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Information For Authors

Scope and content

Regional structure

Ethics

Manuscript submission

Preparation of manuscripts

Sections of the manuscript

Checklist for manuscript submission

Manuscript evaluation, peer review and revision

Acceptance, proofs and publication

Scope and content

Rural and Remote Health is funded by Australian University Departments of Rural Health (ARHEN members) and Australian Rural Clinical Schools (FRAME members), 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; research letters; and 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.

The journal has no subscription fees, nor are there any article processing charges or submission charges.

Readers may register to receive immediate email notification of published articles in their areas of interest.

Regional structure

Rural and Remote Health consists of six regional sections (Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Latin America 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.

The Journal 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.

Table 1. Countries according to the Rural and Remote Health regional division

Africa

Asia

Australasia

Europe

Latin America

North America

All countries on the
African continent,
including Egypt

Asia

New Guinea and Papua

Europe and Continental Europe

South America

Greenland

Island nations of
Cape Verde,
São Tomé and Príncipe,
Madagascar,
the Comoros,
the Seychelles
and Mauritius

India

Australia and East Timor

Spain, UK, Ireland, Iceland

Central America

Arctic Circle

Turkey*

New Zealand

Malta, Cyprus

Caribbean

Canada

Middle East

Oceania: Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia

Russia

Mexico

USA (including Hawaii)

South East Asia (excluding East Timor)

Antarctica

Turkey*

*Authors can select Asia or Europe for manuscripts originating in Turkey.

Ethics

Ethical concerns

Submission of a manuscript to Rural and Remote Health implies that all named 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 that 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 the 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. The voice of the local community is clearest to those within that community, and an outsider's view is always that.

Duplicate publication

Any submission to Rural and Remote Health must be the first time the content has been used for publication anywhere.

Please ensure that the content of any manuscript submitted to the Journal is not under consideration by any other journal, and has not been published previously in any print or electronic form including (but not limited to): 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; or as part of a full-length article in published conference proceedings. However, submission is welcomed of full-text articles based on published abstracts, or verbal or poster presentations at conferences or meetings, provided subsequent publication will not infringe existing copyright.

Suspected duplicate publication will be vigorously investigated.

Authorship

All authors should be listed during manuscript submission. 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 Acknowledgements and their contributions stated.

For a full definition of Authorship, please access consult the ICMJE recommendations. COPE also provides comprehensive information about authorship.

Changes to authorship

After a manuscript has been submitted to the Journal, requests to add an author, remove an author or change the order of authors should be made in writing by the corresponding author to the respective Regional Editor, via the Senior Editor. Such changes will not be made without the written agreement of the entire author group.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's published and unpublished ideas or words (intellectual property) without full attribution (referencing). This applies to all instances of another's work, including abstracts, reports, grant applications and published or unpublished 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 COPE protocol.

All manuscripts submitted to the Journal 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 Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, available from ICMJE.

Self-plagiarism

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, the Journal'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).

Retractions

In accordance with COPE guidelines (Retraction Guidelines 2009) the Editor in Chief will retract a publication 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.

An expression of concern 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.

A correction may be issued if:

  • 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).

Copyright-protected material

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 libelous statements are avoided, because authors are liable for any subsequent legal action.

When an article is accepted for publication in Rural and Remote Health, all authors are required to sign an exclusive licence to publish. See Copyright for further information.

Manuscript submission

Rural and Remote Health welcomes the submission of relevant manuscripts. To contribute, register with the Journal and select the Contribute link. All authors should first register with the Journal.

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 and contribution to the manuscript. On completion of that screen, the submitting author will be asked to upload the manuscript (as a Microsoft Word document) along with any non-embedded figures.

The submitting person will be designated as the corresponding person. It is therefore not appropriate for a person other than the corresponding person to submit the manuscript. The corresponding author should also ensure that any email address already registered with the journal is current.

Once the manuscript has been submitted, its progress can be monitored by the corresponding author logging in to the Journal website.

New authors or those who have questions can seek advice from the Journal editorial team.

Preparation of manuscripts

Format

The manuscript should be prepared using Microsoft Word, 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.

Line numbering

Please add line numbers to the document before submission to facilitate reviewer feedback.

Style

Manuscripts should follow the style of the Vancouver Agreement as detailed in the 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals' available from ICMJE.

Please be aware that Rural and Remote Health style varies slightly from the style described on the ICMJE site, for example articles should 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 the 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...') will be returned to the authors for conversion to the passive voice (eg 'The study was designed to...') 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.

Article types

  • Editorial (<2000 words)
  • Commentary (<2000 words)
  • Original Research (<5000 words)
  • Review Article (<5000 words)
  • Clinical Case Report (<3000 words)
  • Clinical Review (<3000 words)
  • Short Communication (<1500 words)
  • Policy Report (<2500 words)
  • Project Report (<2500 words)
  • Conference Report (<2500 words)
  • Personal View (<3000 words)
  • Rural Health History (<2000 words)
  • Biography, Tribute or Obituary (<1500 words)
  • Book Review (<500 words)
  • Letter to the Editor (<500 words)
  • Research Letter (<500 words)

    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. One small table may be included, if necessary.

  • Systematic Review (<5000 words)

    Should be conducted as detailed in the PRISMA Statement.

Spelling and capitalisation

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.

  • 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 Organization
  • Wonca World Organization of Family Doctors
  • WTO World Trade Organisation

Abbreviations are unnecessary in the abstract unless the term is repeated in the abstract.

Because Rural and Remote Health 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)')

Units

In accordance with international scholarly convention, all units must be provided as Système Internationale (SI) units. Imperial units can be given in brackets following the SI units, if desired.

Special characters

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, χ (chi), α (alpha). The bracketed text will be removed during the editing process.

Quoted material

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 maximise reader comprehension with reference to online layout.

Statistics

Please describe statistical methods with sufficient detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify 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.

Sections of the manuscript

Title page

The first page or beginning of the manuscript file should identify the type of article being submitted, the title of the 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.

Headings

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 (with the exception of 'Discussion' heading). A mixture of main heading types is never appropriate.

In this journal, the formatting of heading grades is as follows:

  • 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.

Abstract

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.

Key words

Up to 10 key words (presented in alphabetical order) should be included when submitting the manuscript. Terms from Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) could be considered. The key words selected from the journal key words screen during the submission process will be used after publication as search terms. Interests associated with the manuscript will be used to select registered user recipients for the article alert. The key words will also assist in cross-indexing the article at abstracting services.

Main text

For guidance as to the structure of the sections 'Introduction', 'Methods', 'Results' and 'Conclusions', authors are referred to the ICMJE. For reports, personal views and clinical material the following headings should be used in the main text, as in the abstract: Context, Issue, Lessons learned.

For all research articles, ethics approval detail (including name of Institutional Review Board and approval number) should be placed at the end of the Methods section under the heading 'Ethics approval'.

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.

Acknowledgements

The Acknowledgements 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 the research.

References

When listing references, follow the Vancouver numbered style of the ICMJE. However, please list the journal titles in the reference list IN FULL. References should be cited consecutively in the text using numbers. 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[23]; however, White did not[24].'). 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.

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).

Please convert endnoted reference lists to plain text.

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 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.

SET 1

Journal article

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.

Book

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.

Conference paper

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.

Thesis (unpublished)

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

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 (Internet) 2002; 2(1): 105. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=105 (Accessed 3 January 2016).

SET 2

Journal article

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.

Journal article in electronic format, with DOI

Riley K, Schmidt D. Does online learning click with rural nurses? A qualitative study. Australian Journal of Rural Health 2016; 24(4): 265-270. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajr.12263

Journal article in electronic format, no DOI available

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 (Internet) 2002; 2(1): 105. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=105 (Accessed 3 January 2016).

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).

Book

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.

Conference paper

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.

Thesis (unpublished)

Kissane RJ. Post-hospital home health care in rural centres: access and equity for some (PhD thesis). Geelong, VIC: Deakin University, 2002.

Tables and figures

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.

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. References should only be cited in a table heading and not within the table itself, unless those reference numbers also appear in the main text.

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 both number and percent are being provided 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. 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. Staff will place 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 the manuscript, these can be submitted during the article submission process. Always retain a copy of what is submitted in case of file corruption or other loss.

Checklist for manuscript submission

Before making a submission to the Journal, please ensure you have completed all the items in this checklist. If you have any questions at this stage, please contact us and we will be pleased to assist you.

  • Read Information for Authors.
  • Supplied all author details. Note that author addresses should indicate where the research was conducted.
  • Indicated the nominated, submitting, corresponding author by including their present address (if different from the study address).
  • Indicated the type of article.
  • Used quoted material with written permission and clearly identified quotes using quotes or italics in the manuscript.
  • Used the Vancouver style of referencing, with non-superscript text citations in [square brackets].
  • Written research manuscripts in the passive reporting voice.
  • Provided detail of ethics approval (name of IRB and approval number) at the end of the Methods section under a heading called 'Ethics approval'.
  • Numbered references in the order they are cited and listed them only once in the reference list.
  • Given numeric data in SI units (Imperial units may also be provided in brackets).
  • Prepared tables and figures, and their legends, to conform to Journal requirements and suggested placement in the manuscript.
  • Used major headings that conform to Journal requirements and have consistently applied these to both abstract and main text.
  • Used spelling that is consistent within the manuscript and with the dictionary appropriate to the region to which the article was submitted; and capitalised only proper nouns (names and titles).
  • Met requirements for consent from patients described, people who have been quoted in personal communications and those acknowledged.

Manuscript evaluation, peer review and revision

After submission, the manuscript will be assessed by the relevant regional editor. The regional editor may decide to send the manuscript for peer review, decline it, or return it with feedback and a request to submit an amended version before the manuscript is sent for review. The Journal receives many hundreds of submissions each year and currently declines a high proportion of these for publication.

Initial criteria for decline or review

The Regional Editors take into account all the elements in the Information for Authors. In particular, an assessment will be made of:

  • 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 generally preferred.
  • The quality of the work/ideas represented. Manuscripts must describe work or ideas that demonstrate appropriate originality, rigour and integrity.
  • Quality of the writing. Rural and Remote Health 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.

Peer review

If the Regional Editor assesses the manuscript as suitable for peer review it will be streamed into the Journal's refereeing process.

The de-identified review copy is usually sent to three 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 (although if reviewers request it, their identity is revealed to the authors with their comments).

The 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 their first language may be 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.

Most manuscripts are reviewed according to the following main criteria for article acceptance:

1. Specific: clarity of purpose; Rural and Remote Health context; well organised ideas that justify conclusions; comprehensive and current references; ethical considerations addressed.

  • For quantitative studies: appropriate design; justification of methods; appropriate statistical methods
  • For qualitative studies: appropriate design; data are corroborated; findings are grounded in data

2. 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:

1. Accept the paper.

2. Accept the paper after minor/major revision (usually related to strengthening data-based arguments or identifying areas where additional data are required).

3. Reject the paper for failing to meet journal criteria.

Revision

The respective Regional Editor makes the final decision about the revised manuscript's suitability for publication in Rural and Remote Health, 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.

The revision decision, with reviewer comments and any other editorial feedback, is provided to the corresponding author. What the journal now asks of authors is to:

  • 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 4 weeks - or advise the Senior Editor if unable to do so.

Checklist for revision

Please use the following checklist prior to the resubmission of the manuscript to ensure that the revised version is of the highest standard, and so does justice to your work.

  • Quoted material is used with written permission and is clearly identified. Permission letters or emails have been forwarded to the Senior 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.
    • All authors agree with the final version of the manuscript.
  • 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 cited in numeric sequence.
  • Any change in the corresponding author's email address has been provided to the Senior Editor
  • Any change to the manuscript title has been highlighted.

Resubmission

Please submit the revised manuscript via the submitting author's journal page. As well as uploading the revised manuscript file, please also upload a file detailing how you did, or why you didn't, meet reviewer requirements. Notes of this type support the revision and will assist in assessing the manuscript for publication. If you are unsure about this, or feel author comments have not been uploaded correctly, they can also be emailed to the Senior Editor for advice.

Acceptance, proofs and publication

Once the 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.

Usually the Regional Editor assesses subsequent revisions, but occasionally the revised manuscript will be referred back to the original reviewers, or a second round of review will follow resubmission. The corresponding author will be notified if there is need for further revision. Once the manuscript is accepted for publication by the Regional Editor, the corresponding author will be advised.

When an article is accepted for publication in Rural and Remote Health, all authors are required to sign an exclusive licence to publish. See Copyright for further information.

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

Copyediting is a complex, skilled 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:

  • 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 placed 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.

The corresponding author can expect to receive an emailed list of editorial queries from the copyeditor prior to publication and, most commonly, these concern incomplete or incorrectly cited references.

Proofing process

Within weeks of answering the editorial queries generated during copyediting, the corresponding author will receive notification to check and approve the article online. This is your opportunity to make a final, thorough proof check of the abstract, text and tables. This journal is not proofread externally. While every care is taken to present the author's text and supplementary 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 position to identify whether and where proof correction is required.

If correction is required at this stage please forward clear instructions BEFORE agreeing to the conditions of publication. Subsequently there will be an opportunity to check the corrections. Once satisfied with the final text, please select 'agree'.

Checklist for proofing

The following checklist provides some guidance about checking your online article proof. This can be done in front of the screen, or by printing the online version and checking the hardcopy, which may provide a better result.

  • All quoted material is correctly attributed and permission obtained and forwarded.
  • References are correctly numbered. 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.
  • 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.

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