Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The SAJOG is a bi-annual, general specialist obstetrics and gynaecology journal that publishes original, peer-reviewed work in all areas of obstetrics and gynaecology, including contraception, urogynaecology, fertility, oncology and clinical practice. The journal carries original research articles, editorials, clinical practice, personal opinion, South Africa health-related news, obituaries and general correspondence.


Section Policies


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Case reports

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Review article

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Letters to the editor

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Book reviews

Checked Open Submissions Unchecked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Position Statement

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

Peer Review Process

The Editors aim to provide prompt reviews to optimise the quality of the published papers. All submissions are reviewed by an editorial advisory group, who will check for scope, fit, quality, originality, interest for the readership, etc., and recommend acceptance, rejection or referral for review. 

A double blind review process is followed, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from each other throughout the review process. Should an author prefer an open peer review process, please contact the relevant editor to discuss. 

A majority of manuscripts will be sent to one or two reviewers, under the management of an editor assigned to the submission. Reviewers as experts in the field provide comments to authors and editors on the importance, originality and scientific merit of the manuscript and suggest changes which may improve the quality and validity of the manuscript. The review process itself takes approximately 4 – 6 weeks to complete but can change depending upon the quality of the manuscript submitted, reviewer’s response and time taken by the authors to submit the revised manuscript.

If the decision is for revision, the author is requested to address each comment by the reviewers, and submit a letter outlining their responses accompanying their revised manuscript. The assigned editor will re-evaluate the revisions and will either make a decision or send the manuscript for a second round of review, usually to the original set of reviewers.  Reviewers will be informed of the outcome of manuscripts which they have reviewed.

The Editor-in-Chief will have the final decision on any submitted manuscript.



Publication Frequency

Journals are published bi-annually (1 volume comprising 2 issues per annum).


Open Access Policy

The South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology  is an Open Access Journal and provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. In accordance with the definition of the Budapest Open Access Initiative all content published by the SAJOG is made free to users without any subscription or other charges. Users are permitted to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of these articles, or use them for any other lawful, non-commercial purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.




This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration.

Self-archiving/data sharing policy

Authors may post their article in an institutional or subject repository or on a preprint server.


Comments policy

The posting of comments to published articles requires registration with this journal website. Only constructive comments that relate to the published material will be permitted.Where relevant, the authors of the original article will be given the right to rebuttal.   Posted comments solely represent the opinions of the respective user and not those of the SAJOG, and do not imply endorsement by the SAJOG. The SAJOG reserves the right to remove comments without notice that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, contain advertising or spam, or violate another user’s privacy. The SAJOG reserves the right to revoke the privileges of users that post inappropriate material. Such material may be brought to the attention of the publisher (publishing@samedical.org). The SAJOG reserves the right to modify this policy without notice.


Plagiarism policy


A definition of plagiarism is included in the Guidelines to Authors and authors are referred to this policy for the consequences of an offence of this nature. All cases of suspected or alleged plagiarism will be considered seriously and on an individual basis.

Plagiarism is when you use someone else’s work (book, article, website, etc.) or idea without acknowledging them as the source, whether it be copied verbatim or paraphrased.
Self plagiarism is the re-use of one’s previously published work without citing the original publication.

All manuscripts submitted for consideration for publication will be scanned for potential plagiarism using iThenticate (similarity detection software) before undergoing peer review to verify their originality. Similarity reports will be reviewed individually.

All cases of suspected or alleged plagiarism are considered very seriously in accordance with each journal’s Plagiarism Policy.

Submitted manuscripts
• Suspected plagiarism in a submitted manuscript can be brought to the attention of the journal editor either through the similarity report of the plagiarism detection scan or through a reviewer of the manuscript.
• When a similarity report is indicative of potential plagiarism, the report and manuscript will be examined by the journal editor to determine whether or not material has been plagiarised and, if so, the extent of the plagiarism. When plagiarism is supected, the journal editor will contact the author(s), showing evidence either from iThenticate similarity checks or from a reviewer.
• If material has been plagiarised, the corresponding author will be informed by the journal editor that the manuscript is rejected on these grounds.
• If the extent of the plagiarism is minor and journal editor determines that the author/s did not intend to plagiarise, no further action will be taken. If the plagiarism is extensive or admitted to, the author/s’ institution/s and funding bodies will be informed of the offence (the submitted and plagiarised material will be sent to them) by the journal editor. Authors will be notified that their institution/s will be informed and that they will be banned from submitting to the SAJOG in the future.
• The reader or reviewer reporting the suspected plagiarism will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.

Published articles
• When suspected plagiarism is reported to the Editorial Office, the report will be acknowledged and all relevant documentation/evidence will be retrieved and examined by the journal editor to determine whether or not material has been plagiarised and, if so, the extent of the plagiarism.
• If material has been plagiarised, the corresponding author will be informed by the journal editor and questioned.
• If the extent of the plagiarism is minor and the journal editor determines that the author/s did not intend to plagiarise, a statement indicating the plagiarised material and appropriate reference will be published online and the article online will be linked to the statement and vice versa.
• If the plagiarism is extensive or admitted to, the article will be retracted (see Article Retraction Policy) and a statement published acknowledging the original author/s.
• The author/s’ institution/s and funding bodies will be informed of the offence (submitted and plagiarised material will be sent to them) by the journal editor. Authors will be notified that the relevant institution/s will be informed and that they will be banned from submitting to the SAJOG in the future.
• The original author/s and publisher will also be informed of the offence.
• The reader or Reviewer reporting the suspected plagiarism will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.


Publication fees

All articles published in the South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology are open access and freely available online upon publication. This is made possible by applying a business model to offset the costs of peer review management, copyediting, design and production, by charging an article-processing charge (APC) of R3 500 (VAT incl.) for short articles and R7 500 (VAT incl.) for full-length articles published. The APC is standard and does not vary based on length, colour, figures, or other elements.

When submitting a Research article to the SAJOG, the submitting author must agree to pay the APC should the article be accepted for publication. The APC is payable when your manuscript is editorially accepted and before production commences for publication. The submitting author will be notified that payment is due and given details on the available methods of payment. Prompt payment is advised; the article will not enter into production until payment is received.
Queries can be directed to claudian@samedical.org

Waivers are considered and granted on a case by case basis at the discretion of the editor. Please send an email to  claudian@samedical.org should you wish to request a waiver of publication fees. 


Licensing Information

The SAJOG is published under an Attribution-Non Commercial International Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License. Under this license, authors agree to make articles available to users, without permission or fees, for any lawful, non-commercial purpose. Users may read, copy, or re-use published content as long as the author and original place of publication are properly cited. 

Exceptions to this license model is allowed for UKRI and research funded by organisations requiring that research be published open-access without embargo, under a CC-BY licence. As per the journals archiving policy, authors are permitted to self-archive the author-accepted manuscript (AAM) in a repository. 


Research Ethics policy

Research ethics committee approval

Authors must provide evidence of Research Ethics Committee approval of the research where relevant and ensure the correct, full ethics committee name and reference number is included in the manuscript.

If the study was carried out using data from provincial healthcare facilities, or required active data collection through facility visits or staff interviews, approval should be sought from the relevant provincial authorities. For South African authors, please refer to the guidelines for submission to the National Health Research Database. Research involving human participants must be conducted according to the principles outlined in the current version of the Declaration of Helsinki. Please refer to the National Department of Health’s guideline on Ethics in Health Research: principles, processes and structures to ensure that the appropriate requirements for conducting research have been met, and that the HPCSA’s General Ethical Guidelines for Health Researchers have been adhered to.

Clinical trials

As per the recommendations published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), clinical trial research is any research that assigns individuals to an intervention, with or without a concurrent comparison/control group to study the cause-and-effect relationship between the intervention and health outcomes. All clinical trials should be registered with the appropriate national clinical trial registry (or any international primary register, if relevant), and the trial registration number should be cited at the end of the abstract. All clinical trial reports must also contain a data sharing statement as per the recommendations of the ICMJE. Statements are to indicate:

  • whether individual deidentified participant data will be shared;
  • what data in particular will be shared; whether additional, related documents will be available;
  • when the data will become available and for how long; by what access criteria data will be shared.

Please see the ICJME announcement for further details and illustrative examples of data sharing statements: ICMJE Data Sharing Statements for Clinical Trials

Since 1st December 2005, all clinical trials conducted in South Africa have been required to be registered in the South African National Clinical Trials Register. The SAJOG therefore requires that clinical trials be registered in the relevant public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrollment as a condition for publication. The trial registry name and registration number must be included in the manuscript.

Please refer to the general guidelines for all papers at the top of this article for additional requirements with respect to ethics approval, funding, author contributions, etc. The format of original research articles should be followed for reporting of clinical trial results.


Patient Consent

Information that would enable identification of individual patients should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) has given informed written consent for publication and distribution. We further recommend that the published article is disseminated not only to the involved researchers but also to the patients/participants from whom the data was drawn. Refer to Protection of Research Participants. The signed consent form should be submitted with the manuscript to enable verification by the editorial team.

Other individuals

Any individual who is identifiable in an image must provide written agreement that the image may be used in that context in the SAJOG.



Authorship policy


Named authors must consent to publication. Authorship should be based on:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or reviewing it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

These conditions must all be met (uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals; refer to www.icmje.org)

If authors’ names are added or deleted after submission of an article, or the order of the names is changed, all authors must agree to this in writing.

Please note that co-authors will be requested to verify their contribution upon submission. Non-verification may lead to delays in the processing of submissions.

Author contributions should be listed/described in the manuscript.


Article retraction policy

Published articles should remain extant and intact. However, under exceptional circumstances involving plagiarism (see Plagiarism Policy), redundant publication or data error, scientific misconduct involving falsification and fabrication; articles may need to be retracted, removed or replaced in order to protect the integrity of the literature. The need for a retraction will be determined by the journal editor, but may be initiated, in cases of flawed data or conclusions, at the request of the author/s and/or readership.

To retract an article, a notice of retraction will be published in the next issue. This notice of retraction will:
• include the title and authors of the article, the reason for the retraction and who is retracting the article


Advertising policy

    1. All advertisements and commercially sponsored publications are independent from editorial decisions. Editorial content is not compromised by commercial or financial interests, or by any specific arrangements with advertising clients or sponsors.
    2. Advertisements may not be deceptive or misleading, and must be verifiable.
    3. Advertisements and editorial content must be clearly distinguishable. SAJOG and SAMA journals will not publish “advertorial” content, and sponsored supplements must be clearly indicated as such.
    4. Editorial decisions will not be influenced by current or potential sponsors and advertisers.


Conflict of interest policy

Conflicts of interest can derive from any kind of relationship or association that may influence authors’ or reviewers’ opinions about the subject matter of a paper. The existence of a conflict – whether actual, perceived or potential – does not preclude publication of an article. However, we aim to ensure that, in such cases, readers have all the information they need to enable them to make an informed assessment about a publication’s message and conclusions. We require that both authors and reviewers declare all sources of support for their research, any personal or financial relationships (including honoraria, speaking fees, gifts received, etc) with relevant individuals or organisations connected to the topic of the paper, and any association with a product or subject that may constitute a real, perceived or potential conflict of interest. If you are unsure whether a specific relationship constitutes a conflict, please contact the editorial team for advice. If a conflict remains undisclosed and is later brought to the attention of the editorial team, it will be considered a serious issue prompting an investigation with the possibility of retraction.


Copyright policy

Copyright of published material remains in the Authors’ name. This allows authors to use their work for their own non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from the Publisher, subject to properly acknowledging the Journal as the original place of publication.

 Authors are free to copy, print and distribute their articles, in full or in part, for teaching activities, and to deposit or include their work in their own personal or institutional database or on-line website. Authors are requested to inform the Journal/Publishers of their desire/intention to include their work in a thesis or dissertation or to republish their work in any derivative form (but not for commercial use). 

 Material submitted for publication in the SAJOG is accepted provided it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please inform the editorial team if the main findings of your paper have been presented at a conference and published in abstract form, to avoid copyright infringement.


Policy on the Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)


This policy outlines the ethical guidelines and best practices for the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by authors, reviewers, and editors in the submission, review, and publication processes. Our goal is to ensure the integrity, transparency, and ethical standards of scholarly work.

Guidelines for Authors

Use of AI Tools in Manuscript Preparation

Transparency: Authors must disclose the use of AI tools in the preparation of their manuscript. This includes, but is not limited to, AI-assisted writing, data analysis, and figure generation.

Accuracy: Authors are responsible for verifying the accuracy of information generated or analysed by AI tools. AI-generated content should be thoroughly reviewed for errors or biases.

Acknowledgment: Any AI tools used should be acknowledged in the appropriate section of the manuscript (e.g., Acknowledgments or Methods).

Ethics Compliance: Authors must ensure that the use of AI tools complies with ethical guidelines, including data privacy and the avoidance of plagiarism.

Authorship: AI tools cannot be listed as authors. Authorship should be limited to individuals who have made significant intellectual contributions to the work.


Guidelines for Reviewers

Use of AI Tools in Peer Review

Supplementary Role: AI tools may be used to assist in the review process, such as checking for plagiarism or analysing data consistency. However, they should not replace the critical judgment of the reviewer.

Disclosure: Reviewers must disclose if they have used AI tools in their review and provide details on the nature and extent of their use.

Confidentiality: Reviewers must ensure that any AI tools used in the review process comply with confidentiality agreements and do not store or misuse manuscript data.


Guidelines for Editors

Use of AI Tools in Editorial Processes

Assistance: AI tools may assist editors in tasks such as initial manuscript screening, plagiarism detection, and identifying potential reviewers. However, final decisions should be made by human editors.

Disclosure and Transparency: Editors must disclose the use of AI tools in the editorial process and ensure that their use is transparent to authors and reviewers.

Bias and Fairness: Editors should be aware of potential biases in AI tools and take steps to mitigate them, ensuring fair and unbiased editorial decisions.



Withdrawal and appeals

Errors in published articles

Authors who discover an error in their published article must contact the journal as soon as possible using the contact details listed on the journal’s home page.

Article withdrawal

Submitted manuscripts can be withdrawn by the authors before final acceptance of the manuscript for publication (i.e. before it is published on line with formal identifiers (e.g. DOI number, volume and page number)). Authors should submit an email to the Editors to request the withdrawal providing reasons for their decision to withdraw.

Articles that have been accepted for publication but not yet published in their final form may be withdrawn prior to final publication, where:

- They are found to contain errors.

- They may have breached journal publishing policies in the view of the editor, e.g., multiple submissions, false claims of authorship, plagiarism, etc.


Data availability statement

SAJOG requires a Data Availability Statement for all submitted research articles. Information about how access to primary datasets (generated during the study) and referenced datasets (datasets analysed in the study) must be provided.  Where data are publicly available, accession codes or other unique identifiers if relevant must be provided. 

As per the ICJME recommendations for clinical trial data: 

Data sharing statements must indicate the following whether individual deidentified participant data (including data dictionaries) will be shared (“undecided” is not an acceptable answer); what data in particular will be shared; whether additional, related documents will be available (e.g., study protocol, statistical analysis plan, etc.); when the data will become available and for how long; by what access criteria data will be shared (including with whom, for what types of analyses, and by what mechanism). 

These statements will be published under the header ‘Data Availability Statement’ within the footnotes section of the final published article.

The South African Medical Association is the official publisher of the SAJOG.


                                        SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

                                                         Events | Careers | CPD


The South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology| Online ISSN: 2305-8862 | Print ISSN: 0038-2329 | 

Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial Works License (CC BY-NC 4.0) | 

This journal is protected by a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial Works License (CC BY-NC 4.0) | Read our privacy policy.

SAMA Journals: South African Medical Journal African Journal of Health Professions Education South African Journal of Bioethics and Law South African Journal of Child Health | Southern African Journal of Critical Care  | South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Undergraduate Research in Health African Journal of Thoracic and Critical Care Medicine  | Southern African Journal of Public Health