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As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • Images meant for inclusion in the article have either been published by the copyright holder under a creative commons license, or the author has requested permission to use images from the copyright holder.

Guidelines for Guest Editors

Hard Times magazine welcomes proposals from prospective guest editors of themed issues that fit in with the magazine’s ethos of politically committed writing that is academically informed yet accessible in style. Especially in cases where the extent to which a particular topic meets these criteria is not immediately obvious, the editors may require a brief outline of the aspects of the topic that the guest editors propose to address in their issue, as well as an explanation of how it relates to the ethos of the magazine. An issue will normally edited by at least two guest editors; applications by single editors are not normally considered.

It is the responsibility of guest editors to ensure that authors’ submissions meet the style guidelines below in all respects. Deadlines have to be adhered to absolutely. The complete issue should be handed over to the editorial staff at the University of Potsdam at least 6 weeks prior to the intended publication date. While it is expected that all submissions will have undergone one round of feedback at this point, the magazine’s general editors may also raise issues that need to be addressed during this final stage, prior to layout and publication. 


Guidelines for Authors

Hard Times – Style Sheet

Software and Compatibility

Word- or RTF-files accepted only. Articles that are formatted differently will be disregarded.

NB: As unlike many other journals, Hard Times is not directly converted into pdf format from Microsoft Word, but layouted in InDesign, it is important that the editorial team receives the documents with as little automatic formatting in place as possible. While this means the submitted articles will not look pretty in Word, this does not correlate with their final look, and it is important you prepare the manuscripts for the editorial team doing the layout by ensuring that the following criteria are met.

Standard formatting

  • Word- or RTF-file
  • Any illustrations, tables, or other graphics are to be submitted as separate jpg or tiff files with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi; 600 dpi would be preferable.
  • Please do not insert any graphics into your text document itself, but indicate unambiguously where in the text they are to be inserted during layout, as explained in more detail under ‘Illustrations’ below.
  • Margins are to be 2.5 cm everywhere
  • 1.5-spaced
  • Times New Roman, 12 pt
  • Do not paginate!
  • No automatic hyphenation!
  • No automatic formatting of headings and subheadings! Mark them bold, but do not use any other formatting devices.
  • Use “typographic quotation marks” only
  • Double quotation marks for short quotations
  • Single quotation marks within the quotation and for ironic speech
  • Italicise technical terms and terms in foreign languages
  • Longer quotations should be inserted as a separate paragraph, without quotation marks, but italicised and not indented
  • Do not include a blank line or any extra space between paragraphs
  • Do not use tab-stops or indents, including for the first lines of paragraphs!
  • Use in-text citations [example: (Mukherjee 2018, 72)] in preference to endnotes wherever possible
  • Only use endnotes for additional remarks which are absolutely essential, rather than for referencing. Use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3 etc.). Do not use footnotes.
  • Create the endnote references using the built-in function of your word processor, do not number them manually.
  • Please include a complete ‘Bibliography’ (cf. examples below for HT referencing style)

Length of the articles

Up to 5000 words


Please hand in at least two illustrations per article. As an online publication we require particular vigilance regarding possible copyright infringements of any pictures used in the magazine.

All future guest editors and contributors should, therefore, be aware that for all images not published by the copyright holder under a creative commons license, they will have to request permission to use images from the copyright holder.

It is likely that a limited number of film stills may be legitimately used without requesting permission as long as they are vital to the argument made in the text, ie the image itself is discussed and analysed. Purely decorative film stills may only be used with permission from the copyright holder, with the author of the relevant article responsible for requesting permission and paying any fees the copyright holder may require for such use. The same applies to film posters etc.

Book covers, too, may only be used if either the cover itself is analysed in the text, or if permission from the copyright holder has been previously obtained. Be aware that even your own photograph or scan of a book cover infringes copyright.

We cannot give exhaustive legal guidance on copyright, therefore, ultimately, it is the authors’ responsibility to seek legal advice where appropriate and decide upon the use of images in accordance with that advice. Legal and financial responsibility for any copyright infringement will remain with individual authors rather than the editors of the magazine.

Texts and illustrations need to be sent in separately.

Please mark the precise caption, including image credits where applicable, for each illustration, image, or table in bold within the text (and the subtitles in [square brackets] if applicable). The names of image and file should correspond, as this will be used, during layout, to determine the correct location where each image will be inserted. In cases where the exact location of the image does not matter, it is acceptable to include a list of captions as a separate document.

Please submit illustrations/figures as cross-platform compatible image files (e.g. jpg or tiff format) with a resolution of at least 300 dpi, preferably 600 dpi.


Your article should start with a short abstract which provides a concise summary and might also include author information (e.g. university affiliation).


The authors or guest editors are asked to use sub-headings (as many as possible) in each article. Please also provide and think about additional material or parts that can be printed in separate ‘text boxes’.

Foot- and endnotes

Only use endnotes. Please use as few as possible. Remember Hard Times is a cultural journal, not an academic one and the articles’ style has to be adapted to journalistic standards rather than to academic ones.

Bibliographic annotations

Bibliographic annotations have to be complete and follow HT referencing style.


A single author book:

Bernier, Celeste-Marie (2018). Stick to the Skin. African American and Black British Artists, 1965-2015. Oakland: University of California Press.

An edited book:

During, Simon, ed. (1993). The Cultural Studies Reader. London: Routledge.

An article in an edited volume:

Harness, Lindsey M. (2017). “GLBT People and Social Media.” The SAGE Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. Ed. Mike Allen. London: Sage, 627-630.

An article in an academic journal:

Hall, Stuart (2006). “Black Diaspora Artists in Britain: Three ‘Moments’ in Post-war History.” History Workshop Journal 61.1: 1-24.

An article in an online academic journal:

Harris, Kaplan Page (2011). “Avant-Garde Interrupted: A New Narrative after AIDS.” Contemporary Literature 52.4: 630-657. Project MUSE, doi: 10.1353/cli.2011.0052.

An article from the internet:

Aitkenhead, Decca (2017). “Phoebe Waller-Bridge: ‘I Felt Strongly There was No Such Thing as a Slut”. The Guardian, 31 July, <https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/31/phoebe-waller-bridge-i-felt-strongly-there-was-no-such-thing-as-a-slut/>.

A film on DVD:

Small Island (2009). Dir. John Alexander. ITV Studios Home Entertainment.