It is intended that MERRE will win recognition as the most useful source of information on religion in central Eurasia. In order to achieve this, contributors' work must have the following qualities:
Accuracy. Contents must be based on the most trustworthy sources and reflect the current state of scholarship on each subject.
Precision. Articles must introduce all pertinent details, stated straightforwardly, without unsupported generalization and florid language.
Clarity. The reader must not be daunted by density of detail.
Entries should be interesting. They should explain all matters introduced in a way which will be grasped by intelligent readers who do not bring with them much background knowledge.
Impartiality. All articles must be balanced and objective, free from sectarian, ideological, or political bias.
The articles for MERRE should be composed in accordance with the following general standards:
Structure. As indicated above, MERRE contains a broad variety of topics. Contributors will receive detailed guidelines about the content of articles in particular categories of topics on which they are writing. In general, the structure of entries should conform to the following pattern. The title and identification paragraph consists of the heading and pertinent dates, followed by phrases or single words that identify and summarize the significance of the subject.
Then, in clear narrative prose, there should be a presentation of factual material, including places, names, dates, statistics, and the like. Then should follow explanation, discussion, and interpretation, in which the significance of the subject for the broader religious experience of the people of Eurasia is expounded.
Each entry concludes with an annotated bibliography. The bibliography is as important as the text of the entry for achieving MERRE's goals. It must be composed in such a way as to enhance the reference value of MERRE for the users. Ordinarily it must list at least four items; in a few cases it might reach to two or three dozens of items. It must identify the sources upon which the author has drawn, and it should point the reader to additional information about the topic. It should include both primary and secondary sources. Since it is expected that most users will not have facility in Russian or other languages of Eurasia, the bibliography should stress pertinent works in English. Brief critical evaluations of the items in the bibliography should be given. If no work of consequence is available, that should be noted.
The entry must not be tendentious. It should not advocate unusual, untested, or minority interpretive points of view, although in cases where various interpretations are recognized among scholars, these should be identified. Ordinarily, entries should not contain quoted material of more than a few words. MERRE contains no footnotes.
Authors should remember to meet the needs of two different kinds of readers: nonspecialists, who should find in the entry all the information needed for a basic grasp of the subject, and specialists, who seek directions to additional knowledge.
Style. MERRE employs a traditional style of writing. We use fairly short declarative sentences, simple punctuation, a varied but not arcane vocabulary, the simple past tense, clear lead sentences, and frequent paragraphing. We avoid jargon and dated or highly technical language in favor of traditional usages and the English language. Within the text, translations of words will be favored over transliterations.
The style of the entry should follow the Chicago Manual of Style and Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers, as supplemented by the most recently updated MERRE Consistency List and the Academic International Press style sheet.
Manuscript Preparation. The manuscript as submitted must be of high quality in order to prevent avoidable typesetting errors. Authors should keep a copy of the manuscript in their own files and diskettes.
The preferred form for submission is electronic mail to the editor: email@example.com.
Illustrations. Line drawings, diagrams, charts, graphs, maps, and black and white photos may be included in a limited number of entries. An illustration must be provided by the contributor in camera-ready format along with the completed manuscript and accompanied by a statement giving its source or origin. If an illustration is not an original work, permissions, where applicable, must accompany the illustration when submitted. An illustration must be free of any copyright problems. If a copyright release is not submitted, the illustration may not be published. Illustrations cannot be returned.
MERRE strives for highest quality, uniformity, and timely publication, which in turn will insure the greatest satisfaction to contributors as well as to users, the editor, and the publisher. To achieve these goals, several conditions are necessary. The editor hopes that contributors will understand the need for established procedures, and he requests that contributors make a genuine effort to speed the project--and publication of their own entries--by observing them. If conditions are not strictly observed, the editor will be obliged to withhold contributions from publication or to postpone their appearance to later volumes.
Release Form. It is essential that each contributor accept these conditions and indicate that acceptance by returning the AIP release form no later than the date on which a manuscript is submitted. No entry can be published unless an acceptable release is on file with the editor. The release form may be executed separately for each entry; but it is preferable that a single release be submitted covering all entries a contributor will prepare for MERRE. Signature of the release form indicates acceptance of all conditions herein specified. The release is to be sent to the editor, not the publisher, together with the entry.
No Royalties or Honoraria. Because MERRE is a vast scholarly project incorporating the work of an international assemblage of scholars, contributors do not receive any royalties or honoraria for their contributions.
Authorization. The initiative for entries in MERRE will come either from the editor, who will solicit a manuscript from an appropriate scholar, or from potential contributors, who are encouraged to propose entries which they wish to write. In the former case, contributors should understand that if the editor receives no reply to his invitation within two weeks, because of scheduling demands he must contact another author for the entry. In the latter case, the editor will respond to the proposal within two weeks and, if it is accepted, will authorize the preparation and submission of the manuscript, indicating the length and deadline for it.
Editor's Privilege. The editor has the right to reject or to accept and to edit all entries submitted and to print accepted entries as edited by him without returning them for the author's approval of any changes made. The editor will not change the substance of any entry submitted. This condition is necessary to insure prompt publication of entries, a situation which should make the condition more palatable to the author.
Deadlines. If a deadline is not met, the entry will not be published except as possible under a different title or in a supplementary volume, at the discretion of the editor. Publication of volumes cannot be delayed because of any contributor's failing to meet a deadline.
Original Writing. Each entry by a contributor must be free from taint of plagiarism and copyright problems and ordinarily must be a fully original contribution that has not been published elsewhere. Exceptions to this condition are (1) translations commissioned by the editor which the contributor will edit, (2) some articles taken from MERSH and MERSL, which will be adapted in light of MERRE's objectives, and (3) earlier published material written by the contributor which must be substantially rewritten for MERRE. For material of the third exception, it is proper, ethically and professionally, for the author to submit to the editor the earlier form of the material.
Publication Elsewhere. Entries published in MERRE become the property of Academic International Press and cannot be published elsewhere without the written permission of the publisher, and in no case published thus unless revised in such form as to be substantially different from the entry in MERRE. In such cases, a credit line for MERRE shall be included, and a copy of the entire publication shall be sent to the publisher. The editor and publisher intend to be fully cooperative with writers and to serve the best interests of the scholarly community, while at the same time preserving the integrity and significance of all publications of the Academic International Press.
Return Letter to Editor. Contributors must return the original of the editor's letter requesting preparation of a manuscript within two weeks of receipt. This is necessary to maintain the publication schedule, to keep track of the entry throughout the entire editing and publishing process, and to make possible inclusion of the names of contributors in promotional materials. Contributors should keep a photocopy of the solicitation letter for their files.
Permissions. Entries containing materials protected by copyright must include permissions of copyright holders, such documents to be sent with the manuscript when submitted.
Tear Sheets. Authors of entries receive only one tear sheet of the entry taken from an unbound copy of the volume. Because of costs it is impossible to supply multiple offprints. Authors may make photocopies to meet their additional needs. Tear sheets will be sent only to the permanent address given on the Release Form, so it is necessary that contributors notify the editor of all changes in permanent address. Without these, delivery of tear sheets cannot be guaranteed. Separate volumes, in which contributors' entries appear, are not available because sets cannot be broken.
Changes. Because of the rapid processing of manuscripts, in almost all cases changes cannot be made in an entry after it has been accepted by the editor.
Contributors. The editor welcomes participation in MERRE from volunteers of any specialty whose research leads them to material pertaining to religion in Russia and Eurasia. It is hoped that contributors will realize that the value of their own work will be enhanced by their recruiting others to participate in this project.
Correspondence. All correspondence concerning editorial matters and releases should be addressed to Professor Paul D. Steeves, Box 8344, Stetson University, DeLand, FL 32720; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orders, subscriptions, and related inquiries should be sent to Academic International Press, POB 1111, Gulf Breeze, FL 32561.