What kind of reports will DES accept?

The editor will accept appropriate accounts of all forms of archaeological discoveries. It is preferable to submit entries in the year of discovery, but contributions may also be submitted up to three years later. They may cover:

Assessment (desk-based assessments should only be submitted if undertaken as part of additional work)


Watching brief


Geophysical or other field survey


Historic building survey

Palaeoenvironmental studies

Finds studies

Records of stray finds

Public access projects including Adopt-a-Monument


What is the text format and is there a deadline for entries?

Please supply contributions as a Word attachment via email, or submit your entry via the online reporting form.

Professional organisations should submit text in the format requested by the DES editor.

Individuals may submit text in the format of the sample entry below.

Contributions may be sent in at any time during the year. The final deadline for inclusion of contributions in the volume for the current year is 1st December 2013. Contributions received after that date will be included in next year’s volume.

All entries should acknowledge the contributor(s), organisation(s) and appropriate funder(s).

The contributors’ contact addresses will be listed at the back of the volume.

The editor will not accept anonymous contributions.

Contributions should be sent to Dr Paula Milburn at RCAHMS, John Sinclair House, 16 Bernard Terrace, Edinburgh EH8 9NX.

Email Paula.Milburn@rcahms.gov.uk


What is the format for photographs and illustrations?

We will include illustrations to accompany your entry whenever possible, provided they are of appropriate quality. We particularly welcome plans of large-scale excavations and surveys.

Please supply colour and black and white greyscale images as jpg files at a minimum resolution of 300dpi.

Black and white bitmap images should ideally be saved at 1200dpi, and no lower than 800dpi for optimum printing.

Do not embed images in Word files.

Please remember to include a caption and copyright information for each of your photographs / illustrations and information that will allow us to link the correct image to the correct caption.


What is the editorial process?

Copyright for text and images published in DES will rest with Archaeology Scotland. We are happy for people to retain copyright for their illusutrations/images and will acknowledge the copyright in the Journal. Entries will normally be added to CANMORE, the RCAHMS online database (www.rcahms.gov.uk), and the searchable DES map, which may be accessed via the DES project page on the Archaeology Scotland website.

Contributors should ensure they have copyright clearance for images not their own before submission.

The editor will apply the standards and conventions of these notes, as indicated in the sample entry below.

The editor reserves the right to shorten contributions. Because survey observations can be replicated, these are subject to heavier editing than excavation reports, which are records of unrepeatable work.

Negative reports (where no archaeology was found) should be as short as possible, but still contain sufficient information for readers to understand where, when and what the work covered.

Badly written, very long or controversial contributions may be returned to the contributor for revision.

Contributors will not receive proofs of edited contributions.

The contributor is responsible for the accuracy of entries, and all enquiries concerning content should be referred to the contributor. Contributors may be asked to verify their contributions. The editor will not enter into lengthy correspondence with contributors.


What is the basic format for entries?

[Local authority]


Site name [no full point]

Type(s) of project [no full point]  

Name of contributor(s) Name of organisation [no full point]

National Grid Reference (2 letters, 8 or 10 figures) [space] [Report] [tab] second and subsequent paragraphs

Location of archive and/or report [no full point]

Funder: [no full point]


Could you show me an example of an entry?

[Local authority]


Berry Burn Wind Farm

Evaluation and survey

Sarah-Jane Haston – Headland Archaeology Ltd

NJ 07032 46223 An archaeological evaluation was undertaken in July 2006 to ascertain whether there were any archaeological constraints upon the location of a turbine forming part of the Berry Burn wind farm. The proposed turbine location lies near the prehistoric field system at Rochuln (NJ04NE 3). Seven trenches were excavated, covering 392m2, equivalent to just over 5% of the available area. The present ground surface was at 310m OD. The trenches were excavated through varying depths of peat, and all came down onto natural sand with frequent boulders protruding from the bedrock. In some places an iron-pan had developed before the onset of peat accumulation. Large tree trunks were visible within the peat at depths between 0.4m and 0.7m. The evaluation identified three lengths of dry stone walling, comprising two separate structures lying on top of the natural subsoil and sealed beneath up to 0.7m of peat. Of unknown date or function, they may be associated with an early field system. All three features lie on the very E margin of the Turbine 30 location and c45m from the centre point of the turbine base. Three linear banks that lay outside the limits of the previous work undertaken by the RCAHMS (survey DC17478/PO) were surveyed.

Archive and report: RCAHMS (intended).

Report: Highland SMR

Funder: Entec UK

[Contact details for organisation / individual name – for contributors list]


Does the Journal have conventions?

Abbreviations and acronyms

Do not punctuate abbreviations or acronyms, eg RCAHMS, National Museums Scotland, mm, m, Fig

Use N, S, E, W, NE, SSE, E W, and N S for cardinal points and directions. Spell out northwards, southern etc in full.

Bibliographic references

It will not normally be necessary to provide references for entries in the DES county list.

References to previous DES entries for the same site should be in the form DES 2001, 92 93.

For other references follow the Harvard system. Cite the reference in the text as the author’s name and the year of publication, with page and illustration references. Provide a full list of references in alphabetical order at the end of the entry. Use the CBA journal abbreviations.

Take the title from the title page, not from the spine or elsewhere on the cover. The title should be transcribed exactly as to wording and spelling but not necessarily as to punctuation and capitalisation. This means that except for proper names, only the first word of a title should be capitalised and no full stop is necessary at the end of the title.


Cite dates as 30 July 1893.

Use the form 5th century, 3rd millennium.

Note that dates used as adjectives are hyphenated; 5th-millennium date, 18th-century moulding.

Use 1590s, 1930s. • Note the order 49 BC, but AD 1952.

Elision of dates should be to the shortest form consistent with clarity, eg 5-5 July, 1745-7.

Geographical references

To allow sites/finds to be located to the highest possible degree of accuracy National Grid references (NGRs) should be given as two letters and at least eight figures. Ten figure NGRs would also be most welcome.

Exceptions are treasure trove locations where the submitting body feels that a more ambiguous location is appropriate, or completed work where the locational information has already been submitted to DES.

Use current rather than historic local authority divisions (see map in this volume).


Use italics for the titles of books and journals, eg Discovery and excavation in Scotland, DES, Proc Soc Ant Scot.

Use italics for foreign words and quotations, eg c (for circa), terminus ante quem, honi soit qui mal y pense.

Numbers and measurements

Spell out the numbers from one to ten except in measurements. Numbers 11 and above should be numerals except where the context makes this awkward (eg at the beginning of a sentence).

Figures between 1000 and 9999 do not require a comma.

Where numbers appear in a sequence, use numerals, eg of 100 trenches, 74 produced white gritty ware.

Elision of numbers should be to the shortest form consistent with clarity, eg 254-8, 116-18, 196-203.

Cite measurements in kilometres (km), metres (m) or millimetres (mm). Use the unit that is appropriate for the accuracy of the measurement.

Do not use cm as they are not an SI measurement.

Do not leave a space between the number and the unit of measurement.

In a series of measurements using the same unit only the last measurement needs to be followed by the unit, eg 34 x 67 x 83mm.

The accuracy of measurements and the units used to describe them will not be comprehensively checked, and the responsibility for ensuring their accuracy rests with the contributor.


Short quotations should be enclosed in single quotation marks.

Lengthy quotations (more than five lines) should be indented, beginning a fresh line, and should not have quotation marks.


Spelling should follow the Concise Oxford Dictionary, preferring the first variants where offered.

Note the preferred spellings of the following words and phrases: 1st Edition OS annexe (noun) artefact cup mark datable dry stone gazetteer ground-breaking groundwork gully hollow-way hut circle land use medieval metal detecting millennium penannular planticrub ploughsoil posthole rig and furrow ring ditch roundhouse samian viewshed walkover wind farm


Contributions should be brief statements of work undertaken.

Survey information should be summarised.

Write simply and clearly.

Try to be interesting.

Avoid the use of the passive.

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