Manuscript Preparation

As described below, manuscripts should be transmitted in electronic form, as an email attachment to the editor:, or

Manuscripts may be major articles (see Appropriate Contributions), brief reports of preliminary studies, or book reviews which are by invitation of the Book Review Editor (see Book Reviews). Major articles are limited to 10,000 words. Brief reports are limited to 2000 words. Exceptions to these page limitations may be made with permission of the editor. Use of supplemental digital content (SDC) is encouraged if additional detail would be of interest to readers. Authors may send SDC to be considered for online posting. SDC may include text documents as well as multimedia materials such as audio or video recordings; multimedia requirements are available upon request.


Policies governing JERHRE's authors, editors, and reviewers are those of the Council of Science Editors (, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (, and Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals ( These policies are consistent with one another. Relevant aspects are described below.

Conflict of Interest (COI) - Authors are required to declare to the editor any conflicts of interest (any financial or other arrangements or commitments that could reasonably be perceived as sources of bias in the design, interpretation, or reporting of the results of the research). Be guided by JERHRE's COI Policy as you decide whether there is anything you should declare. If none of the authors have situations that might reasonably be perceived as a COI, please state this in your cover letter. If there is something you would be prudent to declare, please complete the COI form, and include it as an attachment with the rest of your submission. Undisclosed conflicts later identified by a third party will be published in an "Errata" if the editors feel the readers should know about such conflicts.

Protection of Human Subjects - Manuscripts reporting data from human subjects research must state, in the Method section, what formal review and approval or waiver was granted by appropriate research ethics committee(s). The treatment of research participants must be in accord with ethical and other requirements, as set forth in the country in which the research was conducted and as specified by the sponsoring agency.

Informed Consent -The approach(es) and method(s) of obtaining informed consent should be described, including the reasons why any unconventional approaches or waivers were deemed more ethical and respectful in the particular culture and context. This discussion of the informed consent processes and rationales should be more than perfunctory, given that research published in JERHRE derives from a wide range of cultures that may require unconventional approaches to informed consent (e.g., Aboriginal communities), contexts (e.g., health outreach work in migrant communities), and methods (e.g., ethnographic studies of parents and children in pediatric research units). Considerable ethical problem solving often must enter into the development of effective research procedures including the establishment of a respectful relationship with the research participants and others in their community. Indeed, a major aim of JERHRE is to contribute to understanding and solving ethical problems of this nature.


Manuscripts prepared for submission to JERHRE should follow the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and be written in English. See Resources for handy online information about APA style.


The following summary of the parts of manuscripts is too brief and generic to handle all issues concerning manuscripts appropriate for submission to JERHRE. Prospective authors are encouraged to refer to previously published JERHRE articles to find relevant examples. The entire March 2006 issue of JERHRE can be downloaded free; go to

Abstract. The abstract of your article is its most important paragraph. It is used by readers to decide whether to read the article, and by information services to index and retrieve articles. It may live on for a long time in collections of abstracts. In JERHRE's electronic form, your abstract will be available worldwide to anyone who logs on (however, except for selected articles, only subscribers may read the entire article). The abstract must reflect the content of the article accurately. It must be non-evaluative (report, rather than evaluate, what is in the text), readable and vigorous, using verbs rather than noun equivalents and active rather than passive voice. Abstracts of empirical studies should describe (a) the problem, in a sentence, if possible, (b) the research subjects, (c) the research method, (d) the findings, and (e) the conclusion. An abstract for a review article should describe (a) the topic, (b) the purpose and scope of the article, (c) the main sources used, and (d) conclusions. Succinct, accurate, informative and clear abstracts increase the audience and retrievability of an article. Abstracts should not exceed 120 words.

Title Page. The title page should contain:

  1. A concise title of the article containing information that makes electronic retrieval both sensitive and specific.
  2. Authors' names and institutional affiliations.
  3. Disclaimers, if any.
  4. Corresponding author's name, mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address. Email addresses of all authors.
  5. Source(s) of support.
  6. Running head no more than 40 characters long.
  7. Word counts of the text only, excluding abstract, acknowledgements, and references.
  8. The number of figures and tables that belong with the manuscript. (Note: figures and tables must be submitted as separate documents, rather than embedded in the manuscript.)
  9. A list of three to nine key words.

Introduction. The body of a manuscript should open with the title of the article, but not the byline, since the manuscript will be "blind" reviewed. The introduction should answer the following questions in one or two paragraphs, giving the reader an overview of what was done and why:

  1. What problem is addressed and why is the problem important? What are its practical implications for understanding or solving ethical problems in human research? Bear in mind JERHRE's diverse readership: investigators, ethics committee staff and members, students, research administrators, and policymakers. Your writing should be lively, perhaps with examples or vignettes of the problem designed to capture the interest and imagination of any of JERHRE's readers.
  2. How does the hypothesis or research design relate to the problem?
  3. What are the theoretical implications of the research and how does it relate to previous work in the area? How does it relate to research policy or practice?
  4. What theoretical propositions are tested?

Develop the background by discussing relevant literature. Discuss and cite only works pertinent to the specific issue, emphasizing pertinent findings, relevant methodological issues, and major conclusions. Refer the reader to general surveys or overviews of the topic if they are available.

Method. This section describes in detail how the study was conducted and enables the reader to evaluate the appropriateness of the methodology, and the reliability and validity of the results. This section should be written in accord with the requirements of your scientific society or the discipline within which your research was conducted.

Results. This section summarizes the data collected and the data-analytic treatment used, and should be sufficiently detailed to justify the conclusions. Authors should employ the reporting standards of their scientific discipline. Report all results, including those that run counter to expectations. Statistical presentations should include descriptive statistics such as per-cell sample size, means or medians, and standard deviations or ranges, using parametric or nonparametric measures appropriate to the characteristics of your data. Statistical data should include the magnitude of observed effects and confidence intervals, so that the reader can judge the practical significance of the findings for purposes of ethical decision making. Qualitative data may be presented in a wide variety of ways; authors should not hesitate to consult with the editor concerning the most effective ways to do so and the formats that are feasible.

The electronic version of JERHRE is hosted on the JSTOR platform which provides extensive multimedia capabilities for presenting results and other details of the research.

Discussion. Open the Discussion section with a clear statement of the support or nonsupport of your hypotheses. Interpret any similarities or differences between your results and the work of others. As you interpret the implications of your findings, bear in mind the applied nature of JERHRE; investigators, ethics committee members and policy makers will want to know how you have increased understanding of the problem and what insight your study provides into practical solutions to ethical issues.

CONCLUDING PARTS OF THE MANUSCRIPT. In addition to the usual parts of a manuscript (title page, abstract, introduction, method, results, and discussion) and before the reference section, brief additional sections should appear, as follows:

Best Practices is a thoughtful, practical set of recommendations based on your findings. Typically this will include recommendations in relation to one or more specific cultures and contexts or whatever other variables seem relevant. These recommendations should include discussion of limits of generalizability of your findings. Think of "Best Practices" as your recommendations to the relevant stakeholders in the human-research enterprise, based on your paper.

Research Agenda is a discussion of useful kinds of additional research on aspects of your topic. In some cases, "Research Agenda" should be a nuanced discussion of exactly what needs to be investigated and why such investigation would be an important way to advance the field. In other cases, the agenda is simpler and more obvious than this, and would require little or no discussion. Think of "Research Agenda" as your recommendation to other investigators of important specific research on your general topic that they might usefully pursue. In many cases, it is also useful to treat the research agenda as an invitation to others elsewhere to join you in a Collaboratory. Be prepared to share your raw data (with identifiers removed) with others who wish to extend the research to other contexts or cultures and publish a comparison of their data with yours; depending on wishes of the collaborators and the degree to which each contributes to the research, collaboratories may result in a joint publication.

Educational Implications is a discussion of how key concepts from your article may be taught effectively to relevant audiences. In most cases, the audiences are investigators, ethics committee members and staff, and students at various stages of their training; in other cases audiences are other stakeholders such as the media and general public, research participants, and policy makers.

Acknowledgements is a paragraph that may include the source of funding, thanks to persons or organizations who helped with the research, disclosure of any relationships that might be perceived as a conflict of interest, and any disclaimer required by your employer, for example, stating that the paper does not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

Author Note is a brief paragraph telling readers where they may direct correspondence. It includes only the corresponding author's name, mailing address, email address, and phone and fax numbers.

Authors' Biographical Sketches. Because JERHRE's authors and readership cut across many professional and scientific boundaries, readers will be interested to know who the authors are and why they are credible. Hence, appearing at the end of each article is a brief, one-paragraph statement that connects the author with the general or specific topic of the paper, describing the main source(s) of the experience and knowledge that are reflected in the paper. This brief biographical statement should not discuss general credentials or educational background, but rather the author's specific experience as it relates to your paper.

Multi-authored articles should contain a biographical sketch about each author and conclude with a statement of the role of that author in the work reported. Each author thus certifies responsibility for that aspect of the article. The order of authorship on the byline should be a joint decision of the co-authors; where the order is alphabetical, that should be stated here. Individuals who played a minor role in the development of the article, perhaps contributing ideas but not seminal theory or methodology, should be thanked in the Acknowledgements, not treated as an author. For further guidance on the criteria for authorship, see the APA Publication Manual at Or, see II.A.1 (pp. 2-3) of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (

In keeping with requirements of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, and the Council of Science Editors (, all authors must have read and approved the final manuscript and believe that it represents honest work. Understand the right of the editor to respond to allegations of scientific misconduct by authors.

End Notes. JERHRE employs endnotes thus:1 (small superscripted numerals) rather than footnotes. The end notes are placed in the manuscript just before the Reference section. Endnotes are for additional information that is too limited for an appendix or supplementary online document. Please use endnotes sparingly, if at all.

References. Employ APA style. All citations in the manuscript must have a corresponding reference; there should be to references to sources that are not cited in the manuscript.


Submit manuscripts electronically to Because manuscripts are blind reviewed, the parts of the manuscript that reveal the identity of the author must be separate documents. Any figures and tables should also be transmitted as separate documents. Therefore, in the final preparation for submission, create the following as separate documents:

  • Title page.
  • Manuscript, minus figures, tables, and any identifying information.
  • Any figures, tables or supplementary online documents.
  • Acknowledgements, Author Note, Biographical Sketch(es).
  • Cover letter.
  • A completed COI form, if relevant.

Having moved these parts into separate documents, please ascertain you have removed all material that would identify any of the authors in the material that is to be reviewed.

Your cover letter should contain the following:

  • A statement about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as redundant publication of the same or similar work. Copies of such possibly redundant material should be sent to the editor at the time the manuscript is submitted.
  • A statement that the manuscript has been read and approved by all authors, that the requirements for authorship (see above) have been met, and that each author believes that the manuscript represents honest work.
  • Verification that the treatment of human subjects was in accord with ethical standards and other requirements, as set forth in the country in which the research was conducted.
  • A copy of the permission granted to reproduce or adapt any copyrighted material from another source or a notice that permissions are pending.
  • Nomination of reviewers: Prospective authors are invited to nominate one of their three peer reviewers. Your nominee is to be someone whose special expertise is in your area, who has no conflict of interests with the role of reviewer of your manuscript, and whose critical comments you would greatly appreciate. Please provide one or more nominees, along with the email address and a very brief statement about each.
  • A statement that none of the authors have an apparent COI; otherwise attach a completed COI form for any authors who consider it prudent to declare an apparent COI.
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