Editorial policy

The South African Journal of Education (SAJE) publishes original research articles reporting on research that fulfils the criteria of a generally accepted research paradigm; review articles, intended for the professional scientist and which critically evaluate the research done in a specific field in education; and letters in which criticism is given of articles that appeared in this Journal. Research articles of localised content, i.e. of interest only to specific areas or specialists and which would not appeal to the broader readership of the Journal, should preferably not be submitted. Authors should indicate the relevance of the study for education research when submitting manuscripts, where the education system is characterised by transformation, and/or an emerging economy/development state, and/or scarce resources. In addition a brief narrative account/description of ethical issues should be included in all articles that report on empirical findings.

All manuscripts will be submitted to referees (national and international), who hold documented expertise in the area the manuscript addresses. When reviews are received, an editorial decision will be made to either accept the article, reject the article, request a revision (in some cases for a second or third round of peer review), or request arbitration in the case of conflicting reviews. As a rule only one article per author or co-author will be accepted per year for refereeing and possible publication.

Authors bear full responsibility for the accuracy of the factual content of their contributions. A signed declaration in respect of originality must accompany each manuscript. On submission of the manuscript, the author(s) must also present a written undertaking that the article has not been published or is not being presented for publication elsewhere.

All manuscripts will be put through Turnitin upon receipt of the manuscript. An arbitrary guideline of a 15% similarity index applies, even though Turnitin reports are interpreted qualitatively. The use of common methodological terms and scientific concepts does not necessarily imply plagiarism, yet repetition of other work in sections that focus on content and new knowledge will not be allowed. Word-for-word copying of the work of others should be indicated by means of double quotation marks, and reference to the author, year of publication and relevant page number, e.g. “Brown (1997:40-41)”. Redundancy/self-plagiarism is also unacceptable, where authors reproduce sections of their own previously published work without using quotation marks, or where authors create several papers slightly differing from each other, and then submit these to different journals without acknowledging this.1

Plagiarism and redundancy/self-plagiarism will be dealt with as follows:

  • For papers already published: a formal notice of redundant publication will be issued to readers in the next issue of the journal. The Executive Editor has the right to refuse submissions from such authors for a certain period of time.2
  • In cases of major concern, authors will be denied the privilege of publishing the relevant paper in the South African Journal of Education.
  • In cases of minor concern, authors will be asked to rephrase the duplicated sentences.3

Author(s) must furthermore ensure that the language in the manuscript is professionally edited. Upon submission, the name and address of the language editor must be provided. Copyright of all published material remains vested in the Education Association of South Africa (EASA).


Processing charges

Authors will be invoiced for the required article processing charges (APC) upon acceptance of a manuscript for publication. These charges are reviewed annually, and will align with charges for the year of acceptance. The 2018 approved APC is ZAR 5,500 per article for South African, and USD $525 for international, authors.


Preparation and structure of manuscripts

The manuscript, including abstract, figure captions, tables, etc. should be typed on A4 paper and the pages numbered consecutively. Manuscripts should be typed in Microsoft Word format with text in Arial font, 12 point, and 1.5 line spacing. All margins should be 2.54 cm. The total number of pages should preferably not exceed 17 pages (± 6 000 words).

The title of the manuscript should be brief (maximum 15 words). The title should be followed by the author(s) name(s), affiliation(s) (Department and University), and an e-mail address for the corresponding author.

An abstract in English (approximately 190 words) must be provided, followed by up to 10 keywords, presented alphabetically.

The text of the article should be structured according to the following unnumbered sections, which may include sub-sections:

  • Introduction and/or background
  • Literature review
  • Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
  • Methodology
  • Results/findings
  • Discussion
  • Acknowledgements
  • References

Figures should be clear, black/white originals, on separate pages — not embedded in the text. Grey or coloured shading must be avoided. Tables/figures should include a brief descriptive heading/caption and be numbered consecutively, using the decimal point rather than the decimal comma.



Only sources cited in the text must be listed in the list of references, in alphabetical order, at the end of the manuscript. References should be presented as indicated in the examples below. Special attention should be paid to the required punctuation.

References are cited in the text by referring to the author(s’) name(s) and the year of publication (Harvard method), separated by a comma, e.g. (Brown, 1997). If several articles by the same author and from the same year are cited, the letters a, b, c, etc. should be added after the year of publication, e.g. (Brown, 1977a).

Page references in the text should follow a colon after the date, e.g. (Brown, 1997:40-48). In works by three or more authors the surnames of all authors should be given in the first reference to such a work yet in subsequent references to this work, only the name of the first author is given, followed by the abbreviation et al., e.g. (Ziv et al., 1995).

If reference is made to an anonymous item in e.g. a newspaper, the name of the newspaper is given in brackets, e.g. (Daily News, 1999).

For personal communications (oral or written) the relevant person and personal communication should be indicated in brackets, e.g. (M Smith, pers. comm.).


Format for referencing journal articles:

Johnson DW & Johnson RT 1999. Gifted students illustrate co-operative learning. Educational Leadership, 50:60-61. https://doi.org/10.15700/el.1999.50


Van Zyl R (ed.) 1994. Recent advances in classroom research. San Diego, CA: McGraw-Hill.

Chapters in books:

Dukzec S 1988. Gender issues. In D Hicks & J Brown (eds). Education for peace. London: Routledge.

Unpublished theses or dissertations:

Squelch J 1991. Teacher training for multicultural education in a multicultural society. Unpublished MEd dissertation. Pretoria: University of South Africa.

Anonymous newspaper references:

Citizen 1996. Education for all, 22 March.

Electronic references:

Published under author’s name: Wilson J 2000. The blame culture. British Educational Research Journal, 26. Available at http://www.govsources/gtp%access. Accessed 20 April 2005.

Website reference with no author:

These references are not archival and are therefore subject to change in any way and at any time. If it is essential to present them, however these should be included in a numbered endnote and not in the reference list.


Submission of manuscripts:

Manuscripts can be submitted electronically by e-mail or via the internet. All manuscripts should be submitted in MS Word format.

Authors who submit manuscripts for the first time should submit their manuscripts to Estelle.Botha@up.ac.za. All submissions should include a (i) cover letter, (ii) checklist (see below), (iii) the manuscript (in the stipulated format), (iv) proof of professional language editing, and (v) declaration of originality. Authors who have published in the Journal before can make use of Internet submissions, following the “Register as Author” and then submitting the manuscript online. Following this route will enable authors to track the status of their articles on the website.



1      Information adapted from Code of Ethics for the Journal of International Business Studies (n.d.). Available at http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jibs/author_instructions.html#Ethical-guidelines. Accessed 20 March 2013.

2        Information adapted from Redundant Publication: The Editorial Policy Committee of the Council of Science Editors (n.d.). Available at http://natajournals.org/userimages/ContentEditor/1256771128861/redundant_pub.pdf. Accessed 20 March 2013.

3        Information adapted from Code of Ethics for the Journal of International Business Studies (n.d.). Available at http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jibs/author_instructions.html#Ethical-guidelines. Accessed 20 March 2013.


Checklist for submission:



Comments by SAJE editorial committee

Cover letter is included



Manuscript is prepared according to page number and format stipulations 



Manuscript includes the following headings: Introduction, Literature review, Theoretical/conceptual framework, Methodology, Results/findings, Discussion, Conclusion, List of references



Manuscript is free of plagiarism and declaration of originality is attached



Certificate of professional language editing is attached



Recommendation for three national and three international reviewers is included



Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2076-3433
print ISSN: 0256-0100