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Instructions for authors


History in Africa – A Journal of Debates, Methods, and Source Analysis (HiA) is published annually by the African Studies Association. HiA is an international, peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes original research and review essays on methodological and historiographical matters pertaining to African history. It has been at the forefront of critical discussion of these topics for more than four decades. It seeks submissions that suggest new methodological approaches, provide insights into source materials, and reflect critically on themes in existing literatures or emerging fields of inquiry. HiA is a venue for rigorous analysis of both established and emerging research practices as well as of the resulting scholarly production about the African past.

This style guide is intended to standardize important elements of style and thus to aid authors, editors, and proofreaders in preparing copy for publication in HiA. Authors must recognize that they (and not the African Studies Association, nor the editors of HiA) are responsible for the content of their articles, for the accuracy of quotations and their correct attribution, for the legal right to publish any material submitted, for the inclusion of mandatory acknowledgments and/or disclaimers, and for submitting their manuscripts in proper form for publication. A manuscript submitted to HiA may not be under simultaneous consideration by any other journal or have been published elsewhere.

I.               Submissions

Article manuscripts should be submitted by the ScholarOne online submission and peer review system at As soon as the manuscript is submitted, authors will receive a message acknowledging receipt. Acknowledgment of receipt of a manuscript does not imply its acceptance.

II.           Manuscript Preparation

Authors may submit contributions in either English or French. They should not exceed 10,000 words (including notes) for research articles. Submissions such as archival notes should be less than 5,000 words including notes.

Readers of HiA are generally Africanists with knowledge of the field but we seek to reach a wider informed audience of historians and scholars and students with other specializations who share an interest in methodology, historiographical debate, and source analysis. For this reason, contributors should seek clarity, brevity, and simplicity of expression. Closely observe the conventions described in the sections on “Format and Style” and “Notes and References.”

To facilitate anonymous review, manuscripts should not bear the author’s name, references, or acknowledgements that make the author’s identity known. Acknowledgements and a competing interests statement for each author should be included in a separate title page.

Provide a short abstract (50–100 words) that summarizes the essential points of the paper (it is not meant to be an introduction or a mere list of topics).

Maps should be camera-ready with all relevant information as mentioned in the text. Provide all maps and images separately in original graphic format (PPG, TIFF, etc.)

At the time of submission, contributors should clearly state whether their figures should appear in color in the online version only, or whether they should appear in color online and in the print version. There is no charge for including color figures in the online version of the journal. If you request color figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. For more information on artwork see:

Additional 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 service is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of manuscripts is fully understood by journal editors and external reviewers. Third-party services specializing in language editing and/or translation, can be found here: geId=3608 Please note that use 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 published journal.

III.              Format and Style

Margins throughout the manuscript (top, bottom, and both sides) must be at least 1 inch (2.5 centimeters). Manuscripts must be double-spaced throughout, including notes, tables, figure captions, and quotations and references.

Use “American English.” In all quotations and titles of books, and articles, use the spelling in the original source.

Use American-style punctuation: double quotation marks (but single quotation marks for quotes within quotes), periods and commas inside quotation marks, colons and semi-colons outside quotation marks. HiA does use the serial comma (“There were three children, thirteen adults, and six pets.”) A parenthetic dash should appear as an en-dash surrounded by spaces (rather than as two hyphens; “He did not – as some have argued – leave the country.”).

Quotations of more than four manuscript lines should begin on a new line, indented from the left-hand margin, without inverted commas and preceded and followed by a single blank line. Any use of italics in quotations, whether original or added, should be noted with the source. Material inserted within a quotation is to be placed in square brackets. Where shorter quotations are used, these should come within the text and single inverted commas are to be used. Double inverted commas should only be used in the rare instance of a quotation within a quotation. Added emphasis should be identified as “emphasis added” and placed in brackets at the end of the quotation. Omissions in a quotation are indicated by using (…) 

Other textual elements:

  • Indent the first line of paragraphs following a hard return.
  • Italics should be used only for the names of publications and for words in languages other than English. Foreign words should be used only when necessary, and then only with a translation in parentheses.
  • Subheadings should be bolded but not numbered.
  • Dates should be written as “28 February 2013” (or “Feb.” in source references). Use BCE and CE, not BC and AD. Date spans should be elided as much as possible (“1848– 9”, but note “1911–12”); the exception to this is BCE date spans, which should always be given in full. Inclusive numbers or a span of numbers in a date (6–8 June) are separated by a one en-dash, not a hyphen. Ordinal numbers, where necessary, should not be written in superscript (14th, not 14###sup/sup###). Hours of the day are written as 2:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m., with the letters in small caps. A decade is referred to as “the 1960s” (not “the 1960’s”). Write “twentieth century”, rather than “20th century”. When used as an adjective, please hyphenate so, for example, “twentieth-century challenges.”
  • Spell out numbers up to ten and multiples of ten up to one hundred (“seven”, “twenty”, but “25”, “127”, “10,000”). Where there is a mixture of numbers normally written in words and figures, give all numbers in figures. Figures should be used for units of measurement, percentages (to be shown in the form “7 percent,” not “7%”), and any number that includes a decimal point. In reference to parts of books, numerals are spelled out (“chapter 6,” “page 5”). When pages are cited, digits are never elided. A span of years cited within a single century should appear as “l978–1979” not “1978–79.”
  • Contractions (such as “Dr.” and “Ms.”) and abbreviations (such as “Prof.”, “ed.”, and “vol.”) and (“eds.”, “vols.”) should be followed by a full stop.
  • All pages of the manuscript should be numbered consecutively.
  • Illustrations (including maps and graphs) should be referred to as “Fig. 1”, “Figs. 6 and 7”, etc.

3.     The only forms of textual emphasis used in HiA production are italics and bolding. Please do not format any text by underlining.

4. All authors must include a competing interest declaration in their title page. 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 organisation B. Author C 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”. 

IV.               Notes and References

Notes should be footnotes not endnotes. They should be numbered consecutively throughout the article (1, 2, 3 not I, II, III) and typed double-spaced. Footnotes should be placed only at the end of sentences and paragraphs.

All references cited in footnotes must appear in a References section at the end of the article, and all entries in References must be cited in the text. The only exception to this rule is the use of personal communications including interviews (please see sample in the following section for guidelines).

Alphabetize the reference list by last names of authors. Two or more works by the same author or authors should be listed chronologically; two or more by the same author or authors in the same year should be alphabetized by the first significant word in the title. Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their reference lists. Please use the following formatting for footnotes and references.

·       Do not use Ibid.

·       If multiple places of publication, list one.

·       Omit abbreviation for state if place of publication is clear (state university press).

·       For multiple works by one author in references, three em-dashes followed by a comma take the place of the author’s name in the second entry. 


Book, single author

First footnote:              Mary D.S. Ainsworth, Infancy in Uganda (Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967), 23.

Subsequent footnote: Ainsworth, Infancy, 45.

Reference:                     Ainsworth, Mary D.S., Infancy in Uganda (Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967).

Book, multiple authors

First footnote:              Dorothy Hammond and Alta Jablow, The Africa That Never Was: Four Centuries of British Writing About Africa (Prospect Heights IL: Waveland Press, 1992), 36.

Subsequent footnote: Hammond and Jablow, The Africa That Never Was, 45–7.

Reference:                  Hammond, Dorothy, and Alta Jablow, The Africa That Never Was: Four Centuries of British Writing About Africa (Prospect Heights IL: Waveland Press, 1992).

Chapter in edited book

First footnote:             David M. Anderson and Richard Rathbone, “Introduction. Urban Africa: Histories in the Making,” in Anderson, David M. and Rathbone, Richard (eds.), Africa’s Urban Past (Oxford: James Currey, 2000), 1–8.

Subsequent footnote:  Anderson and Rathbone, “Introduction,” 10.

Reference;                  Anderson, David M. and Richard Rathbone, “Introduction. Urban Africa                                              Histories in the Making,” in Anderson, David M. and Rathbone, Richard (eds.), Africa’s Urban Past (Oxford: James Currey, 2000).

Archival Material

Spell out name and location of each archive fully the first time, then abbreviate thereafter.

First footnote:             Tanzania National Archives, Dar es Salaam (TNA) 61/701/1, letter from

Secretary, Tanganyika Muslim Jazz Band Club to Provincial Commissioner, Eastern Province, 3 Apr. 1940.

Subsequent footnote: TNA 61/701/1, letter from Secretary, Tanganyika Muslim Jazz Band Club

to Provincial Commissioner, Eastern Province, 3 Apr. 1940.

First reference:            Rhodes House, Bodleian Library, Oxford, UK (RH) MS Africa s. 17, 4, J. Roscoe and A. Kaggwa, “Enquiry into native land tenure in the Uganda Protectorate,” 1906.

Subsequent reference: RH MS Africa s. 17, 4, J. Roscoe and A. Kaggwa, “Enquiry into native land tenure in the Uganda Protectorate,” 1906.

Article in journal

First footnote;             Sandra Greene, “Notsie Narratives: History, Memory, and Meaning in

West Africa,” The South Atlantic Quarterly 101 (2002), 1015–1020.

Subsequent footnote:  Greene, “Notsie Narratives,”1030.

Reference:                   Greene, Sandra, “Notsie Narratives: History, Memory, and Meaning in West Africa,” The South Atlantic Quarterly 101 (2002), 1015–1041.


First reference:           Babatunde A. Agiri, “Kola in Western Nigeria, 1850–1950, a History of the Cultivation of Cola Nitida in Egba-Owode, Ijebu-Remo, Iwo and Ota Areas,” (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1972), 37-8.

Subsequent footnote:  Agiri, “Kola in Western Nigeria,” 25-30.

Reference:                   Agiri, Babatunde A., “Kola in Western Nigeria, 1850–1950, a History of the Cultivation of Cola Nitida in Egba-Owode, Ijebu-Remo, Iwo and Ota Areas,” PhD dissertation, University of Wisconsin (Madison WI, 1972).

Government Publication

First footnote:             Republic of Uganda, Commission of Inquiry into the Disappearances of People in Uganda since 25 January 1971 (Kampala, 1974), 2.

Subsequent footnote:  Uganda, Commission of Inquiry, 3.

Reference:                  Republic of Uganda, Commission of Inquiry into the Disappearances of People in Uganda since 25 January 1971 (Kampala, 1974).

Paper Presented at a Meeting

First footnote:             M. Onuegeogwu, “Urbanization in the Kano Close Settlement Zone,” paper presented at the 7th Annual Meeting of the Nigerian Sociological and Anthropological Association, Ibadan, 15-19 November 1978. 

Subsequent footnote: Onuegeogwu, “Urbanization.”

Reference:                  Onuegeogwu, M., “Urbanization in the Kano Close Settlement Zone,” paper presented at the 7th Annual Meeting of the Nigerian Sociological and Anthropological Association, Ibadan, 15-19 November 1978. 

Internet source

First footnote:             Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, “Archival Fever,” Dipsaus podcast (30 December 2018),, (accessed 7 February 2018).

Subsequent footnote: Bakare-Yusuf, “Archival Fever.”

Reference:                  Bakare-Yusuf, Bibi, “Archival Fever,” Dipsaus podcast (30 December 2018),, (accessed 7 February 2018).


First footnote:             Interview with Douglas Chingoka, Harare, 24 July 2009.

Subsequent footnote: Interview with Douglas Chingoka.

No listing in references.

Personal Communication

First footnote:             Marina d’Almeida (personal communication, 16 April 2013).

No listing in references.

V.             Additional Information


History in Africa now requires that all corresponding authors identify themselves using their ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

·       Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.

·       Convenience: As more organizations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.

·        Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

If you don’t already have an iD, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to History in Africa. You can register for one directly from your user account on Scholar One or via

If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting, either by linking it to your Scholar One account or supplying it during submission by using the “Associate your existing ORCID ID” button.

Publishing your article as Gold Open Access

You will have the option to publish your article as Gold Open Access, enabling the final published version to be made freely available under a Creative Commons license. You might be required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) for Gold Open Access. You may be eligible for a waiver or discount, for example if your institution is part of a Read and Publish sales agreement with Cambridge University Press. For more information about your Open Access options, please see here. For more information about the benefits of choosing to publish Open Access, see here.