Style guide

In drawing up a house style for this journal we have been guided by the following aims:

  • readability
  • simplicity
  • accuracy
  • scholarship
  • intellectual honesty (including acknowledging the sources of ideas in others’ work ) see the RESPECT project code of practice for more information
  • consistency, insofar as possible, with existing British norms
  • ease of editing

In practice, this means:

Please aim for 5,000-6,000 words excluding footnotes and bibliography

Please send your article in Word or RTF format. Set up your template as follows:

  • language default set to English, UK
  • hyphenation OFF
  • justification OFF
  • line spacing to 1.5 lines (one and a half lines)

Author details
Please list the name/s of the authors together with a short biographical description (job title/s, institution/s)

Please include a short abstract of the article approximately 100 words in length

If there is anyone you would like to thank for funding support, research assistance etc. please put this information into a separate section at the end of the article.

It is useful if you can supply your article in two forms: a complete form, suitable for editing and an anonymised form, to be sent out for peer review. To anonymise your article please delete all references to the authors’ names . If they make the authors’ identities obvious, please also substitute ‘*****’ for the authors’ names in any bibliographical references and titles of any publications that could enable your identity to be worked out by googling. Please also ensure that the file properties do not make the author visible. You can do this in Word by going to ‘file’ then ‘properties’ then ‘summary’ deleting the name and institution of the author. Note: if sending an anonymised version of your article, please be sure to remember to also send us one that includes the authors’ details and make the distinction clear in the file names.

Spelling and grammar
Please use standard UK English spelling and grammar. If you normally use American English, this means in particular to watch out for:

  • ‘is’ rather than ‘iz’ in abstract nouns like ‘organisation’, ‘globalisation’, standardisation’ etc. You can make the change by using a global ‘search and replace’ command, but watch out for the words which are spelled with an ‘iz’ in both versions of English – in particular ‘size’  (and derivatives like ‘downsizing’); ‘citizen’ (and derivatives) and ‘horizontal’
  • ‘our’ rather than ‘or’ in words like ‘labour’, ‘honour’ and ‘colour’

In general, avoid unnecessary punctuation marks such as full stops at the end of items (such as list entries) which are not full sentences. In particular:

  • Please use single quote marks ‘ rather than double ones “. Only use double quotes for a quotation within another quotation. If you normally write in German, PLEASE ensure that you have set the default language for your template to UK English before you begin writing and do not cut and paste from a German template without using the ‘paste special – unformatted text’ command. Once German quote marks have been introduced to an English language template it is a nightmare to remove them. To a lesser extent, the same goes for French quote marks (<< or >>) and other punctuation marks not used in English. If your software allows you to make a distinction between ‘curly’ or ‘typograhers’ quotes (like these: ‘ ’) and apostrophes (like this: ‘ ) please make use of this function – it is tedious to replace them all one by one. Make sure that the quote mark that opens the text curls like this‘  and the closing quote mark curls in the opposite direction, like this ’.
  • Avoid full stops in acronyms – eg ‘UN’ rather than ‘U.N.’, ‘US’ rather than ‘U.S.’. Please note that we use US as an adjective,  when referring  to something related to the United States of America (eg ‘US policy’) but USA as a noun, when referring to the country (e.g. ‘labour markets in the USA’).
  • Use hyphens sparingly. In general this should only be when two words are linked adjectivally. eg ‘part-time workers are more likely to have responsiblity for young children than their full-time equivalents’, but not otherwise, eg ‘workers with responsibility for young children are more likely to work part time than full time’. Please avoid Germanic usages like ‘IT-specialist’. Such a person should be described as an ‘IT specialist.’
  • If a sentence is divided by a colon, do not use a capital letter after the colon. An initial capital letter should only be used after a full stop, unless there is some other reason for capitalising it  (for instance because it is a proper name).
  • Use italics sparingly. They are appropriate for non-English phrases where these are relatively uncommon, but are not necessary for non-English abbreviations or terms that are commonly used in English .
  • symbols – In general,  use the  ‘%’ sign rather than spelling out ‘per cent’ BUT only use the  ‘&’ sign for bibliographical references and in tables

Tables and graphs
Please keep tables and graphs to a minimum. In each case, ask what value is added to the text and how comprehensible the argument would be without this extra information. Where tables and graphs are necessary, please supply the information in a manner that makes it possible to reformat. Do NOT paste graphics or powerpoint slides into your text as pictures.
Graphs should be supplied in excel format complete with data sheets. If you want to include diagrams, please make sure that these are in a format that can be opened in Adobe Illustrator.
One of the biggest editorial headaches for us is having to deal with unembedded fonts in diagrams supplied by authors. Be aware that even lines, bullet points and other visual features may be read as fonts and rejected by our printers. Please ensure that your diagram – if you MUST include a diagram – includes only fonts that can be easily changed to Minion Pro or Syntax LT. Much as we hate to do so, processing diagrams is so time-consuming and frustrating for us that we are considering introducing charges for processing them in the future. If in doubt, please consult with us.
Tables may be supplied in either Word or Excel format but please keep any fancy formatting to a minimum as it will only have to be undone again in the editing process. Please be sure to provide titles for all your graphs and tables and a note giving the source and date of the data.
Finally, please do not use any colour other than black in your tables and graphs. If you want to distinguish between different variables, for instance in a bar or column chart, use different shades of grey or black and white patterns.

Headings and subheadings
Please use subheadings only when they add clarity to the text and avoid numbered headings or subheadings. To distinguish between different levels of heading please use the standard ‘styles’ in your word template. Do NOT apply capital letters, different typefaces, bold, italic or underlining on an ad hoc basis as this only has to be manually stripped out later on and creates unnecessary editorial labour. If you really don’t know how to use the ‘styles’ in your template it is best to put the headings on a separate line in ordinary type and add editorial instructions in brackets (‘heading A’, ‘heading B’ etc).

Bullets and numbering

Please note that an article is not a report and a taxonomy does not necessarily constitute an argument. Where possible,  avoid numbered lists and bullet points and use language to make sequential points (e.g starting a series of sentences with the words ‘first, ‘second’, ‘third’ and ‘finally’).

Footnotes, references and bibliography
Please use footnotes for factual explanations of information that appears in the text. Any references to publications (including online publications) should be referred to in the text as follows: (author, date). If a publication has two authors, please use an ampersand to link the names – (Smith & Jones, 2001). If it has 3-4 authors, use commas and an ampersand (Smith, Jones, Harris & Roberts, 2002). For more than four authors, use ‘et al’ – (Smith et al, 2002). If you want to refer to more than one source, please use a semi-colon to separate the references – (Smith & Jones, 2001;  Harris, 2003;  Roberts, 2004). If you are quoting directly from the source, please include the page number/s from which the quotation is drawn after the reference, preceded by a colon (Smith & Jones, 2001:41-2). Do not insert a space after the colon. Put all bibliographical entries together at the end of your article, using the following conventions:

  • List publications alphabetically under the surname of the first named author.
  • If a publication does not have a named author, (for instance in the case of institutional reports) list the institution as the author – eg OECD, World Health Organisation.
  • First author’s surname should be followed by a comma and inital/s followed by full stop/s and the year of publication in brackets – eg Jones, A.B. (2001) or OECD (2007). Do NOT  put a comma or full stop after the closing bracket.
  • Additional author’s names should be linked with commas and an ampersand but their initials should come BEFORE the surname. Please note that where there are multiple authors there should not be a full stop before or after the date – eg Jones, A.B, S. Smith & C. Harris  (2005).
  • If an author has more than one publication in the same year, this should be indicated by the addition of an ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’ etc after the date both in the textual reference – (Jones, 2002b) – and in the bibliography – Jones, A.B. (2002b)
  • Titles of books or journals should be in italics without quote marks.
  • Titles of book chapters or journal articles should be in normal type with single quote marks. Double quote marks should only be used for a secondary quote within such a title – Jones, A. B. (2001) ‘the concept of “family friendliness” in the UK public sector’ in B. Smith & C.D. Harris (eds) Gender and Public Service, Oldtown: Academic Publishing:72-94.
  • Editors of collections should be referred to in the same manner as secondary authors (i.e. with the initals before the surname) but with ‘ed’ or ‘eds’ in brackets after the name – Jones, A. (2010) ‘name of article’,  B. Smith  & C. Harris (eds) Title of book
  • References to books should be followed by a comma, then by the name of the city where the book has been published, followed by a colon, followed by a space, followed by the name of the publisher. If a specific chapter is referred to, iplease include the page numbers of the chapter, following another colon. Do not insert a space after this colon – Title of Book, Oldtown: Academic Pulishing:72-94.
  • References to journals should be followed by a comma, then the volume, number and/or issue number or date. Do not use the words ‘volume’ or ‘number’. Simply give the volume number and put the issue number in brackets after it, followed by a colon and the page references. Do not insert a space after this colon. There is no need to include the name of the city or publisher  – B. Jones (2004) ‘The role of language in the globalisation of clerical work: evidence from Africa’, New Industrial Geographies, 5 (2):94-112.
  • References to online publications should follow the above conventions and should end with a full stop. This should be followed by the date of access and the full url of the website – Accessed  July, 4, 2007 from
  • References to unpublished conference papers should put the title of the presentation in normal type in quote marks and the title of the conference in italics without quote marks, followed by the location of the conference and the date. If the proceedings have been published, then this should be treated like any other publication.
  • Use a final full stop at the end of each entry.

Quotations in translation

If your article was originally written in a language other than English and you have quoted in it from publications originally published in English that have been translated into your language, please do not translate these quotations back into English without checking against the original English-language version. You (or your translator) have a responsibility to render these as they were originally published in English.