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Author Guidelines

IJMHD Author's Guide

This guide is written to help you get your paper published in the International Journal of Mental Health & Deafness (IJMHD). It discusses submission, peer review, response to reviewers, publication, and what to do for your paper after publication.

Reading this guide should answer most of the queries you have – and will certainly increase the chance that your paper will be accepted as well as shortening the time it takes to be published.

If you have any further queries please email me directly at jaran@cop.es

 

A word about Open Access publication

 

IJMHD is an Open Access publication. This means that all papers published can be accessed and downloaded for free by anyone. The Open Access movement evolved from the difficulties clinicians and researchers had accessing important work in their field because of the financial barriers put up by the traditional limited access publishers. This has sometimes meant that research paid for from public funds can only be accessed by the reader on payment of a fee.

Open Access publishing is only possible because of electronic publication. IJMHD is published electronically and amongst a number of things this means that your paper can be accessed by anyone from any part of the world. It also means that papers are not rejected because of print constraints or size of the paper. However, there are certain circumstances when papers are rejected,

The Do’s and Don’ts of publication

 

This section will point out some of the big Do’s and Don’ts when submitting your paper. These general principles fit most journals. Adhering to them will make submission simple and quicker and means you are much more likely to get your paper accepted.

Do:

 

  • Check the authors guidelines carefully as different publishers use different formats, reference styles, etc.
  • Write your paper in plain English using UK spellings
  • Make sure your paper has a logical structure

 

  • Make sure your co-authors all agree to submission
  • Keep in contact with the Editorial team. If you are unsure of something email them and similarly answer their queries as soon as you can
  • Look carefully at the peer reviewers comments and make amendments where you feel appropriate
  • When you resubmit a paper after peer review comments include a detailed covering letter explaining any changes.

 

 

Don’t:

 

  • Submit a paper that does not conform to the authors guidelines
  • Submit a paper where the English is poor. IJMHD publish English language papers. If your first language is not English it may be helpful to ask a native English speaker to look at it first.
  • Submit a paper concurrently to another journal
  • Leave yourself open to accusations of plagiarism. If you are submitting a paper which is similar to other papers you have published or that others have published, make sure you discuss this in the paper and fully reference the work
  • Get upset with the peer reviewers comments. Take them constructively and try to improve the paper. If you don’t agree with the comments, that is fine as long as you explain why in your cover letter when you resubmit your manuscript.

 

Preparing your paper

 

IJMHD prefers a particular format and style for submitted papers. This can be found in the authors guidelines. Read this carefully. The fewer errors you make at this stage, the quicker your paper will go through the whole process, and the quicker it will be published.

When preparing your paper take particular care to:

 

  • Adhere carefully to the manuscript preparation guidelines
  • Use the correct reference format

 

  • Make sure all the authors have contributed to the paper. For guidelines on this see the Authorship section on the authors guidelines.
  • If you are reporting a trial make sure you specifically state the Ethical Committee that work was passed by.

 

 

Conflicts of interest

It is important to consider this carefully. If you don’t declare a conflict of interest and you are subsequently found to have one your paper will lose credibility. Conversely, full disclosure of conflict of interest does not prevent a paper being published but does allow you to be open with your readers.

For guidelines on what is and what is not conflict of interest have a look at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/coi/

 

 

Preparation of the manuscript

 

You should submit your paper in the format that IJMHD require. The full details of this are included in the authors guidelines

The closer you adhere to these guidelines, the fewer queries the Editorial staff will have, and the quicker the paper will be reviewed. In particular follow the house style:

Layout – Check the layout of authors, their affiliations, the length of the abstract, and the sections the paper should be divided into (eg, Method, Results)

Format – Preferably use Word® but other formats can be used (check with Editorial staff first). Keep the layout to the size specified, use page numbers, and take care with abbreviations and units. Ensure that drug, equipment, and tool manufacturers include their address (city, state, country).

References – Follow these correctly or the paper will be returned to you. It is much easier to use the correct format initially rather than having to do back to change all the references.

Figures and tables – Again take pains to get this right as it is one of the commonest reasons for a paper to be returned. Each figure or table needs to be submitted separately so it is very important to label them carefully.

 

Two further very important points:

 

If you are using figures or tables that are taken from other papers, be very careful with copyright. Even if they are from your own paper in another journal, you will generally need to ask permission from the journal before you can use the figure.

Similarly, if you are using any text that is taken from another paper (again even if it is your own) make sure you fully reference it to make the reader aware of the source.

 

 

Peer review

 

Peer review remains the main method of ensuring consistency and quality in biomedical publications. It is far from a flawless system, but is probably the least worst we have.

Authors commonly complain of the time it takes to get a paper published, but the usual hold-up is with peer reviewers. To try to get around this, reviewers are asked (and reminded) to submit their review within two weeks. How many reviewers you get for your paper depends on how many agree and how many submit on time so you will find that there is no set number of reviews. You can see that IJMHD do all they can to give you a decision as soon as possible.

Many authors are upset when they receive peer reviewer criticisms. IJMHD uses anonymous peer reviewers as it feels this is the best way to get honest opinions on papers. Unfortunately, honest opinions can sometimes be critical of papers or parts of papers. Once this initial anger has passed it is important to deal with the reviewers comments and here is a guide:

  • However unfair you feel reviewers comments are, do use them constructively. It is rare that a reviewer is trying to be personal or get your work rejected in favour of their own work
  • Remember that the Editor is using the reviewer comments as a guide. As discussed above, electronic publishing allows for far greater numbers of papers to be published than does print. The commonest reasons for rejection of a paper are discussed below.
  • When you are replying to reviewers’ comments, please do so by writing a letter to the Editor and answer all the reviewers’ points one by one. It is important to remember that you do NOT have to accept the reviewer suggestions, however if you do not agree you MUST explain why in a rebuttal in your covering letter. If you are changing the paper in light of the reviewers’ comments, please do describe how and where you have made the changes.

 

Sometimes a paper will be rejected based on the reviewers’ comments. The usual reasons for this are:

  • The reviewer has suggested plagiarism, research fraud, or redundant (duplicate) publication. This is very rare and it is likely that the Editor or Publisher will get in touch with you to discuss this event.
  • The English is too poor. IJMHD is English language journal and papers must be readable in English. Many authors’ first language is not English and understandably there may be errors in the paper. Please do get a native English speaker to check the paper and advise you.
  • The paper has no ‘narrative’. An academic paper is no different from other types of written information. It has to make logical sense. The paper has to ‘flow’ and show why the study/review was done, how it was done, what results were found, what conclusions were drawn for these results. This is how your audience will understand what you’ve done and how your paper will be remembered by them. If it is difficult to understand why you did the study and how you did it, the reader is unlikely to pay much attention to your paper. In extreme cases the paper will be rejected as it seems to serve no purpose to the reader. So again, spend time getting this right and if the reviewer or editor has suggested your paper has poor structure make sure you carefully address this problem.

 

 

Resubmission

When you altered your paper in light of the peer reviewers’ comments and you have written a covering letter to the editor explaining the changes you made or refuting the reviewers’ comments, you are ready to resubmit.

Try to resubmit as soon as you can. Generally, this makes it easier to do as the paper is still fresh in your mind. The scientific world moves very quickly so you want your work published before someone else produces similar work.

 

Once you have resubmitted you will see the status of the paper change. If you don’t see this or don’t get acknowledgment of your resubmission, check with the Editorial staff that they have received it.

Final acceptance

 

Once the Editor has received your revised paper, they will decide if the changes are acceptable. Occasionally they will send it back to one of the reviewers to see if they are happy with the changes. Once the Editor is satisfied, you will be notified that the paper has been accepted and will be prepared for publication.

Depending on production schedules you will receive a typeset galley proof of your paper within a few weeks of acceptance. It is EXTREMELY important that you check these carefully as this will be your last chance to correct any errors prior to publication.. Please remember that once you are happy with it, this is the form it will remain in for posterity. Please do acknowledge receipt of your galley proofs.

Only when IJMHD have received your approved proofs will they be paginated and published. As the paper is open access this means that readers can get a copy of your paper at this time.

 

 

Publicizing your paper

 

Now that you have come towards the end of the hard road of completing your paper and having it published you want people to know about it. IJMHD has its own mechanisms to do this but there are a number of things you can do yourself if you wish:

  • Your paper is open access so you can email the link to your colleagues, library or institution.
  • If you are giving a talk let your audience have the link to your paper (or ask them to visit the IJMHD website)

 

Copyright

Publishing your paper with IJMHD means that you and your co-authors retain the copyright in the paper. You can put your paper onto your website, distribute it to

 

colleagues, give it to students, use it in your thesis etc. You, the author, own the copyright so you can reuse figures and tables in future papers that you write without having to ask anyone (other than yourself and/or co-authors) for permission.

Errors and letters

As we are all human we all make mistakes. You may find after your paper has been published that it contains an error. If this happens you need to contact the editorial team immediately, the paper cannot be changed but an addendum to the paper can be published in the journal as soon as possible. If the error is a major one eg, there was a problem with your original study that now invalidates your findings the paper may be withdrawn but this is very rare.

Author Guidelines Preparation of Manuscript

Include:

 

  • Forename(s) and surnames of authors (see Authorship section below) Author affiliations: department, institution, city, state, country Abstract 300 words
  • 3–6 keywords
  • Running header (shortened title)
  • Corresponding author: name, physical address, phone, fax, email Double-spacing
  • 3-cm margins Page numbers
  • Clear concise language UK spelling
  • Indicate placement of tables and figures
  • The preferred electronic format for text is Microsoft Word
  • Use International Systems of Units (SI) symbols and recognized abbreviations for units of measurement
  • Do not punctuate abbreviations eg, et al, ie
  • Spell out acronyms in the first instance in the abstract and paper
  • Word counts are not specified. In general, shorter items range from 1000 to 3000 words and reviews from 3000 to 7,500
  • Generic drug names are used in text, tables, and figures
  • Suppliers of drugs, equipment, and other brand-name material are credited in parentheses (company, name, city, state, country)
  • If molecular sequences are used, provide a statement that the data have been deposited in a publicly accessible database, eg, GenBank, and indicate the database accession number.

While the editors fully understand the extra challenges posed to authors whose native language is not English, we must ask that all manuscripts be reviewed and edited by a native speaker of English with expertise in that area prior to submission.

Authorship

 

Authorship credit should be based on: 1) Substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) Drafting the article or revising it critically 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, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript (3). These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above, and editors will ask these individuals to complete journal-specific author and conflict- of-interest disclosure forms. When submitting a manuscript authored by a group, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Journals generally list other members of the group in the Acknowledgments. The NLM indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript; it also lists the names of collaborators if they are listed in Acknowledgments.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship.

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.

Increasingly, authorship of multicenter trials is attributed to a group. All members of the group who are named as authors should fully meet the above criteria for authorship/contributorship.

The group should jointly make decisions about contributors/authors before submitting the manuscript for publication. The corresponding author/guarantor should be prepared to explain the presence and order of these individuals. It is not the role of editors to make authorship/contributorship decisions or to arbitrate conflicts related to authorship.

Contributors Listed in Acknowledgments All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgments section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chairperson who provided only general support. Authors should declare whether they had assistance with study design, data collection, data analysis, or manuscript preparation. If such assistance was available, the authors should disclose the identity of the individuals who provided this assistance and the entity that supported it in the published article. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged.

Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under such headings as “clinical investigators” or “participating investigators,” and their function or contribution should be described—for example, “served as scientific advisors,” “critically reviewed the study proposal,” “collected data,” or “provided and cared for study patients.” Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions, these persons must give written permission to be acknowledged.

Related Authors

Where authors of a paper are related this should be disclosed at the time of submission. Please provide details of the family relationship between such authors.

Figures and Tables

 

  • Submit as separate files
  • Number consecutively

 

  • Provide a descriptive heading/legend
  • Place abbreviations and footnotes immediately below the table
  • Use superscript a, b, c… as identifiers
  • Submit figures as PDFs, TIFF files, or in their originating graphics application
  • Supply TIFF files (Line Art 900 dpi, Combination (Line Art + Halftone) 900 dpi, Halftone 300 dpi)
  • Graphics downloaded from Web pages are NOT acceptable
  • Submit multi-panel figures, ie with parts labeled a,b,c,d, as one file

 

Supplementary  Data

Any supplementary data should be kept to 6 typeset pages or 2,400 words. If you have any more than this you should provide a link to the supplementary data on an external website, your institute’s website for example. We welcome video files either as supplementary data or as part of the actual manuscript to show operations, procedures, etc.

Reference Style

 

IJMHD follow the style adopted by the American Medical Association (AMA),* (pp39–

79. which, in turn, is based on the style developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors in 1978 in Vancouver.

Please note that authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references.

Text citations: Cite references sequentially in text, tables, and legends by superscript Arabic numerals with no parentheses, eg, 1 or 3,4 or 10–15. Numbers should be placed after punctuation marks, eg, .3,4

Proofs

  • You will receive the typeset page proofs for approval
  • Check amendments made by the editor have not rendered the material inaccurate
  • Check you have answered all the editor’s queries
  • Ensure your corrections are minimal and absolutely necessary

 

  • Mark the adjustments clearly in the text and margins, and keep a copy of what you send to the editor
  • Notify the editorial office of all corrections within 72 hours of your receipt of the material
  • Ensure all authors sign and return the Author Approval and final page of Publication Agreement

 

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. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
 

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