The Editorial Team of Southern African Field Archaeology have a collective responsibility toward the authors who provide the content of the journal, the peer reviewers who comment on the suitability of manuscripts for publication, the journal’s readers and the broad scientific and public community.

 

Role of the Advisory Board

Members of the Advisory Board serve as ambassadors for Southern African Field Archaeology, and commit to:

  • Function as the Ethics Committee of the journal.
  • Provide support, guidance and mentorship to the Editorial Board.
  • Conduct reviews in the following instances:
    • When there are conflicting reviews, and a Specialist Editor requests a third opinion.
    • When one of the Specialist Editors is an author or co-author on a submitted manuscript.
    • When a Specialist Editor declares a conflict of interest regarding their ability to process a manuscript objectively.
  • Provide content by writing occasional editorials or opinion pieces.

 

Roles within the Editorial Board

  • The Chair is responsible for:
    • Co-ordinating and guiding the funding and day-to-day management of the journal.
    • Serving as Specialist Editor when: a) The journal receives submissions within their field of expertise; b) One of the Specialist Editors is an author or co-author on a submitted manuscript; c) A Specialist Editor declares a conflict of interest regarding their ability to process a manuscript objectively.
    • Review submissions and review reports when there are conflicting reviews, and a Specialist Editor requests a third opinion.
  • The Managing and Production Editor (remunerated position) is responsible for:
    • Managing and maintaining all aspects of FIELD on the Open Journal System.
    • Assisting all members of the Editorial Team with technical applications concerning the Open Journal System.
    • Ensuring that submissions fall within the remit of the journal and are in a format and stage of presentation that is review ready before allocating submissions to the relevant Specialist Editors for the review process.
    • Serving as Specialist Editor when: a) The journal receives submissions within their field of expertise; b) One of the Specialist Editors is an author or co-author on a submitted manuscript; c) A Specialist Editor declares a conflict of interest regarding their ability to process a manuscript objectively.
    • The language and style editing, as well as page layout and proofing of accepted manuscripts for final on-line production.
  • The Assistant Editor is responsible for:
    • Assisting the Chair in the day-to-day management of the journal.
    • Assisting the Managing and Production Editor in: a) Maintaining all aspects of FIELD on the Open Journal System; b) providing support to all members of the Editorial Team with technical applications concerning the Open Journal System; c) Helping to ensure that submissions fall within the remit of the journal and are in a format and stage of presentation that is review ready before they are allocated to the relevant Specialist Editors for the review process.
    • Style editing of accepted manuscripts.

 

Editor responsibilities toward authors

  • Treating all authors with fairness, courtesy, objectivity, honesty, and transparency.
  • Protecting the confidentiality of every author’s work.
  • Following a system for effective and rapid peer review, by:
    • Inviting reviewers within 7-10 days of receiving a submission.
    • Following up with reviewers who accepted the invite after 14 days to ensure that the submission will reach you within 21 days.
    • Negotiate a reasonable extension (no more than 14 days) with the reviewer if necessary.
    • If there is no response from a reviewer for 5 days after the 14-day follow-up, invite a new reviewer without delay.
  • Monitoring and ensuring the fairness, accuracy, and civility of the peer reviews. (You are authorised to edit review reports so that they pertain only to the contents of the manuscript and are without hostile, inflammatory, libellous or derogatory personal comments or unfounded accusations.)
  • Making editorial decisions with reasonable speed.
  • Providing guidelines for revision, on where to focus or how to best structure it and communicate them in a clear and constructive manner.
  • Reminding authors to follow the Author Guidelines before re-submitting a revised manuscript for publication.
  • In the case of conflicting reviews:
    • Arbitrate the recommendations based on your expertise if you are confident in your understanding of the submission and the reviewers’ feedback and proceed to make an editorial decision about acceptance/revision/rejection.
    • If in doubt, consult with a member or members of the Editorial and/or Advisory Boards who will write a succinct third report to guide the decision and revision.

 

Editor Responsibilities toward Reviewers

  • Assigning papers for review appropriate to each reviewer’s area of interest and expertise.
  • Requesting that reviewers identify any potential conflicts of interest and asking that they recuse themselves if they cannot provide an unbiased review.
  • Follow a process that ensures reviewers treat the manuscript as a confidential document and complete the review promptly.
  • Providing reviewers with written, explicit instructions on the journal’s expectations for the scope, content, quality, and timeliness of their reviews to promote thoughtful, fair, constructive, and informative critique of the submitted work.
  • Allowing reviewers appropriate time to complete their reviews.
  • Requesting reviews at a reasonable frequency that does not overtax any one reviewer.
  • Inviting reviewers to submit peer-reviewed critiques instead of writing lengthy debates as part of their reviews so that a wider audience may be included in earnest scholarly discourse.

 

Editor Responsibilities toward Readers and the Community

  • Evaluating all manuscripts considered for publication to make certain that each provides the evidence readers need to evaluate the authors’ conclusions and that authors’ conclusions reflect the evidence provided in the manuscript.
  • Providing author contact information so that interested readers may pursue further discourse.
  • Maintaining the journal’s internal integrity (e.g., correcting errors; clearly identifying and differentiating types of content, such as reports of original data, opinion pieces [e.g., editorials and letters to the editor], corrections/errata, retractions, supplemental data, and promotional material or advertising; and identifying published material with proper references).
  • Providing a mechanism for a further discussion on the scientific merits of a paper, such as by publishing letters to the editor, inviting commentaries, or soliciting other forms of discourse.

 

Submissions by Members of the Editorial Team

All members of the Editorial Team (Editorial Board, Specialist Editors, Advisory Board) may submit any type of manuscript to Southern African Field Archaeology. They will follow the same submission process as all other authors, and receive rigorous processing in terms of peer review, assessment of the manuscript and production. They may not interfere with the processing of their manuscripts at any stage and must agree to accept editorial decisions and requests for revision.

  • In the case of a Specialist Editor’s submission, the Managing Editor in consultation with the Chair may follow any of the following routes:
    • Handle the review process themselves.
    • Ask a member of the Advisory Board to handle the review process.
    • Appoint another Specialist Editor to handle the review process.
  • In case of a submission by either a member of the Editorial or Advisory Board the Managing Editor or Chair (who is not author or co-author) will appoint the appropriate Specialist Editor unless they declare a conflict of interest. In case of such a declaration, the Managing Editor or Chair will consult with the Editorial Board, and may follow any of the following routes:
    • Handle the review process themselves/s (providing they are not the author or co-author and no conflict of interest exists).
    • Ask a member of the Advisory Board to handle the review process.
    • Appoint another Specialist Editor to handle the review process.