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Instructions for authors

Download the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies instructions for contributors here: Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (177 KB)

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Bulletin of SOAS

Academic freedom is essential in the pursuit of scholarly truth and dissemination of knowledge. Submissions to all SOAS-owned journals are considered on their academic merits, irrespective of their topic. SOAS is opposed to any attempt to restrict access to our publications on the basis of their content.

BSOAS spans all periods, from ancient times to the present day, of the cultures and civilizations of the Near and Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, South-East Asia and Africa. It publishes articles on the history, religions and philosophies, literatures and languages, music, arts and archaeology of all these regions.

Article submission

All articles except book reviews and letters to the Editor should be submitted online via our new manuscript submission and tracking site, Full instructions for electronic submission are available directly from this site. To facilitate rapid reviewing, communications for peer review will be electronic and authors will need to supply a current e-mail address when registering to use the system.

Open Access Policies

Please visit Open Access Publishing at Cambridge Core for information on our open access policies, compliance with major finding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

English Language Editing Services

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. We list a number of third-party services specialising in language editing and / or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Please see the Language Services page for more information. Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge Core published journal.


The preferred style of reference is citation by author and date, e.g. Robinson (2000: 80) including a complete reference list giving full bibliographical details as follows:

Robinson, Chase F. 2000. Empire and Élites after the Muslim Conquest: The Transformation of Northern Mesopotamia. (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

A clear system of abbreviations or other critical apparatus should be used for archival and manuscript sources.

The following system of references will also be accepted: a first footnote citation giving full bibliographical data, e.g. M. Boyce, Zoroastrianism: Its Antiquity and Constant Vigour (Columbia Lectures on Iranian Studies, 7, Costa Mesa: Mazda, 1992), 187. Thereafter by short title; op. cit. should be avoided and ibid. used only to refer to the reference immediately preceding.

Titles of books and journals are italicized with initial capitals. Citation by volume and part is in the following form: BSOAS 60/1, 1997, 231–9. Titles of articles are roman within double quotation marks.

Illustrations and scripts

Line drawings, graphs, etc., should be supplied as good quality originals for scanning, or electronically. For further details of file formats please see Cambridge Journals Artwork Guide. Authors are responsible for clearing copyright permissions and providing the acknowledgement line. Photos and non-roman scripts, including Chinese and Japanese characters, will only be accepted where they are essential to the text.

If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.


Scholarly transliteration systems should be used where appropriate for all language groups. BSOAS does not impose any particular style and authors may use any recognized academic system that meets their needs, explaining any non-standard or unusual elements in a footnote. Authors should  bear in mind the academic readership of the journal.


First proofs of articles and reviews are sent to authors as a .pdf email attachment and should be returned by the deadline given. Corrections should be limited to factual and typographical errors.


The policy of BSOAS is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant SOAS, University of London a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish the article without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here .

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer

Conflicts of Interest declarations

  • Authors will be asked to declare any Conflicts of Interest when they submit their work.
  • Conflicts of Interest are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on an author’s presentation of their work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations.
  • Conflicts of Interest do not necessarily mean that an author’s work has been compromised. Authors should declare any real or perceived Conflicts of Interest in order to be transparent about the context of their work.
  • Conflicts of Interest declarations should list all contributing authors.
  • Example wording for a Conflicts of Interest declaration is as follows: “Conflicts of Interest: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no Conflicts of Interest exist, the declaration should state “Conflicts of Interest: none”.

Last updated March 2021