Author Guidelines



Entries should explain the significance of the topic and provide a clear and accessible description of the subject. Authors should sequence the presentation of facts and descriptions to engage readers, while avoiding overly involved or esoteric explanations. The goal is to inform readers by explaining the significance of the subject and providing basic information.


The entries and essays in The Oregon Encyclopedia will constitute a full picture of Oregon and will include luminaries as well as previously unknown people, places, and events. The Oregon Encyclopedia cannot publish autobiography, family history (unless members or events meet the criteria for significance), or promotional material (e.g., for businesses or products). Generally, authors will not write about their own families or businesses or events in which they were participants.

To establish significance, a topic must be strongly connected to the State of Oregon and meet one or more of these criteria:

  • constitute a contribution to Oregon culture

  • establish a basis for subsequent activities in Oregon

  • represent the spirit of an Oregon community, time, or place

  • represent events that were pivotal in a community's history

  • represent something unique or significantly inventive or creative

  • represent a national or international accomplishment or recognition


Entries must be submitted electronically through the workshop on The Oregon Encyclopedia website. Questions about that process can be directed to the editorial office at


All entries are subject to peer review, fact-checking, and copy editing. Authors have the opportunity to respond to reviewers' suggestions and to revise their entries. The editors reserve the right to revise the accepted entry for clarity, consistency, style, syntax, and punctuation.


There are five categories of entries: biography, events, place, institutions and groups, and biota. As much as possible, entries should include the following: 

Biography: Begin with what field of endeavor, talent, or skill makes the person important to Oregon. Provide a brief outline of the person's life, with specific reference to significant relationships to Oregon's history and culture. What are the person's principal accomplishments? What are the person's significant relationships to events, places, institutions, and organizations in Oregon? What is the person's legacy? What difference has the person made to Oregon?

Model Biographies: "George Aguilar, Sr.," by Jarold Ramsey and "H.L. Davis," by Glen A. Love.

Events: Describe the event and its time, location, and origin. What part in Oregon history did the event play? What led up to it? What organization(s) and individual(s) are associated with the event? Describe the aftermath of the event and its social, cultural, or political consequences. What is the event's legacy?

Model Events: "Hood to Coast Relay," by Joy Margheim and "Vortex I," by William G. Robbins.

Places: Describe the location of the place and its significance to Oregon over time. To what and to whom is it related? What economic, social, political, and spiritual importance does the place have for Oregon?

Model Places: "Mt. Hood Freeway," by Val Ballestrem and "Silicon Forest," by Craig Wollner.

Institutions and Groups: Describe the background and development of the institution or group. What is the significance to Oregon history and culture, including economic, social, political, spiritual, or aesthetic connections? What significant individuals, events, and places are related to the institution or group? What is the relationship to other institutions, agencies, places, and communities?

Model Institutions and Groups: "Ku Klux Klan," by Eckard Toy and "Oshu Nippo," by George Katagiri.

Biota: Describe the flora/fauna and its relation to Oregon. Describe its significance to the natural landscape, including references to agriculture, geography/geology, economics, weather, and aesthetics. What social impact does it have? How does it affect Oregon's food or fiber industries?

Model Biota: "Sugar Pine," by Frank A. Lang and "Port Orford Cedar," by Frank A. Lang.  


Documentation: Authors must include documentation for quotes and specific information. Include documentation as parenthetical notes (author, date, page number) and provide the full citation using the add source button. The references will be used in the review process to evaluate entries. Notes will be removed in published entries, with sources appearing at the end of each entry.

Suggested Readings: Authors should submit from three to five suggested readings using the add sourcebutton or in a "Note to Editor."

Audience: The Oregon Encyclopedia is a reference for general readers, teachers, and students. Authors should write for readers who have a range of ages and experience.

Originality: All essays and entries must be original and not have been previously published, either in print or on the World Wide Web.

Style: While authors are encouraged to write in their own styles, they should write clearly and concisely and make sure that entries are focused and lacking in ambiguity. Although entries should reflect the authors' professional judgment, they must be free of bias or personal opinion.

Controversial Topics: Where there is the potential for a topic to be controversial and no significant corpus of scholarly work is available, authors should handle the topic with fairness and respect.

Jargon: Authors should avoid using jargon and explain local or specialized terminology.

Quoted Materials: Entries can include quotes from the work of scholars and other experts (with a reference to a source), but long quotations should be avoided, along with quotations that require permission to reprint, such as poetry and lyrics.

Images: Authors are encouraged to submit suggestions for appropriate images (e.g., maps, photographs, artworks), film clips, and audio and video clips that could accompany their entries. Authors should submit captions and credits for all supplementary materials.

Style Guide: Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition