Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The SPAFA Journal is an Open Access journal that publishes research and multimedia submissions in the areas of archaeology, visual arts, performing arts and cultural heritage pertinent to Southeast Asia. It is published by the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA) as part of its mission to promote professional competence, awareness and preservation of cultural heritage in the fields of archaeology and fine arts in Southeast Asia.

We publish several types of articles for an academic and general interest audience:

  • original, peer-reviewed research articles of up to 10,000 words.
  • research papers delivered or presented as part of SEAMEO SPAFA workshops, conferences and lectures
  • shorter articles of less than 2,000 words
  • photo and multimedia essays
  • book and exhibition reviews
  • abstracts of recently-completed Honours, MA and PhD theses.

The publishing language of the journal is English, but we encourage the publication of titles and abstract in the relevant Southeast Asian languages.


Section Policies

Research Articles

Original research articles and reports make a significant contribution to the field of Southeast Asian archaeology, fine arts, visual arts, performing arts, heritage conservation and cultural heritage preservation. Submissions must be written in English and be no more than 8,000 words. Research Articles typicall undergo a double-blind peer review (reviewers and authors will not be aware of each other’s identities). A maximum of eight (8) images are allowed for the print version of the article, although there are no limits to the amount of images to be published online.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Short Articles

The SPAFA Journal also accepts shorter works such as field reports, commentaries and brief research pieces. Submissions are accepted upon the approval of the academic committee. Max 2,000 words and 3 images.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Photo/Multimedia Essays

This section accommodates submissions that are primarily in photo, video or audio format.

  • Photo essays should contain no more than 10 photos
  • Video submissions should be sent to us via email or through the online system; they will be hosted on SPAFA's YouTube channel
  • Audio files should be in MP3 format.

Accompanying text should be no more than 1,000 words in total.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Book, exhibition or performance reviews. Max. 2000 words and 3 photos.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

  • All submissions must fit within the formatting guidelines of the journal.
  • Submissions undergo an inital review by the managing editor and at least two members of the Editorial Board for consideration.
  • After initial approval for consideration, original academic research papers will be sent to at least two experts for peer review.
  • Authors may suggest potential reviewers, but the final decision of reviewers will lie in the editors.
  • Neither the author nor reviewer will be aware of each other’s identity (double blind review).
  • A review will have three possible outcomes
    1. Accept with or without editorial revisions
    2. Revisions Required: Some minor revisions required before the paper can be accepted
    3. Revise and Resubmit, which means a submission has significant issues that need to be addressed before able to be published
    4. Reject, which means the reviewers do not accept that a paper be published in the journal or suggest it be published elsewhere.
  • Papers which are given a Revise decision will be given time to make improvements to their paper and address the issues raised by the reviewers before resubmitting.
  • Where required, more reviewers may be appointed.
  • Reviewers will also be asked to declare any conflicts of interest.
  • In general, we ask referees to complete their reviews within 6-8 weeks and revisions to be completed in a similar time frame.
  • The decision of the editorial board is final.
  • Plagiarism is a serious academic offense and will not tolerated. Submissions will be automatically withdrawn at any stage of the review process if plagiarism is detected.
  • All submissions treated as confidential.
  • Simultaneous submissions are not accepted.


Publication Frequency

The SPAFA Journal is an annual publication. Submissions are accepted all throughout the year and individual articles are published on the journal website as soon as they are ready for publication.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.



This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration. More...


Publication Ethics

The SPAFA Journal is committed to peer-review integrity. Authors submitting to the SPAFA Journal should be aware that their manuscripts may be submitted to a plagiarism detector during the peer review or production processes. In addition, authors are also strongly advised to uphold the integrity of their works in relation to conflicts of interest, falsification and fabrication of data, plagiarism, unethical experimentation, inadequate subject consent, and authorship disputes.


For authors

We expect authors to adhere to the following ethical guidelines:

  • All authors must ensure that their articles are their own original works, which do not infringe the intellectual property rights of any other person or entity and cannot be construed as plagiarizing any other published work, including their own previously published works.
  • All authors named on the article are equally held accountable for the content of a submitted manuscript or published article.
  • The corresponding author must ensure all co-authors consent to publication and to being named as a co-author. All persons who have made significant scientific or literary contributions to the work reported should be named as co-authors.
  • Authors must not submit a manuscript to more than one journal simultaneously.
  • Authors should not submit previously published works, nor works which are based in terms of substance on previously published works, either in part or as a whole.
  • Authors must appropriately cite all relevant publications. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, can be used or reported in the author's work only when fully cited, and with the permission of that third party.
  • Authors must avoid making defamatory statements in submitted articles which could be construed as impugning any person's reputation.
  • Authors must declare any potential conflict of interest – be it professional or financial – which could be held to arise with respect to their articles.



The SPAFA Journal considers plagiarism as a serious offense and will blacklist authors who knowingly cite or use material from other published works without proper acknowledgment.


Conflict of interest

 A conflict of interest can occur when an author or an author's employer or sponsor has a financial, commercial, legal, or professional relationship with other organizations, or with the people working with them, that could influence the author's research.

Potential conflicts of interest in relation to the submitted manuscript include but are not limited to consultancies, employment, grants, fees and honoraria, patents, royalties, stock or share ownership.

Full disclosure by the author is required at the point of submission and the editor will use this information to inform editorial decisions. If necessary, authors could be asked to describe any potential conflicts of interest in a covering letter. A decision may be made by the editor or peer reviewers not to publish on the basis of any declared conflict.


For peer reviewers

Peer reviewers are asked to make every reasonable effort to adhere to the following ethical guidelines for articles they have agreed to review:

  • Reviewers must give unbiased consideration to each manuscript submitted for consideration for publication and should judge each on its merits, without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the author(s).
  • Reviewers must keep the peer review process confidential; information or correspondence about a manuscript should not be shared with anyone outside of the peer review process.
  • Reviewers should provide a constructive, comprehensive, evidenced, and appropriately substantial peer review report.
  • Reviewers should make all reasonable effort to submit their report and recommendation in a timely manner, informing the editor if this is not possible.
  • Reviewers should inform the editor for any significant similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any published papers or submitted manuscripts of which they are aware.


For editors

All editors are asked to make every reasonable effort to adhere to the following ethical guidelines for articles that seem worthy of peer review.

  • Editors should give unbiased consideration to each manuscript submitted for consideration for publication and should judge each on its merits, without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the author(s).
  • Editors must keep the peer review process confidential; information or correspondence about a manuscript should not be shared with anyone outside of the peer review process.
  • Editors may reject a submitted manuscript without resort to formal peer review if they consider the manuscript inappropriate for the journal and outside its scope.
  • Editors should make all reasonable effort to process submitted manuscripts in an efficient and timely manner.
  • If an editor is presented with convincing evidence that the main substance or conclusions of an article published in the SPAFA Journal are erroneous, the editor should facilitate publication of an appropriate erratum.
  • Any data or analysis presented in a submitted manuscript should not be used in an editor's own research except with the consent of the author.