BEFORE YOU BEGIN
First time authors are strongly advised to co-author with an academic supervisor or senior colleague who has been successful in writing for publication. Articles submitted for review must be original works, and may not be submitted for review elsewhere whilst under review for the Journal. If a related article, based on the same work, has been submitted or published elsewhere, it must be acknowledged in the cover letter to the editor, added to the end of the cover letter, and referenced in the manuscript.
Considerations specific to types of research designs
Manuscripts must adhere to recognised reporting guidelines relevant to the research design. Please upload the appropriate and completed Reporting Guideline Checklist during your manuscript submission process.
Observational cohort, case control and cross sectional studies - STROBE - Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/strobe/Quasi-experimental/non-randomised evaluations - TREND - Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Non-randomized Designs http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/trend/
Randomised (and quasi-randomised) controlled trial - CONSORT - Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/consort/Study of Diagnostic accuracy/assessment scale - STARD - Standards for the Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/stard/
Systematic Review of Controlled Trials - PRISMA - Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/prisma/Systematic Review of Observational Studies - MOOSE - Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/moose/
Qualitative researchers are encouraged to consult the guideline listed below:Qualitative studies - COREQ - Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research. Tong, A., Sainsbury, P., Craig, J., 2007. Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups. International Journal for Quality in Health Care 19 (6), 349-357. COREQ checklist for completion
Human and animal rights
Ethics in Research – Note that research studies that do not have ethical approval prior to being conducted will not normally be published. We will consider publication, however, if the relevant Institutional Ethics Committee provides you with a letter saying that they do not normally provide ethical approval for studies such as the one you conducted. See Cope Guidelines at: http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines
For research involving humans, please address the ethical aspects of the research in the Methods section. State clearly that the subject gave freely informed consent and, if in dependent relationships with members of the research team, issues of perceived coercion must be addressed. To clarify, women and their families, and students are in dependent relationship with researchers and must not be directly approached by the research team to give consent on-the-spot. Participating or not participating in the research must not disadvantage participants in a dependent relationship. Any benefit for participating must not constitute a financial inducement. Participant anonymity must be preserved, unless express written approval to use identifying data is provided. The author must retain written consents, or evidence that such consents have been obtained, must be provided to Elsevier on request.Authors who have written permission from unmasked people appearing in photographs must submit the person/s permission/s online during the manuscript submission process. For more information, please review the Elsevier Policy on the Use of Images or Personal Information of Patients or other Individuals, http://www.elsevier.com/patient-consent-policy. Unless you have written permission from the person (or, where applicable, the next of kin), the personal details of any person included in any part of the article and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.
The guidelines for the humane treatment of ANIMALS in research are found here: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-ethics/animal-research-ethicsEthics in Publication
The journal follows the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines and requests authors to familiarise themselves with these guidelines at: http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines. A few issues that authors need to pay particular attention to are set out below.
It is ethically questionable to break up or segment data from a single study to create different papers for publication – a practice called ‘salami slicing’. If the authors have legitimate reasons for reporting separately on different parts of the same study, or the same data set, they should justify that to the editor at the time of submission. Equally, readers need to be aware that different aspects of the same study are being reported, thus the methods section of the submitted manuscript must clearly explain why the submitted paper is justified.Authorship
We have adopted the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html which have also been adopted by the Australian NHMRC Guidelines for the Responsible Conduct of Research available at: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/r39, legitimate authors are those that 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. All potential authors are those that meet requirement (1) above and these people should not be excluded from contributing to the writing and approval of the article. No author should be added who does not meet the first requirement; for more details please read “How to handle authorship disputes: a guide for new researchers” (2003) by Tim Albert and Liz Wage available at the COPE website: http://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines. During the online submission process, we ask you make a true statement that all authors meet the criteria for authorship and that all people entitled to authorship are listed as authors.
Changes to authorship
Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, 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.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.
Those who meet some, but not all of the criteria for authors should, according to the NHMRC guidelines, be identified as 'contributors' at the end of the manuscript with their contribution specified. All those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., collecting data, providing language help, writing assistance or proofreading the article, etc.) that does not meet criteria for authorship should be acknowledged in the paper.
Submission declaration and verification
Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis or as an electronic preprint, see http://www.elsevier.com/sharingpolicy), 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, will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify originality, your article may be checked by the originality detection service CrossCheck http://www.elsevier.com/editors/plagdetect.
Papers accepted for publication become the copyright of the Australian College of Midwives, and authors will be asked to sign a transfer of copyright form, on receipt of the accepted manuscript by Elsevier. This enables the Publisher to administer Copyright on behalf of the Authors and the College, whilst allowing the continued use of the material by the Author for Scholarly communication.
Author rightsAs 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 may publish a pre-publication version (i.e. a version that is not in its final finished form) on social media including sites such as Mendeley, ResearchGate and Academia
Elsevier supports responsible sharing
Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.
All authors must disclose, in the covering letter to the editor and on the title page of the manuscript, any actual or potential conflict of interest, including financial and personal relationships with people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work 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 http://www.elsevier.com/conflictsofinterest. Further information and an example of a Conflict of Interest form can be found at: http://service.elsevier.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/286/supporthub/publishing.
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.
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
After acceptance, open access papers will be published under a noncommercial license. For authors requiring a commercial Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license, you can apply after your manuscript is accepted for publication.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 US$ 1,700 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 http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies. 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: http://www.elsevier.com/authorsrights.
Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy: http://www.elsevier.com/openaccesspricingElsevier Publishing Campus
The Elsevier Publishing Campus (www.publishingcampus.com) is an online platform offering free lectures, interactive training and professional advice to support you in publishing your research. The College of Skills training offers modules on how to prepare, write and structure your article and explains how editors will look at your paper when it is submitted for publication. Use these resources, and more, to ensure that your submission will be the best that you can make it.
Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.
Please submit your article via http://ees.elsevier.com/wombi.
- Minor revisions (accept with revisions as approved by the Editor)
- Major revisions (possible acceptance following revision and resubmission)
Reviewed by Editor-in-Chief or Editorial Team only
- Letter to the Editor or a short comment on any topic of current interest Book review
- Major conference review
Editors review all abstracts and using a triage-type checklist will make a rapid decision about whether the article is suitable for peer review in this journal. The overall rejection rate at this stage is approximately 60% and the majority of these happen at the rapid decision stage. This rapid decision is of benefit for authors because if the paper is rejected reasons will be given and the author can consider whether to submit elsewhere without undue delay. The most common reasons for initial rejection are: 1) not having prior institutional ethical approval for research and/or not demonstrating fully informed and fully free consent by participants; 2) not situating the research in the existing literature; 3) poor English and; 4) not following this guide for authors.
Each paper that the editor/s assess as suitable for peer review is allocated to two reviewers who are asked to assess the paper against one of the Journal's three sets of reviewing criteria i.e. 1) Quantitative Research; 2) Qualitative Research; 3) Scholarly Paper Review Criteria.
Detailed Response to Reviewers
When submitting a revised manuscript, a Detailed Response to Reviewers must accompany the revision. This document must not contain any of the Author(s) details. The most common error is uploading this document on an organisation’s letterhead, or the Author signing off with their name and contact details.
Highlight any changes made on the revised manuscript – to make it easy for the peer-reviewers to see where these have occurred. Also, remember to include page and line numbers to the manuscript as this makes the peer-review process easier.Peer review
This journal operates a double blind review process. All contributions will be initially assessed by the editor for suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are then sent to a minimum of two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles. The Editor's decision is final. More information on types of peer review.
Types of articles:
• Research articles; quantitative and qualitative
• Literature Reviews
• Theoretical papers
• Opinion / discussion papers
• Case study which is linked to the literature
Any author who has a very good reason to increase the page number beyond 35, e.g. a qualitative research paper, will need to make a clear case to the Editor-in-Chief. Please email the Editor for approval, including the Structured Abstract, prior to submitting. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).Tables must not exceed six typeset pages.
Supplementary material may be added without specific page limits. The readability of the article, however, must not depend upon access to supplementary materials.Page numbers and line numbers should be included for the convenience of the peer-reviewers.
Language should be standard UK English and woman-centred, e.g. use "childbearing woman" instead of "gravid patient", “birth” instead of “delivery”.Please have the following items ready before you log-on to the system. Every submission, regardless of category, must include the following:
A Cover letter, stating:
Conflict of Interest: when the proposed publication concerns any commercial product, either directly or indirectly, the author must include in the cover letter a statement (1) indicating that he or she has no financial or other interest in the product or distributor of the product or (2) explaining the nature of any relation between himself or herself and the manufacturer or distributor of the product. Other kinds of associations, such as consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interests or patent-licensing arrangements, also must be disclosed. If, in the Editor's judgment, the information disclosed represents a potential conflict of interest, it may be made available to reviewers and may be published at the Editor's discretion; authors will be informed of the decision before publication.
An Author Agreement stating:
• that the article is the author(s) original work
• the article has not received prior publication and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere
• that all authors have seen and approved the manuscript being submitted
• the author(s) abide by the copyright terms and conditions of Elsevier and the Australian College of Midwives
- The name of the ethics committee
- The approval number
- The date of approval
If an Ethical Statement is not applicable this must also be specified.A Title Page
The complete manuscript, arranged as follows: (1) Structured Abstract and Keywords (2) manuscript, including Acknowledgments/Disclosures (see below) and References, (3) Tables (each complete with title) and (4) Figures.
In addition, the following must be submitted if applicable:
Essential Title Page Information
• Title. Short (12 words or fewer) and descriptive of the content of the article (abbreviations must not be used in title).
• Authors. List all authors by first name, all initials, family name and highest academic degree only using "RM, PhD" for holders of both qualifications. List the address of all institutions where the work was done. List departmental affiliations of each author with that institution after each institutional address. Connect authors to departments using numbered superscripts.
• Corresponding Author. Provide the name, exact postal address with zip or postal code, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address of the author to whom communications, proofs, and requests for reprints should be sent.
The abstract must be structured and under 250 words.
The structure of most abstracts should be:
- • Problem
- • Question, Hypothesis or Aim
- • Conclusion
Provide at least four and up to six keywords, at least three of which should be selected from those recommended by the Index Medicus Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) browser list (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/meshhome.html)
In the introduction, create a table using the following headings to summaries (in 100 words or less) the contribution of your paper to the existing literature:
Problem or Issue
What is Already Known
What this Paper Adds
Example of Statement of Significance
Poor assessment and clinical reasoning are major contributors to adverse birth outcomes.What is Already Known
Midwifery decision-making during birth is mediated by hierarchies of surveillance and control. Midwives are often unable to implement their preferred decision. The international and national professional decision-making frameworks are not sufficiently detailed to guide midwives’ clinical reasoning.
What this Paper Adds
Evidence that half of the midwives interviewed did not use clinical reasoning to make decisions. A new and detailed model of midwifery clinical reasoning which incorporates a role for intuition.
For Original Research Articles references should not be more than 30, except with specific permission from the editor prior to submission), text should be organised as follows:
- - Introduction (including problem, theoretical and/or research background, hypothesis or guiding question, definitions of key terms)
- Participants, Ethics and Methods (described in detail).- Findings or Results: for Quantitative research results should be concisely reported in tables and figures, with brief text descriptions. For Qualitative research a balance must be struck between conciseness and sufficient data to support the discussion and conclusion.
- Discussion (clear and concise interpretation of results in the context of existing literature)- Conclusion (summarise key points and make recommendations)
- Acknowledgments and Disclosures
Minimise abbreviations to no more than four. Do not use abbreviations in the title. Use only abbreviations well known to midwives in the abstract. Define abbreviations at first appearance in the text.
Measurements and weights should be given in standard metric unitsAcknowledgements
This section is compulsory. Grants, financial support and technical or other assistance are acknowledged at the end of the text before the references. All financial support for the project must be acknowledged. If there has been no financial assistance with the project, this must be clearly stated.
The role(s) of the funding organisation, if any, in the collection of data, its analysis and interpretation, and in the right to approve or disapprove publication of the finished manuscript must be described in the Methods section of the text.Footnotes
Footnotes are not used in the journal.
Images or figures are submitted online as one or more separate files that may contain one or more images. Within each file containing images, use the figure number (eg, Figure 1A) as the image filename.
Figure LegendsFigure legends should be numbered (Arabic) and double-spaced in order of appearance beginning on a separate sheet. Identify (in alphabetic order) all abbreviations appearing in the illustrations at the end of each legend. Give the type of stain and magnification power for all photomicrographs. All abbreviations used on a figure and in its legend should be defined in the legend. Cite the source of previously published (print or electronic) material in the legend.
Symbols, letters, numbers and contrasting fills must be distinct, easily distinguished and clearly legible when the illustration is reduced in size.Black, white and widely crosshatched bars are preferable; do not use stippling, gray fill or thin lines.
Figures/illustrations can be published in colour at no extra charge for the online version. For the print version, colour incurs a charge of US$ 312 for the first page and US$ 208 for every additional page containing colour. If you wish to have figures/illustrations in colour online and black and white figures printed, please submit both versions. If you wish to publish colour illustrations and agree to pay the "colour charge" check the appropriate box.
Please submit tables as editable text and not as images.
Tables must not exceed six typeset pages.
Tables should be double-spaced on separate sheets (one to each page).
Legends and explanatory notes should be placed below the table.Abbreviations used in the table follow the legend in alphabetic order.
Lower case letter superscripts beginning with "a" and following in alphabetic order are used for notations of within-group and between-group statistical probabilities.Tables should be self-explanatory, and the data should not be duplicated in the text or illustrations. Tables must be submitted as part of the text file and not as illustrations.
The journal follows the International Council of Medical Journal Editors’ (ICMJE's) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals available at: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/. Referencing requirements for Women and Birth are the same as for other major medical/health journal. Examples of citation and referencing for each type (e.g. article, book chapter, thesis) are at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html.
For users of bibliographic management systems like Mendelay or Endnote please use the most up to date version and select the Lancet Output Style because it complies with the ICMJE referencing standards.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. 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 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.
Supplementary material can support and enhance your scientific research. Supplementary files offer the author additional possibilities to publish supporting applications, high-resolution images, background datasets, sound clips and more. Please note that such items are published online exactly as they are submitted; there is no typesetting involved (supplementary data supplied as an Excel file or as a PowerPoint slide will appear as such online). Please submit the material together with the article and supply a concise and descriptive caption for each file. If you wish to make any changes to supplementary data during any stage of the process, then please make sure to provide an updated file, and do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please also make sure to switch off the 'Track Changes' option in any Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published supplementary file(s). For more detailed instructions please visit our artwork instruction pages.
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. Authors of this journal will automatically receive an invitation e-mail to create an AudioSlides presentation after acceptance of their paper.
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'
• References are in the correct format for this journal
• All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
• Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
Printed version of figures (if applicable) in color or black-and-white
• Indicate clearly whether or not color or black-and-white in print is required.
For any further information please visit our Support Center.
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 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 will, at no cost, receive a customized Share Link providing 50 days free access to the final published version of the article on ScienceDirect. The Share Link can be used for sharing the article via any communication channel, including email and social media. 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. Corresponding authors who have published their article open access do not receive a Share Link as their final published version of the article is available open access on ScienceDirect and can be shared through the article DOI link.
Track your submitted article
Track your accepted article
You are also welcome to contact the Elsevier Support Center.