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Author Guidelines



Southern African Humanities carries archaeological, anthropological, historical and material-cultural research relevant to southern Africa. All contributions are published in English (British Standard). It is understood that manuscripts submitted to Southern African Humanities have not been published elsewhere or submitted to another journal for review. While there is no limit on the length of manuscripts, length should be appropriate for the topic. Finalized articles are published electronically at intervals during the course of a year. Physical copies are printed once a year, typically at the end of the annual publishing cycle.

Peer review

• The Editorial Committee uses a triage process on initial submission; if the submission is deemed unsuitable, it is returned to the author without being sent out to peer-review. If the submission is deemed suitable, it is sent for peer-review.

• Southern African Humanities employs a ‘single-blind’ review process: referees are anonymous but the author is known.

• Submissions are sent out to a minimum of two referees. Authors are welcome to suggest suitable referees.

• The Editorial Committee reserves the right to make the final decision as to whether or not to publish the submission. Reasons for rejection include but are not limited to, the failure of authors to respond adequately to referee comments, further opinion on the scope of the submission, failure to adhere to author guidelines, and tardy responses to editorial requests.

• At any point in the review process, the Editorial Committee may elect to withdraw and reject the submission. In these cases, all rights regarding the submission revert back to the author. 

Preparation of manuscript

• The manuscript should be in 12 pt font and 1.5 spaced. Number manuscript pages consecutively beginning with the title page. Give full details of the title of the manuscript, name(s) of author(s), postal address and email address, each on a separate line.

• An abstract of not more than 200 words should summarise the essence of the paper. Avoid references in the abstract. Select a set of up to 12 key words or phrases (index terms).

• Consider the journal’s printed page size (127 × 192 mm) when preparing illustrations and tables. Illustrations (including graphs) and their captions or legends should form a separate unit. Explain abbreviations in the legends, or (if too numerous) collect them elsewhere in a list.

• Tables should include headings and explanations, and should be numbered consecutively. References in the text to illustrations and tables as follows: Fig. 1; Figs 1–3; Table 1. Use lower case (fig., figs, table, pl., pls) when referring to items reproduced in another publication.

• Do not italicize abbreviated Latin terms such as et al., e.g., i.e., cf., ibid., c., viz., and so on.

• Use double quotation marks for quoted text, single quotation marks to highlight words and for quotes within quotes. Quotations longer than 35 words should be set apart from the text in an indented block without quotation marks.


• Southern African Humanities uses the Harvard author-date system. Arrange citations in the text by date from earliest to latest. References within the text are as follows: (Davies 1974; Ngubane 1977; Deacon & Deacon 1999; Jolles 2001); Cooke (1963); Wright and Hamilton (1989); (Kuper 1980, 1982; Maggs 1984a, b); Jacobson et al. (1991). Cite page numbers as follows: (Dlamini 2001: 127).

• List all publications cited in the text in full in the list of references. Arrange authors in alphabetical order, with multiple papers by the same author arranged chronologically. Cite all authors, unless there is good reason not to (very long author lists). Do not capitalize words unnecessarily. Give names of journals in full.

• List website citations alphabetically according to author (if available), page or website title, date of ‘publication’ (if available) and <website address>. Include date of access. In text, cite using author/page and date, or, if more appropriate, <website page address>. Use the website title in place of author if the author is not obvious.

• Treat each reference as a separate paragraph. Please DO NOT insert hard returns, tabs, extra spaces, etc. into the reference.

Reference list examples

Anderson, A.A. 1888. Twenty-five years in a waggon. Sport and travel in South Africa. 2nd edition. London: Chapman & Hall. [Book]

Burrett, R.S. 1998. Investigating Pfupi: a Later Stone Age industrial tradition in northeastern Zimbabwe. MSc dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. [Dissertation or thesis]

Du Plessis, P. 2018. Gathering the landscape: Tracking landscapes in motion. PhD thesis, University of California, Santa Cruz. [Dissertation or thesis]

Dlamini, N. 2001. The Battle of Ncome project: state memorialism, discomforting spaces. Southern African Humanities 13: 125–38. [Journal article]

Van de Merwe, N.J. 1975. Cannabis smoking in 13–14th century Ethiopia. In V. Rubin (ed.), Cannabis and culture. The Hague: Mouton, pp. 77–80. [Edited book]

Interviews: Berglund, A.-I. by Högberg, B. 2013. Nordic documentation on the liberation struggle in southern Africa. <>; site viewed 29 September 2017. [Website]

Gärdenfors, P. & Lombard, M. 2018. Causal cognition, force dynamics and early hunting technologies. Frontiers in Psychology 9: article 87, 10 pp. [Online journal]

Moffett, A. & Hall, S. (n.d.). Divining value: cowries, the ancestral realm and the global in southern Africa. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, pp. 1–14; doi:10.1017/S0959774319000659. [Online FirstView article]

Initial Submission

Submit an electronic version of the manuscript via the Open Journal System website <>. Preferably submit all components of the paper (text, tables, figures) as a single PDF file to facilitate the refereeing process. Graphics may be of reduced quality sufficient for evaluation by the reviewers. Initial submission by email is acceptable, but may slow down the review process.

Final submission

Supply the final text as a Word document via the journal website <>. Follow the journal style as per the instructions above. Illustrations can be submitted as original artwork or in standard electronic graphic formats (e.g. .tif, .jpg, .eps and .pdf). The required resolutions for illustrations are as follows.

• Photographs: 400 dpi at print size. Maximum print size is 127 × 192 mm, which at the required resolution contains 2 000 × 3 024 pixels.

• Line art (e.g. maps, graphs, site plans, artefact drawings): 1 200 dpi at print size. Maximum print size is 127 × 192 mm, which at the required resolution contains 6 000 × 9 071 pixels.

• Please DO NOT use your graphic programme to invent pixels.

Fair Usage

Southern African Humanities allows authors to distribute the web version PDFs of their own published articles through recognized academic distribution platforms, such as and We reserve the right to ask you to take down the material if any distribution of your own material is found to violate any agreement between Southern African Humanities and its digital distribution partners.

Address correspondence to

The Editor, Southern African Humanities, KwaZulu-Natal Museum, P. Bag 9070, Pietermaritzburg, 3200 South Africa;; <>


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