Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The journal seeks to embrace a wide range of practical and research components, including information and research literacy, information management, children's literature, ethics, globalization, impact of the digital divide, technology, scholarly communication, open scholarship, indigenous knowledge systems, etc. The objective is to serve and reflect the interests of the South Africa LIS community across the spectrum of its wide-ranging activities and research. In addition to formal scholarly articles, the editors will solicit articles on issues of practice and controversial matters as they arise. It is intended to actively encourage young writers, researchers and practitioners to share their experiences and findings so that all aspects of research, teaching, thinking and practice are brought together.

The primary target audience is the LIS and related research communities, inclusive of academics and scholars (nationally and internationally), practising information professionals as well as  policy makers (including government officials)


Section Policies


Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Research Articles

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Book Reviews

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

General Contributions

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

The peer review process is handled and recorded via an online editorial system. After a manuscript is submitted via the online system by an author/s, the Editor-in-Chief screens the manuscript and rejects unsuitable or poor-quality manuscripts at this point. Articles deemed appropriate for peer review are sent to 2 - 3 reviewers selected by the Editor-in-Chief from among the LIS and related research communities (nationally and internationally) and could also include members of the Editorial Advisory Board. Reviewers are invited on the basis of expertise in the contents of the manuscript and publication track reecord in the LIS and related disciplines. Following acceptance to perform the review, the reviewers are furnished with a copy of the manuscript and the journal’s peer review guidelines, to which they are asked to adhere. The identity of the authors and their affiliation details are blanked out to ensure a blind review. Reviewers are asked to complete the review within four weeks. Reviewers submit their reports via the online editorial system with a recommendation on the readiness of the paper for publication. The Editor-in-Chief reconciles the review reports and makes a decision on the status of the manuscript accordingly.

Manuscripts may be: accepted (subject to minor or moderate revisions); declined; returned to the authors for revision (to address all reviewer comments in detail, with the possibility of resending for peer review depending on the nature of the reviewer comments); or invited for re-submission altogether.  Authors are not made aware of the identity of a reviewer (double-blind approach). Members of the Editorial Advisory Board may be called upon to make additional recommendations.

The Editor-in-Chief has final decision on the acceptance or rejection of all manuscripts. Dedicated reviewers (a selection of five annually) are recognised thorough the award of honoraria. 


Publication Frequency

The Journal aims to produce at least two issues per annum.


Open Access Policy

The South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science is an Open Access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author (see  http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/search.php). This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of Open Access.

Articles form this journal can be submitted to institutional repositories, under the following conditions:

  1. Always upload the final publishers' version as published at http://sajlis.journals.ac.za
  2. Acknowledge LIASA as the publisher.
  3. Cite the article as part of the metadata and include the doi as part of the citation to the article.





License Terms

All articles published in SAJLIS can be re-used under the following CC license: CC BY-SA Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Brief history of the Journal

A brief history of the South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science (SAJLIS).

The South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science, SAJLIS, has, since 2002, (Vol. 68 (1)), been published as the official research journal of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA). LIASA was established in 1997, supported by an overwhelming majority of members of the LIS associations that had accommodated the interests of the South African library and information services (LIS) sector during the apartheid era, pre-1994. In 1998, as a planned consequence, the African Library Association of South Africa (ALASA), and the South African Institute for Librarianship and Information Science (SAILIS) voted to dissolve.

Although the name has changed slightly at various stages in its existence, the volume numbering of the Journal has been continuous since the first issue of South African Libraries (Vol.1 (1) July 1933): this was the quarterly journal of the South African Library Association. The SALA was founded in 1930 following the 1929 seminal recommendations of two commissioners of the Carnegie Corporation New York after their joint visit to South Africa in 1928-29.  South African Libraries (ISSN 038-240-X) volumes 1-48 (1933-1980) was published by the SALA from 1933 to 1978,  edited by leading South African academic and public librarians appointed by SALA and supported by a small editorial administrative board.  

In the late 1970s strong pressure was exerted internally on the practising profession to move towards a more “scientifically” oriented and research-focused body reflecting professional developments globally towards “information science”. Driven by this, the SALA was reconstituted in 1979 as a professional graduate South African Institute for Librarianship and Information Science (SAILIS). From 1982 (Vol. 49 (1)) the title of South African Libraries changed to the South African Journal for Librarianship and Information Science, widely referred to as SAJLIS, although for a short time it retained the original SAL look and feel.             

In the final volume of this first SAILIS journal, (vol. 51 (3&4), July 1983), Professor RB Zaaiman, editor of South African Libraries since 1980, suggested that between 1980 and 1983 the LIS sector of librarians and information scientists had “crossed a watershed”, essentially from “doing” without always fully understanding the problem or its solution, towards “knowing and understanding” implicitly using a more “scientific” approach. In 1984, SAILIS (the Institute) agreed to move SAJLIS (the Journal) for financial and operational reasons to the Bureau for Scientific Publications (BSP) of the Foundation for Education, Science and Technology, under the auspices of the Council for Scientific Publications, which already managed the publication of a number of South African scientific journals. SAJLIS was aligned with these and renamed the South African Journal of Library and Information Science from Vol. 52 (1) March 1984.

It remained a quarterly publication, retaining the acronym SAJLIS and the original numbering sequence, but some design and content changes were imposed by the BSP. A “Scientific Editor”, a Reviews Editor and an Editorial Secretary were appointed by SAILIS and the Editorial Committee comprised senior South African LIS professionals. Each issue carried Instructions to Authors and the SAJLIS Editorial policy that “contributions should reflect a scientific investigation of the subjects concerned”, but the Bureau allowed no Editorial page as such. SAJLIS remained a publication in the BSP stable from the publication of Volume 52 (1) March 1984 until the disestablishment of SAILIS in 1998. A “South African Library and Information (SALI) Trust” was then formed to manage the considerable and complex assets of SAILIS (much of which went to LIASA as “seed money”) and SAJLIS Volume 66 (3&4) stated that it was published “in collaboration with the SALI Trust”. During this transitional period, 1998-2001, there was a hiatus in the frequency of publication: continuity of annual numbering (volume 67) was temporarily interrupted.

LIASA in the meanwhile consolidated its own structures and directions and in 2001 decided to accommodate a scholarly publication in addition to its popular newsletter. The SALI Trust transferred responsibility for SAJLIS to LIASA from Volume 68 (1) 2002. Once again continuity was preserved, together with the acronym SAJLIS, with a slight but significant change in title and a new ISSN. The South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science (ISSN 0256-8861), the official journal of the Association, is now published twice a year.

In the restored Editorial of the first LIASA issue of 2002 the new Editor-in- Chief, Professor DN Ocholla, recorded that LIASA had decided that SAJLIS should publish material largely about the South African LIS sector, and that about 75% of this should comprise research-oriented peer-refereed articles. Since 2002 SAJLIS has had three editors-in-chief, all senior academic LIS professionals, with a Journal Management Team and an extensive, globally representative international Editorial Advisory Board of distinguished information scholars and professionals. The Editor-in-Chief and JMT serve for fixed maximum terms of office.

In 2011 LIASA signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and the Humanities and as a mark of its commitment to the open access movement took the decision to publish SAJLIS using open source software (OJS – Open Journal Systems) from 2012 onwards. All issues of the LIASA SAJLIS from 2002 onwards have been digitised and are available online.


Clare M Walker

Honorary Research Fellow (retired)

University of the Witwatersrand Library


7 June 2014



History: indexing

From its first volume, SALA and then SAJLIS has been indexed internally, locally and in international bibliographical and indexing services. During the 1970s cover information indicates that South African Libraries was indexed in Library Literature, Library Science Abstracts (later Library and Information Science Abstracts) and the Index to South African Periodicals (ISAP). This indexing extended in the 1980s to include INSPEC (later INSPEC-Computer and Control Abstracts); by 1997 to include Academic Abstracts, Academic Search, Current Awareness Bulletin IBZ+IBR, Internet Access BUBL, Masterfile, South African Studies and by 2003 including Information Science and Technical Abstracts (ISTA).



Plagiarism report

From 1 August 2015, all manuscripts submitted to SAJLIS must be accompanied by a plagiarism report from a reputable plagiarism checker, such as Turnitin or iThenticate. Please upload the plagiarism report at the submission stage.

Plagiarism is defined as the use of another's work, words or ideas without attribution or permission, and representation of them as one’s own original work. Plagiarism may take many forms, ranging from major plagiarism (the copy-and-paste of large amounts of text), to minor plagiarism without dishonest intent (e.g. when an author uses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper) and even self-plagiarism (the reuse of significant, identical or near-identical portions of one's own work without citing the original version).

The journal subscribes to CrossCheck, an initiative to prevent scholarly and professional plagiarism. All manuscripts submitted to the journal are automatically scanned against the CrossCheck database to verify originality.

Manuscripts containing plagiarism will not be considered for publication in the journal. If plagiarism is brought to light after a manuscript has been published, the journal will proceed to conduct a preliminary investigation. Suspected misconduct will be reported to the institutes and funding agencies of the authors concerned. The journal reserves the right to formally retract such manuscripts and publish statements to reference material as plagiarism.


Article processing charge

Article submission charges are not required.  Page fees are required for publication in the South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science. The current page fees is R2,000.00 per article. The page fees are used to support the publication of this title in an open access format. Accepted manuscripts will not move into the production process until payment has been received. Page charge forms will be sent automatically on acceptance of an article for publication in the journal.

We thank you for your prompt submission of completed page charge forms so that we can publish your paper more quickly and efficiently.


Digital Preservation

South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science. This journal is in the process of migrating from the Stellenbosch University preservation platform to the PKP PN (Preservation Network) platform.



This journal programme cannot read the ORCID iD.  Please do not add it when you Register or when submitting a paper.

After Registration, can you Edit your Profile and then insert the ORCID iD, or please send your ORCiD ID, along with the name of the journal to, scholar@sun.ac.za to add to your Profile.

Stellenbosch University researchers/authors can create an ORCID iD here.

ORCID iD is a persistent, unique, numeric identifier for individual researchers and creators. It distinguishes you from researchers and creators with the same or similar names.  ORCID iD is similar to ResearcherID, Scopus Author ID, ISNI and other systems for identifying and distinguishing researchers and creators.