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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. Indago is a DHET-accredited, Open Access journal that seeks to promote knowledge of African natural and cultural heritage by publishing high-quality, peer-reviewed scientific research. Previously known as Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Indago is published by the National Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa. Manuscripts relevant to all topics of the natural and human sciences in Africa are accepted, including but not limited to anthropology, archaeology, history, fine arts, botany, palaeontology and zoology. Authors are entirely responsible for statements, whether fact or opinion. Manuscripts are considered on the understanding that they have not been submitted elsewhere for prior or simultaneous publication. Manuscripts are reviewed by at least two independent referees and approved by the Editorial Board before acceptance. Articles are first published online ( as soon as they are ready; hard copy issues are printed yearly and contains reprints of papers published in the preceding year.

Indago editorial policy

The journal is open to scholars not directly associated with the National Museum. Manuscripts containing original research results, as well as review papers and smaller contributions (short communications and case studies, up to four printed pages) consistent with the scope of the journal will be considered. All manuscripts should be written in clear, concise English (British or American standard). Authors whose mother tongue is not English are strongly urged to have their papers reviewed linguistically before submission; inadequately prepared manuscripts will be returned without consideration. There is no page limit to the length of manuscripts, but exceptionally long (over 100 pages) contributions, as well as proposals of special issues and refereed conference proceedings, should be discussed with the Editor-in-Chief. All contributions will be critically evaluated by at least two independent external referees; peer-review process is double-blind for manuscripts in humanities and single-blind for natural science contributions. Submissions may include online supplementary material.

The publisher of 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). The publisher 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. The publisher also 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 at the discretion of the Editorial Board.

For criteria of authorship, prospective contributors are urged to consult Indago’s Editorial Policy & Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement.

The Editorial Board’s decision whether or not to accept a manuscript is final.

Contributions should be e-mailed to Editor-in-Chief: Indago (

Preparation of manuscripts (all manuscripts)

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. Number manuscript pages consecutively beginning with the title page. Do not insert line numbers. Authors must not use Reference Managers and text styles other than unmodified Normal when preparing their manuscripts for submission.

Give full details of the title of the manuscript, name(s) of author(s), postal address, e-mail address and ORCID (if available) for each author, each on a separate line. The title of the paper should be informative but concise. A short running title (for page headlines) should be provided.

The abstract, summarising the contents of the paper and indicating the relevance of the work, should not usually exceed 30 type-written lines or 300 words. Adopt standard scientific nomenclature and avoid abbreviations and references. Select a set of up to 10 keywords (index terms). Authors are encouraged to provide a translation of the abstract and keywords in another appropriate language after acceptance of their manuscripts.

Numbers one to nine inclusive should be spelled out and numbers starting 10 onwards should be given in numerals. In a series, use numerals throughout. Dates in the text should be written as 4 August 1974, and times of the day as 08:00. Ranges are to be separated by an en-dash (–), not a hyphen (-).

Sources of funding for research or publication should always be disclosed in Acknowledgements, if applicable.

Illustrations and tables

When preparing illustrations and tables, consider the journal’s full page size (170×250 mm) or one column size (82×250 mm). Illustrations (including graphs) and their captions or legends should form a separate, self-explanatory unit. Explain abbreviations in the captions, or (if too numerous) collect them elsewhere in a list (preferably under Materials and Methods). Multipart figures should be labelled as A, B etc. Use sans serif font (12–14 pt, bold face) for labels, preferably Arial or Helvetica. If the editor is to insert the final lettering, provide an overlay showing your requirements. Where necessary, illustrations (if not schematic) must include a scale bar. Do not frame illustrations. When preparing illustrations in Adobe Photoshop authors are advised to retain a copy of unflatten image with labelling on separate layers.

Tables should include headings and explanations, and should be numbered consecutively; tables must not be submitted as MS Excel files or graphic files (CDR, JPG, PNG, TIF etc.). Approximate positions of figures and tables should be indicated in the text. References in the text to illustrations and tables: Fig. 1; Figs 13–33; Table 1 (Note: Do not capitalise fig., figs, table, pl., pls, when referring to items reproduced in someone else’s work). The format for figure captions is as follows:

Figure 5: Cottage-style planting in a Batho garden enclosed by a tall-clipped privet hedge, Makgothi Street, Batho, 2011. (National Museum, Bloemfontein: NM Photo Batho 211)

Figures 11–14: Oryzaephilus spp., median lobe of aedeagus and parameres (11–13) and male genitalia (14): (11) O. abeillei (Guillebeau); (12) O. fauveli (Reitter); (13) O. mercator (Fauvel); (14) O. surinamensis (Linnaeus). Scale bars = 50 μm.

Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from the publisher to reproduce any previously published tables or figures.

Ethical clearance

Indago accepts manuscripts on the condition that the reported research follows relevant national and international ethical guidelines and legislation, including (but not restricted to) personal data protection laws. The authors are responsible for obtaining a formal ethical clearance from relevant authorities where applicable, and should provide a proof thereof when they submit their manuscripts to Indago. The authors are responsible to ensure and, when possible, document that legal requirements pertaining to their work are fulfilled. 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(s) will have the opportunity for reply and rebuttal in a later issue of the journal.

Initial submission

An electronic version should be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief via email ( Large files exceeding 10 MB are to be sent via WeTransfer. The text of the manuscript should be saved as a MSOffice Word document (doc, DOCX) or Rich Text Format (rtf) file for text and tables, and JPEG (JPG), PNG, or LZW-compressed TIF file(s) for figures. Tables must not be submitted as MSOffice Excel files. Graphics must not be embedded in the text file, and may be of reduced quality sufficient for evaluation by reviewers. Manuscripts submitted in unsuitable formats will not be processed and the authors will be asked to re-submit them in an appropriate form.

Final submission

The final text accepted for print must be supplied in an editable electronic format. Easily intertransferable formats such as MSOffice Word document (doc, DOCX) or Rich Text Format (RTF) are preferred. Mac users should submit the text in a format directly transferable to PC. Graphics are to be provided as LZW-compressed TIF or PNG files. Consult the editor in advance if you intend to submitting illustrations as vector graphics. Never import graphics into a word processor format (e.g., as doc or rtf files). Refrain from mixing black-and-white (line) drawings and half-tone (grey)/colour illustrations in one file. Required modes and minimum resolutions for graphic files: colour in 8-bit per channel RGB mode, 300 dpi at print size (170/82×250 mm); half-tone in 8-bit greyscale mode, 300 dpi at print size; line art in black-and-white mode, at least 600 dpi at print size. However, it is advisable to submit figures prepared with a higher resolution.

Contributions in natural sciences

Where appropriate, the title should contain names of the higher taxa, typically the order and family, e.g. (Diptera: Phoridae). Abstracts of taxonomic papers should mention all nomenclatural acts and list all newly proposed nominal taxa. The suggested order of sections for original papers is: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results/Taxonomy, Discussion and Conclusions (these may be combined), Acknowledgements, References, *Tables, *Figure legends. Begin the asterisked sections on new pages. Number footnotes consecutively throughout the text and use them sparingly.

Use up to three heading levels:


Level 2 (e.g. Statistical analysis)

Level 3 (e.g. Mating and oviposition)

Taxonomic papers must comply with all requirements of the current International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. Recommendations of the codes should also be followed. All newly described taxa and newly proposed nomina, new synonyms and new combinations should be explicitly designated as such, e.g. fam. n., trib. n., gen. n., sp. n., comb. n., nom. nov., syn. n.; nomen conservandum and nomen rejiciendum are abbreviated as nom. cons. and nom. rej., respectively; nomen dubium, nomen nudum, nomen oblitum and nomen protectum are not abbreviated.

For taxonomic papers, the suggested order of sections within a species/genus treatment is: Chresonymy, Type species (compulsory for new genera, optional otherwise), Etymology, Diagnosis (if there is no Comparison section), Description, Variation (optional), Comparison (if there is no Diagnosis section), Holotype (for new species descriptions), Paratypes (if any), (Other) Material examined (information about non-type material), Species included (for genera), Distribution, Habitat, Biology, other comments if appropriate. Descriptions (but not diagnoses) should be written in telegraphic style. Each genus- and species-group name mentioned should appear at least once in connection with its original authorship, but do not quote the author on each occasion, particularly in non-taxonomic papers. Do not abbreviate authors’ names of animal taxa; for authors’ names of plants, fungi, lichens and algae, follow Brummitt & Powell’s Authors of Plant Names (1992) and International Plant Names Index or Index fungorum. Latin names of genus- and species-group taxa should be italicised throughout the text, including the references. Vernacular names should be accompanied by the corresponding scientific names at the first mention. Each word in the vernacular name of a species should start with a capital letter in the text, e.g. House Sparrow, but must be lower case where no species in particular is being referred to, e.g. sparrow, sand snake.

Interpret specimen labels and geographical data consistently, using current English spelling of geographical names; old or alternative names of localities, as well as author’s comments, should be given in brackets; label data of historically important or type specimens may be quoted verbatim. Type localities of new species must be georeferenced (supplemented with coordinates); use the degree symbol (°), not superscript ‘oʼ. Depositories of the material should be given as acronyms in parentheses, and explained in the Materials and Methods section.


Holotype: SOUTH AFRICA: Free State: Bloemfontein district, Hopefield farm, 28°54’S 26°14’E, 28.ix.2000, C. Haddad (NHMWU).

Paratypes: 8 , same data as holotype (NMSA).

Other material examined: ETHIOPIA: 3 , Lake Abiata [Abiyata], 143 km S Addis Ababa [07°40’N 38°41’E], 1.iv.1962, Lund Univ[ersity]. Exp[edition]. (MZLU).

Authors are required to deposit holotypes of newly described species in nationally or internationally recognised institutions, not in private collections.

The suggested style of the genus and species chresonymies is:

Plastophorides aculeipes (Collin, 1912)

(Figs 1, 2, 4–6)

Aphiochaeta aculeipes Collin, 1912: 108, pl. 5, fig. 3. (Type locality: Seychelles)

Plastophorides aculeipes (Collin): Brues 1915: 137; Almond 2002: 148, figs 10, 11.

Sources cited in chresonymies must also be listed under References.

Identification keys should be dichotomous, with two alternatives for each character and preferably illustrated. Identification keys must be prepared using the ‘Tab’ key/properties, not the ‘Numbered list’ function, spaces or periods.


(a) Within the text: (Martin 1968, 1970; Dewale et al. 2000); Palmer (1997); Artigas and Papavero (1988); (Artigas & Papavero 1988a, b); Herbert et al. (2003). Use ‘et al.’ for more than two authors in the text but not in the reference list. Note that references in the text should be arranged chronologically. Reference to a page number/figure(s) is cited as follows: (Collin 1930: 83, pl. 3, fig. 7). All publications referred to in the text (incl. chresonymies) must be cited in full in the list of references. Unpublished information should be cited as ‘personal communication’ (e.g. Green, pers. comm., 2014), ‘personal observation’ (pers. observ.), or article in press (Brown, in press); the last category must appear in the list of references, together with the name of the journal (or publisher, if a book) in which that work has been accepted for publication.

(b) Under References: Arrange authors in alphabetical order, with multiple papers by the same author(s) arranged chronologically. Cite all authors and full titles. Give names of periodicals in full. Journal and book titles should be italicised. Titles of papers published in languages other than Romano-Germanic should be replaced by an English translation, with an explanatory note at the end, e.g. [in Arabic, English abstr.]. Titles of periodicals should also be translated if they appear in languages other than Romano-Germanic; they may also be given in transliteration in square brackets. Conference proceedings and dissertations should be cited as books (i.e., with place and publisher), not as periodicals. Page ranges are to be separated by an en-dash (–), not a hyphen (-).


Journal articles and serial publications

Brown, P.A. & Blackman, R.L. 1994. Morphometric variation in the Geoica utricularia (Homoptera: Aphididae) species group on Pistacia (Anacardiaceae), with descriptions of new species and a key to emigrant alatae. Systematic Entomology 19(2): 119–132.

Kaunda, S.K.K. 2001. Spatial utilisation by black-backed jackals in southeastern Botswana. African Zoology 36(2): 143–152.

Kupfermann, I., Teyke, T., Rosen, S.C. & Weiss, K.R. 1991. Studies of behavioral state in Aplysia. Biology Bulletin 180(2): 262–268.

Ponomarenko, A.G. 1969. Historical development of Coleoptera Archostemata. Transactions of the Paleontological Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences [Trudy Paleontologicheskogo instituta Akademii nauk SSSR] 125: 1–239. [in Russian]

Books, book chapters and dissertations

Deacon, F. 2010. Aspekte rakende die ruimtelike ekologie van die rooijakkals (Canis mesomelas) as probleemdier in die Suid-Vrystaat. MS thesis. Bloemfontein: University of the Free State.

Kenward, R.E. 2000. A manual for wildlife radio tagging. London: Academic Press.

Paterson, J. 2014. Capture myopathy. In: West, G., Heard, D. & Caulkett, N. (Eds), Zoo animal and wildlife immobilisation and anesthesia. 2nd ed. Ames, IA, USA: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 171–179.

Taylor, L.R. & Palmer, J.M.P. 1970. Aerial sampling. In: van Emden, H.F. (Ed.), Aphid technology. London: Academic Press, pp. 125–138.

Internet resources

News Staff. 2022. New evidence suggests olive and fig trees were cultivated as early as 7,000 years ago. SciNews 16.07.2022. (accessed 21.01.2024)

Registration with Zoobank, IPNI and Mycobank

The Editorial Office of Indago will register all relevant nomenclatural acts with Zoobank, IPNI and Mycobank on behalf of the authors.

Experiments on live animals

Indago will not consider papers in which the study caused unnecessary pain, discomfort or disturbance to normal health of live animals. Reports of experiments on vertebrates must state that the Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals, The UFAW Handbook on the care and management of laboratory and other research animals, or similar guidelines have been followed, as well as specific national laws where applicable. For further details, authors are urged to consult Indago’s Editorial Policy & Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement.

Contributions in humanities, arts and social sciences

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.

The suggested structure for original papers is: Introduction, Methodology (optional), Main text, Acknowledgements, References, Gazetteer and Appendices (if applicable), *Tables, *Figure legends. Begin the asterisked sections on new pages. Number footnotes consecutively throughout the text.

The main text should be divided into principal sections with LEVEL 1 headings. Sub-headings should be used sparingly. Use up to three heading levels:


Level 2

Level 3


The Chicago Manual of Style, with footnotes, is generally followed; a separate list of references or bibliography is optional. When a reference is used for the first time in a footnote it should be written in full[1],[2],[3],[4] and, for books, should include, in parentheses, the place, publisher name and year of publication[5],[6]. When references are included as a separate list, their format must follow the style of references for natural sciences contributions.


Proofs will be sent as a low-resolution PDF file to the corresponding or first author for correction. Authors should avoid substantial alterations of the original text at the proof stage. High-resolution PDF files are available to authors immediately upon publication of their articles.

Article processing charges

Neither page charges nor submission fees are currently levied on authors, who publish in Indago. This includes an unlimited number of colour pages.

[1] F. van der Merwe & F. Cleophas, Mapping out an obscured South African sport history landscape through Edward Henderson history, African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance 17(2), 2011, p. 233.

[2] Anon., Marriage in high life, Natal Witness, 13.2.1872, p. 3.

[3] National Museum, Bloemfontein Collection (hereafter NMB) 19486, Ex 2/12 – J. du Plessis, De La Rey Avenue, Bloemfontein.

[4] Anon., Harold Groves – Groves Spitfire Bows, (accessed 23.10.2023).

[5] V. de Kock, The fun they had: The pastimes of our forefathers (Cape Town: Howard B. Timmins, 1955), pp. 158–159.

[6] M. Eorwine, Archery – ‘Field takes off’, in B. Deans (ed.), Allied Book of South African Sport and Sports Records, 1988–89 (Randburg: SASBOR, 1989), p. 18.

Indago Documents & Resources