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Rural and Remote Health

Authors' Frequently Asked Questions

Who do I contact if my question that is not covered here or in the Instructions for Authors?

Does this journal have an impact factor?

I have forgotten my user name and password

How do I get to my journal status page?

I'm not sure what category of article my manuscript is

Which is the correct RRH region for my manuscript?

How do I upload a revised version of my manuscript, before or after review?

What does the word count include?

Which referencing style should I use?

What is the Vancouver referencing style?

How should I format the reference citations in the text?

Are there guidelines for review manuscripts?

Does RRH accept literature reviews?

My research paper is written in first person, is that OK?

Do I have to spell out even commonly used abbreviations in the text?

Why can't I have footnoted material in the main text?

Why can't I use Endnote references?

Why do I have to give the journal titles in full in the reference list?

How should I format (present) tables in my manuscript?

How do I lodge my figures and tables?

Is ethics approval for research manuscripts?

Isn't acknowledging the source of previously published material enough?

Can I submit a manuscript that has been published: somewhere else/ in a different language/ in another world region/ with a different title/ with a different author group?

How do I add line numbers to my manuscript?

Can my PA (or someone else) submit the manuscript for me?

What information will I have to provide during the submission of my manuscript?

Why is key word selection at submission important for my article?

How and when do I provide my author picture?

What if I don't want to have an author picture?

What happens after manuscript submission?

How long will review take?

How much time do I have to revise my manuscript?

What happens if membership of the author group needs to be changed during the revision?

How do I lodge the notes for the editor about my revision?

What happens if my contact details change before the article is published?

How should I present a Letter to the Editor?

How will I know my revised manuscript is accepted for publication?

What happens during copyediting?

Why do I have to check the online proof?

What if I find an error that needs correction after publication?

When will my abstract appear in Medline?

Why are only some author names underlined on the published article page?

How can I create a profile or change the details recorded when I first registered with the journal?

Why must there be a local author in studies conducted in the developing world, and for research into any Indigenous population?

I am interested in becoming a reviewer for the journal

Why was my manuscript rejected?

What if I want to make a complaint?

Who do I contact if I have a question that is not covered here or in the Instructions for Authors?
Contact the senior editor Helena Clements, or journal manager Jenny Bigelow for questions about the process.

Does this journal have an impact factor?
The RRH ISI impact factor is 0.783 (July 2016).

I have forgotten my user name and password
Contact Jenny Bigelow (or Helena Clements). There is also a password retrieval link on the home page ('Forgotten your password?').

How do I get to my journal status page?
At the journal home page:

  • select 'login/register'
  • type in your user name and password
  • you can skip the site survey and this will return you to the home page, this time logged in as yourself
  • now select 'Status page/ user profile' and you will see any article titles you have submitted or have been allocated to review.

I'm not sure what category of article my manuscript is
Check the article categories given in the Information for Authors. If you are still unclear use the search box at the foot of the Contents page to search according to category for examples of different article types. Still puzzled? Contact Helena Clements for advice.

Which is the correct RRH region for my manuscript?
Rural and Remote Health has taken a geographic, continental approach to world regions, with Regional Editors and Editorial Panels representing Asia, Australasia, Africa, Europe, North and Latin America.

The RRH definition of world regions is available in the Information for Authors, with a table of countries according to region.

How do I upload a revised version of my manuscript, before or after review?
If you are asked to upload a corrected version of your submitted manuscript before review, or if you are invited to make a second or subsequent revision after review, please make the file upload via the link from the existing article title on your journal status page. Do not upload as if it is a new submission. If in doubt, email the senior editor.

What does the word count include?
The word count includes all words between the first word of the introduction and the final word of the conclusion. Not included are the abstract, tables and figures and their legends, acknowledgements, reference list, appendix.

Which referencing style should I use?
Use the Vancouver referencing style (not Harvard). The Vancouver style is described at http://www.icmje.org/. The Rural and Remote Health (RRH) style varies in some Vancouver features (eg journal titles in the reference list are given in full). While the copyeditor appreciates you giving full journal titles in the reference list, other minor variations can be adjusted when your manuscript is copyedited.

See the detailed References section in the RRH Information for Authors.

What is the Vancouver referencing style?
The Vancouver referencing system is commonly used in biomedical academic publications instead of the Harvard (name:date) system. In the text, references are assigned superscript numbers in their order of citation in the text. A reference's number of first citation in the text is retained and used subsequently wherever the reference is cited in the text, and in the reference list. So the first reference in the text is 1, the second new reference is 2 etc.

The reference list at the end of the document is in numerical (NOT alphabetical) order, and so full detail of the references is given in the order of their citation in the text. For example, the first reference to be cited in the text is first in the reference list, the second is second etc.

How should I format the reference citations in the text?
Please enclose your reference numbers in the text in square brackets, with no leading space and within punctuation. For example[1].

Are there guidelines for review manuscripts?
Yes, in the Information for Authors section "Text structure", under the subheading “Guidance for preparing systematic reviews".

Does RRH accept literature reviews?
Reviews of the literature are only considered if accompanied by analysis or synthesis of the data. Descriptive lists of the literature without analysis are not published in this journal.

My research paper is written in first person, is that OK?
Rural and Remote Health does not publish research manuscripts written in first person (ie using 'I' and 'we'); rather, the traditional passive (reporting) voice is required for this type of manuscript.

Do I have to spell out even commonly used abbreviations and local terms in the text?
Because RRH is an international journal, colloquial terminology and abbreviations commonly used and understood in one particular country may puzzle readers in another. For that reason most local terms and abbreviations are defined or spelled out at first use (and in figure legends and table footnotes) after which the term or abbreviation can be used freely in the manuscript.

It is, however, journal style that manuscript headings do not contain abbreviations.

The journal does have a list of permitted abbreviations (see the Information for Authors) that do not need to be spelled out at all.

Why can't I have footnoted material in the main text?

While using footnotes is an accepted way of providing readers with supplementary material on a printed page, footnotes are not as useful in web publication because excessive scrolling is usually required to reach the end of the page. And when publishing in the Vancouver system with superscript numeric reference indicators, including linked superscript footnote indicators can be confusing for readers. For these reasons it is RRH style to include footnoted information in brackets in the main text.
Hint: Before adding a footnote to any work, whether for print or web publication, it may be worthwhile asking the question: 'Is this information really necessary for my readers?'

Why can't I use endnote references?
You are welcome to use endnote references as long as you convert the reference list and text citations to plain text at the end of your revision. The web process used for publication does not support footnotes or endnotes, so these must be converted prior to loading the copyedited text for publication. As there is a greater chance of introduced error if this is done by someone other than the author, and because it is very time-consuming for journal staff and prone to error, authors are asked to do this themselves prior to submission.

Why do I have to give the journal titles in full in the reference list?
An online journal does not have the space restrictions of a print journal so there is no need to abbreviate journal titles in the reference list. In fact, it is RRH journal style to give them in full.

How should I format (present) tables in my manuscript?
This is spelled out in the tables section of the RRH Instructions for Authors. In summary, please do not use colour, shading or fancy formatting. Please place grid lines around all cells to assist comprehension when reading on screen.

Make column headings descriptive but brief, with units of measurement provided in brackets. If you are giving both number and percentage for items, please indicate both in ONE column (not two) as n (%) in the same cell.

Please spell out all abbreviations or acronyms used in the table in a footnote to the table.

Footnote symbols should follow the style and order requested, with *, **, *** reserved for p-values.

How do I lodge my figures and tables?
Having large figures embedded in your manuscript may cause the submission process to fail. You can upload figures as .JPG or .GIF files separately during the online submission process. Small to medium figures can remain in the manuscript, as can tables. They should all be placed with their legends (title) after the reference list. Please do NOT incorporate the legend (title) in a prepared figure or table but provide it outside the figure or table.

Tables should be provided in the form of MS Word files only (ie they must be in a document with a .doc file extension) to enable editing to journal style for publication.

If you experience any difficulties or have any other questions about how to provide tables or figures please contact Helena Clements or Jenny Bigelow, respectively.

Is ethics approval mandatory for research manuscripts?
Ethics approval is required for original research manuscripts in RRH.

Isn't acknowledging the source of previously published material enough?
The rules of copyright protect individuals' intellectual property (IP). They require that for ANY previously published material used in your manuscript, you must have written permission (email is fine) from the copyright holder (who may or may not be the author/ creator of the material). This includes but is not limited to images, diagrams, models, figures, tables and maps. There may be a charge for this, for which the authors are liable.

You may also have to obtain permission to use your own previously published work, depending on who owns the copyright.

If you have a question about copyright, or are having difficulty locating the holder of copyrighted material that you would like to reproduce, please contact Helena Clements.

Can I submit a manuscript that has been published: somewhere else/in a different language/in another world region/with a different title/with a different author group?
In order to avoid the academic misconduct of ‘duplicate publication’, please ensure that the content of any manuscript submitted to RRH is not under consideration by another journal, and has not been previously published in any print or electronic form, in a domestic or international journal or text book or any other print format, in any other language or world region, under any other title or with a slightly or largely different author group. In other words, any submission to RRH must be the first time the content has been used for publication anywhere. RRH vigorously investigates suspected duplicate publication.

How do I add line numbers to my manuscript?
This function is easily accessible in MS Word in the 'Page set-up' or 'Page layout' menus, depending on which version of Word you are using.

Can my PA (or someone else) submit the manuscript for me?
While this is technically possible, we do ask that if a person other than the nominated contact author makes the submission, that the nominated contact author's login (user name and password) is used. The reason for this is that all automated email correspondence about your manuscript (eg when it has been accepted for publication or prompting you to make a proof check) will go to the user who originally submitted the manuscript. The journal system assumes the person who submits the manuscript is the nominated contact author.

What information will I have to provide during the submission of my manuscript?
Your manuscript must be saved as a MS Word document. Non-embedded figures should be ready and prepared as described in the question 'How do I provide my figures and tables?' Be prepared to submit for each author:

  • full name and initials, as used for publication
  • highest academic qualification (eg MBBS, PhD, BAppSci(Nsg), FRACGP)
  • the name (title) of their institution at the time of the research (including department, if any)
  • the institutional address (city, state and country) at the time of the research
  • their position title at the time of the research (eg director, registered nurse, research fellow)
  • their current business hours phone contact
  • their current email address
  • the institution's mailing (postal) address (for the corresponding author only)
  • indication of whether each author is an RRH registered user.
You will also have to list the contribution of each author to the manuscript and select key words from a list to describe the manuscript. And finally, you also have the option of suggesting three potential reviewers (their title, name, institution and email address) for your manuscript. This is especially worth considering if your research is in a specialist rural health area as it may expedite the review process.

Why is key word selection at submission important for my article?
The key words you select for your manuscript at submission will be used to match it with appropriate reviewers, and later to select readers to receive the email alert when your article is published. For readers who browse the abstract first, the key words provide a quick indication of the content of the published article.

How and when do I provide my author picture?
Please supply a head-and-shoulders view of each author, or a group shot if you would prefer this. Author images should be saved as a SMALL file size. The digital file should be saved as GIF, JPEG or TIFF and either embedded in the original manuscript or emailed as an attachment to Jenny Bigelow.

Please label each file with the author's family name and initial (eg 'Green-B.jpg'). In the case of a group shot, label the file with the first author's name and supply detail of who's who in an email, mentioning the manuscript title, or number if you know it. You can supply author images at any time during the publication process but most authors wait until they know their manuscript is accepted for publication.

What if I don't want to have an author picture?
That's fine, just let us know.

What happens after manuscript submission?

  • Each new manuscript is assessed by the appropriate regional editor for its match with RRH aims and scope, and to ensure it is sufficiently developed to consider for review. Due to a limit to the number of annual publications, not all submitted manuscripts that meet journal aims and scope will make it to review. Some manuscripts selected for review may need minor revision first.
  • The de-identified review copy is usually sent to 3 anonymous peer reviewers (one international and two local). The process is 'double blinded' so the identities of the author group and reviewers are concealed from each other (although if reviewers request it, their identity is made known to the authors when their comments are available).
  • On the basis of review, a decision is made by the relevant regional editor (accept after revision, consider after revision or reject) and the decision, with reviewers' comments, is provided on the contact author's status page. An automated email alerts the contact author when this occurs.
How long will review take?
The review by peers is a crucial stage and should not be rushed. While every effort is made to keep the manuscript moving, at this stage we depend on our reviewers responding to the request to review in a timely fashion and submitting their review promptly. Obviously there are many factors that can affect an individual reviewer's responsiveness, and the majority of reviewers will be inactive during December and January.

Occasionally the manuscript will be delayed while we wait for a specific reviewer to be available (they may be on leave or otherwise temporarily unavailable). Sometimes it is difficult to find 3 appropriate reviewers for a specialist topic. And as the regional editors are also busy people there may be a delay before they are able to assess the reviewer comments and make a decision.

That's the long explanation. The short one is, between 3 and 6 months generally. Occasionally a review is completed more quickly - and sometimes it takes a lot longer.

So be patient, we are doing our best. The senior editor is always happy to give an update on how review is progressing.

How much time do I have to revise my manuscript?
Four weeks from the date of approval is the expected time for revision and resubmission. If this is not sufficient time, please advise the senior editor and she will advise the regional editor.

What happens if the membership of the author group needs to be changed during the revision?
Once a manuscript has been submitted to the journal, requests to add or remove an author should be made in writing. This is done (by email) to the senior editor, outlining the reason for the change. If an author is to be added, the new author's contribution to the manuscript must be stated. Such changes will not be made without the agreement of the entire existing author group, and evidence of each author's approval is required.

If a new author is to be added, complete author information should also be provided, as at manuscript submission for the original authors (ie full name, highest qualification title, institutional address and position, valid email address).

How do I lodge the notes for the editor about my revision?
When you submit the revised manuscript you will find a screen headed 'Comments for the editorial team' below the place you upload the revised article file. Paste the MS Word text of your notes to the editor, but be aware that this is an HTML screen and although it will receive Word text it does not support formatting like coloured text, bold, italics or material formatted as a table. You can distinguish your comments from the reviewers' by using capital letters or quotation marks. If you are unsure about this, or are concerned that your comments have not uploaded correctly, please contact Helena Clements.

What happens if my contact details change before the article is published?
Please log in to the journal site and change your details in the journal user manager (via your status page). This is especially important for changes to the corresponding author's current email address.

How should I present a Letter to the Editor?
Concise letters to the editor (maximum 500 words) may be submitted via the usual contribution link for the attention of the relevant regional editor. The structure of a research letter is defined in the Information for Authors.

How will I know when my revised manuscript is accepted for publication?
The manuscript status label on your journal status page will not change from 'Resubmitted' until you are prompted to approve the online proof. However, at the time your revised manuscript was accepted for publication by the regional editor, the contact author will have been advised by an automatically generated email. If you wish to know the provisional volume/issue of publication, contact the senior editor for an approximation. Otherwise, the corresponding author will be contacted again by email when the manuscript has been copyedited.

What happens during copyediting?
Copyediting is a complex editorial procedure that adds value to the manuscript for publication by ensuring it is complete, clearly expressed and presented in a form consistent with the other material on the site (in journal style). Copyediting assists readers to get maximum benefit from your publication, and presents your work in the best form possible. Among elements of the manuscript that will be checked and may be corrected during copyediting are the references in the list and text, the heading grades, spelling, grammar, logical flow of the argument, that information is given in the correct order, that all acronyms have been spelled out at first use, table and figure legends and presentation, web links etc. You can expect to receive a list of queries from the copyeditor prior to publication and, most commonly, these concern incorrect or incomplete references.

Why do I have to check the online proof?
Once your revised manuscript has been copyedited and you have answered the editorial queries, you will receive an autoalert to logon and approve your article online. This is your opportunity to make a thorough proof check. This journal is not proofread externally. While every care is taken to present your material accurately, due to the complexity of the preparation process, errors may be introduced. The author is most familiar with the manuscript and is therefore the best person to identify whether proof corrections are needed.

A helpful Checklist for proofing is available in the Information for Authors on the site.

Proof corrections should be returned BEFORE agreeing to the conditions of publication.

What if I find an error that needs correction after publication?
Just contact Helena Clements and she will make the correction. Depending on the seriousness of the error and the time elapsed since publication it may be necessary to alert readers that the text has been modified and give details of the change. This may be done in the form of a 'Modified' footer, or occasionally as a published error message (Correction/Errata).

Once the abstract has gone to Medline it is very difficult to modify, so be especially careful to check the title, abstract and author detail when prompted to check the online proof just prior to publication.

When will my abstract appear in Medline?
The journal manager ensures that this is generally within days of online publication in Rural and Remote Health.

Why are only some author names underlined on the published article page?
Authors who are registered with the journal and have set up a profile will be linked to that profile (ie their name will be underlined). The profile of authors who register with the journal after publication can also be linked in this way by advising the journal manager.

How can I create a profile or change the details recorded when I first registered with the journal?
Rural and Remote Health registered users can choose to create (and later edit/update) a profile that is available to readers if they become an article author.

  1. Just log in using your unique username and password (forgotten them? - email the journal manager for retrieval).
  2. Select 'Status page/User profile' 'Set your user profile' to create a profile.
  3. Or update your details from 'Status page/User profile' and select from the options.
  4. Remember to save the edited text on exit.

Why must there be a local author in studies conducted in the developing world, and for research into the Indigenous population of any country?
Rural and Remote Health aims to promote cross-cultural respect - and research should promote health by empowerment. In an era when Indigenous communities in many countries are using the phrase 'research fatigue', having an author from the community of study gives an indication of appropriate consultation, and sensitive research that is guided by the priorities of the particular community. Further, no matter how enculturated the external researcher might be, subtle cultural barriers can impede the interpretation of data. Put another way, the voice of the local community is clearest for and from those within that community.

I am interested in becoming a reviewer for the journal
Rural and Remote Health welcomes new reviewers who have a rural health background and the capacity to review at least 3 manuscripts each year. If you believe you meet the criteria in the RRH Reviewer Guidelines we invite you to contact Helena Clements in the first instance for further information, or to simply submit your CV for the attention of the regional editor.

Why was my manuscript rejected?
Rural and Remote Health regional editors currently reject approximately 70% of submissions. There are many reasons why manuscripts are rejected, both before and after review and revision. A rejection does not mean your manuscript is without value. It is often because the submitted manuscript does not fit within the aims and scope of the journal (available at the start of the Information for Authors), or due to a high volume of submissions, or that it is too locally focused for an international journal. The manuscript may not be at publication standard (either before or after revision) and requires further development. Or a reviewer may have identified a significant flaw in the research. Whatever the reason, feedback about the reason/s for rejection is generally given by the regional editor and available on your status page.

What if I want to make a complaint?
We take comments seriously and are keen to improve the process where possible, based on user feedback. We also realise that it is not possible to please 100% of people 100% of the time. After publication you will be emailed a link to a formal author survey. As well as ranking specific elements of the journal services there is a box for free-text comments.

You may also contact the journal staff, Helena Clements or Jenny Bigelow. Helena and Jenny are always interested in your experience as authors and any suggestions you have for improvement.

You may also email the relevant regional editor, whose email address is available on the About Us page. For serious issues or those that have not been resolved at other levels, contact the editor in chief.

Revised February 2012; last modified July 2016.

   
 

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