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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.

  • This work is my/our own and is free from plagiarized content, including from my/our own previous work. (See ethics guidelines for authors at
  • The manuscript has been anonymized
  • The separate cover page follows the instructions at

Author Guidelines


Please review these submission guidelines, our format, style, and reference instructions, and our ethics guidelines carefully before submitting your article via our OJS-submission system.

Guidelines for the submission of book reviews can be found at

Guidelines for the submission of special issue proposals can be found at

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 (excluding references, abstract, and title/author information), and book reviews up to 800 words. All submissions must conform to the guidelines described below.

NJAS accepts article submissions written in English or French (all sections); Swahili articles may be submitted to the languages section. All articles, regardless of the language of the main text, must also include an English-language abstract. Authors are also welcome and encouraged to include translations of abstracts into one or more relevant local languages, especially if the article focuses on the language(s).

Manuscripts should be submitted via our OJS-submission system. If you experience technical issues with registration or login, using a different browser (e.g. Chrome or Firefox) sometimes helps. If that fails, contact for assistance.

Submitting an article

Submit the article 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 article should consist of two documents: (1) a cover page, and (2) the anonymized manuscript.

The cover page includes:

  • Title of the paper
  • Author(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(s)
    These bios are included in published articles, so please include the information you would like to appear in an eventual publication. Authors of accepted articles will have the opportunity to update their bios before publication. For examples of author bios, please refer to previously published NJAS articles.
  • 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 (e.g. PhD or MA theses) that have been thoroughly revised and prepared as stand-alone articles may be considered, but this should also be clearly indicated in the submission. 
  • For co-authored papers, a brief description of each author's contribution. See for a taxonomy of author contributions that may be helpful. Please also see our requirements for authorship.

The anonymized 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.

Please proofread your paper carefully before submitting it, and make sure it is free of unnecessary jargon. Authors must ensure that their submissions are written in clear academic language.

Please remove any identifying information, such as authors' names or affiliations, from your manuscript before submission, and anonymize the file's metadata, as well.   

Editorial procedure

At NJAS we use independent, double-blind peer review to ensure that the articles we publish are of a high international standard. Receipt of manuscripts will be automatically acknowledged by email. The editor-in-chief assigns articles to the relevant subject editors, and may issue desk rejects if articles clearly fall outside the journal’s scope or other requirements. Articles that are considered by subject editors to be of sufficient quality and relevance to consider for publication will be sent out for peer-review. Articles accepted for publication will have been reviewed by at least two expert readers, one of whom may (but need not) be a member of our advisory board. Final acceptance of articles is conditional upon suggested revisions being satisfactorily executed, and a second round of review may be required. Subject editors and the journal’s editor(s)-in-chief are responsible for the final decisions on articles, after taking external reviewers’ reports into account.

We receive a high number of submissions, and can only consider one paper per author at a time. An author can be named as a single author or co-author on only one paper at a time, and on up to a maximum of two submissions per year.  In addition, we can publish a maximum of one article per author per calendar year.

Publication workflow

1. After your paper’s initial submission, it will be checked to see whether it conforms to basic NJAS guidelines. If the article passes this intial checks, 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 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. Papers are also checked for evidence of plagiarism. 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

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 category (b), you may then choose to submit a substantially 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 format, style, and reference guidelines. Authors must ensure the completeness and accuracy of reference lists.

6. When a paper is officially accepted – that is, the subject editor has determined it to be in publishable condition – please make sure all the cover-page information is up-to-date. We will then send the article for language checking, with possible minor changes required.

7. When we receive the final corrections from you, the article will be typeset. 

At this point, we also ask all authors to provide brief popular summaries of their articles for us to post on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and, in a shorter version, in our email publication announcement. You can check those accounts for examples and inspiration. You can also share a photo or other image, as long as you have the appropriate copyright-related permissions. As always, subject editors will help you if you have any questions!

8. After typesetting, 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. 

Special Issue Proposals

This section is used for the submission of special issue proposals, to be evaluated by the editorial board.

Special section: The Aesthetics of Home-Making in Diasporic Cultural Production

This section is for submissions to the proposed special section provisionally titled The Aesthetics of Home-Making in Diasporic Cultural Production

Guest Editors: Mathias Orhero (mathias DOT orhero AT mail DOT mcgill DOT ca) and Prof. Anne Gulick (AGULICK AT mailbox DOT sc DOT edu)

Special issue: Becoming (un)equal in age: Seniority and superiority in African

For submissions to the special issue

Becoming (un)equal in age: Seniority and superiority in African societies

guest edited by

Alice Mitchell, Thomas Widlok, Sabrina Msangi &  Joachim Knab

Institute of African Studies, University of Cologne

Special issue: Negotiating Consent in African Studies

Special issue: Negotiating Consent in African Studies: Fieldwork Ethics, Moralities, and Shifting Power Relations in North-South research interactions. For the Nordic Journal of African Studies.

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