Health and Human Rights adopts author guidelines broadly similar to those of other publications that embrace an open access philosophy. Our guidelines have benefited notably from the previous work of our colleagues at Open Medicine and PLoS Medicine. In many instances, the following guidelines reflect language developed at Open Medicine.
The general guidelines in this document serve as a supplement to the journal’s editorial style guide. Please refer to both documents in preparing your manuscript for journal submission.
1. General principles
As electronic publishing creates opportunities for adding detail, layering information, cross-linking, or extracting portions of articles, and adding background material (e.g., research surveys, databases), authors are asked to work closely with our editors to use these features to their advantage.
Health and Human Rights: An International Journal (hereafter HHR) does not charge authors or research sponsors article processing fees for articles submitted or pages published. HHR applies the Creative Commons Attribution License to allow unrestricted, non-commercial use of material appearing in HHR. This lets people freely copy, distribute, remix, and build upon our contributors’ work non-commercially, as long as the original authors and HHR are appropriately acknowledged. Only non-commercial use of works published in HHR is freely allowed under this license; however, this or any other limiting condition can be waived if authors (the copyright holders) grant potential users explicit permission. More information about this license can be found on the Creative Commons website at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
2. Criteria for authorship
An author is generally considered to be someone who has made substantive intellectual contributions to a study. Authorship credit is based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) the drafting of the article or critical revision of same for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
When a large, multi-center group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
When submitting a group author manuscript, the corresponding author should clearly indicate both the preferred citation and all individual authors as well as the group name. Other members of the group will be listed in the acknowledgments (see “other contributors” below). The National Library of Medicine indexes the group name and the names of individuals that the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript.
- All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
- Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
- Authorship should not be attributed solely on the basis of acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group.
- A "guarantor" should be identified to take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, from inception to published article. The name of this person will be published.
- The order of authorship on the by-line is a joint decision of the co-authors. Authors should be prepared to explain the order in which authors are listed.
3. Other contributors
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgments section, including those who provide:
- purely technical help or writing assistance
- general support, such as a department chair
- financial and material support, such as grants, equipment, or drugs.
Other contributors may be listed under headings such as "clinical investigators" or "participating investigators," and their function or contribution should be described — for example, "served as scientific advisors," or "critically reviewed the study proposal."
4. Competing interests
All authors will need to complete Competing Interest statements regarding potential conflict of interests related to author commitments and project support. Authors should read the Competing Interest Policy (http://www.hhrjournal.org/journal-policies.php) prior to submitting their manuscripts and provide all relevant information at the time of submission.
5. Word count
Please include a word count for the text only (excluding abstract, acknowledgments, figure legends, and references) as well as a separate word count for the abstract. Please see journal guidelines on the website for suggested word length. Manuscripts submitted for the Critical Concepts or Health and Human Rights in Practice section should not exceed 7,000 words, including abstract and references. Book Reviews should not exceed 1,000 words. Letters to the Editor should not exceed 2,500 words. Please contact the managing editor to discuss special considerations regarding article length.
We request that all original research articles submitted for peer review include an abstract. The abstract should reflect the content and findings of the article and emphasize new and important aspects of or observations related to the study. In general, it should include information on the background or context of the study as well as the purpose(s), methods, results, and conclusions of the study. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words.
7. Figures and tables
- Please state the number of figures, tables, and illustrations accompanying your submission so that editorial staff and reviewers can verify their receipt.
- Where possible, supply figures in a format that can be edited so that we can regularize and edit spelling, the font and size of labels and legends, and the content and presentation of captions.
- Illustrations need to be of publishable quality as we do not have a dedicated graphics department.
- Please include your data spreadsheet with figures prepared as charts and graphs.
- If you are submitting a figure as an image file (e.g., PNG or JPG), do not include the caption as part of the figure; instead, provide the captions with the Word file of the main text of your article.
8. Title of the article
We recommend short, effective titles that contain necessary and relevant information required for accurate electronic retrieval of the work. Please also keep the following in mind:
- The title should be comprehensible to readers outside your field.
- Avoid specialist abbreviations if possible.
Specific journal style guidelines for HHR are available at the journal’s website and by request from the editorial office. HHR generally refers to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) as a guide, although journal style differs from CMS on many details. In preparing manuscript for submission, authors may refer to CMS for any questions that are not answered by specific journal guidelines.