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South African Computer Journal

On-line version ISSN 2313-7835
Print version ISSN 1015-7999

SACJ vol.33 n.2 Grahamstown Dec. 2021 



Citation and referencing guidelines



James DibleyI; Philip MachanickII

IDepartment of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa
IIDepartment of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa




This short article provides some guidelines and worked examples of reliable citation and referencing practice for contributing authors and reviewers to/for the South African Computer Journal. This is motivated by several observations:

1. that citation data obtained through search engines and reference managers are often unreviewed, misformatted, or incomplete;

2. while SACJ is prepared for publication using the ETjX toolchain, a great number of accepted contributions to the journal are prepared using other software, and in these cases, SACJ production staff must manually transfer the citation data;

3. better guidelines for contributors and reviewers can support more rigorous review, resulting in a faster and more effective publication pipeline for SACJ overall.

As such, this article aims to provide enough detail:

to prepare an article for submission, and

to establish that a submitted article is ready to be accepted for publication.

1.1 Background

For historical and interdisciplinary reasons, SACJ published articles employ a citation and referencing style that closely tracks the American Psychological Association style guide, 6th edition. We are greatly assisted in this by Philip Kime's biblatex-apa6 package1.

Submissions to SACJ are not required to use the APA 6th citation style, and we recommend that contributors do not attempt to do so.

However, SACJ does recommend that supplied reference sets include all of the data required by the APA 6th referencing style. Section 3 details this.



2.1 Citation style

Authors using LaTeX, Microsoft Word or alternative word processing software should prepare their submissions using an IEEE-style numeric citation style, e.g.:

As Pade observes, "in introductory courses on quantum mechanics, the practice of formal skills often takes priority (this is subsumed under the slogan 'shut up and calculate')." [1, p. xvii]

[1] Pade, J. (2018). Quantum mechanics for pedestrians (2nd). Springer.

This citation style enables the most direct workflow for reviewers to evaluate a submission, as well as the most direct workflow for the production editor to prepare a pre-publication proof.

2.2 Referencing

Please make best efforts to provide complete, up-to-date and correctly-styled reference entries at the point of submission. Submissions with inaccurate or incomplete referencing may result in significant delays to preparation of the final proof.

2.2.1 Abbreviation

Please do not abbreviate the titles of journals or conference proceedings. Where abbreviations have been used in downloaded reference entries, these should be corrected.

2.2.2 Recommendations for contributors using Microsoft Word

SACJ recommends that authors preparing submissions in Microsoft Word make use of one of several freely-available reference manager plugins2 that are able to export reference sets as BibTeX files. This simple step can significantly reduce time and risk of transcription error during the preparation of the final proofs.

The list of references at the end of this document may be used as a guide for manual preparation of reference entries, while the BibTeX code examples itemise the attributes required.

Numeric keys should be used for inline citations and references should use numeric keys ([1], [2-3], [4, 5, 6], etc.), rather than author names.

2.2.3 Recommendations for contributors using LaTeX

The SACJ production editor also cautions that BibTeX reference entries obtained through Google Scholar (e.g., through the 'cite search result' link) are captured from existing documents rather than automatically generated from article metadata, and as such may be poorly-styled, incomplete, or inaccurate.

Authors may consult the BibTeX entries provided in this document to check the style and information requirements.



3.1 Article

Aaaa and Bbbb (2047) is provided by the following BibTeX code:

3.2 Conference paper

Cccc (2017) is provided by the following BibTeX code:

3.3 Book

Dddd (2008) is provided by the following BibTeX code:

3.4 Book chapter

Eeee (1998) is provided by the following BibTeX code:

3.5 Theses

Gggg (1888) is provided by the following BibTeX code:

Hhhh (1999) is provided by the following BibTeX code:

3.6 Technical report

Iiii (2000) is provided by the following BibTeX code:

3.7 Webpages and online resources

South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (1998) is provided by the following BibTex code:



Aaaa, P. Q., & Bbbb, R. S. (2047). The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog: An overview of keyboard test procedures in the short twentieth century. Historical Perspectives On Quality Assurance, 17(3), 210-211.        [ Links ]

Cccc, T. (2017). Think like a computer, scientist: Debugging Prolog, In 2017IET 4th International Conference on Logic Programming, Toronto, Canada, 22-24 May. IET.

Dddd, U. (2008). Modern developments in modelling development (3rd). Megadodo.

Eeee, V. (1998). Dude, where's my UART? (R. Ffff, Ed.). In R. Ffff (Ed.), Mastering on-target debugging for wireless nanodevices. Zarniwoop-Verlag.

Gggg, X. (1888). Procedural power solutions: A multidisciplinary intervention (Master's thesis). Xyzzy Institute of Technology. Vancouver.

Hhhh, W. (1999). Quantitative studies in quantum quintessence (Doctoral dissertation). Qwerty College. Wellington.

Iiii, E. (2000). Palatino, Helvetica, and Gill Sans (Technical report) [Last accessed 15 Jun 17]. Font Institute. Last accessed 15 Jun 17.

South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists. (1998). SACJ announcements [Last accessed 10 Sep 99].



2 e.g.

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