For authors

Instructions for authors

The instructions for authors include information about the types of articles received for publication, preparing a manuscript for submission to the African Journal of Disability and the online submission process. Other relevant information about the journal's policies and the reviewing process can be found under the about section.

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Article types published by the African Journal of Disability  

Most articles published by the African Journal of Disability follow a specific format, as listed below:

  • Editorials: comments and opinions that explore new ideas within the focus and scope of the journal (less than 1500 words with a maximum of 10 references).
  • Book reviews: the editor or book-review editor may request book reviews on any books relevant to aspects of disability studies and rehabilitation sciences. Please contact the editor if you would like to suggest a review or book for consideration.
  • Case studies: documented diagnosis and treatment of a patient or group, or a potential description of the implementation of an educational programme or healthcare-related intervention towards the improvement of human development (between 500 and 1500 words). Compulsory as a supplementary file: Ethical clearance letter/certificate.
  • Conference reports, proceedings and abstracts: the publication of conference reports are arranged with the Editor-in-Chief (no longer than 1500 words).
  • Community papers: project reports, life stories, testimonials, news, views and commentaries (between 500 and 1500 words).
  • Educational material: education module or course content, or any material used in the education and training of students (less than 3500 words and free from copyright).
  • Interactive communications: a concise but complete description of a limited investigation that will not be included in a later paper (between 500 and 1000 words with a maximum of 10 references).
  • Opinion papers: personal viewpoint on a fundamental disability or rehabilitation concept or development that highlights recent exciting research or policy developments (between 1000 and 2000 words).
  • Original articles: innovative research in a particular field within or related to the focus and scope of the journal presented according to a clear and well-structured format (between 3500 and 7000 words with a maximum of 60 references). Compulsory as a supplementary file: Ethical clearance letter/certificate.
  • Review articles: articles that inform a broad readership about fields in which there have been recent, important advances of immense, fundamental significance and highlight unresolved questions and future directions (between 2500 and 4000 words with a maximum of 40 references; abstract required).
  • Scientific letters: discussions on material where the authors raise their opinion on a particular aspect of disability studies or their reaction to a previously published paper in the journal (up to 800 words).

References: Begin the reference list on a separate page. The African Journal of Disability uses the Harvard referencing style. Note: no other style will be permitted. 

Submit:    New submission |    Revised submission |    Thesis abstract

 Learn how to ensure your manuscript adheres to the AOSIS Publishing house style.

The submission process can be interrupted at any time; when users return to their journal’s personalised section, they can continue from where they left off.

Publication procedure  

On the acceptance of a manuscript for publication by the Editor-in-Chief, the editorial staff will work towards preparing the manuscript for online publication. 

The first stage is the language editing that is returned to the corresponding author for review. This will be the final opportunity for the author to make text changes to the manuscript. At a later stage, the editorial staff will send the author one set of galley proofs, at which time the author will have two working days to mark any typographical errors. It may not be possible to incorporate author corrections in the printed version of the manuscript in the event of the author failing to respond to the proofreading requests. Authors should visit their personalised home page frequently to assess the location or stage of the manuscript.

Publication fees 


All our readers and authors enjoy the benefits of free open access. We believe that open access of the journal promotes accessibility and uptake worldwide, serving the best interests of the professional and scientific community and the public at large.

Since no fees are charged for access, AOSIS offsets the publication expenses – including those of peer review management, journal production and online hosting and archiving – by charging Article Processing Charges (APC), also known as page fees, to authors, institutions or funders for each article published.

Article Processing Charges (APC)

The APC for this journal is R1 300.00 (excl. VAT) per A4 output page in PDF format. The average length of an article in this journal is 12 pages.

This APC is valid for the current calendar year and may be changed at any time at the sole discretion of the publisher.

The submitting author is responsible for payment of the APC and must confirm, at the time of submission, that s/he will organise payment of the APC, should the article be accepted for publication. This responsibility may not be delegated to any third party unless agreed to by the publisher.

Article Submission Charges (ASC)

ASC does not apply.

Text changes after layout

Authors will be given the opportunity to revise and approve the text of the accepted manuscript in the final phase of copy-editing. After author approval the manuscript will go to design layout. The author will be asked to proofread the final galleys before going to publishing. Proofreading is intended to correct typesetting mistakes and not to introduce new changes to the text; such changes will require new layout of the pages. If new changes are introduced at this final proofreading stage, the publisher will charge Galley Change Fees (GCF) to the author, based on the cost incurred to make such changes. 

The GCF per hour is R450.00 [excluding VAT].


The final APC is derived from an estimated A4 PDF page count, based on the finally approved manuscript word count, and no changes will be made after invoicing. 

Only one invoice shall be issued per article (no splitting of invoices) in order to expedite publication and keep costs to a minimum. All amounts are due within 30 days from invoicing. Payment can be made by Credit Card and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). The article will only be published once full payment has been received. If payment is done by EFT from a non-South African bank account, the author will be responsible for any bank transfer charges at the time of the transaction. In all cases a receipt will be sent by email once payment has been received. Learn how to make a payment

Subsidy opportunities

Authors are encouraged to contact their institution, funder or the Editor-in-Chief of the journal for more details of possible APC subsidy opportunities. Possibilities are: covering APC in the research grant, utilizing the open access funds of the institution, or a direct APC waiver by the publisher. 

Funding body agreements

AOSIS complies with the requirements of funding bodies such as the Wellcome Trust and the National Research Foundation, to help authors comply with their open access terms.

Waiver of APC

Authors may apply to AOSIS for waiving of the APC, which may be granted at the sole discretion of AOSIS/the funder. In order to be fair to all authors, a full waiver of the APC is only granted under exceptional circumstances.

To consider your APC waiver request we need the following:

  • A letter from the Research Director, Faculty Dean or Departmental Head, confirming that the author’s institution cannot pay the APC.
  • A letter signed by all authors, declaring that they have exhausted all possible funding sources before applying for APC waiver.

Publication fee policy

The journal adheres to our publication fee policy, which includes our reimbursement policy.

Copyright and licensing


The author(s) retain copyright on work published by AOSIS unless specified otherwise.

Licensing and publishing rights

Author(s) of work published by AOSIS are required to grant AOSIS the unlimited rights to publish the definitive work in any format, language and medium, for any lawful purpose. AOSIS requires journal authors to publish their work in open access under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. 

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The authors retain the non-exclusive right to do anything they wish with the published article(s), provided attribution is given to the applicable journal with details of the original publication, as set out in the official citation of the article published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the article on the authors’ or their institution’s websites or in institutional repositories.

Previously published work may have been published under a different licence. We advise the community that if they would like to reuse the work to consult the applicable licence at article level.

Legal documents  

The following legal documents need to be submitted with the manuscript to the journal online; please download below: 

Where a manuscript is not accepted for publication by the Editor-in-Chief, the sections of the publication agreement in respect of the publishing licensing shall be null and void and the authors will be free to submit the manuscript to any other publication for first publication.

Authorship and competing interest  

All co-authors (collaborators) share a degree of responsibility for articles they collaborate on, hence, if an individual is unwilling to accept appropriate responsibility for a manuscript’s contents, the individual should not be a co-author.

A ‘co-author’ is defined as any person who has made a significant scientific contribution to the work reported and who shares responsibility and accountability for the results. We advise that authorship credit should follow and be based on:

  1. substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data
  2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  3. final approval of the version to be published.
Include a statement in the manuscript specifying the actual contribution made by each co-author with their affiliation at the time of the study and completion of the work. Contributions made by each of the authors listed, can follow the example below (please note the use of author initials): 

J.K. (University of Pretoria) was the project leader, L.M.N. (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and A.B. (Stellenbosch University) were responsible for experimental and project design. L.M.N. performed most of the experiments. P.R. (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) made conceptual contributions and S.T. (University of Cape Town), U.V. (University of Cape Town) and C.D. (University of Cape Town) performed some of the experiments. S.M. (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) and V.C. (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) prepared the samples and calculations were performed by C.S.(Cape Peninsula University of Technology).

AOSIS will seek reasons for any requests for changes in authorship; ensure changes are legitimate, justified and authorised by all authors.

Competing interest exist when an author’s interpretation of data or presentation of information may be influenced by a personal or financial relationship with other people or organisations that can potentially prevent the authors from executing and publishing unbiased research. Authors should disclose any financial competing interests as well as any non-financial competing interests that may cause them embarrassment were they to become public after the publication of the manuscript.

Where an author gives no competing interests, the listing will read ‘The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article.’ 

Human and Animal Rights

Human Research
All research involving human participants must have been approved by the authors' institutional review board or equivalent committee(s). This board must be named by the authors in the manuscript. For research involving human participants, informed consent must have been obtained (or the reason for lack of consent explained, e.g. the data were analysed anonymously) and all clinical investigation must have been conducted according to the principles expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki on 'Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects'. Authors should submit a statement from their ethics committee or institutional review board indicating the approval of the research. We also encourage authors to submit a sample of a patient consent form and may require submission of completed forms on particular occasions. Case studies also requires the consent of the patient(s) or waiver of consent approved by an ethics committee, and permission has been declared and submitted to the editor at the time of submission.

For studies involving humans categorised by race/ethnicity, age, disease/disabilities, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, or other socially constructed groupings, authors should, as much as possible:

  • make explicit their methods of categorising human populations;
  • define categories in as much detail as the study protocol allows;
  • justify their choices of definitions and categories, including for example whether any rules of human categorisation were required by their funding agency;
  • explain whether (and if so, how) they controlled for confounding variables such as socio-economic status, nutrition, environmental exposures, etc.

In addition, outmoded terms and potentially stigmatising labels should be changed to more current, acceptable terminology. Examples: 'Caucasian' should be changed to 'white' or 'of [Western] European descent' (as appropriate); 'cancer victims' should be changed to 'people with cancer'.

Animal Research
All animal work must have been conducted according to relevant national and international guidelines. We specifically require authors to include details of animal welfare and steps taken to ameliorate suffering in all work involving non-human primates. Manuscripts describing research involving non–human primates should also indicate that the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting in vivo animal experiments were adhered to.