To download these guidelines as a PDF please click here

Please click here to download the Unicaf Online Journal Paper template as a Word document 


Language style

Unicaf accepts manuscripts written in British English language.


Article Types

All article types are peer reviewed. Please pay attention to the length of each type.

Research Article

Research articles - often referred to as primary or empirical sources - report original research offering new knowledge on a topic based on direct or indirect observation and research. These include quantitative or qualitative data and analysis. Also, they typically include sections such as: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. The length of Research articles is a maximum of 5,000 words (± 500 words). 

Systematic Review Article

Systematic Review articles report a methodical and thorough literature review focused on a particular research question.  Their aim is to identify and synthesize all scholarly research on a particular topic in an unbiased, reproducible way to provide evidence for practice and policy-making. This type of article may involve a meta-analysis (see below). The length of Systematic Review articles is a maximum of 5,000 words (± 500 words). 

Meta-analysis Article

Meta-analysis articles involve research studies that aim to combine or contrast data from different independent studies, and synthesize or merge their findings into a new analysis, using systematic methods, in order to strengthen the understanding of a particular topic. The length of Meta-analysis articles is a maximum of 5,000 words (± 500 words). 

Review Article (or literature review)

Review articles, often referred to as literature review articles, synthesize a report about an existing research and are based on research already conducted in primary sources and not only. They generally summarize the current state of research on a particular topic, without necessarily capturing all research on the topic - which is what systematic review articles aim to do. The length of Review articles is a maximum of 3,000 words (± 500 words). 

Commentary Article

Commentary articles are short, with maximum length of 1,500 words (± 500 words), and seek to provide a critical or alternative viewpoint on a key contemporary issue or an insight into an important development that is of interest to a large number of scientists. These narrowly focused articles are usually commissioned by the journal.



Please submit your manuscript in Word format, using our Unicaf Word Template. 


Manuscript Length

The manuscript length varies depending on the type of article (see paragraph 1), and includes the main body of the text, footnotes, and all in-text citations. The word limit for all types of articles excludes the abstract, titles, figure and table captions, acknowledgements and references. Please indicate the number of words, and the number of figures and tables included in your manuscript, on the first page. 


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

For maximizing your article’s discoverability, we recommend the following:

  • include a number of your article's keywords in the title of the article
  • do not use long article titles
  • use the maximum number of keywords in the first 2 sentences of the abstract
  • use some of the keywords in section titles (level 1 headings)


Title Page Information


The title should be concise, reflecting (if possible) the conclusion of your manuscript. The running title should be a shorter version of your manuscript’s title, not exceeding 5 words.      

Author names and affiliations

The full name of the authors should be stated on the front page. Also, updated authors' affiliation full postal addresses (where the actual work was done) and, if available, the e-mail address of each author, should be indicated below the names, using a lower-case superscript letter, immediately after the author's name. In the case that you need more details on how to describe your affiliation with Unicaf, please refer to the ‘Unicaf University/Federal Affiliation Guidelines’ 

Corresponding author

The corresponding author who will be responsible to handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication, should be clearly stated on the front page. For this, use an asterisk, immediately after the lower-case superscript letter. The updated telephone number (with country and area code) should be provided below the name, in addition to the updated email address and the full postal address. 



The manuscript should include an abstract. The length of the abstract should be between 250 and 300 words (excluding the references). 



The abstract should be followed by minimum 5 and maximum 8 keywords.


Short biography

A short biography of 5 to 6 lines should also be provided in order to introduce the author(s) to the readers.



The entire manuscript, including headings, captions of tables and figures, should have the following formatting: 

  • be in Word format
  • use Times New Roman or Arial font style
  • 12-point font size
  • double-spacing with 0 point spacing before and after each line

For templates, please refer to the ‘Unicaf Word Template’.


Text Margins

A specific text layout should be adapted based on the following margin requirements:

Paper size: A4;
Top and bottom margins: 1 inch / 2.5 cm;
Left and right margins: 1 inch / 2.5 cm;
Paragraph indentation (first line): 0,5 inch / 1.27 cm.


Page header

A running heading of maximum 5 words starting at the top-left corner of the page (12 font size) must be provided; and a page number at the top-right corner of the page (12 font size).



The manuscript may be organized in sections, using headings and subheadings. You may use up to 5 heading levels to organize your manuscript. Heading level 1 is used for the main sections like ‘Methods’, ‘Results’, ‘Discussion’. Heading level 2 is used for the subsections under level 1 and can include more levels (Heading 3-5).

All headings should be 12 font size and bold, while they should be distinctly different as follows: 

Heading 1: center aligned. Start a new paragraph below;
Heading 2: left aligned. Start a new paragraph below;
Heading 3: bold-italic style, left aligned, intended 0,5 inch / 1.27 cm. Start a new paragraph below;
Heading 4: intended 0,5 inch / 1.27 cm. Begin the text on the same line;
Heading 5: bold-italic style, intended 0,5 inch / 1.27 cm. Begin the text on the same line.


The manuscript may include acknowledgements of 5 to 6 lines to acknowledge individuals or organizations that contributed to the manuscript in any way. Here, the authors may also mention whether the manuscript appears elsewhere online (for example, in a thesis).


Images, Figures and Tables 

The authors who opt to include images, figures and tables are required to submit those individually and in the same order as they are referred to in the manuscript. Please ensure that each figure is numbered, described in captions underneath, mentioned in the text, and in numerical order. 



A figure number label (bold) and title /caption (italics, title case, under figure label) should be added above the figure (left corner). If needed, keep legends integrated into the figure. Complementary figure notes may be added below the figure to explain parts of it that are not clearly illustrated on the figure. 



The APA referencing style should be applied. Please refer to the ‘APA Referencing Guide (7th edition).


Publication ethics and malpractice

Prior to submitting, authors should make sure that the paper to be submitted to the Unicaf Online Journal meets academic publication standards. The preparation of manuscripts should be the original work of the author(s). It is obligatory that the author(s) maintain the publication ethics and practices of the Unicaf Online Journal, as well as respect and follow the Unicaf Online Journal review process.

A manuscript published with the Unicaf Online Journal must not be previously submitted or published with another journal. Importantly, author(s) must not submit their paper elsewhere, either online or in print, while it is considered for publication. Such action would be considered as unethical behavior and the journal will not consider the paper in the future in any circumstance.  



It is advisable to check for plagiarism before submitting, using any available software (such as ‘iThenticate’) subject to the author(s)’ personal use. Please ensure that you use draft versions of your manuscripts with this type of software. This is necessary as the final version of your manuscript will be reviewed by the committee responsible for the purpose of ensuring that plagiarism has not been committed. This takes place with the use of Turnitin, an internet-based plagiarism-detection service.    



Submissions are to be sent in Word format through the Unicaf form of submission including.  A submission must include:

the manuscript (word); 
any images/figures/tables used in individual documents (pdf).


Publication and Distribution

The Unicaf Online Journal aims to publish two issues per year, depending on the rate of article submissions, which are available online to all readers for free downloading. Once an issue has been published, the journal team will share it through various means to the general public.



All past published issues will be open-access documents and therefore available on the Unicaf Online Journal website to read and download.