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Instructions for contributors

Download the Africa Instructions for Contributors here: Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (49 KB).

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AFRICA is a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary journal, covering all of the humanities and social sciences, and environmental studies where there is a strong focus on human interaction with the environment. Our core interest is ethnographic in the broadest sense -- not necessarily anthropological, but dealing with ‘life on the ground’ in Africa, and African people’s own thought, creative expressions and interpretations of their experience. The editors are pleased to receive articles that are based upon new material drawn from field work or archival data, and which also present an original theoretical argument, interpretation or analysis. We do not consider the following for publication: articles based entirely on secondary sources; or those whose approach is purely macro/statistical, or purely philosophical or literary without a socio-historical context, or purely polemical or programmatic/policy oriented.

Manuscripts submitted for publication are considered for acceptance on the understanding that they have neither been published nor are currently being considered for publication elsewhere. Contributors must inform the editors if the work has been made public in another form or language. The copyright of papers accepted for publication belongs to the International African Institute. The editors reserve the right to make editorial revisions, but will not make major changes without the author’s approval.

Manuscripts should not exceed 8,000 words (excluding bibliography and notes). Manuscripts should be sent via email as a Word file to africa@internationalafricaninstitute.org.

Manuscripts which include orthographic conventions or special symbols should be accompanied by a pdf version of the article with all orthographic fonts embedded.

Article submissions

Submissions, queries to the editor and all relating correspondence, except book reviews, should be sent to The Editors, email: africa@internationalafricaninstitute.org.

Authors who wish to submit supplementary materials such as audio and video files to support their article should contact The Editors at the email address above and should also refer to the Notes on Supplementary Materials at the end of this document.

Article submissions in French and Portuguese

Articles may be submitted to the journal in French or Portuguese to africa@internationalafricaninstitute.org. If accepted for review, such papers will be peer-reviewed in English. In the event of acceptance we will seek to publish the paper in an English translation in the print + online version of the journal, and in the original language in the online only version of journal. The aim is to make such francophone and lusophone research that would be of interest to Africa’s readership accessible in English. Article submissions are welcome from both established and younger scholars. Submissions must not be previously published, in English or any other language. The IAI has limited funds for the translation of one or two articles per year. Once a paper has been accepted, we can also consider drawing on other research or institutional funds that may be available to the author.

English Language Editing Services

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Please see the Language Services page for more information. Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.

Reviews

Books for review should be sent to Dr Laura Mann, Reviews Editor Africa, Department of International Development, Connaught House, 6.19. London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE

email: bookreviews@internationalafricaninstitute.org

Reviewers are also invited to approach the Reviews Editor with suggestions for reviews.

Special Issues

Africa welcomes proposals for special issues of the journal. One special issue is published annually, usually the first issue in the volume. Special issues include eight or nine papers plus an Introduction from the guest editor(s). Special issue proposals are reviewed quarterly by the journal Editors, and are additionally reviewed by assigned members of the Editorial Advisory Board.

Cut-off dates for editorial review of special issues are as follows: 1 March, 1 June, 1 September, 1 December in any given year. Once a proposal has been received, guest editors can expect to receive feedback on the proposal within c.3 months of submission.

Guest editors are encouraged to submit a concise proposal of c.1,000-1,500 words setting out the theme/rationale for the special issue and to submit abstracts for all papers under consideration. Guest editors are further encouraged to refer to the journal's general editorial guidelines and instructions for contributors.

Open Access Policies Please visit Open Access Publishing at Cambridge for information on our open access policies, compliance with major finding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

Length

Manuscripts should not exceed 8,000 words (excluding bibliography and notes).

Notes and references

Notes should be kept to a minimum, numbered consecutively as endnotes. References in the text should take the form (Smith 2000: 234-8) with details listed in a bibliography; where more than one work by the same author is cited references should be in date order. Use letters (2000a, 2000b) for works in the same year, with no work unlettered. References in the bibliography should take the form:

Books

Hunter, S. and J. Williamson (2000) Children on the Brink: updated estimates and recommendations for intervention. Arlington VA: USAID.

(NOTE: no upper case in book’s subtitle, except for proper nouns.)

Chapters in books

Silitshena, R. (2001) ‘The influence of government policies on the development of rural settlement in Botswana’ in C. de Wet and R. Fox (eds), Transforming Settlement in Southern Africa. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

(NOTE: Do not specify page numbers in books cited.)

Articles

Last, M. (2000) ‘Children and the experience of violence: contrasting cultures of punishment in northern Nigeria’, Africa 70 (3): 359–93.

(NOTE: no upper case for any words, except the first word and proper nouns.)

Websites

Renan, E. (1822) ‘What is a Nation?’ <http://www.tamilnation.org/selfdetermination/renan...>, accessed 2 June 2004

(NOTE: use what are called angled brackets).

Theses

Mayombo, R. P. (1990) ‘Economic Structural Changes and Population Migration in Kilombero Valley’. MA thesis, University of Dar es Salaam.

(NOTE: Use upper and lower case for title and subtitle of PhDs. The style is the same as for books. For PhDs, cite as PhD dissertation.)

Orthography of African languages

Citations from African languages should, where possible, follow the established orthography in the country or one of the countries involved. In the absence of an established orthography, recognized symbols must be used, preferably the 'Africa script' of the IAI. Details of this script can be obtained from the IAI.

Word-processing

Files should be set up in 12 pt type on paper size of A4 (or US equivalent) size paper.

The article title should be in capitals and centred and in 14pt font. Author(s) name(s) should be in italics and centred, just below the title. Section headings should be in capitals and centred, subsection side headings should be italicized.

Quote Marks

Single quotation marks should be used, with double marks for any quotation within a quotation.

Indentation of Quotations

Quotations of more than fifty words should be indented, and in this case no quotation marks are needed.

Italicization

Foreign words (except proper names) should be italicized.

Dates

These should be in the style 23 July 1945, the 1940s, 1952–56.

Numerals

Numerals under 100 should be spelt out except percentages and specific dimensions like 6 ft 6 in. Minimize repetition of digits in page sequences: thus 100–1, 234–8. But note the following exception: 110–11, 113–14.

Punctuation of sources after quotations

If an indented quotation, end quotation with a full stop and put citation in brackets thereafter. Thus:

The genocide can never be a subject of discussion. (Survivor, Nyamata)

But if a short quotation forms part of the main body of text, put citation in brackets after the quotation, with a final full stop at the end. Thus:

In this regard, it is worth remembering the following words: ‘Genocide can never be a subject of discussion’ (Survivor, Nyamata). This is because …

Closing quote marks and full stops

If the quoted extract forms a complete sentence, or ends with a complete sentence, place the full stop inside the closing quote mark. Thus:

According to Smith, ‘Fluctuations in currency have a long history in West Africa. We need to bear this in mind when studying the contemporary situation.’

In all other cases, the quote mark should be inside the full stop. Thus:

In studying the contemporary situation, we need to bear in mind the significance of Smith’s ‘fluctuations in currency’.

Abbreviations

Generally USA, UK, PhD, Dr, Ms etc. However, in bibliographic references, use ed. for editor, but eds for editors. Initials are spaced: A. E. Weatherhead.

Spelling

Please use z spellings generally.

Countries

The Gambia; Sudan; Congo; Zaire (without an umlaut); Côte d’Ivoire.

Regions

West Africa; East Africa; North Africa; Southern Africa; Central Africa; Western Province; Morogoro District; The North; The South. But eastern Africa; western Africa.

Currencies

US$300,000; Ksh20

Tables

  • All tables must be clearly numbered, cited in the text and included in the Word file at the end of the manuscript after the references.
  • Authors who wish to submit tables as supplementary materials should contact The Editors at africa@internationalafricaninstitute.org and should also refer to the Notes on Supplementary Materials at the end of this document.

Figures

  • Line artwork (graphs) should be saved at 1200dpi and ideally saved as TIFF or EPS files.
  • Halftones (photographs) should be saved at 300dpi and ideally saved as TIFF files.
  • All figures must include an accompanying figure legend. Photographs should include reference to sources. Figure legends to be included at the end of the Word document after the references.
  • All figures must be cited in the text.
  • Figures to be supplied at approximately the size of reproduction (maximum 120mm x160mm)
  • The print version of Africa does not support colour figures, therefore please indicate if you wish colour figures to be published online in colour.
  • Authors who wish to submit figures as supplementary materials should contact The Editors at africa@internationalafricaninstitute.org and should also refer to the Notes on Supplementary Materials at the end of this document.
  • For further details of file formats please see Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide.

Abstracts and Author’s biographical note

Each article should have an abstract, of not more than 200 words, for translation into French or English as the case may be. A brief biographical note about the author for the foot of the first page should also be included.

Acknowledgements

These (if any) must be located at the end of your article, before the References.

Proofs

Proofs will be professionally corrected and checked by the editorial team. Authors will receive pdf proofs via a url link, and their corrections will be incorporated into the final version. Please note that corrections should be confined to typographical or factual errors. Proof corrections should kept to a minimum, and not used as an opportunity to revise the style or substance of the article.

Copyright

Authors should note that copyright in all articles appearing in the journal is vested in the International African Institute. Permission to reprint an article will not normally be granted within two years of its publication.

All Supplementary Material is subject to the same copyright requirements as primary material; this is clearly specified in the copyright form that will be sent to the author with first proofs:

"I/we hereby assign to Cambridge University Press, full copyright in all formats and media in the said contribution, including in any supplementary materials that I/we may author in support of the online version."

Permissions

It is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission for any previously published material.

Offprints

Authors receive a free PDF of their article, one free copy of the journal and 20 free offprints. They may purchase additional copies of the journal issue at discounted price, and may also purchase more offprints on request.

The PDF version of the article may be reproduced on personal or departmental web pages following publication of the contribution in print, provided it is accompanied by full bibliographic details of the Journal, acknowledgement of the copyright holder (International African Institute) and a link to the article published online by Cambridge University Press.

Discounts for journal authors

Authors are entitled to a 20% discount on an individual subscription rate to any Cambridge University Press journal and a 30% discount on books published by Cambridge University Press.

Please e-mail journals@cambridge.org for discounted journal subscriptions and directcs@cambridge.org for discounted book orders.

Supplementary Materials

Authors who wish to submit supplementary materials such as audio and video files to support their article should contact The Editors at africa@internationalafricaninstitute.org.

File naming

Files should be named in such a way that it is clear which article they belong to and what they contain, e.g.

J.Smith_appendix_table_1.xls

J.Smith_supplement-movie1.mov

Audio Files
  • Preferred formats: mp3 or mp4
  • Accepted formats: AAC, AIFF or WAV
  • Maximum file size 15Mb

Video Files

Video files should be submitted according to the following specifications.

  • Preferred formats: mpg/mpeg, mp4 or mov
  • Acceptable formats: wmv or avi
  • Maximum file size: 15Mb
  • Minimum dimensions: 320 pixels wide by 240 pixels deep
  • Verify that the videos are viewable in QuickTime or Windows Media Player


For each video, provide a citation in the appropriate place in the manuscript text and include a title and pertinent copy, preferably limited to 20 words.

This citation will appear in print as a boxed text and also specify the video file format. In the case of multiple video files, number them in the order in which they should be viewed.

If associated with a figure, please include a citation at the end of the figure caption explaining the video’s function, its file format, and that it is accessible at Cambridge Core’s site: www.cambridge.org/core

The video will be posted at the site of the appropriate journal title, volume, issue number, and article. At the article’s title, the video can be accessed via a link which states "Supplemental Materials," or a more specific label such as "Movies."

Please be advised that Cambridge University Press will not edit your video file. It will be posted online exactly as supplied. If deemed unacceptable, the author will be responsible for rectifying the problem and supplying an acceptable file.

Other acceptable file formats

Accepted formats: pdf, doc/docx, xls/xlsx, ppt/pptx, jpeg, tiff, png, and zip

Last updated: 6th January 2017