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Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines

 

Please view the Author Tutorial for guidance on how to submit on Editorial Manager. 

 

To submit a manuscript, please proceed to the AJHPE Editorial Manager website: 

www.editorialmanager.com/ajhpe

 

To access and submit an article already in production, please see the guidelines here.

 

Author Guidelines

Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the policies and processes below. If you still have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask our editorial staff (tel.: +27 (0)21 532 1281, email: submissions@hmpg.co.za).

 

 

Authorship

Named authors must consent to publication. Authorship should be based on: (i) substantial contribution to conceptualisation, design, analysis and interpretation of data; (ii) drafting or critical revision of important scientific content; or (iii) approval of the version to be published. These conditions must all be met for an individual to be included as an author (uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals; refer to www.icmje.org)

 

If authors’ names are added or deleted after submission of an article, or the order of the names is changed, all authors must agree to this in writing.

 

Please note that co-authors will be requested to verify their contribution upon submission. Non-verification may lead to delays in the processing of submissions.

Author contributions should be listed/described in the manuscript.

Conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest can derive from any kind of relationship or association that may influence authors’ or reviewers’ opinions about the subject matter of a paper. The existence of a conflict – whether actual, perceived or potential – does not preclude publication of an article. However, we aim to ensure that, in such cases, readers have all the information they need to enable them to make an informed assessment about a publication’s message and conclusions. We require that both authors and reviewers declare all sources of support for their research, any personal or financial relationships (including honoraria, speaking fees, gifts received, etc) with relevant individuals or organisations connected to the topic of the paper, and any association with a product or subject that may constitute a real, perceived or potential conflict of interest. If you are unsure whether a specific relationship constitutes a conflict, please contact the editorial team for advice. If a conflict remains undisclosed and is later brought to the attention of the editorial team, it will be considered a serious issue prompting an investigation with the possibility of retraction.

 

Research ethics committee approval

Authors must provide evidence of Research Ethics Committee approval of the research where relevant. Ensure the correct, full ethics committee name and reference number is included in the manuscript.

If the study was carried out using data from provincial healthcare facilities, or required active data collection through facility visits or staff interviews, approval should be sought from the relevant provincial authorities. For South African authors, please refer to the guidelines for submission to the National Health Research Database. Research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki. Please refer to the National Department of Health’s guideline on Ethics in Health research: principles, processes and structures to ensure that the appropriate requirements for conducting research have been met, and that the HPCSA’s General Ethical Guidelines for Health Researchers have been adhered to.

 

Protection of rights to privacy

Research Participants

Information that would enable identification of individual research participants should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, radiographs and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) has given informed written consent for publication and distribution. We further recommend that the published article is disseminated not only to the involved researchers but also to the patients/participants from whom the data was drawn. Refer to Protection of Research Participants. The signed consent form should be submitted with the manuscript to enable verification by the editorial team.

 

Other individuals

Any individual who is identifiable in an image must provide written agreement that the image may be used in that context in the AJHPE.

 

Copyright notice

Copyright remains in the Author’s name. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial Works License. Authors are required to complete and sign an Author Agreement form that outlines Author and Publisher rights and terms of publication. The Agreement form should be uploaded along with other submissions files and any submission will be considered incomplete without it [forthcoming].

 

Material submitted for publication in the AJHPE is accepted provided it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please inform the editorial team if the main findings of your paper have been presented at a conference and published in abstract form, to avoid copyright infringement. The AJHPE does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors. The corresponding author should also indicate if the research forms part of a postgraduate short report, dissertation or thesis.

Previously published images

If an image/figure has been previously published, permission to reproduce or alter it must be obtained by the authors from the original publisher and the figure legend must give full credit to the original source. This credit should be accompanied by a letter indicating that permission to reproduce the image has been granted to the author/s. This letter should be uploaded as a supplementary file during submission.

 

Privacy statement

The AJHPE is committed to protecting the privacy of its website and submission system users. The names, personal particulars and email addresses entered in the website or submission system will not be made available to any  third party without the user’s permission or due process. By registering to use the website or submission system, users consent to receive communication from the AJHPE or its publisher HMPG on matters relating to the journal or associated publications. Queries with regard to privacy may be directed to publishing@hmpg.co.za.

 

Ethnic/race classification

Use of racial or ethnicity classifications in research is fraught with problems. If you choose to use a research design that involves classification of participants based on race or ethnicity, or discuss issues with reference to such classifications, please ensure that you include a detailed rationale for doing so, ensure that the categories you describe are carefully defined, and that socioeconomic, cultural and lifestyle variables that may underlie perceived racial disparities are appropriately controlled for. Please also clearly specify whether race or ethnicity is classified as reported by the patient (self-identifying) or as perceived by the investigators. Please note thatit is not appropriate to use self-reported or investigator-assigned racial or ethnic categories for genetic studies.

 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

AJHPE is an HPCSA-accredited service provider of CPD materials. Principal authors can earn up to 15 CPD continuing education units (CEUs) for publishing an article; co-authors are eligible to earn up to 5 CEUs; and reviewers of articles can earn 3 CEUs. Each month, AJHPE also publishes a CPD-accredited questionnaire relating to the academic content of the journal. Successful completion of the questionnaire with a pass rate of 70% will earn the reader 3 CEUs. Administration of our CPD programme is managed by Medical Practice Consulting. To complete questionnaires and obtain certificates, please visit MRP Consulting

 

Manuscript preparation

Preparing an article for anonymous review

 

To ensure a fair and unbiased review process, all submissions are to include an anonymised version of the manuscript. The exceptions to this requirement are Correspondence, Book reviews and Obituary submissions.

 

Submitting a manuscript that needs additional blinding can slow down your review process, so please be sure to follow these simple guidelines as much as possible:

  • An anonymous version should not contain any author, affiliation or particular institutional details that will enable identification.
  • Please remove title page, acknowledgements, contact details, funding grants to a named person, and any running headers of author names.
  • Mask self-citations by referring to your own work in third person.

 

General article format/layout

Submitted manuscripts that are not in the correct format specified in these guidelines will be returned to the author(s) for correction prior to being sent for review, which will delay publication.

General:

  • Manuscripts must be written in UK English (this includes spelling).
  • The manuscript must be in Microsoft Word or RTF document format. Text must be 1.5 line spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, and contain no unnecessary formatting (such as text in boxes). Pages and lines should be numbered consecutively.
  • Please make your article concise, even if it is below the word limit.
  • Qualifications, full affiliation (department, school/faculty, institution, city, country) and contact details of ALL authors must be provided in the manuscript and in the online submission process.
  • Include sections on Acknowledgements, Conflict of Interest, Author Contributions and Funding sources. If none is applicable, please state ‘none’. 
  • Abbreviations should be spelt out when first used and thereafter used consistently, e.g. 'intravenous (IV)' or 'Department of Health (DoH)'.
  • Numbers should be written as grouped per thousand-units, i.e. 4 000, 22 160.
  • Quotes should be placed in single quotation marks: i.e. The respondent stated: '...'
  • Round brackets (parentheses) should be used, as opposed to square brackets, which are reserved for denoting concentrations or insertions in direct quotes.

If you wish material to be in a box, simply indicate this in the text. You may use the table format –this is the only exception. Please DO NOT use fill, format lines and so on.

 

Preparation notes by article type

 

Research

Guideline word limit: 3 000 words (excluding abstract and bibliography)

Research articles describe the background, methods, results and conclusions of an original research study. The article should contain the following sections: introduction, methods, results, discussion and conclusion, and should include a structured abstract (see below). The introduction should be concise – no more than three paragraphs – on the background to the research question, and must include references to other relevant published studies that clearly lay out the rationale for conducting the study. Some common reasons for conducting a study are: to fill a gap in the literature, a logical extension of previous work, or to answer an important question. If other papers related to the same study have been published previously, please make sure to refer to them specifically. Describe the study methods in as much detail as possible so that others would be able to replicate the study should they need to. Where appropriate, sample size calculations should be included to demonstrate that the study is not underpowered. Results should describe the study sample as well as the findings from the study itself, but all interpretation of findings must be kept in the discussion section. The conclusion should briefly summarise the main message of the paper and provide recommendations for further study.

  • May include up to 6 illustrations or tables.
  • A  max of 20 - 25 references

 

Structured abstract

  • This should be no more than 250 words, with the following recommended headings:
    • Background: why the study is being done and how it relates to other published work.
    • Objectives: what the study intends to find out
    • Methods: must include study design, number of participants, description of the research tools/instruments, any specific analyses that were done on the data.
    • Results: first sentence must be brief population and sample description; outline the results according to the methods described. Primary outcomes must be described first, even if they are not the most significant findings of the study.
    • Conclusion: must be supported by the data, include recommendations for further study/actions.
    • Please ensure that the structured abstract is complete, accurate and clear and has been approved by all authors. It should be able to be intelligible to the reader without referral to the main body of the article.
    • Do not include any references in the abstracts.

 

Here is an example of a good abstract.

 

Scientific letters/short reports

 

These are shorter length, scholarly research articles of no more than 1500 words. Single-institution, and/or studies with sample sizes <100 are better submitted as short reports.

Guideline word limit: 1500 words

  • Abstract: Structured, of about 250 words, with the following recommended headings: Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, and Conclusion.
  • May include only one illustration or table
  • A  maximum of 8 references

 

 

Forum articles

Are personal opinion pieces that address an area in health professions education that would be of interest to the readership. Forum pieces while reflecting the authors personal views, should be scholarly, and arguments well-supported.

  • They should not exceed 1000 words
  • Up to 5 references are allowed.

 

Short communications

Are very brief articles that share work in progress, lessons learnt or innovations in medical education.

  • They should be no more than 500 words in length
  • A maximum of 3 references, and 1 table or figure.
  • Short Communications should be structured under the following headings: Why was the idea necessary ( Problem), What was tried (Approach) and What were the lessons learnt (Outcomes).

 

 

Correspondence (Letters to the Editor)

Guideline word limit: 400 words

Letters to the editor should relate either to a paper or article published by the AJHPE or to a topical issue of particular relevance to the journal’s readership

  • May include only one illustration or table
  • Must include a correspondence address.

 

Obituaries

Guideline word limit: 400 words

Should be offered within the first year of the practitioner’s death, and may be accompanied by a photograph.

 

Illustrations/photos/scans

  • If illustrations submitted have been published elsewhere, the author(s) should provide evidence of consent to republication obtained from the copyright holder.
  • Figures must be numbered in Arabic numerals and referred to in the text e.g. '(Fig. 1)'.
  • Each figure must have a caption/legend: Fig. 1. Description (any abbreviations in full).
  • All images must be of high enough resolution/quality for print.
  • All illustrations (graphs, diagrams, charts, etc.) must be in PDF form.
  • Ensure all graph axes are labelled appropriately, with a heading/description and units (as necessary) indicated. Do not include decimal places if not necessary e.g. 0; 1.0; 2.0; 3.0; 4.0 etc.
  • Each image must be attached individually as a 'supplementary file' upon submission (not solely embedded in the accompanying manuscript) and named Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.

 

Tables

  • Tables should be constructed carefully and simply for intelligible data representation. Unnecessarily complicated tables are strongly discouraged.
  • Large tables will generally not be accepted for publication in their entirety. Please consider shortening and using the text to highlight specific important sections, or offer a large table as an addendum to the publication, but available in full on request from the author.
  • Embed/include each table in the manuscript Word file - do not provide separately as supplementary files.
  • Number each table in Arabic numerals (Table 1, Table 2, etc.) consecutively as they are referred to in the text.
  • Tables must be cell-based (i.e. not constructed with text boxes or tabs) and editable.
  • Ensure each table has a concise title and column headings, and include units where necessary.
  • Footnotes must be indicated with consecutive use of the following symbols: * † ‡ § ¶ || then ** †† ‡‡ etc.

 

Do not: Use [Enter] within a row to make ‘new rows’:

 

Rather:

Each row of data must have its own proper row:

 

Do not: use separate columns for n and %:

 

Rather:

Combine into one column, n (%):

 

Do not: have overlapping categories, e.g.:

 

Rather:

Use <> symbols or numbers that don’t overlap:

 

 

References

NB: Only complete, correctly formatted reference lists in Vancouver style will be accepted. If reference manager software is used, the reference list and citations in text are to be unformatted to plain text before submitting..

  • Authors must verify references from original sources.
  • Citations should be inserted in the text as superscript numbers between square brackets, e.g. These regulations are endorsed by the World Health Organization,[2] and others.[3,4-6]
  • All references should be listed at the end of the article in numerical order of appearance in the Vancouver style (not alphabetical order).
  • Approved abbreviations of journal titles must be used; see the List of Journals in Index Medicus.
  • Names and initials of all authors should be given; if there are more than six authors, the first three names should be given followed by et al.
  • Volume and issue numbers should be given.
  • First and last page, in full, should be given e.g.: 1215-1217 not 1215-17.
  • Wherever possible, references must be accompanied by a digital object identifier (DOI) link). Authors are encouraged to use the DOI lookup service offered by CrossRef:
    • On the Crossref homepage, paste the article title into the ‘Metadata search’ box.
    • Look for the correct, matching article in the list of results.
    • Click Actions > Cite
    • Alongside 'url =' copy the URL between { }.
    • Provide as follows, e.g.: https://doi.org/10.7196/07294.937.98x

 

Some examples:

  • Journal references: Price NC, Jacobs NN, Roberts DA, et al. Importance of asking about glaucoma. Stat Med 1998;289(1):350-355. http://dx.doi.org/10.1000/hgjr.182
  • Book references: Jeffcoate N. Principles of Gynaecology. 4th ed. London: Butterworth, 1975:96-101.
  • Chapter/section in a book: Weinstein L, Swartz MN. Pathogenic Properties of Invading Microorganisms. In: Sodeman WA, Sodeman WA, eds. Pathologic Physiology: Mechanisms of Disease. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1974:457-472.
  • Internet references: World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2002 - Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. Geneva: WHO, 2002. http://www.who.int/whr/2002 (accessed 16 January 2010).
  • Legal references
  • Government Gazettes:

National Department of Health, South Africa. National Policy for Health Act, 1990 (Act No. 116 of 1990). Free primary health care services. Government Gazette No. 17507:1514. 1996.

In this example, 17507 is the Gazette Number. This is followed by :1514 - this is the notice number in this Gazette.

  • Provincial Gazettes:

Gauteng Province, South Africa; Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs. Publication of the Gauteng health care waste management draft regulations. Gauteng Provincial Gazette No. 373:3003, 2003.

  • Acts:

South Africa. National Health Act No. 61 of 2003.

  • Regulations to an Act:

South Africa. National Health Act of 2003. Regulations: Rendering of clinical forensic medicine services. Government Gazette No. 35099, 2012. (Published under Government Notice R176).

  • Bills:

South Africa. Traditional Health Practitioners Bill, No. B66B-2003, 2006.

  • Green/white papers:

South Africa. Department of Health Green Paper: National Health Insurance in South Africa. 2011.

  • Case law:

Rex v Jopp and Another 1949 (4) SA 11 (N)

Rex v Jopp and Another:  Name of the parties concerned

1949: Date of decision (or when the case was heard)

(4): Volume number

SA: SA Law Reports

11: Page or section number

(N): In this case Natal - where the case was heard. Similarly, (C) woud indicate Cape, (G) Gauteng, and so on.

NOTE: no . after the v

  • Other references (e.g. reports) should follow the same format: Author(s). Title. Publisher place: Publisher name, year; pages.
  • Cited manuscripts that have been accepted but not yet published can be included as references followed by '(in press)'.
  • Unpublished observations and personal communications in the text must not appear in the reference list. The full name of the source person must be provided for personal communications e.g. '...(Prof. Michael Jones, personal communication)'.

 

From submission to acceptance

Submission and peer-review

To submit an article:

  • Please ensure that you have prepared your manuscript in line with the AJHPE requirements.
  • All submissions should be submitted via Editorial Manager
  • The following are required for your submission to be complete:
    • Anonymous manuscript (unless otherwise stated)
    • Author Agreement form
    • Manuscript
    • Any supplementary files: figures, datasets, patient consent form, permissions for published images, etc.
    • Once the submission has been successfully processed on Editorial Manager, it will undergo a technical check by the Editorial Office before it will be assigned to an editor who will handle the review process. If the author guidelines have not been appropriately followed, the manuscript may be sent back to the author for correcting.

 

Peer Review Process

 

All manuscripts are reviewed initially by the Editor-in-Chief and only those that meet the scientific and editorial standards of the journal, and fit within the aims and scope of the journal, will be sent for external peer review. Each manuscript is reviewed by two reviewers selected on the basis of their expertise in the field. A double blind review process is followed at AJHPE.

 

Authors are expected to receive feedback from reviewers and an editorial decision within approximately 6 weeks of submission. The time period of the entire review process may vary however depending upon the quality of the manuscript submitted, reviewers’ responses and the time taken by the authors to submit the revised manuscript.

 

Manuscripts from review may be accepted, rejected or returned to the author for revision or resubmission for review. Authors will be directed to submit revised manuscripts within two months of receiving the editor’s decision, and are requested to submit a point by point response to the reviewers’ comments. Manuscripts which authors are requested to revise and resubmit will be sent for a second round of peer review, often to the original set of reviewers. All final decisions on a manuscript are at the Editor's discretion.

Article Processing Charges

There is currently no article-processing charge (APC), also known as page fees, for the publication of manuscripts. 

Please refer to the section on ‘Sponsored Supplements’ regarding the publication of supplements, where a charge is currently applicable. Queries can be directed to Claudian@hmpg.co.za

 

Production process

The following process should usually take between 4 - 6 weeks:

  1. An accepted manuscript is passed to a Managing Editor to assign to a copyeditor (CE).
  2. The CE copyedits in Word, working on house style, format, spelling/grammar/punctuation, sense and consistency, and preparation for typesetting.
  3. If the CE has an author queries, he/she will contact the corresponding author and send them the copyedited Word doc, asking them to solve the queries by means of track changes or comment boxes.
  4. The authors are typically asked to respond within 1-3 days. Any comments/changes must be clearly indicated e.g. by means of track changes. Do not work in the original manuscript - work in the copyedited file sent to you and make your changes clear.
  5. The CE will finalise the article and then it will be typeset.
  6. Once typeset, the CE will send a PDF of the file to the authors to complete their final check, while simultaneously sending to the 2nd-eye proofreader.
  7. The authors are typically asked to complete their final check and sign-off within 1-2 days. No major additional changes can be accommodated at this point.
  8. The CE implements the authors’ and proofreader’s mark-ups, finalises the file, and prepares it for the upcoming issue.

 

Changing contact details or authorship

Please notify the Editorial Department of any contact detail changes, including email, to facilitate communication.

 

Errata and retractions

Errata

Should you become aware of an error or inaccuracy in yours or someone else’s contribution after it has been published, please inform us as soon as possible via an email to publishing@hmpg.co.za,including the following details:

  • Journal, volume and issue in which published
  • Article title and authors
  • Description of error and details of where it appears in the published article
  • Full detail of proposed correction and rationale

 

We will investigate the issue and provide feedback. If appropriate, we will correct the web version immediately, and will publish an erratum in the next issue. All investigations will be conducted in accordance with guidelines provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

 

Retractions

Retraction of an article is the prerogative of either the original authors or the editorial team of HMPG. Should you wish to withdraw your article before publication, we need a signed statement from all the authors.

 

Should you wish to retract your published article, all authors have to agree in writing before publication of the retraction.

Send an email to publishing@hmpg.co.za, including the following details:

  • Journal, volume and issue to which article was submitted/in which article was published
  • Article title and authors
  • Description of reason for withdrawal/retraction.

 

We will make a decision on a case-by-case basis upon review by the editorial committee in line with international best practices. Comprehensive feedback will be communicated with the authors with regard to the process. In case where there is any suspected fraud or professional misconduct, we will follow due process as recommended by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and in liaison with any relevant institutions.

 

When a retraction is published, it will be linked to the original article.

 

Indexing

Published articles are covered by the following major indexing services. As such articles published in the AJHPE are immediately available to all users of these databases, guaranteed a global and African audience:

  • DOAJ
  • AIM
  • AJOL
  • Crossref
  • Sabinet
  • EBSCO

 

Sponsored supplements

Contact claudian@hmpg.co.za for information on submitting ad hoc/commissioned supplements, including guidelines, conference/congress abstracts, Festschrifts, etc.

 

 

 

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. Named authors consent to publication and meet the requirements of authorship as set out by the journal.
  2. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration.
  3. The text complies with the stylistic and bibliographic requirements in Author Guidelines.
  4. The manuscript is in Microsoft Word document format. The text is 1.5-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, and contains no unnecessary formatting.
  5. Illustrations/figures are high resolution/quality (not compressed) and in an acceptable format (preferably JPEG or PDF). These must be submitted as 'supplementary files' (not in the manuscript).
  6. For illustrations/figures or tables that have been published elsewhere, the author has obtained written consent to republication from the copyright holder.
  7. Where possible, references are accompanied by a digital object identifier (DOI).
  8. An abstract has been included where applicable.
  9. The research was approved by a Research Ethics Committee (if applicable)
  10. Any conflict of interest (or competing interests) is indicated by the author(s).
 

Copyright Notice

Copyright remains in the Author’s name. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial Works License. Authors are required to complete and sign an and Author Agreement Form that outlines Author and Publisher rights and terms of publication. The Author agreement form  should be uploaded along with other submissions files and any submission will be considered incomplete without it.

Material submitted for publication in the AJHPE is accepted provided it has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. Please inform the editorial team if the main findings of your paper have been presented at a conference and published in abstract form, to avoid copyright infringement. The AJHPE does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.

Previously published images

If an image/figure has been previously published, permission to reproduce or alter it must be obtained by the authors from the original publisher and the figure legend must give full credit to the original source. This credit should be accompanied by a letter indicating that permission to reproduce the image has been granted to the author/s. This letter should be uploaded as a supplementary file during submission.

 

Privacy Statement

The AJHPE is committed to protecting the privacy of the users of this journal website. The names, personal particulars and email addresses entered in this website will be used only for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available to third parties without the user’s permission or due process. Users consent to receive communication from the AJHPE for the stated purposes of the journal. Queries with regard to privacy may be directed to publishing@hmpg.co.za.