The South African Journal of Science considers articles from any field on the understanding that they are the original work of the authors named, that they are being offered only to the South African Journal of Science and that the content is relevant to and for Africa.
Peer–reviewed research communications:
Submission of manuscripts for consideration:
All reported research involving humans or other animals must be approved prior to commencement of the study by an institutional ethics committee. The name of the approving body and a reference number (if provided) must be included in the Methods section of the manuscript.
In addition, all manuscripts describing research involving human subjects, tissue or data must also indicate that informed consent was obtained and that the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki were adhered to. All manuscripts describing research involving non-human animals must also indicate that the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting in vivo animal experiments were adhered to. Proper reporting should include the number, sex, age, weight, health status and source of the individuals used, as well as full details of anaesthesia and surgical procedures. The Declaration of Helsinki and the ARRIVE guidelines are also available from the Editorial Office. Manuscripts failing to adhere to these instructions will not be considered for publication.
Deposition of new sequences and structures:
Significance of the main findings:
The South African Journal of Science uses the Vancouver referencing style; no other style will be permitted. Click here for examples.
To expedite the publication process, the reference list should include a DOI (digital object identifier) for each applicable reference. The DOIs can be retrieved easily using CrossRef’s Simple Text Query tool. The tool is user friendly and free to access once you have registered for a free account.
Online supplementary material:
The publication of data sets serves several objectives and these objectives should be kept in mind when depositing and referring to data. These objectives broadly follow the FAIR Guiding Principles of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability.
Data sets can take the form of computational or curated data or those produced through experimental or observational procedures and should be provided in the ‘rawest’ form that will permit reuse. Raw data should be treated as a data set and not as supplementary material.
Data sets are citable sources. Published data sets must be cited within the manuscript (numbered as for figures and tables, e.g. Data set 1) and the citations must appear in the reference list. A description of the data set must be provided in the manuscript, which must include the format of the data and details of any software that is required to view the data.
Authors choosing to publish their data sets after acceptance of a manuscript, must deposit their data in a reputable repository that follows the principles of data management and citation. The persistent link to the data set in the repository must be provided to the Editorial Office before publication of the article and will be published on the article landing page on the Journal website, ensuring that the data set is visible and accessible to readers.
The repository selected must: be actively managed; include quality control measures; enable unrestricted access to the data set (except for reasons of privacy); enable searching and retrieval of data sets; include a globally unique persistent ID (or DOI) which resolves to a publicly accessible landing page which is maintained even if the data are retracted; appropriately describe the data and include metadata; ensure data set persistence; include version control and ensure data set stability (which means that the specific version cited can be retrieved). If for good reason the data are removed from the repository after publication, the Editorial Office must be informed.
The following is a list of recognised repositories for general data (please confirm suitability for your data type and adherence to best practice before choosing a repository): Dataverse; Dryad; Figshare; Open Science Framework (for open data); and Zenodo.
Format and preparation of manuscripts
General specifications of manuscripts
Format of text:Manuscripts should be typed in Arial font 11 point with one and a half line spacing. Please save manuscripts for upload in .DOC (not .DOCX) format. Please ensure authors’ names and affiliations and any acknowledgements are omitted [and provided on the title page] to facilitate the double–blind review process.
Unique fonts: If these are necessary, they should be embedded in the .DOC file in order to ensure they display correctly.
Layout: Start each paragraph at the margin (no tabs to indent first line). Include a line space between paragraphs to separate. Numbered paragraphs/sections are not permitted.
Heading style: First level headings: boldface, normal case, centred, on a separate line, 14pt. Second level headings: boldface, normal case, justified at left margin, on a separate line, 14pt. Third level headings: boldface, normal case, justified at left margin, on a separate line, 12pt. Fourth–level headings: underlined, not bold, normal case, justified at left margin, on a separate line, 12pt.
Spelling: Please use UK spelling and not US spelling. Use IUPAC nomenclature recommendations for chemical elements and compounds.
Quotations in the text: Single quotation marks are used for all quotations; to highlight a quote within a quote, please use double quotation marks. If citations are longer than 30 words, please do not use single quotation marks; rather indent the quotation and italicise it.
Footnotes may not be used in the text but may be used for Tables and Figures.
Equations: Use English Equation Editor if you have equations in your manuscript; other versions will not convert correctly.
Acronyms: If a phrase with an established acronym or abbreviation is used, and appears more than five times in your article, please include the acronym/abbreviation in brackets after first mention of the phrase, then use the acronym/abbreviation only. Please note that you should not define acronyms or abbreviations in any of your headings. If either has been used in your abstract/summary, you need to define them again on their first use within the main text. Abbreviations/acronyms used in figures and tables must be explained in the heading/legend or footnote.
Units: The use of units should conform to the SI convention and be abbreviated accordingly. Metric units and their international symbols are used throughout, as is the decimal point (not the decimal comma), and the 24–hour clock.
Spacing and punctuation: There should be one space (not two) between sentences; one space before unit terms (e.g. 5 kg, 5 mm, 5 mmol, 5 days, 5 °C); but no space before %. Thousands/millions are marked with a space, not a comma, from 10 000 (e.g. 10 000, 1 000 000 but 1000). Ranges are expressed with an extended hyphen, not with a short hyphen (e.g. 1990–2000).
Dates: Dates must be written as: 12 July 2012.
Tables and figures: There should be no more than 10 figures and tables in total per article. All captions must be provided together on a separate page at the end of the manuscript. Abbreviations/acronyms used in figures and tables must be explained in the heading/legend or footnote.
Figures must be provided as high–resolution images in TIFF format (avoid compressed formats like GIFF and JPEG). Ensure that your figures will be clear and legible when reduced in size.
Tables must be submitted in editable format in Word or Excel and not as image files. Excel files should be uploaded as individual sheets, not the entire workbook.
Submission of revised manuscripts
Your revised manuscript must be submitted online. Your original files will be available to you when you upload your revised manuscript – please delete any redundant files before completing the submission. You will not be able to access your manuscript to resubmit if the deadline has expired (the deadline expires at 00:00 SAST/GMT+2). If you need a few extra days to resubmit, please request the Editorial Office to extend the deadline on the submission site. Manuscripts requiring major revisions for resubmission and review should be resubmitted within 60 days following the decision and those requiring minor revisions should be resubmitted within 30 days. Resubmissions not received within these deadlines may be treated as a new submission, but should not be submitted as such.
During the submission process, you will be required to respond to the comments made by the reviewers in the space provided as well as to upload your responses as a separate (blinded) document [select Response to Reviewers as the file format when uploading the file during submission]. Your responses should be as specific as possible.
In order to expedite publication should your revised manuscript be accepted, it is important to ensure that you have complied with the guidelines, specifically that your figures are of appropriate size and resolution and have been uploaded individually as TIFF files and that your references have been numbered and formatted correctly and include DOIs where applicable.
Corresponding authors can provide feedback on the publication process of their manuscript at two stages: (1) after copy–editing of the Word document and (2) on the PDF proof after layout. Revisions and corrections must be received promptly (within 48 hours) to avoid delays in publication. Substantial changes made at PDF proof stage will be charged to the author.
Corresponding authors will be notified as soon as the article is published online. The journal is openly accessible and you can freely download and share your article. You can view your article’s metrics (views, downloads, altmetrics) on the article’s landing page.
See Production Process and Publication for more information.
Copyright & Permissions
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Academy of Science of South Africa
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