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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 journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document 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.

Author Guidelines

Writing guidelines for the Journal of Decolonising Disciplines

General guidelines

As an academic journal that is committed to decolonising knowledge production, manuscripts are accepted in English, isiZulu and Sesotho. With specification to the English language, please refer to the general referencing, punctuation and spelling guidelines below.

For all manuscripts, non-discriminatory language is mandatory. Sexist or racist terms must not be used.

All manuscripts submitted to the Journal for review should not exceed 7 000 words including references, footnotes, endnotes and captions. For conceptual, philosophical, qualitative papers including multiple studies, up to 9 000 words will be considered. Authors should include a word count in their submissions.

Abstracts for manuscripts are required and should not exceed 150 words. Each manuscript should have a list of four to five keywords. Where necessary, the organisation and structure of the article should be made clear by sub- and sub-sub-headings. Empirical manuscripts should include the following sections: Introduction; Method (with subsections: Participants, Procedure, Measures, Research design); Results; Discussion; References; Appendices.

All authors of a manuscript should include their full names, affiliations, postal addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses on the cover page of the manuscript. One author should be identified as the corresponding author. Please give the affiliation where the research was conducted. If any of the named co-authors moves affiliation during the peer review process, the new affiliation can be given as a footnote. Please note that no changes to affiliation can be made after the manuscript is accepted. Please note that the email address of the corresponding author will be displayed in the printed journal and the online pdf. Please supply a short biographical note for each author under the heading ‘About the author’, covering relevant qualifications, organisational affiliation and research interests. Please also supply authors’ ORICDs where possible.

Responding to reviewers’ comments

If you have received a ‘revise and resubmit’ decision the first thing to note is that we mean it: revise and resubmit. Reviewers could have rejected the paper, so do not be disheartened by the decision, but equally, revise your paper. So please assume that each reviewer intended their comments to be helpful. As such consider the following in your response to reviewers:

  • Be professional in your response. We ask the reviewers to comment in the spirit of creating a generous community, we invite you to do the same in your response.
  • Reviewers generally want to help you get your paper published in the JDD and so each critique usually merits some kind of change in your paper.
  • Make it easy for reviewers to understand what you have done to address their critiques and suggestions. If you have addressed multiple concerns by re-writing, or even removing, a whole section, then state what you have done – do not expect reviewers to remember your previous paper and notice the differences. All significant changes should be marked using a coloured font, and where necessary, in text comments can be used to respond to particular concerns raised by reviewers, such as the deletion or addition of information.
  • Summarise how you have addressed each of the reviewer’s concerns. You can do this in a short paragraph, or in bullet point form, or in a table, for example:
    • Reviewer 1, comment 1: ‘The paper lacks a coherent argument and a clear conclusion, though the ideas seem interesting.’
    • Response 1: Thank you for your feedback on my argument, I have addressed your first concern by re-writing the introduction to include a much clearer thesis statement, i.e. ‘insert your thesis.’ In addition, I have clarified the conclusion, please see page 5, which in short states ‘insert your concluding statement.’

The clearer your response and the more comprehensively you have taken on board the suggestions of the reviewers, the quicker the route to publication.

You might feel that the reviewer has made a suggestion or critiqued something you have written, based on a misunderstanding of your paper or of the literature. In this case (without being too defensive) you have the right to explain carefully why you disagree with the critique or suggestion. In some instances, the critique or suggestion is based on how you expressed a point, rather than on the point itself. In such a case, you should consider simply making your point/s clearer to readers.

Reviewers may request another round of reviews, they might respond to your response, or you might simply receive another decision from the Editor-in-Chief. Whatever the case your re-submission will be reviewed again, so your response will be read and responded to, within six weeks of resubmission.

Here follow specific guidelines on how to cite publications as well other spelling and punctuation rules and conventions to apply in your article. Please pay particular attention to the referencing guidelines.


The JDD uses the Harvard-style author–date referencing system, which has two parts:

  1. In-text citations: (Author(s) surname(s) Year) / (Author(s) surname(s) Year: page number of direct quote)
  2. An alphabetised reference list containing the full publication details of all works cited in the paper.

In-text citations: (author–date)

  • On first mention, write out all authors, there after use et al. (note full stop after and no italics)
  • In a citation bracket, arrange authors of different publications alphabetically
  • Only include page numbers with direct quotes
  • (Bloom et al. 2006) – note no comma
  • (Jones 2004; Smith 1998) – note semi-colon
  • (Brown 2007: 4) – note space after colon
  • (Bailey & Mouton 1997) – note ampersand; however, if authors contained within sentence, use ‘and’ (e.g. ‘As Bailey and Mouton (1997) explain …’)
  • (Blumer 1998, in Mouton 2000) – note that original work not included in references
  • (J. Smith, Director: Centre for Conflict Resolution, pers. comm., 15 June 2003)
  • ‘problems regarding the availability of resources’ (Smith 2000, emphasis added). Note comma not semicolon preceding ‘emphasis added’ or ‘emphasis in original’
  • Use ‘a’, ‘b’, etc. after year of publication for authors with more than one publication per year cited (e.g. Weiss 1977a; Weiss 1977b)
  • In bullet lists, if there is one citation for the whole list, citation to come at the end of the sentence introducing the bullets (and followed by colon)

References in footnotes or endnotes

  • Use (ibid.) for same reference (author and year) cited immediately after last occurrence; use (ibid.: 57) when author and year remain the same, but page number differs.

Reference list

  • JDD uses a version of the APA referencing style. See for additional information and resources
  • In cases of more than six authors, write out up to six and thereafter use et al.
  • In cases where URLs are given for articles, they need to navigate to actual article/text (not site homepage or another link). In cases where website no longer exists, this is generally not considered a valid reference and should instead be attributed in a footnote.
  • Titles only italicised for published works (including if published on website). Lecture titles, unpublished theses, etc. titles are not italicised.
  • = page; pp. = pages (full stops)
  • = editor (full stop) BUT eds = editors (no full stop)
  • Journal volume and number are written, for example, as 3(4) (which is Volume 3, Number/Issue 4). Note the volume number is italicised.
  • Use an ampersand – & ­ before the last author’s name in cases where there is more than one author.



Biko, S. ([1978]/2004). I write what I like. Johannesburg: Picador Africa.


Freire, P. ([1970]/2003). Pedagogy of the oppressed, trans. Myra Bergman Ramos. New York: Continuum.


Santos, B.S. (2016). The university at a crossroads. In R. Grosfoguel, R. Hernández & E. Rosen Velásquez (eds), Decolonizing the westernized university: Interventions in philosophy of education from within and without (pp. 3–14). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.


Darity Jr, W. (2013). Confronting those affirmative action grumbles. Political Economy Research Institute Working Paper Series No. 309. Amherst, MA: Political Economy Research Institute.


Lebakeng, J.T., Phalane, M.M. & Nase, D. (2006). Epistemicide, institutional cultures and the imperative for the Africanisation of universities in South Africa. Alternation, 13(1): 70–87.

Nyoka, B. (2013). Negation and affirmation: A critique of sociology in South Africa. African Sociological Review, 17(1): 2–24.

Eybers, O. (2019). A social realist ontology for developing Afrocentric curricula in Africa. Journal of Decolonising Disciplines, 1(1): 47–63. DOI 10.35293/2664-3405/2019/v1n1a4


Makhanya, M. (2018, 1 July). Obsessed with whiteness. City Press.


Mgqwashu, E. (2016, 16 March). Education can’t be for ‘the public good’ if universities ignore rural life. The Conversation.


May, J. (2003). Talking to the Finance Minister about poverty: Pro-poor policy and the political economy of information. Paper presented at the International Conference on Staying Poor: Chronic Poverty and Development Policy, IDPM, University of Manchester, 7–9 April 2003.


UNCED (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development). (1992). Agenda 21 (Chapter 36). United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro.


Makhathini, B. (2015). ‘Trampoline trajectories’: A dialectical analysis of the correlation between the teaching of reading and the improvement of learner-academic performance in a rural South African primary school. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

Mataka, T.W. (2017). Language and literacy development for a Grade 10 English first additional language classroom: A Reading to Learn case study. Unpublished MA thesis, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.


Gysae-Edkins, M. (Ed.). (1994). Report on the Environmental Education Workshop. Lesotho Association of Non-formal Education, Morjia.


Moosa, V.M. (2003). Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Pretoria, 16 June 2003.


Nhamo, G. (2003). Request for official position and update on the Plastic Bags Regulation implementation. Email, 1 October 2003.


DEAT (Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism). (2003). Inspection of readiness of retailers on the eve of Plastic Bag Regulations effect. Available at http://www.environment. [accessed 8 May 2003].


HSRC-EPC (Human Sciences Research Council-Education Policy Centre). (2005). Emerging voices: A report on education in South African rural communities. Commissioned by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Cape Town: HSRC Press.


Lebakeng, J.T., Phalane, M.M. & Nase, D. (2006). Epistemicide, institutional cultures and the imperative for the Africanisation of universities in South Africa. Alternation, 13(1): 70–87.


Angu, P.E. (2018a). Disrupting western epistemic hegemony in South African universities: Curriculum decolonisation, social justice, and agency in post-apartheid South Africa. The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities, 25(1): 9–22.

Angu, P.E. (2018b). Understanding voices from the margins: Social injustice and agency in first-year students’ literacy narratives. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 1–11.


Van Wyk, B. & Higgs, P. (2012). The curriculum in African context. Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems, 10(2): 171–181.


  • -ise (not -ize): recognise, advise, organisation, etc.
  • -re (not –er, e.g. centre)
  • Quotation marks: single outer, double inner
  • green, red and blue (no ‘list’ comma before and)
  • When using a word which is or is asserted to be a proprietary term or trademark, authors must use the symbol ® or TM.
  • -(s)he


  • asylum-seekers
  • behaviour
  • bilateral
  • cooperation [no hyphen]
  • coordination [no hyphen]
  • cost-efficient
  • country-wide
  • decision-makers
  • First World War / Second World War
  • focused (one ‘s’)
  • full-time equivalents
  • grant-making
  • grassroots
  • healthcare
  • ill-treatment
  • interdisciplinary
  • intergovernmental
  • interrelationships
  • job-seeker
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • lifelong learning
  • long-term vs. long term [see short-term]
  • macro-economic
  • magistrate’s court
  • multi-country
  • multidisciplinary
  • multilateral
  • multiparty
  • multi-stakeholder
  • multi-year
  • nationwide [one word]
  • northwest but north-northwest
  • peer-reviewed
  • policy-making
  • postgraduate [one word]
  • problem-solving
  • programme (except computer program)
  • reconstructing
  • redevelopment
  • regeneration
  • role-player
  • roundtable
  • semi-structured
  • short-term; mid-term; long-term (when used as adjectives) so long-term objective BUT objectives for the long term
  • socio-economic
  • Southeast Asia
  • state-wide
  • sub-committee
  • subdivided
  • sub-sector
  • think tank [two words]
  • time frame [two words]
  • trade off [two words]
  • undergraduate [one word]
  • under-resourced
  • under-utilised
  • value-laden
  • vice-chancellor
  • vis-à-vis [no italics]
  • well-being
  • work-force [hyphen]

Compound adjectives (e.g. capacity-building programme, research-intensive university, inner-city area, full-time position)

  • -based (e.g. resource-based)
  • -orientated (e.g. career-orientated)
  • -size (e.g. medium-size)

Punctuation / abbreviations / common acronyms

  • ‘that is’ written out in full in text [usually following a semi-colon], (i.e. used in brackets)
  • ‘for example’ written out in full in text, (e.g. used in brackets)
  • g. and i.e. full stops with no comma after
  • Full use of acronyms / abbreviations followed by acronym / abbreviation in brackets – first occurrence in chapter or major section
  • No full stops in abbreviations, acronyms (UK, UCT, AU)
  • Ellipsis: space before and after #…#
  • DHET (not DoHET) for Department of Higher Education and Training
  • Dr [no full stop], but Dr J.K. Smith
  • et al. [no italics, with full stop]
  • HERANA, not Herana; UNISA, not Unisa
  • HIV/Aids (not HIV-Aids or HIV/AIDS)
  • [no italics; note full stop after] and (ibid.: page number) [note full stop and colon, space before page number]
  • masters [lower case, no apostrophe]
  • MA
  • MEd
  • NGO (pl. NGOs): non-governmental organisation(s)
  • PhD [no full stops] PhDs
  • page
  • pages
  • [full stop]
  • [no italics, note full stop after]


  • Titles: president / vice-chancellor / chief executive officer etc. all lower case unless in name (e.g. President Cyril Ramaphosa but the vice-chancellor of UCT)
  • Subjects (mathematics, science, etc.) lower case unless talking about a formal course (e.g. Mathematics and Statistics I)
  • Headings: Sentence case [unless there is a specific instruction to the contrary]
  • Acts, Conventions, Treaties, Commissions of Enquiry, full conference titles in Title Case
  • bachelors degree / honours degree / masters degree / doctoral [lower case, no apostrophe]
  • parliament /national assembly / departments / ministries, etc.: lower case
  • chairperson / director / president, etc.: lower case
  • ministry and directorate lower case
  • South African Constitution
  • southern Africa / sub-Saharan Africa


  • Names/titles of books, newspapers, movies, songs, ships and court cases in italics
  • ad hoc [no italics]
  • [no italics, full stop]
  • et al. [no italics, with full stop]
  • [no italics, with full stop]
  • inter alia [no italics]
  • per se [no italics]

Numbers / dates / measurements / currencies

  • Write out numbers up to and including ten, unless percentages or chapter/section numbering (in which case, always use numerals). Exceptions ‘mode 1’; ‘mode 2’ etc.
  • When using numbered items in sentence, use closed brackets separated by semi-colons as default, e.g.: He said three things: (a) yes; (b) no; and (c) maybe.
  • Bullets with short phrases: no punctuation except for penultimate sentence – comma and; bullets with short single sentences: penultimate sentence – semi-colon and; lengthy and/or multiple sentences – full stops at the end of each bullet point.
  • 1 000 / 10 000 / 100 000 [not 1,000 10,000  100,000]
  • 10% not ‘ten per cent’ – but note that we refer to ‘0.46 percentage points’ written out.
  • 2004–2007 for a period, but 2007/2008 for a financial year
  • Note no elision of numbers in ranges (i.e. not pp 364–7 but 364–367)
  • 2–3% (not 2%–3%)
  • No space between numerals and units of measurement (i.e. 700km)
  • 20th century [‘th’ not superscript]
  • 1980s [no apostrophe] / mid-1990s
  • Currencies: USD 60 million / EUR 20 000 / ZAR 450 / USh 2 billion [space after currency abbreviation]
  • Dates: 28 October 2002 (not 26th of October or October 26, 2009)
  • Time: 4:30am / 4pm

Bulleted and numbered lists

  • Opt for bullet lists throughout rather than numbered, unless numbers serve as point of reference (a sequence or order of priorities) or quoting a work.
  • Bullet lists: first word capitalised, semi-colons and end of bullet, penultimate bullet add ‘and’/’or’

Example bullet list:

The HDI is a summary composite index that measures a country’s average achievements in three basic aspects of human development. These include the following:

  • Health (measured by life expectancy at birth);
  • Knowledge (measured by a combination of the adult literacy rate and the combined primary, secondary, and tertiary GER); and
  • A decent standard of living (measured by GDP (income) per capita).

Typesetting conventions

  • Quotes of three lines or more (more than 40 words) indented and italicised, but note that citation at end is not italicised. (Also, citation to come after closing full stop of quote.)
  • In cases of headings separated by colon, lead with CAP after colon.
  • Sentence case for all headings


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