Submission Guidelines



Abridged structure
  • Original Research Article
  • New Perspectives
  • Research Notes
  • Cover Letter
Full structure
  • Original Research Article


The author guidelines include information about the types of articles received for publication and preparing a manuscript for submission. Other relevant information about the journal's policies and the reviewing process can be found under the about section. The compulsory cover letter form part of a submission and is on the first page of the manuscript. It should always be presented in English. See full structure of cover letter below. After the cover letter the manuscript body starts.



Original Research Article

An original article provides an overview of innovative research in a particular field within or related to the focus and scope of the journal, presented according to a clear and well-structured format.


Word limit

7000 words (excluding the structured abstract and references)

Structured abstract

250 words to include a Background, Aim, Setting, Methods, Results and Conclusion


60 or less


no more than 7 Tables/Figure

Ethical statement

should be included in the manuscript

Compulsory supplementary file

ethical clearance letter/certificate


New Perspectives

A summary of the literature is not considered as constituting a new perspective on previous research.


Word limit

7000 words (excluding the abstract and references)


30 or less

Unstructured abstract

100 words


data in the text should not be repeated extensively in tables or figures


Research Notes

These should focus on a controversy in the literature, present a new empirical finding, or discuss the policy implications of recently gained insight.


Word limit

7000 words

Unstructured abstract

100 words


30 or less


no more than 1 Table/Figure


Cover Letter

The format of the compulsory cover letter forms part of your submission. It is located on the first page of your manuscript and should always be presented in English. You should provide the following elements:

  1. Full title: Specific, descriptive, concise, and comprehensible to readers outside the field, max 95 characters (including spaces).
  2. Tweet for the journal Twitter profile: This will be used on the journal Twitter profile to promote your published article. Max 101 characters (including spaces). If you have a Twitter profile, please provide us your Twitter @ name. We will tag you to the Tweet
  3. Full author details: The title(s), full name(s), position(s), affiliation(s) and contact details (postal address, email, telephone, highest academic degree, Open Researcher and Contributor Identification (ORCID) and cell phone number) of each author.
  4. Corresponding author: Identify to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
  5. Authors’ contributions: Briefly summarise the nature of the contribution made by each of the authors listed.
  6. Disclaimer: A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.
  7. Source(s) of support: These include grants, equipment, drugs, and/or other support that facilitated conduct of the work described in the article or the writing of the article itself.
  8. Summary: Lastly, a list containing the number of words, pages, tables, figures and/or other supplementary material should accompany the submission.

Anyone that has made a significant contribution to the research and the paper must be listed as an author in your cover letter. Contributions that fall short of meeting the criteria as stipulated in our policy should rather be mentioned in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section of the manuscript. Read our authorship guidelines and author contribution statement policies.



Original Research Article full structure


  • Full title: Specific, descriptive, concise, and comprehensible to readers outside the field. Max 95 characters (including spaces).
  • Tweet for the journal Twitter profile: This sentence/statement will be used on the journal Twitter profile to promote your published article. Max 101 characters (including spaces). If you have a Twitter profile, please provide us your Twitter @ name. We will tag you to the Tweet.


Abstract: The Abstract should provide the context or background for the study and should state the study's purpose, basic procedures (selection of study participants, settings, measurements, analytical methods), main findings (giving specific effect sizes and their statistical and clinical significance, if possible), and principal conclusions. The Abstract should not exceed 250 words. Please minimize the use of abbreviations and do not cite references in the abstract. Refer to the relevant article type’s guideline you are submitting for the abstract sections.


Introduction: The Introduction should put the focus of the manuscript into a broader context and explain its social and scientific value. Address this to readers who are not experts in this field and include a brief review of the key literature. If there are relevant controversies or disagreements in the field, they should be mentioned. Conclude with a brief statement of the overall aim of the experiments and a comment about whether that aim was achieved. Cite only directly pertinent references, and do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.


Methods: The Methods section should provide clarity about how and why a study was done in a particular way. It should provide enough detail for reproduction of the findings. Protocols for new methods should be included, but well-established methodological procedures may simply be referenced. A full description of the methods should be included in the manuscript itself rather than in a supplemental file. Only information that was available at the time the plan or protocol for the study was being written must be included; all information obtained during the study belongs in the Results section. If an organization was paid or otherwise contracted to help conduct the research (examples include data collection and management), then this should be detailed in the methods.

The methods section should include:

  • The selection and description of participants or description of materials.
  • The aim, design and setting of the study.
  • The description of the processes, interventions and comparisons. Generic drug names should generally be used. When proprietary brands are used in research, include the brand names in parentheses.
  • The type of statistical analysis used, including a power calculation if appropriate.

The Methods section should include a statement indicating that the research was approved or exempted from the need for review by the responsible review committee (institutional or national). If no formal ethics committee is available, a statement indicating that the research was conducted according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki should be included.


Results: Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and figures, giving the main or most important findings first. Do not repeat all the data in the tables or figures in the text; emphasize or summarize only the most important observations. Provide data on all primary and secondary outcomes identified in the Methods Section. Give numeric results not only as derivatives (for example, percentages) but also as the absolute numbers from which the derivatives were calculated, and specify the statistical significance attached to them, if any. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess supporting data. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Avoid nontechnical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as “random” (which implies a randomizing device), “normal,” “significant,” “correlations,” and “sample.” Separate reporting of data by demographic variables, such as age and sex, facilitate pooling of data for subgroups across studies and should be routine, unless there are compelling reasons not to stratify reporting, which should be explained.


Conclusion: It is useful to begin the discussion by briefly summarizing the main findings, and explore possible mechanisms or explanations for these findings. Emphasize the new and important aspects of your study and put your findings in the context of the totality of the relevant evidence. State the limitations of your study, and explore the implications of your findings for future research and for clinical practice or policy. Discuss the influence or association of variables, such as sex and/or gender, on your findings, where appropriate, and the limitations of the data. Do not repeat in detail data or other information given in other parts of the manuscript, such as in the Introduction or the Results section.Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not adequately supported by the data. In particular, distinguish between clinical and statistical significance, and avoid making statements on economic benefits and costs unless the manuscript includes the appropriate economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority or alluding to work that has not been completed. State new hypotheses, when warranted and label them clearly.


Acknowledgements: Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments with a description of the contribution. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to be named.

Also provide the following, each under their own heading:

  • Competing interests: This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect: The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article. Read our policy on competing interests.
  • Author contributions:  All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorship policy and author contribution statement policies.
  • Funding: Provide information on funding if relevant
  • Disclaimer: A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

References: Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Refer to the journal referencing style downloadable on our Formatting Requirements page.


The above manuscript section guidelines are adapted from the recommendations from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: preparing for submission, available from on April, 24, 2017.



Formatting requirements


Please review the checklist below to prepare your manuscript. This will help to make sure your submission is complete and gets handled as quickly as possible.

  • CHECK 1: Make sure your manuscript is the right fit for the journal by reviewing the journal information.
  • CHECK 2: Read the publication fees.
  • CHECK 3: Review if the journal publishes the type of article that you wish to submit. Read the types of articles published.
  • CHECK 4: You must be comfortable with publishing in an open access journal. Read our copyrights and licensing policy.
  • CHECK 5: The entire manuscript must be neatly prepared, spell-checked, and adhere to the formatting requirements stipulated in our submission guidelines.
  • CHECK 6: Prepare the cover letter and licensing forms as required on the submissions guidelines.
  • CHECK 7: Read our publication policies, privacy policy and terms of use.
  • CHECK 8: We recommend authors to have ORCID iDs, which can only be assigned by the ORCID Registry. ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a nonproprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors and contributors. You must conform to their standards for expressing ORCID iDs, and will have the opportunity to include the full URL (e.g. during the submission process, that will link to your name when the manuscript is published.

Licencing forms