Front-section articles

Items for consideration for publication in the front section of the journal, such as Book Reviews and Scientific Correspondence, should be submitted online. All submissions should be accompanied by a signed Publishing Agreement and should conform to the journal format specified in the Guidelines to Authors

The following article types are considered for publication: 

Leader

The Leader is a reflection on current (usually important) issues in science, technology and education. The Leader is usually written by the Editor-in-Chief but, when important developments occur that can be better covered by discipline specialists, an appropriate scholar is asked to write the Leader. Leaders are normally about 1000 words.

News

‘News’ items report briefly on important scientific news or research in progress. Currency and relevance are the critical considerations for News items.

News items are usually 1000–2000 words, do not include an abstract but should include a statement of Significance, and should contain no more than 3 figures/tables and no more than 10 references.

Submissions deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief may be subject to a double-blind assessment by two members of the Editorial Board or Editorial Advisory Board, or by external subject experts, at the Editor-in-Chief’s discretion.

Commentaries

Commentaries call attention to an article or event of particular note or present constructive feedback on a published article, as a way to further the findings as a call to action or to a wider audience. Commentaries do not include original data.

Commentaries should be between 2000 and 3000 words, do not include an abstract but should include a statement of Significance, and should contain no more than 5 figures/tables and no more than 20 references.

Submissions deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief will be subject to a double-blind assessment by two members of the Editorial Board or Editorial Advisory Board, or by external subject experts.

Perspectives

Perspectives provide a balanced and objective, but novel, viewpoint on an important research topic or field. Perspectives may propose or support a new hypothesis, or discuss current advances, implications and future directions. Perspectives may include original data as well as personal opinion.

Perspectives should be between 2000 and 3000 words, do not include an abstract but should include a statement of Significance, and should contain no more than 5 figures/tables and no more than 20 references.

Submissions deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief will be subject to a double-blind assessment by two members of the Editorial Board or Editorial Advisory Board, or by external subject experts.

Scientific Correspondence

Scientific Correspondence items are short items 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. 

Scientific Correspondence items should be between 1000 and 2000 words, do not include an abstract but should include a statement of Significance, and should contain no more than 3 figures/tables and no more than 10 references.

Submissions deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief may be subject to a double-blind assessment by two members of the Editorial Board or Editorial Advisory Board, or by external subject experts, at the Editor-in-Chief’s discretion.

Discussion Document

The purpose of a Discussion Document is to initiate discussion on a topic that is of importance and relevance to researchers in many fields. A Discussion Document should identify a problem or opportunity needing the attention of researchers and set forth a proposal to address the problem or opportunity. Discussion Documents do not include original data or personal opinion.

Discussion Documents typically are invited, but proposals for Discussion Documents will be considered. Discussion Documents should be between 3000 and 4000 words, do not include an abstract but should include a statement of Significance, and should contain no more than 5 figures/tables and no more than 30 references.

Submissions deemed appropriate by the Editor-in-Chief will be subject to a double-blind assessment by two members of the Editorial Board or Editorial Advisory Board, or by external subject experts.

Obituaries

An Obituary offers an overview of the life, works and scientific/scholarly contributions of a leading South African/African figure in the fields of science, technology or education who has made important contributions to her or his field, whether a member of ASSAf or not. Obituaries are commissioned and unsolicited submissions will not be accepted, but suggestions for inclusion are welcomed. Obituaries are usually not longer than 1500 words and may include a photograph of the person to whom tribute is being paid.

Book Reviews

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.

See the Guidelines for Book Reviewers for more.

Length requirements:

Type Word count (all inclusive) References Figures and/or tables
News 1000-2000 10 3
Commentaries 2000-3000 20 5
Perspectives 2000-3000 20 5
Scientific Correspondence 1000-2000 10 3
Discussion Document 3000-4000 30 5
Obituaries 1500 - 1 photograph
Book Reviews 1000   -