Annals of the American Association of Geographers
The Annals follows the rules outlined in 15th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). The CMS should be
consulted for information regarding style, format, and word usage. Please visit
http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/latest.html for frequently asked questions. The notes below cover quirks
of AAG house style and CMS points commonly overlooked in submissions.
General Style Points
1. Manuscripts should not exceed 11,000 words, including abstract, references, notes, tables, and figure captions.
2. Authors should provide 3-5 key words or phrases by which an article can be indexed in periodical references.
These words should appear alphabetized in italics at the end of the abstract.
3. All figures and tables should be mentioned explicitly and in numerical order in the text. The correct format for
citing tables and figures is as follows: Table 1, Figure 1. “Table” and “Figure” should have a leading cap. If a
figure has several components, “A,” “B,” and “C” (etc.) should be capitalized (e.g., Figure 1A).
If a figure or table comes from another source, full citation of that source should be provided in the references
section. Authors should obtain any reprint permission necessary from the figure or table’s original author(s) and
should provide a copy of that permission with the materials submitted to the AAG.
4. If a paper is accepted for publication, authors should provide professional information and correspondence
details for all authors at the end of the references section following this model:
JANE DOE is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Kalamazoo University, Kalamazoo,
MI 12345. E-mail: email@example.com. Her research interests include the conditions of homeworkers in
developing-world countries and the issue of access to the Internet among teenagers in rural areas.
Note: this information should only be added to the final file; it should not be included in the initial or
revised submissions that are sent out for review.
5. All sources cited in the text of a paper must be listed in the references section, and vice versa. Authors will be
asked to add textual references to any sources listed in the references section and not cited in the text, and to
provide full citation information for any sources cited in the text and not listed in the references. Any sources the
authors choose not to cite will be deleted.
6. Serial commas should be used:
…the first, second, and fourth candidates (rather than “the first, second and fourth candidates”)
7. Technical/scientific headings—4.1, 4.2, and so on—should not be used.
8. Endnotes should be kept to a minimum. Discursive endnotes are discouraged.
9. Year date ranges should be expressed using whole years, rather than just the last two digits: 1932–1933, rather
10. Authors should avoid over usage of hyphens; single dashes should not be used to set off material at the end of
a sentence (use double dashes: –)
Word Choice, Acronyms, etc.
11. “Percent” should be spelled out in text.
12. In phrases such as “the discipline of geography,” geography should not be capitalized.
13. The phrase “geographic information system(s)” should not be capitalized when it is spelled out. The acronym
for this phrase, GIS, should be capitalized. Phrases combining the acronym “GIS” and a word beginning with “s”
should be rendered as combined words:
GIS science should be GIScience
GIS systems should be GISystems
GIS scientist should be GIScientist
14. All acronyms—even those authors might expect to be commonly understood—should be spelled out the first
time they are used within a paper, with the acronym appearing in parentheses following the spelled-out title or
term. For example, “The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is located in …”
15. The phrase “Global Positioning System” should be capitalized when it is spelled out. The acronym for this
phrase, GPS, should also be capitalized.
16. At first usage of the date/term, use the following wording: “11 September 2001 (hereinafter “9/11”).” For
example, “Since 11 September 2001 (hereinafter “9/11”), many geographers have….” Subsequent instances of
the date/term should appear as “9/11” only. For example, “As a result, the events of 9/11 have taught us…”
17. Alternative nomenclature should be used consistently within a paper according to the author’s demonstrated
Third World/developing world/two-thirds world
Indian/American Indian/Native American
However, when used as ethnic designations, “black” and “white” should not be capitalized
18. Authors should avoid using passive verb forms wherever possible.
19. All references to the Annals of the American Association of Geographers should be written in full.
20. Words in a language other than English should be italicized only when they cannot be found in a standard
English-language dictionary. Non-English words that are specific to a particular paper’s subject should be
italicized and briefly defined when they are first used. Thereafter, they do not need to be italicized.
The exception is scientific names of species (e.g., Canis familiaris), the convention for which is to retain
italicization for all uses.
21. Single nouns ending in unvoiced “s” should be made possessive by the addition of an apostrophe and another
“s.” For example, “the dress’s color was red” (rather than “the dress’ color was red”)
22. When used as an adjective, United States should be abbreviated U.S., with periods (e.g., “U.S. immigration
laws”). When used as a noun, United States should be spelled out (e.g., “Washington, DC, is the capitol of the
United States”). When used as an adjective, United Kingdom should be abbreviated UK, without periods. When
used as a noun, it should be spelled out. Other countries should always be spelled out in full.
23. Individual states should be spelled out in the text of a paper: Maryland, Virginia. However, in the references
section they should follow the standard postal two-letter all-caps abbreviations, with no periods: MD, VA. (The
District of Columbia should be abbreviated as follows: Washington, DC.) Canadian provinces should be treated
in the same way. A distinction should be drawn (or retained) between Cambridge, MA and Cambridge, UK.
24. Dates should be expressed in British fashion: 25 November 2000 (rather than November 25, 2000).
Numerals, Variables, etc.
25. All whole numbers from one to one hundred should be spelled out unless they are paired with a mathematical
symbol (e.g., 2 + 2 = 4), abbreviation (e.g., 25 km, 16 cm), “percent” (e.g., 25 percent), or “score” (e.g., score of
26. Decimals appearing in tables and text should include leading zeros. For example, 0.1273 (rather than .1273)
27. In mathematics, numbers and parentheses should be set roman.
28. If the character “<” (or “>”) is used as a verb (i.e., “is less than”), there should be a space on either side of it:
“n < 6.” If it’s used as an adjective (i.e., “less than”), there should be no space on either side. For example,
“measured <6 inches.”
29. Common statistical variables (e.g., n, f, R, p) should be set in italics.
30. Quotation marks should be double. The exception to this is if material is quoted within a quote, in which case
single quotes are used for the embedded quote: ‘ ’.
Periods and commas should appear inside quotation marks. All other punctuation should appear outside quotation
marks, unless the quotation marks delineate a direct quote and the placement of the punctuation would alter the
meaning of the quote.
“Scare quotes” (quotation marks used to set off a word that is not a direct quote) should be kept to a minimum
and used only for emphasis. Unless the author feels it necessary to retain scare quotes on a particular term or
terms throughout the paper, that term should be introduced in scare quotes and appear thereafter without them.
31. Direct quotes from secondary sources that are 60 words or more in length should be set as extracts/block
quotes (i.e., separated from surrounding text by one line at beginning and one line at end, and indented 0.5 inches
on either side). Shorter quotes should be integrated into the text.
Excerpts from interviews comprise the exception. Any interview excerpt of more than a single sentence in length
should be set as an extract, regardless of length.
References and Citations
32. Parenthetical citations should appear in date order and should follow this format with respect to punctuation:
(Zuckerman 1972; Barrett 1989, 337; McNaughton, Reese, and Barrett 1989; Turner 1992, 1993; Parnell
1997a, 1997b; Coleman 2000, 124–30).
Exception: If the sentence to which a parenthetical note is attached includes a source quote or specific cited point,
the source and page range for the quote/point should be the first one listed in the parenthetical note.
33. Sources with up to three authors should be parenthetically cited every time using all author names; sources
with more than three authors should be parenthetically cited every time using the first author name and “et al.”
(“et al.” should not be italicized):
Callifer et al. 1973
Note that all author names should be listed in the references section.
34. Articles not yet published should be referred to in parenthetical citations and in references as “forthcoming,”
rather than as “in press” or by projected year of publication.
35. In the references section, three successive “em” dashes should be substituted for an author’s name (also for
multiple authors) in second and subsequent citations to that author as single author of a source:
Smythe-Jones, X. 1998. Copyediting: The authoritative tome. Cambridge, MA: Small Room Press.
———. 1999. Copyediting: Some things I forgot about last time. Cambridge, MA: Small Room Press.
Smythe-Jones, X., L. Emmetson, and Q. Garraty. 1995. The art of copyediting: Nitpicking never ends.
American Journal of Copyediting 27:167–89. doi:10.1080/10413209408406462.
———. 2000. Further picking of nits: Five years later. American Journal of Copyediting 6 (1):1–20.
36. In reference citations to newspapers and weekly magazines, the year should be placed right after the author
name(s), as in the model below, but the date and month should be kept in British order:
Sartain, R. M. 2000. Never a dull moment: Clinton staff trashes couch. Washington Post 25 November:A14.
37. All newspaper articles should be fully cited in the references section, rather than worked into the text of the
paper. (This applies to articles from weekly magazines, like Newsweek and The Economist, as well.) The full
citation for a newspaper article should include author (if any), title, name of newspaper, date, and page range of
38. Personal communications should be cited in their entirety in the text of the paper rather than in the references
section. For all personal communication citations, elements required include the following: name of person,
position and organization (if relevant), date of communication, method of communication (e-mail, letter,
39. In the references section of a paper, titles of sources written in a language other than English should be
translated into English in parentheses following each title in its original language. This should also be done for
organizational/institutional names when they appear as the author of a source and for the titles of
journal/newspaper/magazine articles and essays or chapters in a larger work.
40. If authors cite in the text a source quoted in another source, they must provide full citations for both sources in
the references section. Where possible, a page reference to the quote in the original source should also be
41. Software packages referred to in the text of a paper must be cited in the references section. Information
required includes only the following: name of software, version used, maker of software, city/state/country of
location of maker.
42. Interviews conducted by an author for research directly informing a paper do not need to be cited in endnotes
or references. It is useful if the author provides some basic information about the interview subject—i.e., their
name or a pseudonym, their job or position, a date if pertinent, etc.—at the point at which they are quoted, in the
text, in a parenthetical note, or in an endnote.
REFERENCES – FORMAT & EXAMPLES
Number of Authors Example
1 author (Smith 2010)
2 authors (Smith and Jones 2010)
3 authors (Smith, Jones, and Smythe 2010)
4 or more authors (Smith et al. 2010)
Format Author, A., B. Author, and C. Author. ####. Title of the article.
Journal Title ## (#):####–####. doi: ##############.
Example Taylor, J., and B. C. Ogilvie. 1994. A conceptual model of
adaptation to retirement among athletes. Journal of Applied
Sport Psychology 6 (1):1–20.
Format Author, A., B. Author, C. Author, and D. Author. ####. Title of
the book. City, State/Country: Publisher Name.
Example Duke, J. A. 2001. Handbook of phytochemical constituents of
GRAS herbs and other economic plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC
Book w/Titled Volume & Edition
Format Author, A., B. Author, C. Author, and D. Author. ####.
Volume title. Vol. # of Title of the multivolume work. # ed.
City, State/Country: Publisher Name.
Example Bowlby, J. 1982. Loss: Sadness and depression. Vol. 3 of
Attachment and loss. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Edited Book Chapter
Format Author, A., B. Author, C. Author, and D. Author. ####. Title
of book chapter. In Title of the book, ed. A. Editor and B.
Editor, ###–###. City, State/Country: Publisher Name.
Example Gordon, S. 1995. Career transitions in competitive sport. In
Sport psychology: Theory, applications and issues, ed. T.
Morris and J. Summers, 474–93. Milton, Australia: Wiley.
Edited Book Chapter w/Volume & Edition
Format Author, A., B. Author, C. Author, and D. Author. ####. Title
of book chapter. In Title of the multivolume work, ed. A. Editor
and B. Editor, vol. #, # ed., ###–###. City, State/Country:
Example Remael, A. 2012. Audiovisual translation. In Handbook of
translation studies, ed. by Y. Gambier and L. van Dooslaer,
vol. 1, 2nd ed., 12–17. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: John
Format Author, A. ####. Online site or webpage title.
Month Day, Year).
Example United States Census Bureau. 2014. American housing survey:
2013 detailed tables. http://www.census.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/2014/cb14-tps78.html (accessed October 21, 2014).
Format Author, A. ####. Title of dissertation or thesis. Dissertation or
thesis type, Institution Name.
Example Allison, N. 1981. Bacterial degradation of halogenated
aliphatic acids. PhD. diss., Trent Polytechnic.
Format Author, A., and B. Author. ####. Title of the presentation.
Paper presented at Conference Name, Conference City,
State/Country, Month ##.
Example Alfermann, D., and A
. Gross. 1997. Coping with career
termination: It all depends on freedom of choice. Paper
presented at the 9th annual World Congress on Sport
Psychology, Netanya, Israel, January 23.
Format Author, A., B. Author, C. Author, and D. Author. ####. Title
of paper or report. Report /Paper No. ###, Agency Name, City,
Example Grigg, W., R. Moran, and M. Kuang. 2010. National Indian
education study. NCES 2010-462, National Center for
Education Statistics, Washington, DC.
Web: http://www.aag.org/cs/publications/journals/annals; http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/raag20/current
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Last updated 1-November 2017