Rural and Remote Health
Instructions for Authors
- About us
- Ethics & copyright
- After submission
- Acceptance, proofs & publication
- Useful websites for authors
1. About us
Journal scope & content
Rural and Remote Health (RRH), the international, electronic journal of rural and remote health education, practice and policy is funded by Australian University Departments of Rural Health (ARHEN members) and Australian Rural Clinical Schools (FRAME members), the Canadian Rural Health Research Society (CRHRS), the Rural Health Education Foundation, and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM); it is administered by James Cook University, Australia. The Journal aims to provide an easily accessible, peer-reviewed, international evidence-base to inform improvement in rural health service delivery and health status in rural communities.
The multidisciplinary, international Editorial
Board reflects the five major thematic areas of the journal: rural health practice, policy, status/research, health education and Indigenous health. The Journal welcomes submissions in the form of original research; review articles; clinical case reports or reviews; policy, project or conference reports; personal views; book reviews; rural health history; letters to the editor; biographies of/ tributes to/ obituaries of important figures in the field of rural and remote health. Authors will therefore understand that manuscripts without rural content and rural-specific conclusions are declined without assessment.
As a committed Open Access journal, there are no subscription fees, nor are there fees for authors. Readers may register to receive immediate email notification of published articles in their areas of interest.
The journal RRH is indexed by MEDLINE (available on MEDLINE usually within 48 hours of publication), ISI, CINHAL, APAIS (incl. ATSIROM and AUSThealth), AMI (Australasian Medical Index), and registered with PANDORA and the DEST Register of Referred Journals. Rural and Remote Health is also recognised by the Australian Government's ERA.
The Journal's latest (2012) Impact Factor is .979.
Rural and Remote Health consists of 5 regional sections: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and North America; each of which is led by a regional editor. Each regional editor is supported by a regional editorial panel. The editor-in-chief and the regional editors comprise the journal’s International Editorial Board.
RRH has taken a modified continental approach to world regions. To assist submitting authors, the geographic scope of each region is given in the following table. If further information is required, please contact the production editor.
Table 1: Countries according to the Rural and Remote Health regional division: a guide for submitting authors
2. Ethics & copyright
Submission of a manuscript to RRH implies that all authors have read and agreed to its content, and that research approval has been obtained from an ethics committee (where appropriate), in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration.
Ethics approval is required for original research manuscripts. At the end of the Methods section under a sub-heading ‘Ethics approval’ please provide the full name of the Board or Committee which approved the research and also state the approval number.
If there are context-specific reasons why this is not possible, or if the type of permission varies from what is required, please detail this in a cover letter to the Regional Editor on the first page of your manuscript. An explanation of variation from the required approval should also be placed in the text at the end of the Methods section.
Information or clinical photographs that relate to individual patients may only be used if the authors have obtained and provided written and signed consent from each identifiable person.
For studies conducted in the developing world, and for research into the Indigenous population of any country there must be at least one local/Indigenous author. 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’, the presence of an author from the community of study hopefully indicates appropriate consultation, and culturally sensitive research that is at the least guided by the priorities of the community studied. 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 to those within that community.
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 any other journal, and has not been published previously 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.
However, submission is welcomed of articles based on published abstracts, or verbal or poster presentations at conferences or meetings.
All authors should be listed on the title page or first page of the manuscript. Each author should have participated in the work sufficiently to take responsibility for some part of the content. One or more authors should take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole. Others who contributed to the work but are not authors should be named in the manuscript Acknowledgments and their contributions stated.
For a full definition of Authorship, please access http://www.icmje.org/; the COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) site also provides comprehensive information about authorship.
Once a manuscript has been submitted to the Journal, requests to add or remove an author should be made in writing by the corresponding author to the respective regional editor. Such changes will not be made without the agreement of the entire author group.
Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s published and unpublished ideas or words (intellectual property) without attribution (referencing). This applies to all instances of another’s work, including abstracts, reports, grant applications and unpublished or published manuscripts in any form, from oral presentations to electronic and print publications. Intentional, wrongful use of another's intellectual property is serious scientific misconduct. Intentional or unintentional plagiarism may represent a potentially costly copyright infringement.
Rural and Remote Health’s policy on plagiarism is based on a commitment to the highest standard of peer-reviewed publication. Plagiarism is always a serious issue, and authors are cautioned to take extreme care in manuscript preparation, being vigilant about what they present as their own work, and scrupulously referencing the words and ideas of others. Any detected instances of plagiarism in submitted, reviewed or published manuscripts will be dealt with rigorously, following the Committee on Publication Ethics protocol (http://publicationethics.org/).
All manuscripts submitted to RRH are checked for evidence of plagiarism, and any indication of unauthorised use of another's material is actively investigated.
For further information and guidance about citation of another’s work, authors are referred to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication, by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
Unintentional plagiarism may include an author’s copying of his or her own previously published material (self-plagiarism) without acknowledging the original publication source, paraphrasing the material or presenting it in quotation marks. This most frequently occurs in the Methods section of a subsequent research article. Self-plagiarism is potentially a copyright violation, and for this reason RRH’s policy is that authors must always attribute text repeated verbatim from their previously published works by full referencing of clearly identified text. The alternative is to paraphrase what was originally written (that is, to present the same idea using other words).
In accordance with the guidelines of the COPE Council (Retraction Guidelines 2009) the RRH editor-in-chief will retract a publication if:
An expression of concern may be issued if:
- there is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (eg data fabrication) or honest error (eg miscalculation or experimental error)
- the findings have previously been published without cross-referencing, permission or justification (ie cases of redundant publication)
- it constitutes plagiarism
- it reports unethical research.
A correction may be issued if:
- there is inconclusive evidence of research or publication misconduct by the authors
- there is evidence that the findings are unreliable but the authors’ institution will not investigate the case
- it is believed that an investigation into alleged misconduct related to the publication either has not been, or would not be, fair and impartial or conclusive
- an investigation is underway but a judgement will not be available for a considerable time.
Authors are required to have obtained permission to use any copyright-protected material in their submitted manuscript, including material in the form of figures or tables. Any costs incurred relating to permissions are the authors' responsibility. Please ensure that you have avoided any libellous statements, because authors are liable for any subsequent legal action.
- a small portion of an otherwise reliable publication proves to be misleading (especially because of honest error)
- the author/ contributor list is incorrect (ie a deserving author has been omitted or an included author does not meet authorship criteria).
While you retain copyright of your original material, by publishing on the RRH site you will have agreed to the following contractual terms:
Prior to publication of your article, you will be requested to logon to the journal site, accept and agree to the final, copyedited version of your manuscript and also to indicate agreement to these terms.
- The article is the original work of the stated author(s)
- The work has not been published previously
- The journal Rural and Remote Health may use the article for publicity purposes
- The journal Rural and Remote Health may publish the article on third-party sites
- Any subsequent publication of the article by the authors will carry the acknowledgement: ‘First published in the journal, Rural and Remote Health [http://www.rrh.org.au]’
A notice of conditions placed on site users to protect your original material is available at the foot of each journal page.
Enquiries regarding reproduction and re-use of the material contained in this site should be directed to:
Rural and Remote Health welcomes the submission of relevant manuscripts. To contribute, register with the Journal (via the homepage) and select the 'Contribute' link.
- Rural and Remote Health (firstname.lastname@example.org), regarding permission to use our version of the material.
- The copyright holder (in most instances the author), regarding re-use of their original material.
When submitting a manuscript, be prepared to provide for each author: full name, highest academic qualification, position title, organisation (current at the time of the research or manuscript preparation for non-research material), business hours phone contact and current email address, contribution to the manuscript and indication of whether the author is a registered journal user. You will also have the option to suggest three potential reviewers (their title, name, institution and email address) for your manuscript.
On completion of that screen, you will be asked to upload your manuscript (as a Microsoft Word document) and following that, to upload any non-embedded figures into our Online Article Submission Form. Author pictures can be embedded in the main manuscript at this stage, or emailed to the journal manager at a later date.
The nominated, submitting, contact author must be registered with the journal because official communication at every stage in the publication process will be sent to that person's email address. It is therefore NOT appropriate for a person other than an author to submit the manuscript. The submitting or contact author should ensure that any email address already registered with the journal is current.
Automatic acknowledgement will be sent to the corresponding author after successful manuscript submission.
New authors or those who have questions can seek advice from the RRH editorial team at email@example.com.
Once the manuscript has been submitted its progress can be monitored by the contact author logging on to the journal site http://www.rrh.org.au and accessing their own status page (select from the side menu bar) where article-specific status and editorial correspondence (if any) will be available.
Any word-processing package may be used to prepare the manuscript, but please avoid using automatic formatting such as footnotes or endnotes; avoid adding headers or footers; and do not apply any styles (eg "Heading 1") other than "normal". Normal text may be graded using bold and italic fonts. Please include footnoted material in brackets in the text at the appropriate place. The Vancouver system of referencing does NOT allow for footnoted references.
Please convert endnoted reference lists to plain text (see "Why can’t I use Endnote references?" in the Frequently Asked Questions companion document).
Please line number your document before submission to facilitate reviewer feedback. To do this, if using older versions of Microsoft Word:
In more recent versions of MS Word, this function is available in the "Page layout” menus (Page layout tab/Line numbers/Restart each page).
Rural and Remote Health encourages all authors to supply a digital author image (head-and-shoulders view) to be published with their article. If there is more than one author a group image may be submitted instead. Please ensure the file (saved as JPEG or GIF) is labelled with the author's family name (eg Green-B.jpeg). In the case of a group image, please email the journal manager detail of the name and position in the image of each author.
- In the File menu, select “Page Setup”
- Select the “Layout” tab
- In “Apply to” select “whole document”
- Click on “Line Numbers…” at the lower left
- Check the box “Add line numbering”
Authors are also invited to submit a sound file to the journal manager in which an author introduces their article by reading the introduction section of the abstract, or provides some brief, background information of interest.
If it is not possible to provide a digital image, please email the journal manager firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange scanning of a photo print.
Please use a common word-processing program (such as Microsoft Word) for the text. For MS Word files, either .doc or .docx file extension is acceptable.
Manuscripts should follow the style of the Vancouver Agreement as detailed in the 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals' http://www.icmje.org/.
Please be aware that RRH style varies slightly from the style described on the ICMJE site, for example RRH articles present journal names in full in the reference list (not abbreviated). Therefore, please read the following style notes.
Authorial voice for research manuscripts In keeping with scientific method, a passive (reporting) voice is mandatory for original research manuscripts submitted to this journal. This traditional, objective approach focuses attention on the data and what they show. Any research manuscript using first person (eg “I designed the study to...” or “We designed the study to...”) rather than the passive voice (eg “The study was designed to...”) will be returned to the authors for conversion before consideration for review. Decisions about permitting the use of first person (singular or plural) in project reports will be made by the respective Regional Editor prior to review.
Readers respond to digital material (accessed using a computer screen) in a different way from the same material in a printed version. Reading on-line text is generally slower and may result in reduced reader comprehension. This is due to a variety of factors, including the back lighting of the screen, pixelated characters, and user preference for information presented in portrait orientation and double-page format. Because RRH publishes in electronic format only, authors may find the guidelines in the following section useful.
In order to facilitate and maximise readers' comprehension of your work, consider making some modification to your text structure:
- Short pieces of writing are appealing in this form of publication and are more likely to be accessed and read than are longer articles. The word count (all words between the first word of the introduction and the final word of the conclusion, with the exception of tables and figures and their legends, acknowledgements, reference list, appendix) of ANY manuscript should be less than 5000 words, specifically:
- Editorial: less than 2000 words
- Commentary: less than 2000 words
- Original research: less than 5000 words
- Review article: less than 5000 words (see notes below)
- Clinical case report: less than 3000 words
- Clinical review: less than 3000 words
- Short communication: less than 1500 words
- Policy report: less than 2500 words
- Project report: less than 2500 words
- Conference report: less than 2500 words
- Personal view: less than 3000 words
- Rural health history: less than 2000 words
- Biography, Tribute or Obituary: less than 1500 words
- Book review: less than 500 words
- Letter (research letter, standard letter to the editor or a post via the on-line forum): less than 500 words
- A ‘research letter’ is different from a standard letter to the editor, short report or research note. It is a brief referenced outline of the issue discussed, followed by detail about the present study, bringing one or two novel or important conclusions to the attention of readers - all presented in the format of a letter to the editor, without an abstract. A detailed discussion is not required. There should be a maximum of 5 references. The total word count for the letter text should be approximately 500 words, with the addition of one small table, if necessary.
- It is an unfortunate reality that many readers will only read the article abstract. Therefore, make sure the abstract is concise and well written, acurately represents the main text, and that the length of a structured abstract is no more than 500 words (shorter for unstructured abstract). Detail of abstract structure is given under 'Sections of the manuscript'.
- Within the article text, write shorter sentences than usual where possible. Consider whether compound sentences could be divided.
- Consider using bullet points or a numbered list instead of complex 'list' sentences.
- Likewise, where possible break the text into short paragraphs of five to seven sentences.
- Provide frequent section headings that cue the reader to the content of the paragraphs that follow.
Guidance for preparing systematic reviews
A systematic literature review will be less than 5000 words in length. In exceptional circumstances, supplemental material can be included as addendum for peer review, but this material will not be published by the journal, and readers will need to be advised to request this from the authors.
After peer review: At the end of revision it is likely that authors will need to re-order the reference list to reinstate the strict numeric order of reference citations in the text. Authors are reminded that reference citations in tables are numbered sequentially with surrounding text citations, according to the placement of table legends in the text (generally after the paragraph that contains the first citation to the particular table). This is the authors’ responsibility. If in doubt, please contact the production editor for advice.
It is recommended that RRH review authors include the following information in the relevant sections of the article. This will increase the likelihood of acceptance for peer review.
Introduction: The introduction should provide a short background to the research area, clear rationale for the review, and the specific questions the authors are attempting to answer through the review. Any previous reviews in this area should be discussed and critiqued as appropriate, and a clear statement made indicating how this review will address identified omissions and/or weaknesses in the published literature.
Method: The search strategy section should detail the databases and journals accessed with the date of search, and any attempts to access the ‘grey literature’ should be noted. The actual search terms and strategy used should be provided for at least one electronic database, detailing the exact process of search and combination of search outputs. This should include information about MESH terms used, or note if only a key-word search was undertaken.
The authors should provide a clear statement of inclusion and exclusion criteria for manuscripts considered in the review, and the process by which they were applied to papers identified by the described search.
The process of data extraction should be described and, if undertaken, how effect sizes were calculated and extracted from the data. Any process for collecting data directly from other authors should also be provided.
Results: A summary of the output of the searches should be provided (number of papers identified) and then the results of the screening processes detailed, ideally providing the number of papers excluded at each stage and a summary of the reasons for exclusion. A flow chart can usually summarize this information very efficiently.
The authors should then provide a description of the papers focused on, with key study characteristics (design, location, measures) included in their analysis and supported by appropriate tables.
Next, the authors should complete a qualitative or quantitative synthesis of the research papers, with particular reference to the research question articulated in the discussion.
Discussion: This should follow the argument structure common to all research papers.
Authors may use Australian, UK or US spelling, but please avoid using a mixture of spelling styles within the manuscript. Authors should follow the latest edition of the Macquarie dictionary for Australian spelling, the Oxford dictionary for UK spelling or Webster’s dictionary for US spelling.
This journal uses minimal capitalisation, therefore authors are asked to capitalise only proper nouns (eg names and personal, program and institutional titles).
Abbreviations and local terminology: All abbreviations and acronyms should be spelled out at first use, with the exception of any acronym in the following list, all of which may be used without definition.
Abbreviations are unnecessary in the abstract unless the term is repeated in the abstract.
- AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
- AFB Acid-fast Bacteria
- BMI Body mass index
- BP Blood Pressure
- BSL Blood Sugar Level
- CB Citizens Band (radio)
- CEO Chief Executive Officer
- CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
- CT Computed Tomography
- EURIPA European Remote and Isolated Practitioner Association
- GP General Practitioner
- HCG Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin
- HF High Frequency
- HIV Human Immuno-deficiency Virus
- HRT Hormone Replacement Therapy
- ICU Intensive Care Unit
- IMF International Monetary Fund
- IHW Indigenous Health Worker
- IT Information Technology
- MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- SIDS Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
- STI Sexually Transmitted Infection
- TB Tuberculosis
- UCLA University of California, Los Angeles
- UNICEF United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund
- USA United States of America
- WHO World Health Organisation
- Wonca World Organization of Family Doctors
- WTO World Trade Organisation
Because RRH is an international journal, please give a brief explanation of any locally used terminology in the text (eg Medicade or Medicare) for the benefit of readers in other world regions.
Likewise, any references to currency should be specified at first use (eg UD$, AU$ or 'Namibian dollars (NAD)')
In accordance with international scholarly convention, all units must be provided as Système Internationale (SI) units http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/index.html. Imperial units can be given in brackets following the SI units, if desired.
Because non-keyboard characters may not reproduce reliably across platforms and after electronic transfer, the use of special characters/symbols in the text should be accompanied by a spell-out of that character in brackets, for example, c (chi), a (alpha). The bracketed text will be removed during the editing process.
Direct quotes from other published works, others' ideas (published or not) or study participants must be clearly identifiable as such. Please use either italic font or quotation marks (inverted commas) but never both.
While quotes of less than 30 words may be retained in quotation marks within a paragraph text, quotes of more than 30 words are generally indented in a separate paragraph in italic font and presented without quotation marks. These 'rules of thumb' are provided to guide authors; however, editorial judgement may result in slight variation in the published form, in order to maximize reader comprehension with reference to online layout.
Please describe statistical methods with sufficient detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify your reported results. Provide actual numbers as well as percentages in both text and tables and, wherever possible, include 'total' rows and columns in tables.
For surveys, ensure that the response rate is described and, if necessary, discuss any biases due to a low response. A justification should be provided for sample size based on the required accuracy of results. In addition, 95% confidence intervals should be given for the main results.
For intervention studies/trials, ensure that the response rate is described and any biases discussed. A justification should be provided for sample size, based on the required power.
All statistical tests should be described. If parametric analyses (eg t-test, analysis of variance or multiple regression) have been undertaken, make sure that the dependent variable was first checked for normality.
Specify in the text the statistical software used, giving company detail (name and URL). Do NOT include software detail in the reference list.
It is acknowledged that authors working in rural/remote areas may have reduced access to statistical advice. In that case, statistical queries may be emailed to the journal for advice before the manuscript is ready for submission.
The first page or beginning of the manuscript file should identify the type of article you are submitting, the title of your manuscript, the full names, position titles, institutional addresses (current at the time the work was undertaken) and current email and institutional addresses for all authors. The highest academic qualification of each author should be given.
If more than one author is registered with the journal, the correspondence nominated author should be indicated by adding an asterisk after his or her name - and a current address provided if it is different from the study address. If any author has a preferred form of name for publication, please advise. Sources of support in the form of grants, equipment and/or drugs should also be specified here, as should declarations of conflict of interest.
The main headings authors select define the structure of their manuscript. Where possible, please 'structure' the abstract and the main text using the research headings: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusions (note: the 'Discussion' heading is not used in the abstract).
If this is not possible, review manuscripts, reports, personal views and clinical material may be structured with the following heading set: Context, Issue, Lessons learned. In this case, authors should provide a thorough summary and discursive material, as well as the main points and recommendations from the manuscript.
Whichever set of main headings is selected, the same main headings will be used in abstract and main manuscript text. A mixture of main heading types is never appropriate.
In this journal, the formatting of heading grades is as follows:
Rural and Remote Health requires that the abstract be a substantial piece of writing in its own right and of 500 words' length. The abstract should state the purpose/s of the study or investigation, basic procedures followed (selection of study subjects; observational and analytical methods), main findings (including specific data and their statistical significance, if applicable), and the main conclusions. New and important aspects of the study and rural relevance should be emphasised.
Up to 10 key words in alphabetical order should be included when submitting the manuscript. Terms from Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/introduction2004.html should be considered. The key words selected from the journal key words screen during the submission process will be used after publication as search terms, and also to select registered user recipients for the article alert. The key words will also assist in cross-indexing the article at abstracting services.
For guidance as to the structure of the sections 'Introduction', 'Methods', 'Results' and 'Conclusions', authors are referred to http://www.icmje.org. For reviews, reports, personal views and clinical material the following headings should be used in the main text, as in the abstract: Context, Issue, Lessons learned.
- main headings: bold font
- level 2: bold and italic fonts
- level 3: bold font set into the paragraph and followed by a colon
- level 4: bold and italic fonts set into the paragraph with no following punctuation.
Book reviews should be accompanied by: the full title of the book reviewed; the full name/s of the author/s and/or editor/s of the volume; the date of publication; the name and city of the publisher; the ISSN and RRP in AU$, and whether the book is case bound or soft covered. Please include the reviewer's name and institutional address in the file.
The Acknowledgement section is the place to list all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship (eg someone who provided purely technical help or writing assistance) but please obtain permission to do so. Specify the role of these people (eg critically reviewed the study proposal, or cared for study patients). Financial and material support should also be acknowledged here, including detail of any organisation that has made a contribution to your research.
When listing references, follow the Vancouver style at http://www.icmje.org. However, please list the journal titles in the reference list IN FULL (ie do NOT abbreviate them). References should be cited consecutively in the text using numbers in square brackets. The numbered reference list follows the order in which references first appear in the text.
Please ensure that all reference indicators in the text are enclosed in square brackets (with no leading space before the opening bracket) and placed within punctuation (eg "Brown discussed rural access; however, White did not."). Because staff do not convert reference citations to superscript until after review and approval for publication, please do NOT format reference citations in superscript font.
Please convert endnoted reference lists to plain text. (see "Why can’t I use Endnote references?" in the Frequently Asked Questions companion document).
As well as providing journal titles in full, publication year and volume number, please provide journal issue numbers where possible. Page ranges should be given in full (eg 673-678, NOT 673-8).
Note: list all authors and/or editors up to 6; if there are more than 6, list the first 6 and add 'et al'.
Personal communications (which may only be included with permission), unpublished data and personal observations should not be included in the reference list, however they may be placed in the text (eg P Smith, pers. comm., 2001). Likewise, any statistical software used to process your data should be cited in the text, providing the name and version of the package, with the company name and a valid URL in brackets.
Footnotes must be manually repositioned within the body of the text before publication. Please integrate any textual footnotes into the main text or consider deleting them.
Some examples of the journal's style of references follow; for a more comprehensive list, please view the examples at http://www.icmje.org.
Veitch C, Hollins J, Worley P, Mitchell G. General practice research. Problems and solutions in participant recruitment and retention. Australian Family Physician 2001; 4(3): 399-406.
Hudson R, Richmond J. Unique and ordinary, 2nd edn. Melbourne, VIC: Ausmed, 2000.
Book chapter with different authors and editors
Rosenthal M, Bond MR. Behavioural and psychiatric sequelae. In: M Rosenthal, ER Griffith, JS Kreutzer, B Pentland (Eds); Rehabilitation of the adult and child with traumatic brain injury. New York, NY: FA Davis, 1990; 179-192.
[NB: the editors' initials are given BEFORE the family name]
Book: author as editor
Norman IJ, Redfern SJ (Eds). Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1996.
Report: personal author
Garnaut J, Lim-Applegate H. People in farming, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics. ABARE research report 98/6. Canberra, ACT: AGPS, 1998.
Report: corporate author
Commonwealth Department of Human Services and Health. Rural doctors: reforming undergraduate medical education for rural practice. Final report of the Rural Undergraduate Steering Committee. Canberra, ACT: AGPS, 1994.
Coombe PE, Phillips M-J, Masters R. Review of current provision of rural and remote psychiatric services. In: Proceedings, National Workshop on Remote Services; 17-19 October 2001; Alice Springs, NT. Melbourne, VIC: Blackwell Publishing Asia, 2002.
Kissane RJ. Post-hospital home health care in rural centres: access and equity for some (PhD thesis). Geelong, VIC: Deakin University, 2002.
Journal article accepted but not yet published
Slaven J, Kisely S. Staff perceptions of care for deliberate self-harm patients in rural Western Australia: a qualitative study. Australian Journal of Rural Health 2002; 10: (in press).
Journal article in electronic format
Figure legends should be added to the main text, immediately after the references. Table and figure legends should describe the table or figure without need for reference to the text.
Laurence COM, Wilkinson D. Towards more rural nursing and allied health services: current and potential rural activity in the Division of Health Sciences of the University of South Australia. Rural and Remote Health 2(1): 105. (Online) 2002. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au (Accessed 8 October 2002).
Do NOT repeat a table or figure legend in the actual table or figure.
Tables and figures should be cited in the text at least once and numbered according to their sequence of citation.
References cited in a figure, table or legend should be numbered according to the first citation of that figure or table in the text. That is, reference numbering will be continuous with the text surrounding figures and tables.
Please remember to spell out any abbreviations or acronyms that occur in a figure or table (in the legend for a figure, or as a footnote to a table). This is required even if the abbreviations or acronyms have been spelled out previously in the text.
Please do not use colour, shading or decorative formatting in tables. However, do place grid lines around all cells. Use bold font only in the header row/s.
Make table column headings descriptive but brief, with units of measurement in brackets. If you are providing both number and percent for an item, please indicate both in one column as n (%).
Footnote symbols †, ¶, §, ‡, should be used (in that order) with *, **, *** reserved for p-values.
Text used in figures/tables should be Arial font and 9 pt in size. Headings should be bold; avoid repeating titles in the figure or table. Text should have single spacing. If in doubt, check with the production editor before composing the figure. Keep in mind that figures should be meaningful, rather than decorative.
Please add figures, tables and their legends to the main text after the reference list. Production staff will place your tables and figures according to their first citation in the text, while also taking into account certain rules of composition (eg multiple tables and/or figures cited close together in the text are generally placed together).
Use the "tables" feature of your word processing program to create tables, rather than using hard returns or tabs and tab stops to separate columns of data. Please avoid aligning values in columns using the space bar.
If you have figures or photos in jpg or gif format that are not included in your manuscript, these can be submitted in a separate submission area during the article submission process. Always retain a copy of what you submit in case of file corruption or other loss.
Before making a submission to the journal, please ensure you have completed all the items in this check list. If you have any questions at this stage, please contact email@example.com and we will be pleased to assist you.
- Read Instructions for Authors.
- Supplied all author details, including institutional and current addresses.
- Indicated the nominated, submitting, contact author by including their present address (if different from the study address) and marked that name with an asterisk.
- Indicated the type of article.
- Quoted material is used with written permission and clearly identified in the manuscript.
- Used the Vancouver style of referencing, with NON-superscript text citations in [square brackets].
- Research manuscript is written in the passive (reporting) voice.
- Provided detail of ethics approval (name of IRB & approval number) at the end of the Methods section.
- References are only listed ONCE in the reference list.
- Numeric data are given in SI unitsPrepared tables and figures, and their legends, conform to Journal requirements and requested placement in the manuscript.
- Major headings conform to Journal requirements and are consistently applied to both abstract and main text.
- Spelling is consistent within the manuscript according to regional usage and appropriate dictionary, and only proper nouns (names and their titles) are capitalised.
- Included digital author image/s.
- Met requirements for consent from patients described, people who have been quoted in personal communications and those acknowledged.
After submission, your manuscript will be assessed by the relevant Regional Editor. The Regional Editor may decide to send your manuscript for peer review, to decline your manuscript, or to return it to you with feedback and a request to resubmit before the manuscript is sent for review. The Journal receives many hundred submissions each year and currently declines a high proportion of these for publication.
The Regional Editors take into account all the elements in the Instructions for Authors. In particular, an assessment will be made of:
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 (although if reviewers request it, their identity is revealed to the authors with their comments).
- The manuscript’s likely contribution to the current and future evidence base in rural and remote health. Manuscripts that do not demonstrate clear relevance to the health of rural and remote communities and/or practice and policy will not be considered. Manuscripts that demonstrate significance for an international readership are given preference.
- The quality of the work/ideas represented. Manuscripts must describe work or ideas that demonstrate appropriate originality, rigour and integrity.
- Quality of the writing. RRH is an English-language journal. Authors are advised to seek assistance with English, if necessary, prior to submission so reviewers are able to properly assess the content, relevance and standard of the work described.
- Relevant authorship. Manuscripts describing work in the developing world must include at least one author from the country studied.
If the Regional Editor assesses your manuscript as suitable for peer review it will be streamed into the Journal's refereeing process. Please view the refereeing process diagram via the link in the submission area of the site.
Your manuscript may be returned with feedback and a request for revision before the manuscript is sent out for review. After review, most contributors can expect to be asked to revise aspects of their manuscript according to reviewers' recommendations before the manuscript is accepted for publication. Authors for whom English is not first language may asked to obtain assistance to increase the clarity and strength of the writing to publication standard prior to resubmission. This will be clear from the regional editor or reviewers' comments.
Guidance can be obtained for authors of review articles and randomized controlled trials by viewing the revised Consort Statement at http://www.consort-statement.org/.
Most submitted manuscripts are reviewed according to the main criteria for article acceptance by three external experts. These criteria include:
- Specific: clarity of purpose; rural and remote health context; well organised ideas that justify conclusions; comprehensive and current references; ethical considerations addressed.
Global: significance to international readership; contribution to knowledge and/or practice in rural and remote health; appropriate language and style.
Reviewers provide a detailed report to the regional editor and recommend one of the following outcomes:
- For quantitative studies: appropriate design; justification of methods; appropriate statistical methods
- For qualitative studies: appropriate design; data are corroborated; findings are grounded in data
Authors sometimes ask how long review will take, and this is answered comprehensively in the Frequently Asked Questions companion document on the journal site.
The respective regional editor makes the final decision about the revised manuscript's suitability for publication in RRH, based on her or his own informed opinion and the recommendation of the external reviewers. On this basis, a decision is made between the options ‘accept after revision’, ‘consider after revision’ or ‘reject’ the manuscript. Sometimes the authors of a rejected manuscript will be encouraged to revise the material and submit it as a new or different type of manuscript.
- Accept the paper.
- Accept after minor/major revision (usually related to strengthening data-based arguments or identifying areas where additional data are required).
- Reject the paper for failing to meet journal criteria.
The revision decision, with reviewer comments and any other editorial feedback, is provided on the author’s status page, and an email is sent to the corresponding author.
What the journal now asks of authors is to:
Please use the following checklist prior to the resubmission of your manuscript to ensure that the revised version is of the highest standard, and so does justice to your work.
- make a careful and thoughtful revision, according to the reviewer comments
- use MS Word’s track changes function when making changes to the manuscript
- provide notes about the revision to assist the regional editor's assessment of the changes
- provide a revised manuscript that complies with the journal’s requirements (see following checklist)
- submit the revised manuscript within 6 weeks – or advise the production editor firstname.lastname@example.org if unable to do so.
Following review, please revise your manuscript using MS Word's "track changes" function so the changes made during revision will be clear to the assessing editor. When preparing your file for resubmission, please save the manuscript as a Word documents with either a .doc or .docx file extension.
- Quoted material is used with written permission and clearly identified. Permission letters or email have been forwarded to the production editor.
- Reference integrity has been restored, if necessary:
- The numeric order of references has been checked after adding, deleting, rewriting and moving text.
- The reference list has been re-ordered if necessary.
- No references are duplicated in the reference list.
- References made redundant during revision have been removed from the reference list and subsequent references renumbered - in both the list and main text.
- The reference citations in the text match those in the reference list.
- Journal titles are given in full, and issue numbers provided where possible.
- Any adjustment to numeric data has been consistently applied to abstract, main text and tables and all values given are in SI units.
- Spelling is consistent within the manuscript and only proper nouns (names and titles) are capitalised.
- Heading grades correctly reflect the structure of the revised manuscript.
- The order of tables and figures, if any have been added, deleted or moved during revision, has been corrected so the re-numbered legends now correspond with re-numbered text citations, and are now cited in numeric sequence.
- Any change in the corresponding author’s email address has been provided to the production editor.
- Any change to the manuscript title has been highlighted.
It is important at the end of the revision that all authors agree with the final version of the manuscript.
Please submit the revised manuscript via your journal status page. As well as being able to upload the revised manuscript file, you will find a screen with the title "Comments for the editorial team". This is where you paste in the text of a letter to the editor about how you did, or why you didn't, meet reviewer requirements. Notes of this type support your revision and will assist in assessing your manuscript for publication. This portal is an HTML screen and does NOT support formatting such as 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.
Once your manuscript has been resubmitted the respective regional editor will make a decision about whether it is ready for publication. Many manuscripts require more than one revision if the required changes are numerous or complex, or if the text needed development, especially English language improvement.
If you are unsure about this, or feel your comments have not been uploaded correctly, you can also email them to the production editor for advice.
Often the regional editor will assess subsequent revisions, but occasionally the revised manuscript will be referred back to the original reviewers, or a second round of review will follow resubmission. You will be notified by email if there is need for further revision.
Until 2013, once the manuscript was accepted for publication that information was added to your journal status page. However, for manuscripts accepted after 25 February 2013 the corresponding author will be advised by an automatically generated email that their revised manuscript has been accepted for publication by the Regional Editor. In either case, the approximate time to publication can be requested from the production editor email@example.com.
Sometimes a manuscript is accepted for publication on the proviso that outstanding issues are resolved during copyediting. Regardless of the need for content changes, manuscripts accepted for publication will all be copyedited.
Copyediting is a complex editorial procedure that assists readers to gain maximum benefit from the publication, and presents authors' work in the clearest and best form possible. Copyediting 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).
Elements of the manuscript that will be checked and may be corrected during copyediting include:
You can expect to receive an emailed list of editorial queries from the copyeditor prior to publication and, most commonly, these concern incorrect or incomplete references.
- completion and order of references in the list, and the order of their citations in the text
- heading grades
- spelling and grammar
- logical flow of the argument
- that information is in the correct section (eg results in the results section)
- that acronyms have been spelled out at first use
- table and figure presentation, comprehensibility and completion; and their legends.
Within weeks of answering the editorial queries generated by the copyediting process you will receive an emailed alert to logon to your journal status page and check and then approve your article online. This is your opportunity to make a final, thorough proof check of the abstract, text and tables. If you are new to peer-reviewed publication, the proofing checklist in the following section provides some guidance about checking proofs (it can also be applied to other types of publication).
This journal is not proofread externally. While every care is taken to present your material accurately, due to the complexity of the production process errors may be introduced. The author is most familiar with the manuscript and therefore in the best positions to identify whether proof corrections are needed.
If correction is required at this stage you should forward clear instructions to Jen Richmond BEFORE agreeing to the conditions of publication.
You will subsequently have an opportunity to check the corrections. Once you are satisfied with the final text, select the “agree” button and your article will be published immediately. The exceptions to this are if your manuscript is part of a supplement or special issue when all manuscripts are published together, or if otherwise advised by the production staff.
The following checklist provides some guidance about checking your online article proofs. This can be done in front of the screen, or by printing the online version out and checking the hardcopy, which will provide a better result for most authors.
After publication, the corresponding or contact author will be emailed a link to an online satisfaction survey. As well as being asked to rank specific parts of the process, there will be an opportunity to make free-text remarks.
- All quoted material is correctly attributed and permission obtained and forwarded.
- References are correctly linked from main text to reference list. If references have been re-numbered during copyediting, please check that the new order of citations in the text is correct and corresponds with the references listed.
- Numeric data are correct as provided, and no errors have been introduced during preparation for publication.
- Spelling and capitalisation are consistently applied.
- If the heading grades have been corrected during copyediting, please confirm that they now reflect the structure of the manuscript acurately.
- Tables and figures are placed correctly (ie close to their first citation in the text). The correct legends are with the correct table or figure. No errors have been introduced to data in tables reformatted to journal style during copyediting.
- All editorial changes during copyediting have been made correctly and any additional text supplied has been inserted in the appropriate place.
- All areas highlighted during copyediting correspondence for a final author check are correct.
- Author names are correct. For Letters to the Editor and book reviews, the end signature information is correct.
- Make a final quick visual check of your manuscript. This may identify gross errors otherwise overlooked.
Authors are encouraged to suggest possible improvements to the publication process, based on their experience with this and other journals. Complete anonymously is assured, and objective, constructive feedback is encouraged and valued.
Open Access The Budapest Open Access Initiative was started at a meeting in Budapest in 2001 convened by the Open Society Institute. The aim of the initiative was to accelerate progress in making research articles freely available on the Internet, using two strategies: (1) Self-archiving, where researchers can upload the results of their research, to certain prescribed standards, on the Internet; (2) The establishment of open access peer-reviewed Internet journals.
BioMed Central provides free access to peer-reviewed biomedical research, in the spirit of Budapest Open Access Initiative. Directed by a Board of Trustees, BioMed Central consists of many journals from various scientific disciplines. In most cases the authors pay for publication of their research, instead of subscribers paying for access. While original research articles are available online without charge, access to review articles is still limited to those who can pay.
The CONSORT site is a great resource for those interested in randomized controlled trial (RCT) methodology, either as author or reader. CONSORT provides a checklist and flow diagram for RCT. The checklist includes items that need to be addressed; the flow diagram gives a clear picture of the progress of participants in a trial. The CONSORT site also has links to PDFs of similar guidelines for QUOROM (systematic reviews and meta-analyses), MOOSE (meta-analysis of observational studies) and STARD (studies of diagnostic accuracy).
The Cochrane Library, published quarterly and available online, is a regularly updated collection of high quality, evidence-based medicine databases, including The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
The International Council of Medical Journal Educators site provides "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals". The basis for these guidelines was the 1978 Vancouver Group meeting of medical journal editors. These guidelines are regularly updated and are accepted by many as the industry standard. A manuscript prepared to these requirements would be acceptable to any biomedical peer-reviewed journal.
Système Internationale (SI) units, or the International System of units, is the modern metric system of measurement and is used universally in scientific and biomedical publications.
MEDLINE. MEDLINE's "Citation Matcher for Single Articles" allows a search for the abstract of any article in any journal indexed by MEDLINE.
The World Association of Medical Editors site has a collection of articles on journal writing and editing - click on "Resources for Editors" in the side panel of the home page and then select "Journal resources".
The British Medical Journal site offers free access to a collection of archived articles. Click on "Collected Resources", scroll down to "Non-clinical" resources and under "History" select "Journalology" for articles on many aspects of peer-review publication. From the Home page click on "Netprint" for an example of Open Access's self-archiving.
The COPE – Committee on Publication Ethics – site has useful information for publishers and authors (eg a detailed examination of authorship and how to avoid authorship disputes).
The STROBE Statement (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology.
The STARD (STAndards for the Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy studies).
The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) Statement website aims to assist authors to improve the reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
Copyright Rural and Remote Health 2002. Revised January 2013. Last modified 15 April 2013.