Your Paper Your Way
We now differentiate between the requirements for new and revised submissions. You may choose to submit your manuscript as a single Word or PDF file to be used in the refereeing process. Only when your paper is at the revision stage, will you be requested to put your paper in to a 'correct format' for acceptance and provide the items required for the publication of your article.
To find out more, please visit the Preparation section below.
Click here for guidelines on Special Issues.
Click here for guidelines on Qualitative methods.Social Science & Medicine provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the dissemination of social science research on health. We publish original research articles (both empirical and theoretical), reviews, position papers and commentaries on health issues, to inform current research, policy and practice in all areas of common interest to social scientists, health practitioners, and policy makers. The journal publishes material relevant to any aspect of health and healthcare from a wide range of social science disciplines (anthropology, economics, epidemiology, geography, policy, psychology, and sociology), and material relevant to the social sciences from any of the professions concerned with physical and mental health, health care, clinical practice, and health policy and the organization of healthcare. We encourage material which is of general interest to an international readership.
The journal publishes the following types of contribution:
2) Peer-reviewed short communications of findings on topical issues or published articles of between 2000 and 4000 words.3) Submitted or invited commentaries and responses debating, and published alongside, selected articles (please select the article type 'Discussion' when submitting a Commentary).
4) Special Issues bringing together collections of papers ona particular theme, and usually guest edited.
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 http://www.elsevier.com/conflictsofinterest. Further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found at: http://help.elsevier.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/286/p/7923.
Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of a conference abstract or as part of a published lecture or thesis for an academic qualification), 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 software iThenticate. See also http://www.elsevier.com/editors/plagdetect.
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 http://www.elsevier.com/copyright). 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 http://www.elsevier.com/permissions). 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 http://www.elsevier.com/permissions.For open access articles: Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete an 'Exclusive License Agreement' (for more information see http://www.elsevier.com/OAauthoragreement). Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license (see http://www.elsevier.com/openaccesslicenses).
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. For more information see http://www.elsevier.com/copyright.
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 articles; and in the decision to submit it for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated. Please see http://www.elsevier.com/funding.
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 http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies.
This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:
• 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 (http://www.elsevier.com/access).
• No open access publication fee payable by authors.
For open access articles, permitted third party (re)use is defined by the following Creative Commons user licenses:Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
Lets others distribute and copy the article, create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), include in a collective work (such as an anthology), text or data mine the article, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, and do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation.
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.
The open access publication fee for this journal is USD 3000, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy: http://www.elsevier.com/openaccesspricing.
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 (http://elsevier.com/greenopenaccess). 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 36 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 (http://webshop.elsevier.com/languageediting/) or visit our customer support site (http://support.elsevier.com) for more information.
Submission to this journal occurs online and you will be guided step by step through the creation and uploading of your files. Please submit your article via http://ees.elsevier.com/ssm. The system automatically converts source files to a single PDF file of the article, which is used in the peer-review process. Please note that even though manuscript source files are converted to PDF files at submission for the review process, these source files are needed for further processing after acceptance. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, takes place by e-mail.
Please provide the names and email addresses of 3 potential reviewers and state the reason for each suggestion. Colleagues within the same institution and co-authors within the last 5 years should not be included in the suggestions. Note that the editor retains the sole right to decide whether or not the suggested reviewers are used.
Please note author information is entered into the online editorial system (EES) during submission and must not be included in the manuscript itself.
Social Science & Medicine does not normally list more than six authors to a paper, and special justification must be provided for doing so. Further information on criteria for authorship can be found in Social Science & Medicine, 2007, 64(1), 1-4.Authors should approach the Editors in Chief if they wish to submit companion articles.
Information about our peer-review policy can be found here .Please note that we may suggest accepted papers for legal review if it is deemed necessary. NEW SUBMISSIONS
Submission to this journal proceeds totally online and you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of your files. The system automatically converts your files to a single PDF file, which is used in the peer-review process.
As part of the Your Paper Your Way service, you may choose to submit your manuscript as a single file to be used in the refereeing process. This can be a PDF file or a Word document, in any format or lay-out that can be used by referees to evaluate your manuscript. It should contain high enough quality figures for refereeing. If you prefer to do so, you may still provide all or some of the source files at the initial submission. Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be uploaded separately.
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.
There are no strict formatting requirements but all manuscripts must contain the essential elements needed to convey your manuscript, for example Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions, Artwork and Tables with Captions.
If your article includes any Videos and/or other Supplementary material, this should be included in your initial submission for peer review purposes.
Divide the article into clearly defined sections.
The journal operates a double blind peer review policy. For guidelines on how to prepare your paper to meet these criteria please see the attached guidelines.There are no other strict formatting requirements but all manuscripts must contain the essential elements needed to convey your manuscript, for example Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions, Artwork and Tables with Captions.
If your article includes any Videos and/or other Supplementary material, this should be included in your initial submission for peer review purposes.
Divide the article into clearly defined sections.
Use of word processing software
Regardless of the file format of the original submission, at revision you must provide us with an editable file of the entire article. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier: http://www.elsevier.com/guidepublication). See also the section on Electronic artwork.
To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.
The Cover Page should only include the following information:
• Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible and make clear the article's aim and health relevance.
• Author names and affiliations in the correct order. Where the family name may be ambiguous (e.g., a double name), please indicate this clearly. 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 telephone and fax numbers (with country and area code) are provided in addition to the e-mail address and the complete postal address. Contact details must be 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.
In the main body of the submitted manuscript this order should be followed: abstract, main text, references, appendix, figure captions, tables and figures. Author details, keywords and acknowledgements are entered separately during the online submission process, as is the abstract, though this is to be included in the manuscript as well. During submission authors are asked to provide a word count; this is to include ALL text, including that in tables, figures, references etc.
Please consider the title very carefully, as these are often used in information-retrieval systems. Please use a concise and informative title (avoiding abbreviations where possible). Make sure that the health or healthcare focus is clear.
An abstract of up to 300 words must be included in the submitted manuscript. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. It should state briefly and clearly the purpose and setting of the research, the principal findings and major conclusions, and the paper's contribution to knowledge. For empirical papers the country/countries/locations of the study should be clearly stated, as should the methods and nature of the sample, the dates, and a summary of the findings/conclusion. Please note that excessive statistical details should be avoided, abbreviations/acronyms used only if essential or firmly established, and that the abstract should not be structured into subsections. Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full at the end of the abstract.
Research highlights are a short collection of 3 to 5 bullet points that convey an article's unique contribution to knowledge and are placed online with the final article. We allow 85 characters per bullet point including spaces. They should be supplied as a separate file in the online submission system (further instructions will be provided there). You should pay very close attention to the formulation of the Research Highlights for your article. Make sure that they are clear, concise and capture the reader's attention. If your research highlights do not meet these criteria we may need to return your article to you leading to a delay in the review process.
Up to 8 keywords are entered separately into the online editorial system during submission, and should accurately reflect the content of the article. Again abbreviations/acronyms should be used only if essential or firmly established. For empirical papers the country/countries/locations of the research should be included. The keywords will be used for indexing purposes.
Authors of empirical papers are expected to provide full details of the research methods used, including study location(s), sampling procedures, the date(s) when data were collected, research instruments, and techniques of data analysis. Specific guidance on the reporting of qualitative studies are provided here.
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Preferred fonts: Arial (or Helvetica), Times New Roman (or Times), Symbol, Courier.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Indicate per figure if it is a single, 1.5 or 2-column fitting image.
• For Word submissions only, you may still provide figures and their captions, and tables within a single file at the revision stage.
• Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be provided in separate source files.
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.
Regardless of the application used, 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 the font or save the text as 'graphics'.
TIFF (or JPG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPG): Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); the resolution is too low.
• Supply files that are too low in resolution.
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.
Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF), or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Please indicate your preference for color: in print or online only. For further information on the preparation of electronic artwork, please see http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions.
Please note: Because of technical complications that can arise by converting color figures to 'gray scale' (for the printed version should you not opt for color in print) please submit in addition usable black and white versions of all the color illustrations.
Ensure that each illustration has a caption. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.
Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules. Citation in text
Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full at the end of the abstract. Unpublished results and personal communications are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal (see below) and should include a substitution of the publication date with either "Unpublished results" or "Personal communication" Citation of a reference as "in press" implies that the item has been accepted for publication.
As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.
Please ensure that the words 'this issue' are added to any references in the reference list (and any citations in the text) to other articles which are referred to in the same issue.
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 (http://www.mendeley.com/features/reference-manager) and also others like EndNote (http://www.endnote.com/support/enstyles.asp) and Reference Manager (http://refman.com/support/rmstyles.asp). 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.
The current Social Science & Medicine EndNote file can be directly accessed by clicking here.
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 http://citationstyles.org.
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:
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, Sixth Edition, ISBN 978-1-4338-0561-5, copies of which may be ordered from http://books.apa.org/books.cfm?id=4200067 or APA Order Dept., P.O.B. 2710, Hyattsville, MD 20784, USA or APA, 3 Henrietta Street, London, WC3E 8LU, UK.
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. (2010). The art of writing a scientific article. Journal of Scientific Communications, 163, 51–59.
Reference to a book:
Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (2000). The elements of style. (4th ed.). New York: Longman, (Chapter 4).
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
Mettam, G. R., & Adams, L. B. (2009). 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.
Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article may do so during online submission. Where relevant, authors are strongly encouraged to include a video still within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the files in one of our recommended file formats with a maximum size of 10 MB. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect: http://www.sciencedirect.com. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages at http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.
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 http://www.elsevier.com/audioslides. Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.
Elsevier accepts electronic supplementary material to support and enhance your research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, accompanying videos describing the research, more detailed tables, 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: http://www.sciencedirect.com. 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 http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions.
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:
• All figure captions
• All tables (including title, description, footnotes)
• Manuscript has been 'spell-checked' and 'grammar-checked'
• 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 http://support.elsevier.com.
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.
Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.
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 (http://webshop.elsevier.com/myarticleservices/offprints). 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 (http://webshop.elsevier.com/myarticleservices/booklets).
You can track your submitted article at http://www.elsevier.com/track-submission. You can track your accepted article at http://www.elsevier.com/trackarticle. You are also welcome to contact Customer Support via http://support.elsevier.com.