ASSAf Peer Review of Accredited Journals

ASSAf’s Scholarly Publishing Programme (SPP) was mandated by the DHET/DST to carry out an external independent peer review and associated quality audit of all South African research journals in 5-year cycles. This is done in relation to groups of titles sharing a particular broad disciplinary focus in order to make recommendations for improved functioning of each journal in the national and international system.

Journals in the following subject groups have already been peer reviewed: Agriculture, Social Sciences, Religion, Health, Law, Humanities: Classics, Literature and Languages. These reports can be viewed under Programmes, Scholarly Publishing Programme on the ASSAf website:

The reviews are carried out by purpose-appointed peer review panels drawn from the ranks of researchers and scholars in the field. The peer review panels are appointed by the Academy’s Council and are overseen by the Committee on Scholarly Publishing in South Africa (CSPiSA). The peer review process assesses the quality of scholarly research and publication in the country. Read more about ASSAf’s Process of Peer Review of South African Scholarly Journals.

ASSAf has requested that journal editors submit a completed questionnaire for the review. The responses to the questionnaire will provide relevant and accurate information on the journal to inform the peer review panel and independent reviewers. The information will be used as a reference in conjunction with recent volumes/issues of the journal. The information from the questionnaire will also be included in a report along with the peer review panel’s findings and recommendations for the journal. Questionnaire to Editors June 2016.

After the reviews are completed ASSAf publishes a report that makes recommendations to DHET in terms of DHET accreditation, SciELO SA inclusion, and informs the journal about the findings of the Peer Review Panel in terms of its quality and operations.

Completed peer review report 2019:

Communication and Information Sciences

Completed peer review report 2020:


Reviews of journals in these discipline groups are completed and the reports are being finalised:

Reviews of journals in the following discipline group are currently being conducted:

Panel to be set up:

Other Disciplines (mixed group)

Peer Review Panels: 

Dr John Butler-Adam (ASSAf)
Prof Rajendra Chetty (CPUT)
Prof Vitallis Chikoko (UKZN)
Dr Angela James (UKZN)
Prof Ina Joubert (UP)
Prof Jace Pillay (UJ)
Prof Merridy Wilson-Strydom (NBA)

Chair: Dr John Butler-Adam
Vice chair: Prof Jace Pillay

Prof Tania Coetzee (UFS)
Prof Tilman Dedering (UNISA)
Prof Christopher Isike (UP)
Prof Pascah Mungwini (UNISA)
Prof Yolanda Sadie (UJ)
Prof Brigitte Smit (UNISA)
Prof Elizabeth van Heyningen (SUN)
Prof Anné Verhoef (NWU)

Chair: Prof Tilman Dedering
Vice chair: Prof Christopher Isike

Prof Anthony Afolayan (UFH)
Prof Roumen Anguelov (UP)
Prof Don Cowan (UP)
Prof Zodwa Dlamini (MUT)
Prof Eno Ebenso (NWU)
Prof Maryke Labuschagne (UFS)
Prof Natasha Sacks (WITS)
Prof Edilegnaw Wale Zegeye (UKZN)

Chair: Prof Don Cowan

Prof Philippe Burger (UFS)
Prof Chris Callaghan (WITS)
Prof Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu (UP)
Prof David Coldwell (WITS)
Prof Rangan Gupta (UP)
Prof Roula Inglesi-Lotz (UP)
Dr Habofanwe Koloba (UFS)
Prof Carolina Koornhof (UP)
Prof Elsabé Loots (UP)
Prof Thokozani Majozi (WITS)
Prof Sure Mataramvura (UCT)
Prof Vinothan Naidoo (UCT)
Prof Micheline Naudé (UKZN)
Prof Collins C Ngwakwe (UL)
Prof Dorrit Posel (WITS)
Prof Kanshukan Rajaratnam (SUN)
Prof Jannie Rossouw (WITS)
Dr Karen Stander (UNISA)
Prof Fiona Tregenna (UJ)
Prof Grietjie Verhoef (UJ)
Prof lbert Wöcke (Gordon Institute of Business Science)

Chair: Prof Carolina Koornhof
Vice chair: Prof Micheline Naudé

List of journals to be peer reviewed

Frequently asked questions:

Will you be reviewing all journals currently on your list?

We have already reviewed half of the journals on the list of DHET accredited journals. We are currently reviewing the remaining 50%.

Do all journals already on the list need to submit a questionnaire in order to retain their accreditation?

No. When the DHET accredited journal is up for review then ASSAf will request that the editor complete a questionnaire.

How long does the process take?

The peer review is quite involved and it is a long process. The whole process can take up to two years to complete. The journal does not generally get feedback until the report is compiled after the review is completed.

We have almost 150 journals in eight disciplines to review so please bear with us.

Is this an opportunity for journals not on the list to be submitted for consideration?

No. Journals can apply directly to the DHET for accreditation but that is an entirely different process.

With regard to applications for accreditation, please contact Walter Ntuli at the DHET who will provide the details you need. E-mail: or Tel.: 012 312 5283

Is this an evaluation to be included on the SciELO SA platform?

No, this is a Peer Review of South African DHET accredited scholarly journals conducted by the Academy of Science South Africa.

The report presents the Panel’s recommendations with regard to:

  • DHET accreditation;
  • the journal’s quality and operations; and
  • whether the quality is such that it can be considered for SciELO SA inclusion.

SciELO SA criteria:

a) The title needs to be recommended for consideration for SciELO inclusion;
b) The journal must be a South African open access journal with no ’embargoes’;
c) The journal must consistently be punctual and adhere to its indicated periodicity;
d) The publication needs to publish at least 12 articles a year;
d) In the case of pre-print journals at least 3 articles need to be published within the first quarter of the year and another 3 articles within the next quarter, i.e. a minimum of 6 articles by the end of June;
e) The journal must assign a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to each article;
g) The journal must be willing to adopt a Creative Commons (CC-BY) licence when it joins the collection; and
h) The title holder must be willing to sign a publishing agreement with ASSAf.

For further information on the evaluation criteria please click here: