Author Guidelines

The goal of The Oregon Encyclopedia is to expand our knowledge of Oregon history and culture, from at least 10,000 years ago to the present. The OE is primarily a reference for general readers, teachers, and students, with an emphasis on documentation and clear writing.

Note: The OE does not publish autobiography, family history (unless members or events meet the criteria for significance), or promotional material (e.g., for businesses or products).


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 [email protected] to propose an entry. Include your qualifications for writing that entry—research experience, publications, expertise on the topic, etc. Please do not submit entries to [email protected].

You will receive information on how to log in to the Author’s Workshop on The OE website, where you will submit your entry for review and receive suggestions from the OE editors and fact checkers. Questions about that process can be directed to the editorial office ([email protected]) or to the Editorial Coordinator ([email protected]). Many OE authors write their drafts in Word and paste it into the proper space in the Author’s Workshop. Note that the Workshop system strips entry text of most formatting, including superscript citations, so editors recommend using parenthetical citations.


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, even if you are the author.

Editorial Process: The OE is a scholarly publication and 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.

Significance: Use the first paragraph of the entry to introduce the subject and establish its significance to Oregon history and culture.

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

Documentation: Include documentation for all quoted material and statements of fact. The references will be used to fact check information, and sources will be included at the end of each published entry. Generally, The OE requires a respectable number of sources (both published and archival) to document the entry. Note that editors and reviewers do not consider Wikipedia to be an authoritative source. Footnotes are preferred.

Length: Editors will determine a length for the entry. As much as possible, keep the entry at or near that number of words. If you believe strongly that the entry should be significantly shorter or longer, please get in touch with the Editorial Coordinator ([email protected]) before submitting the entry in the Workshop.

Jargon: When possible, authors should avoid using jargon and local or specialized terminology. If it is important to use specialized language, please provide a short definition (no longer than 50 words), and the OE will make that available to readers as a pop-up.

Quoted Materials: Avoid using long quotations and quotations from materials that require permission to reprint, such as poetry and lyrics. Excerpts are ok.

Images: The OE editors welcome your suggestions for images (e.g., maps, photographs, artworks), film clips, and audio and video clips that could accompany their entries. Please submit captions and credits for all supplementary materials.

Style Guide: Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition


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


Begin with a brief introduction to the subject and a sentence or two about the subject’s significance to Oregon history and culture. Continue with a chronology of the person's life, with an emphasis on the most significant contributions or contributions to Oregon. What is the person's legacy, and what difference has he or she made to Oregon? Provide years of birth and death.

Model Biographies


Begin with a brief description of the event and why it is significant to Oregon’s history. Continue with a chronological history of the event and the people and institutions involved. What were its social, cultural, or political consequences?

Model Events


Begin with a description of the location of the place and its significance to Oregon history and culture over time. If applicable, describe the original Native inhabitants of the place or region, including specific band names or tribal affiliations. Include the significant people, institutions, and events related to the place, including EuroAmerican settlers, prominent individuals and industries, and cultural institutions. What economic, social, political, and spiritual importance does the place have for Oregon?

Model Places

Institutions & Groups

Begin by describing the institution or group and why it is significant to Oregon’s history and culture. Include a chronological history of its background and history What is the relationship to other institutions, agencies, places, and communities?

Model Institutions and Groups:


Begin with a description of 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 the flora/fauna have, for example, and how does it affect Oregon's food or fiber industries?

Model Biota: