For authors

A scribe writing at a desk (thought to be Bede)

The eBLJ welcomes submissions of original research articles on the contents and history of the British Library and its collections.

Information for authors

Articles should not have been previously published, and should not be under consideration at other journals.

Contributions are welcome from all scholars, though contributors should note that the eBLJ does not publish articles on information science or book reviews. There is no restriction in principle on length. Shorter contributions, for example dedicated to a single item or collection, are welcome.

All articles are peer reviewed. The eBLJ operates a double-blind peer review process; authors and reviewers are anonymous to each other during the review process.

Authors are not charged for submission or publication.

Copyright and open access

The eBLJ has always been a free to read journal. From 2020, it has been an open access journal through the adoption of Creative Commons licences.

Copyright on any article is retained by the author(s). Authors grant the British Library Board a licence to publish the article under a Creative Commons licence and identify itself as the original publisher of the work. An example author agreement is available from the Editor.

The default licence option that will be offered to authors is a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence (CC BY). This allows any users of the article to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, adapt, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, including commercial activities. A user of the work is obliged to give appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made to the original material.

If you wish to publish under a different Creative Commons licence, please contact the eBLJ Editor.

While a Creative Commons licence is applied to your article, this will exclude any third-party material that you have reused in your published work. Third-party material is acceptable in your article if you:

  • have secured the necessary permissions from the copyright owner for reuse in your work
  • provide clear captions for all third-party material clearly acknowledging the source and/ or creator, where relevant the copyright holder and licence terms.
  • any third-party-owned materials used have been identified with appropriate credit lines, and permission obtained from the copyright holder for all formats of the journal.


Contributors are requested to read and conform with the following guidelines. Articles which do not do so will be returned to the author for revision and retyping. The Editor reserves the right to make any alteration to either text or notes which he may deem necessary.

Articles should be submitted in two copies, one anonymized, as an e-mail attachment to, and a paper copy sent to the Editor at the address below.


Corresponding authors are required to provide the full name and affiliation for each author, and an e-mail address for correspondence. They are also invited to provide an ORCiD for each author.

ORCiDs (Open Research and Contributor IDs) are increasingly required by publishers and funding bodies, and are used to disambiguate authors with similar names and help in the indexing and dissemination of journal articles. It is free to register for an ORCiD.

House style

Text preparation

  1. Follow O.E.D. spelling rules (including the use of the '-ize' ending). Note the following which always take –ise:  advertise, advise, apprise, chastise, comprise, compromise, demise, despise, devise, enterprise, excise, exercise, franchise, improvise, incise, premise, revise, supervise, surmise, surprise
  2. Single quotation marks should be used. Double quotation marks occur only within single quotation marks
  3. 'Mr' and 'St' are not followed by full stops
  4. The form ' 's' is used even where a name ends in 's' (e.g. James's, not James' )
  5. Numbers should be spelt out if one hundred or less; otherwise they are written in Arabic numerals. Ordinal numbers are spelt out in full
  6. Dates should be given as follows: 28 May 1380
  7. Please use nonbreaking spaces in the names of Saints and Sovereigns and in folio and page references.


  1. 'Ibid.', 'Op. cit.' ‘passim’, and ‘c.’ [circa] are not italicized
  2. Authors' names should generally be cited in the form in which they appear on the title page
  3. Editors' names, followed by '(ed<s>.)', should precede the title, except in editions of texts, where they follow the title in the form ', ed...'.  ‘Translated by’ is abbreviated ‘tr.’
  4. In English titles, the first letter of the first word and of all subsequent words, except articles, possessive adjectives, pronouns, prepositions and conjunctions should be capitalized. In French titles, only the initial letter of the first word is capitalized, except where this word is an article, in which case the first substantive and any preceding adjective are also capitalized
  5. Place and date of publication should be given in brackets after the title. Publishers are omitted unless significant
  6. For journals 'vol.' is omitted. Volume numbers are in lower case roman
  7. Page references should be numbered as follows: pp. 5-16, 71-3, 123-7, but note pp. 17-19
  8. Manuscript references should cite Place of Repository (first reference only), Name of Repository, Title of Collection, etc., except in the case of British Library Manuscripts which should usually be cited as follows: Add. MS.; Cotton MS. Nero A. III.; Eg. MS.; Harl. MS.; Royal MS. 4 B. VII; Sloane MS., etc. 'BL,' may be inserted before such references where they might otherwise be ambiguous.


  1. Winston S. Churchill, Marlborough: His Life and Times (London, 1933), vol. i, p. 27.
  2. A. D. Deyermond (ed.), Mio Cid Studies (London, 1977).
  3. W. H. Auden, Collected Poems, ed. Edward Mendelson (London, 1976).
  4. J. C. H. Aveling, 'The Eighteenth-Century English Benedictines', in Eamon Duffy (ed.), Challoner and His Church (London, 1977), pp. 152-73 (pp. 160-1).
  5. L. H. Horstein, 'Some Chaucer Allusions by Sir Edward Coke', Modern Language Notes, lx (1945), pp. 483-6.
  6. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson letters 9, f. 118r.
  7. British Book Trade Index <> [accessed 15 Feb. 2022].


Acknowledgements (optional) should be placed in a final paragraph. If relevant, in this section authors should also acknowledge any grant funding and relevant grant identification numbers in the format required by their funder.

Article marketing

Articles will be disseminated through indexing in relevant journal databases and by announcing the publication via social media.

Authors are encouraged to promote their own journal articles in their professional networks. Such promotion can improve the impact of research and the researcher’s profile.  See guide to using social media to promote research outputs

Authors are the copyright holders, and so are free to distribute their work. On official acceptance of the article by the Journal, authors will be able to self-archive the accepted manuscript (the version which incorporates peer review changes) on their personal website, institutional or disciplinary repository. Authors may also wish to add a note about acceptance in the eBLJ. On publication, authors can replace the accepted manuscript with the final published version. If they promote the article through their blog or social media channels, any user who clicks on the article’s digital object identifier (DOI) will be taken straight to the article landing page.

Citing the eBLJ

Citations should follow the form: I. Sternberg, 'The British Museum Library and the development of the international exchange of official documents', Electronic British Library Journal [or in abbreviated form eBLJ] (2002), art. 2, pp. 1-20, and should also give the corresponding DOI link, e.g.

Contact information

Dr Barry Taylor, Editor
The Electronic British Library Journal
European Studies
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB

Image citation: A scribe writing at a desk (thought to be Bede)Bede, Prose Life of Cuthbert, etc. Durham, last quarter of the 12th century. BL, Yates Thompson MS. 26, f. 2r.