As an independent scientific, peer reviewed, non-profit journal, Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk is characterised by some key features that distinguish it from other types of publications. These characteristics contribute to the Journal’s credibility, transparency, and commitment to advancing scientific knowledge as formulated in its focus and scope, vision and mission.

The independent status of SW/MW is determined by the following:

  1. Editorial independence: SW/MW is typically free from undue influence or control by commercial interests, advertisers, or external organisations. Editorial decisions, including manuscript selection and peer review, are made based on scientific merit rather than financial considerations.
  2. Non-profit status: The primary goal of SW/MW is to disseminate quality scientific research and promote knowledge rather than to generate profits.
  3. Peer review: Rigorous, developmental oriented peer review processes are a hallmark of SW/MW. Manuscripts submitted for publication undergo thorough evaluation by experts in the field to ensure the quality, accuracy, and validity of the research.
  4. Open-access: SW/MW is committed to open access, making research articles freely available to the public.
  5. Transparency: SW/MW is transparent in its operations. The disclose of editorial policies and peer review processes are available on the website of the Journal.
  6. Diverse and inclusive content: SW/MW seek to publish a diverse range of research articles across the social work field. The Journal promotes inclusivity and diversity in both authors and topics covered.
  7. Archiving and preservation: SW/MW has mechanisms in place to archive and preserve published articles for the long term, ensuring the availability of research findings for future generations.
  8. International scope: SW/MW has an international readership and publish research from authors around the world, with the focus on applicability in South Africa. This global perspective enhances the dissemination of knowledge.
  9. Editorial board and reviewers: The editorial board of SW/MW composed of respected experts in the field. Peer reviewers are selected based on their expertise and impartiality, ensuring high-quality peer review.
  10. Commitment to ethical standards: Ethical publishing practices are a priority for SW/MW. The Journal adhere to ethical guidelines for authorship, data handling, and research conduct and have mechanisms to address issues like plagiarism, AI generated publications, and conflicts of interest. (See Ethical Governance Policy Guidelines; Generative AI Policy; Conflict of Interest Policy)
  11. Long-Term sustainability: SW/MW prioritises long-term sustainability over short-term gains, which can compromise the quality of published research.
  12. Mission-driven: SW/MW is specifically mission-driven in all its operations to advancing knowledge and the body of theory in social work, specifically in South Africa, and to empowerment and capacity building of emerging researchers, while appreciating established and internationally recognised researchers.
  13. Community engagement: SW/MW engages with the scientific community and the public through various channels, including conferences, workshops, and outreach efforts.