The South African Archaeological Bulletin publishes original peer-reviewed research articles, field and technical reports, discussion forum contributions and book reviews on all aspects of African archaeology. Submission of a manuscript is understood to imply that it is original, unpublished and not being considered for publication elsewhere.
Submissions should follow the style guidelines below and the conventions used in recent issues of the journal.
Adherence to these guidelines streamlines the processing of manuscripts, expedites publication and enables us to continue publishing research articles without charging page fees for submissions that adhere to the prescribed word length and maximum number of tables and illustrations.
Manuscripts must be prepared in MS Word using the English (UK) language setting (not US spelling), and formatted as follows: Times New Roman 11 pt, one-and-a-half line spacing, left aligned, title in bold capitals, headings in bold capitals, sub-headings in capitals. Further subdivision is not recommended. Avoid embedded fonts, special formatting, notes and footnotes.
Submission letter
In addition to your manuscript provide a submission letter that includes:
• the name/s, affiliation/s and email address/es of all the author/s,
• an indication of whether the submission is for the research, field/technical or discussion section of the journal,
• the names and e-mail addresses of four potential reviewers,
• a declaration that the research has neither been published elsewhere nor is under review elsewhere.
Article type and length
Research articles: contain an abstract (maximum 300 words), a set of five keywords, and a coherent research/theoretical argument. Research articles should not exceed 9000 words including references.
Field and technical reports: report on current field or laboratory research data (maximum 5000 words including references and a short abstract of no more than 200 words).
Discussion forum contributions: are short discussion notes that respond to articles or reports in previous Bulletins or provide comment on a topical matter relating to African archaeology (maximum 3000 words).
Book reviews: are commissioned by the Book Reviews Editor (maximum 1000 words).
Writing conventions
• All submissions should be concise, jargon-free, reader-friendly, make proper reference to the relevant literature and avoid undue repetition of facts or methods already in the public record.
• Units should conform to the SI convention and be abbreviated accordingly. Metric units and their international symbols are used throughout, as is the decimal point (not comma) and the 24-hour clock (e.g. 08:00, 17:25).
• For radiocarbon dates: refer to radiocarbon rather than to C14. Use BP, BC or AD for calibrated dates, but bp for uncalibrated dates. Radiocarbon dates should be accompanied by a laboratory number and a statement of probable error. Note the order and spacing as follows: 15 000 BP, 2500 BC, AD 200 and 1100 ±    60 bp.
• For non-radiocarbon age estimates of over 10 000 years, use ka and Ma to indicate thousands and millions of years.
• Spacing and punctuation: there should be one space (not two) between sentences; one space before unit terms (e.g. 5 kg, 5 g, 5 cm, 5 km, 5 days); no space before % or ° (e.g. 5%, 23°C, 26°10’S). Thousands/millions, when not abbreviated by ka or Ma, are marked with a space, not a comma (e.g. 1000, 10 000, 100    000).
• Dates, italics, bold: dates are written in the following style: 13 July 1973. Book and journal titles as well as words within the text that are not English must be italicised (e.g. et al.). Bold is used for emphasis.
• Inverted commas: double inverted commas are used for all direct citations. Single inverted commas are employed when a word is used in a specific manner that may be different to its standard dictionary definition and/or in a manner not accepted by the author, for example, “In San folklore ‘traditional hunting’        refers only to…” or “The Apartheid government’s conception of ‘black’ prehistory was…”.
• When a series of authors is referenced in the text, they follow a chronological order, but each author is listed once only according to the earliest publication date in the series e.g., (Brown 1946; Robbins 1992, 1994; Smith 2014).
• Direct, in-text citations must be referenced with a page number thus, (Brown 1999: 45).
• References are listed alphabetically at the end of the manuscript using the Harvard System as follows:
      Goodwin, A.J.H. 1946. The Loom of Prehistory. Cape Town: South African Archaeological Society.
      Inskeep, R.R. 1967. The Later Stone Age. In: Bishop, W.W. & Clark, J.D. (eds) Background to Evolution in Africa: 557–582. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
      Loubser, J.H.N. & Dowson, T.A. 1987. Tombo-la-Ndou: the Venda perception of San rock art. South African Archaeological Bulletin 42: 51–54.
      Morris, M. 2005. Evolution comes with a twist (consulted August 2005):
      Musonda, F.B. 1983. Aspects of the prehistory of the Lunsemfwa drainage basin, Zambia, during the last 20 000 years. Unpublished PhD thesis. Berkeley: University of California.
• Book and journal titles should be written in full, in title case and placed in italics.
• References in the text should be thus, ‘Brown (1997) stated that….’ or ‘It has been demonstrated (Brown 1997a,b; Smith 1998; Jones 2000, 2004, 2009; Green 2005; Wright 2008) that…’.
• Personal communications should be incorporated in the text thus, (Ben Brown, pers. comm. 2007). Unpublished observations should be incorporated in the text thus, (Ben Brown, pers. obs. 2007).
Display items
• The maximum number of display items (tables and figures) is ten per paper; a greater number may be accepted at the discretion of the editors and/or at the cost of the author/s.
• Tables and figures should be numbered according to their appearance in the text.
• Tables (prepared in MS Word) and table captions should be provided after the reference list in the main manuscript. The presentation of extensive lists of raw data should be avoided.
• Figure captions should be provided after the tables and table captions at the end of the manuscript.
• For review purposes, authors must submit figures and figure headings in a separate, single PDF file.
• For publication purposes, each electronic figure must be submitted separately using the following specifications: fit to the width of one or two columns of text (either 88 mm or 180 mm); photographs/slides should be scanned at a minimum of 350 dpi at final print size; line art should be scanned at a minimum of    1200 dpi (with the scanner in line art (i.e. B&W) mode). Artwork should be saved as a TIFF (extension *.tif) file.
The review and editorial process
Research articles and field and technical reports are peer reviewed at the discretion of the designated editor. Editors may advise on the contribution type best suited for a manuscript, and where appropriate re-allocate a contribution to the appropriate section of the journal. The editors reserve the right to make alterations to the text to comply with current standards of language usage and journal conventions. Manuscripts are normally published in the order in which they are accepted and finalised.
Authors will receive provisional page proofs electronically as PDF files; these must be returned within 7 days to the editors to avoid delays in publication. Substantial changes made at proof stage will be charged to the author.
Send manuscripts and submission letters to Informal enquiries: potential contributors are invited to correspond with the editors about whether or not a particular article would be of interest, or to obtain advice about the way in which a manuscript should be prepared for submission.
Colour images and early printing can be requested and may be granted at the discretion of, and conditions set out by, the editors and publisher. All costs regarding such special requests revert to the author, and are payable prior to publication.
In terms of the Copyright Act No. 98 of 1978, the copyright in an article vests in the author. Upon acceptance of an article for publication, the author will be asked to cede to the publisher the absolute right to reproduce the article at any time at the publisher’s discretion and expense without reference or payment to the contributor. Authors will, however, retain the right to make copies of their papers for classroom teaching and for inclusion in their theses or dissertations. They may also use their original figures and tables in future works.