Editorial Policies

Peer review

Manuscripts will be submitted to and assessed by peer reviewers.  A single-blind review system is used.  The authors’ names are included in the manuscript sent for peer review but the reviewers’ names are not included on the review reports sent to authors.  The evaluation of any manuscript is undertaken with the understanding that neither the substance of the article nor the figures or tables has been published or will be submitted for publication elsewhere during the period of review.  Authors bear sole responsibility for the factual accuracy of their publications.

Open access policy

Water SA is an open access journal and all content is available without charge to the user. The content of this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.  Users are permitted to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal under the terms of this Licence, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. 


The publisher's version of the article may be archived in an online repository. Archiving of pre-print and post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing) versions of articles in an online repository is not permitted except under special circumstances and with the written permission of the Editor.


Authors retain copyright in their submission but grant the Water Research Commission and Water SA a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide licence to publish their manuscript under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.  In submitting their manuscript, authors warrant that the content does not violate any existing common law or statutory copyrights.


Contributors to the paper identified as authors must meet both of the following criteria (those not meeting all criteria should merely be acknowledged): (i) substantial contribution to the conception or design of the study, or the collection, analysis or interpretation of data; (ii) writing or critically revising the paper. All authors are accountable for all aspects of the published work, and must approve the version of the paper submitted for review and final publication.

Conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest, defined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) as “those which may not be fully apparent and may influence the judgement of authors, reviewers and editors” and “those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived”, must be declared by authors, reviewers and editors:

Authors: must declare any potential conflicts of interest in their cover letter, for example, employment, funding sources, owning of shares and payment for lectures or travel.  Should the manuscript be published this statement will be included in the published version.

Reviewers: must declare any potential conflicts of interest on the review form, for example, submissions by family members or students, any previous involvement in a part of the study or manuscript under review, a close past or current association with the authors.  A conflict of interest does not necessarily invalidate the review report.

Subject editors: are required to withdraw as editor for a manuscript if they have a conflict of interest, for example, a submission by a family member or student.

Subject editors and members of the Editorial Board are permitted to submit manuscripts for review and publication in Water SA.

Ethical clearance

If the research reported on in the manuscript was conducted on vertebrates (human or non-human) then details must be provided on the necessary ethical considerations applied and the approval of the study by the relevant institutional ethics committee (name and any applicable reference number to be stated in the Methods section). In addition, all manuscripts describing research involving human subjects, tissue or data must also indicate that informed consent was obtained and that the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki were adhered to. All manuscripts describing research involving non-human animals must also indicate that the ARRIVE guidelines for reporting in vivo animal experiments were adhered to. 


Plagiarism is the use of another's words or ideas without acknowledging the original source, and in so doing representing them as one's own original work. Failure to correctly cite direct quotations or paraphrases of other published work (including one's own) is categorised as plagiarism, and unsuited to publication in Water SA. The editors make use of iThenticate plagiarism detection software to assess similarity of submitted content with other publications, and submitted papers may be withdrawn from consideration for publication if any plagiarised content is found.

Corrections and retractions

Once published, papers become part of the permanent scholarly record – changes to papers after publication are only permitted under exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Editor.  Changes to correct errors introduced by the journal or the authors will be published as Errata or Corrigenda, respectively, which will be linked to the original article online.  In cases of fraudulent, invalid or plagiarised results, papers may be retracted (original article is still accessible but with notice of retraction attached) or removed (only the article metadata and a notice of removal are still accessible).