Author Guidance Notes

These guidelines are intended to help authors for submission of papers to the journal.
Pakistan Journal of Urban Affairs, published by The Urban Unit, deals with international aspects of urbanization and a broad range of environmental matters. The journal welcomes papers based on cutting-edge research by academics and professionals in their field, papers presented by national and international researchers, practitioners and officials involved directly with issues related to urbanization, and papers from national and international conferences and symposia.
The journal encourages short and full length papers on operational, scientific, technical and research work. Papers must be original and of a high standard – not only in respect of their subject matter and its treatment but also in the quality of writing. Papers must have clarity and conciseness of expression.
Authors are encouraged to draw out generic messages from their work in relation to urban affairs and environmental issues. This is particularly important for case study papers. Papers are expected to have a literature review setting the work in its research and practical context, as appropriate.
The journal also accepts papers on review studies, provided they provide a critical overview and demonstrate original thought. Authors submitting papers derived from their masters’ and doctorate theses must produce a concise summary of their work within the prescribed word limits.
Papers submitted to Pakistan Journal of Urban Affairs should encompass the principles of sustainable development as defined in the Bruntland Report (World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future, 1987). Papers which promote clearly unsustainable practices are not accepted for publication. Authors should conduct and report research in an ethical manner and are required to sign a declaration that their work conforms to the legal requirements.
Expert reviewers assess each paper. The editorial team shares reviewers’ comments with authors and subsequently invites authors to resubmit their paper for consideration in the journal once writers incorporate and explain the suggested comments. A decision regarding publication is made by the Editor-in-Chief on the basis of reviewers’ comments. The editor's decision is final. The editorial team is not bound to give any reason when a paper is rejected for publication.
The Editorial team reserves the right to amend a manuscript if it does not comply with the journal's requirements, and not to publish any section which the team considers superfluous or to which the team takes an exception with. The team will send authors a final proof of their papers for checking prior to printing.
Selected papers are published online and appear on the journal’s website ahead of their appearance in a print issue. These papers are fully peer-reviewed and proofs are corrected by the author. Accepted papers are typically published in the printed journal within 12 months of submission.
Submission Guidelines
Authors are required to submit their papers through the journal’s website: There is a help function on the website to guide authors through the process. Authors may upload their files in Word (.doc), RTF (.rtf) or PDF (.pdf) format. Please note that if your submission exceeds 5MB it may slow down the review process. If this is the case please consider using lower resolution images and/or black and white charts and graphs. If the paper is accepted higher quality images will be required by the publisher. For further information please contact the Journal Administrator:
Authors whose first language is not English should ensure that their paper is carefully checked by a person fluent in English for language accuracy and appropriateness. Authors may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission.
Papers, including illustrations, tables, and references, must not exceed (the equivalent of) approximately 5000 words in length. Short papers (between 1500 and 2500 words) are also encouraged. Authors are asked to give a word count at the end of the paper.
Papers should be arranged in single column text, not as two columns. If a paper is accepted for publication, the Copy Editor will format the paper to the industry standard format.
A paper should follow the following format: Title page; Abstract; Key words; Introduction (this should not repeat what has been said in the abstract); Main exposition, subdivided as appropriate for the subject; Discussion, if required, e.g. of experimental results; Conclusions, which should be numbered (they should not include tables, figures, or references); Acknowledgements; References; Word count; Appendices, if necessary; figure legends; tables.
Title page
The title of the paper should be as short as possible with a clear indication of the subject matter. The name(s) and appointment(s) of the author(s) should be given. If the paper has been presented, the date and venue of the presentation should be given. In the case of multi-author papers one author should agree to act as the corresponding author to whom queries and proofs will be sent. E-mail address and other contact details for the corresponding author should be provided.
An abstract of not more than 150 words and not less than 100 words should be included at the beginning of the paper. It should briefly indicate the subject and scope of the paper, calling attention to points of special interest, e.g. method of investigation and important results.
Up to 8 key words should be listed in alphabetical order for use in retrieval systems.
Not more than three levels of headings should be used. Main headings should be typed (in bold letters) centrally on the page, and secondary headings (in bold letters) at the left of the page. Third level headings should be typed in italics at the left of the page. Do not number paragraphs and sections.
The System International (SI) should be used for all units of measurement as far as possible. The oblique stroke (e.g. m3/d) should be used instead of the negative index (m3d-1). Temperature should be expressed in °C.
Diagrams should be drawn without boundary boxes and should be as simple as possible, but should contain enough information to be understood without reference to the text. Maps should include a compass point. Photographs can help to enhance the overall appearance of a paper. Captions should be concise and be listed on a separate page at the end of the paper. When a paper is initially submitted all figures should be embedded into the main text file for review purposes. Please note that after acceptance separate high resolution print quality figures will be needed as described below.
Artwork requirements for accepted papers
The journal’s preferred electronic file type is vector-format encapsulated post script (EPS) because these images are scaleable and therefore do not lose quality in the online PDF. Line drawings and photographs with added labels should be supplied in EPS format. The best results are obtained with software applications that can output EPS format (Systat SigmaPlot; Adobe Illustrator; CorelDraw; Deneba Canvas; Macromedia Freehand) rather than 'save as' EPS format.

Half tones without labels can be supplied in TIFF format at 300 dots per inch minimum. If line drawings cannot be supplied as EPS files then they must be in TIFF format with a minimum resolution of 800 dpi. These resolutions also apply to any images embedded into an EPS file. Please carefully consider the choice of tones in black and white figures and ensure the grey scale is used effectively for better definition.
Tables should be as few and as simple as possible. Graphs are often preferable to tables, and similar data cannot be presented in both forms. Please place tables on separate pages at the end of the file after the figure legends. Captions should appear above tables.
These should be to the authority by whose permission the paper is published, any sources of grants or funds to support the work, colleagues or others who have made significant contributions to the work, and any copyright holders who have given permission for their work to be quoted. Recurrent references to proprietary names should not be given in the main body of the text; recognition should instead be made in the Acknowledgements section.
References should be cited using the Harvard Referencing System
Citations in the text take the form of author names and dates (e.g. Smith 1990). Sort references chronologically and then alphabetically within dates (e.g. Smith 1990; Brown 2001; Walton 2001). For references with three or more authors, use the first author's name and 'et al' in the text.
References in the list are sorted alphabetically by author name. If two or more references have the same first author and date, use 'a', 'b' etc. after the date to distinguish them (e.g. Smith et al. 1990a,b). References for website addresses should only be used where the hardcopy reference is unavailable. Authors should ensure that website references are in full, sustainable, refer directly to the reference, and are live.
Manuscripts that have not been formally accepted for publication (e.g. 'in preparation') should not be included in the reference list but should be cited in the text as unpublished data. Please give the names and initials of all collaborators in such cases. Personal communications/observations may also be cited in the text.
Mackett, R.L. and M. Edwards (1998) The impact of new urban public transport systems: will the expectations be met? Transportation Research-A 32.4, 231–45.
Nottage, A.S. and Robertson, P.A. (2005) The saltmarsh creation handbook: a project manager's guide to the creation of saltmarsh and intertidal mudflat. The RSPB, Sandy and CIWEM, London.
Morris, G. and Firth, C. (2004) Yorkshire's Rivers: From sewage to salmon. The improvement and future of the Industrial Rivers Don, Aire and Calder. In Horan, N.J (ed). Proceedings of the 2nd CIWEM Nat. Conf., pp. 1–9. Aqua Enviro, Wakefield.
Council of European Communities. (1980) Directive on the protection of groundwater against pollution caused by certain dangerous substances (80/68/EEC) Official Journal L20, p. 43.
Le Quesne, T. and Green, C. (2005) Can we afford not to? The costs and benefits of a partnership approach to the Water Framework Directive [online]. Available at [accessed 10 September 2005].
Written discussion in response to papers published in Pakistan Journal of Urban Affairs is welcome. Authors of the original article will be invited to write a response and the comment and response articles will proceed through the review process together. Individual items of discussion should not exceed 500 words in length and may be submitted through
Permission to reproduce previously published work
It is the author's responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holders to reproduce any copyright material, including diagrams, tables, etc. which he or she wishes to include in the paper. Adequate acknowledgement must be made in the paper.
Proofs will be available as a PDF to download from the publisher's e-proofing website. Full instructions will be sent via email when the proof is ready for collection. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required in order to read the proof file, and can be downloaded (free of charge) from:

Author Material Archive Policy
Please note that unless specifically requested, the editorial team will dispose of all hard copy or electronic material submitted two months after publication. If you require the return of any material submitted, please inform the editorial team as soon as possible.
Date of publication
For this year the journal will be published on April 30th 2017, 31 July 2017 and 31 October 2017.
For enquiries email: or telephone the office on: 00 92 42 99213579-83


Reviewer Guidance Notes

Thank you for agreeing to review a manuscript for the Pakistan Journal of Urban Affairs. Per your agreement with the Editor-in-Chief, you are asked to complete the review within two weeks of receipt of the manuscript. Reminders of deadlines will be sent by the Associate Editor of the Pakistan Journal of Urban Affairs.
Questions regarding the manuscript or the review process should be directed to the Managing Editor at A flow chart indicating the process of review is attached for your reference. We would appreciate, if you could submit your reviews to us by email at
We ensure that all reviews of manuscripts are ‘blind’ reviews, and the identity of the reviewer is protected. However, you must make sure that there is no identifying information in the comments that you provide in the review that you send.
Two criteria are essential for a recommendation of acceptance for publication:

  • NOVELTY (new or innovative techniques or approaches to problems). When determining novelty, it is acceptable for authors to submit expanded versions of their work that have been previously published in a conference paper, but that the prior work must be cited and the extensions clearly explained in the body of the paper. However in such cases, the journal submission must incorporate some new elements, such as elaborated theoretical discussion, algorithm sophistications, more extensive experiments, and new results investigation.
  • APPROPRIATENESS (a complete well written manuscript that falls within the aims and scope of the Pakistan Journal of Urban Affairs). When determining novelty, you must ensure that the manuscript is within the aims and scope of the journal, complete in terms of the technical work, and a high quality of writing.

You are to score the manuscript according to the following codes:
A = Manuscript is ready for publication as is.
AC = Manuscript is almost ready for publication; the author might be required to make some small modifications. The modified manuscript will not be submitted to the reviewers again but verified by the Managing Editor.
RC = Manuscript requires major adjustments by the author, and must be returned to the reviewers for a second round of review.
R = Manuscript is rejected since it is not of sufficient quality to be published in the journal.
Please provide detailed comments in the review that will direct the author in making appropriate changes so that the manuscript can be published. In case of an R score the reviewer is strongly encouraged to help the author understand why the manuscript is not considered acceptable for publishing. However it must be noted that the journal is under no obligation to provide the author, whose papers have been rejected, with an explanation. Your comments are also important to the Editor-in-Chief in making a decision. Sometimes reviewers may disagree and therefore detailed comments help the Editor-in-Chief resolve any discrepancies. Typically a review should comprise of the following:

  • A brief summary of the paper which mentions its contributions.
  • A conversation about the novelty and significance of these contributions.
  • A list of major comments that can contribute towards a rejection or lead to significant revisions.
  • Lastly, a list of minor comments or corrections.

We request the reviewers to make their reviews constructive and courteous and to respect the intellectual independence of the author.
If you have a feedback that you feel is not appropriate for the author then you can always communicate with the Managing Editor in confidence.
Please keep in mind that manuscripts should not elaborate extensively and, when appropriate, should contract a bit. Authors must not state the obvious in their papers, but only refer to established research by providing appropriate references. Please also go over the Author Guidance Notes on our website.
If you ever suspect the author of plagiarism or duplicate submission you must contact the Editor-in-Chief immediately. All such cases must be handled with confidentially and care and should not be discussed with anyone other than the editorial team of the Pakistan Journal of Urban Affairs.
Reviews must be objective evaluations of the research. If you believe that you cannot judge a paper impartially, you should not accept it for review and you must notify the Managing Editor immediately. Examples of conflicts of interest may arise if:

  • One or more of the authors of the publication shares an institutional affiliation with you.
  • One or more of the authors has collaborated in a publication/research project with you.
  • One or more of the author’s doctoral or post-doctoral work was supervised by you.

Information contained in a manuscript under review is confidential and must not be shared with others, nor should reviewers use non-public information contained in a manuscript to advance their own research or financial interests.
Once again, thanks for serving as a reviewer for the Pakistan Journal of Urban Affairs and for your timely response. Your participation adds value to the quality of the Pakistan Journal of Urban Affairs.