Types of articles
Natalia offers multiple options for publication, broadening the opportunity for submission from authors.
Full articles are double blind peer reviewed and should comprise between 5 000 and 8000 words. Full articles should be accompanied by a biographical note of not more than 80 words.
Discussions are less formal pieces reviewed by the Editorial Committee comprising between 1 500 and 3 500 words.
Notes and Queries are snapshots reviewed by the Editorial Committee and should be between 600 and 1 500 words.
Obituaries are for Editorial Committee review: their length is discretionary but must not exceed 1 200 words
Book Reviews are reviewed by the Editorial Committee and should be between 350 and 750 words.

Submitting articles

Contributions will normally be submitted electronically, either as an e-mail attachment or on a disk. They should be in MSWord. The address to which material should be sent is given at the end of this document. Natalia has no hard and fast requirement about the length of articles, as reference to previous issues shows. If you are uncertain about this aspect, please discuss it with the editor, giving an estimate of your article’s length, by word count.

If you are submitting an article (as distinct from a book review, discussion, obituary, note or query) your name, exactly as you wish it to appear – i.e. initial(s) and surname or first name(s) and surname, with or without honorific – should appear immediately after the title of the article. Please also provide, either here or at the end of your article, your postal and/or email address.

If you submit a full-length article, please supply a note of not more than 80 words about yourself for insertion under ‘Notes on Contributors’.

The journal Natalia does not charge any article processing charges (APCs) or any article submission charges.

Illustrations must be submittted separately and not embedded in the text. If the illustrations take up a lot of computer space, it is preferable to submit them on a disk.

Return of disks and illustrations
Disks and hard-copy illustrations provided by writers will be returned to them in due course, except where the latter are photocopies of no intrinsic value.

Complimentary copies
Natalia does not pay contributors. Writers of substantial articles will receive a complimentary copy of the issue in which their article appears, and may request ten overruns of the article itself, which will be provided gratis. Requests for overruns must, of course, be received before printing begins.


These guidelines cover the main elements of Natalia editorial style. Contributors will obviate much routine editing of their work if they follow them while writing their articles. The editor decides on finer points not covered by these guidelines.

Natalia uses the standard style of paragraphing, with no space between paragraphs, and an indent on the first line except where the paragraph starts immediately after a heading.


Single inverted commas should be used, with double inverted commas within them where necessary. Quoted single words and phrases should be within single inverted commas. Quotations of five lines or more will be indented (i.e. blocked quotations), with no inverted commas, in the same typeface as the main text, but one point size smaller.

Dates and numbers
Dates should be in the form 27 April 1994, with the month name in full. In notes and references the month names, except May, June and July, may be abbreviated to three letters. Decades should be written without an apostrophe, e.g. the 1990s. The numbers one to nine occurring in the text should be written as words and anything above nine in figures With numbers involving thousands, do not use commas among the digits, but separate groups of three digits with spaces, e.g. 4 000, 46 673, 3 450 000. When indicating several years or pages, use the least number of digits possible. Examples: 1985–8, pp.188–94 (not 1985–88 or pp.188–194). Note the use of an en dash, not a hyphen, between inclusive dates and page numbers. Centuries are spelled without a hyphen before ‘century’ when it is a noun, as in ‘It happened in the eighteenth century’; but when ‘century’ is used attributively as an adjective, such as ‘nineteenth-century architecture’, a hyphen must be used because compound modifiers used attributively are hyphenated. The metric system is usually used, but in historical contexts other units of measurement may be used.

Abbreviations and acronyms

These should be written without full stops except where the omission of the stop may lead to ambiguity, or where the final letter of the abbreviation is not the final letter of the word. Examples: Mr Mrs Dr Prof. MA BSc SABC NATO abbr. no. (for ‘number’) etc. e.g. i.e. Rev. (but Revd).

Ellipses are used in the middle of sentences or between sentences. They are not used at the beginning of a sentence. They consist of three dots that follow the previous word. There is no space before or after the dots. For example: ‘He added…that he would be there.’ Ellipses dots are followed by a full stop, making four dots, if they conclude a sentence. For example: ‘They agreed to the plan…. Many years later the agreement was cancelled.’ Ellipses dots should be placed within the quotation marks if it is clear that the omitted matter forms part of the quotation.

Personal initials in front of surnames in the text should have full stops, e.g. “His friend C.P. Snow”. Names of scholars referred to should preferably be preceded by the first name or initials the first time they are mentioned, e.g. “In her biography of Wilson, Margaret Drabble writes that….” Subsequent references would be to Drabble”.

The English form of spelling (labour, surprise) is required, unless the words fall within quotations. American forms of the words (labor, surprise) should be avoided. Modern Zulu spelling of names is used except in direct historical quotations. Please note that we encourage submissions in any official language of KwaZulu-Natal – Afrikaans, Zulu, and Xhosa. However, when referring to the Zulu language, if you write in Zulu, then refer to the language as ‘isiZulu’. If you write in English and refer to the Zulu language, refer to the it is ‘Zulu’.

Natalia uses endnotes numbered in one sequence, not page footnotes. In the text the indicator numbers should be superscript, i.e. above the level of the line, without brackets. If there is a punctuation mark after the relevant word, the superscript number is placed after that mark, unless the entire sentence is in parenthesis.

References should be cited according to the following rules. Please pay particular attention to the order in which elements are arranged, the punctuation, and the use of capitals and italics.

Principal words are capitalized in the titles of books only. In the titles of chapters and articles only the first word, proper names and the first word after a colon indicating a subtitle are capitalised.

Ibid. may be used for second and subsequent references only where there is no intervening reference to a different source. The following method eliminates the use of op. cit., about which there is often confusion.

Books (first reference): Author followed by initials or first name, title in italics (place of publication, publisher, date) page.
Example: Pakenham, T., The Scramble for Africa 1876 –1912 (London, George Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1991) p. 192.
Pakenham, Thomas, The Scramble for Africa 1876–1912 (London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1991) p. 192.

Books (second and subsequent reference): Author’s surname, shortened title, page.
Example: Pakenham, Scramble, pp. 48–9.

Books with subtitle: Shuter, C.F., Englishman’s Inn ‘Engelsche Logie’: An Account of the Experiences of the British Settlers and Colonists of Natal 1824–1885 (Cape Town, Howard Timmins, 1963) pp. 82–4.

Journals (first reference): Author, title of article in quotes, title of journal in italics, volume and part, year, page.
Example: Guy, J.J. ‘A note on firearms in the Zulu kingdom with special reference to the Anglo-Zulu War, 1879’, A Journal of African History, XII (4), Dec. 1971, pp. 567–9.

Journals (second and subsequent reference): Author, abbreviated title, page.
Example: Guy, ‘A note on firearms’, p. 568.

Journal article with subtitle: Initial capital for first word in the subtitle.
Fincher, Nellie, ‘Basutoland: A modern utopia’, South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, Dec. 1918, pp. 811 –816.

Contributions in composite works (first reference): Author, title in quotes (name/s of editor/s), title of work in italics (place of publication, publisher, date) page.
Example: Guest, W.R. ‘The war, Natal and confederation’, in Duminy, A. and C. Ballard (eds.), The Anglo-Zulu War: New Perspectives (Pietermaritzburg, University of Natal Press, 1981) pp. 53–77.

Contributions in composite works (second and subsequent reference): Author, title, page.
Example: Guest, ‘The war, Natal and confederation’, p. 61.

Unpublished theses or dissertations (first reference): Author, title in quotes, (degree, university, date), page.
Example: De Kock, W.J. ‘Federation and confederation in South Africa, 1870–1880’ (MA, UCT, 1938) p. 81. Unpublished thesis.

Unpublished theses or dissertations (second or subsequent reference): Author, abbreviated title, page.
Example: De Kock, ‘Federation and confederation’, p. 97.

Archival sources (manuscript): The rule here is to work from the general to the particular: repository, collection, reference number if any, description of item, date.
Example 1: Pietermaritzburg Archive Repository, SNA, 1/1/23: Dunn to Shepstone, 4 Oct. 1873.
Example 2: KCAL, Colenso papers: Colenso to Bunyon, 21 Dec. 1878.
The reference list should be preceded by explanation of the abbreviations used, e.g. KCAL – The Killie Campbell Africana Library. There is no form for second or subsequent reference to archival sources, except where ibid. may be used.

Archival sources (printed primary sources): For British Parliamentary Papers and similar publications the preferred form is:
BPP L11 of 1879, C 2222, pp. 213–5, enclosure 1: extract from letter from E. Thomas, Manager, Durban Branch, Standard Bank, 16 Dec. 1978. or
PRO, CO 379/16, no. 523: Villiers to Bulwer, 21 Sept. 1879.

Hansard (UK): When referencing House of Commons debates the ‘HC Deb’ abbreviation is used. The date, and column number should always be given.:
HC Deb 15 April 2013 vol 561 c8.

Interviews: Interview with ……….., place, date.
Example: Interview with Mr G. Bhengu, Nqutu, 1 Aug. 1979.
If the interview was not conducted by the writer him- or herself, this should be indicated.

Newspapers: Name of newspaper in italics, date, precise source.
Example: The Cape Times, 15 July 1979, news report.
If the text of the article makes it clear that the reference is taken from an editorial, a news report, a letter to the editor, etc., then the ‘precise source’ may be omitted here.

Electronic sources: The three examples below should cover most of the types you would use.
If you are unable to determine a publication date or date of revision or modification, include a date of access. If the URL is very long, it may be shortened.
Kate White, Interview with John van de Ruit, (accessed 14 June 2010).
Kimberley Certification Scheme, Wikipedia, (accessed 19 February 2011).
The Mail & Guardian Online, 11 September 2007, Name-change protest disrupts Durban,

Consolidated list of references (optional)
In addition to the endnote references to sources cited (which would be headed “Notes”) you may if you wish provide a consolidated list of references, alphabetically arranged according to author’s surname. These should be headed ‘Works cited’. Please note the following differences between the way a work is referred to in a note and in a consolidated list.

Start with a number.
Do not use hanging indents.
Enclose publication information in parentheses, with no preceding parentheses. .
Include the specific page numbers that you quote from.

Item in a ‘Works cited’ list
Do not start with a number.
Use hanging indents.
Precede publication information with a full stop, and do not use parentheses
Omit page numbers except parts of books or articles in periodicals.

Reference to South African ‘racial groups’
Where the name also refers to a country or place of origin, use upper case. e.g. Indian, African, European, Afrikaner. Use upper case also for San, Khoi, etc. If you are quoting material that uses terms once widely used but no longer acceptable, keep to the original, and the editor will decide how these will be dealt with.
Where a group is referred to by ‘skin colour’, use lower case whether the word is used adjectivally or as a noun. e.g. white settlement, black migration, coloured housing, the attitudes of whites, every black able to own land, etc. However, instead of using ‘white, whites, black, blacks’ as nouns, the addition of ‘people’ is preferred. e.g. the attitudes of white people, every black person able to own land, etc.

Eighth Edition
August 2017

MSS and other correspondence should be addressed to
The Editor, Natalia

You can download a PDF file of this Style Guide here