The South African Journal of Science (SAJS) pays tribute to the academic impact of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in a commemorative compilation highlighting the work of ASSAf in its first 20 years.
SAJS, flagship scholarly journal of ASSAf, published a collection of articles – published throughout 2016 – that highlighted the highly productive and influential work of the Academy since its inception through to the present.
The six articles written by prominent scholars narrate the early history of ASSAf and its establishment as the national academy of the country; ASSAf’s adoption of the SAJS, its evolution to a multidisciplinary journal, migration to open access publishing and introduction of article-level metrics that monitor and indicate the impact of individual articles. ASSAf’s ground-breaking role in scholarly publishing and its involvement and support of young scientists are also highlighted.
ASSAf celebrated its 20th year in the service of society this year. It was inaugurated in May 1996. It was formed in response to the need for an Academy of Science consonant with the dawn of democracy in South Africa: activist in its mission of using science and scholarship for the benefit of society, with a mandate encompassing all scholarly disciplines that use an open-minded and evidence-based approach to build knowledge.
ASSAf thus adopted in its name the term 'science' in the singular as reflecting a common way of enquiring rather than an aggregation of different disciplines. Its Members are elected on the basis of a combination of two principal criteria, academic excellence and significant contributions to society.
The compilation of articles is available on http://sajs.co.za/assaf-20th-anniversary-compilation