About the Author(s)

Melinde Coetzee Email symbol
Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, University of South Africa, South Africa


Coetzee, M. (2018). South African Journal of Industrial Psychology: Annual editorial overview 2018. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde, 44(0), a1591. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v44i0.1591


South African Journal of Industrial Psychology: Annual editorial overview 2018

Melinde Coetzee

Copyright: © 2018. The Author(s). Licensee: AOSIS.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The publication of the 44th volume of the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology (SAJIP) presents the opportunity to provide an update on the contribution of the journal to the broader field of applied psychology. Since its inception in 1975 as an accredited scientific journal, the SAJIP continues to be recognised as a leading-edge accredited journal for publishing quality research mostly relevant to the southern African context. The SAJIP functions as an important forum for cutting-edge, peer-reviewed research in all fields related to investigating the ways in which individuals can balance their daily activities (socially, culturally or linguistically), against the larger context of corporate, organisational and institutional values. A true testament to the journal’s impact is the quality of the volumes produced every year. The journal’s metrics and accreditation listing attest to the soundness of its peer-review processes in ensuring the publication of quality scholarly academic material that reflect the scope and practice domain of the SAJIP. Publication ethics form an integral part of the pre-screening and peer-review processes. AOSIS, the publisher of the SAJIP, subscribes to the standards and code of practices of leading industry organisations such as the Directory of Open Access Journals, iThenticate, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, CrossRef, Portico and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Information on the peer-review and ethics practices applied by the SAJIP publication process is available on the journal’s website.

The SAJIP managed to retain and even expand its indexing status in reputable national and international research repositories, such as the DHET SA List, SciELO SA, SCOPUS, Directory of Open Access Journals, Chartered Association of Business Schools Academic Journal Guide 2018, EBSCO Host, GALE CENGAGE Learning, Google Scholar, ProQuest, Hinari and the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers, Level 1. Currently the SAJIP is also indexed at Thomson Reuters in the Emerging Sources Citation (Web of Science) Index (ESCI), as a candidate journal for potential listing in the flagship Thomson Reuters Web of Science Core Collection. The latter remains the ultimate vision of the SAJIP through its annual evaluations by Thomson Reuter.

One of the challenges that needs to be addressed by the SAJIP in support of its vision to be listed on the Web of Science Core Collection is the tendency of a high self-citation rate by authors (currently >23%). Another challenge is to ensure that the topics of the published research remain relevant and innovative and attract the attention of the wider global scholarly community in the applied psychology domain. This approach will help to expand the frequency of crossref citations of the journal’s authors in other reputable scientific journals. Attracting manuscripts that reflect international and multidisciplinary diversity also seems to remain a challenge for the SAJIP, with manuscript publications still reflecting mostly contributions from South Africa. This trend may sadly be one of the factors contributing to the high self-citation rate.

Apart from screening self-citations by authors, manuscript contributions will continue to be screened and reviewed in terms of their scholarly standard and new knowledge production through the rigorous application of appropriate scientific research methods. If the latter are lacking, submissions are often declined because manuscripts do not comply with these SAJIP requirements. During 2016 to 2018, the SAJIP witnessed an average of 50% desk (pre-review) rejections in relation to new submissions and an average of 10% post-review rejections.

A positive trend is the incremental increase in SAJIP crossref citations: 2014 (n = 74), 2015 (n = 78), 2016 (n = 255), 2017 (n = 511), which reflects the contemporary relevance of the research themes for the wider scholarly community. Although a slight decline in crossref citations was witnessed for 2018 (n = 324), the citation trend remains encouraging. The most cited article for 2018 and 2017 was authored by two highly reputable and prolific international scholars, Evangelia Demerouti and Arnold Bakker: ‘The job demands–resources model: Challenges for future research’ (SAJIP, Vol. 37, No 2/a974: crossref citations = 65). The most cited article in 2016 was authored by Maria Tims and Arnold Bakker: ‘Job crafting: Towards a new model of individual job redesign’ (SAJIP, Vol. 36, No 2/a841: crossref citations = 16).

The high crossref citations witnessed for these two articles highlight the importance of our authors to submit high-quality scientific research-based manuscripts that (1) address individual, organisational and societal phenomena that are current and relevant to the local, African and broader global scholarly community; (2) offer a critical review of research trends and gaps in the applied psychology literature domain (i.e. industrial/organisational psychology and work/organisational/managerial behaviour and well-being); (3) offer a distinct, novel point of view; (4) deepen insight into new directions in the field; and (5) can serve as a resource for multiple constituencies (e.g. academic scholars, management and practitioners). The goal is to publish quality articles, showing methodological rigour, and that help advance the field, have an impact on science and practice, and resonate with the applied psychology scholarly audience (i.e. the article topics are of high interest and have grown in importance).

The rapidly changing Industry 4.0 society has to learn to function innovatively in a volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous (VUCA) landscape which poses new demands on the well-being and performance of individuals and organisations. The SAJIP would like to see an increase in manuscripts and articles that reflect innovative research which advances valuable and trustworthy new multidisciplinary knowledge that can inform practice. Innovation in research is evident when new ideas concerning individual/organisational/societal phenomena are generated and the creative ideas are of some utility for improving individual and organisational functioning, that is, the ideas can be successfully implemented in practice or be perceived as such (Grote & Cortina, 2018). Articles published in the SAJIP generally reflect incremental creativity (i.e. minor changes in theoretical frameworks and practices, services and products) rather than radical creativity (i.e. ideas that differ substantially from existing theory and organisational practices: Grote & Cortina, 2018). Both forms of creativity remain appropriate as long as the form of creativity is (1) necessary and relevant to the unique sample audience and their life/societal context, (2) the research yields new insights or ideas that are of utility for practice (i.e. improve individual and organisational functioning and well-being) and (3) advance research in the applied industrial/organisational psychology field.

Overview of article topics: South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, volume 44 (2018)

The topics of the articles in the 44th volume of the SAJIP are summarised in Table 1 and compared with the predominant 2018 article topics emanating from the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology (EJWOP) and the Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology (JWOP). In addition, the topics of scientist-practitioner presentations made at the annual 2018 conference hosted by the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology South Africa (SIOPSA, 2018) were also compared with the SAJIP 2018 (Vol 44) article topics. The topics across all four research publication outlets appear to reflect mostly incremental creativity on well-researched common themes such as leadership, managerial behaviour, coaching, employee well-being, engagement-related behaviour and organisational support from various perspectives. Apart from these common themes, the EJWOP and JWOP seem to reflect an additional strong focus on factors and interventions influencing employee wellness, job demands-resources, stress, safety, performance, job satisfaction, work identity and work centrality, and diversity management practices. These topics seem to remain of interest for the local and broader scholarly community. Employability and careers are some of the unique topics that emerged for the South African context (SAJIP). The SIOPSA scientist-practitioner topics seem to highlight the need for radical innovative research on topics, such as technological advancements in assessment practices, talent management and retention, neuroscience, and the changing needs and values of individuals and organisations in the VUCA and digital landscape. It would be interesting to see how topics of interest for the SAJIP will evolve in future editions as the demands of Industry 4.0 start to shape organisational practices.

TABLE 1: Overview of article topics: 2018.


The successful publication of the annual SAJIP volumes is the result of a collaborative effort of a superb editorial team, reputable and committed scholarly peer reviewers and accomplished AOSIS staff who selflessly dedicate their time and energy towards ensuring the publication of high-quality articles. These efforts, along with the outstanding articles written by our authors, are reflected in every volume, including the 2018 edition which celebrates 43 years of SAJIP. We would like to express our gratitude to the scholarly and scientist-practitioner community who find the articles useful and have been able to incorporate them into their scholarly endeavours. We are excited about the future of SAJIP and believe that the extraordinary collaboration efforts we annually witness will help to advance the field of applied psychology and ensure that our research efforts truly have an impact on the science and practice of co-constructing flourishing individuals, organisations and societies.


Grote, G., & Cortina, J.M. (2018). Necessity (not just novelty) is the mother of invention: Using creativity research to improve research in work and organizational psychology. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 27(1), 335–341. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2018.1444606

Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology of South Africa (SIOPSA). (2018). Conference programme 24 – 26 July 2018. Pretoria: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), SIOPSA.

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