Privacy Policy

About NISC (Pty) Ltd

NISC (Pty) Ltd is a publisher of premier African scholarly research products that promote African scholarship to a global academic audience through print and digital publication, and dissemination using recognised international best practices.

NISC (Pty) Ltd is an information supply enterprise that launched in 1995. The company’s registered name ‘National Inquiry Services Centre’ alludes to this goal of providing researchers with ready access to key information. Initially NISC worked exclusively on the building, licensing, publishing and sale of academic bibliographic databases to university and research institutions around the world. These databases, which are used by researchers to locate published and unpublished scientific and semi-popular literature in their field, remain a key part of NISC’s product offering. Since 2008, we have partnered with EBSCO Information Services (USA) who sell and market our database products worldwide, making them available online on the acclaimed EBSCOhost platform.

Growing out of the database business, NISC (Pty) Ltd began publishing academic journals on behalf of local scholarly societies or research institutes. We now publish many of Africa's leading peer-reviewed academic journals, most of which feature in Thomson Reuters, Journal Citation Reports® and all South African Journals are accredited with the South African Department of Higher Education and Training. Our journals benefit from top flight production, start-of-the-art online hosting and intensive international marketing. We have also engaged in several important publishing collaborations with other journal publishers, prominent among which is our collaboration with Taylor & Francis Group (UK) since 2009.
From time-to-time, NISC also publishes scholarly books that target the academic research community. We see this as a logical extension to our journal publishing enterprise, with overlapping markets.

NISC (Pty) Ltd operates out of the small university town of Makhanda, Eastern Cape, South Africa. However, through our partnerships with major international publishers, we put the best of African research into the hands of scholars across the entire world.

Protection of Personal Information Act No 4 of 2013 (POPIA) came into effect on 1 July 2021 and governs the way companies in South Africa may collect, process, store and use personal information of clients and others with whom they interact. POPIA is analogous to the European Union General Data Protection Regulations. This Privacy Policy details our compliance with the provisions of POPIA.

What we collect

This section explains the personal information that may be collected when using our products and services, and the other personal data that we may receive from other sources.

In this Privacy Policy, the term “personal information” refers to the types of information we may collect and use, which includes:

  • Contact details, such as your full name, email address, postal address and telephone number;
  • Educational, nationality and professional background information;
  • Payment information, but excluding credit or debit card number;
  • Comments, feedback, posts and other content submitted; and
  • Interests and communication preferences including marketing permissions, where appropriate
  • Location information (e.g. through Google Analytics).

We collect and use your personal information in the following main ways:

  • As customer/consumer data, related to transactions, prospective sales or analytics;
  • As contact data, which includes academic and corporate customer contact data such as details of account manager/key contact at corporate customers, and subscriber/user data;
  • Bibliographic database information, includes personal information that appears in the published public record and that may be collected via web crawling, indexing or from a third-party supplier to NISC of such bibliographic information.;
  • Author, Editor, Learned Society and Academic Personal data associated with the delivery of publishing contracts and services.

Sensitive personal data

We do not collect or store sensitive personal data such as information relating to health, beliefs or political affiliation.

Children’s personal data

Our services and products are directed to academics and business professionals. They are not intended for children under the age of 13 and we do not knowingly collect personal data from this age group. If any information is collected from a child under the age of 13 without verification of parental consent, it will be deleted.

How and why personal information is used

This section explains in detail how and why we use personal information.

Lawful Processing 

NISC (Pty) Ltd collects and uses personal information. The lawful bases we use for this activity, as required, inter alia, under European data protection laws, are:

  • Where it is necessary for entering into or performing a contract with you
  • Where we have a legitimate interest to do so, provided your rights do not override these interests
  • Where you have consented to its use
  • Where required to comply with our legal obligations

Product enquiries, sales and administration

As part of a purchase, product inquiry, request for information and for account administration, we collect information such as your name, country, job title, company information or academic affiliation, postal address, email address and telephone number.

If you have made an inquiry about us or our products or services, either online or over the phone, we will use your personal information to respond to the inquiry or to take other steps at your request, before you enter into a contract. For example, we collect the email addresses and additional contact details of those who send emails to request information.

If you have registered for or purchased a product or services, including on a trial basis, your personal information will be used to provide that product or service, communicate about it and handle payments, as is necessary for the performance of the contract entered into with us.
For purchases, payment information, including billing addresses, are also collected. Where payment card processors are used to facilitate payment card transactions you are directed to the secure website of a third-party payment processor Virtual Card Services. Your data will be collected and used according to that data processors’ privacy policy.

If your personal information is relevant to certain products and is freely available through public sources, such as on a website related to your work or profession, we may use this personal information for providing customers with our products, as is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests as a commercial organisation.

Publishing Services

If you publish with us, your personal information is used in connection with the dissemination and promotion of your published work, as is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests as a commercial organisation. Your name and affiliation will be published as part of authored work. Personal information is also used to handle payments or for other purposes, as is necessary to perform the contract entered into with us. 

In addition, we sometimes take photographs and videos at events associated with your published work. Where photos and videos are taken at our events that feature you as an author, we may use those photos and videos for promotional purposes.


We will use your personal information to send you newsletters, offers or other marketing emails that keep you up to date with our news, events and products that may be of interest. Depending on the nature of your interaction with us and the laws of the country where you live, you may have actively given us your consent for this, by opting in, or we may be entitled to rely on your implied consent or our legitimate interests. The opportunity to opt out of future marketing emails will always be provided, and information on how to do this given when your personal information is collected and on every marketing email sent. Further information on how to change your marketing preferences is provided in the section below.

Customer and Prospects Management including Analytics

We may use your personal information, combined with publicly available data and demographic data, to maintain our customer database and carry out internal analysis of the usage of our products and services. This is done to improve those services, develop new products and predict future customer behaviour, as part of our legitimate interests as a commercial organisation. This may include automated profiling and campaign management techniques.

Mobile Applications and Websites Analytics including Location Data

We may combine visitor session information, or other information collected through tracking technologies, with personally identifiable information in order to understand and measure your online experience and determine what products, promotions and services are likely to be of interest.

Technical methods are also used in HTML emails sent to visitors, for purposes including: (i) to determine whether visitors have opened or forwarded emails and/or clicked on links in those emails, (ii) to customise the display of banner advertisements and other messages after closing an email, and (iii) to determine whether a visitor has made an inquiry or a purchase in response to a particular email.

In compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA) (e.g.: Browsers Do-Not-Track Signals) while we strive to offer you choice when using our website and mobile applications, we do not promise that we will be able to receive or honour web browser Do-Not-Track signals.

Automated Decision-Making, Including Profiling

We may use algorithm-based technologies to personalise dynamic web content based on your explicit and/or implicit interests. We may carry out general profiling such as segmentation, non-automated and automated decision-making based on profiling for the purpose of providing you with a more relevant experience and for the purposes of our legitimate interests as a commercial organisation. Automated decision making is never used in any way that produces a legal or similarly significant effect.

Automated decision making, which for example is where your answers to an application to receive a sample inspection copy of a book or journal issue determines whether the request is granted, is implemented in certain cases to ensure we deliver a timely and reliable service to customers.

Depending on the laws of the country where you live, you may have rights related to our decision. For example, if you live in the European Union, you may have the right not to be subject to our decision, or you may have the right to insist on human intervention in the process, express your point of view or contest the decision. To exercise any such right, please contact us via one of the methods set out in the Questions or Complaints section below. In some cases, we may have the right to continue with our decision, in accordance with applicable laws. This will be explained if it is the case. Otherwise, we will respond to your request as promptly as reasonably possible.

How we protect personal information

Any personal information given to us will be treated with the utmost care and security. This section sets out some of the security measures in place.

A variety of physical and technical measures is used to keep data safe and prevent unauthorised access to, or use or disclosure of personal information. 

Electronic data and databases are stored on secure computer systems and we control who has access to information, using both physical and electronic means. Our staff receive data protection training, and we have detailed security and data protection policies that staff are required to follow when handling personal data.

All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that your personal information is kept secure from unauthorised access, but we cannot guarantee it will be secure during the transmission process to our website because this transmission is not controlled by us. We make use of HTTPS (HTTP Secure) whereby the communication protocol is encrypted via Transport Layer Security for secure communication over a computer network.

International transfer of personal information

As a publishing company and because of the technologies we use, personal information may be accessed by our colleagues and third-party service providers. To ensure the same level of protection is in place when processing is conducted, we use appropriate safeguards approved by the European Commission.

We apply appropriate protection to make sure your personal data remains adequately protected and is treated in line with this Policy. NISC (Pty) Ltd has put in place international data transfer agreements between its companies and with relevant third-party service providers based on standard contractual clauses approved by the European Commission.


A cookie is a small text file containing a user ID that is automatically placed on a user’s computer or other device when visiting a website. Cookies record the pages visited and the actions taken on a website, but do not contain any personal information. From time to time, we may use cookies for purposes including administering the Website; tracking your activity on the Website; gathering broad demographic information for aggregate use to improve the Website; and offering time-saving or personalized features on the Website. (See detailed information on cookies below).

Third-Party Links

Our website contains links to websites of other businesses. These businesses will have their own privacy policies, tailored to their particular business practices and the sectors in which they operate, and if following those links, we recommend reviewing the privacy policy of each website to understand how personal data is used in that instance. The inclusion of links to these websites does not imply an endorsement or validation of their content, and we are not responsible for their privacy practices of, nor do we accept any liability in connection with the content on such websites.

These third-party product providers may share your information with us, which we will use in accordance with this policy. In some cases, they will be acting as a controller of your information and therefore we advise you to read their privacy policy.

Who we share personal information with

As a publishing company, to provide you with services and products we may share your information for specific reasons. This section explains how and why we share personal data with other companies and other third parties.

Sharing with Service Providers

We may share your personal information with the following categories of third party, to assist us in providing products and services to you:

  • Email marketing providers
  • Web hosting providers
  • Indexing and abstracting providers
  • Article submission, copy-editing and peer-review providers
  • Secondary content aggregators
  • Library discovery services
  • Government and institutional scholarly research repositories
  • Content platform providers
  • Event collaboration partners

We may share personal information with third parties outside NISC (Pty) Ltd in the event of a sale, merger, acquisition, partnership, joint venture, or negotiations related to this type of activity with respect to all or part of our business.

We only share your personal information with such third parties, if and to the extent necessary for them to provide such assistance.

Sharing with other Organisations

We may share your personal information with trusted partner organisations for their marketing purposes, in accordance with local data laws and where appropriate your consent. If your personal information is subject to European data protection laws, we will not share it with third parties for their marketing purposes, unless you have actively given us your consent to do this.

We may also share your personal information with third parties in the event of a sale, merger, acquisition, partnership, joint venture, or negotiations related to the same with respect to all or part of our business.

In some circumstances, we may be legally required to disclose your personal information, because a court, the police, another judicial or law enforcement body, or government entity has asked us for it.

How long information is kept

We will only retain your personal information for as long as is necessary and as permitted by applicable laws.

We will retain your personal information while we are using it, as described in the section above, and may continue to retain it after these uses have ended where we have a legitimate business purpose. For example, if you have opted out of marketing communications from us, we will retain limited details about you to ensure we can honour your opt-out request. We may also continue to retain your personal information to meet our legal requirements or to defend or exercise our legal rights. 

Personal information will only be retained for as long as is necessary and as permitted by applicable laws. The length of time for which we will retain your personal information will depend on the purposes for which we need to retain it. After we no longer need to retain your personal information, it will be deleted or securely destroyed.

How to update your information and marketing preferences

We want to ensure you remain in control of your personal information. We try to ensure that the personal information held about you is accurate and up-to-date, and will always give the opportunity to opt out of future marketing communications.

Information on how to opt out will be given when we collect your personal information and specified on every marketing email we send. However, if at any stage you would like to update and/or correct such personal information or opt-out of future marketing communications, please contact us via one of the methods set out in the Contact Us section below.

Your rights

NISC (Pty) Ltd recognises data protection laws in many countries that may provide individuals the right to be able to access and control their information. We always will enable you to be able to exercise the rights provided by data protection laws.

Under the EU General Data Protection Regulation, these are:

  • The right to confirmation whether or not we have your personal data and, if we do, to obtain a copy of the personal information we hold. This is known as subject access request;
  • The right to have inaccurate data rectified;
  • The right to have your data erased. This does not however apply where it is necessary for us to continue to use the data for a lawful reason;
  • The right to request the restriction or suppression of their personal data, in such an instance, we will stop using the data but we may continue storing it)
  • The right to obtain your personal data that you have provided to us, on the basis of consent or performance of a contract, and where technically feasible, transmitted in a common electronic format to you or directly to another company.
  • The right to object to the use of your data. Specifically, you have the right to object to our use for marketing and in relation to automated decision making, including profiling where there may be legal or similarly significant effects.

There are exceptions to the rights above. Where you make a request to us as part of these rights, we will always try to respond to your satisfaction, although there may be situations where we are unable to do so.

Depending on the laws of the country where you live, you may have other rights in respect of your personal information. If you wish to exercise any legal right in respect of your personal information, please contact us via one of the methods set out in the Contact Us section below. 

In some cases, we may be entitled to decline a request you have made regarding your personal information, in accordance with application laws. We will explain if that is the case. Otherwise, we will meet your request as promptly as we reasonably can. If you have requested that we stop sending you marketing messages, please note that you may still receive them for a short period while the request is processed.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or if you would like further information on your rights or would like to update and/or correct your personal information or opt-out of future marketing communications or wish to exercise them, please write to us at PO Box 377, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa, or email, or submit your query via our website.You may contact our designated POPIA information officer, directly at on any matters relating to our POPIA compliance. 

Changes to Privacy Policy

In order to keep up with changing legislation, best practice and changes in how we process personal data, we may revise this Privacy Policy at any time and without notice by posting a revised version on this website. Checking back periodically will mean you are aware of any changes. This Privacy Policy should be read in conjunction with the website’s Terms and is also subject to these Terms.

This Privacy Policy was last updated in June 2021


When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful, and reliable. Where services are delivered on the Internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example, measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast. If you do not accept cookies you will be unable to use this website. You can, however, manage these small files yourself and learn more about them through Internet browser cookies - what they are and how to manage them.

Our use of cookies

Important information about this list of cookies. This list is not yet complete. It will be updated as further information is gathered from companies we work with.

Cookies for measuring use of services. By understanding how people use our website, we can improve the information provided. This also ensures that the service is available when you want it and fast. We use a number of different methods of gathering this data; see below for details:

Title of cookie Purpose of cookie Does the cookie link to other data the provider hold on the individual? Does the cookie link to other data the provider hold on the individual? Lifespan of cookie First part/third party
_gat Used to throttle request rate. If Google Analytics is deployed via Google Tag Manager, this cookie will be named. Google Analytics This cookie does not store any user information; it's just used to limit the number of requests that have to be made 1 day First party
_gid Used to distinguish Users Google Analytics Google Analytics cookies to track users as they navigate the website and help improve the website's usability. 2 days First party
_ga Used to distinguish Users Google Analytics Google Analytics cookies to track users as they navigate the website and help improve the website's usability. 2 years First party
PHPSESSID Keep track of Sessions. Also used to store messages such as error codes and alerts to user actions All PHP Cookie tracks the user session to keep all data in the session cached. Cookie is cleared when the session is ended. Session First party
Perhaps the most important change, in terms of bringing the Journal to a wider audience, has been its publishing in collaboration with the NISC (Pty) Ltd.
- Stan Pillar, Editor of the African Journal of Marine Science (1996-2013)
The NISC partnership has benefited the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology by bringing sustainability, additional branding and marketing, a wider reach through its websites, and the added value of expertise in the very competitive world of publishing.
- Chris Stones, IPJP Editor-in-Chief since 2003
The editorial experience was excellent: the reviewers were timely and their feedback was generative. The co-editor of the special issue was proactive about communicating information to me. In latter stages, the staff that shepherded the essay through the copy-editing stages was also very helpful and in good contact.
- Author - Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies
It has been an enriching experience working with such enthusiastic and professional people at NISC who have become more friends than business partners over the years.
- Stan Pillar, Editor of the African Journal of Marine Science (1996-2013)
The biggest development in the history of Quaestiones Mathematicae was the association with NISC and to have the journal running in a very stable way without severe financial concerns.
- Barry Green, QM Editor