...for displaced people everywhere

Reviewer & Author Guidelines

Reviewers and Authors are vital to the existence and progress of the Journal of Internal Displacement (The  JID). This page provides general guidelines for authors and reviewers.

Why Publish in the JID?

We understand that it is a difficult process to choose where to publish your work. Before you navigate away from The  JID, here are eleven (11) solid reasons why it is worthwhile to publish with The JID:

  • The JID is the ONLY academic journal fully dedicated to displaced populations globally.

  • The JID is a free open access online journal. As such, our dissemination is vast and wide including diverse institutions, expertise and disciplines.

  • Our review process is quick and professional. We will guarantee review in 10-12 weeks.

  • When you submit your manuscript, your cover letter and abstract mandate us to respond within 24-48 hours letting you know whether your submission fits within the scope of the Journal and if the full paper is accepted for review.

  • Since we are primarily an online publication, we do not wait for space availability to publish your manuscript. Submissions are published twice per year (in July and January).

  • Unlike other journals we do not just “reject” your paper. We provide rich author-friendly feedback to ALL AUTHORS to help them revise their paper to be included in future publication.

  • Your research is very important to The JID. As the only journal of displacement, the impact of your research work is invaluable as it has the potential of revealing groundbreaking information to the field of displacement.

  • Is English not your first language? Well, The JID is sensitive to that. We do accept papers written in French and Spanish.

  • We respect the privacy of all of our subscribers and members. Apart from sending out Table of Contents every July and January, we DO NOT send out weekly, monthly or yearly newsletter. However we do receive hundreds of hits on a daily basis.
  • We pay particularly attention to and provide support for authors from the Global South.
  • We DO NOT charge fees for submissions.

Open Access License

Authors retain copyright and grant the Journal the right of first publication with the work six (6) weeks after publication. Simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work’s authorship and initial publication in The JID.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of The JID's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.

Download JID Open Access License 

License to Publish

Although authors (or their institutions) retain copyright in their work, they are required to complete and sign a License to Publish that clearly specifies the rights required by The JID and those rights that are retained by authors or their institutions. View the License to Publish.

Authors submitting material to The JID for publication must clear all third party intellectual property rights and obtain formal permission from their respective institutions, where necessary. Authors must also warrant that their work:

  • Has not been published before
  • Is not presently being considered for publication elsewhere
  • Does not violate any intellectual property right of any person or entity
  • Does not contain any subject matter that contravenes any laws (including defamatory material and misleading and deceptive material) and
  • Meets ethical research standards.

A scanned copy of the License to Publish should be emailed to internaldisplacement [at] gmail [dot] com with the final manuscript or returned.

Download JID License to Publish 

Peer-Review Process

The JID) is a peer-review Journal as such submissions are double-blinded and subject to an internal and external review process. The peer-review process ensures that articles submitted represent the best scholarship currently available. When an article is submitted to The JID, the Editor-in-Chief sends it out to a minimum of 2 other scholars in the same field (the author's peers) to get their opinion on the quality of the scholarship, its relevance to the field, its appropriateness for the journal, and whether its critical analysis in rigorous enough to warrant acceptance for publication). Based on peer-reviewers' recommendation the paper is either: 1) accepted; 2) accepted with conditions; or 3) rejected. After all pre-publication conditions have been met; submissions are forwarded to the editorial board for final comments, recommendation and approval based on evidences gathered. Note peer-review may take up to Twelve (12) weeks.

Reviewer Guidelines

As a reviewer of The  JID you will be advising the editors, who make the final decision (we will let you know the final decision). Your signed report will be passed on to author(s); so, please do not make any comments that you do not wish the author to see. Even when we do not accept an article we would like to pass on constructive comments that might help the author to improve their work. 

The Role of the Peer-Reviewer

As a peer-reviewer you are tasked with exercising critical and constructive judgment when reviewing contents of the manuscript. You help determine whether the manuscript is appropriate for The JID. You decide whether the topic is handled substantively and accurately, with appropriate scope and in sufficient detail. Your queries, constructive comments, and suggestions are meant both to challenge the author to improve the text where necessary and to guide the author in presenting the material as clearly and concisely as possible. The ultimate goal is to contribute towards producing an article that would be of practical benefit to the readers of The JID. The following are some key qualities of a good reviewer:

  • Maintaining unbiased critical appraisal of the material in a paper.
  • Providing professional comments and keeping courteous in tone to the author(s)
  • Familiarizing oneself with the Author’s Guidelines; and
  • Being ethically responsible by not making use of material under your review prior to publication.

How to be a Reviewer of The JID

In order to be accepted as a reviewer for The JID, you will need to register with the Editorial team by contacting internaldisplacement [at] gmail [dot] com. When reviewing an article, you should follow our policy and guidelines set out in this document.

Author Guidelines

Preparing the Manuscript  

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

Cover Letter

A cover letter in the form of an e-mail or attached to the first page of the article should accompany the manuscript and include the following: 

  • The title of the article
  • A 250-word summary of the significance of the findings and how these findings relate to The JID's mission and scope;
  • Certification that the work submitted is not been published elsewhere in any form and is not being submitted simultaneously to another journal;
  • Declare any conflicts of interest;
  • Brief bio of each author; and
  • Detailed explanations of how investigators and authors have considered and justified the ethical and moral basis of their work (where required).

The Manuscript 

Title (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.

Abstract/Summary (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.

Body of the Paper (Times New Roman 12)

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

  1. 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);
  2. 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;
  3. Second subheadings begin at the left margin, the first letter of all important words (or proper noun) is capitalized, and the headings are italicized;
  4. 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;
  5. Footnotes (Times New Roman 9) are left aligned, single space and in number sequence;
  6. 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; and
  7. 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; and
  • 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.; and
  • 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; and
  • 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 < 0.10; p < 0.05; p < 0.01; p < 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; and
  • 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 aims 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 in the JID 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’s policy 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 are 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. JID minimum page for full article acceptance is 12-15 pages, single space.


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?

How to Submit?
All submissions to the JID is done electronically. As a general practice, JID does not accept unsolicited submissions. Kindly submit your articles to internaldisplacement [at] gmail [dot] com.