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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.
  • This submission is an original piece of work that fits within the scope of the SPAFA Journal. It has not been previously published, nor is it under consideration elsewhere.
  • All authors involved in this submission have conducted this research with the necessary permissions, licenses and ethics clearances from the appropriate authorities and custodian communities, which can be produced upon request.
  • All authors have been listed in the list of contributors, and the order of authorship has been agreed upon by all contributors. The order of author, and addition or deletion of authors, will not be accommodated unless special circumstances warrant it.
  • I/We have completed the FIGURE SUBMISSION FORM and included it as part of our submission. I am/we are the copyright holder of all the images and media used in this submission, or I/we have written permission from the copyright holder to use these images for this submission which can be produced on request. I/we understand that I/we will transfer a non-exclusive copyright for these images to SEAMEO SPAFA as a condition for publishing.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines as stated on the SPAFA Journal.
  • I/we declare no conflicts of interest in this submission, or they have also been disclosed to the editor as part of this submission.
  • I/we understand that not adhering to the statements above is grounds for refusal or rejection. If, at a later time, evidence for academic misconduct (such as, but not limited to plagiarism, conflict of interest, lack of legal permissions or ethical clearances) is discovered, the submission may be subject to immediate rejection, or a correction notice or retraction if the submision has been published.

Author Guidelines

Last updated: 15 January 2024


  1. General Format
  2. Dual Language Policy for Titles, Abstracts and Keywords
  3. Use of Images and Figure Submission Form
  4. Ethical Standards, Corrections and Retractions
  5. Spelling
  6. Punctuation
  7. Italicisation
  8. Dates and Numerals
  9. Dating
  10. Referencing
  11. Citation of Southeast Asian Names


1. General Format

The SPAFA Journal has no article processing charges (APCs) or any other charges. All submissions should be in Microsoft Word, Open Office or .RTF. If you are using Microsoft Word, you can download an article template here - (SPJ Template 2024 Edition). If your submission contains images or illustration, you must also submit a Figure Submission Form. They should contain the following information:

  1. Author(s), institutional affiliation and email addresses
  2. Title, Abstract and Keyword (in both English and a Southeast Asian language, see dual-language policy below)
  3. Optional: Suggestions for peer reviewers (Up to three names)
  4. 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
    We use the following fonts for non-Roman scripts: Thai (Sarabun); Lao (Saysettha - ລາວ); Burmese (Myanmar Text - မြန်မာ), Khmer (Khmer UI - កម្ពុជា); Chinese (Adobe Heiti - 中文); Korean (Adobe Myungjo - 한국어) and Sanskrit (Adobe Devanagari - संस्कृतम्).
  5. Images, tables and figures to be inserted in text and not at the end of the paper. 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. See also section on Use of Images below.
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. 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.
  8. Style and referencing: See below.

2. 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.
3. Use of Images

Photographs, maps and illustrations can greatly enhance the readability of the paper, and are frequently used in submissions for the SPAFA Journal. However, we have been increasingly forced to remove images or reject submissions because of a lack of copyright clearances. All authors are responsible for securing the appropriate rights to the images used in their submissions, i.e. in the case where the image is not one they have created themselves, they must have written permission to use and republish the image from the copyright holder. Here are some guidelines for all images and illustrations used in submissions:

  • As of Volume 8 (2024) every submission that has figures in it must be accompanied by a Figure Submission Form which can be downloaded here. This form is a tool designed to help ypu keep track of your figure submissions and the appropriate permissions requred for their use.
  • Every image (photograph, map or illustration) must have an attribution at the end of the caption. Usually this is in the form of 'Source: Photo/Map/Illustration by Name, year.'
  • If you created the image, then you are the copyright holder - Just put your name as the source and the year the image was created. Easy! Source: Photo by Author, 2021.
  • If the copyright holder of an unpublished image gives you permission to use the photo, then cite as: Source: Photo/Map/Illustration courtesy of Person, Year.
  • If the image is from a published work, such as a book or a journal article, then you will need to provide written permission from the copyright owner for us to use the image. In the case of very old images, please note that copyright lasts for 50-70 years after the death of the owner, so you cannot take for granted that just because the image is from an old or out-of-print book it is no longer protected by copyright. In either case, the image should be captioned (Source: Name, year: page number) and also cited in the references.
  • Internet images are still subject to copyright. You will need to provide written permission from the copyright owner, and the image should be captioned with a Source and also the URLs to the images must be cited in the references. For a public doman image from the internet, you must include in the citation four things: 1) source of the image (URL), the 2) name of the copyright holder, the 3) date of the image (either the date of the image, or the date of the source URL, or both), and 4) the public distribution information (usually the Creative Commons information page, or a page informing the image terms of use).

The SPAFA Journal does not distinguish between Photographs, Images and Maps - all are referred to in text as Figures. Use “Figure” or "Figures" when it appears within the text and “Fig.” when it is a caption.

Fig. 1 Map of site. Source: Map by Name, Year if applicable.

In summary, all images must be attributed and you must have the appropriate copyright clearances for all images. It is highly recommended that the images you use are those you have taken or made yourself. Otherwise, you must have written authorisation from the copyright holder use and republish the image. You will be asked to transfer the (non-exclusive) copyright of the image to SEAMEO SPAFA. If you are unable to do so, the image cannot be used.


4. Ethical Standards, Corrections and Retractions

We expect all submissions to the SPAFA Journal to adhere to prevailing legal and ethical standards. Specifically:
  • We expect that all listed authors in the submission would have conducted the research with the necessary permissions, licenses and ethics clearances from the appropriate authorities and custodian communities, which can be produced upon request.
  • We will not accept papers discussing artefacts where an author was directly involved in purchasing or illegitimately procuring said artefacts.
  • Plagiarism and copyright infringement are grounds for automatic rejection or retraction. 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.

In cases of serious breaches of ethical and academic standards, such as those outlined above, a paper may be rejected even if it has already been previously accepted. In cases where the paper has already been published, a retraction notice may be posted. The principles for retracting articles come from the Committee on Publication Ethics and the principles outlined here.


5. Spelling

SEAMEO SPAFA prefers to use British spelling in its documents and publications, with the Concise Oxford English Dictionary being the authority for spelling. You may use American English in your submission but be consistent through the entire paper.

6. 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.


7. 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).


8. Dates and Numerals

- 12 June 1993 (no comma)

- the twenties; the 1810s

- seven in the morning or 7:00 a.m. (note colon and abbreviation points)

- 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.


9. 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.


10. References

The SPAFA Journal uses a modified version of the Harvard referencing system. In-text citations use the name and year with no comma, and a colon to denote page, e. g. (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. All names of authors/editors should be provided in the Reference List.

Basic Principles:

  • The underlying princicple for any referencing system is to tell the reader how to find the article/book/photograph that is cited.
  • The name (usually the last name) followed by a comma and initials with no punctuations.
  • The Gregorian Year should be used (2021, 1878, etc.). Other formats (e.g. the Buddhist Year) can be included in square brackets after the Gregorian year. E.g. (2016 [2559])
  • Only titles of published works (usually books and journal names) are italicised. Titles of unpublished works, e.g. theses and websites do not have to be italicised.
  • Foreign-language name and titles should be cited in their original language and script, with an English translation provided in brackets.  E.g.: พัฒนาการของบ้านเมืองในภาคใต้ของประเทศไทยในสมัยศรีวิชัย [The Development of Settlements in Southern Thailand in Srivijaya Period]; Di tích và danh thắng Quảng nam [Relics and Sites in Quang Nam province]; A transliteration of names and titles is also acceptable but less preferred: Karn Samruaj Lae Khudkhon Vatthanatham Yukhinmai Thi Phob Naitham Boriwen Ban Kao Changwat Kanchanaburi [The Archaeological Survey and Excavation on the Neolithic Culture Cave Sites at Ban Kao, Kanchanaburi Province].
  • For references with no dates, please use (n.d.).
  • For references with no authors, please cite by title, and move the title to where the author position would be.
  • 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.


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

Early, J. D. and Headland, T. N. (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.


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.


Book with edition:

The edition should be added after the title of the work. i.e.:

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.


Translated book with author:

The translator of the text should be added after the title of the work, i.e.:

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

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


Reprinted book:

Please ensure that the year in the in-text citations correspond to the first year in the reference.

Author, A. (Year) Book Title. City: Publisher. Reprint, Original City: Original Publisher, Original Year.

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

Book chapter or Article in Conference proceedings:

Author, A. and Author, B. (year) Chapter title. In: A. Editor (ed.) 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.


Journal Articles

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

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.

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).

Review Article

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 of Thesis, University, City.

Glumac, P. D. (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, R. G. (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].

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


11. Citation of Southeast Asian Names

Many cultures in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world do not follow the simple first name/last name nomenclature. Some cultures embed honorifics or birth orders into their formal names, while others prioritise family names over first names. Here is a guideline for common naming conventions in Southeast Asia and how to cite them in text.

Balinese 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 Full Names.

Structure: Gender Prefix / Birth Order Prefix / Personal Name

Example: I Wayan Mertha Suteja

In text: Mertha Suteja

In Reference List/Bibliography: I Wayan Mertha Suteja.


Burmese names

Burmese 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.

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.


Cambodian, Vietnamese and Chinese names

Typical Cambodian, Vietnamese 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. The only exception is when the person has an Anglicised name, by which the normal first-(middle)-last name convention should be applied.

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, C. S.

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, D. D.


Indian names

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

Example: Saroja Devi Dorairajoo

In text: Dorairajoo

In Reference List/Bibliography: Dorairajoo, S. D.


Lao names

Structure: First Name / Family Name

Example: Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy

In text: Sayavongkhamdy

In Reference List/Bibliography: Sayavongkhamdy, T.


Malay-Muslim names
Malay Muslim names often look like western names following the first name/last name convention, however they are often abbreviated versions of a son of (bin)/ daughter of ('binte') naming convention. If the name contains a bin or binte, then you should reference by the first name. Otherwise, personal knowledge and discretion is advised, with the overriding principles that the name in text and in the reference list should correspond, which is the same name that can be found at the original source.

Structure: Personal Name / Father's 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.

4 January 2024:
  • Update to submission template
  • Inclusion of Figure Submission Form
2 January 2024:
  • Annual update of template
  • Update of citation style
11 November 2021
  • Update to the guidance on citing Southeast Asian names
10 November 2021
  • 2022 Version of the article template uploaded
  • Added clearer guidance on ethical clearances, image usage and references
17 August 2021
  • Updated citation information for Figures and Images (section 7)
9 August 2021
  • Updated citation format for Reprinted Books
26 January 2021
  • Updated Myanmar font ("Myanmar Text", from "Pyidaungsu Book")
04 January 2020
  • Added details of fonts used for non-Roman scripts under dual-language policy
14 August 2020
  • Updated instructions for the submission of images in (1. General Format)
16 July 2020
  • Updated instructions for times in (5. Dates and Numerals)
19 June 2020
  • Updated instructions for figures in text and captions.

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 10,000 words. Research Articles typically undergo a double-blind peer review (reviewers and authors will not be aware of each other’s identities).

Short Articles

The SPAFA Journal also accepts shorter works such as field reports, commentaries and brief research pieces, as well as research papers delivered or presented as part of SEAMEO SPAFA activities. Submissions are accepted upon the approval of the academic committee. A 'short' report is typically around 2,000 words and may be subject to peer-review if directed by the Editorial Board.

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.


Book, exhibition or performance reviews. Max. 2000 words.

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