Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

SAJBL is an online, bi-annual, peer reviewed journal that covers matters related to ethics, law, human rights and related matters for the health professions. It carries research articles and letters, editorials, clinical practice, personal opinion and other topics related to biomedical law and human rights issues. It also carries related South African health-related news, obituaries and general correspondence.


Section Policies


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Articles: Life Esidimeni

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

From the editor

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Letter to editor

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

MoH Address

Checked Open Submissions Unchecked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Case study

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Scientific letter

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Book reviews

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Unchecked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Stem cell Supplement

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Informed consent

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 editor, who will check for scope, fit, quality, originality, interest for the readership, etc., and recommend acceptance, rejection or referral for review. Submissions sent for review include Research and Reviews. Prior to submitting a review to the Journal, the author should discuss the possible scope of the review with the editor.Editorials and Correspondence may not go through peer review. Once an article has been accepted for peer review, it is assigned to an Associate Editor who will manage it through the peer review process.
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. 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 has the final decision on any submitted manuscript.
Enrol as a reviewer
The SAJBL encourages readers who are actively involved in research and with particular expertise to serve as peer reviewers of the Journal.

• Already a registered user? Login to the Journal Editorial Manager website and edit your profile to include 'Reviewer' as a role. Kindly express your interest to serve as a reviewer in an email to Ames Dhai:Ames.Dhai@wits.ac.za; specifying your user login.

• Not a registered user? Reviewers are required to register on the journal Editorial Manager website. Kindly also express your interest to serve as a reviewer in an email to Ames Dhai: Ames.Dhai@wits.ac.za. Please read our privacy policy regarding registration.

Accepting/declining an invitation to review
An invitation to review will be sent via email from the Editorial Manager system, and will provide submission details such as the manuscript title and abstract. Reviewers will be asked to indicate their acceptance/decline to review by a specified date, and a date by which the review should be completed will also be provided. Reviewers can respond to the invite either by clicking on the relevant link in the email or by logging in to their Reviewer role on the SAJBL Editorial Manager website, where they will see that they have a pending New Reviewer Invitation. Reviewers who accept the invite to review can access the full text article, by logging into Editorial Manager or via the link to the reviewers’ ‘pending assignments’ found in the automated acknowledgement email (received in response to the their acceptance to review). The article will be blinded and in PDF format, with the option to download in Word version. Once completed, reviewers will submit their review and recommendation on the Editorial Manager website.
Any queries can be directed to Ames Dhai: Ames.Dhai@wits.ac.za

Performing/submitting a review
As a reviewer, you will be advising the editors who will make the final decision on whether or not to accept a manuscript for publication. The reviewer should provide feedback on all components of the article, including the methodology, results and discussion. The review should conclude with a recommendation: accept, accept with minor revisions, major revisions needed, or reject. Please refer to the Reviewer Guidelines which provides further guidance on completing reviews.
A tutorial on how to complete your review on Editorial Manager can be found here.
To complete a review:
• Login to the SAJBL Editorial Manager website in the Reviewer role.
• Ensure that you have accepted to perform the review (outlined above). Manuscripts that you have accepted to review will be located in your 'Pending Assignments' folder.
• Click on 'View Submission' to access the PDF version of the manuscript.
• Reviewer Guidelines can be accessed/viewed by clicking 'Submit Recommendation'.
• Reviewers can record their comments in a separate Word file or the original PDF (if they have the necessary Adobe software) that they can upload on the 'Submit Recommendation' page or complete the reviewer questions on the aforementioned webpage.
• All reviewers are required to complete three questions on the 'Submit Recommendation' webpage in order to submit their recommendation. Once reviewers have completed and submitted their reviews and recommendation, they can inform the handling editor by clicking 'Send Email'. An acknowledgement email will also be received by the reviewer once the review has been successfully processed on the website.

Should reviewers require additional time to review or further assistance, please contact the Editor.




Publication Frequency

SAJBL is published bi-annually (1 volume comprising 2 issues per annum).


Open Access Policy

The South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 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 SAMJ 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.


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. Posted comments solely represent the opinions of the respective user and not those of the SAJBL, and do not imply endorsement by the SAJBL. The journal reserves the right to remove comments without notice that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, contain advertising or spam, or violate another user’s privacy. The SAJBL 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@hmpg.co.za). The SAJBL reserves the right to modify this policy without notice.



Readers of the SAJBL are encouraged to register with the journal website to receive notifications of new issues online (open access).

  • Already a registered user? Login to the journal website and edit your profile to include 'Reader' as a role.
  • Not a registered user? Register with the journal website and specify 'Reader' as a role in your user profile. For assistance contact publishing@hmpg.co.za. Please read our privacy policy regarding registration.



Plagiarism is defined as the use of another's work, words or ideas without attribution or permission, and representation of them as one’s own original work. Plagiarism may take many forms, ranging from major plagiarism (the copy-and-paste of large amounts of text), to minor plagiarism without dishonest intent (e.g. when an author uses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper) and even self-plagiarism (the reuse of significant, identical or near-identical portions of one's own work without citing the original version).

The journal subscribes to CrossCheck, an initiative to prevent scholarly and professional plagiarism. All manuscripts submitted to the journal are automatically scanned against the CrossCheck database to verify originality. 

Manuscripts containing plagiarism will not be considered for publication in the journal. If plagiarism is brought to light after a manuscript has been published, the journal will proceed to conduct a preliminary investigation. Suspected misconduct will be reported to the institutes and funding agencies of the authors concerned. The journal reserves the right to formally retract such manuscripts and publish statements to reference material as plagiarism.


Publication fees


All articles published in the South African Journal of Bioethics & Law 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 R5 000 for all articles published. The charge applies only to articles submitted after 1 Jan 2019. The APC is standard and does not vary based on length, colour, figures, or other elements.


When submitting a Research article to the SAJBL, 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@hmpg.co.za.

Please refer to the section on ‘Sponsored Supplements’ regarding the publication of supplements, where a charge is applicable. Queries can be directed to dianes@hmpg.co.za or claudian@hmpg.co.za


Licensing Information

The SAJBL 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. 


Publishing Rights

Authors grant the Publisher the exclusive right to publish, display, reproduce and/or distribute the Work in print and electronic format and in any medium known or hereafter developed, including for commercial use. The Author also agrees that the Publisher may retain in print or electronic format more than one copy of the Work for the purpose of preservation, security and back-up.

Authors are required to complete and sign an Author Agreement form that outlines Author and Publisher rights and terms of publication. The Agreement form should be uploaded along with other submissions files and any submission will be considered incomplete without it. In undertaking this agreement, the Author represents, and warrants, either as the sole author or on behalf of the co-authors, that the Work is their own work and that the Author has the authority to enter into the Author-Publisher Agreement.