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Working Papers


Working Papers

The UCD Anthropology Working Papers Series consists of serial publications, dated and numbered, of the Anthropology Department of the University of Colorado Denver. Their content represents topics and approaches relevant to anthropology and its various sub-disciplines. The series is intended to aid the rapid dissemination of work in progress, research findings, and special lectures by researchers and associates of the Anthropology Department. The issues are available in electronic format through the Anthropology Department's public Web site.

For examples of working papers, see the linguistics association's site: and within that site the California linguistics notes: or the Summer Institute of Language's site:

Acknowledgement: thanks to for an initial template for this document. Accessed August 2003.

What is a Working Paper?

Working papers are research reports, technical papers, discussion papers, and occasional papers. Faculty, doctoral candidates, and others write working papers to help them articulate and develop new ideas, make a theoretical or practical contribution to an area of research or field of study, and disseminate their work professionally. Papers may include preliminary results of research that are not yet ready for publication in a professional journal; pieces that explore a topical or theoretical or methodological issue but may not be appropriate for a journal or are in the process of development; papers that present data but whose methods do not meet the rigor (e.g., evaluation projects) of a research journal in anthropology. Posters and papers delivered at a conference may also be published in this series.

Although the working papers series is an appropriate place to publish research results quickly and to explore ideas through scholarly discussion, it is not the place for rough drafts or poorly written or organized material or papers that are purely academic exercises for a class. Working papers do not include pieces published elsewhere or drafts of dissertations and theses. All research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by a Human Subjects Committee to be published as a working paper. A working paper may be subsequently expanded or modified to become a published book or article. Feel free to send a query letter briefly outlining your proposed article to the editor at

Are these considered "official" publications?

Yes, in that they have a formal citation with series name and issue number. The Anthropology Department will treat publications in the series as having formal status by listing such publications in its bibliography. As is the standard practice in the academic world, publication in the working papers series does not preclude revision and later publication in another outlet. In addition, papers in this series will be listed in AnthroSource, a comprehensive database maintained by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) listing everything in print (both hard copy and electronic documents) related to anthropology. Publication of working papers provides scholars with a wide audience and the ability to solicit comments earlier in the process of analysis and development of ideas than is possible with a journal article.

The citation for the first paper in 2004 might look like the following:

Doe, John, and Jane Doe. 2003. Community Challenges from the 2003 Denver Blizzard. Anthropology Working Paper #2003-01. Denver, Colorado: University of Colorado at Denver Anthropology Department. WWW: /anthro/workingpapers.

Who may submit papers?

Any person with a formal affiliation with UC Denver's Anthropology Department may submit a paper for publication in the series. This would include core faculty, affiliated and adjunct faculty, instructors, graduate students, undergraduate students, and research assistants. Papers from non-Anthropology Department members whose work is closely related to anthropology or who have worked with an Anthropology Department consultant may also be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

What is the review process for accepting a paper?

A committee of faculty in the Anthropology Department decides what to include based on their internal assessment and a letter from a reviewer. Before submitting a paper, the author should have it reviewed by a qualified consultant in the subject area, and then revise it to the satisfaction of the consultant. The consultant should provide a brief letter of recommendation indicating that they found it suitable for publication in the Working Papers series. If the author has no access to a consultant, then the submission may be sent in without a recommendation. The editors will obtain a consultant review, but this will make the publication process take longer.

What happens after I submit a paper?

The editorial committee will review the paper and the consultant's recommendation, verify that the submission falls within the scope of the series, and assess that the document's style and formatting are satisfactory. Although we recognize that most working papers are "works in progress" or otherwise not intended for publication in a peer-reviewed publication, acceptance is not automatic. The review process may result in communication with the author(s) requesting changes to fix problems with the paper, and may occasionally result in non-acceptance.

How do I submit a paper for the series?

Submit an electronic copy (e-mail, floppy disk, or readable CD) in Microsoft Word of the paper to:

Jean Scandlyn, Working Paper Series Editor
Anthropology Department
University of Colorado at Denver
Campus Box 103
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364
Tel: (303) 556-5765

All submitted papers must be computer readable and editable and must include an e-mail address or telephone number for contacting the author. We will not accept papers from hard copy only. If a nonstandard character set is used, the font must be included with the document file. It is the responsibility of the author to submit the paper in a workable format.

What style and format must papers use?

Papers in the series should use one of the styles for format and citations listed below. The only requirements are that the paper include an abstract (maximum 300 words), be of professional quality and internally consistent in following a standard academic style, and have a title page including the Anthropology Working Papers identifiers (see the sample title page and statement of purpose provided at the end of this document). Manuscripts should be as "clean" as possible as editorial assistance in the working papers series is limited. We recommend that submitted papers conform to one of these style standards:

  • American Anthropologist, American Antiquity, or American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • A major professional journal, publisher, or society
  • A general style such as Chicago or MLA

Authors should indicate in their cover letter which style they have used if it is other than one of the three anthropological journals, Chicago, or MLA. Documents will be converted to Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format). Papers must be submitted in electronic format in Microsoft Word as an attached e-mail document or on a floppy disk or readable CD.