Format, Style and Reference Guidelines

Prior to publication, NJAS will format your paper according to our in-house stylesheet. Please keep your own formatting as simple as possible. Because we are a multidisciplinary journal, our formatting and reference instructions may be slightly different from common conventions in any particular discipline. Please read and follow the guidelines carefully.

Submit the manuscript using a single space 12-point (unicode) font, in a Microsoft Word, OpenOffice or RTF document file format.

Please only submit papers that have been checked carefully for proper usage of academic English. Numerous language errors may be grounds for rejection of your paper.

Special formatting instructions for linguistics papers can be found here. Papers that do not follow these guidelines will not be accepted for publication.


Numbering of subsections should be done at the discretion of the author in consultation with the responsible subject editor. In general, linguistics papers use section numbers while humanities-themed papers do not, but please consult with your section editor in case of doubt. If using section numbering,  level 1 section headings should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals without a final point (e.g. 1). Numbered subsections should have the form 2.1, 2.1.1, 2.2, etc. In general, there should not be more than three levels of subsections (e.g. 2.1.1 but not and there should be at least two subsections per level (e.g. if there is a section 2.1, there must also be a section 2.2).

Tables, figures or maps should be identified by an Arabic numeral and can be included in the manuscript itself, or submitted either as separate electronic files with their place clearly indicated in the main text. All figures should include figure legends as well as source references.

Brief quotations should be incorporated into the text and enclosed in quotation marks. Longer quotations of more than two lines should be set as block quotations and indented 1 cm.

NJAS uses footnotes rather than endnotes. Footnotes should be numbered consecutively throughout the text.

Acknowledgements should be marked by an asterisk (*) and they should precede the footnotes.

NJAS uses the Chicago referencing style (author-date system).

References in the text should follow the form (Wolff 1981, 244-46), or “... on the origin of Bantu languages Guthrie (1971, 13) stated...”.

The list of references or bibliography should be presented in one list in alphabetical order. Please format your references carefully following Chicago style guidelines, and note in particular the following conventions: (1) Full author first names are given whenever available. (2) Title case (and not sentence case) is used when capitalising words in titles.


Amadiume, Ifi. 1997. Reinventing Africa: Matriarchy, Religion and Culture. London: Zed Books.


Flight, Colin. 1988. “Bantu Trees and Some Wider Ramifications.” African Languages and Cultures 1, no. 1: 25-43.

For articles consulted online, include a URL, preferably a DOI (Digital Object Identifier).

Chapters in books

Mbembe, Achille. 2006. “Variations on the Beautiful in Congolese Worlds of Sound.” In Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics, edited by Sarah Nuttall, 60–93. Durham: Duke University Press.

Recorded fieldwork interviews

Maria Jonas, interviewed by Helena Chaibo, Cape Town, March 1, 2016.


Klassen, Doreen Helen. 1999. “You Can’t Have Silence with Your Palms Up: Ideophones, Gesture, and Iconicity in Zimbabwean Shona Women’s Ngano (Storysong) Performance.” PhD diss., Indiana University.

For more information on how to write references in-text and in a reference list with the Chicago style see:


Please make sure to check your manuscript for consistency in punctuation, word usage, referencing and general style before sending your final paper to the editor. Use British English spelling conventions.