Guidelines for CJA/JCA Authors

Authors are required to submit manuscripts electronically at Do not email manuscripts to the Editor. Do not send hard copies of manuscripts to the Editor.

Canadian Journal of Archaeology (CJA) is the biannual publication of the Canadian Archaeological Association. The CJA publishes original scholarly work on topics pertinent to the field of Canadian archaeology, or of more general theoretical or methodological application. An Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) assists the Editor with setting the direction of the journal, and with encouraging submissions. Submissions to the CJA are accepted in both English and French.

Manuscripts submitted for consideration should not be currently undergoing review by any other publications. If it is determined that manuscripts have been previously published, in part or in full, they will be rejected and returned to the author(s).

Several different types of works are published on a regular basis:

  • Articles are major research papers on topics of broad interest to archaeologists working within, or interested in, Canadian archaeology, and to informed members of the public.
  • Research Reports are shorter in length, more focused in subject, and generally of interest to a more select audience.
  • Commentary/Discussion papers provide dissenting or alternative points of view on recently published articles or research reports, or present new information pertinent to the topic.
  • Forum consists of position papers on current topics relevant to Canadian archaeology. Each paper is sent by the Editor to a number of individuals for their comments. The position paper and commentaries will subsequently be published together.
  • Book Reviews are generally solicited by the Book Review Editor, who is responsible for identifying new or recent publications on topics appropriate for review in the CJA.


All submitted manuscripts are read by the Editor and one or more EAB members to determine if the topic is appropriate for the CJA and if the manuscript is ready for peer review.  If it is deemed ready, the Editor and EAB members identify at least three peer reviewers. Peer reviewers are selected on the basis of their area and level of expertise and on their readiness to complete the review within 30 days. Peer reviewers are asked to evaluate manuscripts for originality, quality, clarity, and adherence to the CJA manuscript submission format. Based upon the results of the review, the manuscript may either be:

  1. Accepted;
  2. Accepted contingent upon requested revisions; or
  3. Rejected.

In the case of significantly divergent reviews, the Editor may seek additional reviews.

Manuscript Preparation and Submission Instructions

Manuscripts should be submitted as MS Word files (.doc or .docx).  Do not submit pdf files. Authors are required to submit manuscripts electronically at Do not email manuscripts to the Editor. Do not send hard copies of manuscripts to the Editor.

The manuscript must include a title page, abstract, text of the paper with references cited, list of illustrations, and all illustrations and tables (see “General Style Guide” below). Manuscripts must be double-spaced throughout (including references, figure captions, and all other sections). Margins should be 1.5 inches (3.7 cm) across top, bottom, and both sides. Pages should be numbered. Font size should be 12-point. Do not right-justify any text. Do not hyphenate words at the ends of lines.For information on submitting tables and figures, see "Tables" and "Figures" in the General Style Guide below.

Submissions that have not followed these basic requirements will be returned to the author(s) for reformatting before the review process begins.

After a manuscript has been accepted and all revisions have been made, some of the final formatting will be done by our editorial staff.

However, authors are asked to use the following formatting features:

  • Italic and boldface text, where appropriate (see “General Style Guide” below).
  • Superscripts and subscripts: 14C and H2O (do not use manually-raised reduced-point type).
  • Curled or slanted, typeset-style quotation marks and apostrophes: “this” and it’s, not "this" and it's.
  • Use an en-dash, not a hyphen, for inclusive numbers: 1998–1999, not 1998-1999 (consult your word processor manual to find out if this character is available).
  • Use a Symbol-font hyphen for minus and negative numbers if it is available: e.g., x–y, –50°C, not x-y, -50°C.
  • Use ±, not +/–.

Formatting features to AVOID:

  • Tabs at the start of text paragraphs. Use block-style paragraphs.
  • More than one hard return between paragraphs or before or after headings; extra returns will be deleted.
  • Tabs or hard returns to format References; these will be deleted as our References Cited paragraph style automatically formats references.
  • Any fonts other than basic Times Roman and standard Postscript® fonts (Courier, Helvetica, Symbol, and Zapf Dingbats).

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all quotations and their accurate attribution, and for obtaining permission to use or reproduce photographs, data, and other materials that appear within their submission.

Page proofs
Authors will receive page proofs to be carefully checked for typographical errors. In the case of multiple-authored papers, the proofs will be sent only to the corresponding author. At this stage, only typographical corrections, minor revisions, and updated references may be accepted at the discretion of the Editor. Corrected page proofs must be returned to the Editor within 48 hours of receipt. When possible, the Editor will notify the author(s) in advance that page proofs are being sent.

Reprints may be downloaded at the CAA website (members only).  After the first year of publication reprints are also available through JSTOR. Contributors who are not CAA members will receive one copy of the issue in which their contribution appears.

Special Sections and Thematic Issues
Collections of papers on a central theme will be considered for publication as Special Sections in regular issues of the CJA, or as thematic issues of the CJA. The theme must be on a theoretical, methodological, culture historical, or other topic of broad interest to the CAA membership. Individuals should submit a proposal that includes the following items:

  1. A one to two-page prospectus that clearly presents the theme and provides the rationale for publication in the CJA;
  2. A complete listing of the contributors and paper titles; and
  3. The estimated number of (double-spaced) pages, tables, and figures for both the complete package and for each paper.

If the collection is determined to be appropriate for publication as a special section or thematic issue, the organizer will be requested to submit the complete package to be peer-reviewed. Each paper in the collection must adhere to the requirements for submissions to the CJA.

Contributors to special sections or thematic issues should be aware that the final publication of the collection is contingent upon favourable reviews of all the papers and receipt by the Editor of the revised papers in a timely fashion.

The organization of submissions is expected to include the following sections (where appropriate) in this order:

  1. Title page
  2. Abstract
  3. Text
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. References Cited
  6. List of Figures
  7. Figures
  8. Tables

Title page
On the title page, the names of all authors should be listed in the order that they are to appear in the final paper, along with their affiliation, mailing address, and e-mail address. The one author who is to receive all correspondence from the Editor should be identified as such, with telephone and e-mail address provided. This title page is required for all submissions, including Book Reviews.

For all manuscripts, an abstract of approximately 150 words maximum in both official languages is required. The author(s) must assume responsibility for the translation of the abstract. The abstract is an important component of the paper and requires careful thought. It is expected to be a statement, not an opinion; a summary, not a promise of the paper. The abstract should identify the key elements, data, and conclusions of the study, while avoiding unnecessary detail.

Authors should strive for clarity. Unnecessary jargon should be avoided. The use of vague culture types or periods, such as “Smith Focus” or “Jones Phase,” should be qualified; these terms may be unfamiliar to those outside of the region and should be briefly described in terms of their general meaning and chronological placement. Authors should also be careful with terms such as “Late Archaic” that vary in time from region to region. Non-gender-specific language is preferred.

Terms used in reference to the indigenous populations of Canada or other countries should follow standard usage (e.g., First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Indian, Aboriginal Peoples, Indigenous Peoples).

The basic style of text formatting follows that of American Antiquity. For advice on other aspects of style, authors should consult the Chicago Manual of Style (14th edition) and the Canadian Press Stylebook cap (11th edition). Please note in particular the following items:

Authors are encouraged to use headings judiciously as they can improve substantially the organization and readability of the paper.

Primary headings are typed with initial capital letters, in boldface font, and are centre-aligned.


Primary Heading

Secondary headings are typed with initial capital letters, are italicized, and are placed on the left-hand margin.


Secondary Heading

Tertiary headings are typed with initial capital letters, are italicized, and placed on the left-hand margin. The following paragraph begins inline, immediately following the tertiary heading.


Tertiary Heading. Following paragraph …

The heading “Introduction” is not to be used.

Notes are allowed when additional information is needed, but should be kept to a minimum.  Notes will appear at the end of the Text, before References Cited.

Within the text, all numbers from zero to nine are spelled out; numbers above nine appear as Arabic numerals (e.g., 10). Any number that begins a sentence is always spelled out. In larger numbers, commas are used in the following manner: 1,000; 10,000; 100,000. The exception is four-digit radiocarbon dates, which do not have a comma. Radiocarbon dates with five digits do have a comma.

Archaeological Sites
Archaeological sites mentioned in the text should include their provincial or state identification numbers (e.g., EeRb 144; NH-49-20).

Radiocarbon Dates
Radiocarbon date reporting must include:

  1. The uncalibrated date in conventional radiocarbon years, as defined by International convention,
  2. The sample’s measured or assumed stable carbon isotope value (delta-13C),
  3. Identity of the sample material (e.g., charcoal, bone collagen),
  4. The lab identification number of the sample.

In running text, a single radiocarbon date would be reported using an expression such as: “The extracted collagen dated to 5590±80 B.P. (ABC–1234, delta-13C = –20.1),” where 5590 is the age in radiocarbon years before 1950, as provided by the laboratory, and 80 is the laboratory’s estimate of the error at the 1 sigma (one standard deviation) level. “ABC–1234” refers to the laboratory number for the sample, and delta-13C = –20.1 refers to the measured stable carbon isotope value.

Age calibrations should be expressed as one or more ranges of calendar years, accompanied by the appropriate confidence level, and the method of calibration expressly identified (e.g., as a footnote to a table). An example might be:

Lab #: ABC–1234
14C Age: 5590±80 B.P.
delta-13C (‰): –20.1
Sample type: collagen
Cal age*: cal A.D. 980–1020 (1s)
*calibrated ages were obtained using the data set INTCAL13 (Reimer et al. 2013).

In this example, “cal” is understood to mean “calibrated,” not “calendar.”

All units of measurement are to be metric. If Imperial (i.e., English) measures are required, as in the case of older site reports, these are presented in parenthesis following the metric equivalent. Standard abbreviations of metric measurements (e.g., km, m, ha, m asl) are to be used, with a space between the numeral and measure (e.g., 8 km).

Spelling generally follows Canadian preferences; when spelling is in question, authors should consult such references as the ITP Nelson Canadian Dictionary of the English Language. One exception, however, is the use of “meters” (not “metres”).

This section is used at the discretion of the author. It includes acknowledgment of individuals and organizations that have contributed to the research and/or writing of the contribution, and identifies the source of funding and other support that the author(s) received.

References Cited
All references cited in the text should appear in the References Cited section, and vice versa. References Cited appears at the end of the text, and before any List of Figures,  Figures, or Tables. Use full first names whenever possible, with a space between the first name and following initials. Authors should take special care to ensure that this section is both accurate and complete by checking references in text against those listed in the citations section, and vice versa.

Citation style is the same as used in American Antiquity. Please see recent issues of that journal for examples or consult the comprehensive style guide that appears in American Antiquity 57(4):749–770 in 1992.

List of Figures
The list of Figures gives the caption for each figure in sequential order.

Tables should be created using the table function of your word processor or in Microsoft® Excel. Do not use customized shading or ruling. Do not use a multiple-column layout instead of a dedicated table format. Each table should be included as an individual file, not embedded in the main text file. When preparing tables, the final page size of the journal should be taken into account. Tables that are too large and do not reduce clearly and legibly will be returned to the author(s) for redrafting.

All drawings, maps, plans, and plates are termed “Figures” and must be labeled sequentially. Figures should be submitted as separate digital files, NOT embedded in the text file. Figure captions should be given in the List of Figures, not embedded in the graphic file.

For vector graphics (illustrations that use equations to describe the lines, curves, and areas that make up an image), files should be in either Adobe® Illustrator v. 17.0 or earlier (.ai) or Encapsulated Postscript® (.eps) format. Both formats can easily be edited and imported. Single page PDF files can be imported, but cannot be edited—they must be print-ready.

For bitmap graphics (digitized photos, scanned images), JPEG (.jpg) format, maximum quality is preferred but the following formats are also acceptable: Photoshop® v 14.0 or earlier (.psd), TIFF (.tif), and EPS. Such graphics reproduce well when printed at their original size, but information can be lost or distorted with rescaling. Set image size to match the expected print size. Maximum print size, including caption, is 5 x 7.5 inches (13 x 19 cm). Minimum image resolution is 300 ppi (pixels per inch). Keep the size of graphics files as small as possible to facilitate circulation during the review process.

Graphics may be in black and white, greyscale, or colour. Please note that authors must bear the production costs of colour graphics.