About the Journal

Focus and Scope

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

Manuscripts covering amongst others the following, 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 is published in March, June, August and October 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.

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

Social Work is ranked/indexed by the following:

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



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 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 himself 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

In terms of SANSO-014 our journal is classified as an approved research journal for the purpose of subsidy by the state. The Editorial Board has therefore decided that an amount of R250.00 (two hundred and fifty Rand) excluding tax per page is to be paid for published articles.

This journal do not charge submission fees.

Preservation Policy

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

Digital Preservation

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


This journal programme cannot read the ORCID iD.  Please do not add it when you Register or when submitting a paper.

After Registration, can you Edit your Profile and then insert the ORCID iD, or please send your ORCiD ID, along with the name of the journal to, scholar@sun.ac.za to add to your Profile.

Stellenbosch University researchers/authors can create an ORCID iD here.

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.

Journal History

Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk was initially available in print only, but was made available as open access using the SUNJournals hosting service since 1 May 2014.