Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction


The list of Frequently Asked Questions below should cover most queries new authors have about the submissions process. Suppose you have any additional queries about publishing a book with AOSIS Scholarly Books that are not covered here. In that case, you are welcome to log an enquiry at https://publishingsupport.aosis.co.za/open.php, and we will endeavour to respond within a week.

  1. 1. What is Open Access?
  2. 2. What types of books does AOSIS Scholarly Books publish?
  3. 3. Is there any work that AOSIS Scholarly Books will not consider for publication?
  4. 4. What do I need to submit?
  5. 5. Do you publish authors who are not living in South Africa?
  6. 6. What does AOSIS Scholarly Books look for in a manuscript?
  7. 7. Is it necessary to have my book edited before I submit it to AOSIS Scholarly Books for evaluation?
  8. 8. Before I write my book, can I send AOSIS Scholarly Books a proposal to gauge interest in the topic?
  9. 9. I am considering publishing more than one manuscript. How many book proposals should I complete?
  10. 10. When should I submit my book proposal form and manuscript in order to be published in a particular year?
  11. 11. Is someone from AOSIS Scholarly Books able to meet with me so I can explain the concept behind my book before I submit it?
  12. 12. Do I have to finish my book before I submit it to AOSIS Scholarly Books?
  13. 13. I have an idea for a book, but I need someone to help me write it.
  14. 14.In what languages does AOSIS Scholarly Books South Africa publish?
  15. 15. I’ve self-published my book already. Can I submit it to AOSIS Scholarly Books?
  16. 16. How long should my manuscript be?
  17. 17. How should I format my manuscript?
  18. 18. How will I know that my book proposal has been received by AOSIS Scholarly Books?
  19. 19. If I’m still waiting for an answer from AOSIS Scholarly Books, can I send my manuscript to other publishers?
  20. 20. How long should I expect to wait for an answer to my proposal?
  21. 21. How will I know if my work has been rejected?
  22. 22. How will AOSIS Scholarly Books contact me?
  23. 23. How long does it take to publish a book?
  24. 24. If my manuscript is accepted for publication, will I need to pay AOSIS Scholarly Books to publish it?
  25. 25. What happens if my book is accepted for publication?
  26. 26. How long does it take for a book to published after acceptance?
  27. 27. What all goes into the publication of a book, after acceptance?
  28. 28. Under what publication licenses are the books published at AOSIS Scholarly Books?
  29. 29. Can I purchase hard copies of my book?
  30. 30. What is an ORCID iD?
  31. 31. Why is it mandatory to have an ORCID iD?
  32. 32. What is the benefit of having an ORCID iD?
  33. 33. How can I get an ORCID iD?
  34. 34. How does ORCID iDs support your ethical publication practices?
  35. 35. How will I conduct a peer review for AOSIS Scholarly Books?
  36. 36. Are there any special considerations/elements to keep in mind as a reviewer?
  37. 37. Will the review consist of reviewing the entire manuscript or just one chapter?
  38. 38. May reviewers recommend whether the manuscript needs to be revised and resubmitted for review?
  39. 39. May reviewers recommend whether to publish or not publish a manuscript?

Questions from readers


1. 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.

 

Questions from authors


2. What types of books does AOSIS Scholarly Books publish?

AOSIS Scholarly Books comprises the imprints AOSIS Books, ITUTA Books and KROTOA Books.

  • AOSIS Books: Books that are research-focused and written by scholars and aimed at other scholarly readers. These books are peer-reviewed and wholly aligned with the 'Research Output Policy' of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) of South Africa.
  • ITUTA Books: Books that are research-based and written by scholars for a most likely readership of practitioners and students.
  • KROTOA Books: Books that are research-based and written by scholars, primarily aimed at a general public readership.

We consider submissions from all academic fields. Book proposals are welcomed from all academic fields, particularly the Humanities and Social Sciences, such as Religious Studies, Business Science, Sociology, Education and Psychology. We publish the following types of scholarly books:

  • Monographs: A stand-alone work of original research or in-depth literature review by one or more authors.
  • Collected works: A stand-alone work assembled by one or more scholars in a field or related field, often as a supplement to a scholarly journal.
  • Collective works: A stand-alone work assembled by one or more scholars in several related fields and collectively reviewed.
  • Book series: A collection of volumes on a subject/field of study. Volumes can be monographs or collected/collective works. Book series usually produce one volume per year in an ongoing process.
  • PhD dissertations: A stand-alone work based on a recent PhD thesis, with evidence of substantial reworking (at least 50%) and additional (new) research additions.
  • Conference proceedings: A collection of shorter academic papers published in the context of an academic conference.

 

3. Is there any work that AOSIS Scholarly Books will not consider for publication?
  • General and literary fiction.
  • General non-fiction (sport, environmental issues, business, politics, African interest, current affairs, history, military history, etc.).
  • Illustrated non-fiction – nature guides and general books pertaining to nature and environment; children’s nature; travel and heritage; cookery; health; gardening; etc.).
  • Narrative non-fiction (memoir, biography, autobiography, travel writing, etc.).
  • Children’s books.

 

4. What do I need to submit?

Please see our submission guidelines located here: https://books.aosis.co.za/index.php/ob/publication-procedure#part_2

 

5. Do you publish authors who are not living in South Africa?

Yes.

 

6. What does AOSIS Scholarly Books look for in a manuscript?

AOSIS Scholarly Books is ultimately looking to publish scholarly research books stemming from African scholars or those providing an original African viewpoint across various academic disciplines. Our authors should inspire generations, elevate indigenous knowledge, and challenge conventional thinking through original research.

 

7. Is it necessary to have my book edited before I submit it to AOSIS Scholarly Books for evaluation?

This is entirely up to you. The more polished a manuscript is, the more likely it is that it will be accepted. That said, if it is accepted, it will go through an in-house editorial process before it is published. We do, however, strongly suggest having your manuscript professionally copy edited prior to submission if you (or any co-authors) are not a native English speaker/writer.

 

8. Before I write my book, can I send AOSIS Scholarly Books a proposal to gauge interest in the topic?

Yes. AOSIS Scholarly Books begins the process of considering books based on a submitted book proposal form, which is evaluated by our internal editorial boards to assess whether your book idea is viable and fits into any of our imprints. Refer to our submission guidelines: https://books.aosis.co.za/index.php/ob/publication-procedure#part_2

 

9. I am considering publishing more than one manuscript. How many book proposals should I complete?

A separate book proposal form must be submitted for every book intention that you may have. Ensure that the information in every book proposal form accurately captures every book idea.

 

10. When should I submit my book proposal form and manuscript in order to be published in a particular year?

In order to publish in a particular year, the book proposal form must be submitted by 01 July of the previous year (and submission of the manuscript by 01 December). Hence, for a 2022 publication, we will need to receive your book proposal form by 01 July 2021 and your manuscript by 01 December 2021.

 

11. Is someone from AOSIS Scholarly Books able to meet with me so I can explain the concept behind my book before I submit it?

No. As we receive so many manuscripts, we are unable to meet with potential authors. Once you have made a submission according to the guidelines ( https://books.aosis.co.za/index.php/ob/publication-procedure#part_2), and if your submission passes the internal editorial board review, we will be in touch with you to ask for additional material and/or request a meeting.

 

12. Do I have to finish my book before I submit it to AOSIS Scholarly Books?

No, although you will need to have a full outline completed. We only require the book proposal form and a CV which you can submit when they are ready.

 

13. I have an idea for a book, but I need someone to help me write it.

Unfortunately, AOSIS Scholarly Books cannot assist with providing ghostwriters. We suggest you contact The Professional Editors' Group (www.editors.org.za) or the South African Freelancers Association (www.safrea.co.za) who should be able to put you in touch with a freelance writer.

 

14. In what languages does AOSIS Scholarly Books South Africa publish?

AOSIS Scholarly Books publishes primarily in English, as well as in Afrikaans.

 

15. I’ve self-published my book already. Can I submit it to AOSIS Scholarly Books?

AOSIS Scholarly Books does not accept self-published works. If you are looking for someone to distribute copies of your self-published book, you can contact the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) on (021) 425 2721, and they will be able to give you details of distribution companies operating in the country.

 

16. How long should my manuscript be?

The length of a manuscript depends on the book, but full-length works should be between 60 000 and 120 000 words as a rough guideline. In rare instances, we may consider manuscripts longer than 120 000 words. Please indicate this on your book proposal form.

 

17. How should I format my manuscript?

Please refer to our formatting guidelines: https://books.aosis.co.za/index.php/ob/submission-guideline

 

18. How will I know that my book proposal has been received by AOSIS Scholarly Books?

If you send your book proposal via email, you will receive a response indicating that your email has been received. If you upload your proposal, you will receive an automated response that your proposal was received and logged. You will be able to track your submission online.

 

19. If I’m still waiting for an answer from AOSIS Scholarly Books, can I send my manuscript to other publishers?

No.

 

20. How long should I expect to wait for an answer to my proposal?

The time it takes to evaluate manuscripts often depends on when your manuscript was received (as it goes into a queue), the time of year, and the number of manuscripts we are currently evaluating at any one time. Typically, it takes 1-3 months before we are able to provide any feedback. Manuscripts that show potential may take a little longer as we will need to complete market research and do provisional costings before we decide whether the project is indeed a viable venture.

 

21. How will I know if my work has been rejected?

AOSIS Scholarly Books will let you know if your work has been rejected.

 

22. How will AOSIS Scholarly Books contact me?

AOSIS Scholarly Books will contact you via email if your manuscript is successful or further information is required, so it is essential that you provide your email address. We cannot take responsibility for email addresses that have changed during the time it has taken us to evaluate your manuscript, so please make sure you provide us with backup contact information.

 

23. How long does it take to publish a book?

We plan our publishing schedules a year in advance. You should assume 9 months to a year from the time your manuscript is accepted until the month of publication.

 

24.If my manuscript is accepted for publication, will I need to pay AOSIS Scholarly Books to publish it?

Yes. As an open-access publishing company, AOSIS Scholarly Books asks for a publication fee for the production process (editing, proofreading, typesetting, printing, etc.) and distribution and sales. Upon receiving an acceptance letter relating to your book proposal form, AOSIS Scholarly Books will issue a preliminary cost estimation to the author to consider and sign before sending us the full manuscript. Hereafter, we will commence with external peer review.

 

25. What happens if my book is accepted for publication?

All manuscripts undergo an external peer review process. If your manuscript passes peer review and is accepted for publication, AOSIS Scholarly Books will provide the final invoice based on the signed cost estimation with the publication agreement (e.g. cost estimate issued on the book proposal's acceptance). AOSIS Scholarly Books will then put the manuscript into production.

 

26. How long does it take for a book to published after acceptance?

Given the number of steps and role players involved in publishing a quality book, timelines cannot be guaranteed. That being said, the minimum average time for a book to be published after acceptance is six months.

 

27. What all goes into the publication of a book, after acceptance?

The process of publishing a book after acceptance is made up of many steps. As a basic overview, these steps include cover design, linguistic editing, liaising with authors/editors for feedback, formatting and styling, typesetting, and the final corrections and preparations for online publication. There is a lot more depth to the process than what’s mentioned here, but this will give you a good idea of what goes into developing the final product.

 

28. Under what publication licenses are the books published at AOSIS Scholarly Books?

AOSIS Scholarly Books offers authors a selection of publishing options to choose from, which can be found here https://books.aosis.co.za/index.php/ob/publication-fees

 

29. Can I purchase hard copies of my book?

Yes. After your book is published online, the printing preparation can begin (please note, this process may take a few months).For books that are ready for printing, visit our online bookstore located here: https://aosis.myshopify.com/. If your book is not listed or the printing preparation is still ongoing, please contact orders@aosis.co.za.

 

30. 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., https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1825-0097). Each author should have only one ORCID iD, which will stay the same over their lifetime.

 

31. Why is it mandatory to have an ORCID iD?

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 OCRID 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.

 

32. 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.

 

33. How can I get an ORCID iD?

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

 

34. How does ORCID iDs support your ethical publication practices?

We hope that widespread use of the ORCID system will support ethical publication practices. We will, therefore, request that the submitting author discloses all ORCID iDs. The submitting author needs to supply all ORCID iDs of all co-authors in the final manuscript. Each co-author will need to have their unique ORCID iD. ORCID iDs ensures that users get credit from other authoring services.

 

Questions from reviewers


35. How will I conduct a peer review for AOSIS Scholarly Books?

In order to complete an external review for AOSIS Scholarly Books you will receive a questionnaire. To assist you in the completion of this form, the reviewer questions on pages two and three of the form are there to guide you in completing ‘My Review’, and you may answer these questions in the spaces provided.

 

36. Are there any special considerations/elements to keep in mind as a reviewer?

When reviewing the manuscript and completing your review, please consider that the manuscript should be original research, display a sufficient knowledge and understanding of the relevant literature, attest to relevant techniques applied in the research, and should have a sound research methodology and theoretical foundation. In order to maintain the highest scholarly standards, AOSIS requires that the manuscript be read and evaluated in its entirety.

 

37. Will the review consist of reviewing the entire manuscript or just one chapter?

The entire manuscript must be evaluated and reviewed.

 

38. May reviewers recommend whether the manuscript needs to be revised and resubmitted for review?

Yes. You may recommend in the review document whether the authors need to make revisions and resubmit their manuscript for review.

 

39. May reviewers recommend whether to publish or not publish a manuscript?

Yes. Reviewers may recommend that a manuscript be published or not. However, should you recommend that a manuscript not be published you must please provide your reasoning.