ISSN 1681-150X printed version
ISSN 2309-8309 online version



About the Journal

The South African Orthopaedic Journal (SAOJ) was started in 2002 and was the initiative of the South African Orthopaedic Association. It is the only peer reviewed orthopaedic journal published on the continent of Africa. Most articles are of a clinical nature and many are of practical importance to practising orthopaedic surgeons and senior registrars.  

The targeted readership of the Journal is orthopaedic surgeons and registrars in South Africa and Africa, as well as internationally. All journals are supplied free of charge. Close to two hundred copies are distributed to 15 countries in Africa.

SAOJ focuses on orthopaedic surgery and is published 4 times per year in April, July, October and January the following year.

The first editor was Prof R P Gräbe, the previous Head of the Department of Orthopaedics and at present the Senior Consultant and Reader of the Department of Orthopaedics, University of Pretoria, South Africa. The current editor is Prof Anton Schepers.

Its abbreviated title is SA orthop. j., which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references and strips.


Indexing and Listing

The South African Orthopaedic Journal is a member of the Academy Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and as received DHET accreditation from the South African Department of Higher Education and Training.

All articles published in the SAOJ are indexed on:

  • SciELO SA
  • Google Scholar
  • DOAJ


Copyright and Licensing

Ownership of content (Copyright policy)

  • Authors of articles published in the South African Orthopaedic Journal retain the copyright of their articles without any restrictions.
  • Authors retain publishing rights and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work.
  • Authors requiring a variation of this policy should inform the Journal during the submission of their article.

Reproduction of articles and content (Licensing policy)

  • All content is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC BY 4.0).
  • This license facilitates open access by allowing free immediate access to, and unrestricted reuse of, original work.
  • This licencing policy is in terms of all articles or content and all versions of such content. This includes figures, tables and images.
  • Under this license, authors agree to make articles legally available for reuse, without permission or fees.
  • Anyone may copy, distribute or reuse these articles, as long as the author and original source are properly cited.
  • No permission is required from the authors or the publishers to reuse or repurpose journal content provided the original article is cited. Simply citing the original article can provide appropriate attribution.
  • Example citation: Nieuwoudt L, Ferreira N, Marais LC. Short–term results of grade II open tibia fractures treated with circular fixators.


Peer Review

Original Research Articles, Case Reports and Review Articles are subject to peer review. Although invited articles, editorials and letters to the editor are not typically peer–reviewed, the Editor–in–Chief may solicit an external review at his discretion. The peer review process involves the following:

  • All manuscripts undergo an initial assessment by the Editorial Office to ensure that they comply with the guidelines.
  • All manuscripts deemed potentially suitable then undergo a plagiarism detection process using plagiarism detection software. When a similarity report is indicative of a potential offence, the report and manuscript will be examined by the Editor–in–Chief to determine whether or not material has been plagiarised and, if so, the extent of the plagiarism. In the case of suspected plagiarism, the Plagiarism policy will come into effect.
  • When the similarity report indicates no plagiarism detected, the Editor–in–Chief assigns the manuscript to a Section Editor depending on the subject matter.
  • The Editor–in–chief or the Section Editors can at this stage reject manuscripts or refer manuscripts back to the authors for language editing or re–writing.
  • If a manuscript is deemed suitable for review by the Section Editor, 2 reviewers will be appointed.
  • Reviewers are given 6 weeks to submit a report. At least two reports are required to make a decision. The review process is double blind, that is, both authors’ and reviewers’ identities are concealed.
  • Once two reports have been received, the Section Editor makes a decision on the manuscript to either accept it, reject it, reject it for resubmission or sent it back for minor or major revision (please see instructions for reviewers section).
  • If Reviewers’ recommendations diverge, the Section Editor can arbitrate the recommendation or refer the manuscript to a third Reviewer.
  • A report will then be sent to all reviewers, in order for them to benchmark their review and self–assess their performance.
  • The decision letter is then sent to the authors.
  • Authors are given 30 days to revise a manuscript needing minor revisions and 60 days to revise a manuscript needing major revisions. Section Editors then make a decision on minor revisions and refer major revisions to one or more Reviewers (the original Reviewer/s when possible) for their recommendations before making a decision.
  • Authors can appeal a decision in writing to the Editor–in–Chief.


Open Access Policy

The main benefit of open access publication is the high visibility of your work. All articles are made freely available online for everyone, immediately upon publication.

All articles published by the South African Orthopaedic Journal are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers.

As authors of articles published in South African Orthopaedic Journal you are the copyright holders of your article and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate your article, in accordance with our copyright and licensing policy.

Unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium is permitted, provided the author/editor is properly attributed.


Article Processing Charges

There are no charges for publication of articles and Author fees in the South African Orthopaedic Journal.


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Creative Commons License All the content of the journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons License

South African Orthopaedic Association (SAOA)
P.O. Box 12918, Brandhof, Bloemfontein, Free State, ZA, 9324,
Tel: +27 51 430 3280