On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
S. Afr. j. sci. vol.105 n.1-2 Pretoria Jan./Feb. 2009
A new editorial model for the SAJS
What should the niche of the South African Journal of Science be? We aim to publish original work of importance in any field, which will interest readers from more than one discipline. In particular, we are keen to publish work that has a regional focus on Africa. Research contributions, which are peer-reviewed, are of three kinds: reviews, articles, and research letters. The format for all of these categories is of necessity relatively brief compared to that of more specialised journals: details can be found on the inside front cover.
Our second important function is to serve as a forum for debate about recent developments in research and in higher education. The front section of the journal covers news, news features, book reviews, obituaries, commentaries, letters and news and views articles. (The last category comprises articles which opine on important recent developments either in the published literature or at conferences.) These contributions are not peer-reviewed, but potential authors are encouraged to liase with the Editor-in-Chief before submitting work of this nature to the journal.
With effect from this issue, the journal is being run on a new model: ten associate editors have been appointed, each of whom will handle manuscripts in a different area (see page 3) and report to the new editor-in-chief. This division into 10 disciplines has been made largely on the basis of past content of the journalwhich has been primarily within the natural sciencesbut we should like now to encourage more submissions from the humanities and social sciences.
We hope that the new model will lead to much more rapid publication of manuscripts, typically three to four months after receipt. In addition, the journal will, from the end of April, have open online access through a new portal established by the Academy of Science of South Africa: www.scielo.org.za. The journal's contents will be available online as each issue appears; in addition the contents of the previous two volumes, which appeared in 2007 and 2008, will be available at the outset.