Submissions

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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.
  • Scope, article type and writing style are appropriate (if in doubt you have emailed the Editor-in-Chief)
  • You have read the Guidelines and Policies and adhered to formatting instructions
  • If applicable, you have appropriately referenced others’ work
  • If applicable, you have obtained ethical clearance and cited the clearance number
  • If applicable, you have declared any conflicts of interest in your cover letter
  • If applicable, you have obtained any necessary permissions to reuse data, figures or tables
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration
  • Figures, tables, appendices and supplementary material: If included; have been numbered consecutively and cited in text in numerical order
  • References: The correct style has been followed; have been cited in the text and in numerical order at first citation and include DOIs where applicable
  • These files are ready for upload:
    • [Non-reviewed articles] Publishing Agreement; Main document; Title Page; Significance statement
    • [Peer-reviewed articles] Publishing Agreement; Main document; Title Page; Significance of findings; Acknowledgements; Response to Reviewers [revised manuscripts]
  • The following information is ready to be submitted:
    • [Non-reviewed articles] Title; Authors’ names, affiliations and ORCIDs
    • [Peer-reviewed articles] Title; Abstract; Authors’ names, affiliations and ORCIDs; Authors’ contributions; Keywords [3–5], Names and emails of three suggested reviewers; Names of funders

Author Guidelines

All authors should read the Guidelines for Authors and ensure that their articles conform to the instructions therein before submission.

All submissions should be accompanied by a signed Publishing Agreement

There are no article processing charges.

Book Review

Book Reviews are reviews of books that are usually of a scientific and scholarly nature and whose subject matter meets the requirements of the journal – i.e. books that are written in a language and style that would make them comprehensible (and of interest) to readers from a range of scientific disciplines. Book Reviews generally are commissioned but unsolicited submissions are considered, as are suggestions of books for review. Book Reviews are normally not longer than 1000 words but exceptions are occasionally considered if the nature of the book warrants greater detail.

Book reviewers should please include a title of their review and the following book information: title of book; book cover illustration, author(s)/editor(s); publisher; city of publication; year of publication; ISBN number; price.

See the Guidelines for Book Reviewers for more.

Commentary

Commentaries call attention to an article or event of particular note or present constructive feedback on a published article, as a way to further the findings as a call to action or to a wider audience. Commentaries do not include original data.

Commentaries should be between 2000 and 3000 words, do not include an abstract, and should contain no more than 5 figures/tables and no more than 20 references.

Submissions deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief will be subject to a double-blind assessment by two members of the Editorial Board or Editorial Advisory Board, or by external subject experts.

Discussion Document

The purpose of a Discussion Document is to initiate discussion on a topic that is of importance and relevance to researchers in many fields. A Discussion Document should identify a problem or opportunity needing the attention of researchers and set forth a proposal to address the problem or opportunity. Discussion Documents do not include original data or personal opinion.

Discussion Documents typically are invited, but proposals for Discussion Documents will be considered. Discussion Documents should be between 3000 and 4000 words, do not include an abstract but should include a statement of Significance, and should contain no more than 5 figures/tables and no more than 30 references.

Submissions deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief will be subject to a double-blind assessment by two members of the Editorial Board or Editorial Advisory Board, or by external subject experts.

News

‘News’ items report briefly on important scientific news or research in progress. Currency and relevance are the critical considerations for News items.

News items are usually 1000–2000 words, do not include an abstract, and should contain no more than 3 figures/tables and no more than 10 references.

Submissions deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief may be subject to a double-blind assessment by two members of the Editorial Board or Editorial Advisory Board, or by external subject experts, at the Editor-in-Chief’s discretion.

Obituary

An Obituary offers an overview of the life, works and scientific/scholarly contributions of a leading South African/African figure in the fields of science, technology or education who has made important contributions to her or his field, whether a member of ASSAf or not. Obituaries are commissioned and unsolicited submissions will not be accepted, but suggestions for inclusion are welcomed. Obituaries are usually not longer than 1500 words and may include a photograph of the person to whom tribute is being paid.

Perspective

Perspectives provide a balanced and objective, but novel, viewpoint on an important research topic or field. Perspectives may propose or support a new hypothesis, or discuss current advances, implications and future directions. Perspectives may include original data as well as personal opinion.

Perspectives should be between 2000 and 3000 words, do not include an abstract, and should contain no more than 5 figures/tables and no more than 20 references.

Submissions deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief will be subject to a double-blind assessment by two members of the Editorial Board or Editorial Advisory Board, or by external subject experts.

Research Article

Research Articles are longer papers. Although these reports may be concerned with very particular advances, they should be of wider than specialist interest. Research Articles must be no more than 6000 words (including abstract, significance and references) and must contain no more than 10 figures and/or tables.

Review Article

Review Articles should be up-to-date surveys of important current developments in science. Although these reports may be concerned with very particular advances, they should be of wider than specialist interest. Review Articles must be no more than 6000 words (including abstract, significance and references) and must contain no more than 10 figures and/or tables.

Research Letter

Research Letters are short reports and should be up-to-date accounts of interesting and noteworthy scientific developments. Although these reports may be concerned with very particular advances, they should be of wider than specialist interest. Research Letters must be no more than 2000 words (including abstract, significance and references) and must contain no more than 5 figures and/or tables. Research Letters are given priority in terms of publication after acceptance.

Scientific Correspondence

Scientific Correspondence items are short items of a generally scientific nature; they are not letters of complaint or comments on previously published articles, but rather letters on interesting and possibly debatable issues. 

Scientific Correspondence items should be between 1000 and 2000 words, do not include an abstract, and should contain no more than 3 figures/tables and no more than 10 references.

Submissions deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief may be subject to a double-blind assessment by two members of the Editorial Board or Editorial Advisory Board, or by external subject experts, at the Editor-in-Chief’s discretion.

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