The South African Journal of Science is committed to publishing high-quality content timeously. We value the contributions of Reviewers who assist us to achieve that goal and trust you will find the following guidelines helpful.
Purpose and approach
Reviewers are invited for their scholarly expertise on the topic of the manuscript. The Associate Editor requires an expert opinion on the quality and suitability of the manuscript for the SAJS and also to give feedback to authors that will help them to improve their work.
If you have been invited to review for our Journal, and have any disability accommodation requirements, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you. You can email the Editorial Office directly or indicate them to the Associate Editor in response to an invitation to review.
If you have been invited to review for our Journal and would like to mentor a junior colleague, please see our Peer Review Mentoring guidelines.
The peer-review process is double-anonymous, that is, both the authors and the reviewers remain anonymous to each other.
Please be collegial in your report, both in purpose and tone.
Identify weaknesses, but also be constructive and have in mind how the manuscript might be improved for possible publication.
Identify strong points and valuable research findings.
Reviewer reports must be completed online in the prescribed manner. The form is accessible via the link in the confirmation email received after accepting an invitation to review.
Please also refer to our policy on ‘Publishing peer review reports’ regarding the option to publish your anonymised peer review report alongside the authors’ response, for manuscripts that are accepted. Publication is voluntary and only with permission from Reviewers and the Author/s. Reviewers will be able to indicate their choice on the online review form.
Conflicts of interest
Reviewers must report any potential or actual conflict of interest to the Associate Editor before a review is accepted and any that arise during the review process need to be noted on the online review form. A conflict of interest does not necessarily invalidate the review report.
(Examples of potential conflicts of interest include submissions by family members or students and those for which reviewers are able to discern the identity of the authors.)
Reviewers must respect the confidentiality of the review process as well as the proprietary rights of the authors.
Confidentiality applies to all correspondence. Do not use, copy, share or discuss any part of the manuscript, during or after the review process. Any outside collaboration or consultation on the review needs the permission of the Associate Editor. Such collaboration or consultation is also confidential.
Criteria for evaluation
Some criteria will be addressed through the Questionnaire section of the online review form, while other criteria should be addressed in the Comments section, either to the authors or to the Associate Editor.
The important criteria are:
Assess and, if applicable, suggest improvements, regarding:
Final recommendation and comments
Please provide clear, consistent and useful recommendations to the Associate Editor. One or two comments only are not sufficient to explain to the Associate Editor or the authors the grounds on which the final recommendation is made to accept, decline or request revisions. The comments provided for both the author(s) and Associate Editor should support the recommendation.
The final decision lies with the Associate Editor who will evaluate at least two reports before making the decision.
Recommendations (and final decision) may be any one of the following:
Confidential comments, if applicable, should be communicated to the Associate Editor through an online discussion.
Reviewers may be asked to reassess a revised manuscript.
Enquiries and feedback
For general enquiries on the review process or technical support please contact the Online Publishing Systems Administrator. Please contact the Associate Editor for specific enquiries on the manuscript.
Feedback is also welcome.