Submission Guidelines



Abridged structure
  • Original Research Article
  • Cover Letter
Full structure
  • Original Research Article


The author guidelines include information about the types of articles received for publication and preparing a manuscript for submission. Other relevant information about the journal's policies and the reviewing process can be found under the about section. The compulsory cover letter forms part of a submission and must be submitted together with all the required forms. All forms need to be completed in English.



Original Research Article

An original article provides an overview of innovative research in a particular field within or related to the focus and scope of the journal, presented according to a clear and well-structured format.


Word limit

7000 words (excluding the structured abstract and references)

Structured abstract

250 words to cover a Background, Objectives, Method, Results and Conclusion


60 or less


no more than 7 Tables/Figure

Ethical statement

should be included in the manuscript

Compulsory supplementary file

ethical clearance letter/certificate


Cover Letter

The format of the compulsory cover letter forms part of your submission. Kindly download and complete, in English, the provided cover letter.


Anyone that has made a significant contribution to the research and the paper must be listed as an author in your cover letter. Contributions that fall short of meeting the criteria as stipulated in our policy should rather be mentioned in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section of the manuscript. Read our authorship guidelines and author contribution statement policies.



Original Research Article full structure

Title: The article’s full title should contain a maximum of 95 characters (including spaces).


Abstract: The abstract, written in English, should be no longer than 250 words and must be written in the past tense. The abstract should give a succinct account of the objectives, methods, results and significance of the matter. The structured abstract for an Original Research article should consist of five paragraphs labelled Background, Objectives, Method, Results and Conclusion.

  • Background: Why do we care about the problem?  State the context and purpose of the study. (What practical, scientific or theoretical gap is your research filling?)
  • Objectives: What problem are you trying to solve? What is the scope of your work (e.g. is it a generalised approach or for a specific situation)? Be careful not to use too much jargon.
  • Method: How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? State how the study was performed and which statistical tests were used. (What did you actually do to get the results?) Clearly express the basic design of the study; name or briefly describe the basic methodology used without going into excessive detail. Be sure to indicate the key techniques used.
  • Results: What is the answer? Present the main findings (that is, as a result of completing the procedure or study, state what  you have learnt, invented or created). Identify trends, relative change or differences on answers to questions.
  • Conclusion: What are the implications of your answer? Briefly summarise any potential implications. (What are the larger implications of your findings, especially for the problem or gap identified in your motivation?)

Do not cite references and do not use abbreviations excessively in the abstract.


Introduction: The introduction must contain your argument for the social and scientific value of the study, as well as the aim and objectives:

  • Social value: The first part of the introduction should make a clear and logical argument for the importance or relevance of the study. Your argument should be supported by use of evidence from the literature.
  • Scientific value: The second part of the introduction should make a clear and logical argument for the originality of the study. This should include a summary of what is already known about the research question or specific topic, and should clarify the knowledge gap that this study will address. Your argument should be supported by use of evidence from the literature.
  • Conceptual framework: In some research articles it will also be important to describe the underlying theoretical basis for the research and how these theories are linked together in a conceptual framework. The theoretical evidence used to construct the conceptual framework should be referenced from the literature.
  • Aim and objectives: The introduction should conclude with a clear summary of the aim and objectives of this study.

Research methods and design: This must address the following:

  • Study design: An outline of the type of study design.
  • Setting: A description of the setting for the study; for example, the type of community from which the participants came or the nature of the health system and services in which the study is conducted.
  • Study population and sampling strategy: Describe the study population and any inclusion or exclusion criteria. Describe the intended sample size and your sample size calculation or justification. Describe the sampling strategy used. Describe in practical terms how this was implemented.
  • Intervention (if appropriate): If there were intervention and comparison groups, describe the intervention in detail and what happened to the comparison groups.
  • Data collection: Define the data collection tools that were used and their validity. Describe in practical terms how data were collected and any key issues involved, e.g. language barriers.
  • Data analysis: Describe how data were captured, checked and cleaned. Describe the analysis process, for example, the statistical tests used orsteps followed in qualitative data analysis.
  • Ethical considerations: Approval must have been obtained for all studies from the author's institution or other relevant ethics committee and the institution’s name and permit numbers should be stated here.

Results: Present the results of your study in a logical sequence that addresses the aim and objectives of your study. Use tables and figures as required to present your findings. Use quotations as required to establish your interpretation of qualitative data. All units should conform to the SI convention and be abbreviated accordingly. Metric units and their international symbols are used throughout, as is the decimal point (not the decimal comma).


Discussion: The discussion section should address the following four elements:

  • Key findings: Summarise the key findings without reiterating details of the results.
  • Discussion of key findings: Explain how the key findings relate to previous research or to existing knowledge, practice or policy.
  • Strengths and limitations: Describe the strengths and limitations of your methods and what the reader should take into account when interpreting your results.
  • Implications or recommendations: State the implications of your study or recommendations for future research (questions that remain unanswered), policy or practice. Make sure that the recommendations flow directly from your findings.

Conclusion: Provide a brief conclusion that summarises the results and their meaning or significance in relation to each objective of the study.


Acknowledgements: Those who contributed to the work but do not meet our authorship criteria should be listed in the Acknowledgments with a description of the contribution. Authors are responsible for ensuring that anyone named in the Acknowledgments agrees to be named.

Also provide the following, each under their own heading:

  • Competing interests: This section should list specific competing interests associated with any of the authors. If authors declare that no competing interests exist, the article will include a statement to this effect: The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationship(s) that may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article. Read our policy on competing interests.
  • Author contributions:  All authors must meet the criteria for authorship as outlined in the authorship policy and author contribution statement policies.
  • Funding: Provide information on funding if relevant
  • Disclaimer: A statement that the views expressed in the submitted article are his or her own and not an official position of the institution or funder.

References: Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Refer to the journal referencing style downloadable on our Formatting Requirements page.



Formatting requirements


Please review the checklist below to prepare your manuscript. This will help to make sure your submission is complete and gets handled as quickly as possible.

  • CHECK 1: Make sure your manuscript is the right fit for the journal by reviewing the journal information .
  • CHECK 2: Read the publication fees.
  • CHECK 3: Review if the journal publishes the type of article that you wish to submit. Read the types of articles published.
  • CHECK 4: You must be comfortable with publishing in an open access journal. Read our copyrights and licensing policy.
  • CHECK 5: The entire manuscript must be neatly prepared, spell-checked, and adhere to the formatting requirements stipulated in our submission guidelines.
  • CHECK 6: Prepare the cover letter and licensing forms as required on the submissions guidelines.
  • CHECK 7: Read our publication policies, privacy policy and terms of use.
  • CHECK 8: We recommend authors to have ORCID iDs, which can only be assigned by the ORCID Registry. ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a nonproprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify scientific and other academic authors and contributors. You must conform to their standards for expressing ORCID iDs, and will have the opportunity to include the full URL (e.g. during the submission process, that will link to your name when the manuscript is published.