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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 press for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in the Microsoft Word, RTF, or OpenDocument file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-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, which is found in About the Press.

Author Guidelines

This is a general guide to African Sun Media's preferences regarding the layout and referencing styles of a manuscript presented for publication. Not all referencing and stylistic aspects are covered, but we focus on those that we generally encounter. We realise that there are many correct and widely accepted approaches to the above. However, consistency remains essential and shortens the publishing process considerably, saving everybody involved time and money. Most importantly, we can create a professional product as befits a content specialist and the authors.

Our guidelines are mainly based on: Lourens, A. 2007. Scientific Writing Skills: Guidelines for writing theses and dissertations.Stellenbosch: African Sun Media

General notes on submission and formatting:

An electronic copy of the manuscript must be submitted in MS Word format.

The manuscript must be accompanied by a basic structure, including a Table of Contents and other relevant Front and/or End Matter.

The formatting should not contain automatic insertions. Our software sees the following as ‘bugs’:

  • a generated Table of Contents
  • equations
  • hidden links that may contain descriptive text that erroneously appears and forms part of the running text, mostly unnoticed by the typesetter.

Please keep the formatting simple and consistent throughout the manuscript:

  • Paper size: A4 (not Letter).
  • Margins: 20 mm on all sides.
  • 1.5 spacing throughout.
  • Justified body text.
  • One font family throughout the manuscript:
  • 11 pt for all body text and quotes
  • 9 pt for foot-/endnotes and figure/table captions
  • Distinct heading levels:
  • level 1: bold, 12 pt
  • level 2: bold, italics, 11 pt
  • level 3: italics, 11 pt
  • If numbering is used to indicate heading levels, apply it throughout the manuscript with Arabic figures, i.e. 3, 3.1, 3.1.1, etc. Do not use numbering on more than 3 levels; rather use bullets to indicate a level-4 heading.
  • Use a hard return (Enter) only to end a paragraph or section, not to break a line; to break a line, use a soft return (Shift+Enter).
  • No automatic hyphenation.
  • No double spacing.

US English should be changed to UK English, except with direct quotes, proper names and titles in the Bibliography or Reference List.

Spelling, punctuation, capitalisation and abbreviations should be consistent throughout:

Direct quotations should have double quotation marks () when they form part of the running text, whether it's a single word, a phrase or a full sentence.

  • No quotation marks when a direct quote is rendered as a separate indented paragraph (40 words or more). Also, the end full stop is placed before the reference in brackets as the source is not part of the quotation itself:

Education is the key to making democracy work since in order to intelligently participate in social and political life, one has to be informed and educated to be able to be a good citizen and competent actor in democratic life. (Dewey, 2004:17-18, 22-23)

  • Ellipses are to be rendered as follows: space, three full stops, space:

This concept, also called 'languaging', is defined as “sets of linguistic resources afforded for language users in different social and cultural circumstances" (Pietikäinen et al., 2008:81).

  • No space between an ellipsis and a punctuation mark directly thereafter:

It was evident that he regarded English as the lingua franca in Wesbank: “It’s the only language I can explain to the people ” (Hudson, 2007).

The following Latin phrases are widely used and known, and should not be italicised:

  • et al.
  • op cit.
  • ibid.
  • cf.
  • sic
  • vice versa
  • i.e. [no comma after]
  • etc.
  • e.g. [no comma after]
  • N.B.
  • P.S.

The following should be italicised:

  • foreign languages
  • titles of books, films, plays, CDs, and radio and television programmes
  • works of art
  • journals, magazines, periodicals and newspapers

Diagrams, graphs, tables and other imagery should be rendered as follows:

  • High resolution images (preferably 300 dpi) must be provided in a separate folder in their original format (.jpg, .png or .tiff).
  • All diagrams, graphs, tables and images must be named according to their placement in the manuscript (e.g. 'Figure 6.1' for Figure 1 in Chapter 6), and as such must be clearly indicated in the text.
  • Tables and imagery must be correctly numbered and referenced in the running text (e.g. the first table in Chapter 7 is 'Table 7.1', not Table 1).
  • Tables and imagery must all have captions to be placed at the top of a table, and at the bottom of an image.

Footnote/endnote reference numbers must be indicated in superscript Arabic figures in the running text, without brackets and after punctuation marks with no space added:

… as argued by Duckworth,11 Lennon12 and Brown.13

  • Use the automatic function to insert footnotes and endnotes (References > Insert Endnote/Footnote).
  • Hyperlinks in the running text should rather be rendered as footnotes, e.g.:

Apparently, the term ‘enquiry’ means to ask a question, while ‘inquiry’ refers to a formal investigation (

Change to:

Apparently, the term ‘enquiry’ means to ask a question, while ‘inquiry’ refers to a formal investigation.1


A complete Bibliography or Reference List must be provided. Sources must be listed alphabetically by author name, and each author’s works chronologically. These works can be arranged from new to old or vice versa, but it must be consistent throughout the publication.

Basic principles for the style:

ASM's publisher place and name for all our imprints is 'Stellenbosch: African Sun Media.

Our branch in Bloemfontein remains 'Bloemfontein: SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein'.

Titles of unpublished works are not italicised, e.g. theses, dissertations and manuscripts in press.

'et al.' should never be used in the Bibliography or Reference List; all the authors' names must be given.

Edition should not be abbreviated and written with a capital 'E', and the edition number must be in the normal position, not superscript.

The publisher must be included where appropriate and should reflect the place first:

Waghid, Y. 2010. Education, democracy and citizenship revisited: Pedagogical encounters. Stellenbosch: AFRICAN SUN MeDIA.

  • If there is more than one place (e.g. London and New York: Penquin), use only one.

Abbreviations and publishing place must be translated into the language of the publication, e.g. from Afrikaans to English:

  • Londen -> London;
  • (reds.) -> (eds);
  • 2de Uitgawe -> 2nd Edition

No 'pp' or spaces in a page reference, and use a hyphen instead of an 'en dash': 323-342. Give all the digits of the page numbers: 323-328 (not 323-8).

Hyperlinks should indicate the complete URL of a source or the closest permanent link to it:

  • Please note that there should be no full stop after a URL.
  • Website links favour an accessed date as the content may change over time:

Schubert, W.H. 2008. Curriculum inquiry. The Sage handbook of curriculum and instruction. New York: Sage. hdbk_curriculum/article_n19.html [Accessed 7 December 2010].

  • It is the author’s responsibility to verify that URLs are correct and/or active.

DOIs should indicate the complete DOI URL of a source (without 'doi:' or 'DOI:' added in front):

  • Please change "" in URLs to the secure website "".
  • No accessed date is needed, because the content of the URL will not change.
  • AFRICAN SUN MeDIA adds all available DOIs to the Bibliography or Reference List as a publishing service.

Examples of various types of references:

  • The reference that should appear in the running text is indicated by 'T', while the source in the Bibliography or Reference List is indicated by 'B'.
  • "Author" also refers to an entity (e.g. Department of Education).


One author:

T: He is of the opinion that … (Goleman, 1998:167).

T: … as stated by Goleman (1998:185).

B: Goleman, D. 1998. Working with Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

One author, multiple works, some with page references:

The different works are to be separated by a comma.

T: In his research, he found that … (Coetzee, 1986:234-245, 1988, 1991:99-135).

One author, several works in the same year:

T: … is “impossible” (Bain, 1979a:25) and “criminal” (Bain, 1979b:58).

B: Bain, D.S. 1979a. Child health: The reality. Cape Town: Van Schaik.

B: Bain, D.S. 1979b. Health counselling. Cape Town: Van Schaik.

Different authors with the same surname and publication date:

References in the running text must include the author's initials to avoid confusion.

T: This is regarded as completely unacceptable (Nel, K.M., 1987:87). According to R.S. Nel (1987:45), role playing can assist…

B: Nel, K.M. 1987. Evaluating texts. Cape Town: Van Schaik.

B: Nel, R.S. 1987. Role playing in class. Pretoria: Juta.

Two authors, same work:

Use 'and' instead of an ampersand ('&') when the authors' names form part of the sentence.

T: Biggs and Tang contend that … (2007:153).

T: Student success seems to decline annually (Biggs & Tang, 2007:153).

B: Biggs, J. & Tang, C. 2007. Teaching for quality learning at university: what the student does. 3rd Edition. Berkshire: Open University Press.

More than two authors, same work:

The first reference in the running text must include all the authors' names; thereafter, only the first author followed by 'et al.'

T: Coordinated attacks have been orchestrated mainly against African migrants (Crush, Ramachandran & Pendleton, 2013:92).

T: … in provinces such as Gauteng, Western Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu- Natal (Crush et al., 2013:130).

B: Crush, J., Ramachandran, S. & Pendleton, W. 2013. Soft targets: Xenophobia, public violence and changing attitudes to migrants in South Africa after May 2008. Cape Town: SAMP.

Exception: Two separate references with the same first author and same date will both be shortened to Human et al. (1991), therefore both should be cited in full to avoid confusion.

T: According to research done by Human, Krause and Palm (1991) and Human, Brink and Smit (1991), the 21st century will…

Several works by different authors:

In the running text, arrange the authors alphabetically, separated by semi-colons; use commas to separate an author’s multiple works, e.g. Le Roux below.

T: Earlier studies (Brown, 1991:22; Le Roux, 1990:24-60, 1991:181-201; McDonald, 2003:53) indicated...

A chapter in a book:

After 'In:', editors' initials are given first and then their surnames.

T: … with the expectations of a wide array of stakeholders (Botha, 2009:164).

B: Botha, N. 2009. Some current curriculum issues in South African higher education. In: E. Bitzer (ed). Higher education in South Africa: A scholarly look behind the scenes. Stellenbosch: African Sun Media. 155-182.

Author unknown:

Use only the first few words + ellipsis if the title is very long.

T: Some see these ‘clashes’ as threatening (Knowledge under attack …, 1999:285).

B: Knowledge under attack: Consumption, diversity and the need for values. 1997. In: R. Barnett & A. Griffin (eds). The end of knowledge in higher education. London: Cassell. 1-18.

Conference paper:


T: … learning strategies and assessment approach (Gibbons, 1998).

B: Gibbons, M. 1998. Higher education relevance in the 21st century. Paper presented at the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education. Paris, 5-9 October.

In published proceedings:

T: … that "modern democracies are inescapably plural" (Van Wyk, 2016:18).

B: Van Wyk, B. 2016. Higher education and critical consciousness: Towards a citizen of the world. In: E. Costandius & F. Odiboh (eds). The relevance of critical citizenship education in an African context [Conference proceedings]. Stellenbosch: African Sun Media. 9-18.

Sacred scriptures:

T: … when God called out to Adam, asking where he was (Genesis 3:9).

B: Genesis. 1988. The Bible. Cape Town: Bible Society of South Africa.

Translated work:

T: … oral examinations have existed for centuries (Artistotle, 1982).

B: Aristotle. 1982. Eudemian ethics Books I, II and VIII. (Michael Woods, transl.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Manuscript still in the process of being published:

T: …learning strategies and assessment approach (Botha, in press).

B: Botha, M.M. Re-curriculating the B Ed Hons in South Africa: A learning experience in transformation. (In press.)

Unpublished thesis or dissertation:

T: … occur within very specific contextual conditions (Adam, 2009:ii).

B: Adam, F. 2009. Curriculum reform in higher education: a humanities case study. PhD thesis. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand.


Article in a journal:

Volume and issue number known:  ('41' is the volume number; '1' is the issue number)

T: … employing the IPA model (Martilla & James, 1977).

B: Martilla, J. & James, J. 1977. Importance-Performance analysis. The Journal of Marketing, 41(1):77-79.

Month or season also known:

B: Martilla, J. & James, J. 1977. Importance-Performance analysis. The Journal of Marketing, 41(1), March:77-79.

Only volume number known:

B: Martilla, J. & James, J. 1977. Importance-Performance analysis. The Journal of Marketing, 41:77–79.

Only issue number known:

B: Martilla, J. & James, J. 1977. Importance-Performance analysis. The Journal of Marketing, (1):77–79.

Author unknown:

T: … employing the IPA model (Importance-Performance analysis, 1977).

B: Importance-Performance analysis. 1977. The Journal of Marketing, 41(1):77-79.


Note: An in-text reference must match the source in the Bibliography or Reference List precisely, e.g. if an author name is followed by an acronym or abbreviated form in brackets with its first appearance in the running text, the acronym or abbreviated form should appear first in the Bibliography or Reference List if it is used in the rest of the document.


T: … the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (RSA 1996).

B: RSA (Republic of South Africa). 1996. Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Pretoria: Government Printing Works.

Government report:

T: … the Green Paper on Higher Education Transformation (RSA DoE, 1996).

B: RSA DoE (Republic of South Africa. Department of Education). 1996. Green Paper on Higher Education Transformation. Pretoria: Government Printing Works. paper-higher-education-transformation0.pdf [Accessed 08 February 2019].

Government report published in the Government Gazette:

T: … the Education White Paper 3 in the Government Gazette (RSA DoE, 1997).

B: RSA DoE (Republic of South Africa. Department of Education). 1997. Education White Paper 3: A Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education. Government Gazette, 386(18207), Notice 1196 of 1997. 24 July.


T:   … as defined in the Higher Education Act 101 (RSA, 1977).

B:   RSA (Republic of South Africa). 1997. Higher Education Act 101 of 1997. Pretoria: Government Printing Works


Newspaper article:

An initial article in the title of the periodical can be left out: Sunday Times (instead of The Sunday Times), but it must be applied consistently throughout the manuscript.

Author known:

T: Mental health is currently in the African spotlight (Jacaranda, 2018).

B: Jacaranda, F. 2018. No money for campus counselling services – Minister. World News, 25 October:5.

Author unknown:

Use only the first few words + ellipsis if the headline is very long.

T: … mental health at universities (No money for campus …, 2018).

B: No money for campus counselling services – Minister. 2018. World News, 25 October:5.

Author and headline unknown:

T: … mental health at universities (World News, 2018:5).

B: World News. 2018. 25 October:5.


Personal interview:

T: … was openly admitted by him (Day, 2001).

B: Day, D. 2001. Personal interview. 5 May, Stellenbosch.


T… as depicted in the movie (A room with a view, 1995).

B:  A room with a view (film). 1995. London: Cinecom International Films.

Please note: Other referencing styles may be used, as long as the chosen style is applied consistently throughout the manuscript.

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