The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) was inaugurated in May 1996 by its patron, former President Nelson Mandela. ASSAf aspires to be the apex organisation for science and scholarship in South Africa, recognised and connected both nationally and internationally (

Sources of Support

The South African Journal of Science receives sponsorship from the South African Department of Science and Innovation, through its publisher, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

Peer Review

Research Letters, Research Articles and Review Articles are subject to peer review. Although the Editor-in-Chief may solicit an external review, items published in the front section of the journal are not subject to peer review.

  • Manuscripts are submitted online. All manuscripts undergo an initial assessment by the Editorial Office to ensure that they comply with the guidelines.

  • Manuscripts are then assigned to the Editor-in-Chief to decide whether or not they fall within the remit of the journal. The Editor-in-Chief may also refer to Associate Editors for their assessment. All manuscripts should be written in a style suitable for non-specialists.

  • All manuscripts deemed potentially suitable then undergo a similarity detection process using iThenticate and Crossref Similarity Check. When a similarity report is indicative of potential plagiarism, 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 the Associate Editor responsible for the discipline in which the manuscript falls.

  • Associate Editors can at this stage reject manuscripts that are too specialised or refer manuscripts back to the authors for language editing or re-writing. If a manuscript is deemed suitable for review, the Associate Editor appoints and invites Reviewers online. It is at the discretion of the Associate Editor whether or not Reviewers recommended by Authors are selected; the selection will, however, include Reviewers who are not on the recommended list.

  • Reviewers are given 14 days to submit a report. At least two reports are required to make a decision. The review process is double-anonymous, that is, both authors’ and reviewers’ identities are concealed.

  • Once at least two reports have been received, the Associate Editor makes a decision on the manuscript. If Reviewers’ recommendations diverge, the Associate Editor can arbitrate the recommendation or refer the manuscript to a third Reviewer.

  • Authors are given 30 days to revise a manuscript needing minor revisions and 60 days to revise a manuscript needing major revisions. Revised manuscripts are submitted online. You will need to log in and select the article in your submissions page. The resubmission is done in the review stage, there is no need to start a new submission. At the review stage you will need to do two things to resubmit once you have revised your document: Upload the new file in the revisions section. To upload a new file click on ‘Upload file.’ A new window will open allowing you to upload your file(s). Select the appropriate option from the dropdown menu to indicate that you are not submitting a revision of an existing file.

  • Associate 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.

  • Accepted manuscripts are received by the Editorial Office where they enter the production queue to undergo copy-editing, layout and proofing. Research Letters are given priority and are scheduled for publication in the forthcoming open issue. Research Articles and Review Articles are produced for publication in date order of acceptance, but can, at the discretion of the editors and for compelling reasons, be assigned to a particular issue. See Production Process

Appeals and complaints


Authors have the right to appeal a decision on their submission if they believe the decision was unfair.

To appeal a decision, please submit a letter detailing the nature of the appeal and indicating why the decision is viewed as unfair.

The letter should be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief within 10 days of the decision.

The Editor-in-Chief will review all relevant documentation relating to the submission, may consult the relevant Associate Editor or Reviewers and may appoint a new Reviewer to evaluate the submission before making a decision.

The decision of the Editor-in-Chief will be final.


For complaints relating to the policies and procedures of the Journal or the conduct of editorial staff, please email the details of the complaint to the Managing Editor or Editor-in-Chief.

All complaints directed through the correct channels will be acknowledged and the resolution will be conveyed to the complainant. Complaints will be resolved as quickly as possible.

Production Process and Publication

  • Accepted manuscripts are received by the Editorial Office where they enter the production queue to undergo copy-editing, layout and proofing. Research Letters are given priority and are scheduled for publication in the forthcoming open issue. Research Articles and Review Articles are produced for publication in date order of acceptance, but can, at the discretion of the editors and for compelling reasons, be assigned to a particular issue.

  • Manuscripts and supplementary material undergo copy-editing to ensure, inter alia, that the language is clear and suitable for a non-specialist reader, that the text conforms to the house style, that the figures are presentable and that the referencing is correct. Authors are given the opportunity to approve the copy-editing changes made and to address any queries at this stage; however, major text changes are not permitted at this stage.

  • Edited manuscripts then undergo layout. Supplementary material does not undergo layout.
  • Proofs are checked first by the Editorial Office and then sent to Authors for correction. Only minor corrections such as typos and corrections to layout can be made at this stage. Figures should be carefully checked as they may have been redrawn or relabelled. Any major changes at proof stage will incur a cost and result in a delay. Final corrected proofs are not returned to authors unless requested. No changes can be made after the proof has been approved for publication. Any essential corrections can be published in a subsequent issue. See Corrections to published articles.

  • Any delays during the Production Process as a result of missing deadlines or failure to address queries will delay the publication of the article. Major delays will necessitate the manuscript being re-scheduled to avoid delaying the publication of the issue.

  • Authors will be informed as soon as their articles are published online. Articles are openly accessible from the website and may be distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence and so reprints are not provided. Authors are welcome to deposit the final published version in institutional repositories or personal archives.

  • An electronic Table of Contents, which includes summaries of selected articles and links to the articles and full digital issue, is sent once the issue has been published.

For more information, see

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

All content is open access; all articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0).

Publication Scheduling

This journal publishes six issues a year. 


As a consequence of the multidisciplinary and wide readership, authors are requested to write their manuscripts in a manner and style that is intelligible to specialists and non-specialists alike. As a multidisciplinary journal, the editorial team comprises ten discipline-specific Associate Editors who are responsible for the submissions in their respective research fields, an Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor and Online Publishing Systems Administrator.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1996-7489
print ISSN: 0038-2353