Style Guide

  • Title page
  • Abstract page
  • Keywords
  • Body of the paper
  • Style of presentation
  • Readability
  • References
  • Figures and tables
  • PDF

Title page

Create a title page that you will upload separately to the JIBS website. On this page, list:

  • Title of the manuscript;
  • Title, full names, affiliation and addresses of all authors including full postal address, telephone and fax, and email addresses;
  • Suggestions for a short running title of no more than 40 characters (including spaces);
  • Acknowledgements of financial or research assistance, places where the manuscript has been presented, thanks to discussants, and so on; these must be placed on the Title Page and should not appear anywhere else in the manuscript.

Abstract page

Your manuscript should start with an Abstract Page that includes the title of the manuscript and an abstract of up to 100 words in length. Please be sure that the abstract page does not contain any information that could identify the author(s). Please do not put reference citations in the abstract. Also, please take care to create a title and an abstract that are direct and 'reader-friendly'. Manuscript titles should be short, and abstracts should be informative for non-specialists.


When submitting via the JIBS online system, you will be asked to include keywords that describe your paper for indexing and for web searches in your manuscript. Authors should choose three to six keywords; the first three are required and must be selected from the JIBS Keywords list. Authors may include up to three additional keywords, which can be custom or chosen from the JIBS list.

Body of the paper

The introduction should state clearly the objective of the paper as well as the motivation and context of the research. The literature review should be limited to the articles, books and other items that have a direct bearing on the topic being addressed. Theoretical papers may devote a full section to motivation and potential usefulness of the proposed theoretical framework. The empirical section should provide appropriate citations to the statistical methodology used and a complete explanation only if the methodology is new.

Full details of the statistical analyses and results must be included in the paper itself. The conclusion should summarize key findings and state their importance to the field.

Style of presentation

Margins should be one inch (2.5cm) at the top, bottom, and sides of the page.

Font type should be 11-point Times Roman throughout the document.

Double-space all body text, including abstract, references, endnotes and appendices.

Number all pages in your manuscript, starting with the Abstract Page.

Use one space, not two spaces, between sentences.

Manuscript text should be left-aligned.

JIBS uses only three levels of headings. Main headings designate your major sections. Center main headings and use all capitals. Second-level headings should be flush with the left margin, and only the first letter of major words should be capitalized. Third-level headings should be indented and italicised; begin the first word with a capital, end the heading with a period, and then continue with your text. Do not use a fourth level of headings.

Use endnotes instead of footnotes. Please use these sparingly, and keep them short. Citations to the literature should be included in the text, not in the endnotes.

When citing a list of references in the text, put the list in alphabetical order and separate authors by semicolons; for example, "Several studies (Buckley & Casson, 1976; Dunning, 1993a, 1993b; Rugman & Verbeke, 2003) support this conclusion."

If a work has two authors, give both names every time you cite it; for example, Rugman and Verbeke (1998). For three through six authors, give all names the first time the work is cited and then use the first author's name and "et al." for all subsequent citations. For works with seven or more authors, use the first author's name and "et al." for all in-text citations, including the first citation.

To cite a direct quotation, give pages after the year, separated by a colon and a space. Example: "Boddewyn argues that for something to happen it must be not only 'favorable and possible but also wanted and triggered' (1988: 538)".

Separately state each hypothesis you test, give it a number, and indent the paragraph. For example:

  • Hypothesis 1. Title length is inversely related to the probability of publication.

Check that the sequence of any numbered elements (tables, figures, equations, etc.) is correct.

Double check all mathematical entries in the manuscript before submission. Write out numbers below 10. Insert leading zeros before decimal points in text and tables (e.g., '0.3' rather than '.3'). Report only two decimal places for statistics.

Please report the more conservative two-tailed t-test rather than the single-tailed t-test. Report in lower case as: † if p < 0.10, * if p < 0.05; ** if p < 0.01; *** if p < 0.001.

Place endnotes, references, figures, tables, and appendices at the end of your manuscript. Each component should begin on a new page.


JIBS manuscripts are judged not only on scholarly contributions to international business studies, but also on their clarity and whether they can be read and understood. JIBS readers have varied backgrounds. Hence, the following guidelines should be followed:

Write in an interesting, readable manner. Vary your sentence structure. Keep sentences short so the reader does not get lost before the end of a sentence. Do not write long, run-on paragraphs.

Put sentences in the active voice ("I did") instead of the passive voice ("It was done") to make it easy for readers to see who did what. Use the first person ("I" or "we") to describe what you did.

The journal is intended to be read, not deciphered. Avoid using heavily technical terms that few JIBS readers are likely to understand. If you do use technical terms, either conceptual or analytical terms, define them when they first appear in the text.

Use ordinary words for variable names, not code names or abbreviations, unless the terms are well known to international business scholars (such as MNE and FDI). Use the same name for a variable throughout your manuscript. Do not italicize variable names (except for single-character variables, e.g. x, F, etc.).

Long but necessary methodological details, such as explanations of the calculation of measures, should be placed in a separate appendix at the end of the manuscript.

Check and correct spelling and punctuation before submitting your manuscript. Be consistent in your capitalization, spelling, hyphenation and formatting throughout the manuscript. Avoid common usage errors such as "it's" and "its", "affect" and "effect", and "that" and "which". Singular (plural) nouns require singular (plural) pronouns and verbs. "Data" is a plural noun; "none" is singular. "Who" should be used for people; "that" and "which" for organizations. Avoid using "impact" as a verb. Use semicolons to help define long lists that include both groups and subgroups. If a clause is inserted in a sentence use paired commas to set off the clause.


The reference list should follow the notes at the end of the manuscript in alphabetical order by author name (use the "corporate author" or the journal name where no individual author's name is given). This list must include all the works you have cited, and only the works you have cited.

Authors should make certain that the reference for each citation in the text is complete, and that the cited dates and the spellings of the authors' names in the text and references are in agreement. Include full page range for all journal references and book chapters. Include both the volume and issue (number [if applicable], season, month, or date) for journal/periodical references.

The following are examples of proper form:

  • Journal/periodical articles

Cosset, J., & Suret, J. 1995. Political risk and benefits of international portfolio diversification. Journal of International Business Studies, 26(2): 301-318.

Financial Times. 1996. Survey - Czech Republic: Message from the people. December 6: 3.

  • Books

Donahoe, J. D. 1989. The privatization decision. New York: Basic Books.

  • Papers

Harley, N. H. 1981. Radon risk models. In A. R. Knight & B. Harrad (Eds), Indoor air and human health, Proceedings of the Seventh Life Sciences Symposium, 29-31 October 1981, Knoxville, USA: 69-78. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

  • Chapters in edited books

Caves, R. E., & Mehra, S. K. 1986. Entry of foreign multinationals into the US manufacturing industries. In M. E. Porter (Ed.), Competition and global industries: 449-481. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

  • Dissertations

Salk, J. E. 1992. Shared management joint ventures: Their developmental patterns, challenges and possibilities. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

  • Online documents

The Investment Company Institute. 2004. Worldwide mutual fund assets and flows, third quarter 2003. Accessed 4 February 2004.

  • Online journal articles / advance online publication articles

Hutzschenreuter, T., & Voll, J. C. 2007. Performance effects of "added cultural distance" in the path of international expansion: The case of German multinational enterprises. Journal of International Business Studies, advance online publication August 30. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400312.