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Author Guidelines

Material submitted for publication in the South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition (SAJCN) is accepted provided it has not been published elsewhere. Copyright forms will be sent with acknowledgement of receipt and the SAJCN reserves copyright of the material published.
The SAJCN does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.

All named authors must give consent to publication. Authorship should be based only on substantial contribution to: (i) conception, design, analysis and interpretation of data; (ii) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; (iii) final approval of the version to be published. All three of these conditions must be met (Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals;

Conflict of interest
Authors must declare all sources of support for the research and any association with the product or subject that may constitute conflict of interest.

Protection of patient's rights to privacy
Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives informed written consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published. (

Ethnic classification
Work that is based on or contains reference to ethnic classification must indicate the rationale for this.

Short items are more likely to appeal to our readers and therefore to be accepted for publication. Manuscript should not exceed 4000 words in total all contents inclusive.

Original articles of 4 000 words or less, with up to 6 tables or illustrations, should normally report observations or research of relevance to the field of nutrition. References should preferably be limited to no more than 25.

Short reports or scientific letters, which include case reports, side effects of nutrient supplements/drugs and brief or negative research findings should be 1000 words or less, with 1 table or illustration and no more than 6 references.

Editorials, Opinions, Issues in the field of nutrition. should be about 1000 words and are welcome, but unless invited, will be subjected to the SAJCN peer review process.

Review articles are rarely accepted unless invited.

Letters to the editor, if intended for the correspondence column, should be marked 'for publication', signed by all authors and presented in triple spacing. Letters should be no longer than 400 words with only one illustration or table.

Obituaries should not exceed 400 words and may be accompanied by a photograph.

Manuscript preparation

  • Please submit your manuscript electronically at
  • Research articles should have a structured abstract not exceeding 250 words (50 for short reports) comprising: Objectives, Design, Setting, Subjects, Outcome measures, Results and Conclusions.
  • A second abstract should be written in simple and clear spoken language highlighting the reason(s) that the research work was undertaken, the key findings and the key recommendations WITHOUT, overtly or covertly implying or containing any claims of whatsoever nature, but rather explaining how the work will help scientists (and/or lay persons) better understand and address the topic of investigation. The abstract should not exceed an absolute maximum of 75 words. In addition, please also include a < 140 character, “strong” message that can be used for social media.
  • Refer to articles in recent issues for guidance on the presentation of headings and subheadings.
  • Abbreviations should be spelt out when first used in the text and thereafter used consistently.
  • Scientific measurements should be expressed in SI units except: blood pressure should be given in mmHg and haemoglobin values in g/dl.

If in doubt, refer to

  1. Figures consist of all material that cannot be set in type, such as photographs and line drawings.
  2. Tables and legends for illustrations should appear on separate sheets and should be clearly identified.
  3. Line drawings should be arranged to conserve vertical space. Note that reduction to 80 mm for a single column or 170 mm for double columns should not render lettering illegible. Explanations should be included in the legend and not on the figure itself.
  4. Figure numbers should be clearly marked on the back of prints and the top of illustrations should be indicated.
  5. If any tables or illustrations submitted have been published elsewhere, written consent to republication should be obtained by the author from the copyright holder and the author(s).
  6. A limited number of illustrations are free at the discretion of the editor. Colour illustrations are encouraged but are charged to the author.

A quote will be provided on request. Consider sponsorship.

References should be inserted in the text as superior numbers and should be listed at the end of the article in numerical and not in alphabetical order.
Authors are responsible for verification of references from the original sources.

References should be set out in the Vancouver style and approved abbreviations of journal titles used; consult the List of Journals in Index Medicus for these details.

Names and initials of all authors should be given unless there are more than six, in which case the first three names should be given followed by et al. First and last page numbers should be given.

Journal references should appear thus:
1. Price NC . Importance of asking about glaucoma. BMJ 1983; 286: 349-350.

Book references should be set out as follows:
1. Jeffcoate N. Principles of Gynaecology. 4th ed. London: Butterworth, 1975: 96-101.
2. Weinstein L, Swartz MN. Pathogenic properties of invading microorganisms. In: Sodeman WA jun, Sodeman WA, eds. Pathologic Physiology: Mechanisms of Disease. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1974: 457-472.

Manuscripts accepted but not yet published can be included as references followed by (in press).

Unpublished observations and personal communications may be cited in the text, but not in the reference list.

Manuscript revisions

In the event of a manuscript needing revision following the peer review process, all revision changes to the original manuscript should be made using the "track changes" function in Microsoft Word, or in any other such similar format so as to facilitate the speedy completion of the review process. In the event of an "author-reviewer" difference of opinion, the author(s) should state their opinion in writing in the text, which should be bracketed. Revised manuscripts which do not conform to this revision format will be returned to the authors for editing.

Revised manuscript should be resubmitted electronically within 3 weeks of receipt thereof.

Galley proofs
Galley proofs will be forwarded to the author before publication and if not returned within 2 weeks will be regarded as approved. Pleas note that alterations to typeset articles are costly and will be charged to the authors.

Changes of address
Please notify the Editorial Department of any address changes so that proofs and invoices may be mailed without delay.

An order form for reprints, with a price list, will be sent to the author as soon as an article has been placed.

CPD points
Authors can earn up to 15 CPD points for published articles. Certificates will be provided on request after the article has been published.


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. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in Microsoft Word, or RTF file format
  3. When available, the URLs to access references online are provided, including those for open access versions of the reference. The URLs are ready to click (e.g.,
  4. The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  7. The manuscript has an abstract.

Copyright Notice

Material submitted for publication in the South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition (SAJCN) is accepted provided it has not been published elsewhere. Copyright forms will be sent with acknowledgement of receipt and the SAJCN reserves copyright of the material published.

The SAJCN does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.


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