Skip to content

Editorial Guidelines

The American Alliance of Museums has several publishing avenues:

  • The Alliance blog provides the museum community with a place to share stories and insights, in their own voice, reaching thousands of people across the global museum field.
  • The Center for the Future of Museums Blog shares musings on the future of museums and society.
  • Museum magazine is our bi-monthly, award-winning magazine, and addresses the issues and challenges facing museums today.
  • The AAM Press, in partnership with its publisher Rowman & Littlefield Press, publishes books on museum-related topics.

We welcome contributions from anyone with a profound interest in museums. Note that we do not currently provide monetary compensation for most of these opportunities and do provide editorial support and promotion for our authors and their institutions.

What’s the process?

  • Submit your story idea using the Idea Submission Form.
  • We’ll get in touch with you within two weeks regarding the editorial fit of the idea.
  • If the idea is approved, we’ll work with you to develop a schedule for submission and publication.

We love timely, well-written, and well-informed pieces on issues that help museum professionals do their jobs better and that highlight the importance of museums in today’s society. We welcome ideas that are relevant to or have implications for museum practice. We are especially keen to share your experiences and thoughts regarding AAM’s 2016-2020 strategic goal and focus areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; education; financial sustainability; thought leadership; global thinking; advocacy; and excellence. We’re also happy to consider sharing stories originally published elsewhere with a note and a link to the original article.

Articles should incorporate the following features/qualities

Get conversational

Articles should be conversational but professional and must contain clear, timely information. Spell proper names correctly and give a person’s complete job title in the first reference.

Be concise

Use active voice. The average length of a blog article for the Alliance blog is 900-2000 words, but we welcome longer reads. The average length of a CFM blog post is between 800-1000 words. Museum magazine pieces vary in length depending on the topic.

Consider the AAM audience

The Alliance represents the broad scope of the global museum community, including museums of all kinds, historic houses and sites, science centers, zoos, and aquariums. The best articles will have themes of some relevance to the breadth of the field.

Links are good

Embed hyperlinks in the appropriate word or phrase and link to web pages associated with institutions, resources, people, or projects when first mentioned. Links to other relevant blog posts or articles related to this subject are great, too.

Pictures are great

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Please provide images to accompany your article or blog post (and make sure you can give us the rights to publish it, of course). We love photos with people in active settings.

For either of the blogs:

  • Provide at least one larger landscape (horizontal) photo or graphic to use as the feature image at the top.
  • Provide a smaller image of yourself to add to your author profile.
  • Submit photos as JPEG files and include photo credits.
  • You can also submit links to YouTube or Vimeo and we can embed these in your post.

Identify yourself

Please provide your name(s) and titles/affiliations and up to five sentences about you that we can adapt for a short bio, similar to this. Provide any Twitter @names or hashtags (yours or your institution’s) that would also be appropriate to include. By identifying your institution, you agree that your employer is aware of any content you provide to us for publishing.

Avoid promotional messages

Do not promote or advertise products or services from which you personally benefit.

For the blog’s mini style guide

  • Use only one space after periods.
  • Use single spacing.
  • We review posts before publication for style and grammar – we reserve the right to edit posts to conform to our style sheet and these guidelines.
  • We will give you a chance to review and approve.
  • Follow the Chicago Manual of Style.

The fine print

All authors retain copyright and grant AAM non-exclusive rights to publish and share submitted articles on its various publishing platforms. We ask that if you repost or republish your article elsewhere that you please include a line that reads, “This piece originally appeared on the American Alliance of Museums website on [DATE],” including a link to the original article.

We will not publish any content deemed offensive, threatening, defamatory, or otherwise inappropriate in our editorial judgment.

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of AAM or its employees.

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
Log In

We're Sorry

Your current membership level does not allow you to access this content.

Upgrade Your Membership

Subscribe to Field Notes!

Packed with stories and insights for museum people, Field Notes is delivered to your inbox every Monday. Once you've completed the form below, confirm your subscription in the email sent to you.

If you are a current AAM member, please sign-up using the email address associated with your account.

Are you a museum professional?

Are you a current AAM member?

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, and please add to your safe sender list.