Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Author Instructions

All new manuscripts should be submitted via ScholarOne Manuscripts.

Australian Health Review provides information for decision makers in the healthcare industry. It is read by healthcare professionals, managers, planners and policy makers throughout Australia and the region. Topics covered by Australian Health Review include all aspects of health policy and management, healthcare delivery systems, clinical programs, health financing and other matters of interest to those working in health care.


Publishing Policies
Australian Health Review insists on high standards of ethical behaviour throughout the publication process. Our journal editors work within the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Further information on our policies can be found at http://www.publish.csiro.au/ah/PublishingPolicies.

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Peer review
Australian Health Review is a peer-reviewed journal that uses a double-blind peer-review. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible to maintain high-quality peer-review of papers submitted to the journal and works together with the Associate Editors and an Editorial Advisory Board to ensure a thorough and fair peer-review and the highest scientific publishing standards. All submissions undergo preliminary assessment by the Editor-in-Chief, who may reject a paper before peer review when it is outside the journal’s scope or is of insufficient quality. Associate Editors select reviewers and after at least two review reports are received, they make the decision whether to accept/reject or send a manuscript for revision. The final decision is made by the Associate Editor.

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Authorship
The conditions around authorship for Australian Health Review should follow the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), for more information see http://www.publish.csiro.au/ah/PublishingPolicies.

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Licence to publish
For details regarding copyright, please see Copyright/Licence to Publish.

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Open access
Authors may choose to publish their paper Open Access on payment of a publication fee. See Open Access for more details.

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Journal editorial policy
Authors should obtain the appropriate clearances from their directors or supervisors before submission.

Manuscripts submitted to Australian Health Review must be offered exclusively to the Journal and must conform with the Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Submission of an article implies that it has not been previously published, is not being considered for publication elsewhere, and that the contents are original. If a submitted article overlaps considerably with previously published articles or articles submitted elsewhere, copies of these should be included with the submitted manuscript.

Note: Do not include author-identifying information in your manuscript. The manuscript you submit online will (if appropriate) be forwarded to peer reviewers. Australian Health Review uses double-blind peer review, in which reviewers are not told the identity of the authors. To preserve blinding, your manuscript should not contain author-identifying information, such as a list of authors and contact addresses or acknowledgments in the body of the manuscript; these should be listed on a separate title page.

Australian Health Review subscribes to the criteria for authorship as outlined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those that qualify should be listed. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. At least one author, ‘corresponding author’, should take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, from inception to published article. Authorship credit should be based only on (a) substantial contributions to conception and design or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (b) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and (c) final approval of the version to be published. Distinction must be made between those who contributed as authors and those who should be named in Acknowledgements.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use figures and tables previously published in other books or journals. It is also the reponsibility of the authors to check reproduced materials against the original for accuracy.

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Ethics Approval
For studies involving people, medical records, and human tissues, the Australian Health Review requires authors to document that a formally constituted review board (Institutional Review Board or Ethics committee) has granted approval for the research to be done.

Investigators who do not have access to an institutional review board are required to provide a statement to the editor outlining why it was not possible to gain formal ethics approval. If the study is judged exempt from review, a statement from the committee is required. Informed consent by participants or guardians should always be sought. If this is not possible, an institutional review board must decide if this is ethically acceptable.

Investigators who do not have access to an institutional review board are required to provide a statement outlining why it was not possible to gain formal ethics approval. They should follow the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki regarding human experimentation, and make a statement attesting that these principles were followed while conducting the research.

Authors are required to make their statement about ethics approval in the cover letter, which will be seen only by the editorial team. The statement will not be provided to reviewers. Authors are free to decide whether or not to make a statement about ethics approval in the manuscript itself. It should be noted, however, that for most studies involving people, medical records, and human tissues, reviewers and readers will expect to see a statement about formal ethics approval.

CSIRO Publishing also follows CSIRO’s own guidelines on ethical human research.

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Submission and preparation of manuscripts
To submit your paper, please use our online journal management system ScholarOne Manuscripts, which can be reached directly through this link or from the link on the journal´s homepage. If a first-time user, register via the ´Register here´ link, or use your existing username and password to log in. Then click on the ´Author Centre´ link and proceed.

All submissions should be accompanied by a title page telling us the names, institutional affiliations, addresses and contact numbers of the authors, as well as any competing interests and acknowledgments that may spoil double-blind review. We recommend including a covering letter that offers a justification for publication.

ScholarOne requires authors to list at least 2 potential referees, which the Editors may take into consideration if sending the manuscript out for peer review. Do not include any names of current or recent collaborators, members of your own research institution/group or other people who could be viewed as not impartial to your research outputs. Potential reviewers should be expert in some aspect of your research, which should be highlighted in your submission.

Submissions should be double-spaced with ample margins. Number all pages consecutively. Ensure that the abstract is included in the main document.

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Types of Articles
Please identify your paper as one of the following. The word length specified is of the abstract plus body text.

  • Article
    An Article in Australian Health Review should present a thorough analysis of a topic, including review and results of new work by you, plus discussion and interpretation. Articles should be limited to a maximum of 3000 words.
  • Perspective
    A novel view on a topical issue of broad interest, explore significant questions, examine the validity of current views in the field, and recommend directions for future research (see How to Write a Perspective). Perspectives should be limited to 1000 words.
  • Case Study
    Case Studies describe and analyse a typical policy or management issue or situation, the development of a new service, program or model of care (see How to Write a Case Study). The main purpose of a case study is to teach – to share knowledge and experiences with others – so it is important that authors draw on their experiences, good and bad, and highlight lessons for policy and practice. Case studies should be no more than 2000 words.
  • Editorial
    An expert view on a topical matter. Up to 2000 words.
  • Letter
    Letters give commentary or opinion, usually a response to an item in a previous issue of Australian Health Review or related to current events. Letters should be limited to 500 words.
  • Book Review
    Book reviews need include a summary of contents, interesting aspects, and who might benefit from reading the book. Up to 1000 words.

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Abstract and Key Question Summary
All longer papers (Article, Perspective, Case Study) require a 100–200 word abstract outlining the key message of the article, its implications and supporting evidence. Abstracts should be clear and succinct, covering the purpose, research method, main findings (including statistical significance if relevant), and principal conclusions.

Structured abstracts are recommended where appropriate. Not all structured abstract headings are appropriate to all articles, but the use of headings can abbreviate the abstract and highlight the key features of the article. Headings in a structured abstract include:

  • Objective: State the main question or objective of the study and the major hypothesis tested, if any.
  • Methods: Describe the design of the study indicating, as appropriate, use of randomization, blinding, criterion standards for diagnostic tests, temporal direction (retrospective or prospective), and so on.
  • Results: Describe measurements that are not evident from the nature of the main results and indicate any blinding. If meaningful, the results should be accompanied by confidence intervals (most often the 95% interval) and level of statistical significance. For comparative studies confidence intervals should relate to the differences between groups.
  • Conclusions: State only those conclusions of the study that are directly supported by data or whether additional study is required before the information should be used. Equal emphasis must be given to positive and negative findings of equal scientific merit.

For Articles authors are asked to provide, in addition to an abstract, three short paragraphs answering these questions:
1. What is known about the topic?
2. What does this paper add?
3. What are the implications for practitioners?

Include the Abstract and Key Question Summary in the body of the document.

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General Organisation
Article content should be structured according to the type of submission. For scientific papers the following headings should be used: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, and References. References should include seminal articles related to the topic.

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Manuscript Text
The Methods section should clearly state how the study was carried out. The reader should have a clear idea about the research design and how it was applied to answer the research question or hypothesis. The setting, subjects, and tools should also be elucidated.

Results describe the findings. These should not be repeated or introduced elsewhere, and discussion of results should be reserved for the Discussion section. The presentation of results (text, tables, or illustrations) is important. The purpose of graphs and tables is to supplement the text and provide a concise overview of the results. Graphs or tables should serve a purpose, and be clear and easy to understand.

The Discussion describes the significance of the results, including new and important findings. Discussion should be pertinent and concise, including the implications of the findings, limitations, and implications. The author may interpret the results, express opinions, speculate about the significance of the results and may compare them with those of other studies. No new information should be introduced and it is important to avoid repetition.

Statements made in the Conclusion should be derived from and supported by the findings in the study. They should relate to the goals of the study, clearly communicating the answer to the research question and how the work has contributed to new knowledge (or validated previous findings). Recommendations can be included if appropriate.

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Illustrations
Illustrations (charts, graphs, figures, drawings) are encouraged. These should be clear and accurate, not contain excessive data, and be designed to reproduce well without colour. Be sure that each illustration is cited in the text. In general the number of figures and tables should not exceed 4 in total per article and any one table or figure should be no longer than 1 page.

Every line in a graph should have a purpose and should be part of the message. Avoid three-dimensional boxes or unnecessary shading. If you need to distinguish columns in a histogram, use a pattern rather than a colour or shading. All illustrations need a legend (which should include all explanatory text; that is, avoid displaying stray text on the graph itself).

Illustrations are generally reproduced at a width of 65 mm (single column) or 140 mm (page width). At this size, text within illustrations should usually be 8 point type in a sans-serif font (eg, Arial, Helvetica). The most common error in preparing electronic images is to make them too small.

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Tables
Set out tables using your word processor’s table tool – do not use a string of spaces or tabs as a formatting device. Tables should not duplicate information in the text. Be sure that each table is cited in the text. The table should have a title which should clearly describe what the table is about. Each column and row should have a heading. Abbreviations should be explained in a footnote. If material is presented in a table or graph, there is no need to repeat it in the text.

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Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements should be brief, and should be included in the title page (to prevent revealing your identity to the reviewers who see your manuscript). Where appropriate give credit to grantors, sponsors, technical assistants, and professional colleagues. All sources of funding need to be acknowledged. If the work has been part of postgraduate studies, the university in which you were enrolled should be mentioned.

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Competing Interests
We require a statement of competing interests, included on the title page. Each author should declare the source of any financial or other support, and any financial or professional relationships which may pose a competing interest. Authors should describe the role, if any, of the supporting source(s) in study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and in writing of the article. They should also state whether the supporting source(s) controlled or influenced the decision to submit the final manuscript for publication. If the supporting source(s) had no such involvement, this should be stated.

Under a subheading ´Competing Interests´ at the end of the text all authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with organisations or people that could inappropriately influence their work. If there are no conflicts of interest, authors should state that none exist.

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References and Citations
Australian Health Review uses the Vancouver style of referencing. References are numbered in order of their first appearance in the text, and citations appear as superscript numerals. In the reference list, abbreviate journal names as in Index Medicus. Give surnames and initials of all authors.

Do not use headers and footers, automatic referencing or footnotes.

Examples of references:
1. Wright O, Capra S, Aliakbari J. A comparison of two measures of hospital foodservice satisfaction. Aust Health Rev 2003; 26: 70-6.
2. Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd edn. Albany, New York: Delmar Publishers, 1996.

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Abbreviations
Avoid using abbreviations unless there are many repetitions (more than five). Abbreviations are appropriate in tables and graphs, but these should be explained in a footnote.

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Peer Review
The Australian Health Review uses double-blind peer review to maintain standards and ensure relevance. Not all material submitted is accepted. Each reviewer is provided with standard guidelines to focus his or her evaluation.

The time between submission of a manuscript and a decision by the editor regarding publication depends on the nature of the manuscript, and the availability and other commitments of the reviewer. The journal follows a standard protocol for administering the peer review process.

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Page Proofs
We will send page proofs to the corresponding author as PDF files. They must be returned to the production editor within three days of receipt to ensure timely publication of the journal and your research. Major alterations to the text and illustrations are accepted only when absolutely necessary.

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Reprints
The publisher will provide a final version of the paper free of charge as a high-resolution PDF. Authors may purchase hard copies and order them from the publisher when the proofs are returned.

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Embargo
All accepted manuscripts are subject to embargo until the day of publication. Manuscripts should not be made available to others, nor should any news reports about articles appear until the date of publication

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How to Write a Case Study
Case Studies describe and analyse a typical policy or management issue or situation, the development of a new service, program or model of care. The main purpose of a case study is to teach – to share knowledge and experiences with others – so it is important that authors draw on their experiences, good and bad, and highlight lessons for policy and practice.

Case studies should be no more than 2000 words and ought to:

  • present a balanced view;
  • be evidence-based (there is no need to provide a comprehensive review of the literature);
  • document actual outcomes (both successful and unsuccessful); and
  • highlight lessons for policy and/or practice.

Although the best structure will be partly determined by the material, a suggested framework is as follows:

  • Objectives
  • Setting
  • Participants
  • Methodology/Sequence of events
  • Outcomes
  • Problems/conflicts/constraints
  • Discussion/lessons learned

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How to Write a Perspective
Perspective articles present a novel view on a topical issue of broad interest, explore significant questions, examine the validity of current views in the field, and recommend directions for future research. The author, usually a recognised authority in the field, is welcome to take a controversial standpoint, but overall, the article should provide a clear and balanced discussion to inform non-specialist readers. The author can make specific and practical proposals, either setting an agenda or proposing better options. Perspectives will be commissioned by members of the Editorial Committee but prospective authors are welcome to submit proposals to the Editor-in-Chief, who will assess their suitability for publication. Perspectives are subject to peer review.

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