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As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • Manuscripts based on empirical research with human participants must submit an ethics approval.
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • Authors are strongly encouraged to use APA, MLA, Harvard and Chicago for in-text citation.

Preparing the Manuscript

IMPORTANT: please read carefully. Manuscripts that DO NOT conform to the Guidelines will NOT be reviewed.

The Manuscript


(50 Character, Times New Roman 14)

  • All manuscript should have a title appearing on the first page. The title should be in boldface and the first letter of each word is capitalized except for short articles and prepositions.

Names and Affiliations

(Times New Roman 11)

  • Names of authors should appear under the title in upper and lowercase (space between initials) in boldface, followed by their institutional affiliations with symbol footnotes (*, ?, ?, §, #, ||, and ¶) and addresses. The e-mail address of the corresponding author should appear directly below the affiliation lines using a numeric footnote.


(Times New Roman 12)

  • Publication should include a short abstract (no more than 250 words) that summarizes the main argument of the submission. Summaries should state the key objectives, materials and methods, results, conclusions, and applications as concisely as possible. The summary should be intelligible without detailed reference to the manuscript.


List up to eight keywords or phrases that would help readers search and find your article. For example, Internal displacements, internally displaced persons, development-induced displacement, climate-change displacement.

Body of the Paper

(Times New Roman 12)

  • Use three classes of headings within the text of the manuscript.


  • Major headings (Times New Roman 12) are left aligned, and boldface e.g. Abstract, Introduction, Design and Methods, Results/Findings, Discussion (or Results and Discussion), Conclusions (heading optional, but statement of conclusions is mandatory), Acknowledgements (optional), References, and Appendix (optional);
  • First subheadings begin at the left margin, the first letter of all important words (or proper noun) are capitalized, and the headings are in boldface;
  • Second subheadings begin at the left margin, the first letter of all important words (or proper noun) is capitalized, and the headings are italicized;
  • Third subheadings begin the first line of a paragraph. They are italicized, and boldfaced, and followed by a semi colon. Only the first word is capitalized.
  • Footnotes (Times New Roman 9) are left aligned, single space and in number sequence.
  • All direct quotations (Times New Roman 12) less than three lines should be in inverted commas and referenced. Those more than three lines (Times New Roman 10) are indented 1.27 cm on both sides.
  • All listings, whether numbers or bullet points (Times New Roman 10) are indented 1.27 cm on both sides.

Page Layout and Punctuation

  • Paper size: standard, 8.5 x 11 inches (US) or 21 cm x 29.7 cm (A4);
  • Margins: top 2.54 cm (or 1 inch) around
  • Justification: full;
  • Line spacing: single;
  • First line of paragraph: indented 5 spaces;
  • Leave only one letter space after a full stop at the end of a sentence;
  • Avoid overuse of commas;
  • Do not hyphenate compound nouns when the sense is clear, e.g. troubleshoot
  • Punctuate lists in the same way as sentences, unless entries are very short. When entries are more complex, use initial lower-case letters and end each with a semi-colon, except for the final entry which ends with a full stop.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

  • These should always be defined in full the first time they are used, e.g. Development induced displacement, DED.
  • Note that most acronyms do not have full stops, e.g. DED not D.E.D.
  • Do not abbreviate the names of countries within the text e.g. Republic of South Africa not RSA.

Numbers and Units

  • Numbers from one to ten inclusive are always written in the text as words, and numbers 11 and upwards are written as numerals. Exceptions to this are (a) where a number begins a sentence, and (b) where a number accompanies a unit, e.g. 5 kg.;
  • Use spaces, not full stops or commas to denote thousands, millions etc., e.g. 10 000. Note US$5 000;
  • Write fractions in words rather than numbers: e.g. one-third;
  • Use Système Internationale (SI) units (metres, kilograms, tonnes, hectares etc.);
  • Do not use punctuation or letter spacing in such measurements as cm or mm. However, there should always be a space between the number and the unit, e.g. 3 cm.;
  • Use percent not per cent. The use of % is acceptable in tables and graphs with no space between the number and the symbol.


  • Figures should be pasted in the word document as Microsoft Excel chart objects. Do not repeat material already included in Design and Methods or in tables. However, verify that each figure is independently comprehensible without reference to the text, to other figures, or to tables. Figure format and style should be consistent across figures.


  • Tables should be prepared using the Table function in Word. When used, tables should be self-explanatory and may be a most effective way to organize extensive data;
  • Place table number and title on the same line above the table. Note that the table title (unless a complete sentence) does not end with a period;
  • Do not use vertical lines and few horizontal lines within the table. Do not use boldface or italics in the table body;
  • Footnotes to tables should be numerals. Superscript letters should be used for statistical analyses within the body of the table. Each footnote should begin a new line. Probability may be indicated thus: p &lt 0.10; p &lt 0.05; p &lt0.01; p &lt 0.001.


  • All in text pictures/images should be labeled and inserted in JPEG/JPG format. Authors are advised to also email images in separate file when submitted.


  • Both American and British spellings are accepted as long as they are consistent. Foreign and Latin words should be italicized. Abbreviations can be used provided they are explained in the beginning of the paper. Use ?and? rather than ?&?. Dates must be written as such 1950s.


  • Authors are strongly encouraged to use APA, MLA, Harvard and Chicago for in-text citation;
  • List only pertinent references. No more than three references should be needed to support a specific concept, theory, or argument;
  • References should be listed in alphabetical order by the last name of the first author;
  • All references must include: name of author(s), year of publication, title, place of publication and publisher (for books), journal title, volume and pages (for articles);
  • Where there are more than three authors in the reference list, abbreviate to et al. in the text (but not in the bibliography), i.e. the names of all authors of a work should be given in the bibliography;
  • When an author has written more than one work in the same year, use a, b, etc. to differentiate, e.g. 2000a, 2000b;
  • Entries by the same author/s should be listed in ascending chronological order;
  • In the case of a corporate author (e.g. UN, WHO, IDMC, UNHCR), it is not necessary to repeat the name of the organization as publisher. However, if the corporate author is not well known or defined in the text, the full name may be given after the place of publication;
  • Titles of books, journals and periodicals are italicized (do not use inverted commas). Titles of articles and chapters within these are not italicized.
  • Do not abbreviate titles of journals.
  • Click for more information on non-legal reference and legal reference

Personal communications

  • A personal communication must be substantiated by a letter from the source, indicating that the communication is correct, original, and recent, and that the source is willing to be cited.

Ethical Approval/Approval of Research

All articles published in The JID aim to follow morally acceptable standards set forth in the World Medical Association's Declaration of Helsinki and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). To achieve this, The JID promotes research integrity by accepting and publishing manuscripts that include intellectual honesty, accuracy, fairness, intellectual property, and protection of human and animal subjects involved in the conduct of research.  Responsibilities for research integrity are shared by individual researchers and the institutions.

All proposed research with human participants should consider ethical clearance at both the application and implementation stages.  Ethical clearance for involvement of human subjects in your research should be sought prior to any research work being undertaken, including pilot studies, focus groups or other. Collaborative research projects involving other researching institutions will often require the ethical approval of all participating institutions, and can be quite time consuming.

The JID aims to ensure that all articles published report on work that is morally acceptable, and expects authors to follow the World Medical Association's Declaration of Helsinki. To achieve this, we aim to appraise the ethical aspects of any submitted work that involves human participants, whatever descriptive label is given to that work including research, audit, and sometimes debate. This policy also applies on the very rare occasions that we publish work done with animal participants.

Many people consider that studies referred to as audit do not need any consideration of ethics, whereas all research must be approved by a formally constituted research ethics committee or, in the USA and elsewhere, an institutional review board. But the distinction between audit and research is unclear, and the assumption that audit or analysing previously collected data is never unethical may not be justified. Furthermore, review by an ethics committee cannot necessarily guarantee that work is morally sound.

For these reasons journals have a duty to consider the ethical aspects of both submitted and published work. The JID’spolicy on these issues has been developed with the help and advice of the JID’s Advisory Board and its key elements are explained here. However, editorial appraisal of a study’s ethics is not always easy because the standard format for presenting original papers does not emphasise the reporting of ethical aspects of research.

We require every research article submitted to The JID to include a statement that the study obtained ethics approval (or a statement that it was not required), including the name of the ethics committee(s) or institutional review board(s), the number/ID of the approval(s), and a statement that participants gave informed consent before taking part.

In addition, we welcome detailed explanations of how investigators and authors have considered and justified the ethical and moral basis of their work. If such detail does not easily fit into the manuscript, please provide it in the covering letter or upload it as a supplemental file when submitting the article. We will also be pleased to see copies of explanatory information given to participants. Even if we do not include such detailed information in a final published version, we may make it available to peer reviewers and editorial committees. We already ask peer reviewers to consider and comment on the ethics of submitted work.

Editorial appraisal of ethical issues goes beyond simply deciding whether participants in a study gave informed consent although this is, of course, one very important issue to consider. Editors should judge whether the overall design and conduct of each piece of work is morally justifiable, as summed up by the following questions:

  • How much does this deviate from current normal (accepted, local) research practice?
  • What is the (additional) burden imposed on the research participants (or others)?
  • What (additional) risks are posed to the research participants (or others)?
  • What benefit might accrue to the research participants (or others)?
  • What are the potential benefits to society (future research participants)?

Even when a study has been approved by a research ethics committee or institutional review board, editors may be worried about the ethics of the work. Editors may then ask authors for more detailed information and ask them how they justified the ethical and moral basis of the work. Editors may also ask authors to provide the contact details of the research ethics committee that reviewed the work, so that The JID can request further information and justification from that committee. For studies that have not been reviewed by research ethics committees or institutional review boards editors may ask authors to explain what ethical issues they considered and how they justified their work.

Editors may ask other editorial colleagues to evaluate the ethical aspects of an article, the authors’ comments, and the response of the relevant research ethics committee to The JID’s queries about ethics approval. This consultation may be informal, between The JID’s editors, or more formal, through seeking the advice of The JID’s Advisory Board or the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Problems referred to COPE or The JID’s Advisory Board will be considered as anonymised summaries of the relevant articles, written by the editors concerned.

What happens when The JID considers a study to be unethical? We believe that editors have a duty to take on issues of unethical audit or research, not to seek punishment for the authors, but to prevent unethical practice and to protect patients. If The JID, with or without the advice of its ethics committee and/or COPE, considers the work in a submitted article to be ethically unsound the editor may seek further advice or recommend investigation or action. The fact that the article would have been rejected anyway for other scientific or editorial reasons would not prevent the editor from taking such further action on serious ethics problems.

In the first instance, the editor would usually contact the head of the department where the work was done to explain The JID’s concerns and recommend a local investigation. Secondly, the editor might write to the professional registration body of the paper’s guarantor or principal investigator.

In rare instances, The JID might publish an article despite ethics problems in the work it reported. The usual reason would be that work done in one setting might not reach the ethical standard of work done in another setting, because of differing local resources and standards for research with human participants. In deciding to publish such an article, we would consider carefully the context of the study and aim to balance the overall benefit to society against the possible harm to the research participants.

Manuscript Word Limit

  • Authors are required to submit full, complete and original article that is no more than 7,000 words long (24 pages or 35,000 character), single space, Times New Roman, 12-point font size, 1-inch margins around, excluding references. JID minimum page for full article acceptance is 12-15 pages, single space, excluding references.


  • The primary language of the JID is English. However, submissions are accepted and published in French and Spanish.

Assessment of the Manuscript

JID is very selective and particular about its publications. Several factors come into play when assessing articles submitted to JID. However, here are few points to examine when attempting to submit a paper to JID:

  1. Does the author has something interesting to say that is relevant to the Journal of Internal Displacement?
  2. Is the research question clear and well justified?
  3. Is the technical approach, coherent, logical, rational and rigorous?
  4. Are the research findings clear, succinct and statistically thorough?
  5. Does the discussion flow logically from the title, introduction, methodology, results, and conclusion/recommendation?
  6. How efficient is the composition? Is the prose clear, precise and grammatically correct?