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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.

  • Have you carefully reviewed the submission guidelines provided by the journal? Does your paper include all of the information requested at https://www.njas.fi/njas/about/submissions ?
  • Is the paper an original contribution, free of plagiarism and not published or under consideration at any other journal?
  • Does the paper fall within the scope and aims of the journal?
    We welcome papers that present new empirical and theoretical knowledge in the fields of African social science, history and cultural studies, African language studies and African literatures.
  • Is the paper of appropriate length?
    Manuscripts for academic articles should be between 7,000 and 8,000 words in length (excluding references), and book reviews up to 800 words.
  • Is the language clear, engaging and easy to read?
    Make sure that the paper is free of unnecessary jargon and that it is proofread before submitting. Authors must ensure that their submissions have been carefully checked and are written in standard academic English. Articles with numerous language errors will not be accepted for publication.
  • Does the paper conform to the journal’s format, style and reference guidelines?
    The format, style and reference guidelines can be found here.

Author Guidelines

Notification regarding NJAS and the coronavirus crisis: The Nordic Journal of African Studies continues to accept and process articles during the extraordinary times brought about by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Authors should be aware that the review process is likely to be slower than usual, since both the editorial board and our reviewers are dealing with the impacts of the crisis and its significant effects on working time and priorities. We thank our authors for their patience and understanding.

Please review the submission guidelines and formatting instructions carefully before submitting your article.

The Nordic Journal of African Studies publishes research articles that fall within the aims and scope of the journal, as well as book reviews. NJAS welcomes original work that is not under consideration with other scientific journals and is not published elsewhere in paper format or on the Internet. NJAS only publishes open access and online, and there are no submission fees, publication fees, or page charges for this journal.

Manuscripts for research articles should be between 7,000 and 8,000 words in length, and book reviews up to 800 words. All submissions must conform to the guidelines described below.

The publication language of the NJAS is English. We are currently not able to accept articles in French or Swahili, although we will revisit this policy in future years in the hopes of reinstating these languages in our publication.

Due to recent increase in the number of submissions we do not receive manuscripts directly: they should always be submitted via our OJS-submission system, which can be found on this website. This way of receiving articles has proven most functional for the review process, and the secure delivery of the manuscript. If you have compelling reasons for not using our OJS-system, please contact our editor-in-chief Dr. Annika Teppo via email: njas-info(at)njas.fi 

Submitting an article

We receive a high number of submissions, and can only consider one paper per author (or group of authors) at a time.

When submitting an article please also send a cover letter introducing your manuscript to the editor and suggesting the relevance of the proposed article to the journal’s readership.

Submit the manuscript using a single-space 12-point (unicode) font, in a Microsoft Word, OpenOffice or RTF document file format. Keep a copy of the manuscript for your own reference.

The manuscript should consist of a cover page and the main text (in one document).

The cover page includes:

  • Title of the paper
  • Writer(s) name and family name
  • Academic affiliation
  • Email address of the corresponding author
  • Up to 5 thematic "keywords" (short, specific phrases are best, and you don't need to repeat words from your title)
  • A brief biographical description of the author
  • Funding details and disclosure statement
  • Indication of the disciplinary field of the paper
  • A statement that the paper has not previously been published and is not under consideration except by NJAS.
    Sections of unpublished dissertations that have been thoroughly revised and prepared as stand-alone articles may be considered, but this should also be clearly indicated in the submission. 

The manuscript includes:

  • Title of the paper
  • An abstract of approximately 200 words (abstracts of under 100 words or over 400 words will not be accepted)
  • The paper itself
  • Tables, figures and maps.
Editorial procedure

At NJAS we use independent, blind peer review to ensure that the articles we publish are of a high international standard. Receipt of manuscripts will be acknowledged by email, and the editor-in-chief initially assesses manuscripts before assigning them to the relevant subject editors. Articles that are considered by subject editors to be potentially relevant for publication will be sent for peer-review. Articles accepted for publication will have been reviewed by at least two expert readers. Final acceptance of articles is conditional upon suggested revisions being satisfactorily executed, and a second round of review may be required.

When an article is accepted for publication it will go through a reference-checking process before being published on the journal website.

Publication workflow

1. After your paper’s initial submission, it will be checked to see whether it conforms to basic NJAS guidelines. If so, it will then be assigned to the appropriate subject editor, who will be the main point of communication for you throughout the rest of the process. The subject editor will send you a confirmation that we have received your submission; you can expect to receive this confirmation within approximately one to two weeks. The publication workflow may vary somewhat from the process outlined here, at the discretion of the subject editor.

2. In consultation with the editorial team, the subject editor will determine whether your paper is of sufficient quality and relevance to be sent for peer review. A desk reject is not necessarily a judgment on a paper’s quality; some papers simply fall outside the scope of our publication. The subject editor may also request that changes be made before the paper is sent for external review.

3. Papers that pass step 2 will then be sent for peer review. We try to make this process as speedy as possible, but please be aware that it usually takes several months, because we are committed to rigorous and fair review.

4. When peer reviews are received, the subject editor makes a decision on the paper. The exact wording and content of the decision depends on the subject editor and on the article itself, but typical decisions are as follows:

a. (Provisionally) accept, usually with minor changes required

b. Revise and resubmit (major changes required, along with possible further review – this is not an “accept” verdict, but it does indicate that reviewers have seen some potential in the paper, and we therefore encourage resubmission)

c. Reject, but invite a new or substantially reworked paper

d. Reject

Decisions will be accompanied by comments from the reviewers. The subject editor may require additional changes now or at a later stage.

5. For papers in categories (b–c) (or (a) with revisions required), you may then choose to submit a new or revised paper. The paper will again be assessed by the subject editor, and may be sent for further peer review (back to step 2). Papers will only be granted official acceptance if they conform to our language and style guidelines.

6. When a paper is officially accepted – that is, the subject editor has determined it to be in publishable condition – we will send it for checking (references, etc., with possible minor changes required).

7. When we receive the final corrections from you, we will send the paper for formatting.

8. After formatting, please check your article very carefully once more, and make final, minor corrections to the proofs, such as necessary formatting changes. No major changes can be made at this stage.

9. Publication of the article. 

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