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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Scope, article type and writing style are appropriate (if in doubt you have emailed the Editor-in-Chief)
  • You have read the Guidelines and Policies and adhered to formatting instructions
  • If applicable, you have appropriately referenced others’ work
  • If applicable, you have obtained ethical clearance and cited the clearance number
  • If applicable, you have declared any conflicts of interest in your cover letter
  • If applicable, you have obtained any necessary permissions to reuse data, figures or tables
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration
  • Figures, tables, appendices and supplementary material: If included; have been numbered consecutively and cited in text in numerical order
  • References: The correct style has been followed; have been cited in the text and in numerical order at first citation and include DOIs where applicable
  • These files are ready for upload:
    • [Non-reviewed articles] Publishing Agreement; Main document; Title Page
    • [Peer-reviewed articles] Publishing Agreement; Main document; Title Page; Significance of findings; Acknowledgements; Response to Reviewers [revised manuscripts]
  • The following information is ready to be submitted:
    • [Non-reviewed articles] Title; Authors’ names, affiliations and ORCIDs
    • [Peer-reviewed articles] Title; Abstract; Authors’ names, affiliations and ORCIDs; Authors’ contributions; Keywords [3–5], Names and emails of three suggested reviewers; Names of funders

Author Guidelines

All authors should read the Guidelines for Authors and ensure that their articles conform to the instructions therein before submission.

All submissions should be accompanied by a signed Publishing Agreement

There are no article processing charges.

News and Views

‘News’ items report briefly on important scientific news or developing stories (e.g. progress with regard to the SKA or new power generation systems, early findings from a research team). Currency and relevance are the critical considerations for News items.

News & Views items are most usually opinion pieces relating to current issues in the worlds of science, technology and education: news with a position taken and explained or argued by the author.

Both News and News & Views articles are usually 1000–2000 words and do not include an abstract or summary paragraph.

News

‘News’ items report briefly on important scientific news or developing stories (e.g. progress with regard to the SKA or new power generation systems, early findings from a research team). Currency and relevance are the critical considerations for News items.

News & Views items are most usually opinion pieces relating to current issues in the worlds of science, technology and education: news with a position taken and explained or argued by the author.

Both News and News & Views articles are usually 1000–2000 words and do not include an abstract or summary paragraph.

News Brief

‘News’ items report briefly on important scientific news or developing stories (e.g. progress with regard to the SKA or new power generation systems, early findings from a research team). Currency and relevance are the critical considerations for News items.

News & Views items are most usually opinion pieces relating to current issues in the worlds of science, technology and education: news with a position taken and explained or argued by the author.

Both News and News & Views articles are usually 1000–2000 words and do not include an abstract or summary paragraph.

News Feature

‘News’ items report briefly on important scientific news or developing stories (e.g. progress with regard to the SKA or new power generation systems, early findings from a research team). Currency and relevance are the critical considerations for News items.

News & Views items are most usually opinion pieces relating to current issues in the worlds of science, technology and education: news with a position taken and explained or argued by the author.

Both News and News & Views articles are usually 1000–2000 words and do not include an abstract or summary paragraph.

Book Review

Book Reviews are reviews of books that are usually of a scientific and scholarly nature and whose subject matter meets the requirements of the journal – i.e. books that are written in a language and style that would make them comprehensible (and of interest) to readers from a range of scientific disciplines. Book Reviews generally are commissioned but unsolicited submissions are considered, as are suggestions of books for review. Book Reviews are normally not longer than 1000 words but exceptions are occasionally considered if the nature of the book warrants greater detail.

Book reviewers should please include a title of their review and the following book information: title of book; book cover illustration, author(s)/editor(s); publisher; city of publication; year of publication; ISBN number; price.

Research Brief

Research Briefs are short (150 words) summaries of recently published research findings, primarily from other South African scientific and scholarly journals. The primary material is sometimes provided by the editors of the other journals but may also be provided by researchers who would like their findings to be made available to a wider readership than that of their own disciplinary journals. Research Briefs may also be submitted by readers who feel that a particular research project/programme deserves greater prominence than it currently enjoys.

Each item should contain the name of the broad disciplinary area concerned; an arresting caption; a description in ca 150 words of the main findings and conclusions in the paper, in lay language; and the full citation of the paper.

Scientific Correspondence

Scientific Correspondence items are short/moderate length (1500–2500 words) letters of a generally scientific nature. They are not letters of complaint or comments on previously published articles, but rather letters on interesting and possibly debatable issues such as ‘How long does it take to complete a Phd?’ or ‘Number theory and the unity of science’.

Commentary

Commentaries come in a variety of forms, but they are most often views regarding scientific challenges or opportunities that have arisen out of research experiences. Commentaries can, however, also present the summarised results of research projects, or comments on such research findings, that have direct policy implications and/or immediate social value. Commentaries of a similar or related nature may also be considered; please consult previous issues for examples. Commentaries should be between 2000 and 4000 words and should not include an abstract/summary paragraph.

Review Article

Review Articles (up to 6000 words) should be up-to-date surveys of important current developments in science. 

Research Article

Research Articles are longer papers (no more than 6000 words). Here the criteria of intelligibility and wider interest are strictly applied. 

Research Letter

Research Letters are short reports (no longer than 2000 words) and should be up-to-date accounts of interesting and noteworthy scientific developments. Although these reports may be concerned with very particular advances, they should be of wider than specialist interest. Research Letters are given priority in terms of rapid publication after acceptance. 

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