May 9, 2021

Author Guidelines

The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute welcomes the submission of papers on any branch of anthropology. Further guidance on the aims and scope of the journal can be found here. Further advice for authors is available via our Tips and Guidance section (see below). For information on how to submit your article, please click here.

Please note: we will only consider submissions that make an original contribution. Therefore we will not consider papers that substantially overlap with work that has already been published elsewhere (or which is in the process of being published elsewhere) in a substantively similar form. When you make your submission you will need to read and agree to the following author statement:

“I confirm that the submitted manuscript is an original and unpublished text, written by me. This manuscript has been submitted only to the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI) and is not under review in and has not been submitted to any other journal, book or publishing house, either in whole or in part. It will remain so until a decision on its appropriateness to the JRAI has been made by the editor.” 

When submitting your manuscript, you will be asked to confirm that you have obtained ethical clearance for the research on which the paper is based. At the point of acceptance, you will also be asked to confirm this statement: 

“I confirm that I have obtained the relevant ethics clearance from my University for the research on which this paper is based. I recognise that ethical research conduct is an ongoing process, expanding beyond the fieldwork process. To the best of my abilities, I have endeavoured to conduct research and represent my participants in an ethical and respectful manner.”

We recognise that this model of ethical clearance may not apply to all authors, including independent scholars or those whose institution does not have an ethical review process. If your work falls within these categories, please feel free to contact us [] with any queries about the statement above. 

Article format

Papers must be no longer than 10,000 words (inclusive of an abstract of up to 200 words, notes, and bibliography) and fully anonymised as JRAI operates a double-blind review process (find more information on our review process here). Please also make sure to select an anonymised title for your document file before you upload it to our system.

For initial submissions we have no specific formatting requirements other than that papers should be double spaced in standard font at 12pts.

When submitting a revised manuscript, please make sure to include a “Response to Reviewers” letter. As this letter will be shared with reviewers, please make sure to also anonymise it. See our Tips and Guidance section for advice on how to structure this letter.

Accepted papers should be formatted using the JRAI reference guide available here.

Tips and guidance

We recognise that good anthropology can take many forms. The following is intended as a non-definitive, non-prescriptive guide:

1. Think carefully about the title and abstract. While all papers will be read, the title and abstract frame these initial readings and are the mechanism by which we get reviewer suggestions and initial assessments from the editorial board. It is important that the title and abstract make clear how the paper contributes new insights in relation to topic/s of broad anthropological interest. Where papers build on empirical research, the empirical focus and contribution should also be clear. Write these so that they will be comprehensible to a non-specialist in the area/region/topic you are writing about. While it is important to foreground the broader conceptual contribution, it is also important not to over-claim. Please note that the word limit for abstracts is 200 words and that keywords are not required. 

2. Make sure the conceptual contribution is clearly stated and is a sustained focus of the paper. What does your paper show that wasn’t previously known? What new insights does this contribute and why do these matter?

3. Engage broadly and generously with existing work. Acknowledge inspiration. Wherever possible, think beyond the canon of Anglophone scholarship and to marginal voices within it. Explain how new possibilities emerge from existing work.

4. Highlight a positive contribution rather than a gap. Explain the broader insights and conceptual possibilities that expand from the specifics of the case/s you consider.

5. Compare and Contextualise. Ethnographic papers and archaeological case studies should be contextualised in relation to regional and local literatures and will be expected to engage with relevant work beyond Euro-American traditions of scholarship.

6. Relate empirical cases and theory reflexively. How does existing scholarship help illuminate, contextualise, interpret, and explain the specifics of the case/s you examine? What new and different ideas can be drawn from this context? It is important to make clear the conceptual inspirations for your work, and to show how the empirical details of your research enable new insights.

7. Analyse Carefully. Papers are often rejected because the analysis lacks nuance. Draw out key ideas through contextualisation, comparison, interpretation, and translation. Don’t move too quickly from the particularity of a case or context to general theories and arguments.

8. Show, don’t tell. Exemplify and demonstrate ideas through concrete cases. Give voice to the subjects of research. Try to avoid explanations that over-determine the ethnography.

9. But also tell! Signpost connections between sections. Explicate the implicit and underlying ideas in your empirical material. Spell out theoretical terms and be clear how you are using them.

10. Explain methods. It is important to describe the empirical basis of your paper and the approach you have taken, even if briefly.

1. Think carefully about reviewer suggestions. We will consider selecting one of the suggestions you provide, so this is your chance to identify the most appropriately qualified experts in the field. Avoid people where there is an actual or perceived conflict of interest (people you know personally or where there is a close professional relationship), as these cannot be used. It is best to restrict your suggestions to a maximum of 2-3 possible reviewers. Feel free to use the space on the submission form to explain to editors any potential conflicts or problems you foresee from certain types of reviewers. We cannot promise to send or not send the manuscript to particular kinds of reviewers, but we can take this into account during the review process.

2. Engage carefully and seriously with editorial comments and reviews. Most of the papers we publish will have been substantially revised following review and editorial feedback (it is extremely rare for a paper to be ‘Accepted’ straightaway based on reviews received). Make sure you read the reviews carefully and pay particular attention to the points highlighted in the editorial letter. This should guide you through the reviews and list the points that we need you to attend to. While we expect papers to take all the reviews into account, we acknowledge that these may sometimes suggest divergent and even contradictory revision strategies and do not expect that all the points raised by reviewers will be taken on board. Ultimately it is your paper, and it is important not to let the paper lose focus and coherence in any revisions that are made.

3. Make an effort when writing your letter responding to reviewers. Remember that reviewers will see your covering letter and the editor’s reading of the revised paper will also be guided by these comments. Make sure you spell out your revision strategy and rationale clearly but succinctly, paying particular attention to the points highlighted in the editorial letter. Presenting your response to the reviewers’ comments as bullet points can also help editors and reviewers of your resubmission evaluate the changes you have made vis-à-vis each revision point.

Once your article is accepted

Authors are responsible for obtaining permissions for using previously published tables, figures, illustrations, and quotations (where these are extensive, i.e. a quote of over 400 words from a source or a series of quotations of over 800 words in total from a single source). Photographs taken by anyone other than the author will also require the author to obtain written permissions. We do not require permissions at the time of submission. However as this is a requirement for publication and can take some time, we advise this is done at an early stage to avoid delays.

Copyright & licensing
If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services, where, via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS), they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

You may choose to publish under the terms of the journal’s standard copyright agreement, or Open Access under the terms of a Creative Commons License.

Standard re-use and licensing rules vary by journal. Note that certain funders mandate a particular type of CC license be used. This journal uses the CC-BY/CC-BY-NC/CC-BY-NC-ND Creative Commons License.

Self-Archiving Definitions and Policies: Note that the journal’s standard copyright agreement allows for self-archiving of different versions of the article under specific conditions. Further details are available here.

Page proofs of articles will be sent to authors, who must return them by the date indicated in the email; where proofs are not received in time, the editor’s own corrected proof will be used. Proofs are intended for checking, not re-writing, and authors are most strongly reminded that material must be submitted that is ready for publication. Alterations at proof stage are accepted only at the discretion of the Editor. Proofs of correspondence, shorter notes, announcements, and book reviews will not normally be sent to authors. The Editor reserves the right to shorten correspondence.

The corresponding author will receive an email alert containing a link to a web site. A working email address must therefore be provided for the corresponding author. This stage must not be used as an opportunity to revise the paper, as the published version must reflect the version accepted by peer review. Speedy return of corrected proofs is important. The proof can be downloaded as a PDF (portable document format) file from this site. Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file. This software can be downloaded (free of charge) here. This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen and printed out in order for any corrections to be added. Further instructions will be sent with the proof. 

Open Access
The JRAI offers gold and green open access options. Further details are available here.

Early View
The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute is part of the Wiley Online Library Early View service. Articles accepted for publication can be accessed on a regular basis online in advance of their appearance in a print issue.

These articles are fully peer reviewed, edited, and complete and are considered fully published from the date they first appear online. This date is shown with the article in the online table of contents. The articles are available as full text HTML or PDF and can be cited as references by using their Digital Object Identifier (DOI) numbers. To view all the articles currently available in Early View, please click here. On print publication, the article will be removed from the Early View area and will appear instead in the relevant online issue, complete with page numbers and volume/issue details. No other changes will be made.

Offprints from the JRAI are supplied in pdf format only.

After publication

Requesting permission for republication
Requests for permission to reproduce articles or sections of articles from the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute should be sought via Rightslink from the publisher’s website (Wiley Online Library).

Wiley’s Author Name Change Policy
In cases where authors wish to change their name following publication, Wiley will update and republish the paper and redeliver the updated metadata to indexing services. Our editorial and production teams will use discretion in recognizing that name changes may be of a sensitive and private nature for various reasons including (but not limited to) alignment with gender identity, or as a result of marriage, divorce, or religious conversion. Accordingly, to protect the author’s privacy, we will not publish a correction notice to the paper, and we will not notify co-authors of the change. Authors should contact the journal’s Editorial Office with their name change request.