EOL Author Guidelines and Help

2 September, 2003. Subject to revision.


Ethnomusicology Online (EOL) seeks high-quality scholarly and general submissions in ethnomusicology and related disciplines, especially but not exclusively submissions which take advantage of the multimedia and hypertext capabilities of the World Wide Web. Articles for the online scholarly journal will be peer-reviewed. General articles on any ethnomusicology subject will not be peer-reviewed. Reviews, reports, dissertation abstracts, and other contributions will be edited in consultation with authors. First preference goes to submissions of high intellectual quality, whether or not they incorporate multimedia.

Scholarly manuscripts submitted to EOL should be original works not previously published elsewhere. Substantial revisions of previously published material with the electronic multimedia/hypertext format of EOL in mind will be considered.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to include copyrighted material in any article or review published in EOL. Authors unfamiliar with the preparation of audio, graphic, and video files for use online may contact Assistant Editor Joseph Getter for help.

EOL manuscript format

Manuscripts submitted in text-only format should clearly show the location and content of multimedia illustrations. Please number all illustrations and refer to the number in the text. Multimedia files should be submitted with the manuscript whenever possible; a concise description of their content can be substituted when necessary.

Authors capable of doing so may submit completed HTML pages after consulting with the Editor. Authors should design the format of their submissions to EOL with the context of reading on the Web in mind. Some readers will read the entire article online; others may download the files to read off-line. In both cases, the size of individual files is an important consideration. Shorter articles should be contained in a single HTML file with links from a table of contents to individual sections. Longer articles should be divided into smaller files and linked by an opening page. The size of inline graphics files (see "Graphics" below) should be kept small. Larger graphics, audio, and video files can be accessed through links in the main text and displayed by auxiliary programs. See previous issues of EOL for layout and binary size and format.

Authors are invited to experiment with this new medium. A Web publication can simulate a conference presentation. Include audio, graphics, or video illustrations just as you would in a conference paper. Provide a brief description in the text of what each multimedia example is meant to illustrate.

Web articles need not be limited to the conference presentation model. Hypertext links (non-sequential or multiply-branching texts) free the author to experiment with non-linear and user-directed pages. Browse the Web and get a feel for the possibilities. Netscape and MS Internet Explorer browsers will reveal the Document Source codes when you wonder how the author programmed a page you like.

Footnotes should be linked to a Notes page. Use the hypertextual linking capabilities of Html to provide a link to the Notes page and a link from the Notes page that returns the reader to the position of the note in the main text.

Links to other Web documents at EOL or anywhere on the Web can be included. As more scholarly publications become available on the Web, authors can offer readers the choice of a citation, a quotation, or a link to the complete article.

HTML and browsers

Documents on the World Wide Web are usually text-only documents in HTML (hypertext markup language) format. HTML commands embedded in the text tell the World Wide Web browser program how to display text and make links to other documents or media. Browser programs include Netscape,  Microsoft Internet Explorer, Lynx, and others.


Chaozhou thumbnail map

Web browsers generally display graphics in one of two formats: gif or jpeg. For color or black-and-white photographs, use jpg. For music scores, simple line drawings, and other simple black-and-white artwork, use gif. To produce a gif image, use a graphics program that can save images either in gif format, or in a format (such as Macintosh's PICT or PhotoShop) that can be converted to gif format with shareware programs such as GIFConverter (available at the major Mac shareware sites). Include the file size and type of all graphics in the text, along with a short verbal "alt" description of the content for those using text-only browsers (the "alt" command allows authors to include a short verbal description in the link to a graphic, audio, or video file; look for it in the HTML sources cited above). You can link a large graphics image to a thumbnail inline graphic in the text. Thumbnail graphics should be about 100x100 pixels. Large graphics exceed 400 pixels in width only when absolutely necessary.

sound icon Audio

Selection, length

Please avoid the mistake of offering an audio selection without a clear purpose. Are you making an analytical point or simply giving an impression of a style? Whatever your purpose, think carefully about where to choose the selection and how long it should be. Avoid confusing the reader with vague editing, or burdening the reader's slow Internet connection with unnecessarily large audio files. Most musical points can be conveyed with audio files of twenty or thirty seconds.  Please discuss with your editor any proposal to use audio files of more than sixty seconds.

Capturing, editing

Various audio editing programs can capture, edit, and convert an audio sample for EOL presentation. I recommend CoolEdit software for capturing and editing on Windows machines; Mac folks, please ask Macniks for a recommendation. Normally, you can record at 22kHz bandwidth sampling rate, 16-bit resolution, single channel (monaural). Set your input levels at least 15% below peak levels before recording, center the waveform after recording, and optimize the peak level to 85%. Edit for length. A fade-out at the end of each selection will give it a  professional sound.

MP3 conversion

Inline audio files for EOL currently use MP3 (MPEG) format. I get best results by saving the edited file in CoolEdit in WAV format, then converting to MP3 with MusicMatch. Convert at 32 Kbps bitrate.


Please number your examples consecutively, e.g., Audio 1, Audio 2, in the text and match those numbers in the captions for each audio link.


If you do not have local access to technical help and equipment, consult your editor for assistance.

video icon Video

Video files for EOL should be in QuickTime format, "flattened" if from a Mac.

A Thumbnail video sample and a still graphic thumbnail should be included using 160x120 pixels, 10 frames-per-second. Accompanying sound for the thumbnail should be 8-bit, sampled at 11kHz. Use Cinepak Codec compression. The editors suggest a maximum time length of 10 or possibly 20 seconds for the larger video files, but warn authors that filesizes quickly become prohibitively large quickly. A 160 x 120 "quarterpage" video clip of seven seconds is 0.5 MB and will take at least sixty seconds to download with a 14.4 modem. Compare that with a 320 x 240 "full-screen" file of nine seconds, taking 3.8 MB and needing nearly four minutes to download on the same modem. A brief fade-in from black and fade-out to black will give a more professional look to the excerpt, as will a corresponding audio fade-in and fade-out in the video clip. The file size and type (.mov) should be included in the text and an "alt" description included in the link. If local help is not available at your institution, the editors can assist with capturing and editing QuickTime files for EOL.

Sending multimedia files

Please do not attach large binary files to email message to EOL editorial staff. Instead, we prefer that you post them to a public access web directory and email us the URL.

Submissions and Technical Support

As a first step, authors should send an abstract to EOL Editor Karl Signell <signell at umbc.edu>.  Reviewers and publishers with review items should directly contact the Review Editor <eolrevuz at umbc.edu>.

The next step is to make submissions available for evaluation by the editors and for peer-review in one of the following ways:

  • text and accompanying media files on the author's local World Wide Web server
  • electronic mail
  • PC or Mac diskette

Accepted submissions will be prepared in HTML format ideally by the author or if necessary by the author and editors in collaboration, and published on the Web from EOL's server and its mirror sites.