Contribute to Tate Papers

We welcome all articles relating to the areas of art represented in Tate’s collection and exhibitions (British art from 1500 and modern and contemporary international art), as well as articles addressing the activities and challenges of art museums today. To submit a text for consideration, please send it as a Word document attachment in an email to Christopher Griffin, Editor of Tate Papers, at

The final deadlines for the submission of articles are 1 July for the autumn issue and 1 December for the spring issue, but earlier submission is welcome. The autumn issue typically appears in November and the spring issue in April.

Individual articles and themed groupings

Tate Papers publishes individual papers but also welcomes groups of articles on a particular topic or theme. These are likely to be brought together by a coordinator who liaises between the authors and the Tate editorial team. Themed articles are listed together on the issue’s contents page, in alphabetical order by authors’ names. Each article in a thematic grouping needs to be capable of being read and understood independently of the others because they are accessed individually. As online articles are not necessarily read in a particular order, Tate Papers does not publish short introductions to grouped articles: any introductory text needs to function as a stand-alone scholarly essay and contain original material. Please note that grouped papers are likely to be accompanied by unrelated articles in the same issue.

Deadlines for thematic groups of articles that are brought together and first reviewed by a coordinator may be considerably earlier than the ones set for the issue as a whole in order to allow the coordinator to undertake the first review of the material.


Submissions are initially assessed by the Managing Editor and if judged potentially suitable are then peer reviewed by specialists in the field using the double blind peer review process. A reviewer may recommend acceptance of a text, acceptance subject to revisions, resubmission with revisions, or rejection. Where revisions are sought, authors will be asked to amend their texts, which may then be subject to further assessment by a peer reviewer before being edited. Please note that all texts are rigorously edited for content, structure, style and accessibility of language, and authors may need to agree or themselves make changes to the text at this stage within the timeframe stipulated by the Managing Editor to be included in the journal.

A number of Tate Papers articles originate from presentations first made in seminars or conferences, but authors should note that these should be thoroughly revised and, as necessary, reworked in order to meet the needs of readers and the standards expected of scholarly articles. Articles are accepted for publication only if judged to be of a suitable standard and relevant to the aims of Tate Papers, and in this the judgement of the Managing Editor is final.

Authors should send a signed copy of a Contribution Agreement when submitting a text for consideration or once the text has been accepted for publication. Texts will not be edited for publication if a signed copy of the agreement has not been received by the Managing Editor.

In the Agreement the author gives an undertaking that the material is original and does not contravene the rights of others. Any material that is published or is in press elsewhere should be disclosed here. Tate Papers will occasionally consider republishing material first published elsewhere if it relates well to the overall purposes of the journal and providing the necessary permissions are obtained. The author also agrees to the review and editorial process and to working to the deadlines set by the editorial team.

Articles should normally not be less than 4,000 words and are typically approximately 5,000–8,000 words, although they can be longer. They should be written in British English, single-spaced throughout, presented in 12-point Calibri (including headings, endnotes and captions). They also need to contain the following elements in the following order:

  • Title
  • Author’s name
  • Standfirst (1–2 short sentences that describe the subject of the article directly and engagingly for a general readership)
  • Key words (for the purpose of searching and archiving)
  • Text
  • Notes (endnotes, not footnotes)
  • Acknowledgements (including acknowledgement of where the paper has been presented or published elsewhere)
  • Author’s role or profession (one line only, with no reference to publications or projects, in italics (e.g. Richard Durham is Principal Research Fellow at the University of Sussex.)
  • Copyright line (e.g. Tate Papers, Spring 2014 © Nancy Roth)
  • Captions (see Style Guidelines below)
  • List of image copyright holders (including full contact details, where known)

It is helpful if authors embed images of their illustrations in the text, complete with captions, providing the Word file does not become too big to be easily emailed. Large image files can be sent separately or through file sharing servers.

Please note that Tate Papers does not publish bibliographies with articles.

It is the responsibility of authors to ensure that their articles conform to house style on submission, using the style guidelines below. Articles that do not conform to house style or meet the expected standards of clarity of expression will not be entered into the peer review process and will be rejected.

Titles and subheadings

Follow the normal rules of capitalisation for the main title but for subheadings give initial letters only to the first word.


Do not indent paragraphs, but do indent long quotations (over sixty words).


Use single quotations marks throughout, and double quotation marks only for quotations within quotations. Do not use quotation marks for indented quotations. Breaks in a quotation should be signalled by an ellipsis (three points) with a space before and after. Do not use an ellipsis at the beginning or end of a quotation. Quotations should have an endnote giving the source, though several quotations can be grouped under a single reference.


At the end of sentences full points should be followed by only one space, not two. Note the omission of a space in the following examples: p.21, no.2, vol.2, c.1820, fig.1. Do not use full points with contractions and acronyms (for example, MoMA, St, Dr, UK). Do not employ apostrophes with 1870s, 1920s etc. For clarity please use, for example, 1920s rather than twenties or 20s.


British English should be used throughout. Use -ise rather than -ize endings; focused rather than focussed.

Foreign words

Non-English words and phrases in common usage should be in ordinary type: only italicise words that are not common or those in an inaccessible language. The term c. (circa) does not need to be italicised, and should not be followed by a space, e.g. c.1880.

Dates and numbers

Follow these patterns: 25 October 1881; in the nineteenth century (not 19th C). Please note the use of a hyphen in such adjectival phrases as ‘twentieth-century art’. Note all numbers up to 100 should be written in words, not figures, unless they are measurements.

En dashes

En dashes (not hyphens) should be used as dashes in sentences and in date and page ranges. Thus, 1932–5, pp.435–59. On PCs it is usually possible to use the following shortcut: hold down the control key and press the minus key located on the numeric keyboard. With Macs, hold down the Apple key and press hyphen.


Please use endnotes only (not footnotes, bibliographies or lists of works cited). Endnote numbers in the text should follow punctuation marks (comma, full stop, quotation mark) and should be Arabic (1, 2, 3) and not Roman (i, ii, iii,). They should be superscript figures, which link electronically to the endnote, not static figures. Follow these models for references:


David Lomas, The Haunted Self: Surrealism, Psychoanalysis, Subjectivity, New Haven and London 2000, p.123.
William Holman Hunt, Pre-Raphaelitism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 2nd edn, revised by M.E. Holman-Hunt, London 1913, vol.2, p.382.
René Gimpel, Diary of an Art Dealer, trans. by John Rosenberg, London 1986, p.35.


David Hopkins, ‘The Politics of Equivocation: Sherrie Levine, Duchamp’s “Compensation Portrait” and Surrealism in the USA 1942–45’, Oxford Art Journal, vol.26, no.1, 2003, pp.45–6.
Marcia Pointon, ‘Ambiguity in Action’, Times Literary Supplement, 24 October 1980, p.1204.

Note: titles of articles, even if very long, need to have initial capitals.

Exhibition catalogues

Henry Moore: Early Carvings 1920–1940, exhibition catalogue, Leeds City Art Gallery, November 1982–January 1983.
Jennifer Mundy, ‘Letters of Desire’, in Jennifer Mundy (ed.), Surrealism: Desire Unbound, exhibition catalogue, Tate Modern, London 2001, pp.11–53.

Online publications

Christina Lodder, ‘Naum Gabo as a Soviet Emigré’, Tate Papers, issue 14, Summer 2010,, accessed 6 January 2011.

Unpublished texts or documents

Anne d’Harnoncourt, ‘The Awakening Conscience’, unpublished MA thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London 1967, p.14.
Ben Nicholson, letter to Charles Harrison, 18 December 1967, Tate Archive TGA839/2/19/19.
Minutes of Meeting of the Trustees of the Tate Gallery, 16 May 1957, Tate Public Records TG/4/2/742/2.

Please note: titles of articles or essays in volumes, journals or newspapers follow the normal rules of capitalisation for titles, even if the titles are long or were published originally in the lower case.

For references to previously cited material, use Ibid. for a reference to the source given in the preceding footnote. Avoid, however, other Latin terms such as op. cit, loc. cit. To refer to a source mentioned other than in the immediately preceding reference, give the author’s last name and date (e.g. Hopkins 2003) or, where this avoids ambiguity, author’s last name, shortened version of title and date (e.g. Hopkins, ‘The Politics of Equivocation’ 2003).

Image captions

Doris Salcedo
Umland: Audible in the Mouth 1998
© Doris Salcedo

John Everett Millais
Lorenzo and Isabella 1848–9 (detail)
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
© 2012 National Museums Liverpool

Tacita Dean
Boots 2003 (film stills)
3 films, each 16mm colour anamorphic, optical sound
20 min
Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York / Paris; Frith Street Gallery, London
© Tacita Dean

Cai Guo-Qiang
The Century with Mushroom Clouds: Project for the Twentieth Century (Manhattan) 1996
Photograph taken in New York City, looking towards Manhattan, 20 April 1996
Courtesy Cai Studio
© Cai Guo-Qiang
Photo: Hiro Ihara

Sir John Rothenstein
Letter to Henry Moore, 14 August 1964
Tate Archive TGA 8726/3/11

In the text illustrations should be referred to thus, without a capital letter or space: (fig.1).

Authors should send images in JPEG or PNG format (2 Mb constitutes a reasonable size) to the Managing Editor either with the submission, or shortly after it has been accepted for publication. Authors should also supply full written details of the sources of the images supplied. Please note it is the responsibility of the author to obtain digital images from correct sources (for example, museums, libraries). Images should not be photographed from books, or taken from the internet unless under a creative commons licence or similar. Tate Papers will provide images of artworks in Tate’s collection.

Authors are often able to obtain images for free for their own research purposes and should seek to do so. If the owners of an image needed for the article seek to charge for the digital file, authors should not proceed to purchase the image unless they want to retain and re-use it in their future research. In such cases, authors should supply the editorial team with full details of the owner of the image, and Tate will proceed to pay for the image and clear its copyright. Authors should not contact digital image licensing agencies such as DACS and the Bridgeman Art Library in relation to acquiring images. All such negotiations should be handled by the editorial team.

Please note that only the most essential copyrighted images – those that are discussed in detail and at some length (over several sentences) – should be requested by the author and will be sought by Tate Papers. Although every effort will be made to secure essential images, it may not be possible to obtain all requested images for a variety of reasons. Authors need to be aware of this potential problem, and accept the Managing Editor’s judgement in these matters as final.

Authors’ help in securing copyright, where they are best placed to do so, or have particular knowledge of the copyright owner, will be appreciated. Copies of authors’ relevant correspondence with copyright owners should be sent to the Managing Editor and retained by Tate. Authors need to identify who the copyright owner of a particular image is, and provide the owner’s contact details (name, address and email). For works in Tate’s collection, Tate will have cleared copyright or, if not, will attempt to do so for publication in Tate Papers and elsewhere on Tate’s website. For works not in Tate’s collection, please note that a range of copyrights may apply:

  • the artist, or their 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.