Author Guidelines

Authors wishing to submit articles for the Southern African Journal of Communication and Information Science should follow the instructions outlined below:

Original contributions should be in English and may take the form of scholarly articles, review articles, practical work, short communications, book reviews or letters to the editor. Items that have been published elsewhere should be submitted only with permission of the original publisher, and this should be clearly indicated. Each paper is reviewed by the Editor and, if it is judged suitable for this publication, it is then sent to at least two independent referees for double blind peer review.
Article files should be submitted in Microsoft Word format. PDF files are not accepted. The paper should have the A4 paper format. See more details below:
  • Font Type: Times New Roman
  • Font Style: Normal
  • Left Margin: 2.54 cm, or 1 inch
  • Right Margin: 2.54 cm, or 1 inch
  • Top Margin: 2.54 cm, or 1 inch
  • Bottom Margin: 2.54 cm, or 1 inch
  • Line Spacing: 1.0
Article Length
Articles should be between 5000 and 7000 words in length. This includes all text including references and appendices. Please allow 280 words for each figure or table.
Article Title
The title should be brief (preferably no longer than 15 words) but should contain enough information for reliable information retrieval.
Author details
All contributing authors’ names should be added to the article submission, and their names arranged in the correct order for publication, e.g. Name Surname1, Second author Name Surname2
  • Correct email addresses should be supplied for each author.
  • The affiliation of each contributing author should be provided, e.g. Organisation, Address, City, Country. 
  • The affiliation listed should be where they were based at the time that the research for the paper was conducted.
Biographies & acknowledgements
Authors who wish to include these items should save them together in an MS Word file to be uploaded with the submission. If they are to be included, a brief professional biography of not more than 100 words should be supplied for each named author.
Structured Abstract
Authors must supply a structured abstract in their submission. The abstract should have a maximum of 250 words. The abstract should have 4-7 sub-headings as indicated below:
  • Purpose (mandatory)
  • Design/methodology/approach (mandatory)
  • Findings (mandatory)
  • Research limitations/implications (if applicable)
  • Practical implications (if applicable)
  • Social implications (if applicable)
  • Originality/value (mandatory)
Authors should avoid the use of personal pronouns within the structured abstract and body of the paper (e.g. “this paper investigates...” is correct; “I investigate...” is incorrect).
Authors should provide 4 or 5 keywords arranged alphabetically, each separated by a semicolon. The Keywords which should be appropriate and short.
Article Classification
Research paper. This category covers papers which report on any type of research undertaken by the author(s). The research may involve the construction or testing of a model or framework, action research, testing of data, market research or surveys, empirical, scientific or clinical research.

Viewpoint. Any paper, where content is dependent on the author’s opinion and interpretation, should be included in this category; this also includes journalistic pieces.

Technical paper. Describes and evaluates technical products, processes or services.
Conceptual paper. These papers will not be based on research but will develop hypotheses. The papers are likely to be discursive and will cover philosophical discussions and comparative studies of others' work and thinking.

Case study. Case studies describe actual interventions or experiences within organizations. They may well be subjective and will not generally report on research. A description of a legal case or a hypothetical case study used as a teaching exercise would also fit into this category.

Literature review. It is expected that all types of paper cite any relevant literature so this category should only be used if the main purpose of the paper is to annotate and/or critique the literature in a particular subject area. It may be a selective bibliography providing advice on information sources or it may be comprehensive in that the paper's aim is to cover the main contributors to the development of a topic and explore their different views.

General review. This category covers those papers which provide an overview or historical examination of some concept, technique or phenomenon. The papers are likely to be more descriptive or instructional (“how to” papers) than discursive.
Headings should be presented in Title Case, must be concise, with a clear indication of the distinction between the hierarchy of headings as illustrated below:
1. First-level Headings
1.1 Second-level Headings
1.1.1 Third level Headings
The preferred format is for first level headings to be presented in bold format and subsequent sub-headings to be presented in medium italics.
Notes or Endnotes should be used only if absolutely necessary and must be identified in the text by consecutive numbers, enclosed in square brackets and listed at the end of the article.
  • Any images or tables should be included in the document at the position the author wishes them to appear
  • All Figures (graph, line, drawing, etc.) should be of high quality, legible and numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals.
  • Letters and other symbols must be easily legible after reduction. Freehand or typewritten lettering is not acceptable.
  • A brief, descriptive caption for each should be included e.g. Figure 1: Title of the Figure
  • Each figure should be referred to in the text.
  • Graphics may be supplied in colour to facilitate their appearance on the online database.
  • These should be used sparingly, and should not duplicate information presented in the text.
  • Each should be numbered sequentially, using Arabic numerals, as they appear in the text.
  • A brief, descriptive title of 10-15 words should be provided for each.
  • The tables must be referred to in the text.
References to other publications must be in Harvard style and carefully checked for completeness, accuracy and consistency.
You should cite publications in the text: (Adams, 2006) using the first named author's name or (Adams and Brown, 2006) citing either names of two, or (Adams et al., 2006), when there are three or more authors. At the end of the paper a reference list in alphabetical order should be supplied:
A book by a single author:
Abell, A. 2001. Competing with knowledge: the information professional in the knowledge management age. London: Library Association Publishing,

A book with more than one author:
Matingwina, T., Dewah, P. and Masuku, M. 2018. Mastering information skills. Bulawayo: Mambo Press.

A book produced by an editor rather than an author:
Stone, R.L. (Ed). 1989. Essays on the closing of the American mind. Chicago: ReviewPress.

An edition of a book other than the first:
Visser, N. 1992. Handbook for writers of essays and theses. 2nd ed. Cape Town:Maskew Miller Longman.

A section or a chapter in a book:
Burns, T. 1984. Mechanistic and organismic structures. In:Organization theory: selectedreadings. 2nd ed. edited by D. S. Pugh. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin. 40-51.

Journal article:
 Blackburn, R. 2000. Breaking down the barriers: using focus groups to research small and medium-sized enterprises. International Small Business Journal. 19(1): 44-63.

Newspaper article:
Smith, A. 2008. Money for old rope. Daily News, 21 January, pp. 1, 3-4.

Electronic Journal article with a DOI:
Chaterera, F.,Ngulube, P. and Rodrigues, A. 2013. Records surveys in support of a framework for managing public records in Zimbabwe.Information Development. 57(5): 527-535. [2017, May 22]

Electronic Journal article without a DOI
Bouthillier, F. and Shearer, K. 2002. Understanding knowledge management and information management: the need for an empirical perspective.Information Research. 8(1): 22-25. Available: [2017, May 22]

Website article:
Buor, D. 2008. Analysing the socio-spatial inequities in the access of health services in sub-Saharan Africa: interrogating geographical imbalances in the uptake of health care. Available: [2017, October 26].

A paper from a conference publication:
Poll, R. 2018. The house that Jack built: the consequences of measuring. Proceedings of the 2nd Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Library  Information Services. 7-11 September 1997, Longhirst Hall, Northumberland. 39-45.

Theses and dissertations:
Matingwina, T. 2017. Public libraries in the provision of adult basic education programmes: the case of the Western Cape Province, South Africa. D.Bibl. Thesis. Department of Library and Information Science, National University of Science and Technology.

Unpublished work:
Thapisa, A.2018. Co-operation with the University of Botswana. [Personal interview, 10 March]. Cape Town. (Unpublished).

For data:
Campbell, A. and Kahn, R.L. 2018. American National Election Study, 1948, ICPSR07218-v3, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (distributor), Ann Arbor, MI, available at:

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