The CriSTaL style guide is based on the Harvard Style, with some deviations for house preferences. The journal uses U.K. punctuation and spelling, following The Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Foreign words (except proper names) should be italicised. Download Word template


  • Use capitalisation in the article title only for the first word, any proper nouns, and for the first word after a colon. (E.g. Making time for writing: Rethinking assessment in a Philosophy course)
  • Headings and subheadings should not be numbered.
  • Indicate main headings by bold lettering and subheadings by bold italic. Third level headings should be in plain text and underlined.


  • Avoid unnecessary abbreviations or acronyms (e.g. higher education, not HE; South Africa, not SA)
  • Acronyms must be spelt out on first appearance with the acronym in parenthesis afterwards: Council on Higher Education (CHE). 
  • Do not use a full stop (period) after abbreviations including the first and last letter of the word (contractions): Mr Mrs Dr St Ltd
  • A full stop for: vol. seq. no. ibid. et al.
  • For degree names, use no full stops (BA, BEd, BSc, PhD, etc)
  • Use full stops in the abbreviation of names of countries (except the USSR) but omit them with acronyms: U.S.; U.K. || CHE; DHET; UWC


  • All punctuation should be followed by a single space.
  • There should be no full stop at the end of headings or subheadings.


  • Use square brackets for editorial comments within quotations or for uncertain data in references (e.g., if the publication year or city is ascertainable but does not appear in the book).
  • Brackets are also used within parentheses: (he used to go there [to Tehran] every spring).
  • Include translations of foreign-language quotations in brackets immediately following the quotation (without italics and without quotation marks): ‘Todas somos amigas de desde chiquitas, casi puras vecinas’ [We are all friends since we were small, and almost all are neighbours].


  • Always use single quotation marks. Double quotation marks are only used within a quotation. He remarked: ‘This charge of “fraudulent conversion” will never stick'.
  • Double quotation marks should be used for words highlighted for emphasis or to highlight a word. For example: The word “synergy” may denote many things.
  • Please place all punctuation outside of the quotation marks, as above.
  • Quotations of eight to ten lines or longer (or over 40 words) should be indented as extracts and separated from the main text. Such text extracts should not be set within quotation marks.
  • Extracts longer than 400 words require copyright permission.


  • The UK style for dashes requires blanks before and after the en dash.

ELLIPSES POINTS (...) (. ...) (, ...) (... !)

Three points should be used for omitted text. There should be one space before and after the ellipsis.

If the omitted text follows a completed sentence, there should be four dots, the first indicating a full stop (or period). In contradiction to the three-dot ellipses, there is no space between the last word in the sentence and the first full stop ending the sentence.


  • Dates should be set day/month/year, with no comma in between the elements, e.g., 26 January 1988.
  • In general, use words for numbers that are less than 100, and numerals for all other numbers. Number ranges should not be abbreviated.
  • In-text number ranges should employ prepositions not dashes:
  • Use ‘from 1924 to 1928’ or ‘between 1924 and 1928’
  • Do not use ‘from 1924–1928’, or ‘between 1924–1928’.


  • Figures and tables may be used to supplement the text.
  • Figures and tables must be given titles (table titles above and figure titles below)
  • Figures and tables must be introduced and/or referred to in the body of the text.

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  • In-text citations should follow the author-date system with full documentation in the Reference section.
  • Every author mentioned in the reference list must be cited in the main text, and every author cited in the main text must be listed in the reference list.
  • Confirm that spelling and dates are consistent between the main text and the reference list.
  • Any parenthetical notes or footnotes should be kept short and to a minimum. Please use Footnotes if needed, and not Endnotes.
  • Acknowledgements should not be included as a numbered note but given its own heading and paragraph following the body of the text, prior to the reference section.



 Single author

(James, 2018: 3) or James (2018: 3) xxx

Two authors

(Pickett & White, 1985) or Pickett and White (1985) xxx

Three or more authors

(Jones, et al., 2001) or Jones, et al. (2001) xxx

[Note: From the first usage]

Author with multiple sources

(Smith, 1993: 63; 1998: 124–169)

Jones’s research (1977, 1979a, 1979b) indicates that ...

Multiple sources for the same reference

(Pickett & White, 1985; Smith, 1987)

[Note: alphabetical order]

Authors with same last name

(D. Smith, 1981; G. Smith, 1999)

Sources with no date of publication

(Kant, n.d.; McGinnis, forthcoming)

Sources with an organisation as author

The World Health Organization (WHO, 2023) states

[Note: the acronym may be used for further usage]



  • The reference list must be in alphabetical order. For multiple listings under an author’s name, list the oldest publication first, followed by the other publications, in chronological order.
  • Repeat author’s name rather than use underscores or dashes to indicate a subsequent title by the same author.
  • Confirm that web links are accessible as cited.
  • Add all authors’ details to the reference list entry.
  • No additional enter spaces between entries.
  • Hanging indent of 1cm required.




Knight, P. T. 2002. Being a Teacher in Higher Education. Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press.

Two authors, edited volume

Becher, T. & Trowler, P. (Eds.). 2001. Academic Tribes and Territories. 2nd Edition. Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press.

Chapter in a book

Hermerschmidt, M. 1999. Foregrounding background in academic learning. In Jones, C., Turner, J. & Street, B.V. (Eds.). Students Writing in the University. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 5-16.

Edwards, A. and Thompson, M. 2013. Resourceful leadership: Revealing the creativity of organizational leaders. In Sannino, A. & Ellis, V. (Eds.). Learning and Collective Creativity: Activity-Theoretical and Sociocultural Studies. London: Routledge, 99-115.

Article in a journal

Jacobs, C. 2007. Towards a critical understanding of the teaching of discipline-specific academic literacies: making the tacit explicit. Journal of Education, 41: 1-24.

Kiley, M. & Wisker, G. 2009. Threshold concepts in research education and evidence of threshold crossing. Higher Education, Research & Development, 28(4): 431-444.

Mgqwashu, E., Timmis, S., De Wet, T. & Madondo, N.E. 2020. Transitions from rural contexts to and through higher education in South Africa: negotiating misrecognition. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 50(7): 943-960.

Article in a journal with DOI number

Clarence, S. 2011. Making inter-disciplinary spaces for talk about and change in student writing and literacy development. Teaching in Higher Education, DOI:10.1080/13562517.2011.611876.

[Note: only use the DOI if the volume, issue, and page numbers are not yet available]


Cortázar, J. 1969. Cronopios and Famas, trans. P. Blackburn. New York: Random House.

[Do not translate foreign titles into English unless it is the English version that is referred to.]

Article in a newspaper or magazine

Phakathi. B. 2011. Teachers vow to fight DA education bill. Business Day, 18 October 2011.

Slides and film

Mihalyi, L. J. 1977. Landscapes of Zambia, Central Africa. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Visual Education. Slides.

An Incident in Tiananmen Square. 1990. 16 mm, 25 min. San Francisco: Gate of Heaven Films.

Godard, J-L. (dir.) [1966] 2005. Masculin Feminin. Criterion Collection.

Papers read at meetings

Clegg, S. 2008. The struggle for connections. Keynote address at ISSOTL conference, Edmonton, Canada. 17-19 October 2008.


Peseta, T. L. 2005. Learning and Becoming in Academic Development: An autoethnographic inquiry. Unpublished PhD diss., The University of Sydney, Australia.

Unpublished material

Marciniak, E. and Jefferson, N. 1985. CHA Advisory Committee Appointed by Judge Marvin E. Aspin: Final Report (December). Unpublished.

Organisation as ‘author’

Democratic Alliance (DA). 2008. Preparing for success: The DA’s plan for schools that deliver real opportunity. Available at: (Accessed: 23 July 2012).

World Health Organization (WHO). 2023. New South-South health cooperation initiative launched linking Africa and the Caribbean. Available at: (Accessed: 6 February 2024).

Materials in archives

Egmont Manuscripts (n.d.). Phillips Collection. Athens: University of Georgia Library.

Internet articles

Vale, P. & J. Carter. 2008. But do they think? Mail and Guardian, 2 March. Available at: (Accessed: 5 May 2011).

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