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Author Guidelines

Africa Today Style Guidelines

Manuscripts should be organized in the following order:

  1. cover page
  2. abstract
  3. text
  4. endnotes
  5. references
  6. tables
  7. figures

Cover Page

State title of paper; author name; institutional affiliation; name, address, and email address of author to whom correspondence should be sent; acknowledgment (if any) of financial or other assistance.

Submission Length

All submissions should have a word count between 8,000 and 10,000 words.


On a separate page, summarize the article in 125 or fewer words. Do not include citations in the abstract.


Endnotes should be used only for substantive comments on the content of the article. Print on a separate sheet of paper, double-spaced, and numbered consecutively starting with 1.


References should follow the author-date format described in The Chicago Manual of Style:
Author's Surname, First Name. Date. Title. City: Publisher.
See examples below.

Format of References

References within Text

Citations of sources should be made within the body of the text, following the author-date system from The Chicago Manual of Style (see The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition, ch. 16):

  • When the author's name already appears in the text, the date of cited work should appear in parentheses, e.g., (1988). When the author‟s name does not appear in the text, the author and date of source should appear in parentheses, e.g., (Smith 1988). When a specific page number or page numbers are to be cited, the page number(s) should follow the date, after a colon, e.g., (Smith 1988:17).
  • Use “et al.” for more than three authors; the complete list of names must be given in references cited.
  • When there is more than one work by the same author from the same year, put the titles of the works in alphabetical order and then mark the year with lowercase letters, e.g., 1988a, 1988b, and so on.
  • Original publication date should precede later publication dates in brackets within parentheses, e.g., (Smith [1896] 1969).
  • A series of references should be separated by semicolons within the parentheses, e.g., (Jones 1989; Jones and Smith 1998; Smith 1977).
Reference List at End of Manuscript: References Cited

Follow The Chicago Manual of Style author-date format (see The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition, ch. 16); capitalize titles of books, articles, and journals using headline-style capitalization, e.g., The History of Africa.



Rodney, Walter. 1982. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press.

Chapters from Books

Trapido, Stanley. 1980. „The Friends of the Native‟: Merchants, Peasants and the Political and Ideological Structure of Liberalism in the Cape, 1854–1910. In Economy and Society in Pre-Industrial South Africa, edited by Shula Marks and Anthony Atmore. London: Longman.

Journal Articles

Ritzer, George. 1975. Sociology: A Multiple Paradigm Science. American Sociologist

Computer Files

Authors analyzing this type of data should cite source, including author (producer or distributor if no author), publication date (type “N.d.” if none is provided), title, website address, and date accessed. If no author is provided, replace it with the producer or distributor of the article or the website. Examples:

Traugott, Caryl. N.d. Is the Noble Savage Extinct?
(accessed 25 October 2009).

Times Herald-Record. 1998. Tarzan’s Mate Jane Dies at 87. (accessed 12 September 2009).

Interviews/Verbal Information Collected by the Author

In referring to a specific interview by the author, in-text citation and references-cited entries should follow the same conventions as outlined above, e.g.:
(Smith 1998)
Smith, John. 1998. Interview by author, 9 April. Houston, Texas.

In cases where the author cites information gained not through formal interviews but through, for example, casual social contact over a period of time, the author should include in the text the names, place of contact, and approximate range of dates of contact with these persons. In cases where it is not possible to identify an “informant” or respondent by name (for example, for political reasons), the author may use a pseudonym (and use it consistently in all text citations and references-cited entries).


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.

  1. 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).
  2. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. 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.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  7. The submission is between 8,000 and 10,000 words

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