Instructions for Authors


CA Style Information

Statement of Policy

Current Anthropology is sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and was originally established in 1959 to create a worldwide community of scholars that transcends national borders and parochial intellectual orientations.

Current Anthropology continues to be a transnational journal devoted to research on humankind. The journal defines such research in the broadest possible way: to encompass all scholarship on human cultures and on the human, or closely related, species. It therefore makes a strong commitment to a comprehensive view of anthropology and provides a forum for active scholarly critique as a major means by which to achieve this view. To this end, all major articles undergo the CA☆ treatment: commentators, selected from around the world, write critiques that appear in the same issue as the article, along with a reply from the author. The journal also publishes research reports, book and film reviews, forums, and discussion items.

Open Access Options

Current Anthropology and the University of Chicago Press provide two open access options. The Gold Open Access option makes the electronic version of an article freely available to the public (“free access” or “open access”) as soon as it is published online. The Green Open Access option allows authors to place the final accepted manuscript in a non-commercial open access repository if required by a funding agency or after a 12-month embargo period. Open access is not a requirement for publishing in Current Anthropology and, if accepted and no open access option is desired, the article will be published in the normal fashion. If you have any questions about open access, please contact
  1. Gold Open Access. There is a fee of US$1500 for Gold Open Access. When you submit your manuscript online, you will be presented with the option to make it Gold Open Access. If you elect the Gold Open Access option and your manuscript is accepted for publication, the journal office will send you a form with payment options and instructions.
    Authors should note that this option is not compliant with the Research Councils UK (RCUK) mandated Gold option for open access because the University of Chicago Press does not allow commercial reuse without prior approval. This does not mean that an author subject to compliance with the RCUK policy cannot take advantage of the Gold Open Access option. However, authors cannot use RCUK funding (the APC block grants) to pay for the Current Anthropology open access fee. Also, authors would need to deposit the accepted manuscript in a repository (Green Open Access Option – see below) in order to be compliant with the RCUK Policy on Open Access.
  2. Green Open Access. You may place your final accepted manuscript in a non-commercial open access repository if required by your funding agency or if you so desire. Current Anthropology and the University of Chicago Press will comply with the embargo period mandated by your funding agency (normally either 6 months or 12 months). If you do not have outside funding, you are permitted to deposit your article in an institutional or other non-commercial repository after a 12-month embargo period. 

    Only the final accepted manuscript may be submitted to an open access repository; you may not submit proofs or the published article unless otherwise permitted by UCP’s Guidelines for Journal Author’s Rights. The manuscript should include the URL of the published version of your article as it appears on the Press’s web site.

    This Green Open Access option is fully compliant with the RCUK Open Access Policy. The University of Chicago Press statement on compliance with the RCUK Policy on Open Access can be found here.


Current Anthropology requires the assignment of copyright to the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research for major articles, reports, forums, discussion items, and commentaries. Although copyright to other contributions remains with their authors, it is understood that, in return for publication, the journal has the nonexclusive right to publish the contribution and the continuing right, without limit, to include the contribution as part of any reprinting of the issue in whole or in part, by any means and in any format, including electronic publication. For additional information, including posting articles on personal web sites, in social media, or for use in course packs or other teaching media, please see our Guidelines for Journal Author’s Rights.

Manuscript Submission

Authors should submit manuscripts online via the Current Anthropology Editorial Manager system at Detailed instructions are available below. The CA style guide can be found here, and Manuscript Preparation Guidelines can be found here. Please note that if any information in the Manuscript Preparation Guidelines is inconsistent with these CA Instructions for Authors, the CA Instructions for Authors should take precedence.  If you do not have access to the Internet, please contact the editorial office at 773/753-2294.

General Specifications

Current Anthropology publishes scholarship in several formats.
  1. Major Articles with commentaries. These articles receive the CA☆ treatment and must make theoretical or methodological interventions into current controversies within anthropology, broadly construed. Major articles are no more than 12,000 words in length (references and endnotes are included in this count) and must be accompanied by abstracts of no more than 200 words. Manuscripts received that exceed 12,000 words will be returned to the author without review but with encouragement for revision to meet this requirement.
  2. Reports. These shorter articles present research findings of theoretical significance to anthropology, and this significance must be made clear in the text. Reports are a maximum of 5,000 words in length, including references and endnotes. They also require abstracts of a maximum of 200 words. Manuscripts received that exceed 5,000 words will be returned to the author without review but with encouragement for revision to meet this requirement.
  3. Forums. Current Anthropology publishes two forums as means of stimulating debate: the Forum on Public Anthropology concerns the involvement of anthropology in public issues or the interactions of anthropology with society, and the Forum on Theory in Anthropology presents contending arguments on important theoretical issues. Papers written for the forums are no more than 7,500 words in length. Manuscripts received that exceed 7,500 words will be returned to the author without review but with encouragement for revision to meet this requirement.
  4. Discussion items. Current Anthropology publishes short discussion items or replies to Articles, Reports, or Forums that have appeared in the previous 8 months. These discussion items should not exceed 800 words, including references.
  5. Reviews. The books and films reviewed in the journal are chosen from among those received at the editorial office or requested by the Book Reviews Editor. Reviews are by invitation of the editor only, and unsolicited reviews are generally not considered.
Current Anthropology does not consider more than one submission at a time for any author. Instances in which an author has been a co-author (but not lead author) on a manuscript will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Manuscript Format Requirements

Articles published in Current Anthropology are in the English language only. However, manuscripts may be submitted in other languages, and funds exist for making translations into English. This means that authors need not translate their articles into English before submitting them and that authors will be able to revise their papers, should they be accepted, using their native tongue. CA also offers to publish as an online supplement the final version of an accepted manuscript in the original language if requested by the author.
Current Anthropology will not review or consider for publication any contribution that has been published before in any form or language. If you have questions about what constitutes previous publication, contact the editorial office at
All manuscripts must adhere to the following format requirements:
  1. Manuscripts should be double spaced and in 12-point font, and all pages should be numbered.
  2. References cited should be double spaced and listed alphabetically by first author’s last name at the end of the paper. Please consult the CA style guide for the appropriate format.
  3. Endnotes, numbered in sequence throughout the paper, should be double spaced at the end of the manuscript.
  4. Acknowledgments, if any, should appear as a separate paragraph at the end of the manuscript text.
  5. When submitted in final form for publication, tables should be typed on separate pages, titled, numbered with Arabic numerals, and cited in numeric order in the text. Figures should also be numbered and cited in numeric order in the text. Legends for all figures should be typed, double spaced, on a separate page after tables in the manuscript file.
  6. For general information on preparing tables, artwork and mathematical equations click here.

Formatting Electronic Files

Please adhere to the requirements below when submitting a new or revised manuscript via Editorial Manager. The system relies on automated processing to create a PDF file from your submission. If you do not follow these instructions, your submission cannot be processed and will not be received by the journal office. Please note that you must submit a word processing file (.doc, or .rtf), not a PDF. Authors are strongly encouraged to submit files in .doc or .rtf format.

Acceptable Formats

  • Microsoft Word (.doc)(any recent version)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)

File Contents

Word documents should be submitted as a single file that includes all text and tables. Authors should submit figures (graphs and images) as separate files and they must be in TIFF (.tif) or EPS (.eps) format (we will not accept GIF [.gif] or JPEG [.jpg] files).
In addition to the main manuscript file, submit your cover letter as a separate file in the same format as your main file. 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. Authors are encouraged to submit the names and addresses of possible reviewers; there are pages in the submission form for authors to include names of suggested and opposed reviewers.

File Compression and Archives

If you have more than two files to upload into the system (e.g., manuscript, figures, and cover letter), we recommend you combine these files into an archive, so you upload only a single file when submitting the manuscript. Applications for Mac OS (such as StuffIt) and Windows (such as WinZip) support the formats listed below.
The following archive formats may be used:
  • Zip (e.g., "")
  • Unix tar (e.g., "archive.tar" or compressed with a gzip as "archive.tar.gz" or "archive.tgz")
  • WinRAR archives (“.rar”)
If you cannot create archives in these formats, you may still compress individual files to shorten upload time:
  • Unix compress (e.g., "ms.doc.Z")
  • gzip (e.g., "ms.doc.gz")

Revised and Final Versions of Manuscripts

If you are submitting a revised manuscript, please include your responses to the reviewers’ comments as part of the cover letter file. When submitting a revised manuscript with figures, include all figures, even if they have not changed since the previous version. You must submit your manuscript in Word (doc.) or Rich Text (.rtf) format; we will not accept PDF files. For both revised and final versions of manuscripts, please observe the same formatting instructions outlined above.

Electronic Enhancement Formats

Online versions of articles include all elements of the print version, but they may also contain enhancements that electronic publication permits. These enhancements should expand the scholarly significance of the article. Such articles, referred to as CA+ papers, may contain sound files, video clips, color photographs, color-enhanced graphics, maps (with zoom capability), supporting texts, multiple abstracts, or additional data, as well as links to related articles, official documents, and other relevant sites on the Internet.
Enhancements for electronic publication should be submitted in these forms:
  • Short sound files should be submitted as Wav (.wav), Audio Interchange File Format (.aiff), MP3 (.mp3), MPEG (.mpg), Quicktime (.mov, .qt), or AVI (.avi) files.
  • Photographs and other graphics must be submitted as high-resolution files (at least 300 dpi), and should be in TIFF (.tif or .tiff) or EPS (.eps) format. EPS files saved by a commercial-quality graphic program (such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator) are generally the most reliable.
  •  Data sets may be submitted in a variety of formats, including delimited text, Data Interchange Format (DIF), or spreadsheet files. Please contact the editorial office ( if you need assistance in uploading these files.
  • All videos must be in MPEG, QuickTime, MP4, or AVI format. For each video file that is submitted, the author must provide a still from the video published as a figure. This will be used as a thumbnail for clicking on the video in the electronic version.
As with printed matter, the editor must give approval to any and all enhancements to the electronic version. The copyright agreement between authors and the Wenner-Gren Foundation covers both print and electronic publication.

Online Submission Instructions

Please have the following items readily available before beginning the online submission process:
  • Manuscript in an acceptable format as described above
  • Cover letter as a separate file
  • Information from title page (to be typed into the peer review database): title, short title, list of authors and affiliations, and contact information for the corresponding author
  • Abstract of the manuscript (to be copied and pasted into a field in Editorial Manager)
  • List of reviewers to be suggested or opposed
Go to the Current Anthropology Editorial Manager system at to submit your manuscript. If you do not have access to the Internet, please send one hard copy of your manuscript and a CD-R containing all relevant electronic files to the editorial office:
Lisa McKamy, Managing Editor
Current Anthropology
University of Chicago Press
Journals Division
1427 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
Telephone: (773) 753-2294
Fax: (773) 753-4247