Information For Authors


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Southern African Humanities is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal that prioritizes research articles with a material-culture focus in Archaeology, Anthropology, History and related fields. It is concerned with southern Africa but encourages research that addresses the broader context within which southern African topics lie. Research is defined as "original, systematic investigation undertaken in order to gain new knowledge and understanding" (as per the Research Outputs Policy of the South African Department of Higher Education and Training, 2015).

All contributions are published in English. 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.


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

Initial Submission

Submit the manuscript via the Open Journal System website <>. Submit all components of the paper (text, tables, figures) as a single file to facilitate the refereeing process.

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

Ensure that all pages are numbered, starting with the title page. Provide line numbers for the entire manuscript (restarting the numbering on each page).

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

Consider the journal’s printed page size (127 × 192 mm) when preparing tables and illustrations. At this stage graphics may be of reduced quality, but sufficient for evaluation by the reviewers. Ensure each table/illustration is referred to in the text and numbered in that order. Provide captions for all tables and illustrations.

Final submission (after review)

Submit the final manuscript via the journal website <>. At this stage, the article text, illustration captions and tables should be supplied as separate files. The text should follow the journal style, including:

No italics for abbreviated Latin terms such as et al., e.g., i.e., cf., ibid., c., viz., and so on.

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

In-text references 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.

Illustration captions should include information regarding the source of the image, e.g. the photographer/artist, archival reference and date. Include a scale or measurement where the subject of the image is an object.


Use standard electronic graphic formats (e.g. .tif, .jpg, .eps and .pdf).

The minimum required resolutions are: 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.


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). For quotes and specific ideas within texts, 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]

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. [Chapter in edited book]

Interviews: Axel-Ivar Berglund, 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, 14 pp.; doi:10.1017/S0959774319000659. [Online FirstView article]

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;; <>