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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.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor). Note: If the submission is a revised conference paper, the additional supporting information that must be submitted is detailed below and under "Authors" tab.
  • All authors have signed the Consent to Publish form and this is included in the submission. The CAJ form that is available online must be used.
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines below.
  • Where available, URLs and dois for the references have been provided.
  • Where available, author ORCID ids for authors have been provided.
  • The names, affiliations, and email addresses of two potential reviewers to evaluate the manuscript have been provided in the cover letter (for peer-reviewed manuscripts only).

Author Guidelines


Article types

The Clean Air Journal publishes two types of articles:

1. Front section

Items for consideration for publication in the front section of the journal, such as Book Reviews and Research Briefs, should be submitted online. Material considered for the front section is subject to the normal requirements, e.g. the material must be original and must conform to the specifications for manuscripts provided in the formatting guidelines. Manuscripts submitted for consideration as front-section items are reviewed by an Editor-in-Chief who decides what should be included and in which issue of the journal. Although the Editor-in-Chief may solicit an external review at her discretion, items published in the front section of the journal are not subject to peer review and therefore do not qualify for the Department of Higher Education and Training subsidy.

2. Peer-reviewed research communications

Peer-reviewed research communications are of three kinds: Research Articles, Review Articles and Technical Articles.


Submission of manuscripts for consideration

Manuscripts for peer review must be submitted online. Please ensure that you have complied with the guidelines and completed all documents on the submission checklist before you start the submission process. Submissions that are incomplete or do not comply with the instructions will be returned.


Authorship of a manuscript should be agreed upon by authors prior to submission. Generally, a person attributed as an author should have contributed to (1) the conception and design of the study and data collection or data analysis; (2) writing or revising the manuscript; and (3) final approval of the version to be published. The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all listed authors have agreed to: (1) the authorship as listed and in the order given by the submitting author; (2) the content of the manuscript; and (3) its submission to the journal.

Consent form

All authors are required to sign the Consent Form before submission. Any requests for changes in authorship prior to publication should be accompanied by a Consent Form. Consent form MSWord or PDF.

Cover letter and Reviewers

Authors must suggest two potential reviewers to evaluate their work. The names and full contact details (including email) of the suggested reviewers must be provided in the cover letter. Suggested reviewers should not be people with whom the authors have recently collaborated or published. The final selection of reviewers is, however, at the discretion of the editors.


There are no submission fees or article-processing charges.


Plagiarism is when you use someone else’s work (book, article, website, etc.) or idea without acknowledging them as the source, whether it be copied verbatim or paraphrased. Manuscripts will be screened for potential plagiarism before publication using similarity detection software. All cases of suspected or alleged plagiarism are considered very seriously in accordance with the journal’s Plagiarism Policy.


Permission must be obtained from the copyright owner for the use of quotations, illustrations, tables and other materials taken from previously published works that are not in the public domain. The author is responsible for the payment of any copyright fee(s) if these have not been waived. The letters of permission must accompany the manuscript. The original source(s) must be mentioned in the figure legend or as a footnote to a table.

Ethical guidelines

Submissions involving research conducted on humans must meet the highest standards regarding both the ethical consideration given and reporting of the procedures followed. All research involving humans must be approved prior to commencement of the study by an institutional ethics committee. The name of the approving body and a reference number (if provided) must be included in the Methods section of the manuscript.

Requirements for conference papers submitted to the Clean Air Journal

Clean Air Journal does accept manuscripts that are based upon conference papers that meet the following requirements.

  1. The paper published by the Clean Air Journal should be comprised of at least 30% new material that was not presented at the conference.
  2. The conference paper should be expanded and improved by:
    1. Improving the paper’s overall quality using feedback obtained at the conference to revise and rewrite the paper
    2. Adding new material to the paper
  3. When the paper is submitted to the Clean Air Journal, a letter must be submitted to the Editors detailing how the manuscript has been revised following presentation at the conference. A copy of the original conference paper should also be submitted. Highlighting new figures, sections, analyses, etc. clearly upon submission will expedite the process.
  4. The presentation of the conference paper must be clearly disclosed at the end of the article. For example, for a paper that was presented at the NACA conference, the statement will read: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the National Association of Clean Air (NACA) Conference in <month and year> and was published in its Proceedings. Authors must include this statement in their submitted manuscript. 

All submitted expanded conference papers undergo the Clean Air Journal’s peer-review process. Once the review process has been completed, the editor will make the final decision as to whether the submitted Clean Air Journal publication is sufficiently different from the conference proceedings before final acceptance to be published in Clean Air Journal.

Format of manuscripts

Title and authors

The title should be as concise as possible - generally no more than two lines. First name, middle initial, surname and ORCID should be given for each author. The names of authors should be separated by a comma. A numerical superscript following each author name should be used to reference the affiliation of each author. The corresponding author should be indicated with an asterisk (*). Affiliations should include the organization, address and email of each author.


The abstract must convey the purpose, main results and conclusions of the article.  Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words.

As noted in Clean Air Journal's Inclusive Language Policy, authors may include a second abstract in an African language. The guidelines are detailed in the Inclusive Language Policy (under "policies" menu item). This includes an additional form (certification of translation) that must be submitted with the original submission.


Include up to two lines of keywords


Any significant help received in conceiving, designing or carrying out the work, as well as provision of a service or material must be acknowledged. Authors should always acknowledge outside reviewers of their drafts. Authors should acknowledge all sources of funding that supported their research.

Author contributions

The contributions of each author should be listed. Contributions should be specified along the lines of: conceptualisation; methodology; data collection; sample analysis; data analysis; validation; data curation; writing – the initial draft; writing – revisions; student supervision; project leadership; project management; and funding acquisition.


The Harvard system (AGPS 1994) should be used for citing publications in the text and listing their details at the end of the manuscript. A brief summary follows:

  • Generally, a textual citation requires only the name of the author (or authors) and the year of publication (with no comma between the two). Page numbers may be included where appropriate, as in ‘Milligan (1955, pp. 245-7)’.
  • Citations may be made by referring to the authors in mid-sentence, as in Sellers and Secombe (1957, 1958a, 1958b) or Milligan et al. (in press), but should preferably appear at the end of the sentence as here (Secombe and Sellers 1956, Milligan 1961).
  • The term ‘pers. comm.’ should not be used. Contributions of this kind should appear in an Acknowledgment at the end of the paper.
  • All references cited should be listed at the end of the paper (or prior to any Appendix, if included). More detail is provided by AGPS (1994) or may be found at
  • To expedite the publication process, the reference list should include a DOI (digital object identifier) for each applicable reference. The DOIs can be retrieved easily using Crossref’s Metadata Search. The tool is user friendly and free to access.

Some examples:

AGPS (Australian Govt Publishing Service) 1994, Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers, AGPS, Canberra.

Baker R. 1995, ‘Risk management and risk assessment in air quality standards setting’, Clean Air (Aust.) 25:62-7.

Dahl R. 1986, Two Fables, ill. G. Dean, Viking (Penguin), Harmondsworth.

Kuschel G. and Foster E. 1996, ‘The Christchurch emissions inventory as an air quality management tool’, Proceedings of the 13th International Clean Air and Environment Conference, Adelaide, 1996, Clean Air Society of Australia & New Zealand, Eastwood, NSW, Australia, pp. 180-185.

Milligan T.C., Secombe H. & Sellers P. 1986, ‘Particle Pollution in Woy Woy, NSW’, Clean Air (Aust.) 145:233-8.

Online supplementary material

Online supplementary material is material additional to but directly relevant to your article that cannot be included within the article for reasons of space or medium (such as videos). Various formats are allowed (e.g. Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, video files). The material is peer reviewed in conjunction with the article and must be submitted as supplementary material during online submission. Supplementary material must be numbered separately when referred to in the article (e.g. Supplementary table 1) and must conform with the journal’s formatting guidelines. Online supplementary material is published separately on the article page. As it is published separately, any references must be given in a self-contained reference list. Supplementary material should be limited to 10 figures/tables and 2000 words.


General specifications of manuscripts

Format of text and layout

Manuscripts should be typed in Arial font 11 point. The submitted manuscript must include line numbers that are consecutive. The main text of the submission should use 1.5 line spacing. 

Length requirements

A manuscript should ideally not exceed 6 000 words. The maximum length of a manuscript is 10 000 words.


The Journal uses UK spelling, and not US spelling. Use IUPAC nomenclature recommendations for chemical elements and compounds.

Quotations in the text

Single quotation marks are used for all quotations; to highlight a quote within a quote, please use double quotation marks. If citations are longer than 30 words, please do not use single quotation marks; rather indent the quotation and italicise it.


Footnotes may not be used in the text but may be used for Tables and Figures.


If a phrase with an established acronym or abbreviation is used, and appears more than five times in your article, please include the acronym/abbreviation in brackets after first mention of the phrase, then use the acronym/abbreviation only. Please note that you should not define acronyms or abbreviations in any of your headings. If either has been used in your abstract/summary, you need to define them again on their first use within the main text. Abbreviations/acronyms used in figures and tables must be explained in the heading/legend or footnote.


The use of units should conform to the SI convention and be abbreviated accordingly. Metric units and their international symbols are used throughout. Decimal points and not the decimal comma are used. Time should use the 24-hour clock (e.g. 13:00 and not 1:00 pm).


Number all equations at the right edge of their column.

Spacing and punctuation

There should be one space (not two) between sentences; one space before unit terms (e.g. 5 kg, 5 mm, 5 mmol, 5 days, 5 °C); but no space before %. Thousands/millions are marked with a space, not a comma, from 10 000 (e.g. 10 000, 1 000 000 but 1000). Ranges are expressed with an extended hyphen, not with a short hyphen (e.g. 1990–2000).


Dates must be written as: 30 September 2019.


For submission of manuscripts, all illustrations and figures should be inserted into the main body of the text. All illustrations should be referred to in the text. A numbered caption in 10 pt Arial type should be placed below each illustration. Captions should be concise, leaving full explanation to the text, yet contain enough information that explains the figure.

Upon submission of the final accepted manuscript, Figures should be submitted as separate files.  For the production of the accepted manuscript they should be submitted as separate files in *.pdf, *.ps, *.eps, *.jpg, *.png, *.tif, or *.gif format with a resolution of not less than 150-300 dp. All illustrations and figures can be printed in colour.


If necessary, a large table may be presented in ‘landscape’ orientation, i.e. rotated with the top of the table on the left-hand side of the page. Table captions should be at the top of each table, but otherwise conform to the specifications for illustrations.


Submission of revised manuscripts after review

You will be unable to make your revisions on the originally submitted version of the manuscript. Please also highlight the changes to your manuscript within the document by using the track changes mode in MS Word or by using bold or coloured text.

Once the revised manuscript is prepared, you can upload it and submit it through OJS. Once you have logged in, select the original submission. Under the Review tab please upload your revised manuscript under "Revisions". When submitting your revision, please include a Response to Reviewers  in a separate Word document [select Response to Reviewers as the file format when uploading the file during submission]. The Response to Reviewers should list all comments from the reviewers and how they have been addressed in a table. In order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your response to the reviewers.

Submit ONLY THREE files: 1) Main Document with figures, tables and supplementary material included therein, 2) Main Document with figures, tables and supplementary material included therein showing track changes, and 3) the point-by-point Response to Reviewers.

In order to expedite publication should your revised manuscript be accepted, it is important to ensure that you have complied with the guidelines, specifically that your references have been numbered and formatted correctly and include DOIs where applicable.



The corresponding author will be notified as soon as possible as to which issue their manuscript has been assigned for publication. Authors who have manuscripts awaiting publication should please notify the Editorial Office if they plan to be out of email reach for a length of time or assign another author as corresponding author.

Corresponding authors will be notified as soon as the article is published online. The journal is openly accessible and you can freely download and share your article. You can view your article’s metrics (views and downloads) on the article’s landing page.

Copyright & Permissions

All articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence; copyright is retained by the authors. Readers are welcome to reproduce, share and adapt the content without permission provided the source is attributed.


You may archive the final published version of your article in personal or institutional repositories immediately after publication. Self-archiving prior to publication is not permitted and may result in the withdrawal of a submission or accepted manuscript. See Preprints, digital archiving and preservation policy for more information.

Research Article

Research articles must contain original results and interpretation. These articles will be reviewed for scope, originality and quality, with a strong focus on the relevance and impact of the article to Africa.

Review Article

Review articles should be on a topic relevant to air quality in Africa. These articles will be reviewed for scope, originality and quality, with a strong focus on the relevance and impact of the article to Africa.

Technical Article

Technical papers describe methods, procedures and management processes that are novel or have a novel application for Africa. These articles will be reviewed for scope, originality and quality, with a strong focus on the relevance and impact of the article to Africa.

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. Personal data collected is dealt with in accordance with the South African POPI Act, South Africa's equivalent of the EU GDPR. Also view the Khulisa Journals Data Privacy Policy for more information.