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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.

  • You have obtained permission for any third party material that is used in the submission.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before any other journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is double-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, found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  • If images are part of the submission, they follow the image requirements as outlined in the Author Guidelines.

General Guidelines

Articles should be around 9,000 words, including footnotes. If you have particular reasons for going significantly over/below this guideline, please contact the JIOWS editors in advance of submission.

A 200-word abstract, as well as the author's name, institutional affiliation, and email address should accompany submissions.

The JIOWS accepts submissions of articles that use any formally recognised and consistently used referencing-style. However, if your article is accepted, we will ask that the final edited version conforms to the JIOWS’ style. This style is generally based on the Chicago Manual of Style, which uses footnotes rather than in-text citations. If any clarification is required from the guide below, please either refer to the Chicago Manual, or contact the JIOWS editors.

References to different types of media should be in the following forms:



First citation (footnotes): First Name Surname, Title of Book: Sub-title of book (Location: Publisher, Year), page number.

  • E.g. Debjani Bhattacharyya, Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The making of Calcutta (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018).
    • Note: In the title, the first letter of all nouns is capitalised before the colon; after the colon, only the first letter of proper nouns is capitalised.
    • Abbreviations for US states are necessary only when not obvious,. Thus, texts published in New York don’t need to have NY after them, although Portsmouth, New Hampshire (for example), should be written as Portsmouth, NH.

Subsequent citation[s] (footnotes): Surname, Abbreviated Title, page number.

  • E.g. Bhattacharyya, Empire and Ecology, 124-7.


Journal Articles

First citation (footnotes): First Name Surname, “Title of article: Sub-title of article,” Title of Journal: Subtitle of journal, Volume, Issue (Year), page number.

  • E.g. Michael N. Pearson, “Littoral society: The concept and the problems,” Journal of World History, 17, 4 (2006), 355-7.
    • Note, in the article title and subtitle, only the first letter of the proper nouns is capitalised; in the journal title, the first letter of all nouns is capitalised; and in the journal subtitle, only the first letter of proper nouns is capitalised.

Subsequent citation[s] (footnotes): Surname, “Abbreviated article title,” page number.

  • E.g. Pearson, “Littoral society,” 360-1.


Book Chapters

First citation (footnotes): First Name Surname, “Title of chapter: Sub-title of chapter,” in Title of Volume: Sub-title of volume, eds. First Name Surname (Location: Publisher, Year), page number.

  • E.g. David M. Gordon, “Wearing cloth, wielding guns: Consumption, trade, and politics in the South Central African interior during the nineteenth century,” in The Objects of Life in Central Africa: The history of consumption and social change, eds. Robert Ross, Marja Hinfelaar and Iva Peša (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 25.
    • Note, title/sub-title of chapter follow the same rules as for journal articles; title/sub-title of volume follow the same rules as books.

Second+ citation (footnotes): Surname, “Abbreviated article title,” page number.

  • E.g. Gordon, “Wearing cloth, wielding guns,” 33.


Archival Material

Always: Surname, “Title,” Date, Archival and catalogue number.

  • The archival call number changes depending on whether it is the first time that archive is referred to or not.
  • For the first citation, use the full name of the archive, followed by: (hereafter: abbreviation).


  • Hutley, “Uguha and its people,” 29 Sep. 1880, Council for World Missions/London Missionary Society (hereafter: CWM/LMS/) 06/02/005.

And for subsequent references to the same archive:

  • Hutley, “Mahommadanism in Central Africa: Its professors,” Aug. 1881, CWM/LMS/06/02/006.

The rules are slightly different for references to letters in archives. These should be cited without inverted commas. E.g.:

  • Griffith to Thompson, 15 Jan. 1882, CWM/LMS/06/02/007.



In general, references follow the same style as journal articles, with the addition of the web address and the date accessed at the end of the first citation. Thus:

First citation (footnotes): First name Surname, “Title of article: Sub-title of article,” Source if Relevant (Date of publication): Web address [Accessed: date].

  • E.g. Jessica Barnes, “Overstating climate change in Egypt’s uprising,” Middle East Report Online (1 Oct. 2018): https://merip.org/2018/10/overstating-climate-change-in-egypts-uprising/ [Accessed: 6 Apr. 2021].

Subsequent citation[s]: Surname, “Abbreviated title.”

  • E.g. Barnes, “Overstating climate change.”


Additional Style Notes

Please use Ibid. and passim. when relevant.

As an open-access, online only journal, the JIOWS is not restricted by many of the limitations of print journals for publishing images. Thus, we encourage authors to submit with their articles high-quality images that could accompany the text, provided that they either own the copyright, the image is out of copyright, or they have already acquired permission to publish. 

The JIOWS currently only accepts articles and reviews in English. We urge authors (native and non-native English-speakers alike) to copyedit their work before submission. We will nevertheless work with authors to refine all articles for publication.