You are welcome to IJRCS.  Adhering to our guidelines will enhance a smooth peer-review and editorial process of your article. Please take note of all the instructions and follow them closely. Articles must be prepared using our Submission Template.

Originality, Trustworthiness and Misconduct 
Submissions must be original and fall within the scope of the journal. It must include an assurance that the manuscript has not been published, submitted or sent for consideration elsewhere. If required, proof of language editing done by native/L1 language speakers or experts in English should be submitted alongside the article as a supplementary file. Please be aware that only manuscripts exhibiting a similarity index of 10% or lower will be eligible for processing. Prior to proceeding, it is imperative to note that all submissions will undergo a screening process utilising the Turnitin plagiarism checker. However, the editor is rightfully obliged to suggest modifications and refuse any manuscripts with stated reasons without recourse to whether the manuscript is by invitation or a voluntary submission before publication.

IJRCS and ERRCDF condone zero tolerance for research misconduct such as plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication. Practices such as fabrication and manipulation of data, images, visual objects, and other research resources are prohibited and considered forbidden in IJRCS. Authors are expected to present an accurate account of data collection and their respective analyses. The true reflection of the work done should be presented. Anything other than that is considered unethical and would be rejected.  Authors will receive an acknowledgement receipt of their submission immediately, and manuscripts outside IJRCS's scope will be returned.

In the case of allegations regarding research misconduct, the publisher, alongside the journal editor, shall follow the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)'s core practice in dealing with such a situation.

Ethical Considerations

The issue of research ethics is important and must be keenly followed to protect the researcher, co-researchers, participants, respondents and every object and subject element involved in the study. In social sciences research, like other fields of study, adhering to ethical rules involving human beings, vulnerable populations, confidentiality, and anonymity, among others, should not be compromised. Where applicable, statements on the name of the ethics committee, the approval number, and consent to participate in the study obtained from participants or their legal guardians should be included in the study. 

Formatting of Manuscripts  
The integrity of our review process is sacrosanct; therefore, concerted efforts should be made by the author(s) to remove all the indications of identity from their manuscript to ensure a blind relationship between the author(s) and the reviewer(s). These steps will be hundred per cent (100%) considered before initiating the review process:

  • Author(s) should prepare two documents; the first document, named "main manuscript" must only contain the manuscript's title, the abstract and the entire article. The second document, which must be named and uploaded as a "supplementary file" must contain the title, author(s) information, and the email addresses of all the authors. 
  • In the case of the author(s) citing their previous works, the name(s) must be replaced with "author and year" in the text and also replicated in the reference session instead of the authors' name, and article title, among others.
  • When naming their documents, author(s) identification should also be removed from the properties of the files; instead, they should name their main article as "main manuscript" but must be in our Submission Template and the information file as "supplementary file"

Manuscripts must be prepared in Microsoft Word, using single-spaced (1.0 line spacing), justified size-10, and Book Antiqua font. Please see the Submission Template for comprehensive information. Authors are advised to employ italics rather than underlining, noting that figures, tables, and other graphics must be placed at the appropriate place within the text according to the author(s) interest. The recommended length for manuscripts is between 4000 and 7000 words, including references, an abstract of 250 words or less, and any appendixes. Kindly be advised that the prescribed word limit is not applicable to submissions categorised as "Short Communications" and "Commentaries". Each heading must be numbered, for example, 1., 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, among others. In the case of multiple authors, the manuscript must indicate one author as the corresponding author.  Before submission,  you may check our published articles to ensure that your article is correctly formatted. Articles not formatted according to our format will be rejected.  

Citation, Referencing and ORCID iD Requirement 

All sources used must be acknowledged. Authors must ensure that all in-text citations are done appropriately and with no omission in the reference section. All citations in the manuscript must be referenced, while all references must have been cited. IJRCS adopted the American Psychological Association (APA) 7th edition publication guidelines, which should be strictly adhered to.

Starting in 2022, IJRCS mandates authors to have an ORCID iD. All authors must provide an ORCID iD for all articles published. The Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID) is a free, 16-digit linkable identifier (iD) that allows researchers to be identified and distinguish identical authors from one another. For additional information, click here.

Data Availability

It is highly recommended that authors ensure the accessibility of their research data by either depositing it in a publicly accessible repository or providing it as supplementary material during the submission process. Authors are expected to disclose in their supplementary file if they have deposited their datasets into a public repository. If otherwise, authors should clearly outline the reason(s) why data cannot be released. However, as a precautionary measure, authors are advised to remove any information that might reveal their identity from the anonymised file when making a data availability statement.

Disclosure and Conflict of Interest

It is the author's responsibility to disclose any conflicting, competing and financial interest that may influence the result, production and construe or result in liability. All official sources of financial support should be disclosed. The author must, therefore, notify the Editor-in-Chief should there be any conflicts of interest.

Permission and Acknowledgement

The author's responsibility is to obtain written permission for published tables, figures, text passages, and illustrations. The author should create a separate section before references to acknowledge people, funding organisations, grants, and others.  This section should be titled "acknowledgement", just like other sub-headings. However, the author must obtain permission from the acknowledged person(s), organisations, and others.

Publication Process

Authors are requested to register and submit their manuscripts using our submission link. The submission and the review gateway are designed to guide authors and reviewers step by step throughout the process. If you are unable to provide an electronic version, please contact the Editor-in-Chief. Article publication processes are as follows:

Step 1: The author registers and submits the complete manuscript in a Word document following a double-blind peer-review policy and formatting prescription of the journal.

Step 2: The Editorial Assistant checks the submitted manuscripts (subject to rejection if not within the journal's scope and unable to fulfil the standard research criteria).

Step 3: The articles are subjected to a plagiarism test (above ten per cent similarity result will be rejected and sent back to the author(s) for possible correction).

Step 4: The article will be assigned to a suitable editorial team member (content verification will be ascertained and may be rejected if found unsuitable).

Step 5: Two expert double-blind peer reviewers are selected from different institutions to review the manuscript. After that, the section editor evaluates the review results to decide based on the reviewer's recommendations. The likely recommendations are:

  1. Accept in its condition,
  2. Minor revision is required,
  3. Major revision required,
  4. Resubmit for another review process,
  5. Reject and resubmit elsewhere.

Step 6: In the case of 1, manuscripts are processed for publication. In the case of 2 & 3, the author(s) have to submit the revised manuscript through the revision menu, where manuscripts are checked by the editor-in-chief, section editor, and reviewers (may be rejected if it does not satisfy the reviewers' queries). In the case of 4, a new review process is initiated.

Step 7: The accepted manuscripts will be formatted and sent back to the author(s) for approval.

Step 8: A copy-edited version of the manuscript is uploaded and shared with the author(s) for final approval before final publication.

Peer-Review Process

IJRCS follows a double-blind peer-review policy. This means that the identity of both the author and reviewer remain anonymous to each other.  Articles are subjected to a rigorous peer-review process after the appropriate editorial members have decided on the quality and relevance of the article to the journal. At this stage, the editor may reject or accept the article. If accepted by the editor, the article will be sent to two carefully selected peer reviewers with expertise in the article's subject area. The two reviewers are expected to give reports on the article upon which the assigned editor will decide based on the reviewers' recommendations.

If revisions are required, authors will be notified and informed accordingly and will be requested to resubmit the revised version of the article within a certain period. If the revision is minor, the editor will make the final decision, and in the case of a major revision, the article will be re-evaluated by the same reviewers, and their recommendations will inform the final decision.  Finally, an accepted article will be sent for copy-editing, and the copy-edited version will be shared with the corresponding author using the journal's online system for possible proofreading, corrections of technical issues, and return the copy to the editor.

Turn-Around Time

Depending on the reviewers' availability and promptness, our review process takes approximately 2 to 3 months. Authors may not need to follow up if the submission is less than two months.

Review Guidelines

IJRCS  values the role of reviewers in the double-blind peer review process for publishing quality works; therefore, the reviewers are expected to accept only articles in which they have sufficient expertise. All reviewers are requested to ensure the following:

  1. The manuscript is within your area of expertise.
  2. You can dedicate the appropriate time to conduct a critical review of the manuscript.
  3. All the reviewers should declare their conflicts of interest and decline the review if conflicts exist.
  4. IJRCS follows the blind review process, so the manuscript and the review process should remain confidential during and after the review process.
  5. Review of a manuscript should be fair, just, critical, and honest and should not be influenced by the origin or the geographical location of the manuscript, the religious, political, cultural viewpoint, gender, race, ethnicity, or citizenry of the author.
  6. Reviewers should only accept manuscript(s) that they are confident of and willing to dedicate appropriate time to review. However, your prompt submission of review is our wish.

Article Processing Charges (APC)

Prior to 2022, IJRCS did not charge for publication. From January 2022, IJRCS requires the author(s) of the accepted article(s) to pay a one-time Article Processing Charge (APC) to maintain its high-quality open access articles. Please note that there are no charges for submission, rejected articles, figures, colour and length of articles. Also, there are no hidden and/or surcharges whatsoever. APC is payable when the article has been accepted for publication and when an invoice has been delivered. The rate is 460 USD (R8 500) per article, effective from January 2024, and this is subject to review from time to time.  

Discount and Waiver

Students, unemployed researchers, early-career academics, scholars from marginalised communities, and authors from low-income countries are eligible to apply for a discounted rate or a complete waiver of the Article Processing Charge (APC). To initiate this process, please refer to the discount and waiver policy for comprehensive information and application details.

Publication Frequency

Prior to 2022, IJRCS published two issues on a continuous publishing model per year. From 2022, IJRCS publishes one issue per year, and a continuous publishing model applies. Therefore, articles ready for publication at any time of the year are immediately made available online on an article-by-article basis.

Starting in 2024, the Journal welcomes applications for special issues and encourages prospective special guest editors to submit their proposals. Interested individuals can find detailed guidelines and submission procedures in the Special Issue Policy.