Guidance for contributors to The Coat of Arms

Method of submission

Electronic  submission is mandatory; email Footnotes should be embedded, the text normal spaced. If possible, please submit as a word for windows file (.doc or .docx) in Times New Roman font 12. There should be no active hyperlinks in the footnotes.

Books for review  should  be posted to the Editor at the Society address.


In submitting a paper the author permits  the Heraldry Society  to republish it at a later date  either  whole or in part  in any medium. This will automatically include online publication as a pdf one year following paper publication.

Provision of illustrations

Authors are responsible for ensuring that illustrations that they provide are free from copyright restriction, or alternatively should provide documentation that copyright permission has been granted. The editor is happy to advise in cases of difficulty. Only in very exceptional cases will the journal pay reproduction fees.

Series 4 of The Coat of Arms places a large emphasis on the inclusion of high quality colour illustrations. If you are unable to provide such illustrations, that does not preclude publication, but your paper might be looked upon less favourably. You are advised to discuss with the editor. Illustrations should be provided in electronic format as .jpeg files.  Ideally they should be at high resolution of 300dpi. Most digital cameras by default save images at less than 100dpi. This resolution is acceptable providing the size of the image is large. Files less than 200kb in size when compressed as jpeg files are unlikely to be of sufficient resolution. Large files can be sent to the editor freely using


These should be kept to a minimum, and no quotation should be more than 200 words.

Format of submissions

The editors would gratefully appreciate any effort made by authors to conform to the conventions described in the detailed guidance on citation style, and abbreviations. You will find our standard abbreviations in each journal and also on this site.

Style of Blazon

The house style is that tinctures are  in the lower case, excepting that the first word is capitalised. Blazon should be rendered in italics. For example:

Argent billetty a lion rampant sable.


General acknowledgements and thanks should appear in the final footnote of the article, appended to the last word of the main text. Individuals may be thanked for specific points, such as provision of references, in a footnote at the relevant point in the article.

Citation style in CoA

Citing books, examples:

Sir Anthony Wagner, Heralds of England (London, 1967).

C.T. Gatty, Mary Davies and the Manor of Ebury, 2 vols (London, 1921).

Wilhelmine Harrod and the Revd. C. L. S. Linnell, Shell Guide to Norfolk, third edn. (London, 1966).

Long titles may be silently shortened at first citation, if there is no risk of confusion in doing so. Thus

Pierce Egan, Life in London, or the Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn, Esq., and his elegant friend Corinthian Tom, accompanied by Bob Logic, the Oxonian, in their Rambles and Sprees through the Metropolis (London, 1821).

could equally well appear as

Pierce Egan, Life in London, or the Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn, Esq., and his elegant friend Corinthian Tom (London, 1821)

or even

Pierce Egan, Life in London (London, 1821).

When a book re-appears in a specific page or other reference, a sensible short title should be used, though if no other work by the same author is cited in the article the surname may be used with the abbreviation ‘op. cit.’. If several pages have intervened since the last citation of the work in question, it may be a courtesy to the reader to refer back to the note where the full reference appears. Thus:

Wagner, Heralds of England, p. 45 / Wagner, op. cit. p. 45.

Wilson, The Gothic Cathedral, fig. 33 / Wilson, op. cit. fig. 33.

The abbreviation ‘ff.’ to indicate more than two pages should be avoided, as it is essentially vague.

When a book (especially if a renowned classic) has gone through many editions, a standard one should be introduced and referred to thereafter. In such cases, a full-title citation is not necessary even at first citation:

The Earl of Clarendon, The History of the Rebellion (Oxford, 1826).

Clarendon, Rebellion vol. 3, pp. 162f.

In many situations, however, especially in regard to works of literature and to ancient or medieval works, a well-established internal system of reference is to be used. In such cases, anything more than a very cursory citation will seem pedantic:

Dickens, Bleak House, ch. 12

Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI, iii. ii. 14

Tacitus, Annals xiv 22.

Citing articles

Articles in journals and other single contributions to multi-authored works should be cited in the following form:

Glyn Daniel, ‘Edward Lhuyd: antiquary and archaeologist’, Welsh History Review vol. 3 (1966), pp. 345-59.

Thomas Woodcock, ‘Baronies by writ and the Barony of Grey of Codnor, its history and the investigations involved in having it called out of abeyance’, in Debrett 1995, pp. 5-16.

P.Barber, ‘Maps and monarchs in Europe, 1500-1800’, in Royal and Republican Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe: Essays in memory of Ragnhild Hutton, ed. R. Oresko, G. C. Gibbs and H. Scott (Cambridge,1997), pp. 75-124.

When cited a second time, an article may be referred to by author’s surname and title (or a short version thereof). Thus:

Daniel, ‘Edward Lhuyd’, p. 351

Woodcock, ‘Grey of Codnor’, pp. 13-16

Barber, ‘Maps and monarchs’, p. 77.

Use op. cit.  to refer back to previously cited articles, rather than  art. cit..

Citing law cases

Legal conventions should be used for citing law cases but not articles on legal topics, even when they appear in professional journals. Thus:

Bromley v Tyron [1952] AC 265

Stjerna v Finland (1994) 24 EHRR 195.


G.D. Squibb, ‘The end of the Name and Arms Clause?’, Law Quarterly Review69 (1953), pp. 219-25.

Citing manuscripts

When a manuscript source is cited the archive or library should be given first, making full use of the standard abbreviations and any abbreviations used internally by the archive or library to designate its collections:


British Library BL Ms Lansdowne 6 fo. 221;   BL Add Ms 12484 fo. 11;
Bodleian Library Bod. Ms Eng Top 121 fos. 44-56;
Society of Antiquaries Soc. Ant. Ms Tillotson 221 fo. 45v;
College of Arms CA Ms Vincent 126 fos. 21v-23r.
National Archives TNA: WO97/2312.
County Archive West Suffolk RO E2/22/2

For a list of recognised abbreviations for commonly cited texts please click on the line below to open the pdf:

Coat of arms abbreviations