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Africa Today will only accept original submissions that have not been previously published nor are submitted at another journal for consideration. Exceptions may be granted for works that have appeared in non-English-language publications; in this case, the author must notify Africa Today of this fact and, if the submission is approved, obtain permission to reprint from the original publisher. All articles are published in English and it is the author’s responsibility to arrange for and approve translation prior to publication (but not before submission) in Africa Today. If you are interested in submitting a book review, please read our Book Review guidelines and the list of Books Available for review. Please also review our publication ethics and malpractice statement, which outlines duties of editors, authors, and reviewers and also details best practices on ethical matters, errors, and retractions.

Africa Today also accepts proposals for guest-edited special issues. For proposal guidelines, please contact the managing editor.

Africa Today Review Process

All manuscripts are given an initial review by the editorial collective. At that point, the editors will either inform the author that the submission has been declined or will initiate the journal’s double-blind peer review process.

Authors are encouraged to suggest the names of five to ten scholars who might review the manuscript, providing their current institutional affiliations and e-mail addresses. They may also indicate scholars whom they prefer not to review the manuscript. The editor is not bound by these suggestions but will respect them whenever possible. Suggested reviewers should not present a conflict of interest; for example, they should not be employed at the same institution as the author or be closely involved in the author’s research. Each article sent out for review is sent to two or three expert, anonymous reviewers, who are selected by the journal’s editors and are asked to disclose any conflicts of interest before accepting the assignment. All reviewers read the work carefully and provide a thorough report as voluntary service to the journal. A decision about whether to accept, reject, or invite revisions to the article is generally made within three to six months of sending it out for review. Please note that this turnaround will be delayed if the managing editor has difficulty in obtaining willing reviewers. This makes it very important for the author to carefully craft the abstract, thoughtfully consider the reviewer list, and diligently work to polish the manuscript.

In addition, authors should prepare their manuscripts to facilitate a fully anonymous review. Any identifying references to the author should be removed prior to submission, and the electronic file should be anonymized.

Submitting a Manuscript

The journal’s online submission system is the only acceptable means of submitting a manuscript for review. Manuscripts sent directly to the editorial office will not be considered.

When uploading your submission, please upload three documents: a cover page, the article manuscript, and an images document containing photos, illustrations, etc. (if applicable).

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. The cover page Word document should be named LASTNAME_coverpage.docx.

Manuscript

All submissions should be double-spaced. Use the 12-point Times New Roman font, and put page numbers in the upper right corner. The manuscript Word document should be named LASTNAME_manuscript.docx. Organize your manuscript in the following order:

  1. Title
  2. Abstract
    <page break>
  3. Text (including tables)
    <page break>
  4. Endnotes
    <page break>
  5. References
Title and Abstract

Place title and abstract on a single page. Summarize the article in 125 or fewer words. Do not include citations in the abstract. This is one of the most important elements of the manuscript. The abstract should communicate the research topic and/or question, the main finding or argument, and the significance of the contribution. 

Text

Start on a new page. Feature articles, essays, and interviews should be 8,000–10,000 words, including notes and references. Manuscripts over 10,000 will not be reviewed. Author's name should not appear in the text.

Endnotes

Start on a new page. Endnotes should be used only for substantive comments on the content of the article. Number consecutively starting with 1.

References

References should follow the author-date format described in The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., chapter 15 (see Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide, Author-Date Style tab) and examples in the Format of References section below.

Africa Today takes plagiarism very seriously, and asks authors to be sure that they have properly acknowledged the scholarly work of others. Failure to do so can be considered grounds for declining to review a submitted article.

Images Document for Photos, Maps, and Other Illustrations

Authors are encouraged to submit materials that supplement and enhance their published articles, such as photographs. Authors may submit up to seven images. Africa Today may consider images for the cover illustration. Please note that Africa Today does not offer art-production services; therefore, for maps, charts, and drawings, we accept only work of professional quality. For maps, use an official map as a base to ensure accuracy.

When submitting a manuscript that references images, do not embed the images within the manuscript. Instead, create a separate Word document named "LASTNAME_images_for_review.docx" in which you place low-resolution copies of the images with the caption beneath each image. Construct the captions so that they are logical and informative in themselves, perhaps restating or expanding upon information provided in the text. Preface each caption with an appropriate label, such as “Figure 1.” to correspond with the caption list and the references in the main manuscript. Within the manuscript, indicate the location where each image should be placed by inserting on a new line the tag [Figure 1 about here]. In the paragraph preceding this line, the figure should be mentioned explicitly by number (and in correct numerical order) within an appropriate sentence.

When your paper is accepted, we will ask you to submit high-resolution images for publication according to the following guidelines:

List all figures and caption text in a single document named "LASTNAME_images_and_captions.docx." Do not embed any images in that file. Instead, upload print-ready, high-resolution image files to the online journal system. The images must be in JPG or TIF format. The resolution must be at least 300 pixels per inch (ppi) at six inches wide; however, line art should be submitted at 1200 ppi or greater. Name the image files following the pattern "LASTNAME_Figure_1.tif."

Authors are responsible for obtaining all permissions required to publish an image. Within the Images Document, please indicate the source of each image and whether you: 1) are the creator of the image; 2) have permission from the copyright holder to use the image; 3) are using an image in the public domain or one licensed under a Creative Commons license; or 4) believe there is a fair use case for publishing the image. Africa Today does not pay licensing fees for copyrighted images.

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, 17th edition (see Chapter 15 in the print edition or the online Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide's Author-Date Style tab):
  • 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 comma, 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, 17th edition, 2017). The list should be in alphabetical order. Capitalize titles of books, articles, and journals using headline-style capitalization, e.g., The History of Africa. Format the list using hanging indents (Ctrl-T in Microsoft Word).

Examples

Book

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, 167–95. London: Longman.

Journal Articles

Ritzer, George. 1975. "Sociology: A Multiple Paradigm Science." American Sociologist
10:156–167.

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, date accessed, and website address. If no author is provided, replace it with the producer or distributor of the article or the website. Examples:

Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi. 2007. “Aid versus Trade.” Filmed June 7, 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania at TEDGlobal 2007. TED video, 22:07. Accessed October 25, 2018. https://www.ted.com/talks/ ngozi_okonjo_iweala_on_aid_versus_trade.

Kenya Bus Services. n.d.. Nairobi Bus Guide. Accessed September 22, 2018. http://kenyabus.net/downloads/NAIROBI_BUS_GUIDE.pdf.

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).

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.
  • All required files have been submitted according to the directions above
  • The manuscript files are in Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, or RTF document file format. Images are in JPEG or TIFF file formats.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines. For example, the text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining; and where available, URLs for the references have been provided.