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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Support documents provided as per authors guidelines with regards to checklists for specific study designs.
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Cover letter indicating 1) manuscript contains original research; 2) the work has not been published before; 3) the manuscript is not currently under review by another journal; and 4) all authors have read and approved the manuscript.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • Abstract not more than 200 words.
  • Three potential reviewers and contact details are included in the cover letter.
  • Title page is included indicating the authors, their affiliations and contact details as well as the corresponding author and contact details.
  • The text is 1.0 spaced; uses a 10-point font in Times New Roman; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed at the end of the references each on a separate page. The text in the Tables and Figures should be in 10-point Time News Roman.
  • An ethical approval number is supplied or a statement indicating which body approved the study is included in the section "Ethical considerations".
  • The manuscript have been edited by a native English speaker for UK English.

Author Guidelines


The South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation is published by the North-West University, Potchefstroom. Contributions from the fields of Sport Science, Physical Education, Recreation/Leisure Studies, Exercise Science and Dance Studies will be considered for publication. The articles submitted will be administered by the appropriate Subject Review Editor and evaluated by two or more referees. The decision as to whether a particular article is to be published or not rests with the Editorial Board.


Manuscripts that do not comply with the following requirements regarding process, style and format will not be handled.

Manuscripts should be typed with SINGLE spacing in 10-point Times New Roman letter size for the text. All the text in tables and figures should be in 10-point Times New Roman font size and single spacing. Please do not use Calibri.  The length may not exceed 20 pages (tables, figures, references, etc. included). The page setup (cm) must be in the following format:

MARGINS                                PAPER SIZE

Top:            3.56 cm                 Width:    17.5 cm

Bottom:      1.78 cm                 Height:  24.5 cm

Left:            2.11 cm

Right:         2.11 cm

Gutter:       0.00 cm

Header:     2.03 cm

Footer:      0.89 cm

Original manuscripts may be submitted in English and should be uploaded to the journal website. 

The Editor (Prof. Hanlie Moss)  
Editorial Office
South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation
Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Research Focus Area
North-West University, POTCHEFSTROOM
Tel.: +27 (0)18-299 1821


Each manuscript must be accompanied by a cover letter in which the following is declared: (1) that the manuscript contains original research; (2) that the manuscript or parts of the manuscript has not been published elsewhere previously; (3) that the manuscript is not currently being presented elsewhere for publication; and (4) that all the authors have read and approved the manuscript. This signed declaration regarding the originality must accompany each manuscript. The cover letter must contain a rationale for how the manuscript is novel, why it is relevant to the journal, and how the research contributes to the field or advances the evidence base.

Authors are also requested to name three/3 potential referees, of which one/1 must be an international referee (the Journal is not bound to use these referees). These must be from a different institution to the first author and not have been published with any member of the writing group in the previous 3 years. Complete information regarding the referees (name, surname, e-mail address and telephone numbers) must be provided in the cover letter.

We discourage the practice of parts of the same study submitted for other issues of this Journal. Authors who submit a manuscript from a study of which some data have been or will be published elsewhere must provide a strong justification in the accompanying letter to the Editor. The justification for not publishing all the data together in one paper must also be motivated in the cover letter.

The author should also ensure that the language of the manuscript has been edited thoroughly (English [UK]) by the time of submission. The name, address and telephone number of the person who did the language editing must be provided. Any expenses incurred by the Journal dealing with language editing will be added to the author's page fees.

The manuscript must have an ethical clearance number that was supplied by the authentic ethical committee of a specific institution. The process that was followed to obtain ethical clearance must be described in the manuscript under the heading, 'Ethical clearance'. No manuscript can be published without this declaration. Review, theoretic or philosophical articles do not require ethical clearance.

Any uncertainty regarding the statistical procedures that arise during the assessment of the manuscript will be referred to a local statistician. Any expenses incurred by the Journal dealing with statistical procedures will be added to the author's page fees.

All studies testing the effect of an intervention have to be registered with a trial registry to be eligible for peer review. We STRONGLY recommend prospective registration but will consider retrospectively registered trials with appropriate justification.

For completed randomised controlled trials, SAJRSPER requires the submission of a populated CONSORT checklist and flow diagram. The flow diagram should be included in the main body of the text and the checklist should be provided as an additional file. Both the flow diagram and the checklist should be referenced in the text. Submissions received without these elements will be returned to the authors as incomplete. A Word file of the checklist and flow diagram can be downloaded here.

For all intervention components, authors are required to use the TIDieR Checklist, which should be provided as an additional file. The TIDieR Checklist is available to download as a PDF and a Word file.

For observational studies, SAJRSPER requires the submission of a populated STROBE checklist ( along with the manuscript. For observational studies that focus on nutrition, the checklist should be modified to reflect the revised STROBE-nut guidelines ( The completed checklist should be provided as an additional file.

For systematic reviews and Meta-analyses, the PRISMA checklist and flow diagram ( should be completed. The Checklist should be uploaded as an additional file and the flow diagram included in the manuscript. The PRISMA Checklist as a Word file and the flow diagram as a word file can be downloaded here.

For the reporting of therapeutic exercise interventions in rehabilitation, the CERT guidelines should be followed and the checklist uploaded as an additional file


Manuscripts must be presented in a format that is compatible with Microsoft Word for Windows (PC). Tables, all figures (illustrations, diagrams, etc.) and graphs are regarded as text and must be presented in a format that is compatible with Word and figures should be accessible to make any text corrections. Photographs must be presented in jpg format.

Original manuscripts must contain the following sections in the following sequence: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Purpose of Research, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Practical application/Recommendations, Conclusions, Acknowledgements (if applicable), a conflict of interest statement and References (not all applicable to review/theoretical/philosophical articles). Appendices are acceptable but must be succinct.

Title page

The first page of each manuscript should indicate the title in English, the names (title, first name in full and other initials, surname) of the author(s), and the telephone numbers (work & home [& mobile for local authors]), facsimile number, Email address and the field of study. The complete mailing address and telephone numbers of the corresponding author and the institution (department, faculty, university, city, country) where the work was conducted should be provided in full. When more than one author and/or authors from various departments and institutions are involved, the 1author(s) must be numbered according to their 1department(s). If any of the above-mentioned information should change during the review process, please inform the Subject Editor. A short title of not more than 45 characters (including spaces), should be provided for use as a running heading. The title page should be submitted as a separate file to ensure a blinded review process.


Each manuscript must be accompanied by an abstract of approximately 150-200 words in English and should be set on a separate page as a SINGLE paragraph (single spacing). A list of three to seven keywords in English is required for indexing purposes and should be typed below the abstract in alphabetical order.


Start the text on a new page with the title of the article (centred and without the names of the authors). Follow the style of the most recent issue of the Journal regarding the use of headings and subheadings. Use only one line space after a paragraph. Only make use of section breaks and not page breaks. The text, as well as the tables and figures, may not be in any other format than normal. Thus, no style sheets may be used, also in the case of the list of references.

Tables and figures

Tables and figures should be numbered with Arabic numerals (1, 2, etc.). Tables require the heading at the top, while figures have the legend below and both must not be included in the cells of the table/figure. Note: Use the decimal POINT (not the decimal comma). The site where the table or figure should be placed in the text must be indicated clearly in the manuscript. All tables and figures are to be placed after the reference list with each on a separate page, always ending with a section break. Any preference for the use of colour in the case of figures or photographs must be noted and will be at an additional cost to the page tariff.

It is essential that tables/figures should be contained/fit within the page setup described earlier for this Journal. A portrait layout is preferred for all tables/figures. Tables must use separate rows/columns (do not merge cells) for each item. Figures must be in Word and accessible to make corrections or changes within the figure where deemed necessary. The font type in figures should be Times New Roman. Please ensure that especially the figures are of high quality for printing purposes. Any preference for the use of colour in the case of figures or photographs must be noted and will be at an additional cost to the page tariff.


In the text, the Harvard method must be adopted by providing the author's surname and the date placed in parentheses. For example: Daly (1970); King and Loathes (1985); (Botha & Sonn, 2002); McGuines et al. (1986) or (Daly, 1970:80) where Daly is not part of the sentence and page number is added for a direct quotation. More than one reference must be arranged chronologically (Daly, 1970; King & Loathes, 1985). Note that et al. (italics) is used in the body of the text from the beginning when there are more than two authors, but never in the list of references, where all authors must be provided.

List of references

Only the references cited in the text should be listed alphabetically according to the surname (last name) of the authors (uppercase) after the body of text under the heading, REFERENCES (uppercase) starting on a new page. In the case where the TITLE of an article, book, etc., is in any other language than English, the author must also provide an English translation of the title in parentheses (this applies to Afrikaans titles as well).

In the case of articles published in JOURNALS, references listed should include the surnames and initials (upper case and with full-stop and without spaces between initials) of all authors, the date of the publication in parentheses, the full title of the article, the full title of the journal (italics and no abbreviations), the volume number, the series/issue number in parentheses (if the said journal does not use issue numbers, the month of publication should be used), followed by a colon and a space with the first and last page numbers separated by a hyphen. In the case of online journals, use “online” if page numbers are not provided. The use of the correct punctuation is of importance.

If the reference is a BOOK, the surname (last name, upper case) and initials (with full-stop and without spaces) of the author or editor (Ed.) must be provided, followed by the date of publication in parentheses followed by a full-stop, the title of the book (italics) as given on the title page, the number of the edition (ed.) in parentheses, the city (and abbreviation for the state in the case of the USA OR the country) where published, followed by a colon, a space and the name of the publisher.

For a CHAPTER in a book, the page numbers of the chapter cited must be provided in parentheses (not italics) after the title of the book (pp. 20-29). For further details, authors should consult the most recent publication of this Journal for other examples.

If the reference is a THESIS (master’s level) or DISSERTATION (doctoral level), italics are not used in the title as it is an unpublished work. Provide the name of the city, state/country, colon, university and department/faculty.

For ELECTRONIC SOURCES, all references start with the same information that would be provided for a printed source (if available). The web page information follows the reference style. It will usually contain the name of the author(s) (if known), year of publication or last revision, title of complete work in inverted commas, title of web page, Uniform Resource Locater (URL) or access path in square text brackets (do not end the path statement with a full stop), full stop after the closing bracket and date of access (Retrieved on 10 December 2015]. See "How to cite information from the Internet and the Worldwide Web" at [] for specific examples. When citing a Web site in the text, merely give the author and date. When reference is made to a specific statement (quotation) in the article/document and no page number can be provided, the word 'online' is used for citing in the text (Van der Merwe, 2010:online).

When referencing an article in a NEWSPAPER, the keyword of the newspaper is typed in capitals, as this is how it will appear in the alphabetical listing of references, namely The CAPE ARGUS (The) will appear under “C” or BURGER (Die) will appear under “B”.

In the case of a paper presented in conference PROCEEDINGS, the editors and the title of the proceedings, the page numbers of the article being referred to and the details of the congress (when and where it was held) and by whom (city, state, publisher) the proceedings was published should be provided.

Examples of the style of formulations for different references


ZHENG, N.; BARRENTINE, S.W.; FLEISIG, G.S. & ANDREWS, J.R. (2008). Kinematic analysis of swing in pro and amateur golfer. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 29(6): 487-493.


WEINBERG, R.S. & GOULD, D. (2011). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology (5th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Chapter in book

SCHNECK, C.M. (2010). Visual perception. In J. Case-Smith & J.C. O’Brian (Eds.), Occupational therapy for children (6th ed.) (pp. 373-403). Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby.


SURUJLAL, J. (2004). Human resources management of professional sports coaches in South Africa. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Johannesburg, South Africa: Rand Afrikaans University.

Proceedings of a conference

HARDMAN, K. & MARSHALL, J. (2001). Worldwide survey on the state and status of physical education in schools. In G. Doll-Tepper & D. Scoretz (Eds.), World summit on physical education (pp. 15-37). Proceedings of the "World Summit on Physical Education", 3-5 November 1999. Berlin, Germany: International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE).

Personal communication/correspondence/interview

BOUKES, P.B. (2015). Personal communication from the Acting Director of Sport at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth on 27 February 2015.

JACOBS, L. (2015). Personal interview with the Spokesperson of UNICEF, 25 August, Pretoria.


CAPE ARGUS (The) (1997). 25 March, p. 5.

Electronic source

DINOFFER, J. (2011). “Activities to build balance”. Prevent child obesity 101. Hyperlink: [http://]. Retrieved on 20 November 2012.


If authors honour the rules and specifications for the submission of manuscripts, unnecessary delays would be avoided. Requesting ‘copyright’, concerning figures or photographs, is the responsibility of the authors and should be indicated. A manuscript that does not meet the requirements, as set out above, will be returned to the author without being evaluated. A subject specialist Editor administers and coordinates the assessment of the referees and provides the final recommendation.

The corresponding author will receive a complimentary copy of the Journal and five reprints of the article that could be shared with the co-authors. The original manuscripts and illustrations will be discarded one month after publication unless a request is received to return the original to the corresponding author. An article-processing cost of South African R7 500,00 per article is payable on receipt of a statement issued by the Editor.

Original research

This section is open to all authors. Submissions to this section must be based on original research and will be subject to peer review.

Systematic reviews

This section is open to all authors. Submission to this section must be based on Cochrane guidelines for preparing systematic review or systematic reviews with meta-analyses.  All submissions will be subjected to peer review.


This section is open to all section editors. Submissions will not be peer reviewed.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party. The journal adheres to the  Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013