ASSAf Scholarly Publishing Unit: March 2016 Communique

Dear Colleagues

This our second communication to keep you posted on developments on our side. Through this initiative we would like to create a forum to stay in touch with journal editors and other role players, but also to take scholarly publishing in our country forward in terms of international best practice. Thank you for being part of this forum, and for your contributions to all these successes. It would not have been possible without you.

ASSAf now an international ORCID ambassador

It is with great excitement that we would like to announce that ASSAf is now an official ambassador for ORCID, together with the following ambassadors:

More information on the role of an ORCID Ambassador:

Example ORCIDs:
Prof Robin Crewe
Prof John Butler-Adam

We would like to encourage editors, reviewers, authors and others involved in scholarly publishing to please register for an ORCID if they haven’t done so already. Also encourage other researchers at your institutions to start using this ID, which can be added to email signatures, as well as publications, web pages, and metadata associated with these. Looking forward to seeing all researchers connected via ORCID! Well done to institutions who have already implemented ORCID successfully! Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need any assistance.

Available ORCID APIs:

  1. Free public API (see more)
  2. Member API (see more)

Peer reviews of DHET accredited scholarly journals

The reviews of journals in the following three discipline groups will be taking place in the first half of 2016: Humanities II: Visual & Performing Arts; Communication, Information Science & Knowledge Systems; and, Engineering & Architecture. The peer review panels for these groups will meet in March 2016.

We have sent out another reminder to journal editors who have not completed the questionnaire. Your responses will assist peer reviewers in conducting a thorough review of your journal. We would like to emphasise that the delay in completing and submitting the questionnaire will delay the peer review process. If you do not submit the questionnaire then the published report of the results will state that the “editor did not complete the questionnaire”.

We are also feeding the data from the questionnaire through to the Centre for Research on Evaluation and Technology (CREST) in Stellenbosch. CREST has been commissioned by ASSAf to complete a Study of Scientific Journal and Book Publishing in South Africa which will look at the trends and changes in journal publishing over the last decade. The information you provide will assist CREST with this research.

Thank you to all who have already completed and sent the questionnaires (in this case, please ignore the reminder!). We do appreciate the time and energy that goes into completing it. Please let us know if you have not received the email request and questionnaire.

Progress re digital preservation of SciELO SA issues

The transfer of retrospective SciELO SA issues to the Portico dark archive has begun. The most vulnerable journal titles will be given priority.

Journal Information on SciELO SA Web Site

If your editorial board or publisher has changed in the last few months you need to let us know about the changes that need to be made for your journal on the SciELO SA web site

Corrections can be forwarded to Louise van Heerden, Email:

SciELO SA Journal Status

Our collection has grown to 61 titles, and it was visited more than 1.3 million times during 2015.

SciELO SA: Collection Growth February 2014 – February 2016

Date Articles Issues Titles
1 February 2014 7 060 419 40
1 February 2015 11 310 702 49
1 February 2016 16 973 1 102 61

SciELO SA usage 2009 – 2015

Invitation to next ASSAf webinar on journal article retractions

We would like to make use of this opportunity to invite you to our next webinar, which will deal with best practice in terms of journal article retractions, handling complaints, managing comments, and all other errors that might occur post-publication.

Date: 10 March 2016 (Thursday)

Time: 11:00-12:00 SA Time

Venue: Virtually via ASSAf Webinar (more details will be shared following registration)

Presenter: Pippa Smart

Please register by 8 March 2016. Click here to register.

Growing Your Journal’s Reputation and Impact

The following video is worthwhile to watch! Also in terms of capacity building when it comes to guaranteeing the sustainability of your journal. Click here to view. 

Progress with ASSAf OJS Pilot

The editors of our four pilot OJS journal project are making huge progress! Once the pilot has come to an end, a report with recommendations will be compiled and ASSAf will be entering into a MoU with these journals. The outcome of the project is important in terms of identifying how ASSAf can assist journals to publish in line with international standards, at the same time making it more affordable. Click on the titles to view and give us some feedback:

Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal (PELJ)/Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad (PER)
Prof Christa Rautenbach

South African Crime Quarterly
Dr Chandré Gould & Dr Andrew Faull

South African Journal of Sports Medicine
Prof Mike Lambert

Tydskrif vir Letterkunde
Prof Hein Willemse

Please contribute to the ASSAf SPU News Blog!

If you run into interesting articles, or would like to contribute in any way to our informal news blog, please send your contributions to Access this news blog from

Kind regards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.