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FAQ

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'm not sure what category of article my manuscript is

Which is the correct region for my manuscript?

What does the word count include?

Which referencing style should I use?

How should I format the reference citations in the text?

Does Rural and Remote Health 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 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?

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

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

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?

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

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

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?

Please email our editorial office<mailto:ejrh@rrh.org.au>.

Does this journal have an impact factor?

The ISI impact factor for Rural and Remote Health is 0.783 (July 2016).

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

Check the article categories given in the Information for authors<link to 'Information for authors/Preparation of manuscripts'>. If you are still unclear you can use search for examples of different article types or email our editorial office<mailto:ejrh@rrh.org.au> for advice.

Which is the correct 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 definition of world regions is available in the Information for authors<link to 'Information for authors/Regional structure'>.

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?

Please use the Vancouver numbered referencing style. The Vancouver style is described by the ICMJE<link to 'http://www.icmje.org/'>. The Rural and Remote Health 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 our Information for authors<link to 'Information for authors/Sections of the manuscript'>. The reference list at the end of the document should be 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 labelled '1' in the reference list, the second reference to be cited in the text is labelled '2' in the reference list, 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].

Does Rural and Remote Health 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'). 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 Rural and Remote Health 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 that do not need to be spelled out at all (see our Information for authors<link to 'Information for authors/Sections of the manuscript'> for further details).

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 Journal style to include essential footnoted information in brackets in the main text.

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 linked footnotes or endnotes, so these must be converted to plain text 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 Journal style to give them in full.

How should I format tables in my manuscript?

Tables should be formatted in cells using the 'Table' functions in Microsoft Word (or equivalent). Please do not use colour, shading or fancy formatting. Our Information for authors<link to 'Information for authors/Sections of the manuscript'> provides further details.

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.

Is ethics approval mandatory for research manuscripts?

Ethics approval is required for all Original Research manuscripts in Rural and Remote Health.

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

The rules of copyright protect individuals' intellectual property. They require that for ANY previously published material used in your manuscript, you must have written permission 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 our editorial office<mailto:ejrh@rrh.org.au>.

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.

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

In order to avoid the academic misconduct of 'duplicate publication', please ensure that the content of any manuscript submitted to Rural and Remote Health 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 Rural and Remote Health must be the first time the content has been used for publication anywhere. Rural and Remote Health vigorously investigates suspected duplicate publication.

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 a Rural and Remote Health 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.

What happens after manuscript submission?

  • Each new manuscript is assessed by the appropriate Regional Editor for its match with the Journal's 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 the Journal's 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 that 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, accept after revision, consider after revision or reject) and the decision, with reviewers' comments, is provided to the corresponding author.

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. Staff at our editorial office<mailto:ejrh@rrh.org.au> are 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 our editorial office<mailto:ejrh@rrh.org.au>.

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).

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

Please log in to the journal site and change your details. This is especially important for changes to the corresponding author's current email address.

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.

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 scope of the journal (available from our Information for authors<link to 'Information for authors/Scope and content'), 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.

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. Please contact our editorial office<mailto:ejrh@rrh.org.au>. We are always interested in your experience as authors and any suggestions you have for improvement. You may also email the relevant Regional Editor. For serious issues or those that have not been resolved at other levels, contact the Editor in Chief.

Revised September 2016.

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