Formatting and Style

1. For general questions of style, grammar, punctuation, referencing, bibliographies and general formatting, the journal adheres to New Hart's Rules: The Oxford Style Guide (Amazon; 2005 ed. at  This is supported by the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors (2014 revision) and New Oxford Spelling Dictionary  (2014 revision).

Language and script

2. 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.; do not use capital letters to indicate importance or emphasis ("he achieved samādhi" not "Samādhi,"  "Samadhi" or "Samādhi").

3. Use English throughout.  Do not use Sanskrit words in English sentences if the Sanskrit word is not in an English dictionary.  Add the Sanskrit word in parentheses after the English only if it is essential to understanding or clarity, but not otherwise.  Thus, not "... their details will be stated fully in the section on cikitsā" but "... their details will be stated fully in the section on therapy."  On the other hand, "a medical compound (yoga)," because that use of the word yoga may be unfamilar to many English readers.

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


5. 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.

6. Having said that, HSSA slightly prefers the “Harvard/Chicago” or “author-date (click tab)” style,  This is described in the section 1`7.3 of New Hart's Rules.  HSSA will also accept the “Oxford referencing style” described in sections 17.2.5 of New Hart's Rules. 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. In this style, there is usually no bibliography at the end of the article. 

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

8. You are strongly encouraged to use one of the many excellent bibliography management and referencing software tools that are available today, such as Zotero or JabRef. 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. 

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

Text references

10. 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:

11. 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.