Author Guidelines



An encyclopedia entry provides readers with an introduction to a topic. It is short, concise, and comprehensive. All entries should focus on providing a clear and accessible description of the subject. Authors should sequence the presentation of facts and descriptions to engage readers while taking care to avoid overly involved or esoteric explanations. The goal is to inform readers by providing information and explaining significance. 


The entries and essays in The Oregon Encyclopedia aim to constitute a full picture of Oregon and include luminaries as well as previously unknown people, places, and events. The OE cannot publish autobiography, family history (unless members or events meet the criteria for significance), or promotional material (e.g., for businesses or products). Generally, authors will not write about their own families or businesses or events in which they were participants.

To establish significance, a topic must be strongly connected to the State of Oregon and meet one or more of these criteria:

  • constitute a contribution to Oregon culture
  • establish a basis for subsequent activities in Oregon
  • represent the spirit of an Oregon community, time, or place
  • represent events that were pivotal in a community's history
  • represent something unique or significantly inventive or creative
  • represent a national or international accomplishment or recognition


The OE does not accept unsolicited entries. Authors are vetted by the editors and invited to submit entries. If you are interested in writing for The OE, use the Suggest a Topic form to propose an entry. Include your qualifications for writing that entry—research experience, publications, expertise on the topic, etc. The editors will review the information and invite you to write if they approve the suggestion. Please do not submit an entry through the Suggest a Topic form on the website. All authors and topics must be approved by The OE before drafts of entries will be accepted.

The OE uses a paperless editorial workshop. If you are invited to write, The OE will assign you login information for the workshop. Entries must be submitted electronically through The OE website. Questions about that process can be directed to the editorial office (  Many OE authors write their drafts in Word and paste it into the proper space in the Author’s Workshop.


The OE is a scholarly publication and follows a standard editorial process. All entries are subject to external review, fact checking, and copy editing. Authors have the opportunity to respond to reviewers' suggestions and to revise their entries. The editors reserve the right to revise the accepted manuscript for clarity, consistency, style, syntax, and punctuation. The OE retains copyright of the entry.


There are five categories of entries: biography, events, place, institutions and groups, and biota. As much as possible, entries should include the following: 

Biography: Begin with a lead sentence that describes what field of endeavor, talent, or skill makes the person important to Oregon. Provide a brief chronological outline of the person's life, with specific reference to significant relationships to Oregon's history and culture. What are the person's principal accomplishments? What are the person's significant relationships to events, places, institutions, and organizations in Oregon? What is the person's legacy? What difference has the person made to Oregon?  Be sure to provide birth years and, if deceased, date of death. The relationship of the subject to the state of Oregon must be emphasized.

Model Biographies
aguilar   davis   lovejoy  
"George Aguilar, Sr.,"
by Jarold Ramsey
  "H.L. Davis,"
by Glen A. Love
  "Esther Clayson Pohl Lovejoy,"
by Kimberly Jensen

Events: Begin with a lead sentence that describes the event and its time, location, and origin. What part in Oregon history did the event play? What led up to it? What organization(s) and individual(s) are associated with the event? Describe the aftermath of the event and its social, cultural, or political consequences. What is the event's legacy? The relationship of the subject to the state of Oregon must be emphasized.

Model Events
hood to coast   vortex   toledo  
"Hood to Coast Relay"
by Joy Margheim
  "Vortex I"
by William G. Robbins
  "Toledo Incident of 1925"
by Ted W. Cox

Places: Begin with a lead sentence that describes the location of the place and its significance to Oregon over time. To what and to whom is it related? What economic, social, political, and spiritual importance does the place have for Oregon? The relationship of the subject to the state of Oregon must be emphasized.

Model Places
mt. hood   silicon   waldo lake  
"Mt. Hood Freeway,"
by Val Ballestrem
  "Silicon Forest,"
by Craig Wollner
  "Waldo Lake,"
by Tom McAllister

Institutions & Groups: Begin with a lead sentence that describes the background and development of the institution or group. What is the significance to Oregon history and culture, including economic, social, political, spiritual, or aesthetic connections? What significant individuals, events, and places are related to the institution or group? What is the relationship to other institutions, agencies, places, and communities? The relationship of the subject to the state of Oregon must be emphasized.

Model Institutions and Groups:
kkk   lewis and clark college   oshu nippo  

"Ku Klux Klan,"
by Eckard Toy


"Lewis & Clark College,"
by Jean Ward


"Oshu Nippo,"
by George Katagiri


Biota: Begin with a lead sentence that describes the flora/fauna and its relation to Oregon. Describe its significance to the natural landscape, including references to agriculture, geography/geology, economics, weather, and aesthetics. What social impact does it have? How does it affect Oregon's food or fiber industries? The relationship of the subject to the state of Oregon must be emphasized.

Model Biota:
sugar pine   port orford cedar   otter  
"Sugar pine,"
by Frank A. Lang
  "Port Orford Cedar,"
by Frank A. Lang
  "Sea Otter,"
by Tom McAllister


Documentation: All entries must rely on existing scholarship, and authors must include documentation for quotes and specific information. Include documentation as parenthetical notes (author, date, page number) and provide the full citation to this documentation. The references will be used in the review process to assess entries and essays. Notes will be removed in published entries, with sources appearing at the end of each entry. The Workshop system strips entry text of most formatting, including superscript citations, so we recommend authors use parenthetical citations.

Audience: The Oregon Encyclopedia will be a reference for general readers, teachers, and students. Authors should write for readers who have a range of ages and experience.

Originality: All essays and entries must be original to The OE and should not have been previously published, either in print or on the World Wide Web.

Style: Authors  may write in their own individual styles. They should write clearly and concisely and make sure that entries are focused and lacking in ambiguity.  Although entries should reflect the authors' scholarly interpretations and professional judgment, they must be free of bias or personal opinion.

Controversial Topics: Where there is the potential for a topic to be controversial and there is not a significant corpus of scholarly work available, authors should handle the topic with fairness and respect.

Jargon: Authors should avoid using jargon and explain any local or specialized terminology.

Quoted Materials: Entries can include quotes from the work of scholars and other experts (with a reference to a source). Long quotations should be avoided, along with quotations from materials that require permission to reprint, such as poetry and lyrics.

Images: Authors are encouraged to submit suggestions for appropriate images (e.g., maps, photographs, artworks), film clips, and audio and video clips that could accompany their entries. Authors should submit captions and credits for all supplementary materials. The OE must be able to confirm copyright permissions before republication.

Style Guide: Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition

Suggested Writing Guides: Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White, and The Columbia Guide to Online Style, by Janice Walker and Todd Taylor.