Article Submission Guidelines


The Center for Inquiry considers only original articles not published elsewhere in print or electronic form. Exceptions to this policy include book excerpts, articles previously published in foreign publications with small U.S. readership, or by special arrangement with the editors. Authors must not submit an article to any other publication, printed or electronic, while Center for Inquiry is considering it for publication. Multiple submissions (articles submitted to several publications simultaneously) will not be considered. The editors may at their discretion reject a previously-accepted manuscript if they discover it has been published elsewhere. 

Center for Inquiry protects authors’ privacy. We do not publish or divulge authors’ contact information. Paper or electronic communications addressed to authors in care of the site will be forwarded promptly. 

Editorial Requirements Write clearly and simply; assume an intelligent general audience. All submissions are judged on the basis of interest, clarity, significance, relevance, and authority. The target length for submissions is 2500-4000 words. Once a submission is tentatively scheduled, and copy-edited, proofs can be sent to the author if they so choose. 

We maintain a journalistic rather than technical tone, so in-text notes are discouraged. Except for articles published as research reports (rare), numbered in-text notes are not permitted; nor are in-text APA-style parenthetical references. If a few in-text notes are occasionally necessary, one such reference is permitted per finished page, in every case marked with an asterisk pointing to a footnote on that typeset page. In general, authors are encouraged to insert reference information into their text in plain English (“As Smith asserted in her 1990 Title…”) . Most references should be placed at the end of the article in a list titled References, Further Reading, or Recommended Reading. Format is Author-surname, Author-given-name. Title [or, if an article, “Title”] (City: Publisher, Year). End-of-article notes may not include page numbers. 

Capitalization of “secular humanism” and “humanism.” It is the policy of the Center for Inquiry that the life stance, or eupraxsophy, known as secular humanism is not a religion. For this reason the phrases secular humanism or secular humanist are never set in text with initial capitals (Secular Humanism), but is always set in lowercase, subject only to ordinary rules for capitalization at the beginning of a sentence (“Secular humanists maintain that …”; note that only the first word of the phrase is capitalized). This is intended to minimize the likelihood that casual readers might misconstrue a passage to imply that secular humanism is a religion. The words “humanism” or “humanist” should not be capitalized in text so as to minimize the risk that humanist, even without the modifier secular, will be misconstrued by casual readers as a religious label. This is intended as a countermeasure against false claims by religious activists that humanism, with or without a modifier, is inherently religious. When religious Humanism (that is, humanism as an explicitly religious commitment) is being discussed specifically, the word humanism in that phrase may be capitalized, as shown immediately above. When Humanism is capitalized the complete two-word phrase (“religious Humanism”) must be used in every instance; the word Humanism must never appear capitalized without a modifier. 

Mechanical Requirements Submissions should include the author’s biography and as optional, a headshot, column title, and column description. Submissions should be delivered in a word-processor file such as is produced by Microsoft Word or similar programs (.doc, .docx) or through Google Docs. Word processor files should include text only, with any charts or graphics delivered in one or more separate files. Text intended for publication as a sidebar or other supplement should be plainly marked and included in the article text. PDF files, HTML files, .ODT files, and files produced by Adobe InDesign, Quark Xpress, or Microsoft Publisher are not acceptable for submission.