Style sheet for authors

Visit the help section for a more detailed account of the journal’s editorial principles.

Orthographic principles

The orthographic rules in the language of the article are generally to be followed. Still, some concessions are requested to the general American/English style choices (see e.g. “punctuation in titles” below).

  • Abbreviations: Periods should be used after most abbreviations. Common abbreviations from Latin, such as “c.”, should not be italicized.
  • Quotation marks, citations within citations
    • “Articles in English: ‘citation’ in citation.”
    • „Artikel auf deutsch: ,Zitat‘ im Zitat“.
    • ”Artiklar på svenska: ’citat’ i citat.”
  • Ellipse: Ellipse is marked by three dots: “…”
  • Typefaces:
    • Metalinguistic words (such as names, terms, and words from a foreign language) should be put in italics. Italics can also used when emphasis is absolutely necessary.
    • The editors prefer “futhark” to fuþark.
      Bold face should be avoided except for transliterating runic inscriptions.
    • Preferably neither underlining, nor expanded spacing, nor SMALL CAPS (except in some standard runic transliterations) should be used.
  • Linguistic notation, examples/rules:
    • The word word means ‘word, statement’. Old Norse steinn ‘stone’ occurs often.
    • The individual Svæinn bears the name Sveinn.
    • Proto-Nordic, Runic Swedish, Old Danish: macrons for length (i.e. rūnaʀ)
    • Old West Nordic/Old Norse: acute for length (i.e. rúnar)
  • Names: Historical names, e.g. of people named in inscriptions or of rune-carvers, should in English articles be written in their historical nominative form. In Old Norse length markers should be kept, e.g. “Hafgrímr’s letter to Þórir fagr”; in Proto-Nordic and East Norse, authors may choose to drop macrons in names in the running text (e.g“the rune-carver Asmundr who bears the name Āsmundr”) or to keep them, but this must be done consistently. The use of the historical forms in articles in Scandinavian languages and German is also recommended.
  • Punctuation in titles: The use of colon between title and subtitle (library standard) and likewise between heading and subheading is recommended also for articles in German and the Scandinavian languages, where instead a period can be used.
  • Page and number ranges: The abbreviation “ff.” should not be used, but inclusive numbers specified. The last two digits should always be repeated. Examples:
    • 13–15, 132–43, 132–235, 132 f.; 1984–86
    • 7,000–8,000 should be written, thus not 7–8,000.
    • In German and the Scandinavian languages complete numbers may be written out, e.g.:
      132–143; 1984–1986
  • Years, examples: A.D. 175, A.D. c. 175–225, 210 B.C.
    1600s is preferred to 17th century
  • Hyphens: English is flexible in its use of hyphens. The editors require consistency, and prefer as examples the following forms:
    • runestone, but rune-stick, rune-carvers
    • Viking Age, also in: a Viking Age runestone
    • loanwords


The periodical uses a modified Harvard system for references. A comma separates the year of publication (or an abbreviation for a work) from the page reference or a volume number; a colon separates a volume number from a page reference. References are to be included in the text, usually in parentheses or partially in parentheses. Examples:

  • Williams 1990, 30
  • Williams 1990, 31, note 6
  • Williams 1990, 44–48, 58
  • Barnes and Page 2006, 255; Barnes, Hagland, and Page 1997, 23
  • Wolfgang Krause (in Krause and Jankuhn 1966, 12)
  • Syrett 2002, 1: 106–08.

References may be sorted chronologically by the first title of each specific author:

  • Williams 1993, 85–87; 2000, 83; Knirk 1995, 27

For some works other reference systems might be more applicable, especially for medieval sources, e.g. Haralds saga harðrá ða, ch. 12 (Heimskringla 3: 92–93).

Arabic numbers, not roman numerals, should be used for volume numbers.

Here are some references to common editions: SRI, 8: 235; DR, Text, 802–05; NIyR, 6: 97.

Avoid special bibliographic abbreviations from a specific field. All abbreviations for works should be explained in the bibliography.


Sigla for runic inscriptions should as a rule be included. The whole siglum should always be written out: U 212, U 213 (not U 212–13). Sigla are not italicized. The sigla in the Samnordisk runtextdatabas can be used.

Information concerning sigla should be included in the bibliography.


Note that the choice of language for the article determines the language of the bibliography. Thus, for example, “ed.” should be used in the bibliography in an article in English, even if one is referring to a book in German, e.g. “Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde, founded by Johannes Hoops, ed. Heinrich Beck et al.”.

Bibliographies for articles in German and the Scandinavian languages should try in general to follow the style for the English bibliography.

For the form of the bibliography a modified version of the recommendations in the Chicago Manual of Style is employed. Information concerning the publisher is, however, not necessary.

Sample bibliography

Antonsen, Elmer H. 1975. A Concise Grammar of the Older Runic Inscriptions. Sprachstrukturen, ser. A: Historische Sprachstrukturen 3. Tübingen.

Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.

Barnes, Michael P. 1997. “How ‘Common’ Was Common Scandinavian?” In Germanic Studies in Honor of Anatoly Liberman, ed. Kurt Gustav Goblirsch, Martha Berryman Mayou, and Marvin Taylor, 29–42. NOWELE: North-Western European Language Evolution 31/32. Odense.
[The abbreviation “ed.” stands here for “edited by”.]

Barnes, Michael P., and R. I. Page. 2006. The Scandinavian Runic Inscriptions of Britain. Runrön 19. Uppsala.

Grønvik, Ottar. 1985a. Runene på Eggjasteinen: En hedensk gravinnskrift fra slutten av 600-tallet. Oslo.

—. 1985b. “Über den Lautwert der Ing-Runen und die Auslassung von Vokal in den älteren Runeninschriften.” Indogermanische Forschungen 90, 168–95.

—. 1992. “Rök-innskriftens sibbi. ” Maal og Minne 1992, 145–49.

Knirk, James E. 1977. Review of Antonsen 1975. Maal og Minne 1977, 172–84.

—. 1984. Review of Skrifttegn og symboler, by Kai-Erik Westergaard (Oslo 1981). Scandinavian Studies 56, 397–98.

Stoklund, Marie, Lisbeth M. Imer, and Rikke Steenholt Olesen. 2006. “Arbejdet ved Runologisk Laboratorium, København.” Nytt om runer 19 (2004), 4–10.

Woolf, Greg. 2000. “Literacy.” In The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 11: The High Empire, A.D. 70–192, ed. Alan K. Bowman, Peter Garney, and Dominic Rathbone, 875–97. 2nd ed. Cambridge.


The main font used for printing the journal is Linux Libertine O (Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic). Download Linux Libertine for free here. Alternatively you might use any other Unicode font (e.g. Arial unicode, Lucida unicode, Junicode etc.).

The following fonts are to be used for runes and runic transliterations


For transliteration of runic inscriptions, the editors of the periodical recognize the existence of two established standards: (1) the Swedish (Samnordisk runtextdatabas) standard, and (2) the Nytt om runer standard. Either standard is acceptable for use in articles. The author must, however, choose one system and be consistent. Two main differences are: remains of an unreadable rune (Swedish: , Nytt om runer: ?) and lacuna (Swedish: , Nytt om runer: — [em-dash]).

One of these standards should also be used for the transliteration of Old English runic inscriptions (and not the system devised by R. I. Page).

The German standard with x standing for remains of an unreadable rune should not be used.

For transliteration of Latin epigraphic sources, CAPITALS are to be used, without citation marks.


Acceptable file types for illustrations are .psd (preferable), .tif, or .jpg (preferably to be avoided) with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi, preferably 600 dpi for line drawings. Computer-drawn illustrations should preferably be submitted in a vector format such as .eps, .svg, or .ai. If text is added to an illustration, a “clean” version of the illustration should be submitted as well.