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Instructions for authors

Please note that ET has now moved to an online submission system. All new submissions including revised manuscripts and production files are to be submitted through ET's ScholarOne Manuscripts site: Prior to submission, please ensure you consult the revised Instructions for Contributors documents below.

Download the English Today instructions for contributors here: Download Instruction for Contributors in PDF. (285 KB)

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English Today

Editorial policy

ET is a quarterly journal whose aim is to be compact, comprehensive, attractive, and accessible. It covers all aspects of the English language, including its uses and abuses, its international variations, its history, literature and linguistics, and its uses and neologisms. In short, no aspect of English Studies is beyond its reach.

Advice to authors

English Today is unlike most academic journals in that it is aimed at a very wide audience of educated readers – indeed, anyone who is interested in understanding recent developments in the English language in different parts of the world and domains of use. The readers of ET include educationalists, broadcasters, ELT and ESL teachers, teacher trainers, journalists, students and many others, in addition to those who would describe themselves as professional linguists.

Bearing in mind this wide audience, we require authors to write accessible and thought-provoking articles, which illuminate some recent development in the way English is used. Please keep in mind that your article must say something interesting about the English language. It may focus on the functions of English (e.g. its spread and use worldwide) or on its forms (e.g. variation in English style or usage), or a range of related matters. Or indeed your article may discuss both the functions and forms of English in a given context, including literary forms; but the point is that it should always clearly focus on some aspect of the English language itself, and not, for example, on particular experiments in language teaching or a discussion of general linguistic theory or literary matters.

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 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.

One of the attractions of English Today is that it regularly publishes new and up-to-date research reports that give academics (and others) the opportunity to reach a far wider audience than is the case in most academic journals. And our quarterly publishing cycle often allows us to publish suitable articles promptly.

In ensuring the scope and quality of its content the Editor is assisted by two Associate Editors, a Reviews Editor, and the Editorial Board.


ET has now moved to an online submission system. Contributions are welcome from all relevant disciplines and walks of life and should be submitted through ET's ScholarOne Manuscripts site:

Prospective writers who are not regular readers of ET may prefer to write to introduce themselves, with a proposal, plan, draft, or completed piece. These should be sent to:

Unsolicited articles can often be of great value, and are welcome.

Submission of an article is taken to imply that it has not previously been published, and has not been submitted for publication elsewhere. Authors of articles published in the journal sign a license to publish with Cambridge University Press (with certain rights reserved) and you will receive a form for signature on acceptance of your paper.

Please visit for information on our open access policies, compliance with major funding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

Contributors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any material in which they do not own copyright, to be used in both print and electronic media, and for ensuring that the appropriate acknowledgements are included in their manuscript.

Manuscript Preparation

English Today generally leaves the orthography of articles unchanged wherever possible. We would appreciate your cooperation in following the style set out below.

1. Length and submission

Major articles intended for scrutiny by the editors alone are usually between 2,000 and 4,000 words, while short articles, reviews, and notes range from around 500 to 2,000 words. Articles which authors wish to go forward for further scrutiny beyond the editorial team (that is, for peer review) can range up to c.6,000 words. Authors should make it clear whether they wish their submissions to be for ‘editor review’ or ‘peer review’. Illustrative material, such as lists, specimens, and photographs can be added to articles.

The author of an accepted article should provide 100-150 words of biography and, if possible, a recent photograph.

Articles should be submitted as an e-mail attachment (in Microsoft Word or Rich Text format) along with a covering e-mail.

The Editors cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, authors' manuscripts. Authors should keep a copy of articles submitted.

2. References

2.1 In-text references

Should be as follows. Examples given are for hypothetical single authors and double authors (note use of commas, semicolons and &).

(Surname, 200X: X-X)

(Surname, 200X, 200X)

(Surname, 200X; Surname, 200X)

(Surname & Surname, 200X)

Newspaper articles (when there is no byline): (Newspaper, Day Month, Year, X-X)


(Crystal, 2008: 5-6)

(Social Weather Stations, 2006)

(Mesthrie, 2005, 2006)

(Kachru & Nelson, 2005; Kachru, 2004)

(Greenbaum & Nelson, 1996)

(Daily Telegraph, 27 September, 2008, 3)

2.2 Final references

Final references should follow the following style guidelines:


Surname, Name initial. (eds.) Year. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place: Publisher.

Surname, Name initial & Surname, Name initial. (eds.) Year. Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place: Publisher.


Mufwene, S. 2001. The Ecology of Language Evolution. Cambridge: University Press.

Kachru, Y. & Nelson, C. 2005. World Englishes in Asian Contexts. Hong Kong: University Press.


Surname, Name initial. Year. ‘Chapter title: Chapter subtitle.’ In Initial. Surname of editor(s) (eds.), Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Place: Publisher, pp. X-X.


Phillipson, R. 2002. ‘Global English and local language policies.’ In A. Kirkpatrick (ed.), English in Asia: Communication, Identity, Power and Education. Melbourne: Language Australia, pp. 7–28.


Surname, Name initial. Year. ‘Article title: Article subtitle.’ Name of Journal, Vol(Nr), X-X.


Martin, A. 2004. ‘The "katakana effect" and teaching English in Japan.’ English Today, 20(1), 50–5.

Newspaper articles

Surname, Name initial. Year. ‘Article title: Article subtitle.’ Name of Newspaper, Month, Day, X-X.

If no byline:

Name of Newspaper. Year. ‘Article title: Article subtitle.’ Month, Day, X-X.


Chung, Carol. 2008. ‘Blast off.’ Hong Kong Standard, September 27, 2.

Hong Kong Standard. 2008. ‘HK ranks second to mainland in FDI.’ September 27, 14.

Online sources

Surname, Name initial (or similar). Year. ‘Title of online document.’ Online at <URL> (Accessed Month Day, Year).

Example: 2005. ‘Philippines may face staff shortage.’ Online at> (Accessed September 8, 2007).


Surname, Name initial. Year. ‘Title of thesis.’ Type of dissertation. Place: University.


Martinez, N. D. 1972. ‘An integrative approach to teaching and learning Standard Filipino English pronunciation.’ Unpublished Master’s thesis. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University.

3. Quotations

3.1 Shorter quotations

Shorter quotations should be enclosed within single quotation marks.


By 2020, it is estimated that ‘300 million, or 40 per cent of the Chinese population to be in the middle class by 2020’ (PBS, 11 January, 2006).

3.2 Longer quotations

Longer quotations should be indented and use a smaller font size.

4. Tables and figures

4.1 Tables

We suggest that the heading of a table (in bold) should be enclosed in the table, and that the number of the table be followed by a colon, and that the table heading should be the same size as the rest of the table, and the same size as the body copy of the article.

Example: Table 3: TOEFL scores for individual Asian societies, 2005-06



Paper-based (computer-based)



- - - (255)



586 (236)



572 (232)



566 (238)



562 (238)



557 (228)



557 (216)


Sri Lanka

548 (234)


Hong Kong

539 (216)


South Korea

538 (218)



535 (218)



535 (214)



534 (207)



530 (206)


Burma (Myanmar)

518 (206)



- - - (206)



500 (200)



497 (192)

4.2 Figures

We suggest that the name of the figure (in bold) be placed below the figure (rather than above), and, again, should include a colon.

Example: ~*~*~*~@~*~*~*~

Figure X: Title of figure

Charges apply for all colour figures that appear in the print version of the journal. At the time of submission, contributors should clearly state whether their figures should appear in colour in the online version only, or whether they should appear in colour online and in the print version. There is no charge for including colour figures in the online version of the Journal but it must be clear that colour is needed to enhance the meaning of the figure, rather than simply being for aesthetic purposes. 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.

5. Text Preparation

Distinctive usage (such as British and American spelling, special kinds of punctuation, and IPA symbols) is as far as possible kept as authors provide it.

If subheadings are not provided within a longer text they may be added.

All statements of sources for quotations and other data should be thorough and consistent.

6. Do’s and Don’ts checklist

Below is a checklist of (please) ‘do’s’ and (please) ‘don’ts’ which might find useful:


Do focus on an issue relevant to contemporary English;

Do include examples of language ‘data’ wherever relevant, e.g. examples of different variants of English, including grammar, vocabulary, or direct and accurate quotations, or photographs etc.;

Do write clearly and engagingly.


Don’t choose an irrelevant topic;

Don’t frontload the article with a lengthy literature review and description of methodology (be very concise if covering such points);

Don’t write in an obscure and impenetrable style.

Competing interests declaration

All authors must include a competing interests declaration in their Title Page that they submit alongside their manuscripts. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article.

Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations.

If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors.

Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: 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 competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”.


Whenever possible, contributors receive proofs for checking and should return them as promptly as they can, by airmail if necessary. Typographical or factual errors only may be changed a proof stage. The publisher reserves the right to charge authors for correction of non-typographical errors.

Contributor copies

Contributors receive a PDF of their piece.

Last updated 20 October 2021