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  • The SA Orthopaedic Journal
  • Publishing Dates and Deadlines
  • Authors' Information
  • Journal Guidelines
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  • Contact Managing Editor


The publication is the official journal of the South African Orthopaedic Association.

It provides South African orthopaedic surgeons with a platform to have their work published, and for their colleagues and others involved in orthopaedics, such as neurosurgeons, to keep abreast of what is happening in our hospitals and consulting rooms.

The journal has a local Editorial Board of prominent SA orthopaedic surgeons, and enjoys the added value of having an international Editorial Board as well. Together they ensure that the content is relevant and applicable to South Africa, while at the same time providing insight into what is happening worldwide in orthopaedics.

The journal is accredited, academic, professional, and is a source for continuous medical education for our registrars.


1. Two cover sheets are to be submitted with each manuscript. The first sheet must contain the title of the manuscript, the names of all authors in the correct sequence, their academic status and affiliations. The author responsible for receiving reprint requests or other correspondence must furnish name, address, phone, fax and e-mail address. The second sheet must contain only the title of the manuscript. The authors’ names and institution at which the study was done must not be named in the text.

2a. Articles should be the original, unpublished work of the stated author. All materials submitted for publication are assumed to be submitted exclusively for publication in this journal.
2b. Written permission from the author or copyright holder must be submitted with previously published figures, tables or articles.

3a. A structured Abstract, consisting of four paragraphs with the subheadings: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions is advocated. It should be a summary of the article without references. The abstract should consist of a one paragraph statement less than 200 words (15-18 lines) in length, stating the main conclusions and clinical relevance of the article.
3b. Five Key Words must be supplied to make it easier to search for relevant articles when they are published online.
3c. The body of the manuscript should have an Introduction which should state the problem that lead to the study and the specific purpose of the study and should state previous work on the subject, if applicable.
3d. The Materials and Methods section should always include the indications for the operative procedure, when applicable, and the duration of follow-up.
3e. The Results section should provide a detailed report during a study. Results obtained after less than 2 years of follow up are rarely accepted.
3f. The Discussion should include a review of the literature with emphasis on previous findings that agree with those of the present study. The discussion should also state both the strengths and weaknesses of the study.

4. All manuscripts dealing with the study of human subjects must include a statement that the subjects have given informed consent, and that an ethical committee or similar committee has approved the study.

5. Authors are solely responsible for the factual accuracy of their work.

6. Illustrations, tables and graphs should be submitted as separate documents and should be clearly identified.

7. Legends for the illustrations should be typed in double spacing on a separate page from the text.

8. Tables should carry Roman numerals, I, II etc., and illustration Arabic numbers 1, 2 etc.

9. Accuracy of references is the author’s responsibility and the author is to verify the references against the original documents.

10. References should be numbered consecutively in the order that they are first mentioned in the text and listed at the end in numerical order of appearance. Identify references in the text by Arabic numerals in superscript after punctuation. References should not be a listing of a computerised literature search but should have been read by the authors and have pertinence to the manuscript.

11. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus, obtainable through the website

12. The following format should be used for references:


Kaplan FS, August CS, Dalinka MK. Bone densitometry observation of osteoporosis in response to bone marrow transplantation. Clin Orthop 1993;294:73-8.

Chapter in a book

Young W. Neurophysiology of spinal cord injury. In: Errico TJ, Bauer RD, Waugh T (eds). Spinal Trauma. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott; 1991: 377-94.

13. Manuscripts in preparation, unpublished data (including articles submitted but not in the press) and personal communications may not be included in the reference listing. They may be listed in the text in parentheses only if absolutely necessary to the contents and meaning of the article.

14. Manuscripts must be submitted in an electronic version (by e-mail) in conjunction with the hard copy (paper version). The text must be in a major word processing format such as MS Word. Pages should be numbered consecutively in the following order wherever possible: Title page, abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, acknowledgements, tables and illustrations, references.

15. The illustrations should not be imbedded in the text file, but should be provided as separate individual graphic files. If photographs are submitted, two sets of unmounted high quality black and white glossy prints should accompany the paper. Remove all markings, such as patient identification, from radiographs before photographing. All line or original drawings must be done by a professional medical illustrator.

16. Abbreviations and acronyms should be defined on first use and kept to a minimum.

17. Proofs forwarded to authors may be altered only for misprints of factual errors. Major alterations or new material cannot be inserted at this stage.

18. Review of manuscripts is evaluated by two different orthopaedists.

19. The contents of published articles do not constitute the official endorsement of the South African Orthopaedic Association. The same applies to opinions presented in articles or any editorial or other comments or advertisements. The appearance of advertisements in the journal is not a warranty, endorsement or approval of the products or their safety. The South African Orthopaedic Journal and the Publisher and the South African Orthopaedic Association disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas or products referred to in the articles or advertisements.

20. While all advertising appears to conform to ethical medical standards, acceptance does not imply endorsement by the South African Orthopaedic Association.

21. All correspondence must be submitted directly to the Editor-in-Chief:
Prof A Schepers
Tel: (011) 726-4459
Cell: (083) 267 1802

Henriette Strydom

22. Any queries may be directed to the Managing Editor:

Ms Pat Botes
Tel: (011) 706-6934
Fax: (011) 706-6934

P.O. Box 98068

23a. Contributors are please to observe the following and include a statement to the effect that: a.The content of the article is the sole work of the author(s).

23b. No benefits of any form have been or are to be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of the article. It is the policy of the Editorial Board that this principle should be adhered to. However, if it is not the case, the author(s) should state:

The following benefits have been received from a commercial party: (please stipulate)

23c. The research has/has not (please stipulate) been approved by an ethical committee.

24. While every effort is made to ensure accurate reproduction, the authors, editor, editorial board, advisors, publishers and their employees or agents shall not be responsible, or in any way liable for errors, omissions or inaccuracies in the publication.



Guidelines for writers and reviewers for submissions to the SA Orthopaedic Journal (SAOJ)


Over the last few years, as support for the SAOJ grows, it has become clear that we must get Medline or Pubmed accreditation in order to keep the growth momentum alive. The former Editor-in-Chief, Prof RP Gräbe, applied on two occasions for Pubmed listing but these attempts failed on both occasions. Although adequate and comprehensive reasons for not meeting with approval were not given, it would seem reasonable to assume that, in the opinion of those adjudicating, the SAOJ does not attain the academic standard required for listing in Medline or Pubmed. It is therefore incumbent on us to do what is required to improve the quality of the publications and thereby strive to elevate the intellectual value of the journal.

In order to attain the required international standard it is imperative that potential publications destined for the SAOJ must meet with defined minimum criteria. An understanding of these criteria applies equally to those who design and conduct the research projects as it does to those who, as ‘peer reviewers’ are tasked to judge such work for suitability.
Reviewers play an important role in setting the standard of the journal, and conformity and consistency in the judging process as determined by ‘guidelines for assessing acceptability for publication’ is probably the most transparent way of achieving this goal.

In order to devise these ‘Guidelines to authors and reviewers’, a subgroup of the Editorial Board of the SAOJ was tasked to produce the framework for these guidelines, as set out below. Papers submitted for consideration for publication must conform to these criteria.

Publication types

Most scientific journals will carry a variety of differing submissions. The SAOJ has the following sub-categorisation of papers:

1. Original research

• Clinical research
• Basic science and theoretical research

2. Review article

• A review of a subject with an analysis of published data

3. Case report

• The presentation of unusual or rare cases or cases that carry a useful message, usually contrary to the conventional norm

4. Letters to the Editor

• A forum to raise issues or debate aspects of previously published papers

5. Expert opinion on published articles

• A review of a journal article or cluster of articles dealing with a similar topic for the purpose of conveying a useful message.

Click here for more information.


Click on the links below if you would like to visit the South African Orthopaedic Association website or the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) website.

South African Orthopaedic Association

Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO)



Pat Botes

Tel: (011) 706-6934
Fax: (011) 706 - 6934
Cell: 083 266 8200