ISSN 1608-9685 printed version
ISSN 2078-6786 online version



Scope and editorial policy

All articles undergo peer review before being considered suitable for publication in the journal. The peer review process is handled and recorded via an online editorial system. After a manuscript is submitted via the online system by a researcher, the editor–in–chief screens the manuscript and rejects unsuitable or poor–quality manuscripts at this point. Articles deemed appropriate for peer review are sent to 2–3 reviewers selected by the editor–in–chief and/or deputy editors. Reviewers are invited if they are experienced researchers and suitably knowledgeable on the topic of the manuscript.

Following acceptance to perform the review, the reviewers are furnished with a copy of the manuscript and the journal’s peer review guidelines, to which they are asked to adhere. The identity of the authors and their affiliation details are blanked out to ensure a blind review.

Reviewers are asked to complete the review within 4 weeks. Reviewers submit their reports via the online editorial system with a recommendation. The editor–in–chief collates the review reports and makes a decision on the status of the paper. Manuscripts may be: accepted (subject to minor or no revisions); declined; returned to the authors for revision (to address all reviewer comments in detail, with the possibility of resending for peer review depending on the nature of the reviewer comments); or invited for re–submission altogether.

Authors are not made aware of the identity of a reviewer (double–blind approach) unless sound justification or transparency requires for disclosure. The editor–in–chief has final decision on the acceptance or rejection of all manuscripts. The editor–in–chief considers the adequacy of each reviewer’s report for a particular manuscript and obtains additional review reports when required. Members of the editorial board may be called upon to make additional recommendations. Reviewers are assigned a rating based on the quality of their review, which is entered into the online system for future reference.

Focus and Scope
The SAJP is a quarterly general psychiatric journal. It carries research articles and letters, editorials, clinical practice and other medical articles and personal opinion, South African health–related news, obituaries, general correspondence, and classified advertisements.

Journal sections: Editorials, Regular Articles, Opinion, Case Reports, Guidelines, Position Statements, Book reviews and Letters


Manuscript format and layout

Named authors must consent to publication. Authorship should be based on substantial contribution to: (i) conception, design, analysis and interpretation of data; (ii) drafting or critical revision for important intellectual content; and (iii) approval of the version to be published. These conditions must all be met (uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals; refer to

Authors must declare all sources of support for the research and any association with a product or subject that may constitute conflict of interest.

Provide evidence of Research Ethics Committee approval of the research where relevant.

Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives informed written consent for publication. The patient should be shown the manuscript to be published. Refer to

References to ethnic and racial classification must provide the rationale for this.

Shorter items are more likely to be accepted for publication, owing to space constraints and reader preferences.

Original articles usually not exceeding 3 000 words, with up to 6 tables or illustrations, are observations or research of relevance to psychiatry. References should be limited to only those that are relevant and pertinent to the article. Please provide a structured abstract not exceeding 250 words, with the following recommended headings, if applicable: Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, and Conclusion.

Scientific letters/short reports, which include case reports, side effects of drugs and brief or negative research findings should preferably be 1500 words or less, with 1 table or illustration and references limited to only those that are relevant and pertinent to the article. Please provide an accompanying abstract not exceeding 150 words.

Editorials, Opinions, etc. are welcomed and are usually about 1000 words in length. They will usually be subjected to the SAJP peer review process.

Review articles will be considered when they make a significant contribution to the field of psychiatry.

Letters to the editor, for publication, should be about 400 words with only one illustration or table, and must include a correspondence address. They may be subjected to the peer review process and their eventual placement is at the discretion of the editorial team.

Obituaries should be about 400 words and may be accompanied by a photograph.


Manuscript preparation

Refer to articles in recent issues for the presentation of headings and subheadings. If in doubt, refer to 'uniform requirements' –

Manuscripts must be provided in UK English.

Qualifications, affiliations and contact details of ALL authors must be provided in the manuscript and in the online submission process.

Abbreviations should be spelt out when first used and thereafter used consistently, e.g. 'intravenous (IV)' or 'Department of Health (DoH)'. Generally, they should be avoided in the title of the article.

Scientific measurements must be expressed in SI units except: blood pressure (mmHg) and haemoglobin (g/dl). Litres is denoted with a lowercase 'l' e.g. 'ml' for millilitres). Units should be preceded by a space (except for %), e.g. '40 kg' and '20 cm' but '50%'. Greater/smaller than signs (> and <) should be placed immediately preceding the relevant number, i.e. 'women > 40 years of age'. The same applies to ± and °, i.e. '35±6' and '19°C'.

Numbers should be written as grouped per thousand–units, i.e. 4 000, 22 160...

Quotes should be placed in single quotation marks: i.e. The respondent stated: '...'

Round brackets (parentheses) should be used, as opposed to square brackets, which are reserved for denoting concentrations or insertions in direct quotes.

General formatting
The manuscript must be in Microsoft Word or RTF document format. Text must be single–spaced, in 12–point Times New Roman font, and contain no unnecessary formatting (such as text in boxes, with the exception of Tables).

If tables or illustrations submitted have been published elsewhere, the author(s) should provide consent to republication obtained from the copyright holder.

Tables may be embedded in the manuscript file or provided as 'supplementary files'. They must be numbered in Arabic numerals (1,2,3...) and referred to consecutively in the text (e.g. 'Table 1'). Tables should be constructed carefully and simply for intelligible data representation. Unnecessarily complicated tables are strongly discouraged. Tables must be cell–based (i.e. not constructed with text boxes or tabs), and accompanied by a concise title and column headings. Footnotes must be indicated with consecutive use of the following symbols: * † ‡ § ¶ || then ** †† ‡‡ etc.

Figures must be numbered in Arabic numerals and referred to in the text e.g. '(Fig. 1)'. Figure legends: Fig. 1. 'Title...'

All illustrations/figures/graphs must be of high resolution/quality: 300 dpi or more is preferable but images must not be resized to increase resolution. Unformatted and uncompressed images must be attached as 'supplementary files' upon submission (not embedded in the accompanying manuscript). TIFF and PNG formats are preferable; JPEG and PDF formats are accepted, but authors must be wary of image compression. Illustrations and graphs prepared in Microsoft Powerpoint or Excel must be accompanied by the original workbook.

Authors must verify references from the original sources. Only complete, correctly formatted reference lists will be accepted. Reference lists must be generated manually and not with the use of reference manager software.

Citations should be inserted in the text as superscript numbers between square brackets, e.g. These regulations are endorsed by the World Health Organization,[2] and others.[3,4–6]

All references should be listed at the end of the article in numerical order of appearance in the Vancouver style (not alphabetical order). Approved abbreviations of journal titles must be used; see the List of Journals in Index Medicus.

Names and initials of all authors should be given; if there are more than six authors, the first three names should be given followed by et al. First and last page, volume and issue numbers should be given.

Journal references:
Price NC, Jacobs NN, Roberts DA, et al. Importance of asking about glaucoma. Stat Med 1998;289(1):350–355. [] [PMID: 2764753]

Book references:
Jeffcoate N. Principles of Gynaecology. 4th ed. London: Butterworth, 1975:96–101.

Chapter/section in a book: Weinstein L, Swartz MN. Pathogenic Properties of Invading Microorganisms. In: Sodeman WA jun, Sodeman WA, eds. Pathologic Physiology: Mechanisms of Disease. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1974:457–472.

Internet references:
World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2002 – Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2002. (accessed 16 January 2010).

Other references (e.g. reports) should follow the same format: Author(s). Title. Publisher place: publisher name, year; pages.

Cited manuscripts that have been accepted but not yet published can be included as references followed by '(in press)'.

Unpublished observations and personal communications in the text must not appear in the reference list. The full name of the source person must be provided for personal communications e.g. '...(Prof. Michael Jones, personal communication)'.

A PDF proof of an article may be sent to the corresponding author before publication to resolve remaining queries. At that stage, only typographical changes are permitted; the corresponding author is required, having conferred with his/her co–authors, to reply within 2 working days in order for the article to be published in the issue for which it has been scheduled.

Please notify the Editorial Department of any contact detail changes, including email, to facilitate communication.

Authors can earn up to 15 CPD CEUs for published articles. Certificates may be requested after publication of the article.

There is no charge for the publication of manuscripts.


Manuscripts submission

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.

  1. Named authors consent to publication and meet the requirements of authorship as set out by the journal.
  2. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
  3. The text complies with the stylistic and bibliographic requirements in Author Guidelines.
  4. The manuscript is in Microsoft Word or RTF document format. The text is single–spaced, in 12–point Times New Roman font, and contains no unnecessary formatting.
  5. Illustrations/figures are high resolution/quality (not compressed) and in an acceptable format (preferably TIFF or PNG). These must be submitted as 'supplementary files' (not in the manuscript).
  6. For illustrations/figures or tables that have been published elsewhere, the author has obtained written consent to republication from the copyright holder.
  7. Where possible, references are accompanied by a digital object identifier (DOI) and PubMed ID (PMID)/PubMed Central ID (PMCID).
  8. An abstract has been included where applicable.
  9. The research was approved by a Research Ethics Committee (if applicable)
  10. Any conflict of interest (or competing interests) is indicated by the author(s).

Article submissions:
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