Information for authors
Information for Authors
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, open-access, peer-reviewed, international evidence base to inform improvement in rural health service delivery and health status in rural and remote communities.
The multidisciplinary International Editorial Board reflects the five major thematic areas of the journal: rural and/or remote 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.
Rural and Remote Health proudly promotes cross-cultural respect - and research should promote health by empowerment. No matter how enculturated an 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. For research studies in any country, there must be at least one local author.
In an era when Indigenous communities in many countries are using the phrase 'research fatigue', studies about any Indigenous population must include appropriate consultation so that research is culturally sensitive and guided by the priorities of the community studied. In addition, at least one of the authors must also be from the Indigenous community of study. For a recent Editorial about these policies written by members of the Editorial Board, please refer to article 6819.
RRH supports an Indigenous Cultural Identity of Research Authors Standard (ICIRAS; please see article 7646). Part of this commitment is to provide website functionality for Indigenous Peoples to show their cultural identity as part of their authorship credentials, should they wish. To add cultural identity to an author profile, please contact the journal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cultural identity is displayed as per the author list for article 7646.
Initial assessment of the following criteria by the Editorial Board determines whether manuscripts will be sent for international peer review. Submitted manuscripts should:
- Include rural-health-specific discussion;
- Be relevant to the journal's international readership;
- Clearly indicate what is new or important about the study;
- Fulfil all authorship and ethical requirements; and
- Follow journal style (e.g. Vancouver referencing and see instructions below).
Authors should understand that manuscripts that do not meet these criteria will be declined before peer review.
Readers may register a free personal profile to receive immediate email notification of published articles in their areas of interest.
Fees and article processing charges
Consistent with the journal's commitment to equitable access to the results of health and medical research, all published content is accessible for free by anyone, anywhere in the world, and there are no subscription fees or submission or article processing charges for authors.
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
All countries on the African continent, including Egypt and the island nations of Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Madagascar, the Comoros, the Seychelles, Mauritius
Middle East, South-east Asia (excluding East Timor)
New Guinea and Papua,
Oceania (Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia),
Europe and Continental Europe,
USA (including Hawaii)
*Authors can select Asia or Europe for manuscripts originating in Turkey.
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 from an Institutional Review Board local to the region where your study took place for any research manuscripts reporting on studies with human subjects, human material or human data. Sometimes ethical approval might be provided from multiple countries. 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.
Clinical Case Reports reporting on a specific patient must provide evidence of written informed consent. It should also be clearly stated in the manuscript that written informed consent was provided.
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 (excluding preprint servers) 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.
Authors are permitted to post submitted manuscripts on a reputable preprint server, for example medRχiv, providing the journal is not named before acceptance and the preprint record is updated after publication to link to the published article.
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 International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) also provides comprehensive information about authorship.
Collaboration groups can now be listed as authors in RRH. If a collaboration group is included, please provide a title for the group and include some notes in the spaces provided about how group membership is determined, whether the group has a nominated spokesperson and where the group is located (if a physical location exists). The Corresponding author will be responsible for signing the publishing agreement and proof approval on behalf of the collaboration group. If the members of the collaboration group should be named and searchable through their individual PubMed records, please clearly list members in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript.
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 (as per COPE guidelines).
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.
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).
In accordance with COPE guidelines (Retraction Guidelines 2019) the Editor in Chief will retract a publication if:
- There is clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g. data fabrication) or honest error (e.g. miscalculation or experimental error).
- The findings have previously been published without cross-referencing, permission or justification (i.e. 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).
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 consent to the application of a Creative Commons licence (CC-BY) to the published article. See Copyright for further information.
Rural and Remote Health welcomes the submission of relevant manuscripts. To submit an article, 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.
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
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 (e.g. '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 reference lists prepared in EndNote or other reference managers to plain text.
Please add line numbers to the document before submission to facilitate reviewer feedback.
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.
Writing for impact
Always keep your audience in mind as you write. The reader should not need to work hard to find out what is unique or important about your work.
Consider and discuss the implications of your work for remote and rural health practice, policy, education and/or research.
Make your title specific, with the main concept at the beginning. Avoid uncommon language and passive phrases (like those that begin with 'effect of', 'involvement of' and 'evidence of'). Include the thing (the idea, finding or method) that makes your study interesting if you can.
It is always useful if you can join an ongoing conversation; that is, if you can link to existing publications in the journal and show how your contribution builds on or links to that work.
Your abstract will be the most-read section of your article - get to the main points quickly and use plain language wherever possible. Make sure you answer these questions in your abstract:
- Why did you do the study?
- What are the key conclusions?
- How are your findings valuable?
Keywords are commonly used, but specific, terms used in a field of research. Using keywords in your title and abstract can move your article to the top of internet search results. Test keywords in a few search engines and PubMed's list of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms.
Table 2. Article types in Rural and Remote Health
Written by members of the Editorial Board or as invited by the Editorial Board.
Draws attention to or presents criticism on an issue or previously published article or report.
Yes; structured as Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion
Yes; unstructured or structured as per body text
Narrative or Scoping Review. The authors should include information about any review methodology followed.
Yes; unstructured or structured as per body text
Clinical Case Report
Yes; unstructured or structured as Context, Issue, Lessons learned
Report on a patient with a unique presentation, an unfamiliar response to treatment, or an obscure disease. Written, informed consent must be provided by the patient.
Yes; unstructured or structured as Context, Issue, Lessons learned
Review of the occurrence or treatment of a health issue or disease.
Yes; structured as Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion
Research findings from a preliminary study or a study with smaller scope or smaller dataset.
Yes; structured as Context, Issue, Lessons learned
Report on the design, implementation or evaluation of a policy.
Yes; structured as for Original Research, or Context, Issue, Lessons learned
Report on the design, implementation or evaluation of a project.
Yes; structured as Context, Issue, Lessons learned
The findings and lessons from a conference.
The author’s view of an issue. Criticism should be constructive and backed by evidence, but Personal Views do not contain unpublished or original data.
Rural Health History
A description of the history of health care services, rural healthcare education or Indigenous health.
Biography, Tribute or Obituary
A biography or memorial of a rural health figure.
Please contact the Senior Editor before submitting.
Letter to the Editor
A brief, constructive comment about a rural health issue or article published in RRH. Arguments should be backed by evidence, but reference lists should be short.
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.
Yes; structured as for Original Research, or Context, Issue, Lessons learned
Authors should refer to the STROBE statement for observational studies and the COREQ statement for qualitative studies.
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; authors are asked to capitalise only proper nouns (e.g. 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
- COVID-19 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
- 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/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 (e.g. Medicade or Medicare) for the benefit of readers in other world regions.
Likewise, any references to currency should be specified at first use (e.g. UD$, AU$ or 'Namibian dollars (NAD)')
In accordance with international scholarly convention, all units must be provided as Système Internationale (SI) units. Imperial units can be given in parentheses following the SI units, if desired.
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 parentheses, for example, χ (chi), α (alpha). Extra text will be removed during the editing process.
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.
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
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.
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.
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; and
- level 4: bold and italic fonts set into the paragraph with no following punctuation.
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. No references should be included.
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.
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.
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.
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 (e.g. 'Brown discussed rural access; however, White did not.'). 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 (e.g. 673-678, not 673-8).
Please convert reference lists prepared in EndNote and other reference managers 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 (e.g. 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.
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 2002; 2(1): 105.
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).
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.
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.
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 format tables in cells (do not use tabs). Do not use colour, shading or decorative formatting in tables, but 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].
- Provided detail of ethics approval (name of IRB and approval number) at the end of the Methods section under the heading '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 consider:
- 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;
- The 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; and
- Appropriate authorship. Manuscripts describing work in the developing world must include at least one author from the country studied.
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 two or more 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:
- 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.
- 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:
- Accept the paper.
- Accept the paper after minor/major revision (usually related to strengthening data-based arguments or identifying areas where additional data are required).
- Reject the paper for failing to meet journal criteria.
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 point-by-point notes about the revision, including responses to each reviewer comment, 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 6 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; and
- 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 any author's email address has been provided to the Senior Editor
- Any change to the manuscript title has been highlighted.
Please submit the revised manuscript via the submitting author's 'My Articles' page. As well as uploading the revised manuscript file, please also upload a file detailing how you did, or why you did not, 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.
The Regional Editor assesses subsequent revisions, but occasionally the revised manuscript will also 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 consent to the application of a Creative Commons CC-BY to the published article. 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 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; and
- 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.
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, the complexity of the production process means that 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 on the screen, or by printing the online version and checking the hardcopy, which may provide a better result. Your online proof shows exactly what your published article will look like. If something is missing or looks awry (including in the author and affiliations list), please let us know.
As you read the proof copy, please check closely that:
- Special symbols and equations are displaying correctly;
- All quoted material is correctly attributed and permission obtained and forwarded;
- All references have been included, and in-text citations match the correct references in the reference list (note that references are sometimes required to be renumbered during copyediting);
- Numeric data are correct as provided, and no errors have been introduced during preparation for publication;
- Spelling and capitalisation are consistently applied;
- All heading grades are correct;
- Tables, figures, boxes, appendices and supplementary material are present (or attached in a hyperlink);
- Tables and figures are placed appropriately (usually at the end of the section/subsection in which they are cited) and data in tables are formatted and aligned correctly;
- 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;
- Author names are correct. For Letters to the Editor and book reviews, the end signature information is correct;
- Author affiliations are correct and ORCID numbers are provided for all authors that have them; and
- Required acknowledgements have been included.
Finally, it is recommended that you also make a final quick visual check of your manuscript. This may identify gross errors otherwise overlooked.
Promoting your published article
Promoting your article will make sure it is noticed and help to maximise its impact. Here are some suggestions for promoting your article.
- Talk about your article (remember to provide a link to your article at every online mention)
- Make a 5-minute video summary about your findings to post alongside your published article and to promote your article on social media. Your video should answer the questions:
- Who are the research team?
- How did your study come about?
- (What are your key findings and their implications?
- Where to next?
- Prepare a short (2-3 sentences) plain-language summary about your manuscript for article alerts and social media (tweets can be 280 characters; LinkedIn and Facebook have much greater character limits). Focus on key findings and implications.
- Submit a story about your study for your institutional or departmental newsletter.
- Post a longer-form piece on a platform like Medium or LinkedIn. Use images to increase interest.
- Write a blog post or Q&A about your study on a reputable blog about your research field.
- Start a discussion on Reddit.
- Use your personal and scholarly networks
- Email your article PDF to colleagues.
- Link to your article in your email signature.
- Did you know that 37% of researchers use Twitter daily? Posting about your article on social media is a useful way to connect with colleagues and encourage discussion! Linking to your article in your post adds to your article's attention score. You can also retweet/share RRH's social media mentions of your article (RRH's twitter and facebook handles are @rrh_journal and RRHjournal).
- RRH is open access, so your article has a Creative Commons licence (CC-BY). Posting your article PDF on your institution's repository, as well as ResearchGate and other relevant and reputable repositories, will improve its discoverability.
- Create a Google Scholar profile and register for an ORCID number. Keep these and your institutional website publication list up to date.
- Pitch a story to your institution's media team
Write your pitch email. 'Sell' your story using a catchy title and short paragraph using plain language. Lead with what is unique or valuable about your findings or method. This paragraph is like a lay version of the impact statement in a grant application.
Identify the right person in your institution's media team and email your pitch to them. Note that this needs to happen when your article is accepted, so there is time for the media team to prepare press materials before publication.
The media team will decide whether journalists are likely to pick up your story. If they think it's possible, they'll work with you to make a media release to send it to their journalist contacts close to publication date. Let the RRH editorial team know if you are preparing a media release so that we can work together towards the publication date.
Check your metrics
Google Scholar, Web of Science and SCOPUS all calculate citation scores for published articles.
Altmetrics provide a real-time snapshot of who is looking at your article and where and are an alternative to traditional citation scores. The Altmetric donut on your article page shows your article's attention score, a weighted approximation of the mentions of your article on social media and in blogs, policy documents, news and others. Clicking on the Altmetric donut will open a window with more detail about who is reading and mentioning your article. The PlumX widget also provides an altmetrics digest that you can click into to find out more about how your article is being discovered.
The h-index is an author-level metric that quantifies your publication output by taking into account both number of articles published and impact (measured as number of citations) of the articles. Your h-index is available in Google Scholar, Web of Science and SCOPUS.