Formatting instructions

Formatting and style

For general questions of style, grammar, punctuation, referencing, bibliographies and general formatting, the journal adheres to New Hart's Rules (Amazon; 2005 ed. at  You may also refer to the MHRA Style Guide because it is free and convenient.


Sanskrit and other non-English words should be italicized.  Words of Indian origin like yoga and karma that now appear in standard English dictionaries should not be italicized when used as English words (e.g., "yogam kuryāt means 'he should do yoga'").  The IAST transliteration scheme must be used. Use capital letters for proper names etc., as described in the MHRA Style Guide; do not use capital letters to indicate importance or emphasis ("he achieved samādhi" not "Samādhi,"  "Samadhi" or "Samādhi").

While single words may be cited in Latin transliteration, cited text passages should use the script of their original languages, for example, Chinese, Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic, Kannada and Devanagari.  All input must be in Unicode.


HSSA does not fetishize footnotes, referencing and bibliography.  Whichever system you use, please apply it accurately and consistently. Look at past issues of HSSA to see common usage.

HSSA prefers the “Harvard/Chicago” or “author-date (click tab)” style,  This is described in the MHRA Style Guide in section 11.4.  HSSA will also accept the “Oxford referencing style” described in sections 11.2-3, of the MHRA Style Guide. The Chicago Manual of Style calls this the “notes and bibliography” style.  Full bibliographical details are given in a footnote when the item is first referred to, and later notes contain a shortened form. There is no bibliography at the end of the article. 

In any case, your bibliography will be (re)formatted to HSSA standards during typesetting.

You are strongly encouraged to use one of the many excellent bibliography management and referencing software tools that are available today, such as Zotero, EndNote, JabRef, Mendeley or Reference Manager. A useful guide and comparison chart is available at Wikipedia. These tools greatly assist you with accuracy and consistency, as well as saving much time in journal production  If you do use one of these programs, please submit your bibliography items in the export format of your program, such as BibTeX, RIS, JSON, etc.  If you can do this, then HSSA editors will take care of the details of note and bibliography formatting.

Important: all article references in the bibliography should include a DOI, if one exists.  You can fetch this from

Text references

Specialist editions of Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Tamil, Latin, or other texts may not be readily available to readers. Therefore, citations from original texts should be given in full, together with a translation in English. HSSA recommends the following format:

In this example, the footnote begins with the chapter and verse numbers of the text, and is followed in parentheses by the specific edition and page number from which the citation is copied. After that comes the Sanskrit text, which could be in Devanāgarī, and finally the English translation. Other formats are acceptable as long as the above four components are present: canonical text location, printed edition location, text in original language, English translation.