Instructions for Authors

There is no fee for article submission or processing. 

To submit an article online:
  1. Register (if you need a Username/Password) or
  2. Login (if you already have a Username/Password)
  3. Select the role "author"

Registration and login are required to submit items online and to check the status of current submissions.
An step-by-step guide for authors to submit via this online system can be downloaded here.

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the below items. Submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines:



To ensure blind review, please submit three separate documents:

  1. Cover Page
  2. Abstract
  3. Submission text


The cover page should include the following information:

  • The name of the corresponding author.
  • Names, emails and affiliations of all authors, including ORCID IDs.
  • If ethics permission is required by your university, please indicate that this has been obtained (book reviews or articles that are conceptual or theoretical in nature do not require ethics approval).
  • Funding sources: declare any funding that supported the research included in the manuscript, (including project or funding reference numbers if necessary).
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
  • Plagiarism declaration: I acknowledge in submitting this manuscript to the journal that I have included all relevant citations and references. I further acknowledge that this manuscript presents my own original work, and does not copy, borrow from, or represent other published research in a way that would constitute academic plagiarism. Please see our Publication Ethics and Malpractice statement for clarity. All submissions to SOTL in the South are subject to a plagiarism check using Turnitin.
  • Keywords for the article in English (and in one additional language if preferred).
  • The .doc or .docx file name should be "COVER - [First 3 words of title]"


The abstract should include only:

  • the title of the text,
  • an abstract of 200 words or less describing the article,
  • and at least 5 keywords relating to the field of study.
  • The abstract must be in English, but you may include a second abstract in a language of your choice – for example the national language of your country.
  • The .doc or .docx file name should be "ABSTRACT + [First 3 words of title]"


The submission text should include only:

  • the title of the text,
  • the body of the article (5 000 – 8 000 words in length, including references and endnotes),
  • and the list of references.
  • The .doc or .docx file name should be "MAIN TEXT + [First 3 words of title]"


Please ensure that there are no details on the abstract or main submission that reveal any biographical information about the author(s).

Note that all papers will be screened by plagiarism checking software.

  • These should be between 800 and 1 000 words.
  • Book reviewers should include a short abstract describing their book review.
  • Book reviews should focus on publications emanating from, or of relevance to, the global South.
  • Book reviews are not sent out for blind review.
  • Book reviews do not require ethics approval.
  • Book reviews should be referenced according to the style guide outlined below.


  • These should be between 2 000 and 3 000 words.
  • Authors should include a short abstract describing their reflection or short research report.
  • These will not be sent out for blind review.
  • This section includes visual essays and other innovative formats.
  • Reflections and short research reports should be referenced according to the style guide outlined below.



Please ensure that language and referencing are fully edited before submission. 

Journal editors may require papers to be professionaly language edited before considering articles for acceptance.


  • Use 1.15 spacing for the main body of the text.
  • Use 1.0 spacing for long quotes.
  • Use 1.0 spacing in the 'Reference list', leave a line between sources.
  • Justify all text and leave one line space between paragraphs.
  • Spacing 'before' and 'after' (in paragraph settings) should be 0pt.
  • Line numbering should not be used.



The reference list and in-text citations should all be included in plain text.
Metadata laden references, as produced by electronic reference managers, should be stripped to plain text in the submitted document.

The journal uses the Harvard referencing system:

Author-date system:

  • In-text citations should follow the author-date system with full documentation in the reference section.

In-text, author-date citation examples:

When citing an entire text:

  • Jones’s research (1977, 1979a, 1979b) indicates that …
  • (Nkosi, 2018)
  • (Pickett & White, 1985; Smith, 1987; Ndlovu, 1997) [note ascending date order]
  • Saranto (2017) frames the…
  • McGinnis (forthcoming)
  • Do not cite URLs in the body of the text (see reference list examples for web links below)

Please give page numbers when quoting information on specific pages of a text:

  • (Mhlaba, 2015:5)
  • (Halley, 1972:437)

When there is no date (avoid unless impossible), please insert ‘n.d’ in place of the date:

  • (Krant, n.d)
  • Three or more authors: list up to the first six author surnames in full when first cited in-text, and thereafter, refer to ‘et al’. For example, first in-text mention:  (Avle, Quartey, & Hutchful, 2018); while second and subsequent mentions (Avle et al, 2018).


  • Do not italicise quotes – use double quotation marks (“xyz”).
  • Use single quotation marks (‘xyz’) for quotes within quotes.
  • Indent quotes of more than three lines (1cm indent on both side of the quote).
  • Indented quotes do not require "double quotation marks".
  • Use 1.0 spacing for indented quotes.


Reference list:

  • All references in the reference list should be cited in-text and vice versa.
  • The reference list must be in alphabetical order.
  • For multiple listings under an author’s name, list the oldest publication first, followed by the other publications in chronological order.
  • Repeat an author’s name rather than use underscores or dashes to indicate a subsequent title by the same author.
  • Confirm that web links are accessible as cited.


Reference examples:


Knight, PT. 2002. Being a Teacher in Higher Education. Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press.

Two authors, edited volume:

Becher, T & Trowler, P. (eds.) 2001. Academic Tribes and Territories. Second Edition. Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press.

Chapter in a book:

Hermerschmidt, M. 1999. Foregrounding background in academic learning. In Jones, C., Turner, J. & Street, BV. Students Writing in the University. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 5-16.

Edwards, A. & Thompson, M. 2013. Resourceful leadership: Revealing the creativity of organizational leaders. In Sannino, A. & Ellis, V. (eds.) Learning and Collective Creativity: Activity-Theoretical and Sociocultural Studies. London: Routledge.

Gorard, S. 2003. Quantitative methods in social science. Chapter 4. Sampling the basis of all research. 56-89. London: Continuum.

Article in a journal:

Kiley, M. & Wisker, G. 2009. Threshold concepts in research education and evidence of threshold crossing. Higher Education, Research & Development. 28(4): 431-444.

Zipin, L., Sellar, S. & Hattam, R. 2012. Countering and exceeding ‘capital’: a ‘funds of knowledge’ approach to re-imagining community. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. 33(2), May: 179-192.

Article in a journal with a DOI number:

Clarence, S. 2011. Making inter-disciplinary spaces for talk about and change in student writing and literacy development. Teaching in Higher Education. 17(2): 127-137. DOI:10.1080/13562517.2011.611876.


Cortázar, J. 1969. Cronopios and Famas, trans. P. Blackburn. New York: Random House.

[Do not translate foreign titles into English unless it is the English version that is referred to.]

Article in a newspaper or magazine:

Phakathi, B. 2011. Teachers vow to fight DA education bill. Business Day, 18 October.

Slides and film:

Mihalyi, LJ. 1977. Landscapes of Zambia, Central Africa. Santa Barbara, CA: Visual Education. Slides.

An Incident in Tiananmen Square. 1990. 16 mm, 25 min. San Francisco: Gate of Heaven Films.

Godard, J-L. (dir.) [1966] 2005. Masculin Feminin. Criterion Collection.

Papers read at meetings and articles in proceedings:

Clegg, S. 2008. The struggle for connections. Keynote address at ISSOTL conference, 17-19 October Edmonton, Canada.

Leitao, R. 2018. Recognizing and overcoming the myths of modernity. In Storni, C., Leahy, K., McMahon, M., Lloyd, P. & Bohemia E. (Eds.), Proceedings of DRS Design Research Society 2018 Catalyst Conference. University of Limerick, Ireland. 25-28 June 2018. pp.955-967.


Peseta, TL. 2005. Learning and Becoming in Academic Development: an autoethnographic inquiry. Unpublished PhD dissertation, the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Unpublished material:

Marciniak, E. & Jefferson, N. 1985. CHA Advisory Committee Appointed by Judge Marvin E Aspin: Final Report (December). Unpublished.

Organisation as ‘author’:

Democratic Alliance (DA). 2008. Preparing for success. The DA’s plan for schools that deliver real opportunity. [O]. Available:
Accessed 23 July 2012

Materials in archives:

Egmont Manuscripts (n.d.). Phillips Collection. Athens: University of Georgia Library.

Internet/world wide web sites:

Vale, P. and Carter, J. 2008. But Do They Think? Mail and Guardian, 2 March. Available: Accessed 5 May 2011.

United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). 2020. Indigenous peoples and their communities. Available: Accessed 1 April 2020.

Submission format: 
  • OpenOffice or Microsoft Word format only. No PDFs.
  • Author names should not be included in the file name.
  • Please inspect the document and remove the author name from the document properties, in order to ensure blind review.
  • Use 1.15-spaced text, except for indented quotes and the reference list (which should be in 1.0 spacing).
  • Use 12-point font.
  • All illustrations, figures and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • All images and illustrations MUST also be attached as supplementary files.
  • All images and illustrations must be high-res images, saved in TIFF, JPEG  or .eps format
  • Where required, images that have not been generated by the author must have the necessary permissions.




All journal content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  To view a copy of this license, visit

Contributors to SOTL in the South retain copyright over their contributed material, but grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship along with its initial publication in SOTL in the South.  Contributors are welcome to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the published version of their work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository), provided this includes acknowledgement of the initial publication in SOTL in the South.  Finally, contributors are encouraged to post their published work online (e.g., in institutional repositories, on platforms such as ResearchGate, or on contributors’ personal or institutional web pages), as this may lead to greater citation of the published work. Again, in this instance, it is important to acknowledge the initial publication in SOTL in the South. Each article's DOI can be used to link back to the original publication in SOTL in the South.

The authors warrant that their contribution is an original work not published elsewhere, that they have the full power to make this grant and that the article contains no matter unlawful or which invades the right to privacy or infringes any proprietary right.

Reproducing Published Material from other Publishers

It is absolutely essential that authors obtain permission to reproduce any published material (figures, schemes, tables or any extract of a text) which does not fall into the public domain, or for which they do not hold the copyright. Permission should be requested by the authors from the copyright holder (usually the Publisher; please refer to the imprint of the individual publications to identify the copyright holder).

Permission is required for:

1. Your own works published by other Publishers and for which you did not retain copyright.

2. Substantial extracts from anyone's works or a series of works.

3. Use of tables, graphs, charts, schemes and artworks if they are unaltered or slightly modified.

4. Photographs for which you do not hold copyright.

Permission is not required for:

1. Reconstruction of your own table with data already published elsewhere. Please notice that in this case you must cite the source of the data in the form of either “Data from…” or “Adapted from…”.

2. Reasonably short quotes, as they are considered fair use.

3. Graphs, charts, schemes and artworks that are completely redrawn by the authors and significantly changed beyond recognition.

Obtaining Permission

In order to avoid unnecessary delays in the publication process, you should start obtaining permissions as early as possible. If in any doubt about the copyright, apply for permission. SOTL in the South cannot publish material from other publications without permission.

The copyright holder may give you instructions on the form of acknowledgement to be followed; otherwise follow the style: “Reproduced with permission from [author], [book/journal title]; published by [publisher], [year].’ at the end of the caption of the Table, Figure or Scheme.

Authors should understand that consistent with SOTL in the South's policy of encouraging dissemination of information, each work published by SOTL in the South appears with the SOTLs copyright and the following notice:

“Intellectual properties and scientific inventions published with Sotls are protected under International and National Copyright Laws and Treaties. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than Sotls must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.”

However, it is at the discretion of CIRWORLD if the copyright notice should be included in the published manuscript.