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Author Guidelines

General formatting guidelines

Manuscript preparation
Preparing an article for anonymous review

To ensure a fair and unbiased review process, all submissions are to include an anonymised version of the manuscript. The exceptions to this requirement are Correspondence, Book reviews and Obituary submissions.

Submitting a manuscript that needs additional blinding can slow down your review process, so please be sure to follow these simple guidelines as much as possible:
• An anonymous version should not contain any author, affiliation or particular institutional details that will enable identification.
• Please remove title page, acknowledgements, contact details, funding grants to a named person, and any running headers of author names.
• Mask self-citations by referring to your own work in third person.

General article format/layout
Submitted manuscripts that are not in the correct format specified in these guidelines will be returned to the author(s) for correction prior to being sent for review, which will delay publication.

• Manuscripts must be written in UK English (this includes spelling).
• The manuscript must be in Microsoft Word or RTF document format. Text must be 1.5 line spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, and contain no unnecessary formatting (such as text in boxes). Pages and lines should be numbered consecutively.
• Please make your article concise, even if it is below the word limit.
• Qualifications, full affiliation (department, school/faculty, institution, city, country) and contact details of ALL authors must be provided in the manuscript and in the online submission process.
• Abbreviations should be spelt out when first used and thereafter used consistently, e.g. 'intravenous (IV)' or 'Department of Health (DoH)'.
• Numbers should be written as grouped per thousand-units, i.e. 4 000, 22 160.
• Quotes should be placed in single quotation marks: i.e. The respondent stated: '...'
• Round brackets (parentheses) should be used, as opposed to square brackets, which are reserved for denoting concentrations or insertions in direct quotes.
If you wish material to be in a box, simply indicate this in the text. You may use the table format –this is the only exception. Please DO NOT use fill, format lines and so on.

SAJOG is a general specialist obstetrics and gynaecology journal, therefore for articles involving genetics, it is the responsibility of authors to apply the following:
- Please ensure that all genes are in italics, and proteins/enzymes/hormones are not.
- Ensure that all genes are presented in the correct case e.g. TP53 not Tp53.
** NB: Copyeditors cannot be expected to pick up and correct errors wrt the above, although they will raise queries where concerned.
- Define all genes, proteins and related shorthand terms at first mention, e.g. ‘188del11’ can be glossed as ‘an 11 bp deletion at nucleotide 188.’
- Use the latest approved gene or protein symbol as appropriate:
o Human Gene Mapping Workshop (HGMW): genetic notations and symbols
o HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee: approved gene symbols and nomenclature
o OMIM: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (MIM) nomenclature and instructions
o Bennet et al. Standardized human pedigree nomenclature: Update and assessment of the recommendations of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. J Genet Counsel 2008;17:424-433: standard human pedigree nomenclature.

• If illustrations submitted have been published elsewhere, the author(s) should provide evidence of consent to republication obtained from the copyright holder.
• Figures must be numbered in Arabic numerals and referred to in the text e.g. '(Fig. 1)'.
• Each figure must have a caption/legend: Fig. 1. Description (any abbreviations in full).
• All images must be of high enough resolution/quality for print.
• All illustrations (graphs, diagrams, charts, etc.) must be in PDF form.
• Ensure all graph axes are labelled appropriately, with a heading/description and units (as necessary) indicated. Do not include decimal places if not necessary e.g. 0; 1.0; 2.0; 3.0; 4.0 etc.
• Each image must be attached individually as a 'supplementary file' upon submission (not solely embedded in the accompanying manuscript) and named Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.

• Tables should be constructed carefully and simply for intelligible data representation. Unnecessarily complicated tables are strongly discouraged.
• Embed/include each table in the manuscript Word file - do not provide separately as supplementary files.
• Number each table in Arabic numerals (Table 1, Table 2, etc.) consecutively as they are referred to in the text.
• Tables must be cell-based (i.e. not constructed with text boxes or tabs) and editable.
• Ensure each table has a concise title and column headings, and include units where necessary.
• Footnotes must be indicated with consecutive use of the following symbols: * † ‡ § ¶ || then ** †† ‡‡ etc.

Do not: Use [Enter] within a row to make ‘new rows’:

Each row of data must have its own proper row:

Do not: use separate columns for n and %:

Combine into one column, n (%):

Do not: have overlapping categories, e.g.:

Use <> symbols or numbers that don’t overlap:

NB: Only complete, correctly formatted reference lists in Vancouver style will be accepted. If reference manager software is used, the reference list and citations in text are to be unformatted to plain text before submitting..
• Authors must verify references from original sources.
• Citations should be inserted in the text as superscript numbers between square brackets, e.g. These regulations are endorsed by the World Health Organization,[2] and others.[3,4-6]
• All references should be listed at the end of the article in numerical order of appearance in the Vancouver style (not alphabetical order).
• Approved abbreviations of journal titles must be used; see the List of Journals in Index Medicus.
• Names and initials of all authors should be given; if there are more than six authors, the first three names should be given followed by et al.
• Volume and issue numbers should be given.
• First and last page, in full, should be given e.g.: 1215-1217 not 1215-17.
• Wherever possible, references must be accompanied by a digital object identifier (DOI) link). Authors are encouraged to use the DOI lookup service offered by CrossRef:
o On the Crossref homepage, paste the article title into the ‘Metadata search’ box.
o Look for the correct, matching article in the list of results.
o Click Actions > Cite
o Alongside 'url =' copy the URL between { }.
o Provide as follows, e.g.:

Some examples:
• Journal references: Price NC, Jacobs NN, Roberts DA, et al. Importance of asking about glaucoma. Stat Med 1998;289(1):350-355.
• Book references: Jeffcoate N. Principles of Gynaecology. 4th ed. London: Butterworth, 1975:96-101.
• Chapter/section in a book: Weinstein L, Swartz MN. Pathogenic Properties of Invading Microorganisms. In: Sodeman WA, Sodeman WA, eds. Pathologic Physiology: Mechanisms of Disease. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1974:457-472.
• Internet references: World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2002 - Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. Geneva: WHO, 2002. (accessed 16 January 2010).
• Legal references
• Government Gazettes:
National Department of Health, South Africa. National Policy for Health Act, 1990 (Act No. 116 of 1990). Free primary health care services. Government Gazette No. 17507:1514. 1996.
In this example, 17507 is the Gazette Number. This is followed by :1514 - this is the notice number in this Gazette.
• Provincial Gazettes:
Gauteng Province, South Africa; Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs. Publication of the Gauteng health care waste management draft regulations. Gauteng Provincial Gazette No. 373:3003, 2003.
• Acts:
South Africa. National Health Act No. 61 of 2003.
• Regulations to an Act:
South Africa. National Health Act of 2003. Regulations: Rendering of clinical forensic medicine services. Government Gazette No. 35099, 2012. (Published under Government Notice R176).
• Bills:
South Africa. Traditional Health Practitioners Bill, No. B66B-2003, 2006.
• Green/white papers:
South Africa. Department of Health Green Paper: National Health Insurance in South Africa. 2011.
• Case law:
Rex v Jopp and Another 1949 (4) SA 11 (N)
Rex v Jopp and Another: Name of the parties concerned
1949: Date of decision (or when the case was heard)
(4): Volume number
SA: SA Law Reports
11: Page or section number
(N): In this case Natal - where the case was heard. Similarly, (C) woud indicate Cape, (G) Gauteng, and so on.
NOTE: no . after the v
• Other references (e.g. reports) should follow the same format: Author(s). Title. Publisher place: Publisher name, year; pages.
• Cited manuscripts that have been accepted but not yet published can be included as references followed by '(in press)'.
• Unpublished observations and personal communications in the text must not appear in the reference list. The full name of the source person must be provided for personal communications e.g. '...(Prof. Michael Jones, personal communication)'.


To submit:

For more information on:


Research articles:

Review articles:

Short reports:

Correspondence articles:


Submission and Acceptance Process

Submission and peer-review
To submit an article:
• Please ensure that you have prepared your manuscript in line with the SAJOG requirements.
• All submissions should be submitted via the Editorial system
• The following are required for your submission to be complete:
o Anonymous manuscript (unless otherwise stated)
o Manuscript
o Any supplementary files: figures, datasets, patient consent form, permissions for published images, etc.
• Once the submission has been successfully processed on the editorial system, it will undergo a technical check by the Editorial Office before it will be assigned to an editor who will handle the review process. If the author guidelines have not been appropriately followed, the manuscript may be sent back to the author for correcting.

Peer Review Process
All manuscripts are reviewed initially by the Editor-in-Chief and only those that meet the scientific and editorial standards of the journal, and fit within the aims and scope of the journal, will be sent for external peer review. Each manuscript is reviewed by two reviewers selected on the basis of their expertise in the field. A double blind review process is followed at SAJOG.
Authors are expected to receive feedback from reviewers and an editorial decision within approximately 6 weeks of submission. The time period of the entire review process may vary however depending upon the quality of the manuscript submitted, reviewers’ responses and the time taken by the authors to submit the revised manuscript.
Manuscripts from review may be accepted, rejected or returned to the author for revision or resubmission for review. Authors will be directed to submit revised manuscripts within two months of receiving the editor’s decision, and are requested to submit a point by point response to the reviewers’ comments. Manuscripts which authors are requested to revise and resubmit will be sent for a second round of peer review, often to the original set of reviewers. All final decisions on a manuscript are at the Editor's discretion

Production process

1. An accepted manuscript is passed to a Managing Editor to assign to a copyeditor (CE).
2. The CE copyedits in Word, working on house style, format, spelling/grammar/punctuation, sense and consistency, and preparation for typesetting.
3. If the CE has an author queries, he/she will contact the corresponding author and send them the copyedited Word doc, asking them to solve the queries by means of track changes or comment boxes.
4. The authors are typically asked to respond within 1-3 days. Any comments/changes must be clearly indicated e.g. by means of track changes. Do not work in the original manuscript - work in the copyedited file sent to you and make your changes clear.
5. The CE will finalise the article and then it will be typeset.
6. Once typeset, the CE will send a PDF of the file to the authors to complete their final check, while simultaneously sending to the 2nd-eye proofreader.
7. The authors are typically asked to complete their final check and sign-off within 1-2 days. No major additional changes can be accommodated at this point.
8. The CE implements the authors’ and proofreader’s mark-ups, finalises the file, and prepares it for the upcoming issue.

Changing contact details or authorship
Please notify the Editorial Department of any contact detail changes, including email, to facilitate communication.






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.

  1. Named authors consent to publication and meet the requirements of authorship as set out by the journal.
  2. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
  3. The text complies with the stylistic and bibliographic requirements in Author Guidelines.
  4. The research was approved by a Research Ethics Committee (if applicable)
  5. The authors are aware of the page fee costs associated with their submission. Please see Author Guidelines for more information.

Copyright Notice

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.


Privacy Statement

The SAJOG is committed to protecting the privacy of the users of this journal website. The names, personal particulars and email addresses entered in this website will be used only for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available to third parties without the user’s permission or due process. Users consent to receive communication from the SAJOG for the stated purposes of the journal. Queries with regard to privacy may be directed to


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


                                        SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

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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.

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