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Proceeding Submissions


The Proceedings were established in 1988 to make available papers presented at the SCA’s Annual Meetings. All papers/posters presented at the Annual Meetings are eligible for publication, with the exception of those that have previously appeared in other publications. Thus, the Proceedings serve as a forum for all who participate in this annual celebration of California’s rich and diverse past: archaeologists and Native Americans, avocationalists and professionals, professors and students, historians and prehistorians, and government staff and the public they serve. The Proceedings are published annually, thus ensuring prompt dissemination of research results. Since 2009, the SCA Proceedings have been published in electronic format on the SCA’s web site.

These guidelines were revised March 18, 2020, and supersede all previous versions.

Committee Chair and Editor:

Jill Gardner at

All coordination with authors is handled by the Editor. The Editor will use the list of presenters to email a call for submittals to all senior authors of papers.

Submission of Articles

All manuscripts must be submitted to the Proceedings Editor no later than August 15. Submissions received after that date will be returned, unless prior arrangements have been made with the Editor. The electronic copy should be delivered via e-mail or on a flash drive.

The submitted article should be substantively consistent with the paper presented at the Annual Meeting. It must not have been published elsewhere. The Proceedings will not publish articles that have appeared in the SCA Newsletter. Authors may republish their articles in another forum after they have been published in the Proceedings.

When it is submitted, the content of the manuscript should be finalized and ready to publish, from the author’s perspective. All necessary coordination with co-authors or with other concerned parties should have been completed prior to submission.

The submission should include all graphics and tables. It should include the article’s title, an abstract of not more than 200 words, the names and affiliations of the author(s), titles or captions for all figures and tables, and all references cited.

All submissions must follow the formatting style guidelines (see below). It is the responsibility of the primary author to ensure that the style guidelines are followed; and the editor may return the manuscript for re-formatting.

Las ponencias en español ahora podrán ser publicadas en las Proceedings en español.

Editing Process

On receipt of the draft submission, the SCA Business Office or the Editor will confirm receipt via return e-mail, phone, or letter to the primary author.

The Editor will do an initial editing and distribute electronic copies to assistant editors for additional editing as needed.

The assistant editors will review and make comments on the electronic copy and return the electronic copy with comments to the Editor.

The Editor will use the assistant editors’ comments to revise the paper, and will produce a version that will be submitted to the senior author for review no later than October 1, 2020.

Editorial Policies

Individual articles are published without formal peer review by the Proceedings editors, except as required to meet style, grammatical, and graphical standards, and to ensure conformity with the Society’s Bylaws and Ethical Guidelines. Authors are responsible for accuracy of content, for attribution of citations and quotations, and for the legal right to publish any material. Authors must secure written permission to use figures or any other material protected by copyright law.

The primary author must be a member of the Society for California Archaeology in the year in which the paper was presented, unless the author participated in a symposium by special invitation.

Maps and text should not identify the locations of archaeological sites that may be vulnerable to vandalism so precisely that vandals may be assisted in locating them — for instance, by showing sensitive locations more precisely than the section (1 mi. square) in which they occur.

Formatting Guidelines

The editors of the Proceedings strive to maintain quality and professionalism in the publication. To meet that goal, and except as otherwise noted in these guidelines, we require that all authors follow the most recent style guide of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA):, If a submitted paper does not meet these guidelines, it may be returned to the author for correction.

Manuscripts should not exceed 8,000 words and should include no more than 12 graphics. Longer manuscripts may be accepted under certain circumstances, but we reserve the right to edit these to meet the word-count limit. Please include full names, affiliations, and addresses for all authors, so that the editors may contact authors for clarifications if necessary.

In addition to the SAA style guide, authors are asked to follow these specific guidelines:


  • Submit documents in Microsoft Word format.
  • Use no more than three ranked headings, as follows:


Heading 2: Left Aligned, Bold

Heading 3: Left Aligned, Italics

  • If a quotation is longer than four lines, set it off from the text in a paragraph with right and left indents.
  • Do not use footnotes. The use of endnotes should also be avoided, if possible. If endnotes are used, they should be indicated in the body text by sequential superscript Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) and compiled at the end of the text.
  • The initial reference to a site by name should include its site number in parentheses. Site numbers should be state trinomials, when those are available. After the first use, it is not necessary to preface trinomials with the state designation (“CA-,” etc.).
  • Use of metric units for measurements is preferred, but the use of English units (mi., ft., in., liters, acres, etc.) is acceptable.
  • For decimal fractions, include a leading zero (e.g., “0.2 g”, not “.2 g”).
  • Trailing zeros should be used to indicate consistent levels of precision (e.g., “2.00 g, 0.01 g, and 0.70 g”, not “2 g, 0.01 g, and 0.7 g,” unless the precision of the different measurements is actually different).
  • Preferably express all dates in either the B.C./A.D. system or the equivalent BCE/CE system, except when reporting radiocarbon measurements (e.g., “2240 ±60 B.P.”). If “B.P.” dates must be used, the text must make clear whether radiocarbon years or calendar years are meant, and in the case of calendar years, whether years before the present (i.e., before 2020) or before 1950 are meant. Use the phrase “years before the present” only to refer to the number of calendar years before 2020. Calibrated radiocarbon ages should preferably be given as one- or two-sigma ranges (specifying which one), rather than as curve intercept point dates.


  • Submit tables using the table feature in Microsoft Word.
  • Do not submit tables as image files.
  • Do not submit tables that use tabs to align the contents into columns.
  • All tables must have captions and must be cited somewhere in the text. Number the tables sequentially in the order of their citation in the text. Table captions should be in sentence case (e.g., “Table 1. Radiocarbon Dates from Seven Sites in Owens Valley”).


  • Refer to all maps, drawings, photos, and other graphics as “figures.”
  • Submit all graphics as separate files. Do not embed them in a Word document.
  • For graphics, .tif or .jpg format is preferred. Resolution should be 150 dpi. Maximum dimensions should be 8.5 by 6.5 inches. (The editors may be able to adjust the format, resolution, and dimensions of submitted graphics files, as necessary.) Graphics may be either in color or black-and-white.
  • All figures must have captions and must be cited somewhere in the text. Number the figures sequentially in the order of their citation.
  • Figure captions should be in sentence case (e.g., “Figure 1. Radiocarbon dates from seven sites in Owens Valley”). Captions should preferably be brief; any lengthy discussions should be reserved for the article’s text. Do not include the caption within the graphic image. List captions in Word at the end of the text document.

References Cited

  • Use authors’ and editors’ full names, not merely initials, unless only the initials were used in the original publication.
  • For unpublished reports, it is sufficient to list the agency or company responsible for the report and the city in which it is located, without including information concerning to whom the report was submitted or where it is on file.


Minor errors that are identified subsequent to initial publication of an article may be corrected by notifying the Editor of the required change. If the error has been identified by someone other than the article’s author, the author will be notified by the Editor prior to posting the corrected version if the author’s email address is on file with SCA. The corrected version will be annotated with the date of the change (e.g., “Corrected December 2015”).

Comment and Rebuttal

SCA members may contribute brief, signed, professionally respectful commentaries that will be appended online to Proceedings articles that have been published. For instance, a comment may provide additional context on a subject, suggest alternative interpretations, or correct perceived errors in the original article. While a comment may challenge the accuracy or cogency of an article’s content, it may not make derogatory statements impugning the personal competence or character of the author. A comment may not exceed 1,000 words and should follow the same formatting conventions as an article (including reference citations).

The Editor will check comments and return them to the contributor if they do not meet the requirements concerning length, content, style guide, or SCA membership. An acceptable comment will be forwarded to the original article’s author (if an e-mail address for the latter is available), giving the author an opportunity to submit a rebuttal within 30 days. The author’s rebuttal also may not exceed 1,000 words and must be professionally respectful. If a rebuttal is received, it will be forwarded to the comment’s contributor, who will have a 30-day window within which to revise the comment (for instance, to remove particular criticisms which the author has adequately refuted) or to withdraw it. The author will then have a similar 30-day window to revise the rebuttal, and so on. Once no further revisions are offered, the comment and any rebuttal to it will be dated and posted with the article online.

Society for California Archaeology
Business Office
P.O. Box 2582 |  Granite Bay  |  CA 95746

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(530) 342-3537

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