Style Guide and Instructions for Authors

Download Style Guide and Instructions for Authors

1. Journal Aims

The National Security Journal is a journal of the Centre of Defence and Security Studies, Massey University (Albany, Palmerston North and Wellington, New Zealand). NSJ takes a broad-based, multi-disciplinary approach to national security and seeks to publish high quality contributions from academics and practitioners across the public, private, and academic domains.  All academic contributions will be peer reviewed, and NSJ reserves the right peer review practitioner or specialist contributions as appropriate.

NSJ objectives are to:

  • provide a platform for the dissemination of high quality academic and professional research on current and emerging national security topics relating, but not limited, to New Zealand
  • foster research interaction between academic and professional communities on national security issues
  • encourage dissemination of international perspectives and practices on national security
  • through occasional special issues publish focused research projects on various aspects of national security.

The NSJ welcomes academics and practitioners to submit an article, book review or conference report relating to the national security of New Zealand, Australia, South Pacific, Asia-Pacific and other associated global challenges which impact on these areas.

2. Types of submissions accepted

There are no submission fees, publication fees or page charges for this journal.

  • policy briefs (2,500 – 3,000 words)
  • practitioner insights (2,500 – 3,000 words)
  • research articles (6 – 8,000 words)
  • book reviews (800 – 1,200 words)
  • review articles of three recently published related books (2,500 – 3,000 words).

3. Manuscript preparation

  • policy briefs (executive summary; keywords; problem statement; analysis; findings; recommendations)
  • practitioner insights (introduction; main text; conclusion)
  • research article (abstract; keywords; introduction; materials and methods; main text, conclusion; word count; ORCID ID; acknowledgments; declaration of interest statement; references; appendices (as appropriate); table(s) with caption(s) (on individual pages); figures; figure captions (as a list)
  • book reviews (title; main text)
  • review articles (titles; introduction; main text; conclusion; ORCID ID)

Responses and rebuttals to articles published in National Security Journal are welcomed by the editorial team. This will be limited to one direct response to an article published in NSJ, and the author(s) of the initial article will be given one opportunity to submit a direct rebuttal. Rejoinders should be 3,000-4,000 words and be subject to editorial review, including external peer-review.

4. Manuscript Style and Content

Title at the top of page 1. Author name, professional affiliation and contact email details should provided in a footnote (footnote 1) at end of the authors name.

John Battersby

Content of the footnote example:
Dr John Battersby is a Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University, Wellington. Contact by email

The manuscript should be submitted in MS Word for Windows. The text in the manuscript should be left justified, with an ample left margin. Line spacing should be set to 1.5 or double. Please include a word count.

The abstract should be 150–200 words. The abstract is an important part of the article. It is intended for use as an instrument for selection, and upon publication attracts readers, and search engines, to the full text. It should summarize the actual content of the article, rather than merely relate the subject the article deals with. It is useful to strategically include the most important keywords in the text of the abstract. The abstract is included in the final word count of articles and review articles.

All regular articles should have five–six keywords that adequately reflect their content. Keywords are meant for cataloguing and should therefore be as general as possible to make the articles easily searchable online. It is worth including at least one keyword or key phrase that describes the broad discipline within which the article sits, e.g. ‘sociology’ or ‘critical security studies’.

The main objective of an academic journal is to communicate clearly with an international audience. Elegance in style is a secondary aim. The basic criterion should be clarity of expression.

All sections of the article (including the beginning) should have principal headings. Regular articles can include up to three levels of headings. The author should ensure that the heading hierarchy is clear, consistent and logical. If two or three levels are used, they must be clearly differentiated. For example:         

Main heading

Text.Text.Text.Text. Text.Text.Text.Text


Text.Text.Text.Text. Text.Text.text.Text

Sub-subheading. Text.Text text.Text, text.
Text.text.Text. Text.Text text.Text, text.

Where quotes are used “in less than three lines,”  speech marks are to be used as they have been here, with commas, full-stops etc inside the marks, and the endnote number outside the quotes. Where a quote is used of four lines or more in length, speech marks are not to be used, the quote fully indented, with 1 line spacing as below:

Amid this context, the involvement of the US, along with its ANZUS allies, in the Vietnam War, prompted widespread public protest in all three countries, eventually culminating in incidents of deliberate violence.  In 1969 four men, despite a clumsy set of preparations, succeeded in detonating a gelignite bomb at the Waitangi Flagstaff.

Notes will appear as endnotes in the journal. Authors are requested to use Chicago style endnote references. No bibliography is required beyond the endnotes.

Books (authored)
Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, (New York, Columbia University Press, 2006), pp.18-19. Books (edited)
William Hoverd, Nick Nelson and Carl Bradley, eds. New Zealand National Security: Challenges, Trends and Issues, (Auckland: Massey University Press, 2017).

Book (chapters)
William Hoverd, “Introduction” in New Zealand National Security: Challenges, Trends and Issues. William Hoverd, Nick Nelson, & Carl Bradley, eds. (Auckland: Massey University Press, 2017), pp. 19 – 59.

For citing older articles without DOI
B.K. Greener-Barcham, “Before September: A History of Counter-Terrorism in New Zealand,” Australian Journal of Political Science, 37(3) (2002), p.511.

For articles with DOI
John Battersby & Rhys Ball, “Christchurch in the context of New Zealand Terrorism and Right Wing Extremism,” Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 14:3 (2019), p12., DOI:10.1080/18335330.2019.1662077.

Subsequent reference same author
Refer to author and page, if the same author of multiple publications, include the title – either Greener-Barcham, p.512.
Or Greener-Barcham, “Before September,” p.512.

Media content
Reference by title only, not the author. If available on-line, list the link.
“An anarchist with a death wish,” 23 November 2015, Radio New Zealand. Available at

If using archival media with no online link state the archival institution, full title of institution on first use and abbreviation for subsequent uses:
“Guards join jets to prevent nuclear protest skyjack,” 28 June 1972, The Dominion. National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ).

A subsequent use of the source, title and date only.
“An anarchist with a death wish,” 23 November 2015.

Archival Sources
Use title of document and date, archival reference, archive institution – full title for first use “Ananda Marga in New Zealand,” 9 August 1979, NZSIS 26/6/17, folio 965, Archives NZ, Wellington (ANZ).

If Official Information Act (OIA) or other freedom of Information release, OIA source, give date of OIA release.

“Ananda Marga in New Zealand,” 9 August 1979, NZSIS 26/6/17, folio 965, OIA release to the author 3 May 2018.

On-Line sources
Follow same format as media above “Arsons, marches and petitions: the abortion debate in 1970s New Zealand,” 13 November 2015. Available at

“Waihopai Damages Action Dropped,”, 5 February 2014. Available at http://www.stuff.

Acknowledgements and credits to funding agencies should not be given in a note but rather appear in separate paragraphs at the end of the main text.

Notes to tables/figures must not be incorporated into the main notes section but placed immediately below the relevant table or figure. The note should not be preceded by the word ‘Note’.

As far as possible, each table/figure should be self-explanatory. The table/figure heading will appear below the table. The table/figure heading should be brief, but additional explanatory material may be added as a note. Each table/figure should also contain a full reference to the source(s) used. The source reference should appear below the table/figure and in the reference section of the manuscript, not in the ‘Notes’ section.

Authors should indicate where the table/figure is to appear in their manuscript by adding a text indicator; this should be inserted after the paragraph where the table/figure is first mentioned, in the following manner:


Table I in here

We cannot guarantee that a table will be printed exactly where indicated in the manuscript. Maps and graphs may be inserted in articles, provided they can be supplied in a suitable format and resolution and, if necessary, with permission to reprint. We require authors to disclose information on any specific funding that supports the article, including names of funders and, where applicable, grant numbers. Please supply all details required by your funding and grant-awarding bodies.

4. Submission process

Articles should be submitted to the Managing Editor, National Security Journal using This mailbox is monitored weekly and receipt of any communication should be acknowledged within 7 days. Following submission the following outcomes may occur:

  • desk rejection or acceptance (screening to ensure that it falls with the scope of the journal’s aims, adheres to the expected submission type, format and quality, verification of original content). Desk rejections are processed within days of submission.
  • editorial appraisal (each month)
  • double blind peer review
  • decisions: accept with no or minor changes; revise and resubmit; reject

Manuscripts are accepted for review on the understanding that their content is original and that the manuscript has not been accepted for review or publication elsewhere. By submitting your paper to NSJ you are agreeing to originality checks during the peer-review and production processes.

All correspondence between the editorial office, authors and reviewers is considered private and confidential. We aim to complete the external peer-review process and make a decision on a submission within 12 weeks.

Accepted manuscript will be sent to relevant outside experts and scholars for a double anonymous peer review. The double-blind peer-review process in which the reviewers’ names are withheld from the author, and the authors’ names are withheld from the reviewers.

It is the author’s responsibility to remove first-person references and other clues elsewhere in the article that may reveal the author’s identity.  Articles be anonymized by referring to previous publications by the authors in the third person. This option is particularly important where the absence of reference to authors’ previous publications would be suggestive of the authors’ identities. An in-text reference to the author in ‘third-person’ may appear as follows:

As _author name_ (2007) has previously argued, …

The author’s work may then be listed in the bibliography in alphabetical order like all other entries.

The reviewers’ comments will be anonymized before being sent to the author.

A revised submission should contain:

a) The actual manuscript with footnotes and a list of references, but without any details revealing the name(s) of the author(s).
b) A memo outlining the changes made and how the reviewers’ points have been met – or, if disregarded, why.
c) A Track Changes version of the manuscript clearly showing what changes have been made to the previous version, and where.
d) And, if applicable: Revised versions of: the author biographical statement(s); keywords; name(s) of the author(s) and affiliation(s); tables and figures.

The following guidelines should be adhered to closely for revised manuscripts. Resubmissions that are likely to require undue editorial attention because of neglect of these instructions or poor presentation or language may be suspended from further consideration. All new items are published on a space available basis and decisions made on publication are the discretion of the editors of NSJ.

5. Publication process

  • proofs
  • copyright

You must obtain the necessary permission to reuse third-party material in your article. The use of short extracts of text and some other types of material is usually permitted, on a limited basis, for the purposes of criticism and review without securing formal permission. If you wish to include any material in your paper for which you do not hold copyright, and which is not covered by this informal agreement, you will need to obtain written permission from the copyright owner prior to submission.

The responsibility for respecting copyright in the quotations of a published article rests with the author(s). It is not necessary to obtain permission for a brief quote from a work in the social sciences. However, with a long quote, a figure or a table, written permission must be obtained. Due references to the original source must always be provided. The author must consult the original source to determine whether the copyright is held by the author, the journal or the publisher, and should seek the permission of the appropriate person or institution. In the event that reprinting requires a fee, written confirmation that the author is prepared to cover those expenses must be furnished. When publishing an article in NSJ, authors retain copyright of their work, but agree to publish under an exclusive licence with NSJ and the publisher. Authors retain the right to reuse the material in other publications written or edited by themselves and due to be published at least one year after initial publication in NSJ.

Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication will be expected to provide some additional material to aid our digital efforts to draw attention to the published article in social media.