General criteria for high quality open access journals
General Criteria for Publishing High
Quality Open Access Journals -
Scholarly Publishing Programme
Increase visibility, accessibility & searchability of SA
accredited scholarly journals
Improve quality of SA scholarly journals, books &
Strategic Objective 1
Strategic Objective 2
Peer-review of Journals (1)
• In 2007 ASSAf, with the support of the NSEF, was mandated by
the Department of Education and the Department of Science
and Technology to carry out peer reviews of all SA research
• In response to the need for a system of quality assurance for
scholarly journals that are accredited by the DHET.
• Subject grouped titles sharing a particular broad disciplinary
• The report makes recommendations to DHET in terms of DHET
accreditation and SciELO SA inclusion. The report also includes
the findings of the Peer Review Panel in terms of the journal’s
quality and operations.
Peer-review of Journals
• Titles reviewed to date: 145
Agriculture, Social Sciences, Religion, Health, Law and
Humanities: Language and Linguistics
• Titles to be reviewed (current): 162
Currently under review
• Engineering and Architecture (15)
• Humanities II: Visual and Performing Arts (10)
• Communication and Information Science (14)
Panels being established
• Education (17)
• Politics, History and Philosophy (26)
• Mathematics and Science (22)
Panels to be established
• Economics and Business Management (27)
• Other disciplines (31)
PRELIMINARY QUESTIONNAIRE DIRECTED TO EDITORS BY THE PEER REVIEW PANEL
Please type in a short answer, just after each question, and send us your consolidated response as an
You are requested to examine hard copies of issues published over the last 3 years of the above-listed
journals in your institutional library, and, if at all possible, to provide opinions on/answers to all the questions
listed under item (1) below (these are primarily focused on the content and significance of the journals,
and not on operational issues) :
Item 1: Do the hard copies of the last 2-3 years of issues of the journal reflect:
1. high national/international disciplinary reputations/standing of the editor-in-chief/ associate
editors/members of the editorial board?
2. a high/good (general/average) quality of the articles accepted/published?
3. a (contextually) adequate/good number of articles per annum?
4. an (adequate/good) sample of the best work done in the country in the discipline/field?
5. a focus on local/regional kinds of materials/problems?
6. publication of articles by authors from across the country, and internationally?
7. useful additional scholarly features like editorials, topical reviews, book reviews, scholarly
8. proper (English-language) abstracts for all articles?
9. suitable publication of errata?
1.10 good citation practice?
1.10 good presentation, lay-out, style and copy-editing interventions?
1.10 suitability as a general on-going stimulus for local graduate
students/young staff in the discipline concerned?
1.11 some kind of comparability with leading international journals in the
Item 2: You are also requested to provide suggestions for an improvement programme for each of the
QUESTIONNAIRE DIRECTED TO EDITORS BY
THE PEER REVIEW PANEL
Please type in a short answer, just after each question, and send us your
consolidated response as an MSWord document.
(a) Editorial process-related criteria (generally based on the “National Code of
Best Practice in Editorial discretion and Peer Review” developed by ASSAf):
- For how many years has your journal been published?
- Have there been significant interruptions in publication?
- How many peer-reviewed original papers have you published during the last three
- How many manuscripts (of all three types) were received in the same period?
- Approximately how many manuscripts of all three types were rejected without peer
- What proportion of papers of all three types that you published had at least one
author with a non-South African address?
Online Journal System (OJS) Pilot Project
Trusted List of OA Journal Titles
• Journal management & publishing system, web site – all
• Licensed as Open Source Software
• Developed by Public Knowledge Project (PKP) & Simon
• Community of developers
• Download and install on local server
• Publish in journals accredited by the SA Dept. Of
Higher Education and Training (DHET) (± R 118 000-
00 per article)
• See 6 lists accredited by DHET
• High Impact Factor (IF) journals
• International acknowledged journals specially those
in their fields
What do Authors prefer?
• Right to publish
• Assign DOI
• Copyright author
• Author warranties
• Not published before
• Not under consideration with other journals
• Unlawful statements
• Defamatory material
• All authors listed
• Have rights to publish
• IR depositing
• When accepted—ASSAf must publish
• Not accepted—author free to publish elsewhere
• All the authors must sign agreement
File Formats: PDF
Author names, affiliations
and contact information
clearly visible. Space
options for ORCIDs.
How to cite
with the DOI
Clickable DOI in reference list,
for easy citation information
EPUB In-article table of contents. With
Ability to enlarge letter size.
Compatible with screen sizes.
Links to online citations
Search ability and screen size
In-depth analytics on site visits,
bounce rates and page views
Overview of countr
with most visitsEasy reporting on
per issue details
Electronic Newsletters and Table of Contents
with each issue,
Access to the full
Links to social
Full electronic Table of Contents
Mailchimp is a free-to-use online service for
building and sending electronic newsletters.
• To generate a wider interest and increase awareness from the public
• To create a large following
• To encourage interaction and build relationships with readers and to provide a platform for authors and readers
to communicate with the SAJS
• To encourage submissions, downloads/access
• To encourage visibility of the journal
Questions? Thank you!
Director: ASSAf Scholarly Publishing Unit