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Author Guidelines

Manuscript Preparation

Regular articles are full-length original empirical investigations, consisting of introduction, materials and methods, results and discussion, conclusions.  Original work must provide references and an explanation on research findings that contain new and significant findings.

Generally, these are expected to be between 6 and 12 journal pages (excluding the abstract, references, tables and/or figures), a maximum of 80 references, and an abstract of 100–200 words.

Articles must be in English and they must be competently written and argued in clear and concise grammatical English.  Contributors are strongly advised to have the manuscript checked by a colleague with ample experience in writing English manuscripts or a competent English language editor.

Linguistically hopeless manuscripts will be rejected straightaway (e.g., when the language is so poor that one cannot be sure of what the authors really mean). This process, taken by authors before submission, will greatly facilitate reviewing, and thus publication if the content is acceptable.

Empirical research is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. 

Key characteristics to look for:

  • Specific research questions to be answered.
  • Definition of the population, behavior, or phenomena being studied.
  • Description of the process used to study this population or phenomena, including selection criteria, controls, and testing instruments (such as surveys).

Manuscript Format

The manuscript should be submitted in one column format with 4 cm margins and 1.5 spacing between lines. It is advisable for authors to use Times New Roman font style and 12-point in size.

1. Manuscript Structure

The manuscript should be composed in the following order:

Page 1: Running title.

This first page should only contain the running title, which the abbreviated version of your original title. The running title should not exceed 60 characters.

Page 2: Author(s) and corresponding author information.

The second page consists of the full title of the manuscript, which should not exceed 15 words. Following the title are the author(s) information including full name, affiliation/institution and e-mail address. Please note that the corresponding author’s information should be put completely.

Page 3: Abstract

This page contains the full title of the manuscript followed by the abstract. Abstract should contain the aim of the study, research methods (data collection procedure, data analysis procedure) and research findings. Following the abstract, keywords should be provided in alphabetical order to describe the contents of the research. This page should not contain any authors’ information.

Page 4: Introduction

This page should begin with the Introduction of the manuscript, and then followed by the rest of the contents.

2. Text

The main content of the manuscript should be composed with the headings; Introduction, Literature Review, Materials and Methods, Results and Discussions, Conclusions, Acknowledgment (if any) and References.

a) Introduction

This should contain the background of study supported by citations taken from books, newspapers, journal articles, internet, etc. Introduction also explains the scope and objective of the study which are related to current knowledge and issues.

b) Literature Review

Literature review consists of a summary of key sources, usually has an organizational pattern and combines both summary and synthesis with specific conceptual categories. A summary is a recap of the important information of the source, but a synthesis is a re-organization, or a reshuffling, of that information in a way that informs how you are planning to investigate a research problem. The analytical features of a literature review might include to:

  • Give a new interpretation of old material or combine new with old interpretations,
  • Trace the intellectual progression of the field, including major debates,

Depending on the situation, evaluate the sources and advise the reader on the most pertinent or relevant research. Usually in the conclusion of a literature review, identify where gaps exist in how a problem has been researched to date.

c) Materials and Methods

Describe how the research is conducted by elaborating materials, participants, data collection procedure (e.g. sampling) and data analysis procedure.

d) Results and Discussions

Elaborate research results/findings along with the discussions. This generally contains the analysis on the collected data. The analysis may also be supported by equations, formulae, tables, figures and photograph, as well as any related citations from books, journal articles, newspaper, internet, etc.

Equations and Formulae 

These must be set up clearly and should be typed double spaced.  Numbers identifying equations should be in square brackets and placed on the right margin of the text.


All tables should be prepared in a form consistent with recent issues of IJOBEX and should be numbered consecutively with Roman numerals.  Explanatory material should be given in the table legends and footnotes.  Each table should be prepared on a new page, embedded in the manuscript.

When a manuscript is submitted for publication, tables must also be submitted separately as data - .doc, .rtf, Excel or PowerPoint files- because tables submitted as image data cannot be edited for publication and are usually in low-resolution.

Figures & Photographs

Submit an original figure or photograph.  Line drawings must be clear, with high black and white contrast.  Each figure or photograph should be prepared on a new page, embedded in the manuscript for reviewing to keep the file of the manuscript under 5 MB. These should be numbered consecutively with Roman numerals.

Figures or photographs must also be submitted separately as TIFF, JPEG, or Excel files- because figures or photographs submitted in low-resolution embedded in the manuscript cannot be accepted for publication. For electronic figures, create your figures using applications that are capable of preparing high resolution TIFF files. In general, we require 300 dpi or higher resolution for coloured and half-tone artwork, and 1200 dpi or higher for line drawings are required.

Failure to comply with these specifications will require new figures and delay in publication. 

NOTE: Illustrations may be produced in colour at no extra cost at the discretion of the Publisher; the author could be charged Malaysian Ringgit 50 for each colour page.

General rules on Figures and Tables

  • All Figures and Tables should be numbered sequentially (e.g. Table 1, Table 2 etc.) and cite each one in your writing as Table 1 or Figure 1.
  • All tables should be referenced in the text of the paper and in the reference list.

Each table should have an individual title. Each word in the title should be italicized and capitalized except with, of, in, and, etc.

e) Conclusions

State your brief final conclusions drawn from the results and discussions.

f) Acknowledgment

Individuals and entities that have provided essential support such as research grants and fellowships and other sources of funding should be acknowledged. Contributions that do not involve researching (clerical assistance or personal acknowledgements) should not appear in acknowledgements.

g) References

This should contain all references cited in your research manuscript. References should be in their own new page and be listed alphabetically based on first author’s last name. Follow the APA style referencing (6th edition). Use double (2.0) spacing.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

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