About the Journal
Focus and Scope
Following the gradual departure from mono-disciplinary studies, especially given the fact that interdisciplinarity may be deployed to solve many social problems that a single discipline may find unsolvable, the African Journal of Inter/Multidisciplinary Studies (AJIMS) publishes a variety of papers from diverse academic disciplines. It aims to explore how different academic foci could be brought together to address society-related issues. The journal welcomes contributions from various academic disciplines. Since the aim is to promote interdisciplinary studies, submitted articles should demonstrate the potential for interdisciplinary research and should appeal to a wide variety of readers. The journal publishes full research articles in the fields of humanities, social sciences as well as science-related studies that could demonstrate interdisciplinary scope from different disciplines. The journal also publishes peer-reviewed short articles/commentaries where topical issues are discussed without empirical research. We recommend that you go through our guidelines for submission before submitting a manuscript.
Peer Review Process
Full articles, short articles, letters as well as commentaries submitted to the journal are all peer-reviewed. Review processes are handled by reviewing editors who are experts in the fields of the papers. The reviewing editors also assist with identifying suitable reviewers for the papers. The journal has a double-blinded peer review policy.
Submitted manuscripts first undergo an initial screening by the editorial office for compliance with the journal's guidelines. Manuscripts also undergo a plagiarism detection process at this stage using Turnitin. The plagiarism policy will come to effect at this stage if plagiarism is detected. Manuscripts may be rejected at this stage or returned to authors for resubmission before the review process.
After meeting the initial screening, manuscripts are assigned to relevant reviewing editors who assess the manuscripts for suitability. The reviewing editor may recommend rejection at this stage. If the papers are deemed suitable, the reviewing editors assign two independent reviewers online.
Reviewers are given 21-30 days to submit a report. At least two reports are required to make a decision. Where the decisions conflict, the reviewing editor can arbitrate the reports or appoint a 3rd reviewer. The review process is double-blind i.e. authors’ and reviewers’ identities are concealed. Reviewers are encouraged to be detailed, critical and constructive in their comments. Reviewers evaluation should consider the scope of the manuscript, content, presentation and scientific conducts. Manuscripts must add significant information to the field with clear methods, arguments and conclusions supported with valid claims. The information provided in the manuscript must be treated with utmost confidentiality and such unpublished information cannot be used by the reviewers for their own research. Peer review reports may be edited by the EiC to address issues such as offensive language or where there seem to be a deviation from the journal's policy e.g. regarding anonymity. Such edits will not change the opinion of the reviewer or quality of the review report. The reviewing editor informs the editor-in-chief once the review process is complete.
The author is then notified of the decision of the reviewers through the editor-in-chief. In the case of minor revisions, authors are given 30 days to revise. In the case of major revisions, authors have 60 days to revise after which the manuscript will go through another round of review. Submissions of revised manuscripts are done online. The authors have a right to appeal decisions as discussed under the appeal and complaint policy.
Where the editor-in-chief has decided that a paper now merits publication, the manuscript is referred to the publication stage.
Production Process and Publication
Accepted manuscripts are put on queue for copyediting, layout and proofing in line with the style and format of the journal. Articles published in the journal must be language-edited. Authors are then given the opportunity to approve the copyedited and proofed version of their papers. Only minor corrections such as typos and corrections to layout can be made at this stage. Figures should be carefully checked by authors to ensure that they are still correctly captured and labelled. Any major correction will be attended to in line with the correction policy of the journal. The final approved copy by the author is assigned to an issue with a DOI and prepared for publication. Authors are informed immediately their articles are published online.
Publication Model & Frequency
The journal uses a continuous publication system. At least one volume is published a year. Articles are published online when ready for publication. DOIs are allocated to all articles.
Special issues may be produced for special events e.g. conferences. We may not publish more than 5 special issues in a year. The special issue should include 8-15 papers. A special issue must have a main focus and should not have a maximum of 4 guest editors. Guest editors can be appointed from within or outside of the institution and must demonstrate an evidence of research track records around the discipline of the proposed special issue. Academics wanting to guest edit a special issue for the journal should contact the editor-in-chief to request the special issue proposal form. If the special issue proposal is approved, the journal's special editions coordinator will have an editorial briefing session with the guest editor(s) to discuss the processes, procedures, timelines and other important matters.
The guest editor(s) can seek submission either by calling for papers (CFPs), or directly inviting suitable authors which may be the option in the case of conferences etc. The guest editor(s) must ensure that authors submit their papers via the journal's online submission portal. It is the responsibility of the guest editor that manuscripts submitted are of suitable standard. Also, it is the responsibility of the guest editor(s) to ensure that authors are familiar with the journal's guidelines and policies. All papers submitted for special issues are double-blind peer-reviewed. The guest editor(s) in consultation with the editor-in-chief decide suitable and diverse reviewers. The guest editor(s) oversee(s) the review processes and then recommend a decision to the editor-in-chief. The editor-in-chief reviews the recommendation and makes a final decision. Papers authored by guest editor(s) will be dealt with individually by the editor-in-chief following the same review guidelines. Upon completion of the special issue, the editor is required to provide the order of papers as well as an editorial which serves as the introduction to the special issue.
Article Publication Charges
Since the journal is open access, AJIMS requires authors to pay Article Publishing Charges (APCs) upon acceptance of paper to cover the costs of peer review administration and management, professional production of articles in PDF and other formats, and dissemination of published papers. APCs cover the charges incurred during the publication process. AJIMS does not charge submission fees. The current APC is R10,000 per article and submitting authors are responsible for the payment of the APC which must be confirmed at the time of submission. Researchers/Academics from marginalised groups/communities as well as low income countries can apply to be exempted from the APCs provided a motivation is sent to the journal's Editor-in-Chief. Exemptions from APCs will be granted based on the merit of each application. Authors planning to apply for an exemption should indicate this when submitting through the 'comments to the editor' section on the submission website.
Appeal and Complaints: Authors may appeal a decision on their submission if they believe the decision was unfair. Please contact the editor-in-chief with your reasons for the appeal within 14 days of the decision through a letter. The editor-in-chief, in consultation with relevant members of the editorial board will review the appeal letter. Where deemed appropriate, new reviewers may be appointed to evaluate the submission. Feedback will be communicated within 30 days. The decision of the editor-in-chief is final. If you have complaints about the procedures/policies of the journal, or conduct of our staff members, please contact the managing editor or the editor-in-chief with your complaints.
Article Retraction: Articles published by AJIMS should remain intact. However, should situation warrant such as in cases of plagiarism, data error, among others where the integrity of the journal is at stake, a paper may be retracted or replaced in order to protect scholarship. The editor-in-chief may determine such cases where an article needs to be retracted. The author may also initiate a retraction process if there are perceived errors in data and conclusions. A notice of retraction will be published online and print forms for all articles which will include the details of the article, the reason for retraction, and the initiator of the retraction.
Responses and Rebuttals: To encourage discussions on our publications, we welcome formal responses on articles published in the Journal in the form of commentaries. Such commentaries must be submitted within 30 days of the original publication. The commentaries will be subject to an external review. Responses and rebuttals must be written in respectful and collegial standards. Note that they must be directed at the content of an article and not the author(s). Responses and rebuttals can also be submitted in form of commentaries to articles published in other journals.
Confidentiality: All manuscripts submitted to AJIMS are treated with confidentiality. As such, authors, reviewers, as well as editorial staff must treat all manuscripts and correspondence with the editorial office with utmost confidentiality.
Copyright and Licensing: Authors keep the copyright of their manuscripts under a Creative Commons licence: CC BY SA. By publishing your article, you agree to grant the Durban University of Technology Press an irredeemable licence to publish in print and electronic format, and further sublicense the article, for the full legal term of copyright and any renewals thereof in all languages throughout the world in all formats, and through any medium of communication. This journal permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal on personal websites or institutional repositories after publication, while providing bibliographic details that credit this journal.
Language: The journal publishes in English only.
Corrections: Where errors are detected post-publications, corrections will be made and published online and in print forms at the discretion of the EiC either as errata or corrigenda. The former is published when errors emanate from the publication process. The latter involves the correction of an error made by the authors. In both cases, the author will have to approve the corrections for publication. Where corrections are minor typographical mistakes, these will not warrant a whole new publication.
Digital Archiving: The digital contents of the journal is easily accessible and are preserved for long-term access. All our articles are digitally archived on Sabinet and preserved through Portico which is a leading digital preservation service worldwide. The content is preserved as an archival version and is provided when required under specific conditions, such as discontinuation of the collection or website crisis.
Plagiarism: Papers submitted to the African Journal of Inter/Multidisciplinary Studies (AJIMS) are screened for plagiarism using Turnitin. Manuscripts containing plagiarism will not be considered for publication in the journal. In other words, papers leading to any form of plagiarism will be rejected. The journal frowns at any form of publishing malpractices. See more on unethical practices below.
Open Access Policy: AJIMS is fully open access. As such, all articles are available on the internet to users immediately upon publication. The journal provides immediate open access to its content.
Author Agreement: The author(s) agree(s) that the contribution is original work, was not published elsewhere, and is not being considered for publication elsewhere, and will not be submitted for publication elsewhere unless it is rejected by AJIMS or officially withdrawn by the author(s). Authors submitting their papers to AJIMS automatically agree with all the policies of the journal. All opinions or arguments stated by the author(s), as well as facts and figures are strictly the responsibility of the author(s).
Presence of Ethics Statement
Authorship and Attribution: All submissions to AJIMS must include the details of every author who has made significant contribution towards the research and the drafting of the manuscript. At the point of submission, all contributing authors must be added to the online submission with the corresponding author clearly identified. All contributing authors will instantly receive a notification of submission. Contributors must be listed accordingly in a manner determined and decided by the authors. Any further changes to the authorship details should be sent to the journal’s editorial team. By submitting the paper to AJIMS, authors admit that all data in the submitted paper are real and accurate. The journal frowns completely at the practice of ‘gift authorship’, ‘honorary authorship’ and ‘ghost authorship’ where authors are listed without making significant contributions to the research or writing process. Should the practice of ‘gift authorship’ be suspected by the editorial team, such a paper will be rejected. However, should there be contributors to the paper who are not deemed to have made significant contribution to merit an authorship, such individuals can be listed in the acknowledgments section at the end of the paper. Prior to publication, all contributing authors must have seen and approved the final version. Also, authors are requested to read the submission procedures carefully and confirm that their manuscript has fully abided by the journal guidelines before submission. Authors must also be aware that AI-tools are incapable of generating an original piece of research. As such, where authors have consulted AI-technological tools in their research, its use must be disclosed, described transparently, and correctly referenced. If there are any competing interests, authors should clearly acknowledge this at the point of submission by add a ‘comment to the editor’.
Research Ethics: Researchers submitting manuscripts involving human subjects must declare compliance with ethical practices at the point of submission. The declaration must involve the ethical procedures followed such as: confidentiality, participant consent process and anonymity among others. All manuscripts describing research involving human subjects must also indicate that informed consent was obtained and that the principles of research ethics are adhered to. Details of these must be included in the methodology section of the manuscript. Manuscripts that fail to adhere to these instructions will not be considered for publication.
Misconduct or Unethical Practices: All submissions to AJIMS must be free of unethical practices. These practices may include plagiarism, falsification/fabrication of data, salami-slicing, ghost authorship, AI-generated full manuscripts as well as other practices that violate the principles of research ethics. Should the editorial team suspect any form of unethical practice, the review process is paused, and authors will be requested to provide explanation for the sake of procedural fairness. The review process will only continue provided the suspected unethical practice is not substantiated. If the suspected unethical practice is substantiated, the article is instantly rejected. If the article has been published before the unethical practice is established, such an article will be retracted in line with the retraction policy discussed under the editorial policy.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: This arises when certain information is not made fully apparent, especially where such detail may influence the judgment of authors, reviewers, and editors. As such, at the point of submissions, authors must indicate if there are any conflicts of interest e.g. funding or acknowledgement that the editorial office should be aware of. An indication of the conflict of interest does not imply a rejection of the paper. Where a conflict of interest is stated, such information will be published alongside the paper. Although we use a double-blind peer-review process, reviewers are also asked to declare any conflict of interest which could include the perceived identity of the author, shared relationship, among others. Such declaration does not invalidate the review report. The editor-in-chief (EiC) is also obliged to declare any conflict of interest with regard to any submission. Where the editor is listed as an author for a particular manuscript, the system automatically excludes the EiC from accessing the manuscript. The EiC will withdraw from the evaluation process of any manuscript where they feel conflicted for instance e.g., submission by a student, close associate, or colleague etc. The assistant EiC will take over the submission. Other members of the editorial office or the advisory board are allowed to publish in the journal. All their submissions will be treated exactly as other submissions by other authors.
Indexing & Listing
Journal History and Publisher
The journal was established in 2018, with its first volume published in 2019. The journal is jointly published by Azure Academic Publishers and the Durban University of Technology in South Africa.
AJIMS offers mentorship programmes for emerging academics who may need assistance in their writing. Please enquire with the editor-in-chief regarding this programme.