Style Guidelines

When preparing your article, please ensure that it conforms with our style guidelines:


  • Font: Times New Roman
  • Font Size: 12
  • Spacing: Single
  • Paragraphs: Block paragraphs, no first-line indents, a full line separating paragraphs. No widows and orphans (where one the first or last line of a paragraph gets left on a separate page from the rest of the paragraph)
  • Margins: Normal, 2.54 cm (left, right, top, bottom)
  • Alignment: fully justified
  • Titles: bold, 12pt, Times New Roman
  • Headings: Headings bold, subheadings italics. Do not underline headings, number them, or use punctuation after the heading.


  • British spellings
  • Spell ‘organisation’ or ‘centre’ unless the institution, like IOM (the International Organization of Migration) or Harvard Law Center, spells it otherwise
  • Use ‘asylum seeker’ NOT asylum-seeker
  • Use ‘non-refoulement’ NOT ‘non refoulement
  • Use UNHCR and NOT ‘the UNHCR’
  • Italicise foreign words including Latin legal concepts: eg. non-refoulement
  • Italicise court rulings/legal cases/writs
  • When referring to the 1951 Refugee Convention in the text, there is no need to italicise. Refer to it as a proper noun and use capital letters. When referring to a particular article within a charter, capitalise: Article 1(2)
  • When writing numbers: spell out numbers one-nine and use figures for 10+
  • Date format: 24 September 1987 NOT September 24, 1987
  • Where possible, use active rather than passive voice to improve clarity (eg. ‘In 2000, the government passed the act protecting asylum seekers from deportation’ NOT ‘In 2000, the act was passed protecting asylum seekers from deportation). It sheds more light on who/what is taking action, what the specific action is, and who/what receives the action and how.
  • If skipping words in a quote, use ‘I love my dog … and cat’ NOT ‘I love my dog […] and cat’ – but this is if and only if you are quoting parts of the same sentence. If you are skipping words in a quote and joining two sentences (eg. original quote: I love my dog, Fuzz, and cat, Mr Pims. I think they are both great.), use four dots to indicate that the latter section was originally part of another sentence: ‘I love my dog…and cat….they are both great.’


  • British grammar
  • Use single quotations marks (‘) outside double quotation marks (“) when quoting a quote.
  • Quotation marks remain inside periods or commas unless they are a part of the quote
  • Quotes longer than three lines should be made into their own paragraphs, fully justified and indented at both ends by 1.27 cm. Quotation marks are not needed. Same referencing rules apply for footnotes or in-text citations.


We use the Harvard referencing system, following the format of the Journal of Refugee Studies. In the Harvard system, the author refers to (quotes from or cites) items in the text, rather than in footnotes (which should only be used for comments), and a full list of references (arranged in alphabetical order and by date) is provided at the end of the paper/thesis. When making notes or preparing a paper, full bibliographic details should be noted down including the page number(s) from which the information is taken. For all electronic information, a note should also be made of the date on which the information was created or updated, when it was accessed and the database name, discussion list details or web address (URL).

 Citations in the text

The source of all statements, quotes or conclusions taken from another author’s work should be acknowledged, whether the work is directly quoted, paraphrased or summarised. It is not generally necessary to use page numbers unless quoting directly from an author’s work, but it may be helpful to provide page numbers for ease of reference if referring to part of a book or large document. If an author’s name is mentioned in the text, it should be followed by the year of publication, in round brackets. If not, insert both the name and year in round brackets after the reference.

Single author

Harrell-Bond (1986) reported that aid was imposed on refugees living in camps in Sudan, without taking sufficient account of their own needs and priorities.


A study of refugees in a Sudanese camp showed that their own priorities and needs were not sufficiently considered by aid workers (Harrell-Bond 1986).

Multiple authors

If there are two authors, cite the names in the order in which they appear in the source document, e.g. (Castles and Davidson 2000).

If there are more than two authors, the in-text citation shows only the surname of the first author, followed by ‘et al.’ (meaning ‘and others’). For example:

Held et al. (1999) have shown that globalisation is a multi-faceted process and those seeking to understand it should consider its impacts in the political, economic and cultural spheres of contemporary life.


Globalisation is a multi-faceted process and those seeking to understand it should consider its impacts in the political, economic and cultural spheres of contemporary life (Held et al. 1999).

Multiple sources

When referring to two or more texts by different authors, list them alphabetically and separate with a semi-colon:

Duffield is, of course, not the only observer to note these shifts, as other important recent contributions show (Chimni 1998; Helton 2001; International Migration Review; Loescher 2001a; UNHCR 2000; Zolberg and Benda 2001).

If reference is made to more than one work published by the same author in the same year, the sources are distinguished by adding a lower-case letter to the year of publication in both the in-text citations and the reference list. The order of sources is determined by the alphabetical order of the titles, ignoring words such as ‘the’, ‘an’ and ‘a’, e.g. (Gibney 1999a; Gibney 1999b).

No author

If a source has no author, or if the author is anonymous, use ‘Anon.’ in place of the author’s name, followed by the year and page number:

This is a new development in legal procedures in the UK (Anon. 2002).

Articles from newspapers or periodicals can be listed under the name of the publication (e.g. Guardian, Economist) in place of the author’s name if this is not provided – see below for further details.

Secondary referencing

Secondary references (to the work of one author which is cited by another author) should be avoided if at all possible. It is preferable to consult the original source document and refer to that directly. If it is not possible to locate the primary source, provide the details of the primary source and the secondary source which refers to it, e.g. (Colson 1971, cited in Indra 1999). Include both the primary and secondary sources in the end-of-text references list.

Law cases

In legal publications, details of cases are usually provided in footnotes. References are set out in a standardised format, which is very different from the Harvard system. In the text, citations can be presented either using only the name of the case, such as Chahal, or the full reference, e.g. Attorney-General of Canada v. Ward [1993] 103 DLR.

Personal communications and interviews

This includes letters, memos, conversations and personal e-mail (for electronic discussion lists, see below). It is important to obtain permission for citing these. An in-text citation is required for such sources and this should take the form of: author’s name; ‘personal communication’; and date. They should also be included in the reference list.

This position – being critical of some parts of government policy whilst remaining instrumental in its implementation – has been described as ‘twin-tracking’ (Zetter, personal communication, 22 November 2002).

Interviews can be cited in a similar way: name; ‘interview’; and date, or as follows:

When interviewed on 23 May 2001, Mr Taylor confirmed that…


When reference is made to a specific online document or webpage, it should be cited following the author/date conventions set out above and included in the end-of-text list of references, e.g. (Refugee Council 2003).

Direct quotations

When quoting directly in the text, single quotation marks should be used and the author’s name, year of publication and page number(s) of the source (preceded by a colon) should be inserted in round brackets: (Jackson 1939: 10-15) not (Jackson, 1939 pp10-15). Commas and ‘pp’ are not needed and are not neat.

Short quotations of up to two lines can be included in the body of the text.

In this way, the introduction of carrier sanctions has been described as the ‘privatisation of immigration control’ (Yaansah 1987: 115).

Quotations longer than two lines are usually introduced by a colon and should be indented in a separate paragraph, without using quotation marks. The author’s name, publication date and page number(s) are given at the end of the quotation.

Many anti-racist groups have taken up issues relating to asylum:

British anti-racism is increasingly defined by the growing concern with the rights of asylum seekers and refugees across Europe. The application of an interpretation of institutional racism to this new context is indicative of the importance of this discourse as a major tool in the interpretation of racism. Its application beyond the concerns of the indigenous black and ‘minority ethnic’ community is testament to the relative success of the extension of solidarity to this new focus in anti-racism (Lentin 2002: 154).

If part of the quotation is omitted, this can be indicated by using three dots:

In the early 1990s the then Minister of State at the Home Office, Timothy Renton, clearly acknowledged the ‘vast practical knowledge of refugee issues which lie outside government in national and local voluntary bodies and groups…’ (Renton 1993: 32).

Any changes made to, or words inserted in the quotation should be indicated by the use of square brackets:

Timothy Renton declared that: ‘[t]hese [refugee] groups must be encouraged and stimulated’ (Renton 1993: 32).

 Listing references at the end of a text

A full list of all references cited in the text must be provided at the end of the paper. The references should be listed alphabetically by author’s surname and then by date (earliest first). If an item has no author, it should be cited as ‘Anon.’ and ordered in the reference list by the first significant word of the title. Authors’ surnames should be in bold font and capitalised, followed by the author’s initials (not forenames) and the date of publication (in brackets). The format of the reference depends on the nature of the source (see examples below). Second and subsequent lines of each entry are indented three spaces, to highlight the alphabetical order, and the author’s name is replaced by a line in cases where an author has multiple entries. If a source has editors, rather than authors, this should be indicated by the use of ‘ed(s).’.


If the book has several editions, give details of the edition after the book title.

Single author

HARRELL-BOND, B.E. (1986) Imposing Aid: Emergency Assistance to Refugees, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Listing references at the end of a text (continued)

Joint authors

List all the authors in the reference list in the order they appear on the title page:

PORTES, A. and BACK, R.L. (1985) Refugee Resettlement in the US: Time for a New Focus, Washington DC, New Transcentury Foundation.

Corporate author (e.g. government department or other organisation)

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (1997) Refugees: Human Rights Have No Borders, London, Amnesty International Publications.

Edited book

SIMON, R. and BRETTELL, C., (eds.) (1986) International Migration: The Female Experience, Totowa NJ, Rowman and Allenheld.

Translated book

DURKHEIM, E. and MAUS, M. (1983) Primitive Classification, (trans. Needham), London, University of London.

Same author(s), multiple publications

JOLY, D. (1996) Haven or Hell? Asylum Policies and Refugees in Europe, Basingstoke, Macmillan.

___ (1997) Refugees in Europe: The Hostile New Agenda, London, Minority Rights Group.

Chapter in an edited volume

It is helpful to provide the page numbers or chapter number, in addition to the chapter title.

ZETTER, R.W. (1985) ‘Refugees – Labelling and Access’, 87-101 in Wood, G., (ed.) Labelling in Development Policy, London, Sage.

 Journal Articles

RUDGE, P. (1998) ‘Reconciling State Interests with International Responsibilities: Asylum in North America and Western Europe’, International Journal of Refugee Law 10(1/2): 7-20.

Newspaper and periodical articles

If an individual author can be identified:

LUCK, N. (1991) ‘Tories Urge Clamp On Bogus Migrants’, Daily Express May 28.

If no author can be identified:

GUARDIAN (1992) ‘Labour Offers Deal over Asylum Bill’, March 3.

If reference is made to an entire edition:

SUN (1992) April 4.

Conference papers

ARMSTRONG, S. and BENNET, O. (1999) ‘Representing the Resettled: The Ethical issues raised by research and representation of the San.’ Paper delivered at the conference Displacement, Forced Settlement and Conservation, St Anne’s College, Oxford, 9th-11th September 1999.

Papers from published conference proceedings

JACOBSEN, K. (2003) ‘Social science and forced migration: some methodological and ethical issues’, 12-13 in NTNU IDP Network, Researching Internal Displacement: State of the Art, Conference Report, 7-8 February 2003, Trondheim, Norway.


BOYDEN, J. (2001) ‘Conducting Research with War-Affected and Displaced Children: Ethics and Methods’, 73-82 in Filling Knowledge Gaps: a Research Agenda on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children – Background Papers, Florence, Istituto degli Innocenti, 2-4 July 2001.

Government publications

These are referenced as books, with the addition of the official reference number (where applicable) after the title.

HOME OFFICE (1998) Fairer, Faster and Firmer – A Modern Approach to Immigration and Asylum, Cm4018, London, Stationery Office.

Acts of Parliament

UNITED KINGDOM (2002) Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, Chapter 41, London, HMSO.

Theses or dissertations

It is helpful to list the department, if known, for ease of reference.

ACKERMANN, L. (2002) ‘Violence, exile and recovery: reintegration of Guatemalan refugees in the 1990s – a biographical approach’, D.Phil. thesis, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford.

STAMOU, E. (2000) ‘Return ‘home’? : repatriation, ‘reintegration’, ‘aid and development’: approaching the politics of time and space in Guatemala’, Thesis for MA in Social Anthropology of Development, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Law cases

The format for citing cases can be found in legal publications or the International Journal of Refugee Law. It may be easiest to list these in a separate section at the end of the document, following the main list of references. In general, the name of the case is italicised, followed by the year (in square brackets), the legal citation reference and, sometimes, a reference to the Court, e.g. ‘CA’ for the Court of Appeal.

East African Asians v. United Kingdom [1973] 3 EHRR 76, EComHR

R. v. Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Q and others [2003] EWCA Civ 364

R. v. Chief Immigration Officer, ex parte Bibi [1976] 1 W.L.R. 979 at 984 (CA).

Personal communications

In addition to details of author and year, indicate the nature of the communication (i.e. letter, memo, conversation, personal email or other) and the date. The exact format will have to be modified depending on the information available, but the following are suggestions:

HARDWICK, N. (1999) Letter to author regarding changes to asylum support in the UK, 18 July 1999.


HARDWICK, N. (2001) ‘The Refugee Council’s response to the government’s proposals for accommodating asylum-seekers’, Memo to all Refugee Council staff, 3 March 2001.


These can be referenced in a similar manner to personal communications. If the text refers to a number of interviews, it may be easiest to list them in a separate section, after the main list of references.

MOODLEY, R. (1990) Interview with author, September 1990.

Electronic sources

Website references

As far as possible, reference in a way consistent with the Harvard system. State the author’s name, where possible; otherwise, list by the name of the website. Give the date the document was created or last updated, if available, and the date when the document was accessed, as the page may later be altered or may become unavailable. Some websites may not provide dates, in this case they should be referenced as ‘n.d.’ (not dated). Internet addresses are case-sensitive and punctuation is important. To avoid confusion with full stops and commas used in citation, the start and end of a URL (uniform resource locator or internet address) is marked by using < and >. If the URL is excessively long, it is sufficient to give details of the main site from which a particular page or document can be accessed.

IMMIGRATION ADVISORY SERVICE (2003) Asylum (online). Available from: <> (Created 27 September 2001, last updated 1 September 2003, accessed 3 September 2003).

Documents on the internet

Cite as printed documents, adding the <url>, followed by the date of update (if available) and date of access in round brackets.

REFUGEE COUNCIL (2003) Sri Lanka: internally displaced persons and safe returns, London, The Refugee Council. Available from:

<> or <> (accessed 4 September 2003).

Electronic journal articles

Cite as printed journal articles, indicating that the source is electronic by including (‘online’) after the title. If issue identification and page numbers are not available, include the date of issue in round brackets after the journal title. Provide the <URL> and details of when the document was accessed.

SHANDY, D. J. (2003) ‘Transnational linkages between refugees and Africans in the diaspora’ (online) Forced Migration Review 16: 7-8. Available from: <> (Accessed 23 March 2003).

Email discussion lists

Include: author/editor; year; title of message (from subject line of email); discussion list name and date of message in italics; medium in brackets (i.e. ‘email discussion list’); and either ‘available from’: <email list address> or ‘archived at’: <URL>.

WILLCOX, M. (2003) ‘Asylum-seekers, healthcare and detention’, Medact Refugee Health Network, 15 August 2003, (email discussion list). Available from: <>


WILLCOX, M. (2003) ‘Asylum-seekers, healthcare and detention’, Medact Refugee Health Network, 15 August 2003, (email discussion list). Archived at: <>


In general, follow the citation guidelines for printed publications. If the item is from an encyclopaedia or general database, give details of the publisher of the CD-ROM and the edition.

ANON (1991) ‘Roses, Wars of the’, Compton’s multimedia encyclopedia, Compton’s Learning Company (Windows edition CD-ROM).

To refer to an article from a CD-ROM holding references from one publication, such as a newspaper, cite following the conventions for the printed source followed by (‘CD-ROM’).

PHILLIPS, M. (1991) ‘A one way ticket to Kinshasha’, Guardian, 17 May 1991 (CD-ROM).

If a CD-ROM holds references from many different journals, give the title of the CD-ROM followed by the unique identity of the reference, e.g. (Abstract from ABI/Inform CD-ROM, Item no. 89-4/770).

Video recordings

Provide details of the author or producer, title, format, publisher and date of broadcast.

ROBINSON, M. (1998) When good men do nothing (video recording), BBC 1, Panorama, 7 December 1998.