Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

ORiON is the official journal of the Operations Research Society of South Africa (ORSSA) and is published biannually. Papers in the following categories are typically published in ORiON:

  1. Development of New Theory, which may be useful to operations research (OR) practitioners, or which may lead to the introduction of new methodologies or techniques.
  2. OR Success Stories, which describe demonstrably successful applications of OR within the Southern African context (at the developing/developed economy interface) or similar environments elsewhere.
  3. OR Case Studies, which might not be "success stories", but which emphasize novel approaches or describe pitfalls in the application of OR.
  4. OR Methodological Reviews, which survey new and potentially useful methodological developments, aimed at OR practitioners especially in Southern Africa.

The above list is by no means exhaustive. Popular ORiON Publication Topics/Subjects include:

  • Arrival processes, queuing theory and applications
  • Assignment, allocation and timetabling problems
  • Conflict resolution and multi-criteria decision analysis
  • Data mining, forecasting, statistical analysis and applications
  • Decision support and decision making
  • Demand, logistics and supply chain analysis
  • Elections, government and development
  • Financial investments, risk analysis and portfolio optimization
  • Graph & network theory and applications
  • Inventory control theory and management
  • Knapsack, packing and cutting problems
  • Mathematical (linear, nonlinear, integer, goal, dynamic) programming
  • Natural resource management and conservation ecology
  • Philosophy, history, marketing and teaching of OR
  • Production management and project scheduling
  • Reliability, repairability and availability
  • Theoretical and computer simulation
  • Transportation networks, vehicle routing and variations of the TSP

 

Section Policies

Editorial

In the editorial the editor provides a brief summary of the importance and significance for the region of the findings and conclusions of papers included in each issue.  He may also explain why the manuscripts included in the issue are topical, and how the papers in an issue form a unit.

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Research Articles

Contributions in this section represent the main bulk of an issue and are subjected to double-blind peer review.  Articles typically report on the development of new theory, contain OR success stories or case studies, or are methodological reviews on some OR topic.

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Special Issue Articles (by invitation only)

Contributions in this section are typically centered around a special OR topic or theme, dedicated to a celebrated individual in the OR community, or mark an important event on the OR calendar. Papers may be submitted for publication in this section upon invitation by die editor, and are subjected to the normal double-blind peer review process.

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Preface (Special Issues)

Special issues of ORiON usually include a preface to the issue, explaining in what way the issue is special.

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Letters to the Editor

Readers are invited to submit letters to the editor for possible publication in ORiON.  These letters may be in response to material already published in ORiON, or may convey some general message of an OR-related nature to readers.

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Peer Review Process

All submissions of research articles to ORiON are subjected to double-blind peer review (i.e. in addition to the standard practice that authors are not aware of the identities of the reviewers who evaluate their manuscripts, reviewers are also not aware of the identities of authors of the manuscripts evaluated by them). The peer review is handled by the editor-in-chief if s/he is independent. If the editor-in-chief has some form of interest or involvement in a manuscript the peer review process is handled by an independent associate editor.

A minimum of three reviewers are assigned to evaluate each submission. Reports and recommendations by the reviewers are made available to authors for the sake of transparency and to enable them to improve their manuscripts.

All three reviewers are required to judge whether a submission falls within the publishing mandate of ORiON, i.e. whether (i) it constitutes the development of new theory, (ii) it is an OR success story, (iii) it is an OR case study, (iv) it is an OR methodological review, or (v) it is neither of the above, but nevertheless suitable to appear in an OR journal. Reviewers are furhter asked to rate the submission on a six-point scale (excellent, very good, good, fair, poor, or not applicable) according to the following thirteen criteria:

  • Correct use of language,
  • Clarity of expression / exposition,
  • Quality / correct use of mathematics,
  • Justification of arguments,
  • Authors' apparent knowledge in the field,
  • Quality of references and consistency of referencing,
  • Level of innovation,
  • Significance of contribution,
  • Manuscript suitability for ORiON,
  • Clarity and quality of illustrations,
  • Potential usefulness of the manuscript to OR practitioners,
  • Suitability and length of the manuscript title and abstract, and
  • Suitability of overall length of the manuscript.
Reviewers are finally required to exercise one of the following four recommendations:
  • Accept Submission: Accept manuscript as it stands. (Statistics have shown that this outcome is recommended for less than 5% of all submissions.)
  • Revisions Required: Accept manuscript subject to minor corrections, with the reviewer not requiring to see improvements of the manuscript again, leaving the presiding editor to verify that all minor corrections have been implemented. In this case a list of suggested minor corrections is provided by the reviewer. (Statistics have shown that this outcome is recommended for approximately 10% of all submissions.)
  • Resubmit for Review: Accept manuscript subject to major corrections, with the reviewer requiring to see improvements of the manuscript again so as to convince him/herself that all major corrections have been implemented and that all major suggestions have been followed through. In this case a list of required major corrections and suggestions is provided by the reviewer. (Statistics have shown that this outcome is recommended for approximately 25% of all submissions.)
  • Decline Submission: Reject the manuscript either because it is better suited for publication by a journal other than ORiON, or because it is sub-standard (in the sense of containing too many errors and inaccuracies), or because it does not constitute a significant contribution to OR in Southern Africa). (Statistics have shown that this outcome is recommended for more than 60% of all submissions.)

A turn-around time of 12 weeks from the submission date is the goal for first readings of manuscripts by reviewers, followed by turn-around times of 8 weeks for each subsequent iteration of the review process (if required).

 

Publication Frequency

Papers are published collectively in ORiON, as part of an issue with its own table of contents.  One volume is published per year, containing two issues - appearing in June and December of each year.

 

Open Access Policy

This journal provides full open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge and ideas.

 

Submission Fees

ORiON does not charge any article processing (APC) or page fees.

 

Plagiarism Policy

Submitted papers are screened via Turnitin plagiarism detection software.

 

Self Archiving Policy

  • Pre-prints:
    Authors may archive their work in open access repositories as non-peer-reviewed pre-prints. However, authors should note that reviewers may then get aware of their identities and that may jeopardise the double blind peer review process.
  • Post-prints:
    Authors may archive their article in open access repositories as post-prints. Only the original high quality pdf file that was supplied by ORiON may be used. However, the following notice should accompany such a posting on the website: “Electronic version of an article published in ORiON, Volume XXX, number XXX, pages XXX–XXX.” Authors should also supply a hyperlink to the origal paper or indicate where the original paper (http://orion.journals.ac.za/pub/issue/archive) may be found.

 

Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

The editorial team and management of ORiON are committed to be ethical and fair in publishing high quality manuscripts. All ORiON’s stakeholders are expected to act in accordance with the codes of conduct and international standards established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). More specifically the following points for editors, authors and peer reviewers are extracted from COPE’s free online documentation.

 

Editors should:

  • actively improve the quality and processes of ORiON and actively discourage misconduct
  • keep up to date with developments in review practices and journal management
  • ensure that all manuscripts submitted to ORiON receive a fair, blind review, by suitable reviewers
  • use a wide as possible range of reviewers
  • communicate clear instructions about submissions and expectations of authors
  • respect requests from authors that manuscripts should not be reviewed by certain reviewers (if it is well-reasoned)
  • act by the guidelines of COPE when misconduct is suspected and publish how these cases were handled
  • provide clear instructions to reviewers
  • require reviewers to disclose any potential (competing) interests before agreeing to review
  • alert reviewers to look for redundant publication and plagiarism
  • acknowledge the contribution of reviewers
  • ensure that the reviewer database reflects the academic community of the journal
  • communicate to board members about their expected functions
  • have systems in place to detect plagiarism
  • ensure that published material is securely archived
  • disclose conflicts of interest if they exist
  • have suitable policies for the handling of manuscripts submitted by themselves or any other member of the editorial board or journal management

 

Authors should:

  • ensure that all (and only) contributors to the manuscript are fairly included as co-authors
  • obtain permission to submit the article to ORiON from all the co-authors prior to submission
  • submit data and analyses that are true, real and free of manipulation
  • avoid all forms of plagiarism by attributing to themselves only original and unpublished ideas and words
  • use adequate referencing and citation where ideas and words from published works are used
  • obtain permission from the source before including, referencing and citing unpublished ideas and words
  • ensure that the manuscript is submitted to only one journal at a time
  • inform the editor of any related manuscripts submitted to other journals for consideration
  • declare all sources of funding and any conflict of interest at submission of a paper
  • be able to supply any code and/or data sets required for the repetition of experiments
  • notify the editor immediately of any fundamental errors found in their own published work

 

Peer reviewers should:

  • follow the journal’s policies and instructions
  • respond to requests to review and submit the report in a reasonable timeframe
  • only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the expertise and time to carry out a proper assessment
  • provide the names of alternative reviewers based on academic suitability
  • respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and not use information acquired through the review process to their own or someone else’s advantage or disadvantage
  • declare possible conflicts of interest
  • not allow their reviews to be influenced by characteristics of the authors (like language, origin, nationality, religion, politics, gender, etc.)
  • be objective and constructive in their reports and refrain from degrading or personal comments
  • not attempt to impersonate another individual during the review process
  • decline an invitation to review if they feel they will not submit an unbiased report
  • notify ORiON immediately if they discover any conflict of interest or if they are unable to review certain aspect of a manuscript or if they discover irregularities or unethical aspects or any other misconduct
  • keep all manuscript and review details confidential
  • not intentionally prolong the review process
  • not attempt to alter the author’s style (if it is sound and clear) to their preferred style
  • be clear on which comments/suggestion are major or minor and are essential or would merely strengthen the argument
  • not suggest that authors include citations to the reviewers’ (or their associates’) work – such suggestions should be based on valid academic reasons

 

 

Errata

The editorial board acknowledge the responsibility to correct errors that have been published in ORiON.

If any party (including readers, authors, reviewers, editors and advisors) become aware of any error(s) contained in material submitted to, or published in ORiON, they should immediately notify the editor-in-chief. Depending on the nature and extend of error(s), this error(s) should be rectified and necessary corrections (it may include minor corrections to retraction of major results) published in a subsequent issue of ORiON to the editorial board’s discretion. This may also include a next round of peer-review to verify the corrections.  

The publication of errata does not include debates/arguments that are dependent on interpretation.

 

Digital Preservation

ORiON. This journal is in the process of migrating from the Stellenbosch University preservation platform to the PKP PN (Preservation Network) platform.

 

ORCID iD

This journal programme cannot read the ORCID iD.  Please do not add it when you Register or when submitting a paper.

After Registration, can you Edit your Profile and then insert the ORCID iD, or please send your ORCiD ID, along with the name of the journal to, scholar@sun.ac.za to add to your Profile.

Stellenbosch University researchers/authors can create an ORCID iD here.

ORCID iD is a persistent, unique, numeric identifier for individual researchers and creators. It distinguishes you from researchers and creators with the same or similar names.  ORCID iD is similar to ResearcherID, Scopus Author ID, ISNI and other systems for identifying and distinguishing researchers and creators.