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Guidelines for Contributors

Guidelines for Contributors

Guidelines for Contributors

Guidelines for Contributors

Aims and Scope

The Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies (JSIS) is a refereed academic journal published by ICAS Press for The Islamic College, London, UK. The journal conscientiously aims to provide a scholarly platform for critical and informed articles in all fields of Shi‘a studies, including but not limited to theology, philosophy, mysticism, law, jurisprudence, politics, history, and Qur’an and hadith studies. Such articles will cover the most debate-worthy issues in the aforementioned fields in the hope of ultimately contributing to the resolution of various theoretical, methodological, and practical dilemmas encountered in Shi‘a Islamic Studies. Furthermore, JSIS endeavours to cover modern and current issues relevant to Shi‘ism and its overall study.

JSIS also introduces and presents a variety of classical Shi‘a works that may be academically valuable to researchers in this field but have remained largely unknown to them. Moreover, JSIS dedicates a section of its publication to the critical assessment and vigorous review of books and publications, both old and new, concerning Shi‘a studies.

It is hoped that through such efforts JSIS will remain a valuable reference and resource for those researching and undertaking Shi‘a studies.

Submission of Contributions

  • Contributors are requested to familiarise themselves with the aims and scope of the journal, as stated above.
  • Contributors are invited to submit their articles by e-mail to Manuscripts should be in Microsoft Word format (e.g. DOC, DOCX, or RTF).
  • The full name and postal address of the author should be included with the submission but should not be visible anywhere on the manuscript. Self-identifying references should be left blank until after articles have been formally accepted.
  • Articles submitted should include an abstract of 100-150 words and five or six keywords.
  • While we do not have a specific length requirement, articles under 5,000 words generally are insufficient to cover the subject matter comprehensively, and articles above 15,000 words run the risk of diverging from the main topic.
  • Articles should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
  • Please note that unsolicited book reviews will not be accepted but scholars interested in reviewing books are welcome to contact the Editor. Instructions supplementary to these guidelines will be given to reviewers on the format of reviews.

Guidelines on Formatting

  • Only basic formatting is allowed in a manuscript (also known as ‘rich text’), e.g. italics, underline, boldface, tab, return, superscript, subscript, and endnotes. Except in rare cases (e.g. when data needs to be presented in tables), no other formatting is needed and the default settings of your word processor should be used.
  • Only one font should be used throughout the text, e.g. Arial or Times New Roman, the recent versions of which contain all the Arabic characters and specialist diacritics.

Guidelines on Style

  • British spellings and style conventions should always be used. Use short en-dashes with a space either side [ – ] not long em-dashes [—]. Please use single quotation marks unless quoting within a quote, in which case double quotation marks should be used. For more information see R. M. Ritter (ed.), The Oxford Style Manual (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). The MHRA Style Guide may also prove useful (download available).
  • Words which have not been assimilated into the English language should be italicised, except for proper nouns. For more information see the notes on foreign words in our transliteration system.
  • Use of bullet-points should be avoided.
  • Long quotations should be fully indented (e.g. quotes longer than 40 words). The first line of a new paragraph should be indented. The tab-key may prove helpful here.
  • Please use a comma before the final ‘and’ in a list. For example: ‘one, two, and three’ rather than ‘one, two and three’. Use one space after full-stops.
  • Hijri years should be followed by ‘AH’, unless it is clear what calendar is being used from the context. For the Iranian calendar use ‘AH (solar)’.

Guidelines on Transliteration

  • All non-English words, names, and titles must be transliterated according to our transliteration system with the exception of (a) naturalised words, and (b) modern personalities (such as published authors) with a single legally recognised spelling of their names (e.g. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, not Sayyid Ḥusayn Naṣr).
  • For more information see our transliteration system.


Contributors may choose to use either the author-title method of referencing or the author-date method, as discussed below. The author-title method is particularly suitable for referring to classic texts and the author-date method is more suitable for referring to contemporary resources. Whichever method is adopted, the following points apply:

  • Titles of books and journals should appear in italics.
  • Titles of journal articles and chapters should appear in single quotes.
  • Titles of journals should not be abbreviated.
  • When the publication date of an item is not available an approximate date should be given, where possible, preceded by ‘circa’ e.g. ‘c.1921’.

For more information see R. M. Ritter (ed.), The Oxford Style Manual (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). The MHRA Style Guide may also prove useful (download available).


Author-Title Method

Citations should be made using an Arabic numeral (1, 2, 3…) and full details of the work cited should be given in the subsequent endnote. For subsequent citations, the author’s full name and the publication details can be omitted. Where applicable, ‘ibid.’ may be used. References should be formatted along the lines of the following examples.

Books: Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi II (Beirut: Dar al-Adu’, 1992), bk. 1, ch. 1, p. 8, no. 6.

Edited books: Alan G. Padgett (ed.), Reason and the Christian Religion: Essays in Honour of Richard Swinburne (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

Translated books: Mohammad ibn Hasan al-Tusi, A Concise Description of Islamic Law and Legal Opinions, trans. A. Ezzati (London: ICAS Press, 2008), 275.

Articles in edited books: Philip L. Quinn, ‘Swinburne on Guilt, Atonement, and Christian Redemption’, in Reason and the Christian Religion: Essays in Honour of Richard Swinburne, ed. Alan G. Padgett (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 277-300.

Articles in journals: Ruhollah Bockmier, ‘Discriminating between Inequalities: John Rawls and Ayatullah Muhammad Baqir Sadr on Distributive Justice’, in Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies, vol. 1, no. 2 (Spring 2008), 76-94.

Webpage: John W. Limbert, Negotiating with the Islamic Republic of Iran: Raising the Chances for Success – Fifteen Points to Remember (United States Institute of Peace, 2008) <>. Accessed 2 July 2009.

E-mail: E-mail from John Smith to James Watkins, ‘Islamic Studies Course Content’ (14:53, 23 September 2010).


Author-Date Method

This method of referencing is also known as the ‘Harvard’ system of referencing and is commonly used in the social-sciences. When using the author-date method citations should be made using the surname of the author and the year of publication of his/her work, as follows:

Sadr (2003: 69-71) discusses metaphorical and literal meaning in lesson ten of his Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence.

It is argued that Islamic social customs can only be fully appreciated when sympathy is given to the context within which they occur (Smith 1998).

Griffel 2009 is a study of the classical Islamic theologian, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali. The study includes both biography and philosophical analysis.

‘Ibid.’ is not used in citations. Full details of all references cited should be listed at the end of the manuscript in the references section. If a number of works by the same author in the same year are cited a letter should be used to distinguish the different works e.g. 1995a, 1995b, 1995c, etc. References should be formatted according to the examples below.

Books: Locke, John (1975 [1690]). Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Edited books:
 Clarke, P. (ed.) (1988). Islam, London: Routledge.

Translated books: Tabataba’i, Muhammad Husayn (2003). The Elements of Islamic Metaphysics, trans. Ali Quli Qara’i, London: ICAS Press.

Articles in edited books: Nyang, S. S. (1988). ‘Islam in North America’, in Islam, ed. P. Clarke, London: Routledge.

Articles in journals: Gilliat-Ray, S. (1998). ‘Multiculturalism and Identity: their Relationship for British Muslims’, in Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs XVII, no. 2, 347-354.

Webpage: Rizvi, Sajjad (2009). ‘Mulla Sadra’, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2009 Edition), ed. Edward N. Zalta <>. Accessed 12 November 2009.

E-mail: Williamson, Brian (2005). E-mail from Brian Williamson to Catharine White, ‘New Perspectives’ (09:15, 1 January 1999).



Authors are themselves responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyright material from other sources. Published articles and book reviews become copyright of ICAS Press; permissions for use must be obtained from ICAS Press in writing.


After Submission


The following process applies to articles submitted to JSIS:

1. The article is reviewed by editorial staff. Either a definitive response is given to the author (or lead author) within days or the submission is acknowledged.

2. Two academic referees are selected to review each acknowledged article. Articles are always anonymised so that the identity of the author(s) is unapparent to the referees. This step can take some weeks.

3. On receipt of comments the Editor decides whether the article will be accepted for publication. If an article is accepted it is usually dependent on modifications.

4. The accepted manuscript is edited and sent to the author for checking. A details form is also sent for completion.

5. When the manuscript has been finalised and the completed details form has been received, the article is scheduled for publication.

6. After publication, the author is sent a copy of the journal.


Book Reviews

The following process applies to book reviews submitted, by request, to JSIS:

1. The book review is checked by editorial staff.

2. The accepted book review is edited and sent to the author for checking. A details form is also sent for completion.

3. When the book review has been finalised and the completed details form has been received, the review is scheduled for publication.

4. After publication, the author is sent a copy of the journal.

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