About the Journal
The Journal of Literary Studies (JLS) publishes and globally disseminates original and cutting-edge research informed by Literary and Cultural Theory. The Journal is an independent quarterly publication owned and published by the Literature Association of South Africa in partnership with Unisa Press. It is housed and produced in the division Theory of Literature at the University of South Africa and is accredited and subsidised by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training.
Aims and Scope
The aim of the journal is to publish articles and full-length review essays on literature and comparative literature informed by General Literary Theory, Genre Studies and Critical Theory.
The content of the journal consists of research articles and review essays of 6,000 to 7,000 words. Short book reviews of 800-1,000 words are also published. The target audience of the journal is scholars in the field of Literary and Cultural Studies. The main language medium is English but essays written in Afrikaans are also published.
Peer Review Process
A double blind peer review process is followed. A minimum of two peer reviewers, who are recognised specialists specific to the topic and area of the submissions, are appointed by the editors. All peer review reports are mailed to the contributors.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
Authors keep the copyright of their manuscripts under a Creative Commons licence: CC BY SA
In order to finance open access, JLS requires authors of accepted articles to pay article processing charges (APCs). APCs are payable when the article has been accepted for publication and when an invoice has been delivered. APCs are used to cover all costs related to language editing, publishing, online hosting, and the archiving of each article.
The current rate is ZAR 7 865 per article. These charges are reviewed annually.
The submitting author is responsible for the payment of the APC, which must be confirmed at the time of submission. All amounts are due within 30 days from invoicing. The article will only be published once full payment has been received.
Since JLS encourages researchers from marginalised groups and communities to submit articles, authors could apply to be exempted from the APCs. Since each application will be considered on its own merit, a motivation needs to be provided. Send the application to the Chief Editor when submitting your article. No author would be discriminated against in any way when exemption from the APCs is granted.
Book reviews are exempted from APCs.
Manuscripts containing plagiarism will not be considered for publication in the journal. Plagiarism is defined as the use of another person's work, words or ideas without attribution or permission, and representation of them as one's own original work. Plagiarism may take many forms, ranging from major plagiarism (the copy-and-paste of large amounts of text), to minor plagiarism without dishonest intent (e.g. when an author uses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper) and even self-plagiarism (the re-use of significant, identical or near-identical portions of one's own work without citing the original version).
JLS subscribes to plagiarism detection software and all contributions submitted to the journal will be scanned to verify originality. Ithenticate (http://www.ithenticate.com/) is currently used.
If major plagiarism is brought to light after a manuscript has been published, the journal will proceed to conduct a preliminary investigation. The journal reserves the right to formally retract such manuscripts and publish statements to reference material as plagiarism.
All records are archived.
Authorship and AI Tools
Unisa Press adheres to the COPE Guidelines on Authorship and AI Tools which state that AI tools cannot meet the requirements for authorship as they cannot take responsibility for the submitted work. Authors are required to acknowledge the use of AI Tools in any aspect of the generation of their article.
Licensing and Publishing
In consideration for the publication of your article by Unisa Press, you hereby agree to grant to Unisa Press an irrevocable nonexclusive licence to publish in print and electronic format, and further sublicense the article, for the full legal term of copyright and any renewals thereof in all languages throughout the world in all formats, and through any medium of communication.
You shall retain the perpetual royalty-free right to reproduce and publish in print and electronic format, and further sublicense the article in all languages throughout the world in all formats, and through any medium of communication provided that you make reference to the first publication by the Journal and Unisa Press.
JLS is indexed/listed by the following:
- Web of Science: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI);
- British Humanities Index;
- Humanities International Index;
- Index to South African Periodicals;
- M L A International Bibliography;
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ);
- SciELO SA.
The author(s) agrees that the contribution is original work, was not published elsewhere, is not being considered for publication elsewhere, and will not be submitted for publication elsewhere unless it is rejected by Journal of Literary Studies or withdrawn by the author(s).
By submitting work for consideration to be published in JLS, the author(s) agree(s) with all the policies of the journal. The attention of the author(s) is drawn in particular to the policies on copyright, licensing and publication.
Neither the editorial staff, the board nor the publisher accept responsibility for the opinions or viewpoints expressed, or for the correctness of facts and figures.
Copyright remains with the author(s) of the article(s).
All articles published in JLS can be re-used under the following license:
CC BY SA
Digital Preservation Policy
JLS uses the PKP preservation network.
The journal publishes in English and Afrikaans.
Journal of Literary Studies 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 made available on personal websites and institutional repositories, subject to the following conditions:
1) Always upload the final version as published at https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/jls/index
2) Acknowledge the publisher.
Cite the article as part of the metadata and include the DOI as part of the citation to the article.
UNISA, Unisa Press and the Literature Association of South Africa make every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the "Content") contained in our publications. However, UNISA, Unisa Press, Literature Association of South Africa, our agents (including the editor, any member of the editorial team or editorial board, and any guest editors), and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by UNISA, Unisa Press or Literature Association of South Africa. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. UNISA, Unisa Press or Literature Association of South Africa shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to, or arising out of the use of the Content.
Ethics Statement (Unisa Press Journals)
As part of fulfilling the University of South Africa's vision of being "the African university shaping futures in the service of humanity" the vision of Unisa Press Journals is to "publish with integrity" and, as such, Unisa Press Journals would like all parties involved in the publication process to adhere to the expected ethical behaviour set out in this ethics statement.
1. Responsibilities of the Publisher and the Institutions and/or Societies on Behalf of Which It Publishes
Unisa Press Journals and the institutions and/or societies on behalf of which it publishes shall ensure that:
1.1. Good practice is maintained to the standards set out in this statement.
1.2. Collaborations with other publishers and industry associations adhere to standards for best practices on ethical matters, errors and retractions.
1.3. The publisher's address and contact details are published in all journals and on these journals' websites.
1.4. Guidelines on how the review process works are published on all journals' websites.
1.5. Journals publish guidance on what is expected from reviewers.
1.6. Journals publish guidance on what is expected from authors.
1.7. Journals have properly functioning editorial boards and international advisory boards.
2. Responsibilities of Editorial Boards
A properly functioning editorial board of a journal is of vital importance to ensure that the journals are governed efficiently. The board is responsible to ensure that the requirements for journals to be accredited by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) are adhered to.
Editorial boards need to:
2.1. Meet regularly and be actively involved in the editorial management of the journal.
2.2. Have terms of reference.
2.3. Keep minutes of their meetings.
2.4. Be comprised of members from beyond a single institution, and with more than two-thirds of the editorial board members beyond a single institution.
2.5. Be reflective of expertise in the relevant subject area.
2.6. Ensure that the names, titles and affiliation of board members are published in the journal and on the journals' website.
2.7. Ensure that all board members serve for a clearly defined term, after which they may be re-elected in order to remain on the board.
2.8. Ensure that their journal has a mechanism for authors to appeal against editorial decisions. This should be managed by the editorial board and not the editor.
2.9. Appoint the academic editor of the journal
3. International Advisory Boards
This journal, just like any other, does boast a vibrant team of international advisory board, which advises the editorial board and the editor on the academic standard of the journal. This is a critical part of our editorial component as it helps the journal to foster excellence in scholarship.
4. Responsibilities of Academic Editors
Academic Editors should:
4.1. Execute their duties in an objective and fair way without discriminating on the basis of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious or political affiliation or sexual orientation of authors or reviewers.
4.2. Ensure that articles include English abstracts if their language of publication is not English.
4.3. Ensure that their journal uses the double blind peer review method, where the identities of authors and reviewers are not known to each other.
4.4. Pursue suspected cases of misconduct and not just simply reject articles that raise suspicion.
4.5. Give authors an opportunity to respond to any complaints and, if they are not satisfied, ask the authors' employers to investigate. Editors should persist until they obtain a resolution to the problem in question.
4.6. Follow reasonable procedures when complaints of conflict of interest or of an ethical nature arise, and follow the procedures of the society or institution which owns the journal, where appropriate, to resolve the complaint. Journals owned by Unisa need to follow the guidelines set out in the relevant Unisa policies.
4.7. Keep all documentation relating to the investigation of a complaint.
4.8. Correct any inaccuracy or misleading statement that has been published in order to maintain the integrity of the academic record. They have to publish errata, corrigenda or even retract articles if need be.
4.9. Make sure their journals comply with all the requirements of the Department: Higher Education and Training's Research Outputs Policy (2015)
5. Responsibilities of Peer Reviewers
5.1. Maintain the confidentiality of all information supplied by the editor.
5.2. Review each manuscript objectively, in a timely manner, contribute to the decision-making process regarding publication of articles, and assist in improving the quality of the manuscript.
5.3. Alert the editor to any suspected plagiarism or substantially similar content.
5.4. Keep the integrity of the double blind peer review intact by ensuring they stay anonymous in their review reports.
5.5. Be aware of any potential conflict of interest, and decline the review on those grounds.
6. Authors' responsibilities
6.1. Declare any real or potential conflict of interest regarding the research and the publication process.
6.2. Confirm that each submission has not been previously published and that it is not under consideration by another journal.
6.3. Confirm that the work in submission is original, and acknowledge and cite content from other sources.
6.4. Confirm that they have obtained permission to reproduce any content that is not theirs.
6.5. Notify the journal editor or publisher immediately if a significant error in their publication comes to light, and should cooperate with the editor and publisher if it is necessary to retract the article or to publish an erratum, addendum or corrigendum notice.
6.6. Maintain accurate records of data associated with their submission, and should grant access to these data if reasonably requested. Where allowed and where appropriate, authors should deposit this data in a suitable repository or storage for sharing and further use.
6.7. Ensure that any studies involving human or animal subjects conform to local, national and international laws and requirements. Authors should obtain express permission from human subjects and respect their privacy.
6.8. Be aware that online originality checking will be conducted to protect the integrity of the journal.
Misconduct and unethical behaviour may be identified and brought to the attention of the editor and publisher at any time, by anyone. Sufficient evidence should be provided in writing by any complainant when informing the editor or publisher for an investigation to be initiated. All allegations should be taken seriously and must be treated appropriately. Those who report such behaviour in good faith must be protected in accordance with relevant Unisa policies and procedures. When misconduct or unethical behaviour is confirmed appropriate actions should be taken timeously, including correcting the research record (Singapore Statement, 2010).
Publication model and frequency
The journal only publishes online.
From January 2023, the Journal of Literary Studies will have only one issue per year. Individual submissions will be published as soon as the peer-review, copy-editing and production processes are finalised. Submissions to special issues will be grouped under the name of the issue.
Articles are published online as they are finalised. A DOI is immediately allocated. Articles retain their initial page numbering.
Usage and impact
Statistics are generated through OJS, as well as all other platforms indexing JLS.
Access selected statistics at: