The structural and magnetic properties of SmTb Fe17-x Alx (x=0-8) and SmTb Fe17-x Six (x=0-3.5) were investigated by x-ray-diffraction and magnetization studies. All the compounds stabilize in rhombohedral structure. The lattice parameters are found to increase with Al substitution whereas they are found to decrease with Si substitution. The rates of the decrease of saturation magnetization (Ms) value with the substitution of Al and Si are almost the same. The easy direction of magnetization (EMD) is in the ab plane up to an Al concentration of x=7 and has a tendency to shift towards the c axis at x=8. All the compounds with Si are seen to have the EMD in the ab plane. Electron-magnon scattering is seen to contribute to the electrical resistivity in both Al- and Si-substituted compounds; in the temperature range of 30-60 K and at higher temperatures, scattering due to phonons is observed. © 2005 American Institute of Physics.