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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.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines


SIKH RESEARCH JOURNAL is an online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal in the field of Sikh and Punjabi Studies. Contributions can be in all areas of Sikh and Punjabi Studies, including (but not limited to) art, architecture, culture, heritage preservation, history, language, literature, and religion. Submissions from younger scholars are especially welcome. SRJ encourages submissions that are accessible to members of the Sikh community outside academia and to academics who are non-specialists in the field. While the Sikh Foundation provides the web platform for SRJ, an editorial collective of academics manages the review process.


We accept no responsibility, and contributors themselves must bear full responsibility for opinions expressed in contributions published in the journal. Nevertheless, because the journal publishes no letters to the editor, nor any other exchanges in which individuals may rebut comments about them, we have a responsibility not to publish injurious comments. As such, we will not publish comments that are gratuitously offensive or damaging to individuals or groups, nor comments that deal with personal attitudes or politics (except where books under review have these as their subject matter). We recommend authors familiarize themselves with bias-free language consistent with APA 7 guidelines (



SIKH RESEARCH JOURNAL aims to publish two times a year: spring and fall. All accepted and published articles will be available for free download in PDF format. Sikh Research Journal considers only original, previously unpublished research, scholarship, and/or commentary. Manuscripts submitted to SRJ for review should not be concurrently under consideration with another journal. All manuscripts submitted to SRJ will initially be screened by the SRJ editorial collective, and those deemed worthy of potential publication will generally be sent for external, single- or double- anonymized, peer-review. Authors can expect an editorial decision within about sixty days of submission.

Submissions should be in English, with a short abstract, and submitted as a Microsoft Word document. Citations and references should follow APA 7 style, available in many citation management systems. We do encourage well-illustrated articles; any photographs or illustrations should be sent electronically, in high resolution. We have no word limits, but successful articles are generally in the 8,000- to 10,000-word range, including notes, 200- to 300-word abstract, and 6 to 8 keywords. Submissions should be in 12-point Times New Roman and double spaced.

At time of submission, we require a cover letter, an anonymized main manuscript with references, a separate document including any figures or images, and a document detailing permission for all media.

The cover letter for your submission should include the title, the name/contact information of all authors, an abstract, four to six keywords, and acknowledgements. The main manuscript should begin with the substance of your submission with the page header consisting of the page number and running head without any identifying details.

All submissions should be emailed directly to the lead editors at  If you are interested in submitting an article for the journal but are unsure about fit, contact the lead editors with a brief description and/or an abstract.


When a manuscript is accepted, authors receive reviewer feedback as well as publication information, including details about deadlines and tentative publication dates. Questions about scheduling, house style, and production should be directed to the journal’s Assistant Editor Tanmeet Gujral at

Every published manuscript is copyedited in accordance with the journal’s house style (see below) as well as for clarity, concision, and accuracy. The copyediting process is conducted in two stages. In the first stage, authors receive queries and copyedits marked using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature; authors review the copyedited manuscript for accuracy, recommend further revisions, and answer queries (more than one round may be necessary). In the second stage, authors receive page proofs of their finalized manuscript to review carefully; at this stage, only corrections to typesetter’s errors and significant factual errors may be made. Final drafts, which have been edited in accordance with the journal’s house style (as detailed below) and to address any concerns listed in the decision letter, should be submitted as Microsoft Word files.


SIKH RESEARCH JOURNAL’s house style is based on the policies and practices outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (i.e., APA 7) and Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. Please note: the journal does not maintain an APA style for use with Zotero or any other similar software. For questions about style, punctuation, and spelling not covered here, consult the two resources listed above, a recent issue of the journal, or online resources ( guidelines).

Use footnotes rather than endnotes to cite source material and quotes. Discursive, or substantive, footnotes may also be included to elaborate on material covered in the body of the manuscript or to direct readers toward additional sources.

Number footnotes (not endnotes) consecutively throughout. If you use a citation manager or generator such as Zotero, Mendeley, or RefWorks, please convert all footnotes to plain text by eliminating all field codes.

Acknowledgements will be included in a final manuscript, accepted for publication, and will appear as the first numbered footnote. During initial submission, include acknowledgements in your cover letter. 

Review essay authors should include their full names, along with institutional affiliations/locations, in the cover letter. Include bibliographic information for the book(s) under review at the beginning of the manuscript (below the manuscript’s title):

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher Name. DOI (if available) 

Editor, E. E. (Ed.). (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also  for  subtitle.  Publisher. DOI (if available) 


First-level headings should be bolded and capitalize each word. Second-level headings should have the first word capitalized only and be bolded and italicized. Third-level headings will follow the same format and grey font rather than black.


 Images, diagrams, and image/diagram captions may be included within manuscript files while they are under review. Once a manuscript is accepted, images and diagrams should be submitted separately as higher-resolution versions (300dpi or higher in TIFF or JPEG formats); captions should be combined in a separate file. Captions should follow APA 7 guidelines for audiovisual media. Tables, if created using the word processing software, may appear in the main manuscript file.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permissions to use any images and diagrams included in their manuscripts and for ensuring that their manuscripts adhere to the guidelines outlined in the permissions documentation provided by copyright holders. By submitting that material for publication, it is understood that the author gives license to the Sikh Foundation to publish the material in print or online in perpetuity. If the author does not have full copyright of any component of a publication (e.g., for any photograph or illustration used), then the author must so state and must also submit documents confirming the copyright holder’s license to publish that component within SRJ. Authors should state this in their cover letter and be prepared to submit their permissions documentation along with the final version of their manuscript following its acceptance. This process can take a long time, so authors should begin it as soon as possible to avoid delaying their manuscript’s publication.

For authors submitting final drafts of accepted manuscripts, tag the desired location of images/diagrams with the phrase “[FIGURE ### NEAR HERE].” In the separate captions document, make sure that figure numbers correspond to the correct figure tags in the main manuscript file. File names should also include the correct figure numbers.


 Use United States American spelling, such as “center,” “honor,” “fulfillment,” “toward,” and “judgment.” With verbs whose endings can be spelled using either “s” or “z,” “z” is the preferred form (for example, “analyze” rather than “analyse”). Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is a helpful resource for determining the appropriate spelling of words.

Follow Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and the APA 7’s hyphenation guidelines. See Chapter 6 of APA 7.

Format dates  as  year-month-day  (for  example, “1990  November  23”  rather than  “November 23, 1900”) or year-season.

Avoid gender-specific language, except when only one gender is meant. Writing in the plural (“scholars do their research” rather than “the scholar does his research”) avoids much of the difficulty. Use “humankind” instead of “mankind.” APA 7 endorses the use of a singular “they” pronoun in general and especially when the individual’s gender is unknown. Consult APA 7 or more guidance ( guidelines).


Spell centuries out in full, without capitalization; hyphenate only when centuries are used adjectivally. For example, “in the seventeenth century” and “seventeenth-century science.”

Use the serial comma, as in: “examples of marine birds include northern gannets, pelicans, and penguins.”

Observe the distinction between restrictive “that” (“Gems that sparkle often elicit forgiveness”) and nonrestrictive “which” (“Diamonds, which are expensive, often elicit forgiveness”). APA reserves the use of “which” for nonrestrictive clauses.

Use double quotation marks throughout except to indicate quotations within quotations (in such instances, single quotation marks should be used). Always place periods and commas inside quotation marks except when the quotation is followed by a parenthetical statement or page number. Placement of other punctuation marks depends on whether they belong to the quotation or to the sentence in which they appear. Refer to APA 7 for detailed guidance ( guidelines/citations/quotations).


 All references should appear at the end of the manuscript in its own section of “References.” All authors' names should be inverted. Authors' first and middle names (if the author has a middle name) should be written as initials. For example, the reference entry for a source written by Jane Marie Smith would begin with "Smith, J. M."

Give the last name and first/middle initials for all authors of a particular work up to and including 20 authors. Separate each author’s initials from the next author in the list with a comma. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name. If there are 21 or more authors, use an ellipsis (but no ampersand) after the 19th author, and then add the final author’s name. Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work. The list of references  should  be formatted with a hanging indent.

When referring to the titles of books, chapters, articles, reports, webpages, or other sources, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of the title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns. Present journal titles in full, italicize journal titles, and maintain any nonstandard punctuation and capitalization that is used by the journal in its title. Capitalize all major words in the titles of journals. Note that this differs from the rule for titling other common sources (like books, reports, webpages, and so on) described earlier. Capitalize the first word of the titles and subtitles of journal articles, as well as the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and any proper nouns. Do not italicize or underline the article title and do not enclose the article title in quotes.

If you are directly quoting or borrowing from another work, you should include the page number at the end of the parenthetical citation. Use the abbreviation “p.” (for one page) or “pp.” (for multiple pages) before listing the page number(s). Use an en dash for page ranges. For example, for in-text citations, you may use (Kaur, 1998, p. 199) or (Kaur, 1998, pp. 199–201).

Include the name of the editor(s) and/or translator(s) whenever possible. Use the term “Trans.” when introducing a work’s translator in the footnote. For example:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle (T. Translator, Trans.). Publisher. (Original work published YEAR) DOI (if available)

When citing an article or chapter in an edited book, the following format would be appropriate:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In E. E. Editor & F. F. Editor (Eds.), Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle (pp. pages of chapter). Publisher. DOI (if available)


Incorporate all quoted material exactly as it appears in the original source. Any necessary adjustments to the original phrasing must be indicated with brackets. APA 7 generally recommends paraphrasing over quotation except in the case when reproducing an exact definition, when an author has said something memorably or succinctly, or when you want to respond to exact wording.

Do not insert an ellipsis at the beginning and/or end of a quotation unless the original source includes an ellipsis. Note the distinction between three-point and four- point ellipses: omissions within a quoted sentence are noted by three spaced periods; use four periods (with no space before the first) to indicate when the omitted passage includes the end of a sentence. 

Format quotations of 40 words or more as block quotations. See APA 7 for detailed guidance on formatting            ( grammar-guidelines/citations/quotations).




Use the Latin abbreviations “e.g.,” “i.e.,” and “etc.” only in parentheses or within bullet-point lists. APA 7 considers them too informal for the main text.


Translate long quotations in other languages into English. The quotation in the original language may be placed in a footnote, if necessary. If you are the translator, indicate that in the corresponding footnote citation (with the phrase “my translation”) or include the phrase “Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own” after the citation for the first translated passage.

Italicize transliterated non-English words and phrases. Do not place them in quotation marks. Additionally, for words in Punjabi, either in the Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi alphabet, offer a transliteration or definition after the first use. Use italics for isolated words and phrases from another language unless they appear in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. If a word from another language becomes familiar through repeated use throughout a work, it need be italicized only on its first occurrence. If it appears only rarely, however, italics may be retained.


Direct house style and formatting questions to Assistant Editor Tanmeet Gujral at

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