Guidance for Authors

All papers, in English, should be submitted electronically to our online submission system.

Papers are published online and in hardcopy.

All papers are available open access on our website. It is our objective to ensure quick turn-around times and keep authors informed of developments relating to their paper.

Authors can track the status of their paper through the paper submission page.

Special Issues will be published occasionally in line with specific objectives and requirements to be announced from time to time.

All papers will go through a rigorous scientific and peer review process which involves initial screening by the editorial board. If the paper is judged suitable for the journal scope, this will be followed by a review by at least two reviewers who are experts in the field. It is the policy of the journal that all papers be reviewed using a double-blind review process.  The double blind review process is designed to help minimize subjectivity and bias and promote objective decision making in scientific peer review. A paper will only be accepted on the recommendation of the reviewers and editorial board of the journal.

All papers must be clearly presented. In general, a good research paper will begin with the context of the work, move through the statement of the problem being investigated, deal with the empirical and/or analytical aspects of the work, then develop the discussion and draw conclusions based upon what has been covered in the paper, relating these back to the original context of the work. We require authors to provide a clear explanation of the contribution of their study. In other words, authors must clearly explain what we did not know already prior to the writing of the paper.

The following standard structure is recommended for papers, although it is acknowledged that different styles apply to research in different fields.


Literature review including the problem conceptualization and theoretical framework

  • Analytical framework or hypothesis
  • Research design and methods
  • Data collection, analysis and results
  • Discussion of findings
  • Conclusions
  • Acknowledgement (if applicable)
  • References
  • Appendix (if applicable)

Manuscripts must be submitted online through the journal website. Manuscripts should normally not be longer than 7000 words including tables and references. Papers longer than 7000 words can be submitted with the permission of the Journal editor.

Please prepare your manuscript, including tables, using a word processing program and save it as a .doc file. If a paper is accepted, the typesetters should be able to copy, edit, or typeset manuscripts or tables in an editable format.

Title Page

We advise that the title of the article be short, specific and informative. The first name, initial(s), and surname of each author should be followed by his or her department, institution, city, and country. The telephone number and email address of the corresponding author should also be provided. The first page must contain only the paper title and affiliation details of the author(s). Any deletions or additions to the author list after acceptance of the paper must be fully motivated and submitted in writing, signed by all authors, to the editors.


The second page of the manuscript should contain the Abstract, which must not exceed 250 words. The Abstract should be comprehensible to readers before they have read the paper, and reference citations must be avoided at this stage.

Most readers of a journal will read most of the abstracts.  Therefore, the abstract should be informative. An informative abstract should contain the following elements:

Background: A simple opening sentence or two placing the work in context.

Aims: One or two sentences giving the purpose of the work.

One or two sentences explaining what was done.

Results: One or two sentences indicating the main findings.

Conclusions: One sentence giving the most important consequence of the work.


Please provide up to five keywords that reflect the most important concepts of features in the study. The purpose of the keywords is to help in indexing the papers so avoid keywords that are generic in nature and does not bear specific relation to your paper.


Non-standard abbreviations should be defined at the first occurrence and introduced only where multiple use is made. There should be no abbreviations in headings.

Figures and Illustrations

For reproduction in the journal, authors will be required after acceptance to supply high-resolution files. We advise that you create your high-resolution images first as these can be easily converted into low-resolution images for online submission.

Figures will not be re-lettered or re-numbered by the journal publishers. The journal reserves the right to reduce the size of illustrative material. Any photomicrographs, electron micrographs or radiographs must be of high quality.

Wherever possible, photographs should fit within the print area or within a column width. Photomicrographs should provide details of staining technique and a scale bar.

When creating figures, please make sure any embedded text is large enough to read. Many figures contain miniscule characters such as numbers on a chart or graph. If these characters are not easily readable, they will most likely be illegible in the final version.

Any figures submitted to the journal in colour can be published in colour. Authors may choose to also publish their figures in colour in the print journal. Black and white figures will also be accepted, but figures that may be converted from colour to black and white should be well prepared with high contrast, and must have a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch at their final size. Figure captions must be suitably worded to apply to the article.


All tables submitted must be in editable format (e.g. Word, excel) as typesetters are unable to typeset any tables in image format (e.g. pdf).

All tables should be on separate pages and accompanied by a title and footnotes where necessary. The tables should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals. Units in which results are expressed should be given in parentheses at the top of each column and not repeated in each line of the table. Authors are advised not to overcrowd the tables and limit the use of words. The format of tables should be consistent with what is normally used in international journals. Please note that it is the author’s responsibility to ensure that the data given in tables are correct.


Acknowledgements and details of any support received must be included at the end of the text before references and not in footnotes. Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies.


Full references should be provided in accordance with the Harvard style. References should be listed in Alphabetical order. Journal titles and author initials should be properly abbreviated and punctuated. If an automatic referencing system has been used in the preparation of the paper, the references must not be left embedded in the final text file submitted.

Following receipt of accepted manuscripts, authors will be invited to complete a copyright licence to publish form. Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that the Publisher may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You should notify the journal immediately if your contact details change. If your article is accepted for publication the journal will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that the journal office do not retain copies of rejected articles.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a ‘License Agreement’. Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author’s choice of user license.

Author rights

As an author you (or your employer or institution) has certain rights to reuse your work. These are explained in our copyright statement found on our website

Complimentary Hard Copies

In consideration for granting an exclusive license, the publisher will arrange for a complimentary hard copy to be sent to all authors of articles in a particular issue. Additional copies may be purchased from the publisher.

The African Journal of Built Environment Research (AJoBER) does not accept papers that have been previously published elsewhere. Conference papers developed for submission to the African Journal of Built Environment Research should be substantially different from the original version of the paper that was published in the proceedings of the conference where it was first published. Issues of copyright and permissions should be sorted out by the author should authors not own the copyright for papers published in a conference proceedings.

Papers must be submitted in English language. The standard of written English should be good to enable the editors and reviewers understand the paper content. If English is not your first language, before submitting your manuscript you may wish to have it edited for language. This is not a mandatory step, but may help to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. There are specialist language editing companies that offer such services and you can use them at your own cost before making a submission to the journal.


Submission by Editor

A paper submitted by one of the Editors will be handled by another Editor who is not at the same institution. The other Editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper. The decision process will be handled in such a way that the submitting Editor does not have access to information or correspondence relating to the submission.

Submission by family member of Editor or by author whose relationship with Editor might create the perception of bias

If a paper is submitted by a family member of one of the Editors, or by an author whose relationship with one of the Editors might create the perception of bias, the Editor will declare a conflict of interest and the paper will be handled by another Editor. The Editor who has declared a conflict of interest will not be involved in selecting referees or making any decisions on the paper.

General Policy

If an Editor feels that there is likely to be a perception of a conflict of interest in relation to their handling of a submission, they will declare it to the other Editors, and the paper will be handled in the same way as described above.

Choice of reviewers

The journal editors take their responsibility seriously and will select reviewers carefully and consider their comments. They will also honour reasonable requests from authors to exclude particular reviewers.


Potential conflict of interest for referee

The invitation letter to referees will include the following wording: ‘If you think you know the identity of the author and if you feel there is a strong conflict of interest in your refereeing this paper, please declare it. By accepting this invitation, it is assumed there is no such conflict of interest.’ Standard policy will be not to use a referee if a conflict of interest has been declared, but the Editors may use their discretion.

Every peer-reviewed research article appearing in this journal will be published open access. This means that the article is universally and freely accessible via the internet in perpetuity, in an easily readable format immediately after publication.

A complimentary copy will be provided of the particular issue in which an author’s paper appears. However, there will be a charge for extra copies requested by author(s).

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