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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The paper is submitted in PDF format and it complies with the layout in the templates described in the Author Guidelines (currently, single-column format: see recent issues).
  • Author affiliation should be stated on the web form at time of submission for all authors and usually will not change because the affiliation should reflect where the work was done.
  • All authors agree to submission of the paper to this journal and to the order of names and affiliations for each author.
  • To support double-blind review, no author details appear on the paper and any references that clearly identify the author or authors are anonymised.
  • Provide the editor (in the space allowed for comments below) with a list of up to 5 potential reviewers including email addresses, ideally at least one from overseas. For each, indicate why they are suitable. Do not include anyone who has collaborated with any of the authors in the last 5 years.
  • If any reviewer should be excluded inform the editor (in the space allowed for comments below) with details including why the reviewer is not suitable.
  • ACM 2012 classifications (not the earlier 1998 system) are given.

  • For each reference cited that has a DOI, that reference’s DOI must be included in the reference list.
  • Journal names and book titles in the reference list are not abbreviated.
  • Reference citations are in numeric format, e.g. [5].
  • The paper is original and has not appeared elsewhere, and is not submitted elsewhere. If it extends a previously published paper, email the editor on submission and provide a summary of changes; if a reviewer or editor detects excessive similarity to other work, the paper may be summarily rejected. All submissions are screened through iThenticate.
  • On acceptance, authors will be invoiced for publication charges (currently ZAR6000, subject to change), payable before the paper is published. Authors who have no budget can apply for this charge to be waived at the time the paper is accepted.
  • If targeting a special issue, you should state that and give the name of the special issue in the space allowed for comments to the editor.

Author Guidelines

File Submission Format

Initial submission for review must be in PDF format. Authors can submit their papers once accepted in either LaTeX or MSWord format. The paper must be in the standard SACJ layout.

SACJ LaTeX class and BiBTeX style files as well as an example of a paper in MSWord format are available for download; we recommend using Overleaf; we have a SACJ LaTeX template set up for that. We do not have direct submission from Overleaf configured but you can export the PDF and submit via the journal site and share the Overleaf project with the Production Editor once the paper is accepted.

Papers submitted in LaTeX

Papers submitted in LaTeX must use the SACJ LaTeX class file. The paper will be set using Overleaf. If you use any LaTeX packages not included in this installation, please also supply them with the paper – this is easiest if you use Overleaf. The class correctly sizes various dimensions and provides a number of commands which generate SACJ specific layout. Using the standard class file (whether standalone or using Overleaf) minimizes changes by the production editor, reducing the chances of delays in production.

The SACJ pre-publication bibliographic style is designed for simplicity, with numeric citation (such as [42]). The production editor changes the style to APA Version 6, which is compex to set up and proof read, and hence not used during review.

Papers created in MSWord

Papers created in MSWord must conform to the template available above. In order to ensure that your paper is in the correct format, download the example and then use the Format Painter to transfer the correct formatting to your paper. The final version for publication will be typeset using LaTeX, so your paper will be translated into that format. It is hence vitally important that you make consistent use of style sheets in your document preparation. Please follow the instructions for the creation of the Reference list as described below. In the paper text, cite items using numeric citation (such as [42]). This makes it relatively easy for the Production Editor to transform citations to LaTex.

Article Components

The paper must start with:

  • a title (as brief as possible);
  • an abstract of less than 200 words – the abstract should not contain any references, footnotes or special symbols that are hard to render in plain text;
  • an appropriate keyword list;
  • a list of relevant ACM Computing Classification System categories and concepts, the latest version of which can be found at We transitioned to the 2012 system and no longer accept the 1998 system.

Tables and figures must be titled and numbered, with separate numbering for tables and figures. Figures and tables must be referred to in the text and should be referred to by number (not, e.g., using “above” or “below”).

Citations and Referencing

Please refer to the following guidelines:

Dibley, J., & Machanick, P. (2021). Citation and referencing guidelines. South African Computer Journal33(2).

Reference List

Creating a bibliography for your paper is not always an easy task. Many authors also find it difficult to keep their reference style consistent. Modern word processors and typesetting systems can automate this process and ensure absolute consistency. Hence, all authors, irrespective of the format in which the paper is submitted, will be required to create and submit a Bibtex file to hold the references necessary to create the reference list. For those who find the following description of Bibtex intimidating, consider using a reference manager that can export in Bibtext format, such as Mendeley or Jabref. For MSWord users, an excellent introduction to Bibtex can be found at and a comprehensive description of BibTex is available at

A bibliography item is specified in the Bibtex file in the following way:

  field = “field value”,
  … ,
  field = “field value”

There are a number of types available, and for each type certain fields are compulsory and others are optional. Examples of the 4 most commonly used bibliography items are given below. To create your BibTex file, create one such entry for each of your references. Note: we spell journal names and book titles in full; please do not abbreviate.

  author = "S.Zhang and C. Zhu and J. K. O. Sinand and P. K. T. Mok ",
  title = "A Novel Ultrathin Elevated Channel Low-temperature Poly-{Si} {TFT} ",
  journal = "IEEE Electron Device Letters",
  volume = "20",
  month = "nov" ,
  year = "1999",
  doi = "10.1109/55.798046",
  pages = "569 -- 571"

  author = "B. D. Cullity",
  title = "Introduction to Magnetic Materials",
  publisher = "Addison-Wesley",
  address = "Reading, MA" ,
  year = "1972"

  author = "R. K. Gupta and S.D. Senturia",
  title = "Pull-in Time Dynamics as a Measure of Absolute Pressure",
  booktitle = "Proc. {IEEE} International Workshop on Microelectromechanical Systems ({MEMS’97)",
  doi = "10.1109/MEMSYS.1997.581830",
  year = "1997"

  author = "Jeff Bigham",
  title = "A super sweet article",
  month = "May;,
  year = "2006" ,
  note = "\url{}"

Authors are separated by the word and. If an “author” is an organisation with a multiword name like Peach Computers, Inc., enclose the name in { } so that it is not broken down incorrectly into surname and other names. Also use { } to enclose capitals you want to preserve in paper titles as BibTeX aggressively loses capitals in paper titles (see for example the Zhang 1999 reference).

Page Length

As a general guideline, aim for 10-15 pages in final typeset format. Length is not a primary criterion for acceptance or rejection, but excessive length can be a reason for rejection or revision on the grounds of readability or unnecessary material that detracts from the central message.

Peer-review Policy

SACJ has a double-blind reviewing policy. The author’s name and affiliation should not appear on the title page (or elsewhere). Citing of previous articles by the author should be anonymised if appropriate. Acknowledgments and thanks should not be included in the draft for review. If you use MSWord please make sure that your name and affiliation are not saved in the document properties. In addition to a detailed review, referees may make any of the following decisions, which will be passed on to you by the editor handling your paper, who will balance possibly differing views of the reviewers:

  • Accept Submission – there may be minor concerns or corrections
  • Revisions Required – concerns or corrections should be checked by the editor before final acceptance
  • Resubmit for Review – the paper cannot be published without significant improvements and must go for another round of review (preferably by the same reviewers, if they are still available)
  • Decline – the paper is not fit to publish and should not be resubmitted

For Decline and Resubmit for Review you should not submit the paper as a new submission.

Decline means we do not see a way to salvage the paper; at best, it may be suitable to submit elsewhere.

For Resubmit for Review, even if there are substantial changes, the paper should be submitted as another round of submission using the same URL as the original submission.

Proofs of accepted papers will be sent to the corresponding author to ensure that type setting is correct, and not for addition of new material or major amendments to the text. Corrected proofs should be returned to the production editor within three days.

Article Processing Charges (APCs)

A charge of ZAR6,000.00 will be levied on papers accepted for publication to cover costs of open access publication. Where the author’s institution or research budget is unable to meet this charge, it may be waived upon request of the author and at the discretion of the editor.


You may submit a paper at a self-archive (pre-publication) site such as or once the paper is accepted, provided you acknowledge publication in SACJ and add the DOI of the published version, once it is known, to your self-archived version. Pre-publishing before acceptance compromises double-blind review.

Extended Conference Papers

Authors of conference papers are welcome to submit extended papers to SACJ for consideration on these terms:
  • a covering letter accompanying submission should explain what is added to the paper to make it worth publishing as a journal paper
  • the paper includes at least 30% new material
  • a pointer is provided to the original paper or, if it is not freely available, upload it as supplementary material when submitting the extended paper toSACJ
  • evidence is provided that republication in this form does not violate copyright of the conference publication

Special Issues

Papers can only be submitted to a special issue when there is an open call for papers for a special issue. Guest editors will be appointed for a specific special issue, which may be a theme or extended papers from a conference.

Letters to the Editor

 It should carry the author’s full name and affiliation, and should be limited to 500 words. 

Research Articles - General

Papers in this section cannot be classified as one of Computer Science or Information Systems.

Research Articles - Information Systems

Papers in this section must clearly be Information Systems; papers that overlap significantly with Computer Science or fit neither category should be submitted as Research Articles - General.

Research Articles - Computer Science

Papers in this section must clearly be Computer Science; papers that overlap significantly with Information Systems or fit neither category should be submitted as Research Articles - General.

Book Reviews

It should carry the author’s full name and affiliation, and should be limited to 500 words.


Maximum 2 pages.


A communication is between a letter to the editor and a viewpoint: something useful for readers to know. It is not peer-reviewed but the editor-in-chief reserves the right to reject an inappropriate or poorly-written communication. It should carry the author’s full name and affiliation. Up to two pages in length (or longer, by negotiation with the editor), may also reflect minor research contributions, works-in-progress or ideas to stimulate debate. This category of submission is accepted at the discretion of the editor, not refereed and does not qualify as a research publication for South African government subsidy purposes. The major criteria for acceptance are that the item is coherently written and does not require significant editing, that it is timely and it is likely to be of interest to readers. 


Obituaries are published at the discretion of the editor and are not peer-reviewed.

Special Issue

Papers can only be submitted to a special issue on invitation (extended papers from a conference) or when there is an open call for papers for a specific special issue.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party. Personal data collected is dealt with in accordance with the South African POPI Act, South Africa's equivalent of the EU GDPR. Also view the Khulisa Journals Data Privacy Policy for more information.