FAQs

Is my manuscript subject to SI’s Public Access Plan?
The plan applies to most federally funded research results authored by SI scholars. Find out if it applies to your manuscript here.

What types of publications does SISP publish?
SISP publishes research and other scholarly and educational contributions of Smithsonian curators and researchers, including open access monographs and edited collections, and scholarly books, including exhibition catalogs, collection catalogs, and reference works. 

Who is eligible to publish through SISP?
See “Who Is Eligible” on the How to Submit page.

Are SI scholars required to submit their manuscripts to SISP?
No. SISP is an optional publishing outlet.

Do SI scholars have to obtain approval from SISP to go to another publisher?
SI scholars do not need SISP’s approval to go to another publisher.

If my manuscript is not yet complete, should I submit a proposal to SISP for consideration?
Submit a proposal if your manuscript will be completed within 24 months.

Do I have to submit a proposal before I submit my completed manuscript?
No. Submitting a proposal is an optional, early step. If ready, you can submit your completed manuscript.

Is SISP the same as Smithsonian Books?
No. SISP is an internal scholarly publisher with restricted eligibility. Smithsonian Books is a trade book publisher and a division of Smithsonian Enterprises.

What are the key differences between SISP’s open access publications and its scholarly books?

Open Access

  • E-first publication at Open SI, with print releasing two months later (exception: zoology taxonomy)
  • Printer contracted through GPO
  • Print copies free upon request to the public (while supplies last)
  • Print copies distributed internationally through Smithsonian Libraries’ Exchange program
  • Print copies deposited in core Federal Depository Libraries
  • No marketing services
  • Series cover and interior designs

Scholarly Books

  • Distribution and sales through Random House 
  • Marketing services
  • Unique cover and interior designs

What are some similarities?

  • Peer reviewed
  • Produced through contractors managed by SISP production editors
  • Copyright protected – if applicable, public domain content is clearly identified on copyright page
  • Average production time (after peer review) = 8-9 months

How long does peer review take?
Time for peer review depends on many factors. Typically, authors should allow 3 months after submission before they expect review results from SISP.