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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 press for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in the Microsoft Word file format.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Press.

Author Guidelines

You can approach the Commissioning Editor, Hetta Pieterse  (at ) should you need advice on the cohesive structuring of your manuscript. Below are some general guidelines to enable you to create cohesion.
You need an Introduction and a Conclusion to create cohesion across the various book chapters, which may have been written by various authors and from various perspectives


The Introduction provides context to the book, by placing it within the scholarly landscape. The authors indicate the gaps and problematic aspects within the subject field which the manuscript sets out to engage with. They proceed to show how the book solves the dilemma of incomplete information available, by systematically discussing in scholarly narrative, briefly each chapter – from one to the other (you need to cover all chapters included, aiming for creating cohesion within the book). The aim is to show how the different chapter follow on each other, outlining specific aspects of value to the overall aims and scope of the book as a whole.


The aim is to end off the book in a cohesive manner, to ensure the reader has the impression that matters discussed in the book, have been covered – yet there is an open-endedness where subject fields continue to evolve, and contemporary debates within the field need to continuously be studied and engaged with. You wish to invite your reader to engage with the topical debates opened up by your book.
This section can even have a more creative title – linked to positioning your subject field `… Into the Future’)(As a closure chapter, this part is written to interact and create a dialogue with all contributors).

You thereby close off the book with a strong response to any critiques offered of aspects not fully covered (or which could not be covered in the scope of the various chapters, and you as authors look into the future of the subject field to open up wider possibilities for further research and discussion.

Where aspects of the subject field is emerging and still developing, your last words will show your awareness of the polemical aspects and you thereby purposefully open up future debate beyond this volume.


This guide intends to assist you as you prepare your manuscript for initial submission to Unisa Press. If your manuscript is accepted for publication, you will be sent further guidelines on how to prepare the final accepted manuscript.

Word count

  • Manuscript length should be 65 000‑80 000 words
  • The word count includes notes, bibliographic information, captions, and so on.

Submission of MS files

  • All manuscript files must be created in Microsoft Word.
  • All manuscript files should be submitted electronically.
  • Where available, URLs and DOIs for the references have been provided.


  • All illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points

Formatting text

  • Do not use special formatting or styles in the preparation of your manuscript.
  • Use 1.5 spacing, Times New Roman 12-pt font
  • No double spaces between sentences.
  • Do not insert blank lines between paragraphs.
  • Number notes consecutively within each chapter, starting each new chapter with note 1. Use Arabic rather than Roman numerals. Use the automated endnote feature of MSWord and endnotes should appear at the end of the chapter files, not at the end of the entire manuscript
  • If your manuscript contains multiple levels of headings and subheadings, identify these consistently.
  • Limit subheadings to 3 levels, unless necessary for academic textbooks
  • Indicate block quotes, quotes and bulleted lists

 Style and Citation

“Style” covers spelling, capitalisation, punctuation, hyphenation, the formatting of notes and bibliographies.  

We follow the UK English writing, punctuation and spelling conventions, and use The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) which has two systems for citation: a notes and bibliography system and an author-date system. Unisa Press will default to the author-date system of citation. Authors may use the notes and bibliography system for disciplines such as history and law that dictate the use of notes.

The Unisa Press book referencing style is to use endnotes (NOT footnotes) and a separate bibliography. Endnotes are preferable.

Authority list

Indicate your decisions regarding style by listing them on an “authority list” including all unusual spellings, jargon and other usage.  

Unisa Press style preferences for books:

Abbreviations and acronyms

  • Write an abbreviation out in full the first time that it appears in the text followed by the abbreviation in brackets. Thereafter use only the abbreviation, eg:
  • The University of South Africa (Unisa)... Unisa is a distance learning institution.
  • No punctuation in abbreviations such as Dr, Mr, Ms, Prof, Revd, ed, edn, eg, ie, etc
  • Not all acronyms are used with an initial capital letter followed by a lower case. If an acronym can be pronounced as a word, write it out using upper and lower case, eg Unisa, Wits BUT the WHO (World Health Organisation), HIV/AIDS, SABDC, UN.

Cross referencing and numbering

  • When referring to parts of a text within the work: just ‘see section 1.1’, instead of ‘see section 1.1 below/ above’ or ‘section 1.1 on the next page’
  • Textbooks are divided into parts, chapters, sections and paragraphs; parts, chapters and sections can be numbered, eg section 1.1, chapter 3
  • Scholarly books do not usually have numbering of paragraphs and sections, only of chapters and headings.

Foreign words

  • Foreign words used in everyday English, or that form part of the jargon of the discipline, are not italicised, eg coup d’état, griot; etc
  • If the words are not commonly used in English, or in the jargon of the discipline, they are italicised, but only if they are not proper nouns (ie, don’t italicise names of people, institutions, places)


  • Use italics for titles of books, periodicals, journals, newspapers, plays, some musical works, paintings and films
  • Use sparingly for emphasis (avoid bold)
  • Use for identification of letters or words referred to: ‘without the e in this case’

Numbers and Dates

  • One to ten: write out in words. From 11 onward, use numerals.
  • Eighteenth century can be 18th century (note, th is not superior).
  • Write 1980s (NOT eighties, 1980’s, or ’80s).
  • Use an en-rule between dates and in number sequences (2000–2005; pages 45–48).


  • Consider readers in other countries. Be specific: use ‘South Africa’ instead of ‘this country’, ‘in the early 2000s’ instead of ‘in the last few years’.
  • Your readers may not be South African – consider a glossary and supply one if necessary.
  • Population groups
  • Capitalise Indian/Asian but lower case for black, white, coloured.
  • It is not necessary to add ‘people’ to every description of a population group.

Quotations and quotation marks

  • Use double quotes throughout, but single quotation marks within double quotes.
  • Quotations of about 30 words or longer are indented; anything shorter is run on in the text.
  • Use square brackets to indicate changes made to the original quote.
  • Any emphasis added must be noted as [my italics/emphasis/emphasis added]; or if not added, [original emphasis] can be used if indicated by the context.
  • Do not start or end a quotation with an ellipsis: a quotation is obviously a selection, not the whole. Ellipsis indicates only what is omitted within the quote.


  • All notes should start with 1 for each separated chapter.

Guidelines for Edited Volumes

Purpose of edited volumes

Many edited volumes emanate from the proceedings of a conference. So it’s important for the volume to offer a nuanced discussion of existing perspectives, unexplored advances, etc. A good edited volume will strike a balance of content and contributors. This means, the contributors will be a good blend of notable, acclaimed scholars, and emerging researchers. A geographical spread of researchers is beneficial in providing diverse perspectives thus broadening the audience and reach of the content.

Unisa Press accepts edited volumes with a sound conceptual and thematic framework. Should you need help to plan the structure of your manuscript, contact the Commissioning Editor at the outset.

Published conference proceedings

Unisa Press publishes conference proceedings that meet the criteria as set out by the Department of Higher Education and Training, which are:

  • To disseminate original research and new developments within specific disciplines or fields of study
  • Clear evidence of peer review, including the process and criteria for the selection of peer reviewers
  • The target audience of the proceedings must be specialists in the relevant fields
  • A geographical spread of researchers as contributors in order to provide a balanced view and diverse perspectives thus broadening the audience and reach of the content.

Editor’s role and responsibilities

The editor needs to pay close attention to uniformity in style throughout the manuscript. The editor sustains the vital liaison between the Press and contributing authors by overseeing the following:

  • consistency in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and citation style of the volume;
  • Collating all contributors’ corrections for proofs, reviewing the index, accuracy on proofs, timeously returning proofs to the Press,
  • timely delivery of all required material as per the production schedule and critical deadlines
  • ensures that contributors’ biographies are edited for consistency
  • ensures that permissions for previously published material, artwork and illustrations are cleared prior to submission

review and resolve all editorial queries or questions during production.

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