Guide for Authors

Health Care: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation is a quarterly journal invested in promoting cutting edge research on innovation in health care delivery, including improvements in systems, processes, management, and applied information technology.

As a peer-reviewed publication, it aims to serve as a forum for the dissemination of ideas that improve patient care. The journal is committed to fostering productive dialogue amongst health professionals, policymakers, legislators, health services researchers, and academics.

The journal welcomes submissions of original research articles, case studies capturing "policy to practice" or "implementation of best practices", commentaries, and critical reviews of relevant novel programs and products. Example topics include care redesign, applied health IT, payment innovation, managerial innovation, quality improvement research, new training and education models, comparative delivery innovation, and implementation and dissemination research.

Categories of Articles

Opinion Paper

  • Essay that provides a previously unpublished, unique perspective that both describes an experience, and relates the situation to a public health issue, health policy issue, etc
  • 1500 words or less essay highlighting any topic related to health care delivery

Original Research

  • Original Data and Trials
    • Submissions should present data that offers novel approaches to improving the systems, processes, and tools involved with delivering care.
    • Abstract includes: Background, Methods, Results, Conclusions, Implications, Level of Evidence
    • Abstract no more than 250 words
    • Maximum length of article: 3000 words
    • Up to 5 data tables, charts, or figures
  • Policy Research and Observational Analyses
    • Submissions should describe the feasibility, cost-effectiveness, implementation of, or results of policy concerning the delivery of health care. This includes but is not limited to policy topics such as health care reform, health IT, delivery and payment regulation, quality improvement, and comparative delivery innovation.
    • Abstract includes: Background, Methods, Results, Conclusions, Implications, Level of Evidence
    • Abstract no more than 250 words
    • Maximum length of article: 3000 words
    • Up to 5 data tables, charts, or figures

Brief Report

  • Submissions should be shorter empirical research papers, health policy research, or observational analyses
  • No abstract
  • Maximum length: 1000 words
  • Up to 5 data tables, charts, or figures

Review Articles

  • Submissions should be a critical, systematic review of literature concerning issues that are relevant to the delivery of health care. Reviews should be focused on one topic
  • Abstract no more than 250 words
  • Maximum length: 3000 words
  • No more than 50 references
  • Up to 3 tables, charts, or figures

Case Report

  • Submissions should describe situations where individuals or organizations responded to a health care challenge. Articles should describe the challenge, the options, the thought process behind the decision made, and the lessons learned. Results are not required. Submissions that focus on the process of implementation are encouraged.
  • Organization: Background, Organizational Context, Personal Content, Problem, Solution, Unresolved Questions and Lessons for the Field
  • Abstract sections: 3-5 key insights for delivery leaders that emanate from the case
  • Suggested length: 3000 words
  • Please see additional guidance below

Short Communication or Book Review

  • First Person (Interviews)
  • Technology Insight(Product Reviews)
  • Book Reviews
  • Requires a pre-submission inquiry; please contact the editor if you are interested in submitting an article for these.

In the News

  • Submissions should be newsworthy pieces about topics including but not limited to medical innovation, policy, information technology, health care reform, delivery and payment innovation.
  • Additional commentary evaluating and assessing the implications of the news story on health care delivery will also be considered.
  • Requires a pre-submission inquiry; please contact the editor if you are interested in submitting an article for "In the News."

Cover Artwork

  • Submissions should be 8×11" in size sent in JPG format.
  • Artwork submissions will be considered
  • In addition to the art, please submit up to 10 additional sentences describing the piece.

Submission of the Manuscript

To submit a manuscript to Health Care: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation please create a new account or log into: All manuscripts must be submitted online via the portal and all correspondence will be through the online submission website.

Please prepare the following documents for submission:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Abstract — see the "Categories of Articles" section for more information about abstract section headings
  3. Blinded Manuscript — there should be no reference of the institution at which the study was conducted or any of the names or affiliations of the authors.
  4. Conflict of Interest Statement — authors must disclose all conflicts of interest in the cover letter of their submission for consideration by the Journal.
  5. Tables, Figures, Images, Figure Legend (if appropriate) — each table or figure should be separately labeled and saved as a JPEG electronic file. If figures, tables, or images are submitted, include a figure legend at the end of your blinded manuscript. File sizes should not exceed 1 MB.

If relevant, also include the IRB approval document from your institution. Plan to enter in 3-5 keywords during the submission.

Please line number your article- this continuous line numbering will help reviewers with writing their comments and should speed the peer-review process.

Preparation of the Manuscript

A typical submission may look like this:

A concise and factual abstract is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results. The introduction should also justify why the topic of the paper is important and that the content is original. The summary of results should have been dealt with in the abstract.

Material and methods
Provide sufficient detail to allow the work to be reproduced. Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described. The reader needs to know that the empirical data and/or other material are relevant, reliable and capable of supporting robust conclusions, and that the methodology is appropriate, systematic and rigorous.

Results should be clear and concise.

This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. A combined Results and Discussion section is often appropriate. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature.

The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section, which may stand alone or form a subsection of a Discussion or Results and Discussion section. This section should also may make clear what is the original contribution of the paper, discuss the policy or management implications of the findings, provide a critical assessment of the limitations of study, and outline possible fruitful lines for further research.


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 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 and issue/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: Indicate references by (consecutive) superscript arabic numerals in the order in which they appear in the text. The numerals are to be used outside periods and commas, inside colons and semicolons. For further detail and examples you are referred to the AMA Manual of Style, A Guide for Authors and Editors, Ninth Edition, ISBN 0-683-40206-4, copies of which may be ordered from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (
List: Number the references in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.
Reference to a journal publication:
1. Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. J Sci Commun. 2010;163:51–59.
Reference to a book:
2. Strunk W Jr, White EB. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. New York, NY: Longman; 2000.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
3. Mettam GR, Adams LB. How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In: Jones BS, Smith RZ, eds. Introduction to the Electronic Age. New York, NY: E-Publishing Inc; 2009:281–304.

Figure legend
Please include a description of all figures, tables or images referenced in the text in order of appearance.

Guidance for Authors of "Into Practice" (Case Study) Submissions

Overview: Submissions should describe situations where individuals or organizations responded to a health care challenge. Articles should describe the challenge, the options, the thought process behind the decision made, and the lessons learned. Results are not required. Submissions that focus on the process of implementation are encouraged.

Format: Submissions should follow the structure outlined below. Content should include, but not be limited to, the key questions highlighted for each section. Where appropriate, submissions should be accompanied by tables, figures, and other supporting exhibits. Suggested lengths are provided for each section.

Abstract (Implementation Lessons)
• 3-5 key insights for delivery leaders that emanate from the case

Background (suggested length: 250 words)
• Concise statement of the management, delivery, or policy problem

Organizational Context (suggested length: 250 words)
• How is the organization structured? What is its mission and whom does it serve? What is the policy context within which the organization operates?

Personal Content (suggested length: 250 words)
• Who were the key protagonists? What motivated them to address this challenge? What personal and professional experience did they bring to the challenge?
Note: This section is optional but strongly encouraged

Problem (suggested length: 750 words)
• What are the origins of the delivery challenge? What prompted the protagonists to tackle this problem? What where the goals for improvement?

Solution (suggested length: 1250 words)
• What were various options considered? How was the course of action decided on? What tensions arose in deciding on a solution? How was the solution implemented? What sacrifices had to be made during the implementation process?
• Results should be included, when available

Unresolved Questions and Lessons for the Field (suggested length: 250 words)
• Has the initiative been successful? Was there resistance from any stakeholders? What ongoing challenges will need new solutions? What aspects of the policy environment enabled or thwarted this innovation? What lessons learned through this process are applicable outside organizations engaging in similar work?

A note on review and revisions: Authors should expect a thorough revision and review process to ensure that Into Practice articles are relevant and impactful for care delivery leaders. Our editorial team is committed to working closely with authors to focus and refine the content and presentation of each submission.

Before you begin

Ethics in publishing
Health Care: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation and Elsevier adhere to the highest standards with regard to research integrity and in particular the avoidance of plagiarism, including self-plagiarism. It is therefore essential that authors, before they submit a paper, carefully read our information pages on Ethics in publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication. Particular attention should be paid to the sections under 'Duties of Authors' on 'Originality and Plagiarism' and 'Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publication'.

When submitting a paper, authors will be prompted as to whether they have read and agree to these guidelines before proceeding further with their submission. They will be asked specifically for an assurance that the paper contains no element of data fabrication, data falsification or plagiarism (including unacknowledged self-plagiarism). Authors are reminded that, where they draw upon material from another source, they must EITHER put that material in the form of a quote, OR write it entirely in their own words (i.e. there is no 'middle way'). In both cases, they must explicitly cite
the source, including the specific page number in the case of a quote or a particular point.

Policy and ethics
The work described in your article must have been carried out in accordance with The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) for experiments involving humans,; EU Directive 2010/63/EU for animal experiments,; Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical journals, This must be stated at an appropriate point in the article.

Informed consent and patient details
Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper. Appropriate consents, permissions and releases must be obtained where an author wishes to include case details or other personal information or images of patients and any other individuals in an Elsevier publication. Written consents must be retained by the author and copies of the consents or evidence that such consents have been obtained must be provided to Elsevier on request. For more information, please review the Elsevier Policy on the Use of Images or Personal Information of Patients or other Individuals, Unless you have written permission from the patient (or, where applicable, the next of kin), the personal details of any patient included in any part of the article and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.

This journal encourages and enables you to share data that supports your research publication where appropriate, and enables you to interlink the data with your published articles. Research data refers to the results of observations or experimentation that validate research findings. To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse, this journal also encourages you to share your software, code, models, algorithms, protocols, methods and other useful materials related to the project.
Below are a number of ways in which you can associate data with your article or make a statement about the availability of your data when submitting your manuscript. If you are sharing data in one of these ways, you are encouraged to cite the data in your manuscript and reference list. Please refer to the "References" section for more information about data citation. For more information on depositing, sharing and using research data and other relevant research materials, visit the research data page.

Data Visualization
Include interactive data visualizations in your publication and let your readers interact and engage more closely with your research. Follow the instructions here research data to find out about available data visualization options and how to include them with your article.

Data Linking
If you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that give them a better understanding of the research described.
There are different ways to link your datasets to your article.
When available, you can directly link your dataset to your article by providing the relevant information in the submission system. For more information, visit the database linking page .
For supported data repositories a repository banner will automatically appear next to your published article on ScienceDirect.In addition, you can link to relevant data or entities through identifiers within the text of your manuscript, using the following format: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN).

Mendeley Data
This journal supports Mendeley Data, enabling you to deposit any research data (including raw and processed data, video, code, software, algorithms, protocols, and methods) associated with your manuscript in a free-to-use, open access repository. During the submission process, after uploading your manuscript, you will have the opportunity to upload your relevant datasets directly to Mendeley Data. The datasets will be listed and directly accessible to readers next to your published article online.
For more information, visit the Mendeley Data for journals page.

Data statement
To foster transparency, we encourage you to state the availability of your data in your submission. This may be a requirement of your funding body or institution.
If your data is unavailable to access or unsuitable to post, you will have the opportunity to indicate why during the submission process, for example by stating that the research data is confidential. The statement will appear with your published article on ScienceDirect. For more information, visit the Data statement page.

Conflict of Interest
All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organisations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/ registrations, and grants or other funding. See also
Please complete and upload the Conflict of Interest and Author Declaration form with your manuscript. Inclusion of this form is mandatory.

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), 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

Each author is required to declare his or her individual contribution to the article: all authors must have materially participated in the research and/or article preparation, so roles for all authors should be described. The statement that all authors have approved the final article should be true and included in the disclosure.

All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

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.

Clinical trial results
In line with the position of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, the journal will not consider results posted in the same clinical trials registry in which primary registration resides to be prior publication if the results posted are presented in the form of a brief structured (less than 500 words) abstract or table. However, divulging results in other circumstances (e.g., investors' meetings) is discouraged and may jeopardize consideration of the manuscript. Authors should fully disclose all posting in registries of results of the same or closely related work.

Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'Journal Publishing Agreement' (for more information on this and copyright see Acceptance of the agreement will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. 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

Retained author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) retain certain rights; for details you are referred to:

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. Please see Please note that such information should appear in the 'Acknowledgements' section.

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

Open access
This journal offers you the option of making your article freely available to all via the ScienceDirect platform. To prevent any conflict of interest, you can only make this choice after receiving notification that your article has been accepted for publication. The fee of $3,000 excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as color charges. In some cases, institutions and funding bodies have entered into agreement with Elsevier to meet these fees on behalf of their authors. Details of these agreements are available at Authors of accepted articles, who wish to take advantage of this option, should complete and submit the order form (available at Whatever access option you choose, you retain many rights as an author, including the right to post a revised personal version of your article on your own website. More information can be found here:

Language and language services
Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who require information about language editing and copyediting services pre- and post-submission please visit or our customer support site at for more information.
Please note that Elsevier neither endorses nor takes responsibility for any products, goods or services offered by outside vendors through our services or in any advertising. For more information please refer to our Terms & Conditions:

Submission to this journal proceeds totally online at and you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of your files. 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 removing the need for a paper trail.

The Evise system automatically converts these source files to PDF files, which are then used in the peer review and editing process. Please note that, even though manuscript source files are converted into
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 through the Evise on-line system, removing the need for a separate paper trail. Authors are therefore requested to refrain from sending emails to the Editor outside the Evise system unless this is absolutely essential.

Online proof correction
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 upload all of your corrections within 48 hours. 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. Note that Elsevier may proceed with the publication of your article if no response is received.