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Working Papers on Information Systems ISSN 1535-6078
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Style Requirements

Upon submission, you will be asked to provide some information about your paper (see checklist below) and to upload the body of the paper in PDF format (see template in Word format). All security features and password protection MUST be disabled. Protected documents cannot be processed by the system and will be rejected.

Upload only the body of the paper as illustrated by the template. The system will generate the first page + footer based on the information that you have provided. It is your responsibility to review the uploaded draft prior to concluding the submission process. Though we do not impose strong uniform rules concerning manuscript format, the minimum requirements stated below must be met by prospective authors. Papers that do not conform to the guidelines will not be published. This document can help authors preparing a paper that meets the minimum style requirements of Sprouts. It covers the following areas:

  • General and Cover Page Information
      • Article Type
      • Abstract requirements
      • Author information
      • Institution
      • Related URLs
      • Keywords
      • Language requirement
  • Layout Requirements 
      • General Style
      • File format
      • Hypertext links
      • Tables and figures
      • Page layout: fonts + headings (up to three levels)
      • page numbering, footer and header
      • References
  •  Style Guidelines
      • Use of acronyms
      • Research instruments




At this time, Sprouts accommodates three types of submissions:

  • Article - A working paper, conference paper, book chapter, magazine article and the like. Not necessarily peer-reviewed.
  • Edited Volume - A conference or workshop proceedings. Any edited collection.
  • Large Manuscript - A book, thesis, dissertation, or any extended manuscript.

Abstract Requirements

Abstract should be up to 250 words and cover all the following: rationale, objectives, key questions, methodology, data sources if any, key findings, key contribution to knowledge, key implications. 

Author Information

In addition to the generic author's information, please specify "citation name" to denote how it should appear in a citation. For example, the citation name of
John P. Dow -> Dow, J.P.
Jan van der Net -> Net, van der J.


Highlight the name of the sponsoring university or organization. If the name is not listed, highlight the last option "no sponsoring university." To add your university to the list, contact the managing editor.

Related URLs

Insert a web address of an earlier publication outlet, or any other web address that relates directly to the submission.


The paper should have about 4-5 keywords for indexing. Separate keywords with commas.

Language requirement

Although submissions may be in any language, the requested information in the submission form (e.g., abstract, keywords, etc) must be in English.


General Style

Manuscripts should be prepared using a consistent style. Almost any consistent style is acceptable. The first page will be generated by the system and authors are advised to start with the body of the paper, marked as page 2. Acknowledgements are placed at the end of the text and then a references list that is followed by appendices. Though we do not impose a strict style, we ask authors to use a consistent style and follow the general format of manuscripts that have been recently published in Sprouts. We recommend that authors use the APA publication guidelines or the provided template for formatting.

File Format

Currently, only PDF files are supported. If you don't have access to Adobe Acrobat, you may use the following service to convert your files to PDF format:

Hypertext Links

In order to avoid broken links, use internal anchors for all internal links. For example, a citation of "Bateson , 1972" in the text can be linked {e.g., <A HREF="#Bateson"> Bateson, 1972</A>} to the Reference List by inserting an ANCHOR next to the proper reference {e.g., <A NAME="Bateson">your reference</A>}. If the above is gibberish, please refrain from using internal hyperlinks.
However, use an absolute link for all external links {e.g., <a href="http://www.abs.uva.nl/">Amsterdam Business School</a>}.

Tables and Figures

All tables, figures, and the like should be embedded in the text and submitted in the same single manuscript file. All figures and tables need to be numbered across the whole manuscript and have a reference in the text. Use separate indexes for figures and tables.

Recommended Page Layout

Margins: 1"
Font Type: Times New Roman
Font Size: 12 points
Spacing: single space
Heading First Level: ALL CAPS BOLD, CENTER
Heading Second Level: Title Case Bold, Left justified
Heading Third Level Capitalized first word bold type and in line with text.

Page Numbering, Footer and Header

Start in page 2. The first page is system-generated

Leave the lower left corner empty for a system-generated footer.

Header should include a short title up to 6 words and up to two authors' last names. (Use "et al." if the paper has more than three authors)


Use a consistent style. We recommend the reference style of APA or any of the leading IS journals


Use of Acronyms

The use of acronyms such as IT, IS, GDSS, DSS, ES, ISD and so on, is discouraged. It often leads to papers with inappropriate or blurred referents and to repetitious sentence structures. Therefore, authors are asked to carefully screen their papers for such acronyms and use them sparingly and only if their use is justified. In most cases authors should replace them with other words Authors will find that this guideline encourages them to avoid the repetitious use of phrases such as IT or ICT, and to search for more precise ways to express themselves. Some acronyms used as proper names, such as UNESCO or NATO, are appropriate to use, and some information technology acronyms, such as EDP, have a historical usage that could make it appropriate to use them for particular purposes. In some cases, acronyms may also be used to avoid repetitious long descriptions that appear awkward.

Research Instruments

Authors are encouraged to take advantage of the electronic media and supplement their manuscript with a complete set of the research instruments used. Instruments should be edited for clarity and provided in Appendix. Do not attach long instruments in a separate file. If the manuscript refers to questionnaires or other research instruments that are not fully reproduced in the text, authors must also provide a web link where the complete research instruments can be reviewed.