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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 OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

General guidelines

As an academic journal that is committed to decolonising knowledge production, manuscripts are accepted in English, isiZulu and Sesotho. With specification to the English language, please refer to the general referencing, punctuation and spelling guidelines below.

For all manuscripts, non-discriminatory language is mandatory. Sexist or racist terms must not be used.

All manuscripts submitted to the Journal for review should not exceed 7 000 words including references, footnotes, endnotes and captions. For conceptual, philosophical, qualitative papers including multiple studies, up to 9 000 words will be considered. Authors should include a word count in their submissions.

Abstracts for manuscripts are required and should not exceed 150 words. Each manuscript should have a list of four to five keywords. Where necessary, the organisation and structure of the article should be made clear by sub- and sub-sub-headings. Empirical manuscripts should include the following sections: Introduction; Method (with subsections: Participants, Procedure, Measures, Research design); Results; Discussion; References; Appendices.

All authors of a manuscript should include their full names, affiliations, postal addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses on the cover page of the manuscript. One author should be identified as the corresponding author. Please give the affiliation where the research was conducted. If any of the named co-authors moves affiliation during the peer review process, the new affiliation can be given as a footnote. Please note that no changes to affiliation can be made after the manuscript is accepted. Please note that the email address of the corresponding author will be displayed in the online pdf. Please supply a short biographical note for each author under the heading ‘About the author’, covering relevant qualifications, organisational affiliation and research interests. Please also supply authors’ ORICDs where possible.

In-text citations

Mignolo (2009) frames decoloniality as an option among many within the global academe, while Wiredu (1998) argues that decolonisation ought to be viewed as a mode of self-actualisation for African people, suggesting the need to decolonise African religion and philosophy.

Secondly, revealing the epistemic location of the author aligns with the aim of attaining epistemic justice for the bodies that continue to be disenfranchised by the structure of knowledge in westernised universities (Grosfoguel 2013).

As Grosfoguel (2007: 213) puts it in ‘The Epistemic Decolonial Turn’, the task of the decolonial theorist consists in revealing the loci of enunciation of all texts, which takes the form of ‘distinguishing between the epistemic location and the social location of the speaker’.

The latter appear as engagements with decoloniality but in fact do little more than shore up white ignorance and intellectual mediocrity, construed as white mediocrity (see Darity 2013; DuBois 1932; Gordon 2011) in the academe, not only in South Africa but also globally (see Almeida 2015).

To better understand what could be meant by justice in this case, the work of Steve Biko is useful. He writes:

It is not surprising, therefore, that in South Africa, after generations of exploitation, white people on the whole have come to believe in the inferiority of the Black [wo]man, so much so that while the race problem started as an offshoot of the economic greed exhibited by white people, it has now become a serious problem on its own. (Biko [1978]/2004: 97) 



Biko, S. ([1978]/2004). I write what I like. Johannesburg: Picador Africa.

Book (translation)

Freire, P. ([1970]/2003). Pedagogy of the oppressed, trans. Myra Bergman Ramos. New York: Continuum.

Chapter in a book

Santos, B.S. (2016). The university at a crossroads. In R. Grosfoguel, R. Hernández & E. Rosen Velásquez (eds), Decolonizing the westernized university: Interventions in philosophy of education from within and without (pp. 3–14). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Ivanhoe, P.J. (2011). Moral tradition respect. In C. Fraser, D. Robins & T. O’Leary (eds), Ethics in early China: An anthology (pp. 161–174). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Working Paper/ Occasional Paper

Darity Jr, W. (2013). Confronting those affirmative action grumbles. Political Economy Research Institute Working Paper Series No. 309. Amherst, MA: Political Economy Research Institute.

Journal article

Lebakeng, J.T., Phalane, M.M. & Nase, D. (2006). Epistemicide, institutional cultures and the imperative for the Africanisation of universities in South Africa. Alternation, 13(1): 70–87.

Nyoka, B. (2013). Negation and affirmation: A critique of sociology in South Africa. African Sociological Review, 17(1): 2–24.

Newspaper article (online)

Makhanya, M. (2018, 1 July). Obsessed with whiteness. City Press.

Website article

Mgqwashu, E. (2016, 16 March). Education can’t be for ‘the public good’ if universities ignore rural life. The Conversation.

Organisation as author: 

HSRC-EPC (Human Sciences Research Council-Education Policy Centre). (2005). Emerging voices: A report on education in South African rural communities. Commissioned by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

General conventions

  • -ise (not -ize): recognise, advise, organisation, etc.
  • -re (not –er, e.g. centre)
  • Quotation marks: single outer, double inner
  • green, red and blue (no ‘list’ comma before and)
  • When using a word which is or is asserted to be a proprietary term or trademark, authors must use the symbol ® or TM.
  • -(s)he


  • asylum-seekers
  • behaviour
  • bilateral
  • cooperation [no hyphen]
  • coordination [no hyphen]
  • cost-efficient
  • country-wide
  • decision-makers
  • First World War / Second World War
  • focused (one ‘s’)
  • full-time equivalents
  • grant-making
  • grassroots
  • healthcare
  • ill-treatment
  • interdisciplinary
  • intergovernmental
  • interrelationships
  • job-seeker
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • lifelong learning
  • long-term vs. long term [see short-term]
  • macro-economic
  • magistrate’s court
  • multi-country
  • multidisciplinary
  • multilateral
  • multiparty
  • multi-stakeholder
  • multi-year
  • nationwide [one word]
  • northwest but north-northwest
  • peer-reviewed
  • policy-making
  • postgraduate [one word]
  • problem-solving
  • programme (except computer program)
  • reconstructing
  • redevelopment
  • regeneration
  • role-player
  • roundtable
  • semi-structured
  • short-term; mid-term; long-term (when used as adjectives) so long-term objective BUT objectives for the long term
  • socio-economic
  • Southeast Asia
  • state-wide
  • sub-committee
  • subdivided
  • sub-sector
  • think tank [two words]
  • time frame [two words]
  • trade off [two words]
  • undergraduate [one word]
  • under-resourced
  • under-utilised
  • value-laden
  • vice-chancellor
  • vis-à-vis [no italics]
  • well-being
  • work-force [hyphen]

Compound adjectives (e.g. capacity-building programme, research-intensive university, inner-city area, full-time position)

  • -based (e.g. resource-based)
  • -orientated (e.g. career-orientated)
  • -size (e.g. medium-size)

Punctuation / abbreviations / common acronyms

  • ‘that is’ written out in full in text [usually following a semi-colon], (i.e. used in brackets)
  • ‘for example’ written out in full in text, (e.g. used in brackets)
  • g. and i.e. full stops with no comma after
  • Full use of acronyms / abbreviations followed by acronym / abbreviation in brackets – first occurrence in chapter or major section
  • No full stops in abbreviations, acronyms (UK, UCT, AU)
  • Ellipsis: space before and after #…#
  • DHET (not DoHET) for Department of Higher Education and Training
  • Dr [no full stop], but Dr J.K. Smith
  • et al. [no italics, with full stop]
  • HERANA, not Herana; UNISA, not Unisa
  • HIV/Aids (not HIV-Aids or HIV/AIDS)
  • [no italics; note full stop after] and (ibid.: page number) [note full stop and colon, space before page number]
  • masters [lower case, no apostrophe]
  • MA
  • MEd
  • NGO (pl. NGOs): non-governmental organisation(s)
  • PhD [no full stops] PhDs
  • page
  • pages
  • [full stop]
  • [no italics, note full stop after]


  • Titles: president / vice-chancellor / chief executive officer etc. all lower case unless in name (e.g. President Cyril Ramaphosa but the vice-chancellor of UCT)
  • Subjects (mathematics, science, etc.) lower case unless talking about a formal course (e.g. Mathematics and Statistics I)
  • Headings: Sentence case [unless there is a specific instruction to the contrary]
  • Acts, Conventions, Treaties, Commissions of Enquiry, full conference titles in Title Case
  • bachelors degree / honours degree / masters degree / doctoral [lower case, no apostrophe]
  • parliament /national assembly / departments / ministries, etc.: lower case
  • chairperson / director / president, etc.: lower case
  • ministry and directorate lower case
  • South African Constitution
  • southern Africa / sub-Saharan Africa


  • Names/titles of books, newspapers, movies, songs, ships and court cases in italics
  • ad hoc [no italics]
  • [no italics, full stop]
  • et al. [no italics, with full stop]
  • [no italics, with full stop]
  • inter alia [no italics]
  • per se [no italics]

Numbers / dates / measurements / currencies

  • Write out numbers up to and including ten, unless percentages or chapter/section numbering (in which case, always use numerals). Exceptions ‘mode 1’; ‘mode 2’ etc.
  • When using numbered items in sentence, use closed brackets separated by semi-colons as default, e.g.: He said three things: (a) yes; (b) no; and (c) maybe.
  • Bullets with short phrases: no punctuation except for penultimate sentence – comma and; bullets with short single sentences: penultimate sentence – semi-colon and; lengthy and/or multiple sentences – full stops at the end of each bullet point.
  • 1 000 / 10 000 / 100 000 [not 1,000 10,000  100,000]
  • 10% not ‘ten per cent’ – but note that we refer to ‘0.46 percentage points’ written out.
  • 2004–2007 for a period, but 2007/2008 for a financial year
  • Note no elision of numbers in ranges (i.e. not pp 364–7 but 364–367)
  • 2–3% (not 2%–3%)
  • No space between numerals and units of measurement (i.e. 700km)
  • 20th century [‘th’ not superscript]
  • 1980s [no apostrophe] / mid-1990s
  • Currencies: USD 60 million / EUR 20 000 / ZAR 450 / USh 2 billion [space after currency abbreviation]
  • Dates: 28 October 2002 (not 26th of October or October 26, 2009)
  • Time: 4:30am / 4pm

Bulleted and numbered lists

  • Opt for bullet lists throughout rather than numbered, unless numbers serve as point of reference (a sequence or order of priorities) or quoting a work.
  • Bullet lists: first word capitalised, semi-colons and end of bullet, penultimate bullet add ‘and’/’or’

Example bullet list:

The HDI is a summary composite index that measures a country’s average achievements in three basic aspects of human development. These include the following:

  • Health (measured by life expectancy at birth);
  • Knowledge (measured by a combination of the adult literacy rate and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary GER); and
  • A decent standard of living (measured by GDP (income) per capita).

Typesetting conventions

  • Quotes of three lines or more (more than 40 words) indented and italicised, but note that citation at end is not italicised. (Also, citation to come after closing full stop of quote.)
  • In cases of headings separated by colon, lead with CAP after colon.
  • Sentence case for all headings

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