The Health Promotion Journal of Australia aims to facilitate communication between researchers, practitioners and policymakers involved in health promotion activities. Preference is given to practical examples of policies, theories, strategies and programs that utilise educational, organisational, economic and/or environmental approaches to health promotion and their evaluation. We welcome papers or brief reports on programs, professional viewpoints, guidelines for practice or evaluation methodologies.
- Open access
- Submission procedure
- Preparation of manuscripts
- Title page
- Types of articles
- General organisation
- Ethics approval
- Financial disclosure
- References and citations
- Peer review
- Page proofs
- Journal editorial policy
An accompanying cover letter should include a brief description of the project and its relevance to health promotion, and state that the contents are the authors’ original work and that the paper has not been submitted for publication to another journal. Full contact details (email, post, phone and fax) should be supplied for the corresponding author.
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.
Preparation of manuscripts
All submissions should be accompanied by a covering letter telling us the names, institutional affiliations, addresses and contact numbers of the authors, in addition to a completed Copyright Assignment form.
Submissions should be double-spaced with ample margins. Number all pages consecutively. Illustrations, both line drawings and photographs, are to be numbered as figures in a common sequence, and each must be referred to in the text. Authors are advised to consult the style of headings, tables and illustrations exemplified in the latest issues of the Journal and the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
The title page should include the manuscript title, author names, institutional affiliations, and academic qualifications of authors (please give complete details including addresses), as well as any competing interests and acknowledgements that may spoil double-blind review.
The title should be concise and appropriately informative and should contain all keywords necessary. Additional keywords not already contained in the title or abstract may be listed beneath the abstract. An abridged title suitable for use as a running head at the top of the printed page and not exceeding 50 characters should be supplied.
Types of articles
Please identify your paper as one of the following. The word length specified is of the abstract plus body text, but not including references.
Articles should present new findings on issues in health promotion. A range of methodological approaches including qualitative research, time series designs, experimental studies and correlational designs are acceptable. An article includes a literature review and results of new work by you, plus discussion and interpretation. 2000 to 3500 words, preferably with no more than 6 tables and/or graphics and up to and 40 references.
- Systematic Review
Systematic review articles should conform to the current PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews. They should be submitted in the same way as research articles.
A systematic review paper, as defined by The Cochrane Collaboration, is a review of a clearly formulated question that uses explicit, systematic methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyse data from the studies that are included in the review. These reviews differ substantially from narrative-based reviews or synthesis articles. Statistical methods (meta-analysis) may or may not be used to analyse and summarize the results of the included studies.
- Brief Report
Brief reports are intended to expedite dissemination of information about the development and implementation of health promotion projects. This includes projects in the process of implementation or evaluation, ongoing or completed health promotion projects and smaller pilot demonstrations projects. It includes reports on local implementation of national strategies where particular problems or need for modification have arisen. Up to 1600 words, 2 tables and/or graphics, and up to 20 references.
- Letter to the Editor
Letters to the editor provide an opportunity for discussion of Journal articles and for comment on matters of immediate public interest. Up to 1000 words, 1 table, and up to 10 references.
Commentaries are more in-depth opinion pieces usually on peer-reviewed articles. Up to 1600 words.
An editorial presents an expert view on a topical matter. Editorials are generally written on invitation from the Editor. 1000 to 2000 words.
- Book Review
Book reviews present a summary of contents, highlight interesting aspects and flaws, plus indicate who might benefit from reading the book. Up to 1000 words.
All longer papers (Article, Brief Reports) require a 200–250 word abstract. Structured abstracts are preferred, and should be presented under five headings: Issue addressed (why you conducted the program or project); Methods (what you did or, for brief reports, an outline of the project); Results (what happened); Conclusions (what you learnt from conducting the program or project); and So what? (the relevance of your findings to health promotion).
Abstracts need to be included in both the manuscript text and also copied into the abstract field on submitting a manuscript into the peer-review system but are not required for Letters to Editor, Editorials, Commentaries or Obituaries.
Articles on randomised controlled trials (RCT) should contain abstracts that include items the CONSORT group has identified as essential. The RCT registration number is to be included at the end of the abstract. When reporting on a RCT, list the trial registration number at the first instance of using the trial acronym whenever a registration number is available.
A short plain-language unstructured abstract (~50 words) should also be included for the online table of contents.
The Health Promotion Journal of Australia follows the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. The following are general requirements for reporting within sections of all study designs and manuscript formats.
Papers should be structured according to the type of submission. For scientific papers the following headings should be used: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgements, and References. References should include seminal articles related to the topic.
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 figures) 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.
References should follow the Vancouver format.
Avoid using abbreviations unless there are three or more repetitions, in which case the abbreviation should be defined at first use. Abbreviations are appropriate in tables and graphs, but these should be explained in a footnote.
Figures should be numbered consecutively, referenced in the text, and included on separate sheets at the end of the article. All tables and figures should be cited within the text. Figures should be clear and accurate, not contain excessive data, and be designed to reproduce well without colour.
Please take particular care with submission of electronic graphics to ensure that they are of an appropriate format. Figures usually can be used from within a Word file; photographs and other illustrations must be supplied as high resolution files in their native format (e.g. tif, eps, jpg). If in doubt about the suitability of a format, contact the Production Editor.
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 figures need a legend (which should include all explanatory text; that is, avoid displaying stray text on the graph itself).
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from the copyright holder for the use of figures/images from other publications.
Tables should be numbered consecutively, referenced in the text. 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.
The Health Promotion Journal of Australia adheres to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (National Health and Medical Research Council, 2007), and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007) jointly issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia. Manuscripts which report on research involving human participants require confirmation of approval by an appropriate human research ethics committee. Confirmation of HREC approval is required in the manuscript body.
Exceptions to this may include certain types of evaluation and quality assurance/audit projects, negligible risk research or projects using existing non-identifiable data/records.
Authors planning to submit manuscripts may refer to the research ethics and publications ethics guidelines provided in:
- National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, specifically the Sections ‘What is Research? (p7), ‘What is human research?’ (p8) and ’When is ethical review needed?’ (p8).
- Australasian Evaluation Society ´Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Evaluations´
- International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ´Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication´, particularly Section II – ‘Ethical Considerations in the Conduct and Reporting of Research’.
- When does quality assurance in health care require independent ethical review?
Authors requiring further clarification on the matter of ethics approval after reviewing these guidelines should contact the Editors prior to manuscript submission.
The Health Promotion Journal of Australia follows the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Contributors who meet fewer than all four of the criteria for authorship should not be listed as authors, but they should be acknowledged. Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading (e.g. "Clinical Investigators" or "Participating Investigators"), and their contributions should be specified (e.g., "served as scientific advisors," "critically reviewed the study proposal," "collected data," "provided and cared for study patients", "participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript").
Acknowledgements should be brief, and should be included in the title page (to prevent revealing your identity to the reviewers who see your manuscript).
The Journal requires that authors identify such interests. Authors who have been funded to carry out any aspects of the intervention they are writing about must specify this in the Acknowledgements. Please state granting agencies and grant numbers if appropriate. If the supporting source(s) had no such involvement, this should be stated.
References and citations
The Health Promotion Journal of Australia uses the Vancouver style of referencing. For example:
1. Snow P, Munro G. Alcohol consumption in amateur Australian Rules football clubs: evidence from a rural region. Health Promot J Aust 2000;10(3): 237-43.
2. NSW School Canteen Association. ‘Healthy Kids’ products. Healthy Kids nutrient criteria. Sydney: New South Wales School Canteen Association; 2005.
3. New Zealand Food and Grocery Council. The daily intake guide. Wellington: FGC; 2011. Available from: http://www.fgc.org.nz/daily_intake_works.asp. [Verified 30 May 2011].
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 (or only the first six authors and use et al. to denote others if there are more than six). Journal titles are required in full.
Manuscripts submitted to the Health Promotion Journal of Australia should consist of original work not published previously and not currently submitted elsewhere. Each manuscript received will be acknowledged.
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. Review comments will be sent to the nominated corresponding author.
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. Major alterations to the text and illustrations are accepted only when absolutely necessary.
The publisher will provide a final version of the paper free of charge as a high-resolution PDF file. Authors may purchase hard copies and order them from the publisher when the proofs are returned. Hard copies (if ordered) are sent out a few weeks after online publication.
Journal editorial policy
Authors should obtain the appropriate clearances from their directors or supervisors before submission.
Conflicts of interest
Public trust in the scientific process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how transparently conflicts of interest are handled during the planning, implementation, writing, peer review, editing, and publication of scientific work. Perceptions of conflict of interest are as important as actual conflicts of interest.
All participants in the peer-review and publication process – not only authors but also peer reviewers, editors, and editorial board members of journals – must consider their conflicts of interest when fulfilling their roles in the process of article review and publication and must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interest.
When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias or be seen to bias their work. Authors are encouraged to use the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors form for Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest to facilitate and standardise authors’ disclosures.
Articles should be published with statements declaring:
- Authors’ conflicts of interest; and
- Sources of support for the work, including sponsor names along with explanations of the role of those sources if any in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing of the report; the decision to submit the report for publication; or a statement declaring that the supporting source had no such involvement; and
- Whether the authors had access to the study data, with an explanation of the nature and extent of access, including whether access is on-going.
To support the above statements, editors may request that authors of a study sponsored by a funder with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcome sign a statement, such as “I had full access to all of the data in this study and I take complete responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.”
Scientific misconduct, expressions of concern, and retraction
The Health Promotion Journal of Australia follows the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Scientific misconduct includes but is not necessarily limited to data fabrication; data falsification including deceptive manipulation of images; and plagiarism. Each situation requires individual assessment by relevant stakeholders. When scientific misconduct is alleged, or concerns are otherwise raised about the conduct or integrity of work described in submitted or published papers, the editor will initiate appropriate procedures detailed by such committees such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
The Health Promotion Journal of Australia subscribes to the criteria for authorship as outlined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
Authorship is based on the following criteria:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
- Final approval of the version to be published; and
- Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged.
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.
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to use figures and tables previously published in other books or journals. It is also the responsibility of the authors to check reproduced materials against the original for accuracy.