Policies and guidelines  image
To cover the expenses associated with delivering a quality publishing service and ensuring open access for readers, authors whose manuscripts are accepted for publication in the Journal are required to pay a one-time Article Processing Charge (APC) of 460 USD (R8,500.00). There are no surcharges, regardless of the article's length, inclusion of figures, or supplementary data. Considering the financial circumstances of researchers and academics from marginalised groups, communities, and low-income countries, the Journal offers options for APC waivers and discounts tailored to the authors' specific circumstances.

The Journal extends APC 50% discounts, 100% waivers and special discounts/waivers based on the authors' unique circumstances to provide equitable support to researchers and academics from marginalised groups, communities, and low-income countries.

Criteria for 50% Discount  
Discount requests in this category are not exclusive to authors from low-income countries, and each case will be individually assessed based on its merit. In order to be eligible for this category, authors must meet one of the following criteria:
  • Authors who are students or in the early stages of their careers and have not received funding from any entity or institution to support their research.
  • Unemployed researchers and academics from marginalised groups or communities and have not received funding from any entity or institution to support their research.
Before submission, prospective authors are required to submit a formal request e-mail, along with supporting evidence, that details their inability to cover the full Article Processing Charge (APC). This should include an explanation of how they meet the criteria for a discount.  It is emphasised that an author's eligibility for a discount will not impact the peer review process or editorial decision-making. It is important to note that a discounted offer is not automatically applied; authors are encouraged to request the discount prior to the submission by contacting Publisher@errcd.com.

Criteria for 100% Full Waiver
Full waivers, entailing a 100% discount of the APC, granted to authors from countries classified by the World Bank as low-income economies, meeting one of the following criteria:

  • All authors are students without funding from any entity or institution to support their research.
  • All authors are in the early stages of their careers and have not received funding from any entity or institution to support their research.
  • Unemployed researchers and academics from marginalised groups or communities and have not received funding from any entity or institution to support their research.
  • All authors on the paper must be located in one of the low-income countries specified below.
Note: All authors on the manuscript must be located in one of the low-income countries specified below.

It is crucial to note that a full waiver is not automatically applied and that the authors' eligibility for a waiver will not impact the peer review process or editorial decision-making. However, before submission, prospective authors must submit a formal request and supporting evidence that details their inability to cover the full Article Processing Charge (APC) and demonstrates how they have met the criteria for the waiver. Authors are strongly advised to request the waiver before the submission by contacting Publisher@errcd.com.

Countries eligible for a full (100%) waiver
  • Afghanistan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gambia
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mozambique
  • Niger
  • Rwanda
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Togo
  • Yemen
Special Discount/Waiver
Suppose you do not meet the criteria for a full waiver or discount outlined above yet face difficulties in covering the Article Processing Charge (APC) for your manuscript. In that case, we offer the option to apply for a specially reduced discount or even a complete waiver. In such instances, we advise you to engage with the Journal before submitting your article to make a formal request. Please adhere to the following procedure:

  • Send an e-mail to the Journal via Publisher@errcd.com using the subject line "APC Special Discount/Waiver Request" or a similar relevant title.
  • In your e-mail, clearly articulate why the standard discounts and waivers do not apply in your case and why special consideration is warranted.
  • If relevant, include any supporting documents or evidence that substantiates your request.
Should you have any inquiries regarding the Article Processing Charge, waivers, discounts, and special offers, please do not hesitate to contact us at Publisher@errcd.com. We are here to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have in this regard.

The publication of peer-reviewed articles plays a very important role in the development of knowledge. Therefore, it is fundamental that publishers, editors, authors, and reviewers operate within an acceptable ethical and professional standard in the process of journal publication. Our publication ethics policy is based on the “Code of Conduct and Best-Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors” published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). ERRCDF also complies with the “Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing” collaboratively made available by the Committee on Publication Ethics, the Directory of Open Access Journals, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association and the World Association of Medical Editors. Based on this, the ethical guidelines for Publishers, editors, reviewers and authors are discussed below following the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)'s Core Practices.

Ethical Guidelines for Publishers
  • The publisher (ERRCDF) dedicates to supporting the editors, reviewers and authors' voluntary endeavours.
  • The publisher (ERRCDF) also ensures that the article publication process and the system are smooth with utmost conformity to ethical guidelines among editors, reviewers, and authors.
Ethical Guidelines for Editors
  • Editors should ensure that submitted articles are assessed and acknowledged within two to three working days of receipt and provide a fair peer-review process, review status and timely review reports.
  • Editors must ensure that manuscripts are dealt with in a confidential manner without disclosing article-related issues to anyone other than the authors, the reviewers, editorial advisers, and the publisher if need be. The members of the editorial board cannot use any unpublished materials disclosed during the submission and revision process for their own research purpose or for any personal advantages.
  • Editors must declare and excuse themselves from the article process if there is a conflicting interest with the author(s), authors’ affiliations, and region.
  • The reviewers' names and detailed identities must not be divulged to the third party without the reviewers’ permission.
  • The final decision on whether or not to accept the article lies in the prerogative right of the editor with a clearly defined reference to the originality, significance and clarity of the article. That is, the editor’s decision must be informed by the importance, quality, validity, relevance and originality of the article to the scope of the journal and the world of knowledge. This decision process must not be influenced by the authors’ sexual orientation, religion, ethnic attachment, institutional affiliation, political philosophy, race, citizenship and gender.
  • The editor should by no reason oblige the authors to cite their journal(s) or their personal articles as a condition for accepting articles for publication.
  • In case of any ethical issues concerning a submitted manuscript or a published paper, the editor should immediately take necessary measures in consultation with the author(s).
Ethical Guidelines for Reviewers
  • Reviewers should ensure optimum objectivity devoid of personal displeasure. Reviewers should objectively express their views with argument within the limited and extended purview of the article and refrain from unfair and/or unsubstantiated comments, including unfounded reproaches of any kind.
  • Reports of the review should be prepared by the reviewers themselves unless the editor grants permission to involve a third party/another person(s). Reviewers are prohibited from requesting authors to cite their work and/or associate work unless there is a justifiable and valid reason. All suggestions must be informed by valid, reliable, technical academic criteria.
  • Reviewers should excuse themselves from any conflicting and competing interest which is not limited to intellectual, professional, political or religious, institutional, or financial, among others. If the article is from the same institutions where the reviewer is currently employed, has a collaborator, and joint grant holders, having mentees or mentors, reviewers are advised to decline the review of such articles.
  • Reviewers are to accept articles they are qualified to review with the assurance that they will deliver within the prompt possible time. Otherwise, the reviewer is responsible for notifying the editor, who will reconsider the article for another reviewer.
  • Confidentiality is sacrosanct in the publication process; therefore, the manuscript routed to any reviewer must be treated with the utmost confidentiality. The reviewer, at all times, should refrain from using information from the review process for personal advantage or discredit or disadvantage others.  
  • In case of any irregularities such as ethical and plagiarism issues, as may be observed or noticed by the reviewers, such plagiarised material or falsified data should be communicated in confidence to the journal editor.
Ethical Guidelines for Authors
  • Redundant, multiple or concurrent publication is prohibited in this journal. That is, an article submitted to this just must not be submitted concurrently to another journal except if the editor rejects the article. Also, a previously published article should not be submitted to this journal for consideration. In general, authors should desist from publishing articles that could be seen as essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. IJSS consider this unethical and unacceptable.
  • The author should ensure that his or her research data is honestly gathered and interpreted. Hence, reviewers, editors, readers and even the publisher are entitled to request such from the author for his or her research. Therefore, authors should retain such data for any possible use after publication.
  • By submitting an article, the author has guaranteed that the submitted work is original and that the work or words of others used are cited and acknowledged appropriately.
  • Authors should ensure that the submitted article is within the similarity index of 10% or less. Plagiarism in all forms, including self-plagiarism, are unethical and unacceptable.
  • Authors must indicate all sources involved in the research and that the conflict of interest has been disclosed where necessary.
  • Acknowledgement of those who have made one or two contributions to the research must be made, while those who made a significant contribution to the study be made co-authors. The corresponding author should ensure that all co-authors consent and approve the final copy of the article before submission.
  • In the case of any obvious errors in a published article, the author should immediately notify the editor and cooperatively work with the editor to retract or correct the article. In a case where a third party informs the editor that a published paper contains an obvious error, a retraction letter should be written by the author or make the correction within the directives of the author.
  • An article may need to be retracted, removed or replaced to protect the credibility and trustworthiness of academic literature. This may be determined by the Editor-in-Chief and may be initiated by the authors if there is a case of flaws in data and subsequent conclusion. However, a notice of such will be published alongside the title, the authors and the reason for the action.

Copyright and Licensing
ERRCDF is an open-access publisher that provides immediate access to its published contents. Authors retain unrestricted copyright and publishing rights for all articles published from August 2023 onwards. The authors also grant the publisher permission to publish the articles and be recognised as the original and the first publisher. Articles published are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0) which permits commercial re-use (download, copy, redistribute, translate, remix, adapt, and build upon materials published, etc.) of open access articles, as long as the original author and source are properly attributed. The authors grant the publisher permission to apply a DOI to their articles and to archive them in databases and indexes such as DOAJ, SABINET, J-Gate, Scopus, EBSCO, ERIC, among others. Authors also grant other third-party users the right to use the article freely as long as its original authors and citation details are acknowledged without prior permission from the publisher or the author.

Note: All articles published prior to August 2023 are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives.

Open Access and Author Self-Archiving Policy
ERRCDF adopted OPEN ACCESS which provides immediate open access to readers and other users, to all published articles by the Journal/publisher on our website. This means that the readers and other users pay nothing. In accordance with the BOAI definition of open access, users are freely allowed to download, copy, read, print, distribute, link to the texts or use them for other lawful purposes. However, the authors, their instructions or funders pay Article Processing Charge for life maintenance of the articles.

ERRCDF permits and encourages authors to post items submitted to the journal on personal websites, institutional repositories, social-networking sites, ResearchGate, Academia.edu, among others, both prior to and after publication while providing bibliographic details that credit, if applicable, its publication in this journal.

Deposit Policy/Archiving Policy
For preservation and restoration, our journals use SA ePublications (SABINET), University of the Free State Library and Information Services, PKP Preservation Network, and LOCKSS system to ensure a secure and permanent archive among participating libraries. It permits those libraries to create permanent journal archives. Both pre-published and post-published or publisher's version/PDF can be archived without restrictions.

Submission Policy
Submission of an article is an indication that:
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in the comments to the editor).
  • The submission file is in Open Office, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where applicable, URLs or DOIs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is 1.15 spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • By making a submission, the authors have agreed to pay the Article Processing Charge (APC) as indicated in the author guidelines if the article is accepted. This is subject to review from time to time.
  • Authors are responsible for updating the archived preprint with the journal reference (including DOI) and a link to the published articles upon publication.
  • The authors had complied with the plagiarism policy mentioned in the author guidelines. ERRCDF do not tolerate plagiarism of all kinds, including self-plagiarism. Authors are responsible for ensuring that the similarity index of their articles is less than ten per cent. Otherwise, articles are rejected on this basis.

  • Authors, under any circumstances, are privileged to challenge editorial decisions by appealing for reconsideration if they perceive unfair elements in the editorial decisions. To do this, an appeal letter must be submitted with a detailed explanation of the issues, nature of the appeal and argument on why the editorial decision is considered unfair.
  • Such appeal will be submitted to the editor-in-chief, which shall be reviewed alongside the section editor and the concerned reviewers. New reviewers may be invited to re-evaluate the study, and the editor-in-chief will make the final decision.

  • In case of any complaints, which may be related to journal policies, procedures, the publication process, or the conduct of editorial staff, among others, the detailed complaints should be sent to the editor-in-chief or the publisher (ERRCDF) via email. All complaints via the stipulated channel will be acknowledged within 48 hours upon which the resolution process will be initiated. After that, the resolution shall be made known to the complainants via email.

Privacy Statement
All documents, names, physical and email addresses submitted to this journal platform will be protected and only used for the purposes of this publication and will never under any circumstances be made available to any third party.

Special issues may be published in commemoration of significant events, such as conferences, and special and or thematic interest, among others. Academics interested in serving as guest editors for a special issue within the Journal are encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief to obtain the special issue proposal form. Upon approval of the special issue application, the Journal's Special Editions Coordinator will conduct an editorial briefing session with the guest editor(s) to discuss the processes and procedures involved.
The review process for regular submissions, as outlined in the author's guidelines, also applies to special issues. All papers submitted for special issues undergo a double-blind peer review. In collaboration with the Editor-in-Chief, guest editors are responsible for selecting appropriate reviewers. The guest editor(s) oversee(s) the review processes and subsequently recommend a decision to the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief reviews the recommendation, and makes and communicates the final decision. This collaborative approach ensures the high quality and rigorous review standards maintained by the Journal.
Basic Criteria to be Appointed as Guest Editors
Here are ten requirements for individuals interested in serving as special guest editors for a journal:
  • Expertise in the Field: Special guest editors should possess at least a doctoral degree with a strong academic background and expertise in the specific field or theme of the proposed special issue.
  • Publication Record: A demonstrated substantial record of scholarly publications in reputable journals relevant to the subject matter of the proposed special issue.
  • Editorial Experience: Prior editorial experience, such as serving as a reviewer or associate editor, is preferred to ensure familiarity with the scholarly publishing process.
  • Networking Skills: Strong networking skills to facilitate collaboration and engagement with potential contributors, reviewers, and other stakeholders in the academic community.
  • Proposal Submission: Successful completion and submission of a detailed special issue proposal form to the Editor-in-Chief, outlining the scope, objectives, and potential contributors.
  • Clear Vision: A clear and well-defined vision for the special issue, demonstrating the significance and originality of the proposed theme.
  • Communication Skills: Effective communication skills to interact with authors, reviewers, and the editorial team, ensuring a smooth and collaborative editorial process.
  • Adherence to Timelines: Commitment to adhering to established timelines for the editorial process, including manuscript submissions, reviews, and final decision-making.
  • Ethical Standards: Adherence to high ethical standards in research and publishing, ensuring the integrity and credibility of the special issue as recommended by the Journal.
  • Collaboration with Editor-in-Chief: Willingness to collaborate closely with the Editor-in-Chief and the Journal's Special Editions Coordinator throughout the editorial process, including the review and decision-making phases.
Meeting these requirements will help ensure that special guest editors contribute effectively to the success of a special issue and maintain the Journal's standards and quality production.