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Notes of Guidance for Authors

The Neue Deutsche Biographie should be completed by the year 2023 in one further volume containing about 700 articles.

This means a limitation of the total number of biographies which can be included and a reduction in the length of individual articles. Authors are kindly requested to bear the following points in mind:

In general: Please avoid the use of abbreviations, as these will be introduced according to a standard list when the article is edited. Surnames should be accompanied by first names, as far as these are known; this applies equally to the names of authors, editors and artists in the lists of publications and portraits. This is particularly important where the surname is a common one, for example Fischer, Meier, Müller, Schmidt, Schulze or Schneider.
Please send the text via e-mail. Lines should consist of 65 characters including spaces. Words should not be divided, and a line should be left blank between paragraphs.

Please note in particular: as articles are printed continuously, the editorial board is obliged to keep to fixed deadlines. Having accepted to write an article, you are therefore asked, to complete and return the reply card as soon as possible and to submit your contribution by the agreed date. Please give your IBAN and BIC; this speeds up the payment of honoraria. lf no reply is received, or if deadlines are exceeded or reminders left unanswered, the editorial board may commission another author.

The author is responsible for individual articles, the publisher for the work as a whole. The editorial board reserves the right to standardise articles, as is the norm in reference works, and to shorten them if the text is longer than agreed. Significant alterations or additions are made in consultation with the author. Where disputes arise and no agreement can be reached, there is no obligation to print the article.

Before texts are sent to printing, the author receives a file of his or her article. This should be checked and returned to the editorial board within a maximum of three weeks. lf no corrections are received within this time, the article is deemed to have been accepted in its edited form.

On the structure of articles:

1. Full name (please indicate by bold type or underlining the name by which the subject was commonly known), occupation, date and place of birth, date and place of death, tomb, religious denomination.

2. Information on the family.

3. Career, achievements, critical evaluation.

4. List of works.

5. List of sources and secondary literature.

6. References to portraits.

7. Full name of the author.

1) Please give all variant spellings of surnames. Where appropriate, you should also give pseudonyms, pen names, stage names, and names taken in religious orders. When describing the subject's occupation please use terms which are relevant to his or her inclusion in the NDB, for example 'zoologist' rather than 'keeper of the natural history collection'.

2) In the section information on the family please give the names, dates of birth and death and occupations of the subject's parents, grandparents, spouse, spouse's parents, and children, as far as these are obtainable without too much difficulty. lt is also desirable to mention relatives who are of general interest and to give further references as appropriate. lf such details are not readily available, please inform the editorial staff early so that they can make their own enquiries. We are particularly grateful for information about living relatives, in view of the legal protection of personal data.

3) In describing the subject's career please mention those people who had a lasting influence on him or her. You may evaluate the subject's personality and achievements either in the course of the biographical narrative or at the end, though the latter will be the general rule. In every case the text should explain the subject's importance in his or her field and in its later development, and also how the subject was regarded by contemporaries and posterity. You should also mention any significant achievements or major activities outside the subject's normal occupation, as well as memberships, honours, titles and decorations.
The editorial board asks that articles should be written in a concise, lucid and generally accessible manner. Please avoid telegraphic style.

4) You may decide to include a critical evaluation of all or some of the subject's main works in the body of the article. Other significant titles can be mentioned in the list of works. You should always refer to published lists of works, even incomplete ones. Please give details of first and last editions and translations into foreign languages.

5) Please include a critical selection of secondary literature and extended obituaries. Available bibliographies should always be mentioned. Where applicable, a reference to the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie with volume number heads the list. Printed sources come next. These are followed by other publications - arranged in chronological order, except that works by the same author are not separated. Biographical and bibliographical reference works and encyclopedias are listed at the end. When citing articles from periodicals or collections you should give the author's name, the exact title of the article, volume number, year and page numbers. lf you have made direct use of archives, please indicate which ones.

6) As far as possible you should list important portraits of the subject, giving the artist's name, the year in which the portrait was made, and its present location. Portraits include oil paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, funerary and other monuments, medals, photographs etc. Where portraits appear in the publications listed under (4) or (5), this should be indicated by adding (P) to the references in those lists.

Translation by John Blundell (Thesaurus linguae Latinae)

edited by


(1) Aims of the NDB

(2) Secondary Literature

(3) Notes of Guidance for Authors

(4) Available Volumes

(5) Subject Areas

(6) Staff

(7) Indexes

(8) Authors

(9) Further Biographical Dictionaries

(10) Example of Biographical Articel

(11) Selected List of Biographical Collected Editions 1992 - 1997

(12) Further Links

(13) Further Digital Biographical Information

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Edited by:
Dr Bernhard Ebneth, Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Dr John Blundell, Thesaurus linguae Latinae

Technical supervision:
Percy Berktold

Site last updated:  2020, October 4th

Copyright (C) 1998-2020 Historische Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Neue Deutsche Biographie, Alfons-Goppel-Str. 11, D - 80539 München.