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How to submit a proposal to the V&A Online Journal

The V&A Online Journal publishes recent research undertaken in connection with the V&A – its collections, public programme and history. Our writers are V&A staff, colleagues involved in V&A projects and external contributors writing about V&A activities. Our audience comprises everyone interested in research at the Museum, whether academics, museum professionals or the public.


The journal incorporates a range of different types of article:

  1. Articles on the history of art, architecture and design, relating to the V&A’s collections or institutional history (word length: 5,000-7,000)
  2. Features focusing on individual objects, including new acquisitions and objects linked to future exhibitions (word length: 2,000-3,000)
  3. Debates on policy issues relating to the V&A’s activities and its links with education or the creative industries (word length: 2,000-3,000)
  4. Excerpts from doctoral research completed on the V&A/RCA and AHRC CDA postgraduate programmes, and from recent V&A publications (word length: 2,000-3,000)
  5. Reviews and previews of V&A books, gallery developments and exhibitions (word length: 1,000-2,000)
The material published in the Journal is not necessarily endorsed by the Museum. Any article submitted for publication will be peer reviewed by a panel who will look at quality and relevance to the Museum. All articles should be original, but if previously published, please give us details.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the author to ensure that their article conforms to house style (see Style Guidelines below).


Submissions for issue 5 should be with the editors not later than 14 September 2012.

Articles should be submitted as close to publishable form as possible ready to send to our peer reviewers.

Please note that incorrectly formatted texts and endnotes cannot be accepted.

Endnote numbers must be entered manually in texts and submitted as a seperate Word document. Contributors should not use any automatic referencing function in Word or other processing packages.

If your article is accepted for publication in the Journal, please note that images (up to ten), captions and permissions must be submitted with the final article after discussion with the editors.

Please include:

  • Title of article
  • Author's name and affiliation
  • Abstract (50-60 words) [please note this will probably be used as a strap-line]
  • List of key words (for Google searching purposes)

Style guidelines


Use -ise rather than -ize endings.

Titles and subheadings

Follow the normal rules of capitalisation for the main title but for subheadings give a capital letter only to the first word.


Please separate all paragraphs with a blank line. Do not indent either the first line of paragraphs or subsequent beginnings of sections.

  • At the end of sentences full points should be followed by only one space, not two.
  • Please note the lack of a space in the following examples: p.21, no.2, vol.2.
  • Do not use full points with contractions and acronyms (for example, MoMA, St, Dr, UK). Contractions take no full point but abbreviations do (e.g. ed., vol., vols., trans.)
Quotations and quotation marks

Use single inverted commas around quoted passages. Use double inverted commas if speech is quoted within the passage: i.e.: ‘He said, “I can see you.”’

  • The closing inverted comma goes before all punctuation, except:
  1. a question mark: e.g: He said, ‘Can I see you?’, exclamation mark; dash or parenthesis belonging to the quotation
  2. a full point when the quotation is a complete sentence e.g: Single quotes, quotation not forming whole sentence: He said, ‘I can see you’. Single and double quotes, quotation forming whole sentence: ‘He said, “I can see you.”’
  • Quotations should be preceded by a comma, unless they are a cry, slogan or strong statement, e.g. ‘He cried: “God for England! Harry and St George!”’
  • Passages of 50 or more words become an extract.  Please note: these need no inverted commas and will be indented by the designer. Key as normal, and label: [extract]............................[extract]. Text full out, not indented, after quoted passage.
  • The original spelling and punctuation should be followed exactly, using [sic] where appropriate.
  • Omitted passages should be indicated by three full points. Inserted passages should be enclosed in square brackets; include ‘my  emphasis’ where appropriate – use bold and not italics to indicate this.
  • Do not use ellipses at the beginning or end of quotations. Do not follow ellipses with a full point. The three points are sufficient to mark the end of the sentence.
Dates and numbers
  • Please use: in the 19th century (not 19th C).
  • Do not use superscript in captions (19th not 19th).
  • Please note the use of the hyphen in such adjectival phrases as in the mid-19th century; a mid-19th-century carpet.
  • All numbers up to 10 should be written in words, not figures, unless they are measurements.
  • Decades:  1990s, not  1990’s.  In the 1980s and ’90s.
  • Dates should be written as day, month, year; without punctuation or suffixes: e.g. Monday 29 December 1996; 31 March 1874
  • Periods:  from 1994 to 1995, or 1994-5    never from 1994-1995
Capital letters

Use capital letters for Renaissance, Gothic, Cubist etc., but lower case for ‘medieval’ and ‘classical’.



Please use endnotes only ( i.e. not footnotes, bibliographies or lists of works cited). The V&A Online Journal is a scholarly publication and articles should be fully referenced using the V&A house style as laid out below.

  • Note reference numbers should be placed at the end of a sentence, where they should appear after the full point. Please do not use superscript numbers. Otherwise insert at a natural break, after any punctuation except a dash.

E.g: The mechanical drawings of Desmond Paul Henry, of which the V&A hold three early examples, were created using an analogue bombsight computer adapted by the artist into a drawing machine. […] 'The Guardian' article of 1962 described Henry's images as, 'quite out of this world' and, 'almost impossible to produce by human hands'.7 The sensationalist tone sets it apart from more scholarly art criticism and suggests the novelty of this new type of art, as well as a sense of the utopianism surrounding the new technology that was still felt by many at this time.8


Not to be used anywhere online, so please avoid.


Used for:

  • titles of published works, except for the Bible and the Koran
  • titles of paintings, sculptures, plays, films etc.
  • names of ships: HMS Discovery
  • words and terms in foreign languages
  • titles in the endnotes
  • exhibition titles (give dates) and titles of fashion collections
Please give references in the following style:
  • Eliding page numbers as follows:
    E.g: 15–16 but 25–6; 1801–5; 1982–3; 1990–96
  • Do use Ibid. (not italicised, not capitalised unless at the start of a note)
  • Please avoid using op.cit, loc.cit. etc. as these are confusing, misused, and increasingly misunderstood by readers.

One author
1. Wendy Doniger, Splitting the Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), 65.

Two authors
6. Guy Cowlishaw and Robin Dunbar, Primate Conservation Biology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 104–7

Four or more authors
13. Edward O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 262

Chapter or other part of a book

5. Andrew Wiese, “‘The House I Live In’: Race, Class, and African American Suburban Dreams in the Postwar United States,” in The New Suburban History, ed. Kevin M. Kruse and Thomas J. Sugrue (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 101–2.

Preface, foreword, introduction, or similar part of a book

17. James Rieger, introduction to Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), xx–xxi.

Book published electronically

2. Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, eds., The Founders’ Constitution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987),http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/ (accessed June 27, 2006).

Journal article - Article in a print journal

8. John Maynard Smith, “The Origin of Altruism,” Nature 393 (1998): 639.

Article in an online journal

33. Mark A. Hlatky et al., "Quality-of-Life and Depressive Symptoms in Postmenopausal Women after Receiving Hormone Therapy: Results from the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) Trial," Journal of the American Medical Association 287, no. 5 (2002),http://jama.amaassn.org/issues/v287n5/rfull/joc10108.html#aainfo.

Newspaper Article

10. William S. Niederkorn, “A Scholar Recants on His ‘Shakespeare’ Discovery,” New York Times, June 20, 2002, Arts section, Midwest edition.

Paper presented at a meeting or conference

13. Brian Doyle, “Howling Like Dogs: Metaphorical Language in Psalm 59” (paper presented at the annual international meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature, Berlin, Germany, June 19–22, 2002).

Web site

11. Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees, “Evanston Public Library Strategic Plan, 2000–2010: A Decade of Outreach,” Evanston Public Library, http://www.epl.org/library/strategic-plan-00.html.

V&A objects

Include: Title and/or Object name, artist/designer, date. Museum no.

  • The Garden of the Hesperides, Painting, Edward Burne-Jones, 1880-1. Museum no. Circ.525-1953
  • Day Dress, Paul Poiret, 1926. Museum no.T.342-1974
Please do not use circa in dating, use ABOUT

When citing exhibitions please give the name of the lead curators [where possible]; title of the Exhibition; place and year in which it was exhibited.
E.g.: D. Gilbert; J. Lister; C. Breward (co-curators); Swinging Sixties.  London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 2006


Please note that it is the author’s responsibility to secure copyright.  Only the most essential copyrighted images should be requested. The Editor or Sub-Editor may need to reduce the number of requested images if the images are either too costly or too difficult to obtain, but of course will do so in discussion with the author.

Images should be sent as j-pegs on a disc or by email to the V&A Online Journal editor.

Please ensure that all images are 300 dpi at A5 size OR 800 pixels wide in landscape format/800 pixels high in portrait format.

For guidance on how to download high resolution images from VADAR please see the guidelines ‘VADAR: Downloading Files with the Intranet Client’ in the intranet document library if you are an internal V&A author. For external authors,  please provide the museum number and the editorial team will be happy to assist in finding the image within our collections.

In the text, illustrations should be referred to thus: (fig.1)


Please note that the information, text and images included in the V&A Online Journal are protected by the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended in 2003. With the exception of fair dealing for the purpose of research or private study, criticism or review, where the appropriate acknowledgement must be given, no part of the contents of V&A  Online Journal may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Copyright of articles written by V&A staff in work time is vested in the V&A, but this is usually waived if authors wish to publish the material elsewhere. External authors retain copyright of their work. In both cases, authors are free to republish the material elsewhere providing acknowledgement to the V&A Online journal is made (image copyright restrictions may apply. For further use of V&A images please contact V&A’s Academic Image Rights Manager Roxanne Peters (r.peters@vam.ac.uk).

Copyright of images you may wish to include

Please note that a range of copyrights may apply:

  • the artist, or his/her heirs for up to seventy years after the artist's death.
  • the owner of the work while the work remains in copyright.
  • the photographer of the image.
Permission to reproduce any of the images by artists represented by DACS, The Bridgeman Art Library and other rights holders must be obtained from them before any copies are made. DACS is also able to provide contacts for rights clearance in territories other than the UK.

The website WATCH file http://tyler.hrc.utexas.edu/ is a useful tool for finding the copyright holders for the works of specific artists and designers.

For more information about artists represented by DACS and the Bridgeman Art Library please contact:

33 Great Sutton Street
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7336 8811
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7336 8822
E-mail: info@dacs.org.uk

The Bridgeman Art Library
17-19 Garway Road
W2 4PH
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7727 4065
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7792 8509
Contact: Elizabeth Lubienska

As a contributor, you can seek guidance on copyright from Roxanne Peters (r.peters@vam.ac.uk). Please secure the necessary written/emailed permissions.

When contacting copyright holders verbally or in writing, it is helpful to emphasise that the V&A Online Journal is a non-commercial educational resource that is freely available to all on the V&A website. We will archive past issues online. You should explain the need for the illustration and should ask if the copyright holder would be willing to sign a license agreement, ideally for indefinite use and with no fee. Some copyright owners will charge a fee. In such cases you will need to discuss the costs with the Editor in order to ensure that the sums in question are affordable.

Copies of all correspondence and the permissions themselves should be given to the Journal editor  on submission of the final version of the article.

Captions for illustrations

There are two forms of captions for illustrations that each image needs. One is an abbreviated version and the other allows for more detail about the image. Please note the prefix to the museum number for V&A objects should read Museum no. Please do not use circa, use about.

Short caption

To include – Product name, object, artist/designer, date. Museum no. Copyright/Credit

  • The Garden of the Hesperides, Painting, Edward Burne-Jones, 1880-1. Museum no. Circ.525-1953
  • Day Dress, Paul Poiret, 1926. Museum no.T.342-1974
  • Mantua gown, 1750. Museum no. T.3-1924
  • Oasis, screen, Edgar Brandt, about 1924. Private collection, Paris. © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002
  • Self Portrait, Detail of Painting, Rembrandt, 1657. National Gallery, London
  • Little Heavy, chair, Ron Arad, 1989. Museum no. W.17-1993, © Ronald Stoops
Long caption

To Include – Product name, object, artist/designer, maker, country (not nationality, be as pecise as possible), Date, Materials and Techniques, dimensions if provided (width x height c depth, in centimeters only), Museum no. Museum credit if applicable, Photo Credit (only if not a V&A photographed object), Long Description

  • The Garden of the Hesperides, Painting, Edward Burne-Jones, England, 1880-1, Coloured and gilded gesso. Museum no. Circ.525-1953
  • Day Dress, Paul Poiret,  Paris, France, 1926, Silk Tartan. Museum no.T.342-1974
  • Oasis, screen, Edgar Brandt, France, about 1924, Iron and brass. Private collection Paris. © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002
  • Little Heavy, Chair, Ron Arad, Made by One Off Ltd, London, England, 1989, Stainless Steel, beaten and welded, width 59cm x height 75 cm x depth 72cm, Museum no. W.17-1993, © Ronald Stoops

Please order Height x Width x Depth. Use metric only (10 cm, 5.2 m), 10 x 4 cm, except in the case of objects that were made in standard imperial sizes (e.g. mass-produced ceramics). Then use imperial followed by metric.

Supplementary submissions guidelines

Sound and Video Requirements - Sound and Video must not be longer than 5 minutes per selection though there is not a limit to the number of selections.  Each selection must be accompanied with a transcription that will be uploaded along with the video or sound. Please contact the editorial team for further format, quality and supply requirements.