Journal Information



  • ISSN
  • Focus and scope
  • Publication frequency
  • Types of articles published
  • Open access
  • Review process
  • Marketing
  • Membership



0006-8241 (PRINT)
2311-9284 (ONLINE)



Focus and scope

The journal publishes original research findings, as well as reviews, commentaries, strategies and short notes. The scope of the journal includes the following areas: 

  • Generation of new knowledge that provides a foundation for assessment, planning or management of biodiversity, including (i) new taxonomic discoveries within Africa, from across all Kingdoms of organisms, (ii) documenting the abundance, diversity and distribution of genes, species and ecosystems in Africa (including temporal changes in these).
  • Assessment of biodiversity, including (i) the status of populations, species and ecosystems, (ii) the impacts of threats, harvesting and disturbance or of interventions on populations, species and ecosystems, (iii) the value of the goods and services provided by biodiversity. 
  • Innovation in science- or evidence-based decision-making for biodiversity in Africa. This includes the publication of case studies, best practices, tools and plans for the conservation, use and management of biodiversity. 
  • Cross-cutting fields specifically (i) developments and innovation in human capital development in the biodiversity sector and (ii) innovation in biodiversity information management and dissemination systems and tools for use of biodiversity information. 
  • Strategic frameworks that provide guidance and direction for biodiversity research, assessment and management at national, regional or continental levels, especially those that integrate biodiversity management with local and regional socio-economic systems. 

Submissions from authors anywhere in Africa as well as those based outside of Africa are invited if the content relates to African biodiversity.



Historic data

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) was established from the National Botanical Institute (NBI) in 2004 through the promulgation of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA). The Act expanded the mandate of the NBI from plants to all components of biodiversity. Bothalia was the in-house journal of the NBI and mostly published research on plant taxonomy, ecology, anatomy and cytology. This journal was established in 1921 and was named after General Louis Botha, first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, and Minister of Agriculture until 1913. The decision to broaden the scope of Bothalia in line with the changed mandate of the institution, and to rename the journal to reflect the expanded scope, was made in 2010. After consideration of global publishing trends, a further decision was made to transform the journal to an open access, online format, and to move beyond a purely academic journal to one that serves the needs of African biodiversity scientists, practitioners and decision-makers. 



Publication frequency

The journal publishes at least one issue each year. Articles are published online when ready for publication and then printed in an end-of-year compilation. Additional issues may be published for special events (e.g. conferences) and when special themes are addressed.



Types of articles published

Read full details on the submissions guidelines page.



Open access

This 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 Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) definition of open access. Learn more about the journal copyright, licensing and publishing rights.



Review process

The journal has a double-blinded peer review process. Manuscripts are initially examined by editorial staff and are sent by the Editor-in-Chief to two expert independent reviewers, either directly or by a Section Editor. Read our full peer review process.




AOSIS has a number of ways in which we promote publications. Learn more here.




AOSIS is a member and/or subscribes to the standards and code of practices of several leading industry organisations. This includes the Directory of Open Access Journals, Ithenticate, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, CrossRef, Portico and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Learn more here.



DHET Accreditation

The journal is DHET accredited because it is listed on the following approved indexing services:

  • SciELO SA
  • Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Core Collection, Science Citation Index Expanded, SCIE (previously known as ISI)

Indexing Services

All articles published in the journal are included in:

  • SciELO SA
  • Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Core Collection, Science Citation Index Expanded, SCIE (previously known as ISI)
  • Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers, Level 1
  • Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Other Coverage, BIOSIS Previews
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • EBSCO Host
  • GALE, CENGAGE Learning
  • Google Scholar
  • ProQuest

We are working closely with relevant indexing services to ensure that articles published in the journal will be available in their databases when appropriate.


The full text of the journal articles is deposited in the following archives to guarantee long-term preservation:

  • Portico
  • AOSIS Library
  • SA ePublications, Sabinet
  • South African Government Libraries

AOSIS is also a participant in the LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) initiative. LOCKSS will enable any library to maintain their own archive of content from AOSIS and other publishers, with minimal technical effort and using cheaply available hardware. The URL to the LOCKSS Publisher Manifest for the journal is, Please inform us if you are using our manifest as we would like to add your name to the list above.

Journal Impact

A journal's Impact Factor was originally designed in 1963 as a tool for libraries to compare journals, and identify the most popular ones to subscribe to. It was never intended to measure the quality of journals, and definitely not the quality of individual articles.

The Impact Factor is a journal-level measurement reflecting the yearly average number of citations of recent articles published in that journal. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field; journals with higher Impact Factors are often deemed to be more important than those with lower ones. Therefore, the more often articles in the journal are cited, the higher its Impact Factor.

The Impact Factor is highly discipline-dependent due to the speed with which articles get cited in each field and the related citation practices. The percentage of total citations occurring in the first two years after publication varies highly amongst disciplines. Accordingly, one cannot compare journals across disciplines based on their relative Impact Factors.

We provide several citation-based measurements for each of our journals, if available. We caution our authors, readers and researchers that they should assess the quality of the content of individual articles, and not judge the quality of articles by the reputation of the journal in which they are published.


Citation-based measurement  


Journal Impact Factor, based on Web of Science (formerly ISI)


CiteScore, based on SCOPUS, Elsevier


Source-Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP), based on SCOPUS, Elsevier


Scimago Journal Rank (SJR), based on SCOPUS, Elsevier


H5-index, based on Google Scholar