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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 an intellectual offence that will result in a paper rejection. Although plagiarism is already a familiar topic in the academic community, many scholars may not fully comprehend the various types of plagiarism and thus commit the offence unknowingly. SEAMEO SPAFA has found the Harvard Guide to Using Sources (, developed by Harvard College, to be a very useful resource on this subject matter. Although the guide is written mainly for students and therefore does not contain all types of plagiarism – for example, self-plagiarism and translated plagiarism are not mentioned, it explains clearly what constitutes a particular kind of plagiarism and offers examples of acceptable versions of 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.

British and US spelling

  • ae for oe where US spelling has only e: aetiology, haemoglobin, palaeoenvironment

  • -ence for -ense: defence, offence, pretence, licence (noun)

  • -re for -er: centre, fibre, manoeuvre, metre, titre

  • c for k: sceptic, mollusc

  • -l for -ll: appal, fulfil, distil, enrol

  • -lled for -led: labelled, travelled

  • ou for o: mould, moult, smoulder

  • -ogue for -og: analogue, catalogue

  • -our for -or: colour, honour, labour, neighbour, harbour

  • s for z: analyse, catalyse, cosy

Verbs ending in -ize

Use -ize, the preferred spelling in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary(The form corresponds to the Greek verbal ending -izo and is not an Americanism like what many people mistake it to be.) However, several verbs are always spelt with -ise because the ending forms part of a longer word element, including -cise (= cutting), -mise (= sending), -prise (= taking), or -vise (= seeing). The most important of these verbs are:




























3. Punctuation

En/em rules

The SEAMEO SPAFA Style 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., Prof., i.e., a.m.).  Abbreviations that are all upper case generally do not take full points (e.g. USA, EU, BBC, BE). However, for the abbreviations of Mom Chao, Mom Rajawongseand Mom Luang, write M.C., M.R. and M.L.

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


Titles of works

Use italics for titles of books, periodicals, plays, films, TV and radio series, music albums, long poems (book length) and titles of works of art. However, use quotation marks with roman type with the titles of short poems, songs, chapters in books, articles and individual episodes in broadcast series. 


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

- We prefer the use of 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

The SPAFA Journal does not distinguish between Figures and Plates. All illustrations are Figures and should have a caption and a source, which should be indicated at the end of the caption.

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. Source: Name (Year if applicable)


8. References and Notes

For in-text citations, please use the Harvard referencing system. The format is, for example, (Binford 1983: 6) and (Fazekas and Kosa 1978; Jeanty 1983; Schaefer et al. 2009). Please note the use of “and” when citing an item with two authors/editors and “et al.” (in roman type) when citing an item with at least three authors/editors.

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 (References) or a Bibliography can be used. Both bear the same format.

**When there are three authors/editors, provide all the names in text and in Reference List or Bibliography. When there are more than three authors/editors, list all the authors/editors in Reference List, but provide only the name of the first author plus “et al.” in text. If two or more references have the same first author and date, place “a”, “b”, etc. after the date to distinguish them.


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

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

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

Book chapter or article in conference proceedings:

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

Author, A (year) Chapter title: Subtitle. In: A Editor and B Editor (eds) Book Title. City: 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. City: 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 with author:

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

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

Book with edition:

Author, A (year) Book Title, number of edition. City: Publisher

Cameron, N and Bogin, B (eds.) (2012) Human Growth and Development, 2nd edition. London: Elsevier Inc.

Reprinted book:

Author, A (original year) Book Title. Original City: Original Publisher. Reprint, City: Publisher, year of reprint.

Gimlette, JD (1913) Malay Poisons and Charm Cures. London: J & A Churchill. Reprint, Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Book in series:

Author, A (year) Book Title. Series Title, vol. City: Publisher.

Malm, WP and Sweeney A (eds) (1974) Studies in Malaysian Oral and Musical Traditions. Michigan Papers on Southeast Asia, vol. 8. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Centre for South and Southeast Asian Studies. 

Book published in non-English languages (with Latin and non-Latin script):

For a language with Latin script:

Author, A (year) Book Title [English Translation of Book Title, in Language]. Place: Publisher.

For a language with non-Latin script:

Author, A (year) English Transcription of Book Title [English Translation of Book Title, in Language]. City: Publisher.

Pidokrat, N (2001 [2544 BE]) Manutsaya Dontri Wittaya: Dontri Phuenban Phaktai [Musical Anthropology: Southern Folk Music, in Thai]. Nakhon Pathom: Mahidol University Press.


  • The same rule applies with other sources, such as journal articles.

  • The Buddhist-era (BE) in [square brackets] is optional.

  • For references with no dates, please use (n.d.)

  • Sometimes, official English titles are available for non-English sources, particularly those written in non-Latin script. Simply use the English titles and specify the language of the sources in square brackets. There is no need to transcribe the titles into English.

  • When citing an e-book, simply follow the aforementioned formats as appropriate, but add where the e-book is available, or a doi if applicable, and the access date. 

Journal article:

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

*Please include a doi if available.

Lewis, H, Paz, V, Lara, M, Barton, H, Piper, P, Ochoa, J, Vitales, T, Carlos, J, Neri, L, Hernandez, V, Higham, T, Stevenson, J, Robles, E, Padilla, R, Ragragio, A, Solheim W and Ronquillo, W (2013) Terminal Pleistocene to mid-Holocene occupation and an early cremation burial at Ille Cave, Palawan, Philippines. Antiquity 82(316): 318-335. doi: 10.1017/S0003598X00096836.

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 title 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. 


Author, A (year) Review title, review of B Author, Title. Place of Reviewed Work: Publisher of Reviewed Work, year. Journal title 00: 00-00.

Nicolas, A (2008) Bamboo, bronze drums and gongs: A musical exchange in maritime Asia, review of J Maceda, Gongs and bamboo: A panorama of Philippine music instruments. Quezon City: University of the Philippines, 1998. Musika Jornal 4: 198-215

Unpublished paper presented at conference:

Author, A (year) Paper Title, paper presented at Name of Conference, Date of Conference, City of Conference.

Rai S, I Wayan (2012) Creative Development in Art in Asia, paper presented at the Geidai Arts Summit 2012 at Tokyo University of the Arts, in conjunction with the 125th Anniversary, Tokyo, Japan.

Newspaper and magazine article:

Author, A (year) Article title. Publication name,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.

Glumac, PD (1991) The Advent of Metallurgy in Prehistoric Southeast Europe. PhD Thesis, University of California, Berkeley.

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.

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 footnotes instead of endnotes and refer to them in the text with a superscript number. Notes are for providing further information or discussion. For citations, please use the author-date system. Numbers in the text indicating notes are superscript.

Please consult us if a type of source you want to cite is not included in this list.

Citation of Southeast Asian Names:

Balinese names consist of a prefix indicating gender (I for male and Ni for female), a prefix indicating birth order (Wayan or Gede or Putu for the firstborn, Made or Kadek for the second-born, Nyoman or Komang for the third-born and Ketut for the fourth-born) and a personal name. They are referred to in text and notes by the personal names, but are written in full in Reference List and Bibliography. However, alphabetize the names by the personal names.

Burmese and Vietnamese names are written in full form at every occurrence. Where appropriate, add prefixes (e.g. U, Daw, Ko, Ma, Maung, Saya, etc.) to Burmese names; though they do not affect alphabetization.

Cambodian and Chinese names have their family names listed first and are referenced by their family names. Cambodian family names are usually monosyllabic. For Chinese names, it is becoming popular to have a middle name.

Malay names consist of first names and father names. They are written in full in the Reference List/Bibliography and referenced in text by their first names.

Lao, Thai and Indian names use the usual first name-family name system and are referenced by their family names.

Balinese names

Structure: Gender Prefix / Birth Order Prefix / Personal Name

Example: I Wayan Mertha Suteja

In text: Mertha Suteja

In Reference List/Bibliography: Mertha Suteja, I Wayan

Burmese names

Structure: No standardized structure (U and Daw are two common honorifics, meaning “Mr/Uncle” and “Ms/Aunt” respectively.)

Example: U Aung Kyaing

In text: Aung Kyaing

In Reference List/Bibliography: Aung Kyaing, U

Cambodian names

Structure: Family Name / First Name

Example: Heng Phipal

In text: Heng

In Reference List/Bibliography: Heng, P

Chinese names

Structure: Family Name / (Middle Name) / First Name

Example: Lim Chen Sian

In text: Lim

In Reference List/Bibliography: Lim, CS

Indian names

Structure: First Name / (Middle Name) / Family Name

Example: Saroja Devi Dorairajoo

In text: Dorairajoo

In Reference List/Bibliography: Dorairajoo, SD

Lao names

Structure: First Name / Family Name

Example: Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy

In text: Sayavongkhamdy

In Reference List/Bibliography: Sayavongkhamdy, T

Malay names

Structure: Personal Name / Father Name

Example: Siti Zainon Ismail

In text: Siti Zainon

In Reference List/Bibliography: Siti Zainon Ismail

Thai names

Structure: First Name / Family Name (Occasionally, some authors [usually a married female] have two family names [one of which is usually a maiden name]. In this case, cite both family names.] 

Example: Rasmi Shoocongdej

In text: Shoocongdej

In Reference List/Bibliography: Shoocongdej, R

Vietnamese names

Structure: Family Name / (one or more Middle Name[s]) / First Name

Example: Nguyen Dang Duy

In text: Nguyen Dang Duy

In Reference List/Bibliography: Nguyen Dang Duy


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).


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