You are welcome to IJSS.  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 Language, 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.

IJSS and ERRCDF condone zero tolerance for research misconduct such as plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication, among others. Practices such as fabrication of data, manipulation of data, images, visual objects, and other research resources are prohibited and considered forbidden in IJSS. Authors are expected to present an accurate account of the 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.  You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission immediately, and manuscripts outside our scope and formatting style will be returned.

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

Ethical Considerations

The issue of research ethics is critical and must be keenly followed to protect the researcher, the co-researchers, the participants, the 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 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. IJSS adheres to Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research published by the British Educational Research Association (BERA), which may be perused and applied accordingly.

Formatting of Manuscripts  
The integrity of our review process is sacrosanct; therefore, concerted efforts should be made by all authors to remove all the indications of identity from the “manuscript” to ensure a blinded 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 different documents; the first document, named "main manuscript" must only contain the title of the manuscript, 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, abstract and the email address 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 references session instead of the authors' name, article title, etc.
  • By naming your documents, author(s) identification should also be removed from the properties of the files; instead, name your main article as "main manuscript", but it 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. You are advised to employ italics rather than underlining. Please note that figures, tables and other graphics must be placed in the appropriate section within the text accordingly. 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 and sub-headings must be numbered, e.g. 1., 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, etc. In the case of multiple authors, the manuscript must indicate one author as the corresponding author in the supplementary file.  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 manuscripts must be referenced, while all references must have been cited. IJSS adopted the American Psychological Association (APA) 7th edition publication guidelines, which should be strictly adhered to.

Starting in 2022, IJSS 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, the production, and construe or result in liability. All official sources of financial support should be disclosed. Therefore, the author must notify the editor-in-chief should there be any conflicts of interest.

Permissions and Acknowledgement

It is the author’s responsibility to obtain written permission for any already published tables, figures, text passages, and illustrations. The author should create a separate section before references for acknowledgements of people, funding organisations, grants, etc.  This section should be titled “acknowledgements” just like other sub-headings, and the author(s) must obtain permission from the acknowledged person(s) and/or organisations.

Publication Process

Authors are requested to register and submit their manuscripts using our submission link. The submission and review gateways are designed to guide authors and reviewers step-by-step throughout the process. Please contact the editor if you cannot provide an electronic version before submission. The publication process is as follows:

Step 1: Authors register and submit the complete manuscript in “word doc” following the 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 scope and not fulfilling the standard research criteria).

Step 3: The articles are subjected to a plagiarism test (above 10% 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 peer reviewers are selected from different institutions to review the manuscript. Thereafter, the section editor evaluates the review results and recommends a decision based on the reviewers’ recommendations. The likely recommendations are:

  1. Accept in its current 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, and manuscripts are checked by the editorial assistant, 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 copyedited version of the manuscript is uploaded and shared with the author(s) for final approval before final publication.

Peer Review Process

IJSS 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 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.  An accepted article will be sent for copyediting, and the copyedited version will be shared with the corresponding author using the journal's online system for possible proofreading and corrections of technical issues.

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

IJSS 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 the reviewers are requested to ensure the following:

  1. The manuscript is within my area of expertise.
  2. I can dedicate the appropriate time to conduct a critical review of the manuscript.
  3. All the reviewers should declare their conflict of interest, if any, and can decline the review if conflicts exist.
  4. IJSS follows a blind peer-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 the review is our prayer.

Article Processing Charges (APC)

Prior to 2022, IJSS did not charge for publication. In order to maintain high-quality open access publications, IJSS will henceforth require the author(s) of the accepted article(s) to pay a one-time Article Processing Charge (APC) of 200 USD (ZAR 3 700).  Please note that there are no charges for submission, rejected articles, figures, colour, or length of articles, and there are no hidden and/or surcharges whatsoever.  

Copyright and Licensing

IJSS is an open-access journal that provides immediate access to its published contents. Authors retain unrestricted copyright and publishing rights for all articles published from August 2023 onwards. The authors also grant the publisher permission to publish the articles and be recognised as the original and the first publisher. Articles published are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0), which permits commercial re-use (download, copy, redistribute, translate, remix, adapt, and build upon materials published, etc.) of open access articles, as long as the original author and source are properly attributed. The authors grant the publisher permission to apply a DOI to their articles and to archive them in databases and indexes such as DOAJ, SABINET, J-Gate, Scopus, EBSCO, ERIC, among others.  Authors also grant other third-party users the right to use the article freely as long as its original authors and citation details are acknowledged without prior permission from the publisher or the author.   

Note: All articles published prior to August 2023 are licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives.

Open Access Policy 

IJSS provides immediate open access to readers and other users. This means that the readers and other users pay nothing to download, copy, read, print, distribute, link to the texts or use them for other lawful purposes. This is in accordance with the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access. However, an Article Processing Charge (APC) is required by the author(s) for the life maintenance of articles.

Self-archiving Policy

IJSS permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal on personal websites, institutional repositories, social networking sites, ResearchGate, and, among others, both prior to and after publication while providing bibliographic details that credit, if applicable, its publication in this journal.