Guide for Authors
Aims and Scope
Patient Education and Counseling is an interdisciplinary, international journal for patient education and health promotion researchers, managers, physicians, nurses and other health care providers. The journal seeks to explore and elucidate educational, counseling and communication models in health care. Its aim is to provide a forum for fundamental as well as applied research, and to promote the study of the delivery of patient education, counseling, and health promotion services, including training models and organizational issues in improving communication between providers and patients.
Patient Education and Counseling is the official journal of the European Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH) and the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH).
Patient education is defined as a planned learning experience using a combination of methods such as teaching, counseling, and behavior modification techniques which influence patients' knowledge and health and illness behavior. Patient counseling is an individualized process involving guidance and collaborative problem-solving to help the patient to better manage the health problem. Patient education and counseling involve an interactive process which assists patients to participate actively in their health care. Clinical health promotion is a part of the patient education and counseling defined as that which predisposes, enables, and reinforces patients to take greater control of the non-medical determinants of their own health.
Submission of ManuscriptsRejection rate
The journal welcomes unsolicited manuscripts related to the field of patient education, counseling, clinical health promotion and communication in health care.
Patient Education and Counseling uses an online, electronic submission system. By accessing the website http://ees.elsevier.com/pec 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. 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.
The journal receives an increasing number of submissions, with papers now evaluated on the basis of novelty and relevance as well as quality. The current rejection rate is in excess of 60%; this rate is expected to continue to increase. All papers are initially evaluated before proceeding to peer review; the journal aims to promptly inform authors whose papers do not proceed to the peer review stage.
Manuscript CategoriesOriginal Articles - Preference is given to empirical research which examines such topics as adherence to therapeutic regimens, provider-patient communication, patient participation in health care, degree of social support, decision-making skills, anxiety, physiological changes, or health/functional status (maximum 4000 words not including references and tables). Both descriptive and intervention studies are acceptable.Review Articles (Current Perspectives) - In-depth reviews of the empirical research in one facet of the patient education and counseling including an analytical discussion of contemporary issues and controversies in patient education and counseling (maximum 5000 words not including references and tables).
During online submission, the author can select a category from the following list: Review, Original Article, Educational or Counseling Model, Short Communication, Book Review or Letter to the Editor, Reflective practice or Medical Education. The type of manuscript should be indicated in the cover letter.
Educational Model of Health Care - Case studies of innovative programs which exemplify the educational model of health care, for example, self-care groups, patient advocacy efforts, medication self administration programs and co-operative care units (maximum 2000 words not including references and tables).
Short Communications in any of the above categories will also be considered (maximum 1500 words not including references and tables).
Reflective practice - The Reflective Practice section includes papers about personal or professional experiences that provide a lesson applicable to caring, humanism, and relationship in health care. We welcome unsolicited manuscripts. No abstract is needed. No (section) headings, no numbering. Maximum 1500 words. First name and surname of the author and his/her institution affiliation address, telephone and fax number and e-mail address where the corresponding author can be contacted, title of the papers and text. Submissions will be peer-reviewed by two reviewers.
All authors must include one of these two statements at the end of their manuscript:(1)" I confirm all patient/personal identifiers have been removed or disguised so the patient/person(s) described are not identifiable and cannot be identified through the details of the story."
OR(2) " I confirm that the patient/person(s) have read this manuscript and given their permission for it to be published in PEC".
For further information on the Reflective Practice section see: Hatem D, Rider EA. Sharing stories: narrative medicine in an evidence-based world. Patient Education and Counseling 2004; 54:251-253.Manuscript Organization
Medical Education - Articles on medical education focus on educational efforts that target experiences, programmes and educational research on the teaching/training and evaluation of interpersonal/communication skills of health care providers and their attitudes and skills needed for optimal communication.
Manuscripts should be organized as follows:
Title page, Abstract, 1. Introduction, 2. Methods, 3. Results, 4. Discussion and Conclusion, References, Legends.
Keep text, graphics and tables as separate files - do not import the figures and tables into the text file. Tables and Figures should be uploaded as separate table files and separate figure files. Acknowledgments for technical assistance should be indicated on the title page. Financial Support and any conflict of interest should be indicated in the acknowledgments. All articles and reviews must have a structured abstract not exceeding 150-200 words and appropriate keywords. Abstracts should adhere to the following format: Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusion, Practice Implications.
Articles must be in electronic format (double-spaced).
The title page should include a concise and informative title, first name and surname of the first author and his/her institution affiliation address. Please also provide an address, telephone and fax number and e-mail address where the corresponding author can be contacted. For co-authors, mention only first name and surname of their institution affiliation, but no address.Footnotes to the text should be avoided.
Discussion and Conclusion should be headed as one section and divided into three parts. Example: 4. Discussion and Conclusion, 4.1. Discussion, 4.2. Conclusion. 4.3 Practice Implications
Articles should include a paragraph or paragraphs entitled 'Practice Implications' as part of the discussion and conclusion, which outlines the implications for practice suggested by the study. Authors should take care that these implications follow closely from the data presented, rather than from other literature. In the event that an article presents very preliminary data or conclusions, these paragraphs may be omitted.
Reference citations should be numbered consecutively throughout using Arabic numerals in parentheses or square brackets (not superscripts). References should be double-spaced and start on a separate page. References should conform to the system used in Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (Brit Med J 1991;302:338-41; N Engl J Med 1991;324:424-8), using standard abbreviations of the journal titles cited in Current Contents.
 Rosenberg SG. Patient education leads to better care for heart patients. HWHA Health Rep 1971;86:793-802.Note All authors' names should be listed. Issue numbers should not be included.
 Worden JW. Grief counseling and grief therapy: a handbook for the mental health practitioner. New York City: Springer, 1982.
 Greenfield S, Kaplan S, Ware JE. Expanding patient involvement in care: effects on patient outcomes. Ann Intern Med 1985;102:520-8.
 Schwarzer R. Self-efficacy in the adoption and maintenance of health behaviors: theoretical approaches and a new model. In: Schwarzer R, ed. Self efficacy: thought control of action. Washington, DC: Hemisphere, 1992;217-42.
Headings should be arranged in hierarchically manner according to the following plan:
- first level, numbered 1., 2., etc., first letter capitalized, all other letters lower case;
- second level, numbered 1.1., 1.2., 2.1., etc., first letter capitalized, all other letters lower case;
- third level, numbered 1.1.1., 1.1.2., 2.1.1., etc., first letter capitalized, all other letters lower case;
- fourth level (if really necessary), not numbered, paragraph indent, runs onto text.
Research articles may include a figure, which outlines the sequence of recruitment, measurements, and interventions, indicating the number of subjects at each stage, etc. Figures of good quality should be submitted online as a separate file. The lettering should be large enough to permit photographic reduction. Legends should be typed together on a separate page in the electronic manuscript. If a figure cannot be submitted online, a hardcopy may be sent to:
Elsevier Ireland Ltd., Brookvale Plaza, East Plaza, Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland, Fax: +353 61 709250, PEC@elsevier.com. This address should also be used to submit multimedia filesTables
Tables should be submitted online as a separate file and should bear a short descriptive title. Legends for each table should appear on the same page as the table.
Language EditingReview Process
Language Editing: International Science Editing and Asia Science Editing can provide English language and copyediting services to authors who want to publish in scientific, technical and medical journals and need assistance before they submit their article or, before it is accepted for publication. Authors can contact these services directly: International Science Editing http://www.internationalscienceediting.com and Asia Science Editing http://www.asiascienceediting.com or, for more information about language editing services, please contact email@example.com who will be happy to deal with any questions. For more information please check: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/languagepolishing
Authors can expect to receive a decision in approximately 8-12 weeks. Referees use the following criteria to review empirical articles: literature review; appropriateness of interventions (if applicable); soundness of methodology; organization/writing style; significance/contribution to knowledge; and usefulness to practitioners.
Sponsored ArticlesAuthors can specify that they would like to select this option after receiving notification that their article has been accepted for publication, but not before. This eliminates a potential conflict of interest by ensuring that the journal does not have a financial incentive to accept an article for publication.
Patient Education and Counseling now offers authors the option to sponsor non-subscriber access to individual articles. The open access fee per article is $3,000. This contribution is necessary to offset publishing costs - from managing article submission and peer review, to typesetting, tagging and indexing of articles, hosting articles on dedicated servers, supporting sales and marketing costs to ensure global dissemination via ScienceDirect, and permanently preserving the published journal article. The fee excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as colour charges which are additional.
ProofsReprints and Page Charges
Once accepted for publication, authors will receive proofs, which they are requested to correct and return within 48 hours. No new material can be inserted in the text at the time of proof reading.
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.
Ethics of Multiple and Duplicate SubmissionPolicy and Ethics
Submission of the paper to Patient Education and Counseling is understood to imply that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere. Authors should not unduly fragment results from the same project in order to publish two or more separate articles. In cases where the authors have submitted or published other articles arising from the same project, this fact should be indicated in the cover letter to the editor.
For work described in your article involving human experimental investigations of any kind, must have been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the Declaration of Helsinki; http://www.wma.net/e/policy/b3.htm
Copyright TransferOther Information
In consideration of accepted manuscripts for publication, the copyright is transferred to and administered by Elsevier. All proprietary rights other than copyright (such as patent rights) are reserved to the author, as well as the right to use original figures and tables in future works, provided full credit is given to the original publication.
If the manuscript is work prepared by employee(s) of the United Kingdom or the United States government as part of their official duties, copyrights cannot be transferred to Elsevier, and authors must mention one of the following statements on the title page of their manuscript:
- This manuscript was written in the course of employment by the United Kingdom and it is subject to Crown copyright.
- This manuscript was written in the course of employment by the United States Government and it is not subject to copyright in the United States.
The author's permission to publish his or her article implies the exclusive authorization of the publisher to deal with all issues concerning the copyright therein. Submission of multi-authored manuscripts to the journal implies the consent of each of the authors. The publishers will assume that the senior or corresponding author has specifically obtained the approval of all other co-authors to submit the manuscript to the journal. Upon acceptance of an article by the journal, the author(s) will be asked to transfer the copyright of the article to the publisher. This transfer will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information.
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.
Patient Education and Counseling supports sustainable open access options, and offers authors the option to sponsor non-subscriber access to individual articles. The charge for article sponsorship is $3,000. 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.Funding body agreements and policies
Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors whose articles appear in journals published by Elsevier, to comply with potential manuscript archiving requirements as specified as conditions of their grant awards. To learn more about existing agreements and policies please visit http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies