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Short Communications and Technical Notes

Short communications and technical notes are typically used by scholarly journals as a way of rapidly disseminating very significant findings that are of broad interest to the research community. Since scientific research moves at such a fast pace and the work of researchers from different institutions might overlap, short communications offer the possibility of reporting first on a specific topic. Conservation and collection care professionals may also want to quickly share a technique or emerging research that may benefit the field.

Technical notes can also serve a similar role as "tips sessions" in a conference setting, providing insight on a new technique or practice, or describing a significant modification made to existing equipment or a particular method. These papers may also present new data that support a novel and exceptional conservation treatment. The characterization of an unusual material in a cultural heritage object or its unexpected aging behavior could also qualify as a substantial contribution for a short communication.

Short communications provide a brief description of a very significant scientific or practical development and usually do not include detailed background information or extensive presentations of results and discussion. The work reported must be technically rigorous, innovative, and unique.  

However, short communications should not be misinterpreted as a method for publishing preliminary results. They can be considered for publication only if the results are of outstanding interest and are particularly relevant for the conservation community. The most common problems found when reviewing a short communication include: lengthy manuscripts, too many irrelevant details, excessive references, and most importantly, lack of evident advancement of the field of conservation. It is essential that an author evaluate the content, structure, and impact of a submission before making a proposal for its consideration as either a technical note or short communication. 

The structure of a short communication is similar to that of an original article.

Submissions should:

  • Include a short abstract, a brief introduction, a materials and methods section, and a brief results and discussion part. The end of the article should include any acknowledgments, sources of materials, references, and author biography.
  • Contain no more than 3000 words including abstract, captions, and references.
  • Limit the number of figures and tables altogether to 4, unless the article contains instructional figures needed to replicate a method.
  • No more than 10 references need be included.
  • If necessary, exceptions to the above rules can be made after an initial evaluation of a particular submission.
Authors will be contacted if their paper does not conform to the proposed guidelines, and will be asked to summarize further or reclassify the submission as a full-length research paper. Please feel free to contact us if you believe that a very important and time-sensitive aspect of your research can be presented as a short article in JAIC.

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