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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.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (unless an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor)
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a blind review have been followed
  • 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 URLs); 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
  • Authors who make a submission to this journal must ensure they have read our Privacy and Consent Policy, and agree to its terms

Author Guidelines

General guidelines

Contributions must be original, unpublished work and must not be submitted to another publication simultaneously. However, translated material that is unpublished elsewhere in English may also be considered. Authors are not charged for publication and all journal work undertaken is volunteer.

All contributions and correspondence should be submitted via our Open Journal System. Contributions should be submitted as a Microsoft Word document. A printed copy is not required. Contributions should not entail identifiable elements such as author(s)' name, address, email, so that we can easily maintain anonymity for the purpose of double-blind peer review. For more information, please familiarize yourself with our policy for ensuring a blind review. The editorial team reserve the right to edit or alter contributions, but authors will receive proofs for approval prior to publication.

In addition, authors are required to make sure submitted content does not infringe third party copyright. More information from the Intellectual Property Office here:


Contributions of minumum 4,000 words and up to maximum 8,000 words (including references, captions and notes) are welcome, in line with the rationale of The South Asianist. Shorter contributions will be considered, as well as visual and creative submissions. Book reviews should not be more than 800 words. 

The main submission should contain the title, subtitle (if desired), and the main body of the text, with references, appendices, tables, and necessary footnotes.

Main submission should be accompanied by a title page that includes: title, subtitle (if desired), author(s)’ name, institutional affiliation, acknowledgements (if any), address and email. Title page should also contain an abstract of 200-250 words and five keywords. We request that you submit the title page as supplementary file rather than in the main submission, which will need to be blinded for peer-review


Papers should be written concisely, but not at the expense of clarity. The text should be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font, and should be double-spaced (including abstract, references and footnotes). Pages should be numbered. 

Headings and sub-headings

  • Headings within the text should be positioned on the left-hand side of the text;
  • Primary Headings should be typed in bold and have initial capital letters;
  • Secondary Headings should be italicised and have initial capital; letters;
  • Tertiary Headings should be in normal font and also have initial capital letters.


Footnotes should be kept to a minimum. They should not be used for references, but for explanation and expansion of argument where appropriate. Footnotes reference numbers should appear as consecutive Arabic numerals and must be embedded in the text (so that any footnote additions or deletions will automatically change all the footnote changes throughout the paper).


Formatting should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style. Citations in text should be referenced in parentheses: (Author Year) as in (Said 1978); (Author Year: Pages) e.g. (Sharma 2008: 309).

References should be listed under a heading called References at the end of the document, and should appear in alphabetical sequence using the following style:

Journal articles
Shah A. (2006), ‘The Labour of Love: Seasonal migration from Jharkhand to the brick kilns of other states in India’, Contributions to Indian Sociology 40 (1): 91-118

Scott, J. C. (2009), The Art of Not Being Governed: An anarchist history of upland southeast Asia, Yale: Yale University Press

Edited books
Bates, C. (ed.) (2001), Community, Empire and Migration: South Asians in diaspora, Bakingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Book chapters in edited collections
Bharadwaj A. (2009), ‘Assisted Life: The neoliberal moral economy of embryonic stem cells in India’, in D. Birenbaum-Carmeli and M. C. Inhorn (eds.), Assisting reproduction, testing genes: Global encounters with new biotechnologies, New York: Berghahn Books: 239-258

Bjerre, J. (1960) Kalahari (trans. Bannister, E.), New York: Hill and Wang

Electronic sources
Islam T. (2010), Let’s Save Puran Dhaka!, Accessed at on 23 April 2012

Vidanage, H. R. (2009), Exploring the impact of online politics on political agents and political strategies in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. PhD thesis. University of Edinburgh

Newspaper articles
Roy P. (2012), Eyes Wide Shut!, The Orissa Post (Bubaneshwar), 15 March, p.14

Magazine articles
Kaung, K. M. (2011), Potemkin Politics: Are the Burmese reforms for real?, Himal Southasian: 21-25, December

Title. Format (e.g. DVD). Directed by xxx (date of release); place of publication, publisher/distributor, distribution date (if different from date of release, as in the case of DVDs).

Grey literature
This includes, but is not restricted to, governmental and non-governmental reports, pamphlets, internal company documents, conference papers, working papers and unpublished material. Reference to grey literature should follow the author and title style for books, but without italics for the title.

Other conventions


English is the working language of this publication. Words in other languages should be italicised.


The working language of the journal is British English. 

Abbreviations and Acronyms

Abbreviations and acronyms should be explained at the first occurrence. These, and other conventions, should be used consistently throughout the paper, and typed without full points. Thus: GNP, PhD. Per cent is preferred to %, unless used frequently. Always percentage.


Use an em-rule (–) with a character space either side.

Numbers, Dates and Measurements

Words should be used for simple numbers from one to ten, while figures should be used for numerals from 11 upwards. Exceptions are references to page numbers, and in sets of numerals, some of which are higher than ten (eg, 17, 6 and 2).

Four-figure numbers should have a comma, and a further comma with each additional three figures (eg, 2,000; 5,000,000.)

Dates should be written in full (eg, 15 February 1943), and decades in number, without abbreviation (eg, the 1980s). Write 20th century, and use 21st-century ideas. Metric units are preferred for contemporary weights and measures.


When in the text these should be in single quotation marks, and should be in double quotation marks when appearing as quotations within quotations. Quotations of more than two lines of text should be indented.

Tables, Illustrations and Figures

Tables, illustrations and figures should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals, and placed in their appropriate location and caption marked in the text.

Illustrations may be provided in colour or greyscale and submitted as either .tiff or .jpeg files with a minimum quality of 300dpi. The online nature of this series means there is no additional cost for the inclusion of photographs, maps, etc and contributors are encouraged to use illustrations where appropriate.

Authors who are in doubt about the accepted style or conventions should refer to a recent article of The South Asianist.

Ensuring a blind review

To ensure the integrity of the blind peer-review process for submission to this journal, every effort should be made to prevent the identities of the author(s) and reviewers from being known to each other. This involves the author(s), editors, and reviewers (who upload documents as part of their review) checking to see if the following steps have been taken with regard to the text and the file properties:

  • The authors of the document have deleted their names from the text, with "Author" and year used in the references and footnotes, instead of the author(s)' name, article title, etc.
  • With Microsoft Office documents, author identification should also be removed from the properties for the file (see under File in Word), by clicking on the following, beginning with File on the main menu of the Microsoft application: File > Save As > Tools (or Options with a Mac) > Security > Remove personal information from file properties on save > Save.


Interviews should be 4000 words.

Film Reviews

Reviews should be 2000 words.

100 Years of South Asian Cinema: Articles

Articles should be between 5000 and 15000 words

100 Years of South Asian Cinema: Photo Essays

Photo Essays should consist of 6 to 10 pictures with a 250 word text for each.

Exploratory Essays

The main rationale behind the creation of the Exploratory Essay or 'Tea Staller' (coined by Editorial Board member Saad Quasem) is the need to provide a space within the South Asianist journal that allows scholars to present ideas and on-going research, in under 1500 words, for the purpose of spurring debate, seeking peer-feedback, and attracting potential research collaboration in a format that does not require a lengthy academic peer-review process. Though EE's do not undergo the full due diligence of peer-reviewed academic articles, they would undergo a basic two-stage ‘in-house editing’ process in order to ensure that the main requirements are adequately addressed:

Stage 1: Editor assigns the EE to a senior or assistant editor for review.

  1. Main criteria for stage 1 EE reviews are:
    1. descriptive title
    2. clarity of argument
    3. outline of at least three main observations
    4. summary of argument and observations with concluding remarks
    5. a list of at least 3 outstanding research questions
    6. 300 word author bio
    7. circulate to at least two additional South Asianist senior or assistant editors for final review
    8. submit comments to the author

Stage 2: Assigned editor receives revised EE and

  1. checks for:
    1. compliance with all of Stage 1 requirements
    2. check for grammar and spelling
    3. works with editorial team to format in South Asianist template
    4. sends finalised template to author for approval
    5. sends final to Editors for publication

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The University and this journal adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which replaces the Data Protection Act 1998 in regulating how we collect, use, store and dispose of personal data.

Before you make a submission to this journal, please ensure you have read our Privacy and Consent Policy, and agree to its terms.

Updated May 2021