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Australian Aboriginal Studies journal

Australian Aboriginal Studies (AAS) is a quality multidisciplinary journal that exemplifies the vision where the world’s indigenous knowledge and cultures are recognised, respected and valued. It encourages contributions that articulate the ways in which research approaches and methodologies are underpinned by ethical decision-making.

Subscription rates are available for individuals, students, organisations and AIATSIS members. Institutions can place a standing order. The journal is released twice each year. Both available in digital and hard copy format.

  • About the journal

    The journal publishes thought provoking articles by leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander thinkers about the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge to wellbeing as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of living in and engaging with the world. AAS also includes a range of peer-reviewed articles and review essays that contribute to a transformative discourse about indigeneity, both within the Academy and within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    New voices are encouraged to contribute to the conversations. AAS is published by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and contributes to their work of building pathways to share and grow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge.The journal acts as a forum for dialogue about the key themes in the disciplines involved with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research. It is networked to multiple universities and research centres, and includes practical research with policy relevance.

    Each issue contains several scholarly articles, accompanied by research reports and book reviews. All major articles are peer-reviewed and copyedited for publication. Australian Aboriginal Studies is abstracted in the following databases: AIATSIS Indigenous Studies Bibliography, Informit APAFT (Australian Public Affairs Full Text) database and Indigenous Collection, EBSCO Academic Search Complete and Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre and ProQuest.

    Australian Aboriginal Studies is also comprehensively indexed with full text in the Informit APAFT database and Indigenous Collection, EBSCO Academic Search Complete and Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre databases and ProQuest.

  • Editorial Advisory Board

    The Editorial Advisory Board of Australian Aboriginal Studies includes eminent international and national scholars in a range of disciplines.

    The Australian Aboriginal Studies journal editorial advisory board ensures that each issue of the journal meets the inter-disciplinary, peer-reviewed standard expected by its subscribers.
    The current editorial board consists of:

    • Prof Fred Myers, NY University, USA
    • Associate Professor Melinda Hinkson, Deakin University
    • Toni Bauman, AIATSIS
    • Professor Tim Rowse, UWS
    • Professor Barbara Glowczewski, CNRS, France
    • Associate Professor Pat Dudgeon, UWA
    • Professor Yin Paradies, Deakin University
    • Dr Michael Davis, University of Sydney
    • Professor Martin Nakata, James Cook University
    • Dr Gaye Sculthorpe, the British Museum
    • Professor John Maynard, University of Newcastle
    • Professor Mick Dodson, ANU
    • Professor Colleen Hayward, Edith Cowan University
    • Dr Graeme Ward, ANU
    • Professor Francoise Dussart, University of Connecticut, USA
    • Professor Lester Irabinna Rigney, University of South Australia
    • Dr Karyn Paringatai, University of Otago, NZ
    • Professor Asmi Wood, ANU
    • Dr Jessa Rogers, ANU
  • Contributing to the journal


    In wanting to give pre-eminence to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural and intellectual traditions, we invite papers for forthcoming issues which clearly delineate the ethical decision-making that underpins the research approaches and methodologies that have been used. Australian Aboriginal Studies values ethical, community-led research that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and implements their right to full participation in research that concerns them. This includes consideration by the researcher of the impacts of their research on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the ways in which the research contributes to our understanding of ourselves as a society.

    Please ensure your submission adheres to the guidelines below.


    All major articles will be peer reviewed. Research reports, comments, book reviews and review articles will be copy-edited but not peer reviewed.


    AAS values ethical research. Please ensure that your submission complies with AIATSIS’ ethical research framework, as set out in the Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research.


    • Research articles can be no longer than 10,000 words; preferred length is 5000 to 6000 words.
    • Research reports: up to 3000 words.
    • Comments, book reviews and review articles: up to 1500 words.


    Because the journal is multidisciplinary, we urge authors to write using the principles of plain English where possible to allow their work to be understood by a wide audience. Refer to the:

    What to include

    Article submissions should include an abstract, a short biographical note, and a contact address - including an email address.

    Style and formatting

    Text and tables

    Please submit your content as an electronic file in Microsoft Word format. Use the Word default margins in A4, with the font set to 12pt Times New Roman, and use double-spacing throughout.


    • lllustrations should not be included in the body of the text. Instead, include an instruction about where to include the image, with the illustrations provided as separate low-res files, TIFF, EPS or JPEG. (High-res files will be required from you at the point of printing).
    • Provide captions for all illustrations, including the artist’s name, medium, date and name/s of copyright holder/s.
    • Single column images must be at least 73mm wide, double column images at least 152mm wide.
    • All scanned images should be at appropriate size and at 300dpi or higher.
    • Preferably no stippling/shading is to be used in figures (e.g. maps).

    Referencing system

    AAS uses the name–date (Harvard) system. Textual references should include the name of the author/s and the year of publication (e.g. Neale and Kleinert 2000). All directly quoted material should include relevant page number/s (e.g. Neale and Kleinert 2000:69–70). All references are then listed alphabetically and in full at the end of the article. Please see our page of referencing examples to make sure your references meet the AAS referencing system.

    Copyright clearances

    Once material is accepted for publication, authors are responsible for obtaining permission to include any third party copyright material (for example, text, photos, tables, graphs). Permissions should be for the same use as stipulated in your author’s agreement for publication. Before you submit your material, double-check you have met your copyright obligations:



    c/o Australian Aboriginal Studies
    GPO Box 553
    Canberra ACT 2601

  • Referencing examples

    Following are examples of the AAS referencing style.


    • Anonymous 1994 Creative Nation: Commonwealth Cultural Policy, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
    • Neale, Margo and Sylvia Kleinert (eds) 2000 Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture. Oxford University Press.
    • Turpin, Myfany and Alison Ross 2004 Awelye Akwelye: Kaytetye women’s songs from Arnerre, Central Australia. Papulu Apparr-kari Language and Culture Centre, Tennant Creek (Audio CD with scholarly notes).

    Articles in journals

    • Garde, Murray 2006 ‘The language of Kun-borrk in western Arnhem Land’. Musicology Australia 28:59-89.
    • Toner, Peter 2000 ‘Ideology, influence and innovation: the impact of Macassan contact on Yolngu music’. Perfect Beat 5(1):22–41.

    Articles in edited books

    • Payne, Helen E 1989 ‘Rites for sites or sites for rites? The dynamics of women’s cultural life in the Musgraves’. In P Brock (ed.) Women, Rites and Sites: Aboriginal women’s cultural knowledge. Allen & Unwin, Melbourne pp.41–59.
    • Smith, Claire E 1991 ‘Female artists: the unrecognised factor in sacred rock art production’. In P Bahn and A Rosenfeld (eds) Rock art and prehistory. Papers presented to symposium G of the AURA Congress, Darwin 1988. Oxbow Books, Oxford (Monograph 10) pp.45-52.

    Unpublished papers and presentations

    • Blythe, Joe and Michael Walsh 2006 ‘Murriny Patha song language and its relation to the “everyday” language’. Presentation to the Third Oxford-Kobe Linguistics Seminar, ‘The Linguistics of Endangered Languages’, Kobe, Japan, 4 April 2006.
    • Gillespie, Danny 1974 Documentation of the work AAB 534 of the Maningrida Arts and Crafts Collection held at the National Museum of Australia, letter to Bob Edwards of AIAS dated July 1974.
    • Pilling, Arnold 1958 Law and Feud in an Aboriginal Society of North Australia. Unpublished Doctoral thesis, University of California, Berkeley.

    Web citations should include the date that the item was viewed

    • Crow, Kelly 2007 ‘A work in progress: Buying art on the Web – Saatchi Online offers a view of nascent internet market’ The Wall Street Journal 10 October 2007 <> accessed 14 April 2008.
    • Tatz, Colin 2005 ‘From Welfare to Treaty: reviewing fifty years of Aboriginal policy and practice’. In GK Ward and A Muckle (eds) ‘The Power of Knowledge, the Resonance of Tradition’. Electronic publication of papers from the AIATSIS Indigenous Studies conference, September 2001. AIATSIS, Canberra.
  • Writing an abstract

    Following these five simple guidelines for structure and content will help you to ensure that your abstract can be understood by a wide audience.


    • Indicate the ways in which your research approaches and methodologies are underpinned by ethical decision-making (refer to the AIATSIS Code of Ethics).


    • Explain the purpose of your study/paper.
    • Ideally in one sentence, state the primary objectives and scope of the study or the reasons why the document was written.
    • Also state the rationale for your research. Why did you do the research? Is the topic you are researching an ignored or newly discovered one?


    • Clearly state the techniques or approaches used in your study.
    • For papers concerned with non-experimental work (such as those in the humanities, some social sciences and the fine arts) describe your sources and your use/interpretation of the sources.


    • Describe your findings, the data collected and the effects observed as informatively and concisely as possible.
    • If these results are experimental or theoretical, note it.
    • Give special priority to new and verified findings that contradict previous theories. Mention any limits to the accuracy or reliability of your findings.


    • Describe the implications of the results — why the results of your research are important to your field — and how they relate to your investigation’s purpose.
    • Include recommendations, suggestions and both rejected and accepted hypotheses if appropriate.
  • Archiving

    The Institute now has a policy in place which allows authors to deposit accepted AAS journal papers in institutional or subject repositories after a period of 12 months from publication. Accepted papers are defined as post peer-review but prior to publisher copy-editing or issue assignment.

    Authors are required to acknowledge the source of publication when depositing their accepted papers.

Last updated: 21 May 2024