Compiled by Ann L. Dzindolet and Helen S. Ullmann
SUBMISSION: We prefer articles in Microsoft Word submitted in electronic format, on disk or attached to an email to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include both your email and postal mail addresses and phone number. A short article (five pages or less) may be submitted on paper if absolutely necessary. If you use a Mac, consult with the editor. Prior to publication, the editor will provide a submission release for the author’s signature.
TITLE: The title of your article should be as descriptive as possible. MASSOG is indexed in PERSI, which stands forPeriodical Source Index. The indexers use keywords from an article’s title to help researchers locate articles that may be of interest to them. So even if your title ends up being very long, it is helpful to include SURNAME, LOCATION(S), including the state, as well as a general TIME PERIOD. See the Table of Contents from this and other issues of MASSOG, or other genealogical journals for examples.
AUTHORSHIP: Skip a line after the title. Preceded by a phrase such as “compiled by” or “submitted by” include your name and any contact information you wish to include, such as a snail-mail address or an e-mail address.
FORMAT: The following instructions are written for computer-generated material. If using a typewriter, adapt the instructions as necessary. For a template in Microsoft Word see American Ancestors.org. This is free and is particularly helpful for formatting lists of children.
- Single-sided pages
- Margins – 1 inch all around: top, bottom, left and right sides of page.
- 12 point, Times New Roman type is preferred for the main body of an article, with 10-point used for children and footnotes.
- Footnote reference numbers, in superscript, should follow the data to which they apply. Put brackets around them to avoid confusion with generation numbers. But the editor can add the brackets if necessary.
- Use the spell-check option on your final draft but proofread it carefully also. If a quote includes a misspelled word, follow the word with [sic], (note the italics), which lets people know that the original was spelled in that fashion and was not your error.
DOCUMENTATION: MSOG recommends the booklet “Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century: A Guide to Register Style and More,” published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society and and Evidence! Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian written by Elizabeth Shown Mills. However, we often use simpler citations. See under Register on AmericanAncestors.org for a list of citation formats used in the Register. If writing in Microsoft Word, please use automatic footnotes (see the “Insert” menu). If that is not possible, you may use endnotes, but we will convert them to footnotes.
The editors prefer that you write your article in Register Style. Here are two articles that explain how to set up Register Style.
TYPES OF ARTICLES: Bible records; church membership lists; compiled family genealogies; methodology articles; discussion of helpful sources; archives; genealogical holdings of libraries; obituaries; book reviews; helpful tips for researchers, etc., are all welcome. There should be a focus on Massachusetts unless the scope of the article is so generic that it is applicable to all researchers. For example, a discussion of tricks to use when dealing with the 1930 United States census could have any geographic focus, not necessarily Massachusetts, but church membership lists should really relate to the Bay State, unless the intent is to show the migration of Massachusetts people who established a church out west. If you want to write up how you manage to prove the Mayflower ancestry of someone from California through the use of deeds from the mid-west or how you traced your Canadian ancestor back to a hostage abducted in the raid on Deerfield, we would be very interested in receiving such articles. If you want to write about how you have used the material at the National Archives to bridge the Atlantic (or Pacific) back to Europe, Asia or the Caribbean, this could be of interest to our membership.
All manuscripts submitted should contain well-researched, well-documented, well-written, original (that is, not previously published) material in the field of genealogy or family history. The exception to original material would be cases where an informative article published in another source would be of great interest to our readership and the copyright holder has provided WRITTEN PERMISSION IN ADVANCE, submitted with a photocopy of the article, for the work to be reprinted. The original publication source and date should also be provided. Therefore, if you find a great article written on a subject, such as how to establish a web-site or tips on arranging a family reunion, send it in for consideration. The Editorial Board will arrange for permission to reprint if the submitter provides contact information.
COPYRIGHT: Since MASSOG is copyrighted by the Society, all submissions published in our journal, are so protected. In addition, the author retains full rights to their material, should they wish to reprint it elsewhere or include it as part of a longer work at a later time.
The Massachusetts Society of Genealogists and MASSOG Editorial Board assume no responsibility for the accuracy of content provided by the authors of any article, so we do ask you to use the best sources possible for your research and documentation. We try to assure the accuracy of items we publish, but we CANNOT perform in-depth research, which should be done by the authors themselves prior to submission for publication. Should the Editorial Board want any changes to an article, authors will be informed of these suggestions prior to publication to elicit their approval of any corrections or suggestions we may offer to enhance their work.
Consult back issues of good genealogical journals that you have or that are held by libraries for ways to approach writing up your article, such as proving descent through in-direct evidence or correcting previously published lines that you dispute.
From this Editor – Don’t be Intimidated by these Requirements: Your editor suggests that you try to follow the Submission Guidelines, but write your article as if you were telling a story to a friend. Though it is best to put footnotes in while you are looking at the sources, it can be done when you have finished putting down your thoughts. Writing should be fun. Your editor can help you meet the guidelines when you are finished. The main thing is that you organize your thoughts on paper [computer] in a way that you feel comfortable. No one writes an article that is completely to the satisfaction of everyone. Corrections can be made later. Ask your editor.