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Submit an article to Indago - a peer reviewed journal
Submit an article to Indago - a peer reviewed journal
Submit an article to Indago - a peer reviewed journal

About Indago


Indago: investigating nature and humanity in Africa. The name is taken from the Latin term for investigate or explore. Indago is an accredited, open-access journal that seeks to promote knowledge of natural and cultural heritage by publishing high-quality, peer-reviewed scientific research. Previously known as Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Indago is published annually for the National Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa. Manuscripts relevant to all topics of the natural and social sciences in Africa are accepted, including but not limited to botany, zoology, palaeontology, archaeology, anthropology, history, fine arts. Accepted manuscripts are published online, freely accessible through the museum webpage ( with a unique digital object identifier (doi). Hardcopy issues are published yearly.


Manuscripts containing original research results consistent with the scope of the journal will be considered. There is no page limit, however, additional charges may be levied on manuscripts in excess of 200 pages. Authorship is open to persons not directly associated with the National Museum and/or those not based on study collections of the museum, but those authors may on occasion be requested to contribute to the costs of publication (see page charges for an estimate of costs). Special issues and conference proceedings are accepted with special permission from the editor. Submission of a manuscript will be taken to imply that the material is original and that no similar manuscript is being or will be submitted for publication elsewhere. Authors will bear full responsibility for the factual content of their publications. All contributions will be critically reviewed (double-blind) by at least two appropriate external referees. Submissions may include online supplementary material.

Indago recognises the need for transformative research that does not perpetuate stereotypes, discriminatory practises or undermine the rights and dignity of marginalised communities (whether defined on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, religion or disability).

Indago acknowledges the need to dismantle systemic racism and discrimination and will not entertain material that expresses bias or prejudice or that misuses science to perpetuate colonial misconceptions and inequalities.

Indago reserves the right to reject manuscripts that perpetuate biases or inequalities and to subject any submissions relating to marginalised communities to a greater degree of academic scrutiny (beyond the review scope already outlined in this document) at the discretion of the editorial committee.

The editorial committee’s decision whether or not to accept a manuscript is final. Contributions should be e-mailed ( to: The Editor-in-Chief, Indago, National Museum, P.O. Box 266, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa.  


Manuscripts should be submitted in Microsoft Word, 12 pt Times New Roman font, 1.5-spaced and in A4 format with 25 mm margins all around. Manuscripts should be submitted by e-mail ( to the editor. Submitted manuscripts should not exceed 200 pages (including illustrations). All pages should be numbered serially (top right) starting with the title page. Tables with captions should be submitted on separate pages. Preferred position of tables and illustrations in the text must be indicated in capitals. English spelling should follow the Oxford English Dictionary. Consult a recent issue of the Journal for typographic conventions ( The final accepted and updated manuscript should also be submitted electronically.

Where research has been conducted (through experimentation, survey or in any other way) with live animal or human participants, ethical clearance should have been acquired from the relevant institution or authority. Indago reserves the right to request documented proof of ethical clearance prior to considering a manuscript. Should a successfully reviewed and published manuscript garner criticism, the author will have the opportunity for reply and rebuttal in a later issue of the journal. INDAGO Instructions to Authors 2020

Authors should carefully study the latest edition of Indago for guidance as to the conventions to be followed in the text, tables, figures, titles, legends, references etc.

Layout should be arranged as follows:

  1. Title: Must be concise and specific.
  2. The name(s), and address(es) of author(s). The email address of the corresponding author should also be provided.
  3. Number of figures in the text should be indicated in parentheses.
  4. Abstract: An abstract of 300 words or less must be included. A maximum of eight key words may be included at the end.
  5. The main text: This should be divided into principal sections with major headings. Sub-headings should be used sparingly.
  6. The headings of a section or chapter must be typed in upper case bold and all headings of sub-sections in lower case bold type.
  7. References (see below).
  8. Gazetteer, appendices, etc. (if applicable).


  1. Figures must be submitted as a PDF binder.
  2. High resolution images or graphics (minimum 500 dpi) should be provided electronically only once the manuscript has been accepted for publication.
  3. Tables and figures submitted should not be larger than A4 format, and each figure and table should have a title. In the text these should be abbreviated as Fig. 1, Figs 3 & 4.


  1. Author’s name and year of publication cited in the text are not to be separated by a comma, e.g. (Smith 1969).
  2. Use suffixes e.g. a, b after the year for more than one paper by the same author in that year.
  3. Where multiple authorship is cited use an ampersand (&) instead of and in the text and reference list.
  4. For books, give title (in italics), edition (ed.) and volume number (if any).
  5. The title of a journal should be written in full and italicised.
  6. Series should appear in parentheses, e.g. Ser. (II); volume number in bold; and part of volume in parentheses (separated from volume number by a single space).
  7. Page ranges must be separated by an en dash, not a hyphen.
  8. Only capitalise the initials of proper names in the titles of articles and books.

Examples (note capitalisation and punctuation):

DIRCH, V.M. 1965. The African genera of Acridoidea. Cambridge: University Press.

ENDRÖDY-YOUNGA, S. 1978. Coleoptera, pp. 797-821. In: Werger, M.J. (Ed.). Biogeography and ecology of Southern Africa. The Hague: W. Junk.

DEAN, W.R. & SKEAD, D.M. 1979. Whiskered terns breeding in western Transvaal. Ostrich 50: 118-119.

BROADLEY, D.G. 2001. A review of the genus Thelotornis A. Smith in eastern Africa, with the description of a new species from the Usambara Mountains (Serpentes: Colubridae: Dispholidini). African Journal of Herpetology 50 (2): 53–70.

PARKINGTON, J.E. 1976. Follow the San. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Cambridge, Cambridge.

For listing references in History articles, see previous editions of Indago. The Chicago method of reference, with footnotes, is used; a separate list of references or bibliography is not required. When a reference is used for the first time in a footnote it should be written in full and should include, in parentheses, the place and year of publication, separated by a comma.


If essential, notes must be indicated by serial superscripts in the text and in order of citation at the foot of the relevant page. Footnotes must also be separated from the text by a horizontal line. INDAGO Instructions to Authors 2020


This is governed by the rulings of the latest International Code of Zoological Nomenclature issued by the International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature (particularly articles 22 & 51). The Harvard System of reference should be used in synonymy lists and full references should be incorporated under REFERENCES and not given in contracted form in the synonymy list. 


  1. Italicise foreign words and scientific names (genus and species).
  2. Specific epithets should be preceded by the generic name or its initial, g. Rattus norvegicus or R. norvegicus and not just norvegicus.
  3. Vernacular names should be accompanied by the appropriate scientific names the first time each is mentioned. Each word in the vernacular name of a species should start with a capital letter in the text, g. House Sparrow, Fork-marked Sand Snake, but must be lower case where no species in particular is being referred to, e.g. sparrow, sand snake.
  4. Numbers one to nine inclusive should be spelled out and number 10 on wards given in numerals. In a series, use numerals throughout.
  5. Dates should be written as 4 August 1974 and times of the day as 08:00.
  6. When giving ranges of numbers use en dashes, not hyphens.
  7. When four or more authors are cited in the text, quote the surname of the first followed by et al. and the date.

Note that in the list of references the names of all authors should be given. 


Page charges and costs of colour plates will be levied on manuscripts submitted by contributors who are not employed at the National Museum (or when no museum employee is a co-author) or when the collections of the museum have not been studied. These charges will be levied at the time of final submission and are subject to change without notice.


Proofs will be sent to the corresponding author, who should consult with co-authors. The senior author accepts final responsibility for corrections. Corrected proofs should be returned within two weeks. A PDF file of the manuscript will be e-mailed to the corresponding author once published online. In addition, 15 reprints are supplied free of charge to the corresponding author if requested.

Indago Documents & Resources