Frequently Asked Questions



  • Introduction
  • Questions from readers
  • Questions from reviewers
Questions from authors
  • Login/Register
  • Preprints
  • Submitting a new manuscript
  • Peer review process
  • Article Processing Fees
  • Working with accepted material
  • Indexing status of the journal
  • Published work reuse
  • Text messaging notifications
  • ORCID iDs
Questions from Guest Editors
  • Special Issue Proposal
  • Guest Editor(s) Editorial


Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page. Here you will find questions from readers, reviewers and authors.



Questions from readers

What is Open Access?
All content is freely available, free of charge, to the user and/or their institution. Learn more about the applicable journal copyright, licensing and publishing rights.


Why do I need to register with the journal?
A personal electronic profile allows you to access your role as author and/or reviewer. Additionally, once you have registered, you can elect to receive regular article alerts (notifications) to stay abreast of recently published articles.


How do I subscribe to email notifications from the journal?
Once you have registered, you can manage notifications. In your 'User Home', navigate to the left-hand sidebar, under the heading 'Alerts'. You will see two links, namely, 'View' and 'Manage'. To subscribe to certain notifications only, you should select 'Manage'. You will then be able to decide whether you would like to receive notifications via email or, rather, only upon entering your personal journal home page. Remember to delete notifications you have read from the 'View' link.


How do I unsubscribe to email notifications from the journal
To unsubscribe to notifications from the journal you will need to log into your personal journal home page, then, under the left-hand sidebar go to 'Alerts' and proceed to 'Manage'. Deselect the checkboxes next to the notification options. If you wish to receive no notifications, ensure that all checkboxes are unchecked.


I am struggling to log into my personalised journal home page?

  • Do you have a username and password? No - click here to register.
  • Did you misplace your username and password? Yes - click here to reset it.
  • Did you enable the cookies in your web browser? No - click here to view instructions.


I have tried all of the above suggestions, and it is still not working?

  • Does the screen not move past the login page? If so, it might be that you are accessing the journal website from a university server and that the proxy setting on that server is preventing you from logging into the journal platform. Please contact your university's technical team to ascertain whether this might be the cause.
  • Did you accept the platforms cookie policy? Cookies are small text files held on your computer. This website uses cookies to improve user experience, functionality and performance. If you disagree with the use of cookies, the use of our site may be limited.
  • No problem with proxy settings, but not able to log into the system? If so, click here to contact the Publisher.


I have registered. How do I change my login details?
After obtaining your login details for the journal, use this to log into your personal journal home page. Under your 'User Home' is a heading, 'My Account’, which lists links that will enable you to change your password and edit your profile. These links will allow you to change your login details. Please note: you cannot change your username after registration.



Questions from reviewers

How do I submit my review?
Log into your personal journal home page and follow the steps as outlined under the Reviewer page.


How do I access the article to be reviewed?
The Editor-in-Chief will send you an invitation email containing a secure link which is a private key that will take you directly to the manuscript entrusted to you for assessment in peer review. Ensure to indicate your ability to undertake the review by completing Step 1 of the seven review steps; you will only have access to the abstract and review schedule to inform your willingness to do the review. To gain access to the complete text of the manuscript, you need to ensure that in Step 1 of the seven review steps, you have selected the email icon that states ‘Will do the review’. If you are willing to do the review and have emailed the editor to such an effect, you will automatically have access to the complete text in Step 3.



Questions from authors: Login/Register

Tried to register but received an error message 'blocked by Stop Forum Spam'

Stop Forum Spam is a free service that records reports of spam on forums, blogs and wikis, to name a few. All these records are then made available to us through an API to block suspected spammers and to help stop the misuse of our platform. 


It's not an accusation of anything when on Stop Forum Spam, it doesn't mean you have been sending spam. The IP address that you have might've been inherited from someone that spammed, someone may have just used your email address or even that you have downloaded a virus or trojan. If you use the removal page on Stop Forum Spam, they will assist in getting it fixed.


AOSIS utilises multiple communication channels such as email, text messaging and telephone calls, with the intent to provide status updates and action requests for all stakeholders. If Stop Forum Spam listed your email consider using an alternative email to register onto our platform.



Questions from authors: Preprints

What is a preprint?

A preprint is a complete manuscript shared with a public audience without peer review. AOSIS support the archiving of preprints in any recognised, not-for-profit, preprint server. We, however, recommend against publishing the same paper on multiple preprint servers.


Can I submit my paper for publication in this journal if I have already submitted it as a preprint?

In most cases, journal publication will not be affected by posting a preprint. However, we strongly recommend that you check the publication license of the preprint server to ascertain its suitability for archiving your work. Authors must retain the copyright of their work when posting to a preprint server. AOSIS places no restrictions on the licence chosen when posting a preprint version of work (e.g. authors may choose CC-BY or CC-BY-NC). Still, authors must include a link/DOI to the preprint version of their manuscript when submitting to an AOSIS journal and provide all feedback received on the preprint to AOSIS.


AOSIS does not recommend that you place the document accepted by AOSIS on preprint servers. Upon publication of your article by AOSIS, please add the following text to your preprint: “This article has been published in [insert full citation] following peer review and can also be viewed on the journal’s website at [insert DOI]”.


The preprint policies of AOSIS are available on the Sherpa Romeo database. We urge authors to check the publication license of the preprint server before submission, because AOSIS cannot publish material where the copyright rests with the preprint server.


Can I cite a preprint in my journal article?

Yes, we allow the citation of preprints in the reference list of your article. You may use the DOI of the preprint manuscript in said article. Refer to the above answer. For more information, you can visit the NIH page for examples of a recommended preprint citation format.


Why publish a paper if the work is already a preprint?

Journals provide many services for improving and validating work. With the formal peer-review as well as the editorial assistance, scrutiny and guidance they receive, the final product of the article can be very different from the preprint version.



Questions from authors: Submitting a new manuscript

How do I submit my manuscript to the journal?
Learn more about submitting your manuscripts here.


How do I submit my revised manuscript to the journal?
Learn more about submitting revised manuscripts here.


How do I submit my licensing forms to the journal?
You can submit your forms from our contact us page. Learn more about licensing forms here.


I have registered as a user on the journal website, but I am unable to submit the article?
Are you registered as an Author? Check if you have access to an 'Author' link under your personal user home page. If you do not have an 'Author' link you will need to enable your role as an author. Navigate to your 'My Account', select the 'Edit' link and scroll down until you see the heading ‘Roles’ where you will find a checkbox next to Reader, Author, Reviewer. Ensure that you have a checkbox selected next to 'Author'. Proceed to save the page.


How do I register as an author (if I am already a reviewer)?
Please see the above answer.


The system doesn’t allow me to move past Step 3 of the submission process. It gives me an error message?
Supplying the same ORCID iD or email address in Step 3 of the metadata field of an article for different authors will prevent you from proceeding to Step 4. Each co-author will need to have their unique ORCID iD.



Questions from authors: Peer review process

How do I view the reviewer comments, after formal peer review, if the Editor-in-Chief provided feedback regarding my article?
The editor should send you an email stating all the revisions suggested during the formal peer-review process. If you are advised to download the comments via your personal journal home page, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your personal journal home page.
  2. Under your 'User Home', click on the 'Author' or 'Active' link. That will direct you to your Active submissions table.
  3. Under the Status column, click on 'In Review: Revisions Required'. This link takes you to the overview of the peer-review process.
  4. The review page of your article provides information and documentation under the heading ‘Peer review’ and will identify files by reviewers (e.g. Reviewer B 19-123-1-RV.docx 2011-08-10. Download all these documents to view the reviewer files.


How many days does the review process take on average?
Learn more about the review process here.



Questions from authors: Article Processing Fees

What is the article processing fee for publishing in the journal?
Learn more about article processing fees here.


Who can I contact regarding my payment, if applicable?
Learn more about payments here.



Questions from authors: Working with accepted material

I have received an email to review the copyedited version of my document. How do I download Step 1 of copyediting?
The publisher sends your accepted manuscript for language editing by a copyeditor. Once this stage is complete, you will be prompted to review the edited manuscript. To gain access to the article, you will need to log into your personal journal home page, and under the Active table the status will have changed to ‘In editing: Copyediting requested’. Click on the status that will take you to the Editing page of your article. Under the heading ‘Copyediting’, proceed to download the document in Step 1. This is the version that requires your attention and approval; it is also the last opportunity to make text changes to your article. Please note: extensive text changes, either inserted or deleted from the text, are not permitted and may justify your manuscript returning to the review process, requiring editorial acceptance again before proceeding.


How do I upload Step 2 of copyediting?
Log into your personal journal home page and access your article’s ‘Editing’ page (see instructions above). Under the heading ‘Copyediting’ in Step 2, you will have a browse and upload function. Browse on your desktop for your edited approved version and upload it. Ensure an article link is present in Step 2 and that it is the correct version that is uploaded. If you are sure that you have uploaded the correct version, inform the Publisher by selecting the envelope within the same row below the ‘Complete’ column. Upon selection, the platform will prompt an email that you will have to send.


I have been requested to proofread my article’s galley proofs. How do I view the proofreading instructions and gain access to my manuscript?
Log into your personal journal home page and access your article’s ‘Editing’ page. Select the status of your manuscript, which will take you to the Editing page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will see ‘Layout’. You will be able to gain access to the Proofreading PDF here. The proofreading instructions are under the heading ‘Proofreading’ and are labelled ‘Proofreading instructions’. To make comments for corrections, select the Bubble icon and paste your corrections there. Once you have posted your comments, inform the Publisher by selecting the email icon under the ‘complete’ column. Upon selection, the platform will prompt an email that you will have to send, ensuring your annotated PDF is attached.



Questions from authors: Indexing status of the journal

Is this a Thomson Reuters Web of Science Core Collection (previously known as ISI) listed journal?
Learn more about indexing here.


Is this a DHET-accredited journal?
Learn more about DHET-accreditation here.


What is the impact factor of the journal?
Learn more about the impact factor here.


Is the journal indexed anywhere?
Learn more about indexing here.



Questions from authors: Published work reuse

Do I need to obtain permission to republish my article?

AOSIS published the work under the CC Attribution 4.0 license (, allowing the author to freely share and adapt the work in any format (e.g. book chapter). The license has two prerequisites:

  • that the user gives appropriate credit (link) to the initial source of publication.
  • provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made (link). 

The new publisher can do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests that AOSIS or the journal endorses the work. No additional restrictions apply.



Questions from authors: Text messaging notifications

I am receiving text notifications about a journal manuscript that doesn't belong to me, what can I do to stop these notifications?

If you are receiving text notifications about the status of your manuscript that doesn't belong to you, someone could have added your mobile number to an account or manuscript in-process.


To stop receiving notifications on your phone, you can:

  • Remove your phone number from your journal account.
  • Reply STOP directly to the text message (SMS). A confirmation text message will confirm that your mobile number has been added to the block list.


How do I add or remove a mobile phone number from my journal account?

You can add or remove a mobile phone number from your account in your profile. We recommend that you add your mobile phone number to receive regular manuscript status updates.


To add your first or another mobile phone number:

  • Log into the journal platform.
  • Navigate and select My Profile.
  • Enter your mobile phone number, then click Save.


To remove a mobile phone number:

  • Log into the journal platform.
  • Navigate and select My Profile.
  • Remove the mobile phone number from the field.
  • Then click Save.


I do not receive text notifications about my journal manuscript. How can I enable this function?

You can add or remove a mobile phone number from your account in your profile; however, if you do have a mobile phone number in your profile, it could be blocked or not added to the manuscript metadata.

  • Confirm with the Editorial Office whether it is listed on the manuscript metadata, which enables text messaging to be sent. Contact the Editorial Office to confirm its listed.
  • Remove your mobile number from the block list, by sending the word optin to 43420 from your mobile phone.


My mobile phone number is on the block list, how do I remove it?

To opt-in to receive text messages from the journal on the status of your manuscript send the word optin to 43420 from your mobile phone. A confirmation text message will confirm that your mobile number has been removed from the block list.


I replied to a text message, was it received?

Our ticket system, located here received your text message. You should receive a reply within 48 hrs or two working days.


How should I format my mobile number?

Our text messaging application relies on your mobile phone number having the correct international format. You will need to convert your mobile number into the valid international format for your country (e.g. For example 07712345678 would become 447712345678).


Follow these steps to format your mobile phone number in your profile correctly:

  1. first visit a list of international dialling codes, add your country code as a prefix to your mobile number
  2. remove any parentheses and the numbers they contain
  3. strip any spaces or non-numeric characters
  4. strip out any leading zeros
  5. check if the mobile number now starts with the appropriate dialling code – if it does, you’re done
  6. save your profile, and you’re good to go.



Questions from authors: ORCID iDs for authors

What is an ORCID iD?

An ORCID iD is a widely accepted unique identifier for researchers and scientific authors. It is a simple numerical identifier (e.g., Each author should have only one ORCID iD, which will stay the same over their lifetime.


Why is it mandatory to have an ORCID iD for the journal?

AOSIS is an early adopter of ORCID iDs and a member of a group of publishers requiring ORCID iDs for all its authors in its publication workflow. This requirement is part of our commitment to ethical scientific publishing. All co-authors must have an ORCID iD. All ORCID iDs are entered onto our submission form and online metadata form during submission. If a co-author refuses to provide their ORCID iD, this is akin to a co-author not providing his name/identity, which raises accountability issues. The only remedy is to drop the co-author as it could be perceived as a fictitious author.


What is the benefit of having an ORCID iD?

There are other benefits of having an ORCID iD. Your research output will benefit from improved discoverability. Google Scholar indexes ORCID iDs, and you can also link it to the author systems used in key databases like Web of Science and Scopus. By attaching your unique identity to articles, datasets, patents, etc., you ensure that all your work is found when other scholars search for your research output. An ORCID iD enables disambiguation between two researchers with the same name, e.g., ‘John Smith’, ensuring that academic credit for a publication is given to the correct John Smith. Also, in case of name changes (e.g., marriage), it facilitates record linkage.


How can I get an ORCID iD?

Researchers can apply for an ORCID iD free of charge using a simple registration form on the website. This process takes only 1 minute.


How does ORCID iDs support our ethical publication practices?

We hope that widespread use of the ORCID system will support ethical publication practices.


We will, therefore, request that:

  • Reviewers have an ORCID iD: Reviewers enter their ORCID iD in their User Profile if it is not already populated.
  • Submitting author discloses all ORCID iDs: The submitting author supply all ORCID iDs during the submission process (Step 3) of all co-authors. Each co-author will need to have their ORCID iD.
  • The submitting author has an ORCID iD in their User Profile.


ORCID iDs ensures that users get credit from other authoring and reviewing services.



Questions from Guest Editors: Special Issue Proposal

How do I propose a special issue?

Guest Editors receive highly valued credit and recognition for bringing together extensive thematic content, where the topic is usually pressing and highly appreciated amongst fellow academics. Overseeing the role of Guest Editor(s) is a serious commitment and can be very rewarding.

If you have an idea for a Special Issue/Collection that you would like to propose for one of our journals, please complete the Special Issue/Collection Proposal form. Send the completed document to the designated email, and provide the following:

  • Completed Special Issue/Collection Proposal form.
  • Current Curriculum Vitae of all Guest Editors with academic and publication records.
  • Cover Letter with the proposed aims and scope, giving an overview of the Special Collection's intended focus, a list of the topics to be covered, and how it supports and contributes to the journal focus and scope. 

Upon receipt of your proposal, we will consult with the Editor-in-Chief and respond directly to verify if the proposal is considered. Once the Special Issue/Collection is approved, it will be available online and open for submissions through the journal's website.


What is the difference between a special issue and special collection?

Your ideal journal might not have numbered issues, resulting in any thematic content being published as a special collection within the current volume of the year. The special issue will therefore not be published as a separate issue but as a special collection. To determine whether this journal have individual issues within a volume, visit the 'Articles' section of the journal's website.



Questions from Guest Editors: Guest Editor(s) Editorial

Why should I write a Guest Editor(s) Editorial?

The Editorial is critical to the special issue. A strong editorial will be accessible to the readers and convince them that the topic is crucial and that it deserves a dedicated focus. Editorials summarise the subject matter focus and provide readers with a gauge of the worth of the whole issue. A good editorial discusses the subsequent articles and set the context for the rest of the subject matter focus, defining what ground each paper covers. Normally an Editorial is 800 words and included in the project. However, depending on the length of the Special Issue, the need for a longer editorial will exist. The Editorial can vary in length and ambition, from an outline of 1500 words to a more problematised 4000 words text presenting the special features within the existing literature. We encourage the latter, more contextualised introductions with a larger number of references. The longer Editorial carries an article processing fee.


What should (structure) be included in a Guest Editor(s) Editorial?

We recommend that the Editorial includes:

  • Background of the subject area, recent developments and coverage of the subject area in the journal.
  • Aims and scope of the Special Issue, the reason for creating it, and its purpose for serving the community.
  • Citations to recently published articles in the journal to show grounding in the area.
  • An introduction to all articles within the Special Issue highlighting key articles and authors.
  • Acknowledgements, thanking authors, the journal, the Editor-in-Chief is optional.