About the Journal

Focus and Scope

This South African academic peer-reviewed journal publishes articles, book reviews and commentaries from all fields of social work.

Manuscripts covering the following topics, although not exclusively, are considered for publication: social work, welfare organizations, society, social welfare, family and child care, community work, substance abuse, substance dependence, welfare law, etc.

Peer Review Process

  1. All contributions will be critically reviewed by at least two referees on whose advice contributions will be accepted or rejected by the editorial committee.
  2. All refereeing is strictly confidential (double blind peer-review).
  3. Manuscripts may be returned to the authors if extensive revision is required or if the style or presentation does not conform to the Journal practice.

Publication Frequency

The journal has four editions per year, published by the Department of Social Work, Stellenbosch University.

Open Access Policy

This is an Open Access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of Open Access.

Please take note that your personal information will be protected in terms of the South African Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPIA).

Articles from this journal can be submitted to institutional repositories, under the following conditions:

  1. Always upload the final publishers' version as published at http://socialwork.journals.ac.za
  2. Acknowledge Stellenbosch University (SUNJournals) as the publisher.
  3. Cite the article as part of the metadata and include the doi as part of the citation to the article.

Journal Ranking & Indexing

See the Journal ranking: Scimago Journal & Country Ranking

The Journal is indexed by the following:

  1. Dept. of Higher Education and Training (HET) (South Africa)
  2. SCImago
  3. Scopus

Ethics and Malpractice Statement

Ethical Guidelines:

Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk is committed to ensuring sound ethical principles in its publication and quality of manuscripts. Any kind of ethical misconduct is unacceptable. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk does not tolerate plagiarism or any copyright infringement. All parties involved in the editorial processes are expected to conform to all standards of professional ethical behaviours.


Editor/s should evaluate manuscripts exclusively on the basis of sound academic merit. Following a desk review, the manuscript is forwarded (blind peer-review) to reviewers selected on the basis of their expertise. Two reviewers will make a recommendation to accept, reject or modify the manuscript.

The Editor/s ensures fair review of all manuscripts for intellectual content. Information regarding manuscripts is kept confidential.


  1. Reporting Standards: Authors should present an accurate account of their original research as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Manuscripts will follow the submission guidelines of the journal. (http://socialwork.journals.ac.za)
  2. Originality: Authors must ensure that what they are submitting is original.
  3. Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publications: Authors should not submit the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently. It is also expected that the author will not publish redundant manuscripts or manuscripts describing the same research in more than one journal.
  4. Acknowledgement of Sources: Authors should acknowledge all sources of data used in the research and cite publications that have been influential in the research work.
  5. Authorship of the Paper: Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to conception, design, execution or interpretation of the reported study. Others who have made significant contribution must be listed as co-authors. Authors also ensure that all the authors have seen and agreed to the submitted version of the manuscript and their inclusion of names as co-authors.
  6. Fundamental Errors in Published Works: If at any point of time, the author(s) discover a significant error or inaccuracy in submitted manuscript, then the error or inaccuracy must be reported to the editor.


  1. Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
  2. Reviews should be conducted objectively, and observations should be formulated clearly with supporting arguments, so that authors can use them for improving the paper.
  3. Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse themselve from the review process.
  4. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

Self-Archiving Policy

  • Published Version: 
    Authors may archive their article in open access repositories as publishers version. Only the original high quality pdf file that was supplied by SOCIAL WORK/MAATSKAPLIKE WERK may be used. Authors should ALWAYS supply a hyperlink to the origal paper or indicate where the original paper may be found. EG. http://socialwork.journals.ac.za/pub/index

Submission Fees

The Journal is open access (thus free online) and is a not-for-profit publication by the Department of Social Work at Stellenbosch University. Although the Editorial Board and Editorial Advisory committee of the Journal consist of volunteers from social work practice and academia, certain editorial and managerial production tasks require honorarium payments. Previously, a page fee of R250 was charged by the Journal to cover these production costs. The total number of pages for published articles are usually over 14 pages, hence the page fees were typically + R3500 per article in the past. To reduce publication costs for authors, the Editorial Board decided to charge no fee for submissions of manuscripts to be reviewed, but to ask a minimum flat rate of R3500 for all accepted articles to cover publication costs. An invoice for the publication fee will be issued to the corresponding author after the publication of an article. The corresponding author will be responsible to settle the publication fee.

The Journal is accredited as an international research journal for the purpose of subsidy by the state for South African authors. Hence, the flat rate publication fee of R3500 may be covered by this subsidy for South African authors attached to universities. Unfortunately, the Journal cannot subsidise, nor exempt authors who are not attached to South African universities.

Preservation Policy

The journal articles are also preserved with CLOCKSS and Portico via SciELO.

Digital Preservation

This journal is in the process of migrating from the Stellenbosch University preservation platform to the PKP PN (Preservation Network) platform.


ORCID iD is a persistent, unique, numeric identifier for individual researchers and creators. It distinguishes you from researchers and creators with the same or similar names.  ORCID iD is similar to ResearcherID, Scopus Author ID, ISNI and other systems for identifying and distinguishing researchers and creators.

Authors must include their complete ORCID iD URL (starting with https://orcid.org/ in the title page of their submissions of manuscripts.