SABR Publication Guidelines
SABR's publications are written by SABR members showcasing the latest baseball research and advancement of our knowledge of the sport. Cutting across a wide range of interests and scholarly disciplines, SABR publications encompass history, statistical analysis, sociology, psychology, physiology, physics, geography, architecture, botany, and much more, as befits the society's mission to advance baseball knowledge.
We’re interested in hearing from any member who wants to share a piece of research on any baseball topic that would interest a portion of the membership. (Note: You must be a SABR member to be considered for inclusion in a SABR journal or publication. If you are not a member, click here to join.)
If you’re interested in working up a piece for a SABR publication, here’s some information that should help:
For your own sake, don’t go to all the trouble of writing an article before you touch base with the Publications Editors. Query first. E-mail your proposal, an outline or both, setting out your idea for an article to the Publications Editor at PubDir@sabr.org. We'll send you the complete guidelines on not only how our publishing process works, but how to format the manuscript and other helpful information for successful submissions. SABR will give you an honest appraisal of your idea, perhaps some suggestions, and will tell you whether or not we’d like to see a complete manuscript.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that your article will be published. We may find that it doesn’t stick to the point that your query advertised, or even (heaven forbid) that it is just poorly written. But querying does prevent you from doing a lot of work on something that we simply don’t think will work for the publication in question.
Please include in your query not only a paragraph encapsulating what the subject is you want to write about, but also what sources you plan to use in your research and what your connection is to the topic. Why are you interested in this area of research and are you uniquely qualified or connected to the material in some way?
If your query has been approved for submission, send it as a word processor document (preferably as a .doc, .docx. or .rtf file) along with any graphs, charts, or other content you have created to JournalSubs@sabr.org.
The preferred method for article submission is electronic. Manuscripts should be prepared in a word processing program (such as Microsoft Word or the free equivalent, OpenOffice) and formatted in much the same way a physical manuscript should be. Be sure to include your name, address, word count, and the title of the article in the document. (Identifying information will be removed when it is sent for peer review.) The proper file type to output is .doc, .docx, or .rtf if possible. If you use a different word processing program, ask your editor what file type you should submit. Be sure you keep a backup copy of your work in case of computer failure.
Before you submit, make sure you have read the complete submission guidelines to be sure you have prepared your manuscript properly, including using the proper citation/footnote format. (Papers without proper citation will be rejected.) The Publications Director should have sent you the guidelines when you queried. If you want to make sure you have the most up-to-date guidelines, drop an email to PubDir@sabr.org with "Guidelines" in the subject line.
Hard Copy Manuscripts
We do not accept hard copy, handwritten, or typed-paper submissions for SABR journals. Access to a word processor such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice and regular access to email are necessary to participate in the publishing process. All correspondence with the editorial and production team takes place by email, including editorial revisions, fact-checking corrections, page proof and layout approvals and so on.
Photos, Graphics, Tables, and Charts
If you have photos, send them (or copies) along, so we know what we’ve got to work with. Electronic copies are preferred in JPEG or TIFF format at a minimum of 300 dpi for print publication. Interior graphics in our print journals are black and white. Sometimes, researchers come up with wonderful cartoons or drawings. We’d like to see those, too. If your article requires tables or charts, make sure they make their point clearly (a surprising number don’t). Tables will be formatted electronically set up to fit the publication. We encourage you to submit charts in .jpg, .tif or .pdf format.
If we accept your article, we will send you a Contributor's Release Form, which will make a few points clear. The two main ones are these: (1) you retain copyright, (2) you grant us First Serial Rights and the right to use the article on the SABR website and in any future SABR compendiums.
How Long Should You Wait For Response?
Different parts of the publications process take varying amounts of time. We try to respond to queries within a few days, while actual submissions to the journals may take some time to process. Peer review takes upward of 3-6 months. If a query has gone unanswered for more than two weeks, please check in with your editor to be sure it did not go into the aether (or get caught in a spam filter).
We will send you a PDF page proof of the edited, typeset version of your journal article (complete with photos, captions, etc) before the journal goes to press. Follow the instructions that come with the page proof to return corrections in a timely and usable fashion.
The Baseball Research Journal (BRJ) is SABR's flagship publication, published twice a year. Established in 1972, BRJ was created so that members could publish and share their research with like-minded students of baseball. Today, BRJ provides a unique mix of cutting-edge baseball research and historical and biographical articles.
The National Pastime is SABR's convention-focused journal. Published annually, this 128-page (or more) journal provides in-depth articles on all aspects of baseball history related to the region in which that year's convention is being held.
Articles may also be considered for online publication at SABR.org, especially if they are more timely in nature or they do not fit the theme of an upcoming journal as chosen by the editors.
When we accept an article for publication, we usually tell you where and when we want it to run. Sometimes we get so much good material that we’re forced to tell you when we accept it that we may have to hold onto your manuscript until the next year’s edition. These articles may now be considered for online publication if you prefer.
Occasionally, we learn as we get into the editorial process and start assembling an issue that we have to roll one or more articles over to the next edition. This is sometimes a matter of space, and it’s sometimes a matter of editorial balance (too much National League 1950s, not enough 19th Century). It’s never a signal to you that we really don’t like your article. If we accepted it, we want to run it! We never do this casually, because we know how hard you’ve worked and how eager you are to see your article in print. And we never do it without notifying you apologizing for the disappointment we know we’re causing, and offering to free you from your Contributor's Release Form (although we hope you stick with us).