Author Guidelines

Editorial Guidelines

Conditions for Submission

The Canadian Journal of African Studies invites the online submission (via the ScholarOne Manuscripts website) of articles and book reviews as well as proposals for special issues. Please consult the following guidelines before making a submission to ensure compliance with CJAS standards. CJAS “house” style is based on the editorial practices of the 15th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style (The University of Chicago Press, 2003). Manuscripts must conform to this style guide before they can proceed through the editorial process leading to publication.

Contributors to CJAS must submit their manuscripts online, through the interactive system of CJAS, in Microsoft Word or rtf format. The manuscript should range in length from 6,000 to 10,000 words (approximately 25-40 double spaced typed pages), including text, quotations, endnotes, bibliography, tables, and appendices) and should include an abstract of 125-150 words. Graphs, maps, and diagrams should be prepared either in paper form ready for photo-reproduction (camera-ready) or in an electronic form using a graphics programme that is compatible with Microsoft Windows. It is not necessary to submit graphic material in electronic form until the article has been officially accepted for publication in CJAS.

A manuscript sent to CJAS must not be submitted to another publication at the same time. CJAS reserves the exclusive right to decide on publication for six months from the date of receipt. CJAS will not accept more than one article at a time for consideration for publication from the same author in any volume year and cannot publish an author more than once a year other than in reviews. CJAS does not publish (1) translations of articles published elsewhere, either from English to French or from French to English, or (2) articles which are published in edited collections or as book chapters.

CJAS uses CrossCheck™ software to screen papers for unoriginal material. By submitting your paper to CJAS you are agreeing to any necessary originality checks your paper may have to undergo during the peer review and production processes.

Taylor & Francis uses search engine optimization (SEO) to make your article more visible to anyone who might be looking for it. For guidance, consult Taylor & Francis AUTHORSERVICES at guidance .

Style Guide for Articles

Authors can greatly facilitate the CJAS editorial production process by following some of the more common Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) editorial practices (in addition to other special editorial considerations) outlined in the style guide below. The Editors reserve the right to return to the author any manuscript that does not adequately conform to CJAS editorial standards. For further information about the CJAS “house” style, please contact Roger Riendeau, the Managing Editor.

Manuscript Form

  1. Manuscripts should be word-processed in either Microsoft Word, or Rich Text format.
  2. The title of the manuscript should appear at the top of the first page of text in first letter capitals at the left margin. No emphasis needs to be given to the title.
  3. The main text of the manuscript should consist of a specifically designated Introduction, well-defined divisions with heading and subheadings to delineate the body of the text, and a specifically designated Conclusion. The division of the text should not exceed three levels of subheadings: the first level should be identified by Roman numerals (I, II, II …); the second level by upper case letters (A, B, C …); and the third level by Arabic numerals (1,2,3 …). Headings and subheadings should appear at the left margin and be typed in first letter capitals only (except for prepositions, articles, and co-ordinate conjunctions), with no emphasis.
  4. All paragraphs should be indented five spaces from the left margin (using the Tab key or function), with no blank line between paragraphs. Indented quotations should be formed using the Indent function rather than the Tab function.
  5. All illustrative material, including tables, graphs, charts, and maps, should appear on a separate page and be appropriately titled in Arabic numerical sequence: for example, Table 1 or Figure 1 or Map 1. The title should also include a clear identification of the illustrative material. Indicate the source of the data at the bottom of the page introduced by the word Source. The intended location of this illustrative material should be clearly indicated within the text.

Some Elements of Style

  1. Any number that can be expressed in one or two words (for example, five, twenty-five, five hundred) should be spelled out, while figures should be used for all other numbers (for example, 49.5, 101). But if the text contains many numbers, then figures should be used for all numbers.
  2. With the exception of those that have become standard English usage, foreign words and phrases should be italicized.
  3. All quotations should be enclosed in double quotation marks, with the exception of quotations within quotations which should be enclosed in single quotation marks. Longer quotations, that is, more than four lines or more than one sentence, should be presented in extracted or block form indented only from the left margin (not the right margin).
  4. Periods and commas should always be placed inside the quotation marks; colons and semi-colons should always be placed outside the quotation marks. Question marks and exclamation marks should be placed inside the quotation marks if they are part of the quotation and outside if not.
  5. Any omissions of words or sentences should be indicated by three ellipsis points … preceded and followed by a blank space. When an extracted or block quotation begins within a sentence, the omission of the words at the beginning of the sentence should be indicated by three ellipsis points.
  6. If words within a quotation are emphasized (using italics only), indicate whose emphasis it is.
  7. The first reference to acronyms should be in parentheses, preceded by the full identification of the acronym: for example, Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS). Periods are not required within acronyms. Commonly recognized acronyms such as USA and UN do not require full identification.
  8. First references to people’s names should be based on the assumption that the reader is not familiar with the name; therefore, the full name should be used.


  1. Sources of information should be acknowledged using the author-date system recommended by CMS. Under this system of documentation, author’s names and dates of publication are given parenthetically within the text, with the full citation being given in an alphabetically arranged list bearing the title Bibliography at the end of the text.
  2. Other relevant source information, notably archival sources and substantive comments, should be included in a section titled Notes which should appear immediately after the text but before the Bibliography. In the Notes section, endnotes should be numbered consecutively in superscript form starting at the left margin. Within the text, endnotes should be numbered consecutively in superscript form usually at the end of the sentence following the punctuation. Preferably, the Notes and Bibliography sections should be presented in a file separate from the main text. The Editors reserve the right to return a manuscript to an author who fails to comply with this important aspect of CJAS style. Within the text, any punctuation should always precede rather than follow a superscripted endnote number.
  3. The basic text reference in the author date system consists of the last name of the author and the year of publication, with no punctuation between them: (Riddell 2001). Some variations on this form are as follows:
    • A specific page or section of the cited work follows the date, preceded by a comma: (Riddell 2001, 75-93) or (Riddell 2001, chapter 4).
    • When the reference is to both volume and page of the author’s work, a colon should distinguish between the two: for example, (Riddell 2001, 2: 75-93) or (Riddell 2001, volume 2) if referring to the volume number only.
    • For works of multiple authorship, use names for two or three authors: (Cordell, Riddell and Youé 2001). For works by more than three authors, use the name of the first author followed by et al.: (Cordell et al. 2001).
    • Two or more references given together are separated by semicolons: (Cordell et al. 2001; Riddell 2001).
    • Several works by the same author are cited by date only and separated by commas: (Riddell 2000, 2001); but when page numbers are given, the references are separated by semicolons and the name is repeated: (Riddell 2000, 10; Riddell 2001, 373).
    • Two works by the same author which are published in the same year should be distinguished by lower case letters following the date: (Riddell 2001ab) or (Riddell 2001a, 205; Riddell 2001b, 320).
    • Citation of a new edition of an older work should include the original date (in square brackets) as well as the date of the edition used: (Riddell [1970] 2001, 205).
  4. If possible, a reference should be placed just before a mark of punctuation (usually before the final period). If this placement is impractical, the reference should be at a logical place in the sentence. When all or part of the citation is incorporated in the sentence, it is not enclosed in parentheses: “Dennis Cordell and Chris Youé (2001, 210-35) have strongly disputed Barry Riddell’s (2001, 320-55) theory.”
  5. In the Bibliography, all works cited in the text should be listed alphabetically (in most cases according to the last name of the author), starting at the left margin (with no lines indented). Some variations on this form are as follows:
    • All works attributed to one author, whether original, edited, or translated, should be listed together and arranged chronologically by date of publication. Works published in the same year are alphabetized by title (the initial article notwithstanding).
    • For successive works by the same author, four hyphens followed by a period (—-.) should be used in place of the author’s name after the first appearance. The hyphens should not be used when a co-author is added. In the latter case, repeat the name.
  6. A bibliographic entry should include the following information:
    • Name of author(s), editor(s), or institution(s) responsible for writing the text. The name should be exactly as it appears on the title page of a book or author by-line of an article: Dennis D. Cordell should not be indicated as D.D. Cordell or D. Cordell. Government documents should include the national or local government issuing the document, followed by the government body (such as department or commission) responsible for its writing.
    • Date of publication. If a more recent edition of a well-known book is being cited, the original publication date can be indicated in square brackets before the more recent date: Riddell, Barry [1970] 2001.
    • Full title of the work including the subtitle if any. For articles, the title of the periodical should follow the title of the article. For books, the name of the editor or translator (if different from the author) should follow the title.
    • Volume number or total number of volumes for a multi-volume book. Issue number of a periodical or report number of a government document can also be provided.
    • Place of publication and publisher of book or government document (if different from the issuing body) as it appears on the title page.
    • Pages occupied by an article or a contribution to an edited book.
  7. The bibliographic style for (a) a book, (b) an article in a periodical, (c) a chapter or a part of an edited book, (d) a thesis, and (e) a government document is as follows:
    • (a) Hopkins, A.G. 1973. An Economic History of West Africa. New York: Columbia University Press.
    • (b) Mosely, Paul. 1982. “Kenya in the 1970s.” African Affairs 81: 271-77.
    • (c) Lovejoy, Paul E. and J.S. Hogendorn. 1979. “Slave Marketing in West Africa.” In The Uncommon Market: Essays on the Economic History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, edited by H. Gemery and J.S. Hogendorn, 213-35. New York: Academic Press.
    • (d) Freeman, Linda. 1978. “The Nature of Canadian Interests in Black Southern Africa.” PhD thesis, University of Toronto.
    • (e) Kenya. Central Bureau of Statistics. 1983. Economic Survey 1983. Nairobi: Government Printer.
    • Note: Use italics rather than underlining or bolding. All relevant punctuation should be placed inside rather than outside the italics.
  8. In other instances of text references and bibliographic entries, improvise using the above samples as guidelines. The basic concern in composing text references, bibliographic entries, and endnotes is to be consistent and informative.

Guide for Book Reviews and Review Articles

The Canadian Journal of African Studies welcomes books for review. Authors who wish their books reviewed by CJAS should notify their publisher who, in turn, should notify the appropriate Book Review Editor via email to request a review. For books written in English, contact Jonathan Roberts. For books written in French, contact Cédric Jourde. The Editors reserve the right to reduce excessively long submissions or to reject submissions that do not conform to the prescribed CJAS style guidelines.

Reviews: A review of a book or film should be limited to 3-4 double-spaced pages (1,000 words) in length and should begin with the complete citation of the work, including author’s name, the title and subtitle of the work, the publisher along with the place and date of publication, and the number of pages, as illustrated in the following example:

  • David Birmingham. Empire in Africa: Angola and its Neighbours. Athens, Ohio: Ohio U.P. 2006. x + 190pp.

The ISBN number or price is not necessary. The review should end with an indication of your name, institutional affiliation, and location. In writing book reviews, references to other works should be kept to a minimum in order to meet the prescribed length limits. Full references to other works should be included in the body of the text (rather than in endnotes or footnotes). When quoting from the work under review, specify the page number(s) on which the quotation appears.

Review Articles: An article which offers a more in-depth critique of an important work or of two or more works on a common theme should be limited to 10-12 double-spaced pages (3,000 words) in length. The review article should have an interesting title, and the work(s) under review should be identified with a full citation as indicated above. The review article should be fully documented like any article based on scholarly research. The article should include parenthetical references, substantive endnotes, and a full bibliography, all of which must conform to CJAS style guidelines. The Editors reserve the right to reduce excessively long submissions or to reject submissions that do not conform to the prescribed CJAS style guidelines.

Protocol for Special Issues

The Canadian Journal of African Studies occasionally publishes special issues devoted to furthering the understanding of a relevant theme, concept, or debate. Special issues may also be dedicated to the celebration of a particular scholar’s contribution to the development of African Studies in Canada. Proposals for special issues must be submitted to the Coordinating Editor for consideration by the Editorial Board.

The Editorial Board will evaluate the appropriateness of each proposal in terms of (1) correspondence of the theme of the special issue with CJAS publication objectives, (2) importance of its contribution to research and scholarship in the field, (3) the rationale for the designated “special editor(s)” assuming a leadership and coordination role in the project.

The special editor(s) will be responsible for submitting a formal proposal of approximately 1,000 words in length in the form of an e-mail attachment which can be readily circulated to members of the Editorial Board. This statement can later form a basis for the introductory / overview article (usually composed by the special editor or editors) at the beginning of the special issue. The proposal should specifically indicate:

  • the ways in which the focus, theme, or thesis of the special issue offers innovative scholarly insight;
  • the table of contents, including the author, title, and length of each contribution; how they each address the theme / thesis of the special issue; and how they relate to each other;
  • the scholarly qualifications or professional experience of the contributors, including institutional affiliations;
  • the nature and extent of the preliminary editorial review process prior to submission for consideration by the CJAS Editorial Board;
  • a scheduling plan for submission, revision, and final presentation of the manuscripts;
  • a recommendation of external referees (including names, contact information, scholarly qualifications, discipline, geographic focus of scholarship) who would have the authority and expertise to assist the Editorial Board in the peer review process if required;
  • any features of the special issue (such as graphics or copyright requests) which might entail additional preparation, production, or distribution costs to CJAS, including provisions for financial support to meet those extraordinary costs.

In its review process, the Editorial Board has the prerogative to reject any specific contribution to the special issue which does not meet the standards of the publication and the discipline, or which does not further the purpose of the proposed special issue. The Editorial Board also reserves the right to schedule the publication of special issues in a manner which maintains a desirable balance between regular and special issues. Similar to individual article submissions, special issues remain the copyright of CJAS.

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission’s compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are  appear on a separate page and be appropriately titled in Arabic numerical sequence: for example, Table 1 or Figure 1 or Map 1.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the style guide.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions have been followed.