Guidelines for authors

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      1. Papers submitted for publication to the Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal (EMHJ) must not have been published, accepted for publication or currently be under consideration for publication elsewhere. The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean reserves all rights of reproduction and republication of material that appears in the EMHJ.
      2. Papers submitted for publication to the EMHJ should conform with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (URM) of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
      3. Ethical considerations: Where applicable, a statement must be included indicating approval for the study was granted by the ethics committee/institutional review board of the relevant institution. Authors should verify where appropriate that all persons on whom research has been carried out have given their voluntary, informed, written consent, and where participants (living or dead) were unable to give such consent, that surrogate consent was obtained. Authors may be asked to supply such consent forms. In cases where participants cannot read and write, oral consent is acceptable.Conflicts of interest: Authors will be asked to provide details of any competing interests and funding. Please see the ICMJE guidelines.
      4. Reporting guidelines: EMHJ encourages and recommends authors to adhere to the best research protocols available and follow established reporting guidelines. Reporting guidelines are available at the EQUATOR Network ( The key guidelines for research in the field of public health are: CONSORT (guidelines for reporting randomized trials); STROBE (guidelines for reporting observational studies); PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses); STARD (Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy); COREQ (Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research); CARE (guideline for clinical case report as well as the COCHRANE handbook (for systematic reviews of interventions). Links to these sites and other useful resources are available under “Useful resources for authors and reviewers” (
      5. Following WHO and ICMJE recommendations, EMHJ requires registration of clinical trials in a public trials registry as a condition of consideration for publication. Authors are recommended to register in one of the clinical trials registries certified by WHO and ICMJE which are available at the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (
      6. Submission: Original papers written in Arabic, English or French may be submitted for consideration through our online submission system. Instructions on submitting a manuscript through the online system and access to the system can be found on our website at: and by clicking on Editorial Manager.
      7. Abstracts of papers accepted for publication will be translated into all three languages. To ensure the correct spelling of authors’ names to accompany the Arabic abstract, authors writing in English or French but whose mother tongue is written using Arabic characters should provide their full names in Arabic script along with transliterations in English or French.
      8. Manuscripts should be prepared in word processed format (preferably Microsoft Word) double-spaced, single column, preferably using Times New Roman script, font size 12.
      9. All papers considered for publication will be peer reviewed. The Editorial Board reserves the right to accept or reject any paper based on the reviewers’ comments, scientific rigor and suitability for the journal. Papers are accepted on the understanding that they are subject to statistical and editorial revision as deemed necessary, including abridgement of the text and omission of tabular or graphic material.
      10. Topics: The subject of the paper should pertain to public health or a related biomedical or technical subject within the field of interest of the WHO, and should have particular relevance to the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
      11. The title of the paper should be as concise as possible, preferably not more than 15 words. All authors should have made material contribution to the design, analysis or writing of the study and have approved the final version submitted. No change in authorship will be permitted after the paper has been accepted for publication and any change before this must be agreed by all authors listed. Authors may be asked to verify their contribution. Names of other contributors may be included in the acknowledgements. Please see the ICMJE guidelines for authorship and contributorship.
      12. Research articles: Papers reporting original research findings should follow the IMRAD format: Introduction; Methods; Results; Analysis; and Discussion. The text of Research articles and Reports should not exceed 3000 words (excluding the accompanying abstract, references, tables and figures). An abstract of not more than 200 words should be supplied, clearly and briefly stating the context, objectives, methodology, results and conclusions. The maximum number of references permitted is 35. The number of tables and figures should not exceed 5.
      13. Review articles: (i.e. critical assessments of research on topics of relevance to public health in the Region). These should contain sections dealing with objectives, sources, methods of selection, compilation and interpretation of data and conclusions. The text should not exceed 3000 words (excluding the accompanying abstract, references, tables and figures), and should be accompanied by an abstract of not more than 200 words. The number of tables and figures should not exceed 5.
      14. Reports: (i.e. papers reporting on projects of public health relevance to the Eastern Mediterranean Region). Manuscript specifications (length, references, tables/figures) are the same as a research article.
      15. Short communications: Articles which do not constitute a complete research study but are of particular relevance or importance to public health issues in the Region may be considered for publication. The text should not exceed 1500 words (excluding the accompanying abstract, references, tables and figures), and should be accompanied by an abstract of not more than 150 words. The number of tables and figures should not exceed 3.
      16. Case reports: Only reports of cases of an unusual nature are considered for publication. Text should include an Introduction, the Report of the case(s) and a Discussion. The text should not exceed 1500 words and the number of references kept to a minimum. No abstract is required.
      17. Letters to the Editor: Letters commenting on published articles are welcome. Letters will be sent to the authors of the original article for their comments, and these will be published along with the letter. The text of letters should be kept as short as possible.
      18. References: In-text citations of published works should be limited to essential up-to-date references. These should be numbered separately as they occur in the text with sequential Arabic numerals in parentheses, e.g. (1,5–8). These references should appear in a numbered list on a separate page after the Discussion. They should contain the following elements as appropriate: name(s) and initial(s) of author(s); title of paper or book in its original language plus translation; for research articles, abbreviated name of journal plus volume number and page range; for books and other texts, place of publication (city and country) and name of publisher (commercial or institutional); and date of publication; for texts published exclusively on the Internet, exact URL of the page cited and date when last accessed. For texts with up to 6 authors, all authors must be named. For texts with more than 6 authors, the first 6 authors should be named followed by “et al”.The following are examples of the Journal’s preferred style:  
        Book: Al Hamza B, Smith A. The fifth sign of identity. Cairo: American University Press; 1990.
        Journal article: Rehmani R, Elzubair AG, Al Maani M, Chaudary IY, Al Qarni A, Khasshogi T et al. Population-based health survey in eastern region of Saudi Arabia. East Mediterr Health J. 2013; 19(5):417–25.
        Document: Al-Itneen M, ed. The principles of uncertainty. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1985 (WHO/DOC/537).
        Thesis: Smith S. Use of healthcare services by the elderly with the introduction of technical innovations. London: Drake University; 2013.
        Web text: Child growth standards. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2006 (, accessed 8 October 2008).
      19. Figures and tables with appropriate captions should each be on a separate page and numbered sequentially with Arabic numerals. Each figure and table must be referred to in the text. Where appropriate, sources should be given. If any figures, tables or other materials have been copied from other sources, authors have the sole responsibility for securing the necessary permission. In order to avoid layout problems in final production, tables and figures should be limited as far as possible. Figures must be supplied in a format which can be edited, preferably Microsoft Excel format, and figures derived from data must be accompanied by those data, e.g. Excel data sheet, to enable redrawing if necessary. Photographs and illustrations should also be sent as separate files. The preferred format is JPG or TIFF; resolution should be minimum 300 dpi.
      20. Submissions that do not comply with these guidelines will be returned to the author for correction before being considered for publication.