouts, such as “(Fig. 1),” should be used in the manuscript to indicate where images should be set.

•   Any necessary permissions:
    o Note that authors are responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions to quote or reproduce materials (including images) from copyrighted or other texts and for paying any fees to reproduce illustrations or text already under copyright.

Guidelines for What Constitutes Previously Published

Current situation

1. The current author guidelines state that “Papers submitted to the APT Bulletin are assumed to be original work that has not been published previously and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.”

2. Except in very special circumstances (excerpts from the winners of the Lee Nelson Book Award, for example), we do not literally reprint material that has been published elsewhere.

The definition of “previously published” would depend on the availability and format of the existing publication. Generally we do not want to publish information that is widely available or easily discovered elsewhere. There are several levels of discoverability:

Online publications

  1. High discoverability would include online PDFs that are easy for individuals to find, free (no paywall), and/or available through open access.
  • For example, a PDF of an article that has been posted on or an article in a journal that is posted on the journal’s website, with no need to pay or log in to access the information.
  1. Medium discoverability would include online PDFs that can be purchased.
  • For example, a PDF of an article that can be purchased by individuals on JSTOR’s pay-per-view or Register and Read program.
  1. Low discoverability. Online PDFs that are available only by subscription or open only to “members” to access are fairly discoverable but less accessible than articles that can simply be purchased.
  • For example, an organization or publication that posts articles online but requires an individual to log in with a member username in order to view the article.

Hard-copy-only publications

1. Hard-copy publications that are not online are less widely available. Their discoverability depends on how easy or difficult it is to locate a copy of the publication.

Possible situations where the Bulletin might reprint published materials

1. Items with medium to low discoverability as defined above

2. Summaries of lengthy, very detailed publications

  • An example would be condensing a longer publication into a Practice Point to help disseminate existing information and make it more accessible. We did this with Ron Anthony and Stan T. Lebow’s Practice Point on wood preservatives, published in Vol. 46:4 of the Bulletin. This article underwent peer review.

3. Very new information needing wider dissemination

  • An example would be Roger Curtis’s article based on guidelines published by Historic Scotland, being published in Vol. 47:1 of the Bulletin. Publication in the Bulletin means that it will reach a worldwide audience. This article underwent peer review.

4. Important older information needing wider dissemination

  • An example of this could be reprinting a chapter from the hard-copy Harley McKee book on masonry to make it more widely known and to publicize the availability of the online reprint.

5. Updates

  • An updated revised version of a previously published article could be considered if overlapping material is minimal or if sufficient revisions are made to the article so that the new version is substantially different.
  • “Substantially different” would have to be determined on a case-by-case basis and approved by the editor and Publications Committee Co-chairs.
  • Overlapping material should not constitute the main thrust of the piece; instead, it would support or provide background for the new material.

6. Non-peer-reviewed materials

  • Revisions in response to APT’s peer-review process may make a previously published article sufficiently different and worthy of publication.

7. Conference papers and proceedings

  • Papers where only a short abstract or a one- to two-page summary is readily available would not be considered previously published.
  • Papers published in full or nearly so in conference proceedings would be considered previously published, unless they had only medium or low discoverability as defined above.

8. Credits

  • If an article uses some previously published material or is based on a previous publication, a citation for the original material must be included in an end note.

The appropriate permissions to publish an article based on previously published material (including any images) must be acquired by the author. 

Send submissions to: 
Diana S. Waite, Editor
APT Bulletin
Mount Ida Press
111 Washington Ave., Albany, N.Y. 12210
Telephone: 518.426.5935 
Fax: 518.426.4116 

Please feel free to contact us with questions.