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Author Guidelines

General guidelines


The audience for Reviews in Health Care consists of clinicians, both general practitioners and specialists, researchers, and professionals in the pharmaceutical industry. Authors should bear in mind the multidisciplinary status of the readership when writing the article.

Key formatting points

Please ensure your paper concurs with the following article format:

  • Title: concise, preferably not more than 180 characters.
  • Author(s) names & affiliations: including full name
  • Corresponding author: including full name, and e-mail. Address, phone and fax numbers may also be reported.
  • Type of review: narrative or systematic
  • Topic of the review: the general topic for the review labelling, i.e. Drug, Disease, Techniques, Biotech, etc
  • Abstract: about 600-1,000 characters. For systematic reviews a structured abstract is preferred
  • Keywords: approximately 5-7 keywords.
  • Body of the article: article content under relevant headings and subheadings.
  • Questions for further research: reporting the implications and scenarios of future research in that field
  • The review in brief: a short summary of the key points of the review (clinical question, type of review, conclusions, limitations).
  • References (For full details on formatting see “References” section below):
    • Should be numerically listed in the reference section in the order that they occur in the text or in Tables and Figures
    • Should appear as a number i.e., [1,2] in the text
    • Quote first six authors’ names. If there are more than six, then quote first six, et al.
  • Figures/Tables (For full details on formatting see “Manuscript preparation” section below): summary figures/tables/boxes are very useful, and we encourage their use in reviews. The author should include illustrations and tables to condense and illustrate the information they wish to convey. Commentary that augments an article and could be viewed as “stand-alone” should be included in a separate box. An example would be a summary of a particular trial or trial series, a case study summary or a series of terms explained. If any of the figures or tables used in the manuscript requires permission from the original publisher, it is the author’s responsibility to obtain this. Figures must be in an editable format.

Type of articles


Reviews aim to highlight recent significant advances in research, ongoing challenges and unmet needs. Each article should concentrate on the most recent developments in the field and should aim for clear presentation of relevant information.

Reviews in Health Care publishes narrative and systematic reviews.

Word limit: about 6,000 (excluding Abstract, References and Figure/Table legends)

Required sections (for a more detailed description of these sections see “Manuscript preparation” section):

  • Abstract
  • Keywords
  • The review in brief
  • Questions for further research
  • References
  • Disclosure/Acknowledgements

Editorials are short articles on issues of topical importance. We encourage our editorial writers to express their opinions, giving the author the opportunity to present criticism or address controversy. The intention is very much that the article should offer a personal perspective on a topic of recent interest.

(Figures and tables can be included in editorials, if necessary).

Word limit: about 1,000-1,500 words

Manuscript preparation

Spacing and headings

Please use double line spacing throughout the manuscript. No more than three levels of subheading should be used to divide the text and should be clearly designated.


Abbreviations should be defined on their first appearance, and in any table and figure footnotes. It is helpful if a separate list is provided of any abbreviations.


US-preferred spelling will be used in the finished publication.

  • Author’s names should appear without full stops in their initials
  • Quote first three authors’ names. If there are more than three, then quote first three et al.
  • Journal name should be in italics and abbreviated to standard PubMed format
  • Volume number followed by colon, not bold
  • Page number range separated by a hyphen with no spaces
  • Journal example: Hostler D, Everson-Stewart S, Rea TD, et al.; Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Investigators. Effect of real-time feedback during cardiopulmonary resuscitation outside hospital: prospective, cluster-randomised trial. BMJ 2011; 342: d512
    or: Houssami N, Abraham LA, Miglioretti DL, et al. Accuracy and outcomes of screening mammography in women with a personal history of early-stage breast cancer. JAMA 2011; 305: 790-9
  • Book example: Lunet N. Meta-analysis of observational studies. In: La Torre G (ed). Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Torino: SEEd Medical Publishers, 2010
  • Meeting abstract example: Smith AB, Jones CD. Recent progress in the pharmacotherapy of diseases of the lower urinary tract. Presented at: 13th International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry. Atlanta, GA, USA, 28 November-2 December 1994
  • Website example: Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 11th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster Inc, 2003. Available at:
    or: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Antisocial personality disorder. London: NICE, 2009. Available at: (last accessed January 2011)
Figures and schemes

Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text. Define in the legend all abbreviations that are used in the figure.

Figures should be provided in separate files to the text. Please submit any Figure in .tiff or .jpg format. Photos should be provided at a resolution of 300 dpi, or as high as possible.

Schemes, diagrams and flow-charts should be provided in an editable electronic format such as PowerPoint, or Excel.

Tables and boxes

Tables should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text. Define in the legend all abbreviations that are used in the table/box. Tables and boxes can be incorporated into the body of the manuscript, preferably in either Word or Excel format.

Tables and Figures Copyright

If a table, or a figure or a box has been published previously (even if you were the author), acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material where necessary.

As the author of your manuscript, you are responsible for obtaining permissions to use material owned by others. Since the permission-seeking process can be remarkably time-consuming, it is wise to begin writing for permission as soon as possible.

Please send us photocopies of letters or forms granting you permission for the use of copyrighted material so that we can see that any special requirements with regard to wording and placement of credits are fulfilled. Keep the originals for your files. If payment is required for use of the table/box, this should be covered by the author.


Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics for foreign phrases, and bold for emphasis rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  7. If the article will be accepted for publication, the Authors will sign and send to the Publisher the Publication Agreement (downloadable here)
  8. The Authors will also sign and send to the Publisher the Declaration of Financial Competing Interests (downloadable here)

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. The Publication Agreement can be downloaded here, and should be signed by the Authors and sent to the Publisher when the article has been accepted for publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
  4. Authors are permitted to post their work online after publication (the article must link to publisher version, in html format)


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