Practicing Anthropology


Practicing Anthropology is a career-oriented publication of the Society for Applied Anthropology. Its overall goals are:

  • to provide a vehicle of communication and source of career information for anthropologists working outside academia
  • to encourage a bridge between practice inside and outside the university 
  • to explore the uses of anthropology in policy research and implementation
  • to serve as a forum for inquiry into the present state and future of anthropology in general.

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Editorial Board & Staff

Editorial Board & Staff


Advisory Board

Lisa Jane Hardy, Editor 
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ

Editorial Assistant

Caroline Mende
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ
Erve Chambers
University of Maryland (emeritus)
Elizabeth Farfán-Santos
University of Houston College of Medicine
Heather Fernandez
Red Rocks Community College
Sandhya Ganapathy
St. Lawrence University
Bonnie Marquez
Center for Health Equity Research
Sharon Moses
Northern Arizona University
Anita Puckett
Virginia Tech 
Heather Reisinger
(CADRE - Iowa City VAHCS)
Gwen Saul
New York State Museum

Production Editor

Copy Editor

Melissa Cope
Society for Applied Anthropology
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Lori Buckwalter
Society for Applied Anthropology
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Information for Authors

Information for Authors

Practicing Anthropology (PA) is a career-oriented publication of the Society for Applied Anthropology.  PA strives to be a participatory publication.  Authors are invited to submit special issues and individual articles for review.

All contributions published in Practicing Anthropology reflect the views of the authors and not necessarily viewpoints adopted by The Society for Applied Anthropology, the institutions with which the authors are affiliated, or the organizations involved in the journal's production.

Practicing Anthropology Blog

We encourage you to visit the Practicing Anthropology blog at for up to date information on guidelines for authors, blog posts about recent articles, and news items of interest.

Articles, Photos, and Other Materials


Write articles for PA in an interesting style that maintains readers’ attention. The length should be roughly 3,000- 4,200 words including all bios, references and tables (if applicable). The number of references should not exceed 12. Citations should be in Chicago Manual style. Please insert page numbers. Include:

  • 100-150 word abstract

  • Up to three key words that describe the central topics covered in your article

  • A one-paragraph bio containing the author’s affiliations, research activities, and email address (or other contact info if preferred) and a picture of the author.

  • Multi-author submissions require bios and pictures of each author.

We prefer articles written in first person narrative style with no passive voice

We do accept and encourage visual images to accompany submissions. Submit images with filenames and add [figure 1] etc. within the manuscript to show where the images should appear. Photos should be submitted in the .gif or .jpeg format. Please make sure that we have captions for your photos. Captions should be included at the end of the Word manuscript file.

Submit manuscripts and accompanying material to the submissions manager.

Creative Submissions

Practicing Anthropology is now accepting submission of creative work written by anthropologists and collaborators. Creative submissions should relate in some way to social scientists conducting fieldwork and/or engaging in the practice of ethnographic and mixed-methods research.

Submissions can be visual pieces, flash fiction, non-fiction, fieldnotes/field notes, first person reflections or narratives, poetry, children’s stories, or other creations. Written work should be brief and may not exceed 3,500 words.

Creators of accepted pieces will maintain a Creative Commons License allowing for reprints and use with a note that it was published first in Practicing Anthropology

Include relevant information on permissions including photo release and informed consent documentation if the submitted piece was created within the context of fieldwork.

Send creative submissions, accompanying images where applicable, and a picture of the author[s] through our submission manager, here. If you have any questions during the process, please send an email to with the heading Creative Submission. We will respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible. Creative pieces do not require an abstract.

Special Issues

Practicing Anthropology welcomes suggestions for special editions on topics about applied or practicing anthropology.  Potential guest editors are encouraged to contact the editors and reach an agreement in principle about the topic(s) and theme of 8-10 articles for a full issue, or 4-5 for a partial issue.  Please submit abstracts, 1-2 page proposals, or samples of papers already written (e.g., conference papers).  After the agreement is reached, the special issue editor works closely with his or her colleagues on the papers making sure all submissions fall within the guidelines listed above.

The special issue editor submits articles to the Practicing Anthropology editors for review.  After review, the Practicing Anthropology editors will work with the guest editor and authors regarding revisions of content, style and grammar.

The special theme editor will also work with the PA editor on the introduction and in selecting a cover photo for the themed issue.


PA is dedicated to publishing work from many different authors from different backgrounds and positioned in different projects and locations from new community researchers to senior researchers in the field. We especially encourage first time authors who are practicing anthropologists or work as community partners on projects that use ethnographic and mixed-methods research and practice. We are happy to work with new authors on developing ideas and manuscripts for the journal. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions at all. We are here to communicate with you even if you have no idea how publishing works.

Community Engagement and "Companion Authored" Submissions

We are interested in continuing to include content that demonstrates community-engaged work. Social scientists who decide to submit work to PA should carefully consider who they list as collaborators and co-authors. When we receive submissions from authors who are writing about collaborative work we will be interested in how you write about collaboration and how you include multiple authors in your manuscript. We encourage submitting companion pieces that are not “co-authored,” but are “companion authored.” Companion authorship means that two or more people author pieces that come together under one introduction. See PA Spring 2019 issue for examples of companion pieces.


We would like to publish work in multiple languages. Authors have the opportunity to submit work in English and translated into another language. We can assist with Spanish translation of short articles in some cases. Get in touch to discuss options if you are considering publishing your work in multiple languages. 

We strongly encourage submissions from authors around the world who are from historically underrepresented and oppressed groups including but not limited to Black, Indigenous, People of Color authors, authors from across the gender spectrum, authors who are from regions of the world with few educational and publication resources, authors asking important critical questions about power and representation, and authors who have never published before.


Submissions are always welcome. We will notify authors of production deadlines once a manuscript has been accepted for publication.

Practicing Anthropology is now using a submission manager. Submission manager link here.

Please contact editor Lisa Hardy or editorial assistant Caroline Mende at for more information.

Style Guide

Style Guide

References are placed in the body of the text. The citation is placed in parenthesis, with the author's name, year of publication, and page cited: (Stedman 1982:1322). Punctuation is placed outside the parenthesis. Specific page citation is mandatory for a direct quote, or when referring to a paraphrased statement that is found only in a very specific place in a cited text. The page may be omitted if the reference is to the general theme of an entire work. If the citation refers to more than one work, list the works in alphabetical order by the author's name and separate the items by semicolons. For example, (Bolin 1987a, 1987b; Goodell 1985; Nesman 1981).

Works by one, two, or three authors are cited by using the full names, e.g., (Welch, Greathead, and Beutel 1985). But works with four or more authors are cited as e.g., (Acheson et al. 1979). The coauthors' names are given in full in the References Cited list.

References Cited should be alphabetized by author's last name. Every item referred to in the text must appear in the Reference Cited list. Do not include any item in the References Cited if it has not been cited in the text. Multiple items by the same author are listed chronologically. Multiple items by the same author having the same publication date are alphabetized by the first word of their titles and distinguished by (a), (b), etc.

The layout of typical references is as follows:

Burton, Frank
1978 The Politics of Legitimacy. London, United Kingdom: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

De Walt, Kathleen M.
1983a Income and Dietary Adequacy in an Agricultural Community. Social Science and Medicine17(23):1877-1886.
1983b Nutritional Strategies and Agricultural Change in a Mexican Community. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press.

Ellen, Roy F., ed.
1984 Ethnographic Research: A Guide to General Conduct. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press.

Huamoni Coba, Nanto, and Enqueri Nihua
1992 Huaorani Letter to Maxux President. URL:<gopher://> (December 23,1996).

1996 Tras la descertificación, Colombia enfrenta una incertidumbre económica. URL: (September 16,1996).

Nash, June
1976 Ethnology in a Revolutionary Setting. In Ethics and Anthropology: Dilemmas in Fieldwork. Michael A. Rynkiewich and James P. Spradley, eds. Pp. 148-166. New York: Wiley.

Reynolds, Paul D.
1972 On the Protection of Human Subjects and Social Science. International Social Science Journal 24(4):693-719.
1979 Ethnical Dilemmas and Social Science Research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Stuart, James W.
1977 Subsistence Ecology of the Isthmus Nahuat Indians of Southern Veracruz. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Riverside.

Please note the patterns of spacing, indentation, capitalization, and punctuation; note also the order in which items of information within a reference are placed. Use a hard return after the author's name. Use a standard tab before and after the date. Double space between all references.

An institution that serves as an author is written out in full, followed by an acronym. The acronym alone is used in the citation. For example, the full reference is:

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)
1986 Statistical Review 1985. Sacramento: State of California.
But the citation would be: (CDFA 1986).

Be sure to indicate inclusive pages and volume numbers for articles in periodicals, and inclusive pages and name of editor for articles in anthologies.

For all other questions regarding style of references-particularly such matters as government documents, unpublished reports, materials in languages other than English, please consult the Chicago Manual of Style 15th edition, 2003.

Direct quotations of five or more typed lines must be indented from both left and right margins. Do not use quotation marks. Give the reference for such a quotation in the sentence immediately preceding, if at all possible. Omissions in a quotation are indicated by ellipses (three spaced dots); the third dot does not substitute for a period.

The final authority on spelling will be Webster's Third New International Dictionary. In a direct quotation, however, the original spelling is followed, even if it is incorrect. An incorrect spelling is indicated by [sic].

Acronyms do not carry periods. Very familiar acronyms may stand without explanation (e.g., UN, USA, USAID, EEC), but unfamiliar titles are written out in full at first mention, followed by a parenthetical acronym that is used thereafter, e.g., Strawberry Processing Advisory Board (SPAB).

Numbers from one to nine are spelled out; all others are expressed as numerals, including such constructions as 5,000 (rather than "five thousand"). A number expressing percentage is written as a numeral followed by the word "percent" (e.g., 5 percent, not "5%" or "five percent"). Monetary expressions are to be written as numerals and symbols (e.g. $8,000, not "eight thousand dollars"). Provide U.S. dollar equivalents for all other currencies, if at all possible. Century designations use numerals, and "century" is not capitalized (e.g., "18th century"). A decade is referred to as "the 1980s" (not "the 1980's or "the eighties"). When inclusive pages are cited, no digits are omitted [e.g., (Burton 1978:164-179)], but when a span of years in a single century is indicated, the first two digits of the second number may be omitted (e.g., "1965-80"). If a number begins a sentence, it must be written out.

Common units of measurement are left in abbreviated form; numbers associated with such abbreviations are left as numerals (e.g., 6 km., not "six kilometers"). Use metric units whenever possible.

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