Guide for Authors

All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Author information pack

• Ethics in publishing
• Conflict of interest
• Submission declaration and verification
• Changes to authorship
• Copyright
• Role of the funding source
• Funding body agreements and policies
• Open access
• Green open access
• Language (usage and editing services)
• Submission
• Referees
• Essential title page information
• Abstracts
• Graphical abstract
• Highlights
• References
• AudioSlides
• Supplementary material
• Submission of manuscripts
• Submission checklist
• Use of the Digital Object Identifier
• Offprints

The International Journal of Drug Policy is a bimonthly multidisciplinary journal for original research, reviews, debate, and critical analysis on the epidemiology and social contexts of drug use and drug policy in a global context. The journal seeks to explore the health and social effects of drug use and drug policy, in relation to both licit and illicit substances. The International Journal of Drug Policy aims to be truly multidisciplinary, for example, considering work in epidemiology, modelling, economics, criminology and law, psychology, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, and historical and policy analyses. The journal is accepting of longer length papers, especially for qualitative, ethnographic and historical analyses, and is encouraging of critical and methodological work. It is the policy of the journal to represent a wide range of material on drug-related matters from around the world.

We are happy to advise you on submissions. Please contact Professor Gerry Stimson (, Professor Tim Rhodes ( or the Editorial Office at

Following the advice below will expedite the review of your manuscript. This advice is also available on the journal's website:

The journal has a broad readership drawn from the variety of disciplines working in the area of licit and illicit drug use and drug policy, including those working in: public health and epidemiology; social science; evaluation;, community, education and welfare services; criminal justice; policy and advocacy; and human rights. The journal has an international readership.

Types of manuscripts
The journal encourages the submission of the following types of manuscript:

Editorial: These are usually between 1,500 and 2,000 words. Editorials do not have abstracts.

Commentary: These are usually between 2,500 and 4,000 words, and seek to explore in depth a particular topic or issue for debate, and may also include evidence and analysis. The Editor may invite expert responses to commentaries for publication in the same issue. Unstructured abstract.

Review: These are usually between 4,000 and 8,000 words, and seek to review systematically a particular area of research, intervention, or policy.

Research paper: These are usually between 3,000 and 5,000 words, but we also consider longer length papers up to 8,000 words. Research papers are usually based on original empirical analyses, but may also be discursive critical essays. Structured abstract.

Short report: These can be up to 2,000 words, an abstract of no more than 200 words, with one table, and no more than fifteen references. Structured abstract.

Policy analysis: These are focused specifically around contemporary or historical analyses of policies and their impacts, and are usually between 3,000 and 5,000 words, and exceptionally up to 8,000 words. Unstructured abstract.

Viewpoint: Short comments and opinion pieces of up to 1200 words which raise an issue for discussion, or comprise a case report on an issue relevant to research, policy or practice. No abstract and a maximum of ten references.

Response: Responses are short comments on papers published in the current or previous issues. They are usually between 500 and 1,000 words. Responses do not require abstracts.

Conference report: These provide reviews or commentaries on key international or national meetings relevant to drug use research and policy. They are usually between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Conference reports do not require abstracts.

Ethics in publishing

For information on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see and

Conflict of interest

All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work. See also Further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found at:

Submission declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service CrossCheck

Changes to authorship

This policy concerns the addition, deletion, or rearrangement of author names in the authorship of accepted manuscripts:
Before the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Requests to add or remove an author, or to rearrange the author names, must be sent to the Journal Manager from the corresponding author of the accepted manuscript and must include: (a) the reason the name should be added or removed, or the author names rearranged and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, fax, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed. Requests that are not sent by the corresponding author will be forwarded by the Journal Manager to the corresponding author, who must follow the procedure as described above. Note that: (1) Journal Managers will inform the Journal Editors of any such requests and (2) publication of the accepted manuscript in an online issue is suspended until authorship has been agreed.
After the accepted manuscript is published in an online issue: Any requests to add, delete, or rearrange author names in an article published in an online issue will follow the same policies as noted above and result in a corrigendum.


Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright, see An e-mail will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript together with a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' form or a link to the online version of this agreement.

Subscribers may reproduce tables of contents or prepare lists of articles including abstracts for internal circulation within their institutions. Permission of the Publisher is required for resale or distribution outside the institution and for all other derivative works, including compilations and translations (please consult If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: please consult

For open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (for more information see Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license (see

Author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. For more information see

Role of the funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

Funding body agreements and policies

Elsevier has established a number of agreements with funding bodies which allow authors to comply with their funder's open access policies. Some authors may also be reimbursed for associated publication fees. To learn more about existing agreements please visit
After acceptance, open access papers will be published under a noncommercial license. For authors requiring a commercial CC BY license, you can apply after your manuscript is accepted for publication.

Open access

This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

Open access
• Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse
• An open access publication fee is payable by authors or on their behalf e.g. by their research funder or institution
• Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our universal access programs (
• No open access publication fee payable by authors.

Regardless of how you choose to publish your article, the journal will apply the same peer review criteria and acceptance standards.

For open access articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
For non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

Sponsored Articles
International Journal of Drug Policy supports sustainable open access options, and offers authors the option to sponsor non-subscriber access to individual articles. The charge for article sponsorship is $2500. Authors can only select this option after receiving notification that their article has been accepted for publication. This prevents a potential conflict of interest where a journal would have a financial incentive to accept an article. Authors who have had their article accepted and who wish to sponsor their article to make it available to non-subscribers should complete and submit the order form.

Sponsored Articles have a specific set of user rights - for more information, please follow this link.

The open access publication fee for this journal is $ 2500, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy:

Green open access

Authors can share their research in a variety of different ways and Elsevier has a number of green open access options available. We recommend authors see our green open access page for further information ( Authors can also self-archive their manuscripts immediately and enable public access from their institution's repository after an embargo period. This is the version that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and in editor-author communications. Embargo period: For subscription articles, an appropriate amount of time is needed for journals to deliver value to subscribing customers before an article becomes freely available to the public. This is the embargo period and begins from the publication date of the issue your article appears in.

This journal has an embargo period of 12 months.

Language (usage and editing services)

Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's WebShop ( or visit our customer support site ( for more information.


Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.


Please submit the names and institutional e-mail addresses of several potential referees. For more details, visit our Support site. Note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether or not the suggested reviewers are used.

Essential title page information

Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.


• On the second page, include the title of the paper, between 3-6 keywords, and an abstract of between 150 and 300 words.

Structured abstract: We recommend these for: Research papers, Review papers, Policy Analysis, and Short reports. Please adhere to the following mandatory abstract headings: background, methods, results, conclusion.

Unstructured (plain) abstract: We recommend these for: Commentaries, Historical Analysis, Review Essays, as well as for Research and Review papers where a plain abstract is better suited, as is the case with some social science submissions.

No abstract: Editorials, Responses, Case Reports, Conference Reports.

House style
• Please write in a clear style for an international readership. We are an international journal and many of our readers do not have English as a first language. Avoid (or explain) colloquialisms.
• Keep the text style and sub-headings simple. Text should preferably be in Times New Roman or Arial, 10-12 font, with double line spacing.
• Spelling is English (not American)
• All pages should be numbered at the bottom
• We do not normally like footnotes (but recognise that they are necessary for some styles of writing). Only use footnotes when absolutely necessary (otherwise incorporate into text).
• Keep tables simple. Do not duplicate information in the text. Include all tables and figures on separate sheets at the end; indicate in the text where these should be placed.
• Include in the acknowledgements any funding source for the work
• IJDP favours clear organisation of papers, an economical writing style, and a modest tone.
• IJDP requires all submissions to incorporate a clear and sufficiently detailed account of methods of data collection and analysis, including in Review Papers, Policy Analysis and Historical Analysis. IJDP encourages qualitative and ethnographic research submissions to sufficiently account for, and reflect upon, how data were analysed.

Graphical abstract

Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. See for examples.
Authors can make use of Elsevier's Illustration and Enhancement service to ensure the best presentation of their images and in accordance with all technical requirements: Illustration Service.


Highlights are mandatory for this journal. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that convey the core findings of the article and should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point). See for examples.

Electronic artwork
General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Embed the used fonts if the application provides that option.
• Aim to use the following fonts in your illustrations: Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Symbol, or use fonts that look similar.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Size the illustrations close to the desired dimensions of the published version.
• Submit each illustration as a separate file.
A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website:
You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.
If your electronic artwork is created in a Microsoft Office application (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) then please supply 'as is' in the native document format.
Regardless of the application used other than Microsoft Office, when your electronic artwork is finalized, please 'Save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones, and line/halftone combinations given below):
EPS (or PDF): Vector drawings, embed all used fonts.
TIFF (or JPEG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones), keep to a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Bitmapped (pure black & white pixels) line drawings, keep to a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPEG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale), keep to a minimum of 500 dpi.
Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); these typically have a low number of pixels and limited set of colors;
• Supply files that are too low in resolution;
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.


Text: Citations in the text should follow the referencing style used by the American Psychological Association. You are referred to the Publication Manual; of the American Psychological Association, Fourth Edition, ISBN 1-55798-243-0, copies of which my be ordered from PAP Order Dept, P.O.B. 2710 Hyattsville, MD 20784, USA or APA, 3 Henriette Street, London EC3E 8LU, UK.

Details concerning this referencing style can also be found at

List: References should be arranged first alphabetically and then further sorted chronologically if necessary. More than one reference from the same author(s) in the same year must be identified by the letters "a", "b". "c" etc placed after the year of publication.


Reference to a journal publication:
Van der Geer, J., Hanraads, J.A.J., & Lupton, R.A. (2000). The art of writing a scientific article. Journal of Scientific Communications,163, 51-59

Reference to a book:
Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E.B. (1979). The elements of style. (3rd ed.) New York: Macmilllan, (Chapter 4).

Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
Mettam, G. R., & Adams, L. B. (1994). How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In B. S. Jones, & R. Z. Smith (Eds), Introduction to the electronic age (pp.281-304. New York: E-Publishing inc.

Reference to a website must contain the date on which the information was retrieved:

Gerlach R, Schneider W. Injecting room at INDRO, Munster, Germany. Retrieved 2nd June 2002 from

Reference links
Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, CrossRef and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is encouraged.

Reference management software
Most Elsevier journals have a standard template available in key reference management packages. This covers packages using the Citation Style Language, such as Mendeley ( and also others like EndNote ( and Reference Manager ( Using plug-ins to word processing packages which are available from the above sites, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article and the list of references and citations to these will be formatted according to the journal style as described in this Guide. The process of including templates in these packages is constantly ongoing. If the journal you are looking for does not have a template available yet, please see the list of sample references and citations provided in this Guide to help you format these according to the journal style.

If you manage your research with Mendeley Desktop, you can easily install the reference style for this journal by clicking the link below:
When preparing your manuscript, you will then be able to select this style using the Mendeley plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice. For more information about the Citation Style Language, visit

Reference formatting
There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at submission. References can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged. The reference style used by the journal will be applied to the accepted article by Elsevier at the proof stage. Note that missing data will be highlighted at proof stage for the author to correct. If you do wish to format the references yourself they should be arranged according to the following examples:


The journal encourages authors to create an AudioSlides presentation with their published article. AudioSlides are brief, webinar-style presentations that are shown next to the online article on ScienceDirect. This gives authors the opportunity to summarize their research in their own words and to help readers understand what the paper is about. More information and examples are available at Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.

Supplementary material

Elsevier accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Supplementary files supplied will be published online alongside the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: In order to ensure that your submitted material is directly usable, please provide the data in one of our recommended file formats. Authors should submit the material in electronic format together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages at

Submission of manuscripts

The International Journal of Drug Policy uses an online, electronic submission system. By accessing the website you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of the various files. When submitting a manuscript to Elsevier Editorial System, authors need to provide an electronic version of their manuscript. Authors may send queries concerning the submission process, manuscript status, or journal procedures to the Editorial Office:

Elsevier Ireland Ltd., Brookvale Plaza, East Plaza, Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland, Fax: +353 61 709250, This address should also be used to submit multimedia files

Once the uploading is done, the system automatically generates an electronic (PDF) proof, which is then used for reviewing. All correspondence, including the Editor's decision and request for revisions, will be by e-mail.

Authors' responsibilities

By submitting material for publication the authors warrant

• that it is their original work and that it has not been published in whole or in part elsewhere and is not under consideration by any other journal. If any part of the material has been or is being published elsewhere the authors should state this in an accompanying letter.
• that all persons named as authors have made a major contribution to the work reported, and are prepared to take public responsibility for its contents. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship.

All authors must give signed consent to publication.

Submission checklist

The following list will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending it to the journal for review. Please consult this Guide for Authors for further details of any item.
Ensure that the following items are present:
One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
• E-mail address
• Full postal address
All necessary files have been uploaded, and contain:
• Keywords
• All figure captions
• All tables (including title, description, footnotes)
Further considerations
• Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
• References are in the correct format for this journal
• All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
• Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
Printed version of figures (if applicable) in color or black-and-white
• Indicate clearly whether or not color or black-and-white in print is required.
• For reproduction in black-and-white, please supply black-and-white versions of the figures for printing purposes.
For any further information please visit our customer support site at

What happens after we receive your manuscript?

Manuscript acknowledgement

Corresponding authors will be sent an acknowledgement that their manuscript has been received.

Review of manuscripts

Initial review: On receipt all manuscripts are seen by one of the Editors to assess overall suitability for publication in IJDP in terms of topic area and quality. A paper may be rejected at this stage if it falls outside the journals aims and scope; if there are obvious problems with presentation, argument or research; or if it is unoriginal. The Editor will seek advice from another Editor, Associate Editor, or member of the Editorial Board before making a decision to reject at this stage.

Full peer review: After passing initial review, submissions are assigned to one of the Editors or Associate Editors. Manuscripts are sent to peer reviewers and the Author is not blinded to the Reviewer. Reviewers advise the Editors, who are responsible for the final decision to accept or reject a manuscript. Peer reviewers are asked to respond within three weeks and are asked to rate the paper and to include comments for the Editors and for the authors. We aim to get a quick decision for authors, but review and appraisal by the editors is normally a minimum of eight weeks and can on occasions be longer. We aim to inform you if there is a delay. If you want information about progress please email the editorial office. All material accepted for publication may be subject to editorial revision. If your article is accepted for publication you will receive a proof copy from the Publisher. It is your responsibility to read, correct and return the proof within 48 hours.

Proofs and page charge

One set of proofs will be sent to the corresponding author. No alteration of the substance of the text, tables, or figures will be allowed at this stage. Corrected proofs should be returned to the publisher within two days of receipt. Authors who submit to the journal will be given access to Elsevier's On-Line Author Status Information System (OASIS). They will receive a personal identification code together with the acknowledgement letter sent upon receipt of their manuscript. This code will grant them access to the OASIS site on the internet, allowing them to track the status of their manuscript. Authors may also access Elsevier's central Log-in Department e-mail address for any specific questions they may have regarding the publication of their manuscript. The International Journal of Drug Policy carries no page charges.


The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a PDF file of the article via e-mail. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. The PDF file is a watermarked version of the published article and includes a cover sheet with the journal cover image and a disclaimer outlining the terms and conditions of use.

Use of the Digital Object Identifier

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) may be used to cite and link to electronic documents. The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string which is assigned to a document by the publisher upon the initial electronic publication. The assigned DOI never changes. Therefore, it is an ideal medium for citing a document, particularly 'Articles in press' because they have not yet received their full bibliographic information. Example of a correctly given DOI (in URL format; here an article in the journal Physics Letters B):
When you use a DOI to create links to documents on the web, the DOIs are guaranteed never to change.


The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a personalized link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. This link can also be used for sharing via email and social networks. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's WebShop ( Authors requiring printed copies of multiple articles may use Elsevier WebShop's 'Create Your Own Book' service to collate multiple articles within a single cover (

You can track your submitted article at You can track your accepted article at You are also welcome to contact Customer Support via