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Guidelines for Authors

1. Conditions for Submitting a Manuscript

Manuscripts submitted to the journal should be sent to: sources[at]

They need to include the title of the article, name(s) of the author(s), abstract, keywords, text of the article and bibliographical references. Where applicable, the materials used for research should be sent as separate digital files.

A submitted manuscript is an unpublished original work that is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Before submitting a proposal, authors need to review the journal’s editorial purposes and objectives available at:, as doing so will ensure that the article matches the journal’s requirements.

Texts Accepted for Publication

The manuscripts considered by the editorial team are proposals for scientific articles in all areas of human and social sciences, literature, and archaeology relating to research on Africa and its diaspora.

Authors can also propose a review of an academic book, a journal’s special issue or special collection, a film, a documentary, etc., that fall within the scope of Sources.

For the “In the Digital Archive Workshop” section of the journal, the editorial team is also considering archival or digital data projects relating to African and Afro-diasporic Studies.

The editorial team accepts the submission of data papers presenting selected sets of data. Interview proposals that fall within Source’s editorial project are also welcome.

Open Access and Open Access License

The texts published in the journal are always open access. The public license CC-BY-SA 4.0 is applied to all texts (


Manuscripts can be submitted in French, English or Portuguese. Manuscripts written in any language used in Africa will also be considered on a case-to-case basis. If accept, these manuscripts need to include a translation into one of the three languages above-mentioned.

Declaration of Professional Affiliations

The author’s affiliation to a research institution and/or their academic title are not required for being considered for publication but should be mentioned if applicable.

The job title, organization or company which the authors is a member or employee of can also be mentioned. If the author is a student, they should mention their educational institution.

Pre-publication in an Open Archive / by Self-Publishing / via a Third-Party Publisher

Authors have the right to submit the proposed version of their text to an open institutional archive or to a self-publishing space. This can be done prior to submission to the journal, at any time of the evaluation process or after publication. The editorial team will not be able to refuse a text on the grounds of prior self-archiving, but the journal nevertheless need to be informed of this.

Authors have to explicitly indicate whether their text has been published by a third-party publisher, in an identical or similar version, in the same or different language, as an academic article, press article, blog post (in a blog that is not personal), part of a book or any other publication. The editors have the right to refuse the proposal if this information has not been provided.

If re-publication is justified (on the grounds of unavailability of the original publication or its translation) and if it is legally possible, the editorial team will indicate any previous publication of the text.

Conflict of Interest

Authors are requested to disclose any conflict of interest relating to the submitted publication.

2. Preparing the Manuscript

Manuscripts are accepted in DOC, DOCX, RTF, or ODT format.

Manuscript Length

Texts have an average 45,000 characters (including the bibliography, abstract and keywords), but shorter or longer texts may also be considered and accepted. Any request about reducing the article length will be made on the basis of scientific interest or editorial issues.

Introduction Section

Title, Author, Job Title

The title and subtitle of the article (if any) must be followed by the full name(s) of the author(s).

Their job title, institutional affiliation (if any), university degree (if any), as well as email address should be indicated after their name.

Abstracts and Keywords

The abstract have a maximum length of 3,000 signs. It should be coherent and provide a concise summary of the topic, context, objective, methodological approach and main conclusions of the article.

This summary needs to be written in the language of the article and/or in English.

5 to 8 keywords in the language of the article should be proposed.

Text Composition

Headings should be presented in the word processor’s native heading styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, etc).

Titles, headings, name(s) of the author(s) of the article, and proper names cited in the article should start with a capital letter but should not be written entirely in capital letters.

The body of the text should be presented in “Normal” or “Standard” style with a font size of 10-13 points. The margins of the document will be of at least 2 cm.

For quotations, preferably use the “Quote” or “Quotation” style of your word processor.

Footnotes should be inserted automatically, and references provided.

The character styles should not be used.

Never use tabs inside the text body or in footnotes.

Do not use page breaks or section breaks.

Figures and Tables

Illustrations in the text (photos, images, maps, graphs...) always have a title. They should be refereced. If the author of the article is the producer of the image, indicate "(Author)" as a credit. A caption can be added, different from the title.

Figures should be inserted in the text. They should also be provided as separate files with a minimum of 300 DPI and a minimum width of 1,000 pixels.

Copyrights: Authors need to inform the journal of the copyright holder and of article reproduction authorizations if the image is not free to reuse.

Tables should be created in the text and not inserted as images. They should have a title and a source. For complex tables, authors must attach the ordered data in a separate file in CSV, XLS, XLSX, or ODS format.

The databases must be attached in a standard open format, for instance, CSV or XML.

Unicode and special characters

The set of characters in the file must comply with the Unicode standard. Use the classic fonts of your word processor, which are fonts based on the Unicode standard (Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana, Calibri, etc.) (see Do not use fonts that do not comply with this standard for non-Latin scripts or transliterations with diacritical characters. To compose non-Latin text or text with transliteration diacritics (from Arabic, for example), use an extended Unicode font, such as Code2000 ( and/or a document template for typesetting complex characters in Unicode, such as Uniqoder - available here:



Spelling and typographical standards


Authors need to comply with the usual ortho-typographic standards. For standard rules, see for example:

However, compliance with the spelling corrections of 1990 is accepted (see:

The use of inclusive writing standards is also accepted, especially according to the Manual of Inclusive Writing (Manuel d’écriture inclusive) (see:

The applied standards should be consistent throughout the article. The editorial team may provide guidance to the author on inclusive writing in their article upon request.


The ortho-typographical rules recommended by the University of Oxford Style Guide ( or the Chicago Manuel of Style ( are accepted.

The use of inclusive writing standards is accepted.


The editorial team accept texts drafted according to the rules of the Spelling Agreement of the Portuguese language of 1990 (Acordo Ortográfico da Língua Portuguesa de 1990) or according to the European spelling prior to it (Spelling Agreement of 1945).

Inclusive writing is accepted in Portuguese.

3. Bibliographical References

The bibliography should be included at the end of the article. The references must be arranged in alphabetical order according to authors’ names and then by date of publication in descending order. Publications by the same author and of the same year should be distinguished by an index attached to the year, as follows: 2008a, 2008b, 2008c.

It is recommended to export the bibliographic citations into a file in BibTeX, RIS, Zotero RDF formats.

Citation Standards

  • 1 The principle of an Author-Date Style is that references are always presented in the text in bracke (...)

The journal adopts the citation standards of the Chicago Manual of StyleAuthor-Date1 style. An excerpt for the English language is available on this page:

These Chicago citation standards can be used for French and Portuguese manuscripts with some adaptation:

Quotation marks. In French, use angular quotation marks (« ») when citing a primary source, and English quotation marks (“ ”) for a secondary source (quotation within a quotation);

Linking words, identifying terms and other notes that are not part of the titles. For instance, in a French-language article, use “dir.” rather than “eds,” “traduit par...” rather than “translated by,” “et” rather than “and”, etc.;

Dates (“juillet 2010” rather than “July 2010” or “5 mai 2010” rather than “May 5, 2010”);

the names of the publishing locations must be written in the language of the article (e.g. “Londres” rather than “London” in a French-language article).

Bibliographies generated with Zotero are accepted if they are presented in a Chicago Manual of Style Author-Date format adapted to the language of the article. A French version of the Zotero module for the Chicago style can be found here:

Application of Linguistic Rules

The main language of the article defines the linguistic rule that applies to all the references. Thus, the reference of this French-language article included in an English-language article must be presented as follows:

Piron, Florence, Antonin Benoît Diouf, and Zakari Lire. 2017. “Le libre accès vu d’Afrique francophone subsaharienne.” Revue française des sciences de l’information et de la communication no. 11 (August).

Similarly, a reference from an English-language article included in a French-language article must be presented as follows:

Irikefe, Vivienne, Gayathri Vaidyanathan, et Richard Monastersky. 2011 « Science in Africa: The View from the Front Line. » Nature News 474 (7353): 556‐59.

4. Citation of Online Resources and Web Archiving

Citation of documents by persistent identifiers

When a content is available on the web and has a persistent identifier, DOI, Handle, Ark, etc.—often a scientific article or a document deposited in a digital repository—, author should cite this identifier in its web resolvable form (URL), for example Or http://..../handle/... .


Smith, Daniel Jordan. 2021. “The Pentecostal prosperity gospel in Nigeria: paradoxes of corruption and inequality.” The Journal of Modern African Studies 59(1): 103-122.

Mokaya, Julius K. 2020. “Influence of Commercial Interests in Editorial Independence: a Study of the Kenyan Print Media.” Thesis. Nairobi: University of Nairobi.

Web resources with a persistent identifier do not need to be archived via the Internet Archive (see below).

Citing web content

Citing a web page is not just a matter of referring to a web link. A web page must be cited systematically by:

The title of the page;

The title of the site;

If it is available, the author of the content of the page;

If it is available, the date of the page content.

Example: for

“Towards 2030.” n.d. Kenya Vision 2030. URL:

Or for:

Rotich, Kevin. 2021. “I bought my first Safaricom, Centum shares as a teenager.” Daily Nation, July 20. URL:

Archiving of web content

The availability of a web page over time is very low. The average lifespan of a web page is from 100 days to three years2. Several studies show that the majority of web content cited in scientific studies and publications cannot be found or has disappeared after a few years (after 5 years, generally 60 to 70% of web resources are inaccessible).

It is imperative to archive the links you cite (see: This can be done most safely through the Internet Archive services.

Save an archive of the page at the time you consult it, with:

Or use the Wayback Machine add-on for Firefox:

Or the Chrome add-on:

After saving, cite the resource completely as follows:

Rotich, Kevin. 2021. “I bought my first Safaricom, Centum shares as a teen.” Daily Nation, July 20. URL: [archive].

The word “archive” here is associated with the hyperlink:


“Towards 2030.” n.d. Kenya Vision 2030. URL: [archive].

Archived version:

5. Presentation of Materials

The key purpose of Sources is to make materials accessible for researchers and lay the basis for elaboration of theory. They may be presented in the form of writings, images, maps, videos or audio recordings. The quality of the proposed materials and the rigor with which they were selected are therefore crucial for the consideration of the manuscript.

Material Identification

Authors are required to:

  • Accompany the proposals with the digital reproduction of these materials, together with their titles, citations and captions, if any;

  • Mention the exact location of the primary sources if they were consulted within institutions (archives, libraries, documentation centers, governmental or non-governmental organizations...). These materials can be presented in physical or digital form together with their reference;

  • Provide accurate quotes if the materials are available in digital format in open access repositories that can be cited using a common citation format.

Material Transfer

Materials proposed for publication should be submitted as separate digital files. The names of the different files in the manuscript or appendix and their identification (number, title, caption) should match clearly.

The files may be sent by e-mail, or saved in a permanent online folder shared with the journal’s contact address ( if the volume of data is too big to be sent in an e-mail.

The editorial team and authors may also consider other modes of transfer (e.g., on various digital storage media, or through the transmission of paper originals).

Material Format, Quality, and Transcription

Digital materials submitted should be in open file formats suitable for data storage. See here a list of open file formats:

Wherever possible, the quality of the digital re-production (image resolution, sound) need to be of high quality and suitable for academic publication.

The images should be at least 300 DPI and of sufficient size (of least 500 px in width).

Text images must be legible, either scanned or presented as vertical photographs with sufficient lightning.

Texts reproduced in images and words obtained from audio or audiovisual sources need to be accompanied by a full or partial transcript.

Permissions to Reproduce Materials and Data

The authors understand that the purpose of the journal is to provide free and immediate consultation and, wherever possible, the reuse of the primary data presented in the journal.

In all cases, authors should have searched for the legal requirements for reproducing the materials in journals.

The editors will judge the legal, ethical and technical feasibility of reproducing the materials. The impossibility of open and immediate presentation of the sources may lead to the rejection of the article.

The editorial team may assist authors in the process of obtaining permission for reproducing and structuring the data repository. Nevertheless, they will not fund any reproduction right or digital hosting fees.

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