Contributor guidance


All entries must follow the Template and be submitted using the Stippub Content Management System (CMS).  The Template is available for download below.  If you have not received login details for the CMS or a copy of the ‘CMS Manual for Contributors’, please contact the project team.

All the information you need to write your entry can be found on this page.  A pdf version of this information, along with the Template, Referencing Guide, and Example Entries, is available to download below.


Before writing your entry

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You have been invited to write an entry because of your specialist knowledge, about the author of the works on which the entry is based, the period in which they were written or the geographical area from which they come. 

As an expert, your first task upon receiving an invitation is to judge whether you think the work is relevant for Christian-Muslim relations.  Please assess the work using the following criteria, and contact your Section Editor if you have any queries.

Inclusion will depend on an affirmative answer to either question 1 or 2 below, and also to at least one of questions 3-10.

  1. For 18th century works, did the author die before the end of the year 1800?
  2. For works before 1914, was the author’s main or best-known period of activity before 1914 (this will allow well-known authors from the early 20th century who did not necessarily die before 1914 to be included)?

 3. Is the work entirely or substantially devoted to a description of aspects of the other faith?

 4.Is the work entirely or substantially devoted to an evaluation of the other faith?

 5. Is the work entirely or substantially devoted to a comparison of the two faiths, or an explanation, or defence of one faith for the other?

 6. Does the work contain noteworthy accounts of conversion, cooperation or persecution?

 7. Is the work a theology of interfaith relations in which Christianity and Islam feature?

 8. Is the work an account of new encounters between Christians and Muslims? (e.g. Christians meeting Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa; Methodist Christians discovering Sufi Muslim slaves in America. CMR records the first encounters between the faiths, even when they are not substantial elements of works.)

 9. Does the work contain new or significant interpretations of aspects of the other faith, or aspects of the author’s own faith in light of the other?

 10. Does the work include positive appreciations of the beliefs or practices of the other faith?

Unless works have definite (not incidental) religious characteristics, application of these criteria are likely to exclude automatically such works as travelogues, military, trade, geographical or architectural histories.

Writing your entry: general information

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3.1 The Content Management System

Once you are satisfied that a work is relevant for the project, we strongly recommend that you compose your entry in the Word Template provided before uploading it to the Content Management System (CMS). To ensure compatibility, please use Arial Unicode MS (or another Unicode font).  Remember to save work regularly. You may find some of the fields on the CMS have been prefilled, e.g. the name of author and/or works, dates, language. Please check this information and edit it as necessary. If you have not received login details for the CMS or a copy of the ‘CMS Manual for Contributors’, please contact the project team.

3.2 Language

Contributions should be written in UK English (if this proves impracticable, please contact your SE). For spellings, reference should be made to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary 11th edition. In general, words of foreign origin should be transliterated and/or italicised, with the exception of words that have become familiar through usage; these should be treated as English words, and not italicised or transliterated (e.g. Qur’an, Hadith, Safavid, Mughal).

3.3 Dates

All dates should be given according to the Common Era calendar (e.g. 1524, 1729, 1865) without CE or AD. Dates from the Hijri and other calendars should only be included when they give relevant additional information, e.g. the exact date of someone’s death according to original sources. In general, only year dates are required (no days or months, unless these are particularly significant). The exception is when giving dates of birth and death, where accuracy is necessary (see 4.2.4 below).

Indicate sequences of dates as concisely as is compatible with clarity, hence: 1764-72 (not 1764-1772); 1822-5 (not 1822-1825).

3.4 Transliteration

All non-Roman script should be transliterated according to the Library of Congress guidelines: The main exceptions to this are Arabic and Ge’ez. For Arabic, follow the system used in The Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān and Encyclopaedia of Islam THREE. Contact the Project Research Officer John Chesworth if you are in doubt about transliteration.

3.5 Capital letters

Use capital letters sparingly. For titles of books and articles, use capitals only for the first word and proper nouns (e.g. Hindi, Peter, Greeks, Moscow). Hence:

C. Hillenbrand, A Muslim principality in crusader times, Leiden, 1990

Give personal titles, such as ‘king’, ‘sultan’ and ‘pope’, without a capital, except when they are used in association with a particular individual. Hence: ‘When sultans wrote to King George V, they usually received courteous replies, though the Sultan of Mysore was offended not to hear quickly from the king.’

3.6 Non-standard entries

The standard format on the CMR template and the Content Management System follows the pattern: section on the Author, followed by section(s) on their work(s). However, in some cases it makes more sense to group works of the same type together into cluster entries, e.g. generic court or diplomatic correspondence.  For entries of this kind, please see Guidelines 4.2.15 ‘Cluster entries’, and contact your Section Editor for further advice regarding how to structure your material.

Writing your entry: author section

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This section provides information about the author or organisation that has produced a work. For anonymous works where there is no information about the author and there is no debate about the authorship, leave this section blank.

4.1.1 Display name

Give the most common short form of the author or organisation’s name, e.g.: Leo Africanus. This is the name that will form the title of the entry.

4.1.2 Full name

Give the full version of the name, plus common variants, particularly any in languages other than the original, e.g.:

Al-Ḥasan ibn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Wazzān al-Fāsī; Yuḥannā al-Asad al-Gharnāṭī al-Fāsī; Johannes Leo Africanus; Johannes Leo Medici; Giovan Lioni Africano; Joan Lione Granatino

4.1.3 Date and place of birth/death

Give the date of birth/death of the author, or the date of foundation/disbandment of an organisation, as accurately as possible, including day and month if known

Use the format: day (as a cardinal number) month (as a name) year, with no punctuation: 1 July 1723, 24 April 1833. Use Common Era dating. Estimated dates should be given as follows:

Approximately 1824 (or about 1903)

Before 1742

After 1724

Between 1811 and 1813

If the date is unknown write: Unknown, though it is preferable to give a year or period, even if it is only general, e.g.: ‘Latter part of the 17th century’, or ‘Early 18th century’.

The entry in the Date of birth / death field should be brief. Any discussion about uncertainty or disagreement over either of these dates should be mentioned at the beginning of the Biography section.

For Place of birth / death, give the town if known, or the region or country when the town is not known. If the name of the place has changed, give the name used in the author’s time and add the name currently used in brackets, e.g. Batavia (Jakarta). If necessary, give Unknown. Again, if there is any uncertainty or disagreement about the place or birth and/or death, refer to this at the beginning of the Biography.

4.1.4 Biography

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The purpose of the biography is only to give an outline of the main points in the life of the author or the organisation, covering upbringing/development and main activities. It should include any discussion among scholars about uncertainties over dates or places of birth and death. It is not intended to be an exhaustive account of the author or organisation. It should normally not be longer than 500 words at the very outside, and will usually be much shorter.

Refer to any major works by the author that are not treated in the Source section of the entry (e.g. refer here to Shakespeare’s sonnets and his plays of different kinds, while reserving detailed treatment of Othello for the second part). Make special mention of the author’s works that have an indirect bearing on the subject of Christian-Muslim relations but are not discussed in full in the Source section of the entry (e.g. an itinerary to Cairo that is mainly topographical and says nothing significant about Muslim beliefs or morality).

For an organisation: provide details of its founding, the names of significant individuals connected with it, any changes of name, amalgamations with other organisations, and its main aims as set out in any official charters or statements, particularly mentioning any of relevance to Christian-Muslim relations.

When referring within the text to works that are listed in full under Primary and Secondary sources, use the format: author surname, short title, page(s) (if required), e.g. Watt, Muslim intellectual, pp. 27-32. 

4.1.5 Primary sources (earliest studies)

List the main works that feature details about the author written during their life or just after. These may include personal correspondence or other works in which the author gives biographical details, and also works by others that refer to the author, but they should not be a simple list of the author’s works. Add any brief annotations that readers might find helpful in brackets after each, e.g. (Voltaire’s correspondence about the Ottomans in Egypt). Some overlap with sources cited in relation to the author’s works on Christian-Muslim relations is often inevitable.

This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and should normally be restricted to the 5-10 sources that form the basis of later biographies.

Primary sources should be listed in chronological order of the appearance of their original version (not of any modern editions).

4.1.6 Secondary sources (modern studies)

This list should include the main scholarly studies on the author since about 1950 (although earlier works that are still regarded as significant should also be listed). These may include important discussions about primary biographical information, new biographies and articles or book chapters about details of the author’s life, or of the development of the organisation. An overlap with the works cited later under source literature is often inevitable. The list is not intended to be exhaustive, and should normally be restricted to no more than about 10 key sources.

Secondary sources should be listed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent studies at the top of the list.

If there is an authoritative biography of the author or history of the organisation, list this in its chronological place and add a note in brackets to the effect, e.g. (the fullest and most authoritative biography/history, listing the most important earlier sources).

The distinction between primary and secondary sources may become blurred, especially with respect to later authors. In such instances, list all main works in the primary sources field.

Writing your entry: source section

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The Source section provides information about works on Christian-Muslim relations, and is the most important part of the entry. Each relevant work by the same author should have its own separate source entry.

4.2.1 Short original title

Give the standard or an appropriate short title in the original language, transliterating non-Roman scripts according to the Library of Congress transliteration systems for most languages except Arabic and Ge’ez. For Arabic, follow the system used in EI3. Contact John Chesworth, for a copy of the transliteration system for Arabic and Ge’ez.

With long titles, give a standard short form that you intend to use in the text in the Description and Significance fields, e.g. Instrucción del Arzobispo de Granada

4.2.2 Full original title

Provide the full title of the work in its original language, e.g. Instrucción del Arzobispo de Granada en respuesta a cierta petición que hicieron los vecinos del Albaicín sobre lo que debían hacer y las prácticas cristianas que debían observar

4.2.3 Alternative title(s)

List any well-known alternative titles for the piece, including those in other languages, transliterating non-Roman scripts. You can add new fields by clicking the ‘Add’ button to the right of the field in the CMS, and delete them by pressing the red X button.

4.2.4 Short title in English

Give an accurate translation of the short title, following the original as close as possible.

4.2.5 Full title in English

Give a translation of the full original title.

4.2.6 Modern English title(s)

Provide any other titles by which the work is commonly known in English. You can add new fields by clicking the ‘Add’ button to the right of the field, and delete them by pressing the red X button.

4.2.7 Date

Be sure to fill in this box. Give the date when the work was completed as accurately as possible, even if you have to estimate a date or period of composition. This is very important, because the entries will be ordered in CMR1900 according to the date of the source (or in the case of more than one source from an author/organisation, the date of the last to appear). If the exact date is unknown, write: ‘Approximately’, ‘Before’, ‘After’, or ‘Between …and…’.

Please only include dates in this field. Any explanations or discussions about disputed or estimated dates should be given in the Description field (e.g. ‘The fact that in work Y the authors refers to work X indicates that Y was written after X’). 

4.2.8 Original language

Select the original language from the drop-down menu. If the language is not listed, select ‘Add language’, and make a note in the Comments field at the end of the entry.

To add multiple languages, keep the Control (Crtl) button (for Windows users) or the Command button (for Mac users) pressed while selecting the required languages. If there is any uncertainty/debate about the original language, mention this in the Description field.

4.2.9 Description

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This is one of the most important sections of the entry. It should take the form of a short essay that gives a full descriptive account of the work and the contents that are connected with Christian-Muslim relations. It should cover the following aspects of the work wherever possible: 

  • Discussion of the date, if this is disputed.
  • Full title and alternative titles, if disputed.
  • Authenticity, if in doubt.
  • Circumstances of writing, including original language, if this is under debate.
  • Length: give the number of pages and specify whether this is based on a manuscript or on a modern edition, e.g. ‘In Smith’s edition it comes to 80 pages.’ If the work deals only partially with Christian-Muslim relations, indicate the length of these specific sections, e.g. ‘In Zayd’s edition, which totals 350 pages, the analysis of Christian teachings occupies 30 pages.’
  • Structure and contents of the work as a whole, described briefly, e.g. ‘The work is divided into four main parts, each comprising a different number of chapters.’
  • Structure and contents of the Christian-Muslim elements, including the themes covered in the work, e.g. Incarnation, the corruption of the Bible, the authenticity of the Qur’an, conversion to Islam. The focus should be on the religious and/or spiritual character of the author’s account, as opposed to the purely political or historical.
  • The thematic relation of this work to any earlier and later works by same author.
  • The relationship of this work or any elements within it to works by other authors.
  • If the work is not extant, give references to works in which it is mentioned and described.

4.2.10 Significance

This also is a very important section. It should provide an evaluation of the significance of the work in the history of Christian-Muslim relations and its influence on later thought, and give details of any later works that draw on it.

  • Give an account of the significance of the work in the light of the development of Christian-Muslim relations at the time it was written.
  • Mention its similarity to, and possible dependence on, earlier works, and its original features.
  • Mention any original (or derivative) treatment of the main themes of Christian-Muslim relations contained in it.
  • If possible, mention its reception, its influence on later works, and its relevance for present-day Christian-Muslim relations.
  • Comment on significant terms and uses of language, e.g. how some Portuguese works on India refer to Muslims as ‘Moors’, or Spanish works use the term miḥrab for altar.   

4.2.11 Publications

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In this field, list any unpublished forms of the work, e.g. manuscripts or archives, followed by published editions and translations. Separate unpublished from published editions and translations by a single line space. Editions and translations should normally be given in a single chronological list (not in two separate lists).

Manuscripts and other unpublished resources (e.g. archives, letters, diaries):

List all known sources. But if there is a complete recent survey of these (maybe in the introduction of a scholarly edition), refer to that instead, and give the relevant page numbers.

List the sources according to date, starting with the oldest, and add the known or estimated date of each in brackets. The date is very important; if it is not known, give (Date unknown) and place this item at the end of the list.

For examples of referencing manuscripts and archives, see the examples in Guidelines 5.4.12 and 5.4.13.

Editions and translations

Give a full list of editions and translations, including partial editions and translations. Completeness is of extreme importance here. If the title of a publication does not reveal whether it contains an edition, a translation or both, please give an explanation for this in brackets, e.g.

E. Montalto and R. Giustiniani (ed. and trans.), Diario dell’assedio all’isola di Malta. 18 maggio-17 settembre 1565, Rome, 1965, Genoa, 1995 (Italian trans.)

Other relevant comments can also be added in brackets, e.g. (most complete critical edition), (Russian paraphrase), e.g.

F. Alvares, Historiale description de l’Ethiopie, Antwerp, 1558 (pirated edition of the 2nd vol. of Historiale description de l’Afrique above)

Reprints of the same edition need not be noted, unless a recent reprint of an old work makes it easily available, e.g.

A. Stewart, The wanderings of Felix Fabri, London, 1897 (repr. New York, 1971; incomplete trans.)

Any later editions (as opposed to reprints) should be indicated by superscript numbers as follows: 19592, 19673. Indicate the edition referred to in the text of the entry after the date of the original publication, as in the following example:

M. Haas, Huldrych Zwingli und seine Zeit. Leben und Werk des Zurcher Reformators, Zurich, 1969 (19823)

Here 19823indicates that the third edition of the work, published in 1982, was used in the preparation of this entry.

List editions and translations in one single list (do not give two lists) in chronological order of their publication, with the earliest first.

4.2.12 Studies

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List all monograph studies, book chapters and articles on the work, as well as substantial encyclopaedia entries, from 1950 onwards, together with pre-1950 studies that remain relevant. Studies in which this work features in any significant way should also be referenced, even if the work is not the main topic of the study.

Do not list studies that discuss the work’s general historical context unless they make specific reference to the work itself. When the work is not the main subject of a study, give the numbers of the pages that refer to it.

In the case of very well-known works that have attracted an unmanageably wide literature, give a judicious list, and include any publications that list earlier studies.

List studies in reverse chronological order, with the most recent at the top. Again, if any studies are particularly pertinent, add a brief comment in brackets.

4.2.13 Keywords

The Keywords function is no longer used with CMR.

4.2.14 Comments and extra keywords

Use this field to list any languages that do not appear in the dropdown lists, or any other minor matters you wish to draw to the editors’ attention.

4.2.15 Cluster entries

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‘Cluster entry’ is the term used for entries that deal with material that does not fall into the standard format of one Author and his/her work.  We use them to bring together works from the same genre, or to discuss a number of works which may not be of major importance individually, but when discussed together reveal an important attitude or trend.

Cluster entries may be formatted in a number of ways; please contact your Section Editor, or the Research Officer Dr John Chesworth to discuss which option will be most appropriate in your case.  A couple of suggested formats for a cluster entry, along with examples of previous entries, can be found below.  

The most important thing to remember is that cluster entries follow the same general format, and referencing rules, as a standard entry.  In particular, we do not accept footnotes.

Example 1: Sixteenth century anti-Turkish literature in Poland and Lithuania (Stanisław Grodź, Volume 7)

  • Biography section of the entry template not used, as not appropriate for this topic - all of the content is given in the Description section which begins with an introduction to the topic.
  • A large number of relevant works are discussed chronologically (subsections on Early 16th C Works, Later 16th C Works).
  • A handful of authors and works are discussed in more detail, a paragraph or two devoted to each.

Example 2: Pseudo-epigraphic correspondence with the Ottoman sultan (Daniel Waugh, Volume 8)

  • Biography section is again not used
  • 10 of the most relevant works are listed
  • Brief discussion of the works as a group (rather than individually) and how they are relevant to CMR

Example 3: Jesuit reports on India in the 17th century (Charles Ramsey, Volume 11)

  • This entry focuses on 5 authors, and so the Biography section is used to give a brief introduction explaining how the authors relate to each other, followed by short biographies (2-3 sentences) of each author
  • In the Description section, each author (and their associated works) are discussed in turn

Deadline and editorial process

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The deadline for your entry is 6 months from your acceptance of the invitation to contribute. It is extremely important to adhere to this. Please contact the project team if you encounter any delays or difficulties.

Once you have completed your entry, please upload it to the Stippub Content Management System using the log-in details and instructions you were sent at the time of commissioning.  Make sure to move your entry on to the Section Editor (SE). In submitting an entry you consent to its being published.

After submission, entries will be reviewed by a number of members of the project team. Entries may be subjected to extensive editing to bring them in line with CMR format and style. The project team members may contact you to discuss your entry or with a request to revise or reshape it. In exceptional cases we maintain the right to reject an entry. 

You will be sent a proof of the entry before it is published so that you can make corrections as necessary. Your name will appear as contributor at the end of the entry, denoting your final responsibility for what is included in it.

Once the volume is printed, you will receive a digital offprint of your entry along with details of your access to Brill's online resources.