American Anthropologist

Cover image for Vol. 118 Issue 3

Edited By: Deborah A. Thomas

Impact Factor: 1.725

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 19/84 (Anthropology)

Online ISSN: 1548-1433

Author Guidelines

American Anthropologist welcomes both manuscripts that originate within a single discipline and those that cross subdisciplines. In choosing articles for publication, the editors' principal consideration is to give preference to those submissions that present material that is important and new in the discipline theoretically, methodologically, and empirically. All other things being equal, the editors will also give preference to articles that demonstrate how anthropological research improves our understanding of issues of cultural significance and practical importance in both the present and past. To the extent possible, the main ideas of articles should be comprehensible to nonspecialists. The editors encourage clear writing and straightforward organization and discourage the overuse of jargon intelligible to only to those with particular theoretical perspectives.

Contributions from all subdisciplines in both their basic and applied dimensions are welcomed, as are those focusing on broad, cross-cutting problems, themes, and theories. Collaborative work is encouraged and contributions from international colleagues are welcome. The journal does not charge authors for submission nor charge any publication fees.

Submission Process

Submissions must be via the American Anthropologist online submissions website, Figures or photographs should be submitted as TIF files with resolution of 300 dpi or greater. Authors of accepted manuscripts may be required to submit high-resolution hard copies of all figures during production, as not all digital art files are usable. Be sure to also provide a list of captions and be prepared to provide or obtain permission from the copyright holder for figure use.

American Anthropologist follows Chicago style with a few modifications, most notably in the references cited section. Submitted manuscripts that do not conform to American Anthropological Association style and format will be returned to authors. For the American Anthropological Association style guide, see

Starting in 2016, the journals of the AAA will be fully digital, including American Anthropologist. This shift poses some opportunities for authors in 2016 and beyond. Authors are encouraged to include four-color art (which would appear in black and white in any print copies that are still ordered, but which appear in color online), supporting information, and/or to create a video abstract on YouTube or Vimeo that can be linked to from the article. Authors can help researchers locate their content online by paying particular attention to titles, subtitles, and abstracts, see:

Research Articles.Research articles may be anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000 words in length. Initial submissions exceeding 8,000 words (including all figures, tables, references, and notes) will not be considered. If accepted for publication, research articles may be extended up to 10,500 words at the discretion of the associate editors and the editor-in-chief.

American Anthropologist conducts "double-blind" review, which means that reviewers do not know the name of the author whose manuscript they are evaluating. When uploading your manuscript, you will need to upload a manuscript file with no identifying author information (designate this as "Main Document") and a separate title page (designate as "Title Page") with author details. In your manuscript, references to your own work should be anonymized. For instance, if you are Susan Smith, a citation reading "(Smith 2003:13)" should appear as "(Author 2003:13)." However, there should be NO reference to "Author 2003" in the bibliography at all: citations to your own work should be completely omitted from the bibliography at this stage.

If you used any revision or editorial tracking tools in your word-processing program, be sure the final version of your manuscript does not contain tracked changes.

Research Reports. The journal publishes research reports of up to 3,500 words. These are shorter than major articles and are restricted to straightforward presentations of research results. One consideration in judging submissions is the extent to which reviewers and the editor-in-chief think they will be of interest to readers. Research reports are submitted in same way as research articles, although authors should indicate via the drop-down menu whether their work is intended as a report or article.

Proposals for Group Submissions. American Anthropologist welcomes group submissions around any theme or topic, including those organized by a guest editor or editors. It is not necessary to contact the editor-in-chief for permission or feedback before a group of manuscripts is submitted. Such manuscripts should be submitted individually by their authors: it is not necessary to submit them all at once. Introductions or overviews by the group editor(s) should not be submitted at the outset. The manuscripts will undergo the exact same review process as any other manuscript. If more than one of the manuscripts is accepted for publication, it is the responsibility of the authors (or guest editor[s]) to notify the editor-in-chief that the accepted manuscripts are meant to be grouped together. At that point, at the discretion of the associate editors and the editor-in-chief, the guest editor(s) may be invited to submit an introduction or overview to the group submission.

Commentaries. Short commentaries of no more than 1,500 words that further substantive discussion of significant topics that have appeared in American Anthropologist in the previous year may be published at the editor's discretion.

Author Responsibilities

Authors, not the American Anthropological Association, are responsible for the content of their articles, or the accuracy of quotations and their correct attribution, for the legal rights to publish any material submitted (incl. supplementary materials such as figures or tables), and for submitting their manuscripts in proper form for publication. Manuscripts submitted to American Anthropologist should not be under simultaneous consideration by any other journal or have been published elsewhere in any form.


Manuscripts are generally evaluated by the editor-in-chief and/or by referees. Associate editors of the journal may also participate in the review process as needed. Authors are invited to suggest potential reviewers; however, the editor-in-chief will not be bound by these suggestions. Due to the large number of submissions, many manuscripts cannot be accepted for publication.

Editorial Office Contact Information

All submissions:

Email address:

Mailing address for correspondence:

Deborah Thomas, Editor-in-Chief, American Anthropologist, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, 3260 South Street, Penn Museum 335, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Book Review Editor Contact Information

New books for review and related correspondence

Megan Tracy, Book Reviews Editor, American Anthropologist, 71 Alumnae Drive, MSC 7501, Harrisonburg, VA 22807;

New books for review and related correspondence

Timothy J. Smith, Co-Editor, Book Reviews, American Anthropologist, Anne Belk Hall, 224 Joyce Lawrence Lane, ASU Box Number 32173, Boone, NC 28608;

New Public Anthropologies reviews and related correspondence

Yarimar Bonilla & Adia Benton, Public Anthropology Section Editors,
Rutgers University, Department of Anthropology, Ruth Adams Building,
3rd Floor
131 George Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1414,

New Multi-Modal Anthropologies information and related correspondence

Matt Durington, Harjant Gill, Sam Collins, Section Editors
Towson University

New world anthropology reviews and related correspondence

Virginia R. Dominguez, Associate Editor for Sociocultural Anthropology, American Anthropologist, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Department of Anthropology, 607 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801;

New obituary information and related correspondence

Sydel Silverman, Obituaries Editor, American Anthropologist, 4 Blueberry Hill Road, Irvington, NY 10533;

Incoming Obituaries Editor
Flemming Daugaard-Hansen, Independent Scholar