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Author Guidelines

The SPAFA Journal has no article processing charges (APCs) or any other charges.

1. General Format

All submissions should be in Microsoft Word, Open Office or .RTF. If you are using Microsoft Word, you can download an article template here. They should contain the following information:

  1. Author(s), institutional affiliation and email addresses
  2. Title (in both English and a Southeast Asian language, see dual-language policy below)
  3. Abstract (max 200 words; in both English and a Southeast Asian language, see dual-language policy below) 
  4. Keywords (in both English and a Southeast Asian language, see dual-language policy below)
  5. Suggestions for peer reviewers (Up to three names)
  6. Article text
    Maximum 2,000 words for shorter pieces, up to 10,000 words for peer-reviewed papers. (Longer papers may be considered with the approval of the editorial board)
    12-point font, single spaced 
  7. Images, tables and figures to be inserted in text and not at the end of the paper. All images and figures must include a caption and source attribution. Images should be high-resolution (240 dpi or above). There is no limit to the number of images that can be included in each submission, but we reserve the right to limit the number of images that gets published in the print version.
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Supplementary files such as audio and video recordings are encouraged, especially in the contributions pertaining to performing and visual arts. Please ensure you are the copyright holder for such any submissions.
    Audio files: MP3 format
    Video files: .MP4 or .mov format. Video files can be sent to us directly; they will eventually be uploaded into the SPAFA YouTube Channel.
  10. Style and referencing: See below.
Dual Language Policy for Titles, Abstracts and Keywords

Starting from 2019 (volume 3), all submissions will be required to provide a Title, Abstract and Keywords in two languages - English, and a Southeast Asian Language related to the topic of the paper. Eg, if a submission is about a Thai subject, a Title, Abstract and Keywords should also be provided in Thai. We believe that this requirement will allow your research to reach a larger audience, especially to communities who may not otherwise be aware that such research exists in English. Exceptions to this requirement may apply, particularly if the submission does not deal with any specific country. This can be negotiated with the editor.


Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional taking of words and ideas by someone else and passing them off as your own without the proper attribution. Plagiarism is a very serious academic offence, and as such submissions that are found to contain plagiarised work will be rejected automatically; this can occur at any stage of the submission process.

Please ensure that the submitted work is original and is cited appropriately. For a good introduction to plagiarism and how to avoid it, there are several good sites online: Harvard Guide to Using sources:


2. Spelling

SEAMEO SPAFA uses British spelling in its documents and publications, with the Concise Oxford English Dictionary being the authority for spelling. Use -ize, the preferred spelling in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, but -ise.

Foreign languages

For foreign languages using Latin script, including those of Southeast Asia, avoid the use of special characters as much as possible, particularly with names of persons and places (e.g. Vietnam instead of Việt Nam). For words that have already become naturalized into English, simply use roman type like all other English words. Italic type is reserved for words and phrases still regarded as foreign or appearing identical to English words.


3. Punctuation

En/em rules

We does not use an em rule (—). Use a hyphen in compound nouns and adjectives as well as elements that form a range (e.g. Marxist-Leninist theory, Monday-Friday, 2011-2016). An en rule (–) is used as a parenthetical dash to create a more distinct break than a comma.


Full points

Abbreviations that are all lower case or end with a lower case take full points (e.g. Ed., i.e., a.m.).

Abbreviations that are all upper case generally do not take full points (e.g. USA, EU, BBC, BE).

Contractions – abbreviations that include the first and last letter of a word – do not take full points (e.g. Mr, St, Jr, Ltd).


Quotation marks

Use double quotation marks for short quotations, with single quotation marks only for quotations within quotations.

Punctuation follows the closing quotation mark, except an exclamation mark or question mark belonging to the quotation, or a full stop if the quotation is or ends with a grammatically complete sentence beginning with a capital.

Set long quotations apart in smaller type, without quotation marks. Quotations within long quotations are indicated by double quotation marks.


4. Italicization

Foreign words and phrases

Italicize when a word or phrase is still regarded as foreign or needs to be distinguished from an identical English form.


Scientific names

The binomial system, which is a two-part name, is printed in italic, and usually consists of the capitalized name of a genus followed by the lower-case species name (e.g. Homo sapiens). Spell out genus and species names in full at first mention. Later references may be shortened by abbreviating the generic name to its initial capital, followed by a full point (e.g. H. sapiens).


5. Dates and Numerals

- 12 June 1993 (no comma)

- the twenties; the 1810s

- Use CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before Common Era) instead of AD and BC following the year number

- Use words from one to nine, but numbers from 10 upwards. Exceptions are dimensions and measurements (in metric units).

- Numbers less than 10,000 should be expressed without a comma (e.g. 1000, 20,000).

- Spell out “per cent”. Use “%” for lists and tables.


6. Dating

Express radiocarbon dates in 14C years BP (before present) and include the standard error as well as the laboratory number (e.g. 41,675±278 BP (OxA - 15164)). When correcting the dates for atmospheric variations in radiocarbon, report the calibrated dates as calendar years (e.g. 500 BCE* or 2450 BP*) and specify the calibration table.


7. Figures

There is no distinction between Figures and Plates. All illustrations are Figures and should have a caption and a source, which should be supplied in a separate list.

When referring to illustrations in the text, use “Figure” when it appears within a sentence and “Fig.” when it is in round brackets. The caption format is as follows: Figure 1. Map of site


8. References and Notes

For in-text citations, please use the Harvard referencing system. The format is, for example, (Binford 1983: 6). Works with the same author(s) and date are indicated by “a”, “b”, etc., which follows the date without intervening space. When citing multiple sources at a particular place, sort references in the text chronologically and then alphabetically within dates.

Either a Reference List or a Bibliography can be used. Both bear the same format. See examples below.



Author, A (year) Book Title. Place: Publisher.


Gosling, B (1996) Old Luang Prabang. New York: Oxford University Press.

Early, JD and Headland, TN (1998) Population Dynamics of a Philippine Rain Forest People: The San Ildefonso Agta. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida.


Book chapter or article in conference proceedings:

Author, A, and Author, B (year) Chapter title: Subtitle. In: A Editor (ed.) Book Title. Place: Publisher, 00-00.

Author, A (year) Chapter title: Subtitle. In: A Editor and B Editor (eds.) Book Title. Place: Publisher, 00-00.


Allard, F (2014) Early complex societies in southern China. In: C Renfrew and P Bahn (eds) The Cambridge World Prehistory: East Asia and the Americas. New York: Cambridge University Press, 807-823.


Edited book:

Editor, A (ed.) (year) Book Title. Place: Publisher.


Barkataki, S (ed.) (1969) Tribes of Assam. New Delhi: National Book Trust.

O’Connor, S, Brockwell, S and Bryne, D (eds) (2013) Transcending the Culture-nature Divide in Cultural History: Views from the Asia-Pacific. Canberra: Australian National University.


Translated book:

Author, A (year) Book Title, trans. A Translator. Place: Publisher.


Foucault, M (1991) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. A Sheridan. London: Penguin.


Journal article:

Author, A, Author, B, Author, C and Author, D (year) Article title: Subtitle. Journal vol(issue): 00-00.


*When there are three authors, provide all the names in text and in Reference List. When there are more than three authors, list all the authors in Reference List, but provide only the name of the first author plus “et al.”

**Please include a doi if available.


Pureepatpong, M, Sangiampongsa, A, Lerdpipatworakul, T and Sangvichien, S (2012) Stature estimation of modern Thais from long bones: A cadaveric study. Journal of Archaeological Science 64(1): 22-25. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.04.025.


Journal article published ahead of print:

Author, A (year) Article title. Journal 00: 00-00 (accessed day month year).

*Note that the volume number is always 00 to indicate that the article is published ahead of print.

**Please include a doi if available.


Evans, D (2016) Airborne laser scanning as a method for exploring long-term socio-ecological dynamics in Cambodia. Journal of Archaeological Science 00: 1-12 (accessed 17 June 2016). doi:10.1016/j.jas.2016.05.009.


Newspaper and magazine article

Author, A (year) Article title. Newspaper, day month: 00.


Crane, B (2016) Digging for where the gods were constructed. The Phnom Penh Post, 5 March.



Author, A (year) Thesis Title. Level, University, City.


Ross, K (2007) Sub-adult Identity: Attitudes towards Childhood Viewed from Mortuary Settings in Neolithic and Bronze Age Thailand. Bachelor’s Thesis, Australian National University, Canberra.

Tima, RG (1968) Reaction to Health Innovation: The Case of two Kalinga Villages. Master’s Thesis, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

Glumac, PD (1991) The advent of metallurgy in prehistoric southeast Europe. PhD Thesis, University of California, Berkeley.


Website article

Website Name. (year) Article title. Available at: url (accessed day month year).


National Museum of the Philippines. (n.d.) Angono petroglyphs. Available at: (accessed 22 August 2016).


As for notes, please employ endnotes instead of footnotes and refer to them in the text with a superscript number.


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.

  1. 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).
  2. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  3. Supplementary files (images, audio and video files) submitted have a source attribution and permission for use in this journal.
  4. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

    1. Authors retain copyright and grant SEAMEO SPAFA right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution Non Commercial-No Derivatives License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
    2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
    3. Authors grant SEAMEO SPAFA the right to use images and multimedia for non-commercial purposes (e.g. in SPAFA publications).
    4. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).


Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.