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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Submission Guidelines

The American Indian Culture and Research Journal welcomes unsolicited article and commentary submissions, solicited book reviews, and proposals for special issues. Please note that we no longer publish literature or poetry, unless they are proposed as part of special issues. 

Our content specifically concerns American Indian and Indigenous issues. While we primarily focus on scholarship across North America, we will consider essays that cover Indigenous scholarship around the globe. Commentaries may take the form of how-to articles, narrow case studies, and opinion pieces, among other forms. All articles and commentaries are peer-reviewed.

Submission Procedures for Articles, Commentaries, and Book Reviews
  • Click “Submit” in the upper right corner of this page
  • Sign in or create an account
  • Follow the online prompts

Article and Commentary Guidelines

  • Include cover page indicating the following:
    • whether the manuscript is an essay or commentary
    • the manuscript’s scholarly significance
    • the word count (maximum 10,000), including notes and works cited
    • that the manuscript has not been previously published and is not under review elsewhere
    • that the author(s) is (are) the sole copyright owner(s) of the manuscript
  • Include bio of two to three sentences
  • Include 250-word abstract
  • Adhere to 10,000-word maximum, including notes
  • Follow Chicago Manual of Style format
  • Auto-number endnotes; all notes should be endnotes, with no references to bibliographic material within the body of the article
  • Ensure that URL links in endnotes are active
  • Secure permissions for images

Special Issues

To propose a "special issue" in which the collection of essays address a particular theme or subject, please write our Editor-in-Chief with a one-page proposal that contains

  • the guest editor(s) name(s) and their affiliations
  • a short paragraph highlighting the theme's contemporary contribution to Indigenous Studies
  • a list of likely contributors (and their affiliations), when known
  • a suggested date of when the entire collection would be submitted for peer review

For your planning purposes, here is the general list of stages for a special issue:

The Editor-in-Chief approves your Call for Papers in the case you do not have all the authors already selected for your issue.

Guest editors and the journal distribute the Call for Papers among our networks including on social media. 

You receive titles and abstracts from possible authors. Please note that for special issues, we accept commentaries, scholarly essays, panel q/a's, poetry, some images, or a mixed genre. 

You decide if any proposed projects need tweaking and then you ask if the authors are amendable

You decide who you should tell that they are included and who are not. 

You then tell the authors whom you have selected to then submit to our journal on this platform and by which date.

You send the Editor-in-Chief the authors' names and their titles. This helps us begin the preemptive search for reviewers as well as helps us know when the collection is fully submitted. 

Please note that special issue guest editors write introductory essays. If the editors want these peer reviewed along with the full collection, then they go out with the full collection at review time. Or, they can wait and submit it if/when the collection is accepted for an editorially reviewed piece. 

Guest editors send the Editor-in-Chief the names of four to six names of professionals or community elders in the field of the issue's themes. Reviewers of special collection essays read all the essays/poems/commentaries/etc. We also would heed a list of reviewers preferably not asked for reviews.

Note: It has been taking upwards of two months to find reviewers these days, even more so for when they are being asked to read a whole collection of essays. Please communicate these expectations with your authors.  

Once the reviews are in, you go over them with the Editor-in-Chief.  We reserve the right to make final decisions about whether essays are rejected, accepted with minor revisions, accepted with major revisions, or accepted. In this discussion, we also decide on the various essays' revision due dates. Some may need a second-round review; though, again, we decide that together.  Please keep in mind that often authors do not complete essays by deadlines, simply stop responding, or have situations preventing them to complete the essay or the requested revisions in a timely manner (or at all). These all impact the time from original submission to published issue. 

During the time that authors are working on revisions, we start enlisting the possible artists for the "cover," though we are fully digital these days. When provided by the guest editors, images get used in social media posts about the various pieces. 

Closer to publication, we also communicate with the authors directly about art they might like for their social media posts, regardless if the images were in the published essay. 

Please feel free to us at with any questions.