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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Is your paper formatted according to our guidelines?
  • Have you removed author and contributor names from the paper to allow for double-blind peer review?
  • Have you prepared a separate title page?
  • Are your illustrations and tables prepared as separate files?
  • Do you have permission to reproduce any third-party material?

Author Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in publishing with the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. Before making a submission, please read through the author guidelines below and prepare your material accordingly. Incomplete submissions cannot be accepted.

Once you have prepared your paper in accordance with the guidelines, please complete the submission sheet and send it along with your submission material directly to the Managing Editor at editor@socantscot.org. Large files such as images should be transferred via https://wetransfer.com/ (this is a free service). Alternatively, we can download images from other file transfer programmes, such as Dropbox. 

If you have a pre-submission query then please contact the Managing Editor at editor@socantscot.org or 01312474145.

Please note that these guidelines are for SAIR only. Authors wishing to submit to the Proceedings should see here.

General Information

Journal Overview

SAIR is an online, Open Access publication that publishes and records excavation reports and large-scale surveys on a Trusted Data Repository, ensuring current and future access to this important material. SAIR is particularly suited for papers which require large volumes of data to support their arguments, or which have a large number of images and/or tables.

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Peer Review

The Society operates a double-blind peer review system through our online submission portal, Scholastica. Your paper will be assessed by at least two anonymous, expert referees. We therefore ask authors to remove author/contributor names and addresses from the manuscript and submit a separate title page which includes the article title along with all author and contributor names, affiliations/addresses. Please also ensure that any funding details have been removed, and acknowledgements which contain identifying information are supplied as a separate document.

Please note that we are unable to send articles out for peer review if they contain author/contributor names.

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Production Timetable

SAIR accepts submissions at all times of the year. Once your paper has been accepted for publication, it will be published as soon as the production work is completed.

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Page Dimensions

Page dimensions for SAIR are 170mm x 297mm. A single column width is 82.5mm x 247mm.

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Publication Costs

The full cost of publication must be covered for a paper to be published in SAIR.

Because the content and length of SAIR papers vary widely, we do not have a single Article Processing Charge (APC). Instead, the cost to publish a submission is calculated on a case-by-case basis taking into account the number of words, images and tables in a project.

We estimate 600 words to a page, and 2 images or tables per page. The per page cost for SAIR is £40. You can estimate the cost of publishing your project in SAIR using the following formula:

(#words/600)+(#images/2)+(#tables/2)=(est #pages) x £40.

This cost covers the production work on the paper (including copyediting and typesetting), as well as long-term archiving with Archaeology Data Service, a Trusted Digital Repository.

Please ensure that adequate funding is in place before submitting your paper to SAIR.

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Open Access

SAIR is a fully Gold Open Access journal and papers are made freely available on publication. The Society offers a choice of Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY), Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC-BY-NC) and Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) licenses. Authors will be asked to indicate their preference when submitting their article, and are advised to consult their funding body (if applicable) regarding their requirements.

Please see our Open Access policy and information page for more information.

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Papers submitted to SAIR should be over 17,000 words. Please provide an accurate word count when you submit your paper.

The list of references, list of captions for illustrations and/or tables, appendices, acknowledgements and any illustration/table files should be prepared and submitted as separate files.

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Preparing your manuscript for submission


The title should be concise, accurate and informative. Titles directly affect the discoverability of your paper through search engines, so please ensure that they are specific and contain the keywords readers interested in the subject would be searching for.

We recommend against using phrases such as ‘An investigation of…’ in titles.

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An abstract of 150-300 words which gives a clear indication of the paper’s content and conclusions should be submitted to Scholastica. Abstracts should be succinct but sufficiently comprehensive to provide a clear summary of the article.

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Corresponding Author

Please note that we will only communicate with a single representative, the corresponding author, for each paper submitted to us. The corresponding author should fill out the submission sheet with his/her contact details. All communication regarding the peer review and proofs (if the paper is accepted), including the Memorandum of Agreement, will be sent to that person. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to relay information to others involved in the project.

When a number of people have contributed to a single paper, the corresponding author should ensure the standardisation of abbreviations, measurements and references throughout the paper, and ensure that all sections have been prepared in accordance with our guidelines.

All contributing author names should be provided to the Society using the online Submission sheet.

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  • 12 point Times New Roman
  • Double-spaced
  • Left aligned (not justified)
  • Pages should be numbered consecutively. Page numbers must be included in the footer of the document. Headers and footers should not be used for any other purpose.

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  • No more than 3 levels of headings should be used.
  • Headings should be indicated by the author in the following way:
    • <CT> Chapter Title
    • <A> Level A Heading
    • <B> Level B Heading
    • <C> Level C Heading

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  • The minimum accepted resolution for photographs of half-tones is 300dpi. Please note that a previously printed photograph scanned from a book should be scanned at 600dpi.
  • Photographs or half-tones should be supplied as hi-res .tiff or .jpeg files. Please note that we are unable to accept photographs or half-tones supplied as .svg files.
  • The minimum accepted resolution for line drawings is 600 dpi.
  • Vectored line drawings should be supplied as .eps files or, if that is not possible, as .pdf or .ai files. Please note that we are unable to accept line drawings supplied as .svg files.
  • Colour images must be supplied as CMYK images, not RGB. Images intended to publish as black and white only should be supplied as black and white files.
  • Illustrations should be uploaded separately to our dedicated Dropbox folder.
    Please note: We will accept papers for peer review with low resolution versions of the images, but you must supply the high resolution version on your paper’s acceptance to the journal. We are not able to delay the production schedule awaiting images, so we advise beginning this process as early as possible.
  • Illustrations should be numbered sequentially (1, 2, 3, 4).
  • Where an illustration is made up of multiple parts, they should be lettered rather than numbered (for example Illus 4a, 4b, etc).
  • A metric scale and north point must appear on every map or site plan.
  • A metric scale must appear on every artefact drawing.
  • Please indicate in the text where illustrations should appear, as follows <illus 3 here>
  • References to illustrations within the article should be written as follows (Illus 3) or (see Illus 3) – note the capitalisation.
  • Whenever possible, scales (when used) and styles in illustrations should be consistent throughout the paper.
  • If illustrations are to be reproduced at a specific size, this must be stipulated upon submission in a separate image log (please contact the Managing Editor for a template if needed). As far as is possible, such requests will be accommodated but we reserve the right to change the size if requirements cannot be met. If specific sizes are not requested, images will be sized to the best fit on the page with consideration to the scale provided. There is no guarantee that images can be resized once the paper has been typeset. Any orientation requirements (ie landscape or portrait) must also be stipulated on submission.

If you have any queries about illustrations prior to submission, please contact the Managing Editor.

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  • All tables (even short tables) should be submitted in separate files which should be uploaded to Scholastica.
  • Where possible, tables should be submitted in document form (.doc or .rtf) to allow for easier text manipulation. This also gives a better indication of the author’s preferred layout on the page. Tables should be created using your word processor’s table function.
  • Larger tables can be submitted as spreadsheets (.xls format).
  • Please indicate in the text where tables should appear, as follows <table 1 here>
  • References to tables within the article should be written as follows (Table 3) or (see Table 3) – note the capitalisation.

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  • Captions for illustrations or tables should be supplied as a separate text file, not incorporated into the manuscript file. Table captions should be submitted as one document, not included in the individual table documents.
  • Any copyright requirements must be included in the captions for the illustrations.
  • Captions should take the form:
    Illus 1.1 Title of the figure, with an initial capital for the first word and any proper nouns (Source and copyright information must be included in brackets)
  • Note that there is no full stop at the end of captions (This includes multi-sentence captions; the final sentence should not have a full stop at the end).

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Copyright and Permission

  • If you are using third party material in your paper (illustrations or text), you must seek and obtain written permission from the copyright holder in order to do so. It is the responsibility of the author to ensure that any material used has the appropriate permission cleared.
  • Please provide a copy of the correspondence granting permission to use the material when you submit your paper.

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Supplementary Material

Please provide an electronic list of deposited specialist reports or archive material not republished in the paper, including repository and ascension numbers.

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Language and Style


SAIR uses UK English Spelling.

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Abbreviations should be used sparingly, and avoided if possible. If they are used, please abide by the following conventions:

  • Abbreviations should not end in full stops: ie, etc, eg
  • Initials should be spaced without full stops, eg A A Milne
  • Abbreviated units of measurements do not have full stops and do not take a final ‘s’ in the plural eg 20km
  • Two letter abbreviations for US states should be used in references and bibliography (ie Cambridge, MA not Cambridge, Mass)

Please note the following exceptions:

  • The abbreviation for number is no. (note the full stop) and nos in the plural
  • The abbreviation for editor is ed. and eds in the plural

If using an unfamiliar abbreviation, please write it in full at first use.

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Archaeological periods

Follow the most widely established usage, ideally using the recognised vocabularies provided by Historic Environment Scotland.

Note that archaeological periods should be capitalised, with the exception of medieval (including early, late and post-medieval) and (early) modern. It is preferable to use exact date ranges where possible.

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  • Capitals should be used sparingly
  • Standard archaeological periods should be capitalised (eg Neolithic, Early Bronze Age)

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  • Pairs of dates should be condensed to the shortest pronouncable form (eg 1971-2, 1970-5, but 1914-18, 1789-1810).
  • To describe dates between which an historical event is thought to have occurred, use ‘AD 413 x 427’
  • BC and BP dates should be written out in full to avoid confusion.
  • Use ‘AD 413-427’ to describe the duration of an event.
Correct Incorrect
20 September 1996 September 20th 1996, 20th September 1996
1600s, 1660s, 1980s 1600’s, sixteen-sixties, eighties, ‘80s.
AD 413, 427 BC 413 AD, BC 427

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Radiocarbon Dates

We direct authors towards A R Millard’s ‘Conventions for Reporting Radiocarbon Determinations’ (http://doi.org/10.2458/56.17455) for current conventions for citing radiocarbon dates. The conventions presented in this article should be used for radiocarbon dates in articles for PSAS and SAIR. The following information is required, and can be presented as a table within articles:

  • Conventional radiocarbon age in 14C yr BP eg 1247±29 BP
  • The laboratory code for the determination eg OxA-13521
  • The δ13C values used to correct for isotopic fractionation; plus any other values often received with bone samples (i.e. δ15N and C:N)
  • A description of the sample material being tested eg single charred wheat grain; sheep humerus (left) NB: Any pretreatment methods or quality control measurements should also be noted.
  • A description of the sample location
    eg The sample was recovered from context xxx (where known); or the sample was taken from the interior of the bronze axehead as illustrated.

For every calibrated date, the following information should also be included:

  • the program used for calibration (including the version number) and the calibration curve eg calibration was conducted using OxCal v4 and the calibration curve IntCal13.
  • The calibrated date given as a range (or ranges), stating the associated probability as eg 68% or 95%, NOT 1- or 2-sigma
    eg cal AD 670–760 (95% probability)
    cal AD 675–715 (68% probability)

In text it is preferred to use the calibrated date as a range (see above) with the lab code quoted: eg The hearth was dated to 451–215 cal BC (95% probability; SUERC-1122).

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Hyphenation should be kept to a minimum, but should be used adjectivally eg 19th-century building. Hyphens should not be used after adverbs, eg freely draining, not freely-draining.

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Numbers less than 11 should be spelled out in full (ie one to ten), numbers from 11 onwards should be written as numerals. Ordinal numbers should all be written in figures as 1st, 2nd, 3rd. (nb they should not be in superscript)

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National Grid References

Please ensure that you give National Grid References for all archaeological sites or historic buildings which are central to the publication. References should be given as NGR: NO 7180 2052.

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CANMORE site numbers

If you are referring to a site or item in the Canmore catalogue, please ensure that the Canmore ID is cited.

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Foreign language quotations should be accompanied by a translation, and should be italicised. Latin, where long adopted into English (eg in situ, et al) need not be italicised.

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Quotes and text extracts

  • Quotes within text (fewer than c 20 words) should be preceded by a comma.
  • Long quotations should be displayed without quote marks, indented on each side with a line space above and below the extract. The reference/source should appear in brackets at the end of the quotation, inside the punctuation, as follows:
    This is a long quotation; note that there are no quotation marks and that the text is indented. Authors can use any method of formatting this, as none will survive transfer to the printer. Please ensure that any long quotes are clearly indicated in your text so that the Editor can notify the typesetter. Don’t forget to include the source at the end of the quotation (Barclay 2001, 23).

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Numbered Features

Artefact and feature types which have been allocated a sequential numbering system should be capitalised and clearly noted in the text as follows: The sherds from Vessel 52 were recovered from Sample 5002, from the basal fill, Context 124 of Cist 7 Abbreviations may be used for commonly-used terms, but these must follow standard conventions.

  • Contexts use eg C101 or C88-101 after first occurrence.
  • Samples use eg S101 or S88-101 after first occurrence.
  • Small Finds use eg SF101 or SF88-101 after first occurrence.
  • Vessels are only capitalised when referring to a specific vessel from the site; abbreviate to V only if the paper discusses many vessels.
  • Cists are only capitalised when referring to a specific cist within a site; should never be abbreviated as this can cause confusion with contexts.

Ensure that references to features are consistent throughout the article, particularly in the case of multi-contributor papers.

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Dimensions and measurements

  • Always use metric units (km, m, cm or mm)
  • Small finds should always be described in millimetres. Centimetres may be used for approximations.
  • We use the following abbreviations for dimensions:
    L = length; W = width; Diam = diameter (do not use D to avoid confusion with depth); Th = thickness.
  • Dimensions for small finds should be described as follows:
    L: 23mm; W: 5mm; Diam: 46mm; Th: 3mm.

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Any time third party material is used in the paper, it must be referenced. Bibliographic citations within the text should take the form (Author year: pages) with full details listed in a bibliography. For example:

(Orwell 1948: 31) (Henderson & Jones 2004: 179)

Multiple citations should be listed chronologically, not alphabetically, and separated with a semi-colon (ie Collis 1984; Shepherd 1996; Barclay 1998). If more than one publication by the same author is being referenced, please add ‘a’ ‘b’ ‘c’ etc after the date to distinguish which is being referred to (ie Smith 2011a; Smith 2011b; Smith 2011c). Personal communication should be indicated using the abbreviation pers comm (unitalicised, no full stops).

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Endnotes may be used for papers on historical topics, in particular when references are predominantly to documentary material. Footnotes should never be used. The referencing style must be consistent throughout the paper. Endnotes should be inserted using the endnote function on your word processing program. Notes will appear before the references at the end of the paper.

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Full details for all references cited in the text must be included in the bibliography. Full journal titles should be used for all references, with the exception of the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, which is abbreviated Proc Soc Antiq Scot. Documentary sources should be identified by the full archive number and relevant repository. Maps should be identified by a full title in the list of references.

Book Armit, I 2005 Celtic Scotland. London: Batsford.
  Allen, J R & Anderson, J 1903 The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Edited collection Macquarrie, A (ed.) 2012 Legends of Scottish Saints. Readings, Hymns and Prayers for the Commemorations of Scottish Saints in the Aberdeen Breviary. Dublin: Four Courts Press.
  Cowan, I B, Mackay, P H R & Macquarrie, A (eds) 1983 The Knights of St John of Jerusalem in Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish History Society.
Chapter in an edited collection book Hill, J D 2007 ‘The dynamics of social change in Later Iron Age eastern and south-eastern England c. 300 BC – AD 43’, in Haselgrove, C & Moore, T (eds) The Later Iron Age in Britain and Beyond, 16-40. Oxford: Oxbow.
  Kelly, T A D 1994 ‘The Govan Collection in the context of local history’, in Ritchie, A (ed.) Govan and its Early Medieval Sculpture, 95-114. Stroud: Alan Sutton.
Journal Article Andrén, A 2005 ‘Behind Heathendom: Archaeological Studies of Old Norse Religion’, Scottish Archaeological Journal 27: 105-38.
  Henderson, I 1957-8 ‘The origin centre of the Pictish symbol stones’, Proc Soc Antiq Scot 91: 44-60.
Online publication Cook, M 2016 ‘Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the North-east of Scotland; Excavations at Grantown Road, Forres 2002-2013’, Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports, 61. https://doi.org/10.9750/issn.1473-3803.2016.61.
  Conneller, C, Bayliss, A, Milner, N & Taylor, B 2016 ‘The Resettlement of the British Landscape: Towards a chronology of Early Mesolithic lithic assemblage types’, Internet Archaeology, 42. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.42.12.
Online publication with no DOI Jones, E 2010 ‘Through the Cowgate: life in 15th-century Edinburgh as revealed by excavations at St Patrick’s Church’, Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports, 42. http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/sair/contents.cfm?vol=42. Accessed 5 January 2017.
Website Annals of Connacht http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100011/index.html. Accessed 1 October 2014.
  Arge, S 1989 The Cathedral and other Historic Relics at Kirkjubour. http://savn.fo/documents/00258. Accessed 24 March 2015.
Documentary Sources Registra Supplicationum 289 f253r, Vatican Archives, Rome.
  Liber Pluscardensis, MS 308876.
Unpublished dissertation/thesis Gard, L 1937 ‘Reliefsigillata des 3. und 4. Jahrhunderts aus den Werkstätten von Trier’, unpublished dissertation, University of Tübingen.
  Dobie, A J 2011 ‘Accounting, Management and Control at Durham Cathedral Priory c1250-c1420’, unpublished dissertation, Durham University.



When DOIs are available for your sources, they must be included in your list of references. A DOI can usually be found on the first page of an electronic journal article, or the article’s landing page. If a DOI is used, there is no need to include the access date. For help finding DOIs for the sources you are using, you can use Crossref's search facility.

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