Welcome to the Instructions to Authors writing for the Academic, Professional, and General Division of Oxford University Press.
Within this Division you will be writing for one of our specialist publishing areas. While our Instructions to Authors are largely generic, there are subtle differences that account for subject and discipline conventions, and you will be advised by your OUP Editor if there are any specific deviations from these guidelines that you must adopt.
If you are not yet contracted to write for OUP, please make contact with an appropriate Commissioning Editor. The Commissioning Editor will be able to tell you whether your work will be suitable for publication by OUP before you start trying to adapt your work to our requirements.
If you are writing a legal text, please also visit
Additional Guidelines for Law Authors
for additional instructions.
Before your begin writing please ensure that you familiarize yourself with all of the main sections of these Instructions. In addition, you may find some of the Appendices relevant to your work, and your OUP Editor will direct you towards these if appropriate.
Top 10 writing tips:
1. Keep in touch with your OUP Editor throughout the process, especially if anything changes or if there are delays. We are here to help you and happy to answer questions at any time. See Frequently Asked Questions.
2. Plan the project carefully before you begin, thinking about aspects such as the target audience, the structure, the length, and the schedule. See Before You Start Writing.
3. Your book may also be published in one or more digital formats. Think about the implications of this and how you may need to adapt your writing. See Components of Your Manuscript.
4. Consider whether the addition of any additional elements would aid your readers. This could include items such as a glossary, appendices, boxes, or other learning features. Inclusion of these features should be agreed with your OUP Editor. See Components of Your Manuscript.
5. Familiarise yourself with the OUP house style rules and adopt them in your writing. If you need to deviate on any aspect please check with your OUP Editor, and keep a log of your chosen styles. Otherwise, our copy editor will apply house style throughout. See House Style.
6. Aim for consistency in everything that you do, whether it’s the structure of your heading levels, your referencing style, or your use of italics for example. See House Style.
7. Check what provisions for indexing have been made in your contract – you may need to start thinking about this at an early stage. See The Index.
8. Artwork can cause big delays to publication if not submitted appropriately. Ensure that we will be able to use all of your artwork, and check with your OUP Editor if in doubt. See Artwork.
9. If you are responsible for obtaining permission to use material taken from third party sources (such as text, lyrics, illustrations, and tables) ensure these are all cleared before submitting your manuscript. Remember that you will need to clear permissions for all formats that your work will appear in (digital as well as print); ask your OUP Editor if you are unsure about what is required. See Copyright Permissions.
10. Check your manuscript thoroughly before submitting it to OUP – you will not have an opportunity to make changes after this stage. You may wish to ask colleagues to read the manuscript as OUP generally does not peer-review final material.
About Oxford Dictionaries Pro
Oxford Dictionaries Pro is Oxford’s current English dictionary, thesaurus, and language reference resource.
The site offers quick access to definitions of words, phrases, and idioms; expert guidance on style and usage, grammar, and spelling; and specialist guides for professional writers. This includes New Hart’s Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors (Oxford University Press, 2005), a useful source of additional information on many aspects of writing and style.
If you are contracted to write for OUP you are eligible to receive free access to Oxford Dictionaries Pro – please ask your OUP Editor for further information.