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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 journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is 1.5 spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  • This is a new submission, not a revised version of a manuscript already under review within JSEM.

Author Guidelines

Instructions to Authors: Journal for Semitics (JSEM)

Please adhere strictly to these instructions to facilitate the publication process of articles.



If you are not already registered please register on the JSEM website: http://upjournals.co.za/index.php/JSEM/user/register


Please see the User Guide for further information:



If you are already registered as a Reviewer or in another role you can edit your profile when logged in to also register as an Author. Please see the Users’ Guide:




Please refer to the Users’ Guide for further details:




The Journal for Semitics (JSEM) uses the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition, author-date) (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/) with discipline-specific supplements from The SBL Handbook of Style (2nd edition). The journal encourages the use of reference managers such as RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero and Mendeley.


The style guide focuses on two major aspects:

1) Guidelines for technical preparation; 2) Citation guidelines.


1. Guidelines for Technical Preparation of Manuscript


Submit manuscripts electronically as Microsoft Word files.

All graphic material has to be positioned at the correct place in the text and should be of a good quality.  Do not add supplementary files with graphic content.

Manuscripts must be presented as: A4 pages; normal margins; 12pt Times Roman; 1.5 line spacing.

Add a line break (enter key) between all paragraphs. Do not apply paragraph styles (hanging indents, automatic spacing after or before, etc.).

Proofing language must be set as UK English (colour—not color; travelled—not traveled; organise; organisation; organising—not -ize).

Do not type double spaces anywhere; not between words, at the end of sentences or after colons.

Type hard spaces (shift + control + space bar) when phrases are preferred to be presented as a unit, e.g.10_000; Vol. 1 (2):_22−21.

Articles should not exceed 6000 words from the first word in the title to the last word in the list of references.

Make sure you follow the guidelines for ensuring a blind peer review.

Then present an indented abstract of not more than 250 words.  Abstracts should not contain any footnotes or citations. Do not type the abstract in italics.

Below the abstract, please provide 4–6 keywords for indexing (only proper nouns in capitals). Distinguish between keywords/phrases with semicolon, e.g. Pentecostal; hymnal records; migration; southern regions of Africa.

Authors should include their affiliation or ORCiD below their name, after the title of the article.

No numbers should be used in headings or in lists


Please note the format and order of information required for the presentation of book reviews:


Oxford Dictionary of Journalism <Book title in italics>

Tony Harcup <Book author name(s) and surname>

Oxford University Press. 2014.Oxford Quick Reference. xiv + pp. 368. <Publisher, date, series and number of pages>

ISBN: 978-0-0000000-1 <ISBN>, https://doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780199646241.001.0001 <DOI>


Reviewed by Rod Amner <Reviewer details>

orcid.org/0000-0000-0000-0000 <ORCiD>

Rhodes University, School of Journalism and Media Studies, South Africa <Affiliation: Institution, Department, Country>

r.amner@ru.ac.za <email address>



Do not use the ampersand (&) anywhere in the text or citations; use “and” instead.

In text, only sparingly emphasise words by using italics. Italicisation should otherwise be reserved for book titles and words from a language other than that of the text.

Italicised words/phrases in another language are glossed by an equivalent word/phrase in the language of the text in single inverted commas placed in brackets, e.g. …indoda ('a man'). Words well-known in South African English are set as roman, for example, lobola, ubuntu, indaba.

Words/terms that need to be singled out as being “borrowed” from another author/source may be placed in double inverted commas.

Titles of standalone publications must be in headline style (significant words are capitalised) and in italics when typed in the text. Titles of articles are placed between “double inverted commas.” Also see citation guidelines for examples.

Please refer to section 4.3.6 of the SBL Handbook for examples of how and when discipline-specific words are capitalised.

Preferably the SBL fonts should be used for Greek, Hebrew or any other Semitic languages. If a particular language requires another font, the font has to accompany the submission.



Acknowledgements appear at the end of the article, should be brief, and recognise sources of financial and logistical support and permission to reproduce materials from other sources.  Save a copy of documentation granting such permission.  Adherence to copyright rules remains each author’s sole responsibility.




Footnotes with references in Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3—do not use i, ii, iii) are allowed on condition that these are limited to essential notes that enhance the content without impeding the fluent reading of the article.

Footnotes are typed in 10pt. font and single spacing; hanging indent.

Endnotes are not allowed.

Footnotes do not replace the alphabetical list of references at the end of the text. References in notes are regarded as text references and not bibliographic information.

Do not cross-reference in footnotes using note numbers. Note numbers are liable to change during editing.



When quoting from a source, use “double inverted commas.”

To quote within a quote, use ‘single inverted commas.’

When quoting more than five lines, indent. Do not print indented text in italics and do not use quotation marks. A citation after the indented quote follows after a full stop, e.g.

According to the report the council will discuss the matter at the next council meeting to be held on 5 January 2017. (Smit 2002, 1)

When quoting within an indented quotation, use “double inverted commas.”

Final full stops and commas are placed inside the quotation marks.

Colons and semicolons are placed outside of quotation marks.

Question and exclamation marks are only placed inside quotation marks if they form part of the quoted material.


Do you know if she is “accredited”?

He asked: “Are you accredited?”

When adding notes to a quote or changing a quotation, use square brackets, e.g. [own translation/emphasis]/[t]oday.



In text, numbers one to nine are in words; numbers 10 and above are in digits.

At the start of a sentence all numbers are in words.

In brackets all numbers are in digits, as for numbers of tables, figures and chapters.

When in text, percentages (below 10) are in words—seven per cent; above 10 are digits—22 per cent/13.5 per cent.

Decimals—7.5 per cent—are always in digits (also in text).

Use the % sign in brackets and per cent in text.



Use Mathtype for display and inline equations, but not for single variables. Single variables should be inserted into the text as Unicode characters.



Abbreviations that begin and end on the same letter as the word, do not get a full stop (Mr/Dr/Eds) but Ed.

Academic degrees: (Preferably without any punctuation) BA; DPhil; MSc

Please refer to sections 8.1–3 of the SBL Handbook for guidelines on correctly referring to books of the Bible and ancient primary sources in abbreviated form.


Journal and series titles are not abbreviated—neither in the notes or in the reference list.


Ibid. and idem/eadem

The use of ibid and idem/eadem is now discouraged.



Use the ellipsis when indicating that text has been left out in the middle of a quoted sentence—preferably not at the start or end of the sentence. It is a given that text has been left out preceding and following your quote.

Insert spaces before and after the ellipse.

Use only three full stops for an ellipse (A full stop is added before an ellipsis to indicate the omission of the end of a sentence, unless the sentence is deliberately incomplete. Similarly, a full stop at the end of a sentence in the original is retained before an ellipsis indicating the omission of material immediately following the full stop.)


In May 1862, two new missionaries, Endeman and Albert Nachtigal, joined Grützner and Merensky. … It was decided that Endeman and Grützner continue working. … The latter two eventually established the mission station Botshabelo … which later would play an important role in the Ba-Kopa history.



The unspaced em-dash (—) is used (Alt 0151).

An unspaced en-dash (–), NOT A HYPHEN (-) is used to indicate ranges (e.g. of numbers or page numbers: 15–21).



One initial: Steyn, P. 2009.

Multiple initials: Steyn, P. R. G. 2009. (spaces between initials)



Give the full name when first mentioned (with acronym in brackets), thereafter use the acronym uniformly and consistently: Unisa; CSIR; HSRC; Sabinet/SABINET


et al.

et al. (not italics) Never use in the reference list.

When citing a text with four+ authors, use only the first author’s name followed by et al. in text, but list all authors in the reference list.


Tables and figures

Table headings appear above the tables and are numbered.

E.g. Table 1: Our Table


Figure captions appear below the figures and are numbered.


Captions of figures other than artworks should be short and descriptive.


Include cited authors in the reference list.


Supply the source below the table or figure, if material is copyrighted.


Captions of iconographical artworks should include, in the following order:

Figure 1 Artist, title (date). Medium/support, metric dimensions. Name of collection, city of collection, other collection information such as “gift of …”, accession number (copyright or credit-line information in parentheses).


Credit lines of artworks should include all elements specified in the letter of permission from the rights holder, institution and/or photographer.


Figure 1: Keel & Ühlinger, Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God (1998) p.356 fig.343b.  

Figure 2: Stern, Archaeology of the Land of the Bible (2001) p.286 fig. I115.

Figure 3: Dever, The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel (2012) p.171 fig.VI.15. Photo W.G. Dever.  


Include cited authors in the reference list.


Supply the source below the table or figure, if material is copyrighted.



2. Citation Guidelines: Chicago Author-Date

In Text:

Within the body of your text, citations are indicated in parentheses with the author's surname, publication date, and page number (if needed, as when quoting direct words), e.g. (Smith 2012, 45).

Citations are placed within the text where they offer the least resistance to the flow of thought, frequently just before a mark of punctuation.

Single-author citations: If the author’s name appears in the text it is not necessary to repeat it, but the date should follow immediately: Malan (2014, 4) refers to this …

Single author with two or more works in the same year: (Gray 2009a; 2009b)

One publication with two+ authors: … contested by Smith and Jones (2013, 16). Also (Smith and Jones 2013, 16)

Multiple publications: … venture failed (Bergin 2009; Chance 2008, 14–17).

When citing multiple publications/authors do so alphabetically (Louw 2010a, 3; Ncube 2008, 77; Zeiss 1993, 4).

Multiple authors with the same initial surname and same year of publication—shorten titles: (Coe et al., “Media diversity,” 2001) and (Coe et al., “Social media,” 2001)

No page numbers are needed if citing a text on the internet, e.g. academic freedom (Smith 2014),  unless page numbers are available

Avoid citing a secondary source: … greater good (Mullins as quoted in Khan 2014, 6), Mullins (as quoted in Khan 2014, 6) argues …

Blogs are only referenced in-text.


References: (See examples below)

Use the heading: References.

Only list sources actually referred to in the text.



List authors alphabetically. Use surnames, first names (if known) and initials.

NB: Although full first names are used in the examples in this document, it is also acceptable to use authors’ initials only, as long as one system is used consistently.

The entries are additionally sorted by the work’s date of publication (oldest to newest).

Do not use a dash to replace author names.

If no author or editor, order alphabetically by title (corresponding with text citation).

A single-author entry precedes a multi-author entry beginning with the same surname.

Successive entries by two+ authors, when the first author is the same, are alphabetised by co-authors’ surnames.



Use headline-style capitalisation in titles and subtitles of works and parts of works such as articles or chapters (i.e., Biology in the Modern World: Science for Life in South Africa). Capitalise significant words and proper nouns.

Use headline-style capitalisation for titles of journals and periodicals (i.e., Journal of Social Activism).

Titles of stand-alone publications are typed in italics when used in text: Evangelism and the Growth of Pentecostalism in Africa.


Compound Sources

Source within another source:  Smit, R. 2012. “Where to Now?” In Climate Change in the Next Decade, edited by S.Y. Tovey and T. Rosti, 200–234. Pretoria: Van Schaik.

Treat pamphlets, reports, brochures and freestanding publications (such as exhibition catalogues) as books. Give sufficient information to identify the document.


Electronic references (NB: The text reference must correspond with the alphabetical reference list):

Author’s surname, name and initials (if available); title of article/publication. website address (URL)

Macdonald, Fiona. 2017. “The Extraordinary Life of the 1920s Lady Gaga.” BBC Culture, September 20. Accessed October 6, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20170920-the-extraordinary-life-of-the-19th-century-lady-gaga.


Personal communications, letters, conversations, emails, interviews, recordings may be listed separately in the reference list.


Omit: Inc., Co. Publishing Co. etc. from the name of the publisher.


Do not list reprints—only refer to the version of the text that you cite.


If more than one place of publication is listed for a source, list only the first one.


EXAMPLES (For full list of examples see http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html)

R: Reference list

T: Text citation



One Author

R: Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin.

T: (Pollan 2006, 99–100).


Two or Three Authors

R: Ward, Geoffrey C., and Ken Burns. 2007. The War: An Intimate History, 1941–1945. New York: Knopf.

T: (Ward and Burns 2007, 52).


Four or More Authors, list all of the authors in the reference list; in the text from 2nd citation, list only the first author, followed by et al. (“and others”):

R: Barnes, L. A., A. M. Harcombe, P. B. Rall, M. Z. Motala, and W. Grové. 2010. Unisa Press: An Illustrated History. Pretoria: Unisa Press.

T: (Barnes et al. 2010).


Editor, Translator, or Compiler instead of Author

R: Lattimore, Richmond, trans. 1951. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

T: (Lattimore 1951, 91–92).


Editor, Translator, or Compiler in Addition to Author

R: García Márquez, Gabriel. 1988. Love in the Time of Cholera. Translated by Edith Grossman. London: Cape.

T: (García Márquez 1988, 242–55).


Chapter or Other Part of a Book

R: Kelly, John D. 2010. “Seeing Red: Mao Fetishism, Pax Americana, and the Moral Economy of War.” In Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency, edited by John D. Kelly, Beatrice Jauregui, Sean T. Mitchell, and Jeremy Walton, 67–83. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

T: (Kelly 2010, 77).


Chapter of an Edited Volume Originally Published Elsewhere (as in primary sources)

R: Cicero, Quintus Tullius. 1986. “Handbook on Canvassing for the Consulship.” In Rome: Late Republic and Principate, edited by Walter Emil Kaegi Jr. and Peter White. Vol. 2 of University of Chicago Readings in Western Civilization, edited by John Boyer and Julius Kirshner, 33–46. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Originally published in Evelyn S. Shuckburgh, trans., The Letters of Cicero, vol. 1 (London: George Bell & Sons, 1908).

T: (Cicero 1986, 35)


Preface, Foreword, Introduction, or Similar Part of a Book

R: Rieger, James. 1982. Introduction to Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, xi–xxxvii. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

T: (Rieger 1982, xx–xxi)


Book Published Electronically

If a book is available in more than one format, cite the version you consulted. For books consulted online, list a URL and an access date. If no fixed page numbers are available, you can include a section title or a chapter or other number.

R: Austen, Jane. 2007. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Penguin Classics. Kindle edition.

T: (Austen 2007)

R: Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner, eds. 1987. The Founders’ Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/ (accessed January 1, 2012).

 T: (Kurland and Lerner, chap. 10, doc. 19)


Journal Articles

Article in a Print Journal

In the text, list the specific page numbers consulted, if any. In the reference list entry, list the page range for the whole article.

R: Weinstein, Joshua I. 2009. “The Market in Plato’s Republic.” Classical Philology 104 (4): 439–58. https://doi.org/10.1086/650979.

T: (Weinstein 2009, 440)


Article in an Online Journal

Include a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) if the journal lists one. A DOI is a permanent ID that, when appended to https://doi.org/ in the address bar of an Internet browser, will lead to the source. If no DOI is available, list a URL and include an access date.

R: Kossinets, Gueorgi, and Duncan J. Watts. 2009. “Origins of Homophily in an Evolving Social Network.” American Journal of Sociology 115: 405–50. https://doi.org/10.1086/599247.

T: (Kossinets and Watts 2009, 411)


Other Sources

Book Review

R: Kamp, David. 2006. “Deconstructing Dinner.” Review of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan. New York Times, April 23, Sunday Book Review. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/23/books/review/23kamp.html (accessed January 1, 2012).

T: (Kamp 2006)


Thesis or Dissertation

R: Choi, Mihwa. 2008. “Contesting Imaginaires in Death Rituals during the Northern Song Dynasty.” PhD diss., University of Chicago.

T: (Choi 2008)


Archival material/manuscript collections

When citing archival material in the author-date style, it is unnecessary to use n.d. (no date) in place of the date. Dates of individual items should be mentioned in the text, when applicable:

R: Egmont Manuscripts. Phillipps Collection. University of Georgia Library.

Kallen, Horace. Papers. YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York.

T: Oglethorpe wrote to the trustees on January 13, 1733 (Egmont Manuscripts), to say…

Alvin Johnson, in a memorandum prepared sometime in 1937 (Kallen Papers, file 36), observed that...

If only one item from a collection has been mentioned in the text, however, the entry may begin with the writer’s name (if known). In such a case, the use of n.d. may become appropriate:

R:       Dinkel, Joseph. n.d. Description of Louis Agassiz written at the request of Elizabeth Cary Agassiz. Agassiz Papers. Houghton Library, Harvard University.

T:        (Dinkel, n.d.)



Paper Presented at a Meeting or Conference

R: Adelman, Rachel. 2009. “‘Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On’: God’s Footstool in the Aramaic Targumim and Midrashic Tradition.” Paper presented at the annual meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 21–24.

T: (Adelman 2009)



As JSEM is an accredited academic journal, it needs to adhere to the minimum requirements of the Department of Higher Education and Training of South Africa.  This means that mostly peer reviewed research articles should be published, but a limited number of pages can contain book reviews or reports of conferences.  The recommendations of the reviewers have to be taken into consideration, but the editors decision is final.



In every JSEM issue as a general rule, no person may author more than one article, although exceptional cases will be considered by the editors in which case more than one article of an authors might be considered for an issue.


Copyright of an article will be assigned to Unisa Press if the article is published.  Copyright covers the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the article in any medium.


Submitting any article to JSEM implies that it presents original, unpublished work, and is not considered for publication elsewhere.


It remains the right of Unisa Press to submit any article for originality checking to determine its extent of non-original information.


Articles should be language edited before submission.


A letter stating that the article is free from any form of possible plagiarism must accompany the submission of an article.


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