Guide for Authors
An independent, non-profit, international journal, supported by grants and subscriptions, published in English twice a year in May and November. Editions in Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese, French and Russian are also available.
The journal offers in-depth analysis of reproductive health matters from a women-centred perspective, written by and for women's health advocates, researchers, service providers, policymakers, and those in related fields with an interest in women's health. Its aim is to promote laws, policies, research and services that meet women's needs and support women's right to decide whether, when and how to have children. A women-centred perspective is one that looks at experiences, values, information, and issues from the point of view of the women whose lives are affected. Such a perspective allows us to identify and understand women's reproductive health needs, and therefore evaluate and improve on existing policy and practice to women's benefit. Such a perspective is crucial to achieving reproductive health and rights for women.
In this light, the journal explores what is meant by women's needs and how these can best be met. It addresses fundamental concerns and dilemmas, acknowledging the multi-faceted nature of problems and solutions. Finally, it reflects on commonalities and differences in goals and points of view among those involved in the field - in order to foster increased communication and cooperation, new thinking and action, and new forms of consensus.
ContentsPapers in the following categories are also published regularly: commentary, letters to the editor, issues in current research/service delivery/policy, research methodology and 'a page from history'.
Each issue of the journal focuses on one main theme in diverse ways and contains an introduction, feature papers on the main theme, feature papers on other timely topics,a round-up of information from the published literature on law and policy, service delivery and research, and new publications.
Papers with a range of views by different authors on a controversial topic are also published as a roundtable. Submissions whose aim is to create a roundtable are also welcome.Submissions
Original papers are welcome on the main themes of future issues of the journal and all other reproductive health matters, including sexuality, HIV/AIDS and population policy, written in a stimulating and thoughtful way, for a well-informed, multi-disciplinary, international audience, in keeping with the editorial policy of the journal.
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), 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, without the written consent of RHM.Previously published papers may be considered if they appeared in a publication with specialist, national or limited circulation or are not easily accessible to our readers internationally. Papers published in languages other than English may also be considered in translation in English.
Submissions are considered twice a year following the submission date. Flexibility in these dates depends on whether space is available for late submissions; ask the editor. All papers will be acknowledged upon receipt.Submission dates: should ideally be received by:
- 1 September for May publication
- 1 March for November publication
AuthorshipAll persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship. The order of authorship should be a joint decision of the co-authors. The definition of an author is as follows: each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to: a) conception and design, 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. Anyone who does not meet all three of these criteria (e.g. someone who participated in data collection only) should be credited for their contribution in the acknowledgements.
Contributions are welcome from women and men all over the world, from both developed and developing countries. However, more authors from developed countries than from developing countries have access to the resources to publish in international journals, including to do research and write articles about developing countries. To help to redress this imbalance, RHM will give preference to papers about developing countries by authors from those countries or written with authors from those countries.
One author must be appointed by the authors as corresponding author; she/he will be responsible for communicating with the editor and co-authors about revisions at all stages of editing and final approval of the text, proofreading, and assigning copyright to RHM. In general, the corresponding author should be available to take charge of revisions, copyediting and proofreading in the months following receipt of peer reviews and acceptance of the manuscript, up to publication.Author intention to go to publication
Authors should be aware that arranging peer reviewers is time-consuming; a good peer review may take anywhere from 3-6 hours to prepare; and editorial review as an adjunct to peer review can take up to 1-2 days. Hence, submitting a paper "just to see what happens" without the intention of putting further work in to bring it to a high standard for publication wastes a lot of other people's time.
Asking if the editor is interested in a paperMaximum length of submissions
Some people send the editor an abstract only or a few lines about a subject and ask if the journal is interested in the paper. This can only lead to one reply: without the full paper, no firm opinion can be offered, because the abstract may be boring but the paper excellent, or vice versa. If you want to know if a journal is interested, you must follow the submission procedure in full.
(including abstract, footnotes, references, tables)
All full-length papers - 5000 wordsEditorial review, peer review, editing and acceptance of papers
Letters to the editor - 600 words
All submissions must go through the editorial review process described below, even though authors are sometimes invited to submit papers.
Papers on the theme of a particular journal issue are considered for inclusion in that issue only. Non-theme papers are published as soon as space allows. Almost all accepted papers are published within a year of submission, most in the first issue following the date of submission.All submissions are reviewed by the editor first. Only papers being considered for publication will be sent for peer review. Two peer reviews will be obtained prior to a decision on acceptance. If the editor thinks a paper needs substantial re-writing before it can be sent for peer review, she will suggest how it should be revised.
RHM operates a system of open peer review, so that authors and reviewers know each others' names. Most reviewers and authors find this a positive experience; reviews are much more constructive, and new contacts and mutual sharing of information can take place. However, there are legitimate reasons why a review might better be done anonymously and RHM is happy to honour such a request.Papers will be provisionally accepted, returned for further revision and re-submission or rejected following peer review, depending on the peer reviews and the editor's own review of the paper. Authors are expected to take account of peer reviewers' comments when revising. Reasons for rejecting a paper will be given.
One or more rounds of revision and editing by the author may be required. Following this, copyediting and 'polishing' for style and language will be done by the editor, with the approval of the text by the authors. Closer to publication, some cuts may be necessary because of length or repetition of points made in other papers.Proofreading
All co-authors must check, correct and approve the final version, which must be arranged by the corresponding author. The corresponding author will receive a PDF copy of the typeset text for correction; ideally, all co-authors should also be able to suggest and approve any corrections via the corresponding author. Prior to printing, the editor reserves the right to make changes if for any reason text overruns a page.
Photographs and other visualsChanges to Authorship
RHM often includes a photograph in black and white when space allows. We believe photos make a statement about the issues which words cannot make. Photographs and other appropriate visuals such as posters may be submitted by the authors. If the authors do not submit any visuals, the RHM editor may include a photograph chosen from the archives of international agencies, usually at the last minute. Because there are a very limited number of appropriate photographs available, unless there is more than one appropriate for the paper concerned, we do not always ask for the author's approval. If you feel this may be a problem for you, let the editor know in advance of proofreading.
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.
CopyrightCopies of the published paper
Copyright of papers published by RHM must be assigned by the corresponding author to Reproductive Health Matters unless copyright already belongs to a prior publisher. RHM has never refused reprint permission to an author and rarely charges for this unless the reprinting (including posting on a website) is for commercial purposes.
All co-authors will be sent a PDF of the published paper by e-mail, from which they can print as many copies as they need, and all co-authors will receive a year's free subscription that includes the journal issue in which their paper is published. Offprints are not provided.
Co-authors are welcome to post the PDF of the paper, with credit to RHM and if possible RHM's URLs, on their personal or work website. Permission from RHM is not required (see the RHM copyright assignment form for further information).RHM in translation: Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, French and Russian editions
RHM NGO partners in China, Egypt, Peru, Brazil, India, Burkina Faso and Russia choose, translate, publish and distribute editions the journal in translation, once or twice annually, funded by RHM (in all but one case) on an independent basis.
If your paper is published in RHM in English, it may be translated into any or all of the above languages and published by our partners with RHM's permission. The editor of that language edition will inform authors if their papers have been translated and send them a copy. Authors who speak that language may request to check and correct the translation. The copyright remains with RHM.Publication timetable
Submissions read, peer reviewers found - 8 weeks
Peer review, revision, acceptance/rejection, editing to final text - 19 weeks
Typesetting - 4 weeks
Proofreading - 2 weeks
Web, print, mailing - 8 weeks
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH MATTERS SUBMISSION GUIDELINESManuscript submission
The covering letter and the entire manuscript (including references and tables) should be in one file, in the order listed below. Please submit:
One electronic copy by e-mail in one PC-compatible file in Word 7. The filename should be the corresponding author's surname.doc (e.g. berer.doc).Note: A hard copy by post is no longer required unless specifically requested by the editor.
Covering letterAuthors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyrighted material in their papers and a copy of any permission must accompany the letter of submission or hard copy.
The covering letter should be signed by all co-authors (or a copy sent by each co-author by e-mail if signatures are difficult to arrange). It should state that the manuscript has been read and approved by all authors; and name the corresponding author. It should also include details of prior or duplicate publication or submission elsewhere of any part of the work.
Title pageAbstract (150-200 words)
- Title about 8-10 words.
- Names of all co-authors, in desired order for publication.
- Corresponding author and all co-authors: name, position, institution, postal address, phone, fax and e-mail.
- Suggested peer reviewers: 2-3 possible peer reviewers from the country and with expertise in the subject area of the paper. Give name, institution/organisation, country and e-mail address.
The abstract should be a highly condensed version of the paper; its structure should tightly follow that of the paper itself. It should be clear and concise, and reflect what is most important in the paper. It should include a background statement; main subject of the paper; methodology and sources of information; most important findings, actions, events or points made; most important consequences or outcomes; and conclusions, future recommendations or plans. Use sentences from the article itself if possible.
Remember that the abstract may appear in international databases and be read by people who will never see the paper. It will appear at the end of the paper in French and Spanish, translated by RHM.Keywords
- Up to five keywords + country/countries.
For guidance, RHM's keyword list can be found at: http://www.rhmjournal.org.uk. (Enter the Author Guidelines and search for Keywords.)
TextTables and Figures
- Amend the style in Format/Style so that the text has these parameters: Normal style; Font Arial 11; left aligned; English UK; single-spaced; no indents.
- All text must be left aligned.
- Do NOT indent or tab the first lines of paragraphs or quotes.
- Leave a blank line between paragraphs, using a hard return.
- Use brief headings in bold (and sub-headings only sparingly) to break up text and identify contents.
- Put quotes as separate paragraphs, in italics and with double quote marks.
- Spell out the numbers one to ten. Use figures for higher numbers, measurements and time, e.g. 7 km.
- AVOID all but the most well-known acronyms, jargon, obscure and discriminatory language, long or complex sentence construction, very long paragraphs. Do not use SRH; spell it out.
- Limit and define specialist terms.
- Non-English words and phrases should be in italics and translated briefly in parentheses. Example: ayah (helper).
Tables and figures should be numbered consecutively, in order of appearance, and EITHER placed in the text where they should appear OR at the end of the paper, with a clear indication in the text of where they should appear. They should be designed to fit across one column if possible (7.5 cm) or at most two columns (15 cm). Aim for clarity and simplicity. Please refer in the text to all tables and figures like this: (Figure 2).
- Tables: please use the table function in Word to present them. Use one row for each item and data about it.Acknowledgements
- Figures: use only black, dark grey and white, plain or in patterns (no colours). Avoid complicated designs and three-dimensional displays. See previous RHMs for examples.
- Acknowledge advice or technical help with the paper, the study, data collection or interpretation, translator's name, sources of funding, etc.
- Acknowledge any previous publication, presentation at a conference or in a thesis/dissertation, of part or all of the work. State if the paper was translated, revised, updated, expanded or shortened for RHM.- Any named person must have given their permission to be acknowledged (but not donors).
References and Footnotes- References should be in Vancouver style. Where there are more than three authors, cite the first three authors, et al. Do not use italics, underlining or quote marks. Spell out journal names. Use initial caps for book titles/journal names. Titles of chapters of books and journal articles should be in lower case except for proper nouns.
Authors are responsible for putting references into the style described below and for the accuracy of their references. If a paper is submitted to RHM with references in a different style, it will be sent back to the author for correction, which may hold up the publication process.
- References are bibliographic details of a publication. Number references manually or use the endnote function in Word. Reference numbers should be placed after punctuation marks, i.e. after commas and full stops with a blank space between them. Each reference should be assigned one and only one number when it is first cited. Re-use the number assigned to that reference each time it is cited in the text subsequently. Do not put reference numbers in the text into superscript.- Footnotes are comments or additional information on the text. If they include a reference, this should be numbered in or at the end of the footnote and appear in the reference list. Any footnotes to the text should be superscripted in the text, using the footnote function.
- Personal communications should be cited in the text as follows (name, position, personal communication, date). They should not be listed as references.- If an article or book you have cited is on the web, include the full URL as part of the reference like this: At: <web address>. Accessed 10 February 2007.
- Web citations: include the complete URL as part of the full reference. It will then be cross-referenced to the original in the web version of your article.Please DO NOT hyperlink URLs. Turn off the hyperlink function when working on the paper.
Examples of referencesBook chapter:
All the components are required. Note use of commas, semi-colons, n-dashes, full stops and spaces (or their absence).
Porter RJ, Melly BS. Providing medical abortion. In: Bloom BL, editor. Improving Abortion Services. London: SRH Publishers, 1995. p.361-80.
Russell AA, Copper MN, Davent P, et al. In vitro fertilisation. Reproductive Health Matters 1988;55(2):687-91.
Milne RE. The re-birth of journals. Reproductive Health Matters 1985;310:1387-90. At: <www.rhmjournal.org.uk>. Accessed 26 September 1996.
VisualsPhotographs or other camera-ready visuals (including slides) to illustrate articles are welcome - in black and white or colour with good contrast. Include a caption, the photographer's name and any agency that must be credited. Electronic images should be high resolution and sent in JPG format. Do not fold, clip or write on the back of prints.
Marge Berer, Editor, Reproductive Health MattersRHM follows the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, 1994).