Scholarly Publishing Programme

The Scholarly Publishing Programme (SPP) is regarded as a major intervention within the National System of Innovation (NSI) in South Africa. The strategic goal of the SPP is to enhance the national capacity to produce and publish research, on the one hand, and to increase the quality and visibility of South African research publications, on the other. The SPP is overseen by the Academy’s Standing Committee on Scholarly Publishing in South Africa (CSPiSA), chaired by Prof Keyan Tomaselli.

After publication of the 2006 Academy report on A Strategic Approach to Research Publishing in South Africa, the Scholarly Publishing Unit (SPU) was established within ASSAf to implement the ten recommendations contained in the report. Multi-year funding was received from the DST to undertake this task. The main thrusts were to:

  • promote/enhance the standing and effectiveness of South Africa’s research journals, nationally and internationally;
  • improve the productivity/efficacy of publication through different modalities (e.g. electronic publication);
  • establish the South African Journal of Science (SAJS) as a “national asset” of high quality; and
  • ensure that discoveries and insights gained through research published in South African journals were made known to a wider public than the research community itself

Summary: Strategic Approach to Research Publishing in South Africa:Recommendations at a Glance

Relevant links

Khulisa Journals:

Scholarly Publishing Resources:

SciELO SA Journals:  

South African Journal of Science:

African Scientists Directory

The African Scientists Directory – collaboratively developed by the International Science Council (ISC) Regional Office for Africa (ROA) and the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) during 2020, with funding made available by the South

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ASSAf Research Repository

The ASSAf Research Repository is an institutional platform, providing open access to all research products by ASSAf, thereby increasing its usage, visibility and impact. At the same time it serves

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African Open Science Platform

Open Science (incl. Open Data) – according to Foster – “is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.”

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National Scholarly Editors’ Forum

Improving and protecting South African research publishing is at the core of a consensus study released by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Addressing new possibilities and challenges which have arisen and were exacerbated with the advent of open science, the study, entitled Twelve Years Later: Second ASSAf Report on Research Publishing in and from South Africa (2018) highlights the main issues and unresolved problems still remaining in the system despite progress.

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SciELO South Africa

scielobreSciELO South Africa is an open-access (free to access and free to publish) searchable database of selected, high quality South African scholarly journals. The project is inspired by a global movement towards the implementation of online journals, pioneered by the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) project, based in Brazil.

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Peer Review Panels

The Scholarly Publishing Unit carries out peer review and associated quality audits 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.

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