Cycle Publishing
Van der Plas Publications


1282 7th Avenue
San Francisco
CA94122, USA

Tel.: (415) 665-8214



Manuscript Guidelines

The following manuscript submission guidelines were prepared by Andrew Ritchie and Rob van der Plas, who between them have spent well over 2,000 hours in the frustrating process of editing the various papers submitted for the International Cycling History Conference Proceedings. They are equally important to adhere to for any other manuscript submitted for publication. Please follow them to the letter, and if they're not clear to you, contact us before proceedings.

The production of our Proceedings takes a huge amount of time and effort. We have estimated that a total amount of about 200 man-hours of unpaid labour goes into each volume: copy-editing, corrections, punctuation, formatting, design, layout, negotiating with the printer, proofreading, etc.

Please view your work for the Proceedings as an important part of a collaborative effort. You will help us considerably if you would read, digest and do your best to adhere to the following guidelines:

Deadline for Submission

The deadline for submission of typescripts for Proceedings is 3 months after conclusion of the conference to which they pertain.

This will be rather strictly adhered to. One month before this deadline, all contributors with outstanding papers will receive a reminder. Any paper not received by a discretionary period of about 1-2 weeks after the deadline will not be included in the Proceedings. We want to have an outstanding publication, but we cannot afford the time to chase contributors who are late with their submissions.


Your papers must be provided as a manuscript with separate illustrations (if applicable). The manuscript must be presented in a common word-processor format such as Word for Windows or WordPerfect for Windows. If you use a Mac or another computer (or another word-processing program than Word or WordPerfect), you must use the "save as" function and save the file in the appropriate format onto the floppy disk that you will send us.

Any illustrations must be separate (originals or high-resolution scans)--do not ever embed them in your text because that makes them unsuitable for our use.

Do not present presentation files such as PowerPoint or Filemaker. If you presented your paper using such a format, you must separate the text file as a word processor file and the illustrations as TIF- or JPG-files at 300 dpi resolution for photos or 1,000 dpi for line drawings (please note those numbers and do not assume what looks good on a computer screen will be suitable for print reproduction) or more before sending your materials to us.

Any tabular information must be submitted using the "table" function of your wordprocessor. We cannot deal with tables created using tab-stops in text form.

Keep the text file as simple as possible. Printed out, it should look like an old-fashioned typescript: Do not use special fonts (except italicized) for any purpose. We do the text formatting here and any formatting you apply makes our job much harder.

Writing style / Checking Your Text

There is usually a big difference between the verbal delivery of your paper and its written/published version. Actually, they are, and they should be, two different things. If you read your paper at the Conference, it tends to be stiff and over-formal; ‘chatty’ is generally good. But for the written version, you need to avoid being ‘chatty’, and formal considerations become much more important.

The most important thing for the written paper is a well-designed, well-expressed, well-structured argument, which spells out your points in a coherent, understandable form. Equally important is your use of sources and the accurate and persuasive documentation of your assertions and arguments. Avoid comments or asides in parenthesis, and try to avoid first person as far as possible.

Assume when writing that you are addressing a well-educated, general reader who is knowledgeable in bicycle history, so don't start off with a general history of the bicycle. On the other hand, you should not take a knowledge of technical things for granted, and you may have to explain some of them. We want to communicate with non-specialist readers, and to widen the scope of our approach, our inquiries and our research. We welcome historians from other disciplines, who will broaden and deepen our investigations and our discussion.

Your Own Editing

Read through your paper several times before submitting a final version. Keep asking yourself — “Have I expressed this as well as it can be expressed? Is it a well-organized, persuasive argument?”

Correct spelling mistakes; punctuate (especially with commas); put quotation marks around text which is quoted from an original source, so that the editor knows it is a quotation. For our contributors whose native language isn’t English, please try, if you can, to get a native-English-speaker to check your text with you - it makes our editing task easier.

Length of Paper

The length of the article should be not more than 3,500 words. Please stick carefully to this word limit, as otherwise the Proceedings becomes too big and expensive to produce. Articles submitted over this word limit will be cut ruthlessly.

Endnotes / References / Acknowledgements

Our expectation of you all, as historians, is that you document your text and your historical account, and provide evidence of your sources. An article submitted entirely without reference material and/or notes is likely to be returned to the writer to have them added, or it might be excluded entirely.

Our ‘house style’ is to include notes and reference material as endnotes (a number appears in the text, and the relevant note is printed at the end of the article). We don’t print references in the body of the text, as is done, for instance, in sociology and psychology journals.

Endnotes should, if possible, be indicated in your text with a raised numeral (which is done automatically in most wordprocessors if you use the footnote function correctly). Alternatively, just put a number [(1), for example] in the appropriate place in your text. Note numbers can even be hand-written. But the notes should be numbered and inserted as endnotes. It is very time-consuming for the editors to have to take reference material out of the main body of the text and create endnotes. Sometimes, however, when an article addresses one single issue, or examines one object, a brief list of References, without numbered endnotes, will be adequate. You can use your wordprocessor’s footnote/endnotes generation method because our software will pick up those footnotes and we can convert them to endnotes.

Acknowledgements should be included as a brief, separate statement at the end of the main text (but before the endnotes).

Illustrations / Captions

Illustrations should be submitted in as good, clean and sharp form as possible. Good quality color photocpies are usable, but they must be made on a high-quality machine — it makes a huge difference. Pictures should be numbered, and a numbered caption sheet should accompany them so the editors know which caption belongs to which picture. Captions are very important in explaining the picture and relating it to the article — a caption can be several sentences long as long as it gives the essential information such as "who, what, where, when, and why"). Just as with the text, the sources of all pictures should be given.


We need and want your articles. The value of the Proceedings consists in their scope and variety. We will struggle with your contribution to improve it and try to make it as good as possible. However, we also have editorial standards to uphold, and we have an editorial veto which we may occasionally have to use. The fact that you delivered a paper verbally and submitted a written version does not automatically guarantee its publication. If we withhold publication, it will be for a good reason and we will explain why.

If you have more questions, please contact Rob van der Plas directly by using the "contact us" tab on the left.


Despite our earlier warnings, we are still getting files that are just copied straight from your computer. That's not the way we can use your files, because all sorts of information gets corrupted that way. The correct way is to proceed as follows:
1. Place an MS-DOS formatted floppy disk (or Zip-disk or CD if you don't have a floppy disk drive) in the appropriate drive to make the copy you want to submit.
2. Select the wordprocessor program and the file you want to submit.
3. Under "File," select "Save as" and then select either Word 97 for Windows or Word Perfect for Windows
4. Select the disk drive you will be copying to.
5. As a file name, enter the appropriate name of the file you want to submit (e.g. the first three letters of your family name and a number).
6. Save.


OK, the digital age has caught up with us, and it is now possible to submit papers by E-mail. However, for us to be able to use materials submitted that way, you must do the following:
1. Do not make your text and images part of the E-mail message. Use the E-mail for a note to us and send the materials as attachments to that E-mail message.
2. Create separate files for text (saved in MS Word for Windows or Word Perfect for Windows format) and images (saved as highest-quality JPG-files at 300 DPI resolution for photos, 1,000 DPI for line drawings.
3. Send us an E-mail and attach these various files. If there are more than 3 images, send separate E-mails with no more than 3 images attached to each.

More Guidelines
For the efficient and accurate publication of papers, it is critically important to follow very specific guidelines in the written presentation of your papers and submission of illustrations:

To show you how the finished product you submit should look, please click here [sample manuscript] for a sample text in the correct format. Then look at a printed copy of the Cycle History 15 Proceedings to see how that same text was finally included in the printed book (it is the contribution by Paul Rubeson, starting on page 87). This is the way your manuscript must look before you can submit it, and if it doesn't, it will be returned to you for reformatting (if you have sent it early enough) or will be rejected altogether (if it is late)

All papers must be presented as a paper printout and as a wordprocessor file on an MS.DOS-formatted floppy disk (not as an E-mail attachment) in a standard word processing format for MS.DOS/Windows. You must save your file as a either WordPerfect or Word for Windows file. (Yes, even if you have written your paper on a Mac, you’ll have to save it in one of those formats using the “save as” function—see your manual on how to do that)

2. All illustrations must be provided as original art or very high-quality color photo copies (yes, even if the original is black & white, the copy must be made as a color copy to preserve the tonal gradations that get lost in standard black & white photocopying). If you do scan the illustration yourself, it must be scanned at 1000 dpi if it is a line drawing or at 300 dpi if it is a halftone (photo). Believe me, what looks fine on the Internet at 72 dpi looks unacceptable in print. Attach a caption sheet to the back of each illustration (or as a separate file if it is scanned) and give the following information on it:

a. Your name
b. Identifying number for the illustration if you submit more than one
c. Caption text, which must contain all important factual information (date, place, subject, source)
d. Source

If you present illustrations in the form of color slides, make sure they are sharp and bright enough for clear reproduction (very important if you are copying art containing large areas of white space from e.g. a book using automatic exposure control: set the film speed for half the actual speed of the film used, to avoid the picture becoming dark, muddy grey.)

3. The text must be typed straight down the page, without use of indents at the beginning of a new paragraph (instead, use double spacing between paragraphs).

Do not define your font or use different fonts for any part of the text, except OK to use italics for things that need to be in italics for emphasis or as literature sources.

Don’t center any text, don’t fully capitalize any text, don’t make any text bold, don’t select any differ
ent fonts.

If any text has to be presented in the form of a table, do not try to make that table with tab stops. Only use the word processor’s “table” function for tables (This is very important: we will have to reject your paper if you do not adhere to this)

For more details, please refer to the following section, which is part of Vander Plas Publications’s author guidelines for general books

Van der Plas Publications Author Guidelines

Your manuscript should look the way it would look if it had been done on a typewriter. Type the text straight without any formatting (no bold type, no centered type, no fully capitalized words, no different font styles or sizes). It’s OK to use italics where appropriate (names of publications), but you may only italicize by selecting the text that has to be italicized and then clicking “control” + “I”. If you think something does need emphasis, you may use the underline function, and we’ll convert it to an appropriate type style when the book is being typeset.

Do not indent the first line of a paragraph and don’t use tab stops for any other purpose either. Distinguish between paragraphs by leaving an extra blank line between paragraphs and between titles and the first paragraph of a section.

Tabular information must be provided by using the“ table” function in your word processor, NOT by using tab stops. Even if you can get something that looks good enough for a manuscript using tab stops, it doesn’t translate into typesetting and we have to redo the entire table in tabular format, which takes a lot of time and may introduce errors.

All papers must include a 50-word summary of its content ( emphasizing your findings or conclusions, if any) and a bibliography identifying all sources of the information used in your paper—
The bibliography must adhere exactly to the style shown in the sample manuscript (Endnotes).

Since our books are sold both in the U.S., in the UK, and in other English-speaking countries, we use moderated American English and we ask you to keep that in mind when writing. Don’t use references to American popular culture, whether sports, television, or otherwise (expressions derived from baseball analogies, such as “step up to the plate” “fielding questions,” etc. are meaningless outside the US.)

As far as style and form are concerned, please strictly adhere to the following:
Use serial commas in lists with and (apples, oranges, and bananas — NOT apples, oranges and bananas).

Use only a single space after any punctuation mark and never any space between the preceding word and a punctuation mark (“It is true: we blew it! Don’t you agree?” — NOT “It is true : we blew it ! Don’t you agree ?”)

Titles of books and periodicals are in italics and without quotation marks. Only titles of articles within books and magazines are placed in quotation marks (and then not in italics)—
Use only double quotes (“, “ — NOT ‘,‘) both for verbal quotations and for the title of an article in a book or periodical. Single quotes are used only for quotes within quotes. (e.g. He said, “There was an interesting article titled ‘The End of the World as We Know It’ in a recent issue of Scientific American that I read at the dentist’s.”

Place the closing quotation mark outside (after) the final punctuation mark (He said, “yes.” —NOT He said, “yes”.). British and other non-U.S. authors, please note: this is the style required for publication in the U.S., which we follow and you can save us a lot of work and trouble by doing it this way in the first place.

Don’t use exclamation marks anywhere in your text except when quoting a text that contains one, and only use quotation marks where you’re actually and accurately quoting something said or written by someone else.

Don’t use abbreviations except for units (m for meter, ft. for feet, sec. for seconds) and always leave one blank space between the number and the units ($ 100, 24 in., 60.2 m, 12 hp). Note that in US usage, there is a period (full stop) after non-metric units such as ft., sec., etc.), whereas metric units never have a period following them (except if they happen to be the last thing in a sentence.). Spell out units like “degrees” that would otherwise require a special symbol. Do not abbreviate anything else (no, not even the months of the year or the days of the week when referencing periodicals). Other commonly used abbreviations, such as i.e. and e.g. are OK, but please use the U.S. method with periods, not the English method without periodns (NOT ie, eg, Mr, Mrs, etc, and so on, but i.e., e.g., Mr., Mrs., etc.)

Any number with fractions must be represented with a dash between the whole number and the fraction part (1-3/8 — NOT 13/8). If you are using a PC, use the correct code to create the most common fractions (holding down the Alt key while typing the code number (e.g. Alt-0188 for ¼, Alt-0189 for ½, and Alt-0190 for ¾). Unfortunately Macs are not good at creating special characters like these, and other special characters tend to get lost or mixed when transferring from a Mac disk to Windows format, so in that case, you’ll have to use the form 1-1/2 etc., even for these common fractions.)

Represent punctuation dashes (called M-dashes) as two hyphens with a space before and after (“It is — at least so I think — a matter of style.” NOT “It is-at least so I think-a matter of style,” and NOT “It is - at least so I think - a matter of style”).

Represent from-to dashes (called N-dashes) as two hyphens without a space before and after (23--38, NOT 23-38 and NOT 23 - 38). In the finished, typeset document, these will be replaced by the respective correct symbols.

When quoting a reference by its page number, leave a space between the “p.” or “pp.” and the number itself (and don’t forget that period after the p or the pp, which are lower case letters, not capitals: “e.g. Roberts, p. 93,” NOT “Roberts, p93,” “Roberts 93” or “Roberts P93.”)