Health Services Research
The official journal of AcademyHealth
Instructions for Authors and Statement of Editorial Policy
A publication of the Health Research and Educational Trust [HRET]
President: 0DXOLN6-RVKL, Dr. P.H.
Published bimonthly for the HRET
by Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Editorial Services Supported in part by the
Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research
at the University of California, Los Angeles
Co-Editors-in-Chief of HSR: Jos J. Escarce, M.D., Ph.D. and Ann Barry Flood, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Meighan Schreiber, M.S.S.A.
Senior Associate Editors:
Laurence C. Baker, Ph.D.; Andrew Bindman, M.D.; Michael Chernew, Ph.D.;
Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.; Bryan E. Dowd, Ph.D.; Mary L. Fennell, Ph.D.;
Romana Hasnain-Wynia, Ph.D.; and Albert L. Siu, M.D., M.S.P.H.
To submit new manuscripts or review, please log in at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hsr
For general questions and for correspondence about manuscripts, please contact:
Meighan Schreiber, M.S.S.A.
Managing Editor, HSR
Health Research & Educational Trust
155 North Wacker 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (415) 904-0482
Table of Contents
1. The Vision and Mission of HSR
2. Specific Areas of Research Targeted by HSR
3. Five Types of Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts in Regular Issues
Full-length research articles
Methods articles and briefs
Policy impact articles
4. Publication in Print and Electronically
5. Special Issues and Theme Issues
6. External Peer Review Process
7. Requirement of Original Manuscripts and Disclosure of Prior Dissemination
8. Additional Material Published in HSR
Updates from AcademyHealth and Others
Electronic-only Appendices and Use of Color
Other Electronic-Only Published Material
9. Preparation of Manuscript to Submit to HSR
General order of presentation of material
Text Style and Manuscript Length [word count]
English as a Second Language
10. Disclosures and Criteria for Determining Authors and Other Contributors
Defining Authors and Contributors
11. Disclosures about Potential Conflicts and Funding
The Disclosure Form
12. Supplementary Materials
REGARDING MATERIALS ACCEPTED OR PUBLISHED IN HSR:
13. Copyediting and Publication
14. Offprints and Reprints
15. Permissions to reprint articles from HSR in new collective work
Section 1: The Vision and Mission of HSR
The primary purpose of HSR: Health Services Research is to provide researchers and public and
private policymakers with the latest research findings, methods, and concepts regarding the financing,
organization, delivery, evaluation, and outcomes of health services, and with analysis of their
relationships to clinical practice, management, and policy. Additionally, HSR provides a mechanism
for linking the various disciplines engaged in health services research and for disseminating the
results to those charged with improving the health of individuals and communities and setting
VISION: To be the preferred outlet for:
Dissemination of the findings of original investigations that expand knowledge and
understanding of the broad field of healthcare and that help to improve the health of
individuals and communities, and
Analysis and discussion of the implications of these findings for clinical practice,
management, and policy in both U.S. and global contexts.
KEY VALUES: Scientific Integrity Timeliness Methodological Rigor Creativity Policy
and Practice Relevance Clarity of Thought and Expression Significance Originality
MISSION: To further our vision and values by publishing thoughtful, timely, rigorously conducted,
state-of-the-art research articles and commentary and that are widely disseminated and meet
the highest standards of scientific peer review.
Section 2: Specific Areas of Research Targeted by HSR
Areas of specific interest for manuscripts include:
1. Issues related to the delivery of care --for example, access to and utilization of health
services; cost, cost-effectiveness, quality, and outcomes of care; practice variations,
technology assessment, and health care workforce issues;
2. Assessments of the imp act of or changes in speci fic policies and interventions on health
care delivery--for example, Medicare and Medicaid, state health policies and regulations,
payment policies, personnel licensure and certification, and antitrust enforcement;
3. Evaluation of national demonstration program-- particularly those focusing on disease
prevention, chronic disease management, and community-based efforts to integrate services or
4. Examinations of changes in health services organizations, systems of care, mana ged care,
and related developments, including comparisons of systems across nations; and
5. Examinations of the relative importance of biological, behavioral, social, and political factors,
in addition to health care, as determinants of health outcomes.
Section 3: Five Types of Peer-Reviewed Manuscripts in Regular Issues
Authors submitting for a regular issue are asked to indicate which among five types of manuscripts is
best for their manuscript. A manuscript based on an empirical study generally will include a statement
of the problem, objectives of the research, methodology used, and discussion of the analysis and
findings. In addition, the manuscript should include a thoughtful discussion of the relevance of the
findings to clinical practice, health services management, or health care policy development.
HSR publishes five basic types of manuscripts in its regular issues. Most issues include full-length
research articles, research briefs, and methods articles:
1. Full-length research articles deal with important empirical issues involving health and health
2. Research b riefs involve incremental contributions to the literature such as validation or
extensions of previous work, single-setting studies, or case studies. A research brief is also
appropriate for articles in which the essential message can be communicated in fewer pages.
3. Methods articles and briefs focus on contributions involving the development of new
methods and tools, the application of current methods in novel ways, and examination of the
pros and cons of using different methods and tools in particular study situations and empirical
settings. Health Services Research is interested in studies that appropriately apply the full
range of research methods, from quantitative to qualitative and from primary data to analytic
reviews of the literature. These articles may also serve to introduce methodological
approaches understood by one discipline to readers in other disciplines.
From time to time, issues will include policy/managerial impact articles or debates/commentaries.
These are typically invited by the editors:
4. Policy impact articles are thoughtful essays on the impact of health services research on
policy and managerial decision makers, the overall relationship between health services
research and the users of research, or which examine the impact of specific health services
research initiatives on an overall body of work in the field. These include the Chair's Address
and selected Roundtable panel discussions from the AcademyHealth Annual Research
5. Debates/Commentaries feature pro and con views on important, controversial health services
or policy issues or commentary on an article in the issue.
Section 4: Publication in Print and Electronically
HSR publishes in print 6 issues and two Special or Theme Issues annually. All manuscripts published
in print are also published electronically. Electronic versions may include color and are accompanied
by any electronic-only appendices and disclosures. HSR now publishes manuscripts OnLine Early
usually within less than six months of acceptance. These are fully citable as being published. Articles
subsequently appear in a regular printed issue, within a few months of publication Online Early.
Section 5: Special Issues and Theme Issues
1. Special Issues (usually bound separately) or Special Sections in regular issues.
Up to twice a year, HSR publishes Special Issues or Special Sections, usually based on papers
presented at conferences. These papers are subject to the same external peer review process as
other papers submitted to the Journal. Thus, there is no guarantee that a paper presented at a
conference and subsequently submitted to HSR will be published. All Special Issues and
Sections are supported by outside funds and proposals require editorial approval.
Sponsors or Guest Edit ors for a special issue should contact the Editors via firstname.lastname@example.org
and see http://www.hret.org/hret/publications/supplements.html which includes recent special
issues and a link to an editorial on the process. A manual for Guest Editors is available via the
Business Manager for HSR at HRET.
2. Theme Issues are bound separately but are based on a Call for Papers on a particular theme
developed and issued by the editors of HSR and the publisher. These manuscripts undergo the
usual peer review process but are published as a set or series. See our web for an editorial
about the Theme Issue Series (see From The Editors section of www.HSR.org). For current
calls for Theme Issues, see the homepage at www.HSR.org.
Section 6: External Peer Review Process
Manuscripts submitted to HSR are subject to review by the editorial staff and, if they clear the initial
review, by external peer review from at least two reviewers. Authors are encouraged to suggest
reviewers for their manuscript who have appropriate expertise but no apparent or real conflicts of
interest; we prefer 2 to 4 suggestions but up to 10 (all with email addresses) can be named. However,
there is no guarantee that suggested individuals will be used. Authors may also request that specific
reviewers not be used.
HSR's electronic peer review system permits each author to monitor the progress of the manuscript
through the peer review process via our website on Manuscript Central. We generally make an initial
decision to reject or send out for external review within 2 weeks of submission. For more information
about our peer review process and times associated with each step, see our "From the Editors"
editorials at www.HSR.org.
Section 7: Requirement of Original Manuscripts and Disclosure of Prior Dissemination
Only original manuscripts will be considered for publication. Articles published, accepted, or
submitted for publication elsewhere will not be considered. Articles previously distributed publicly
via the Internet or via national meetings may be accepted, subject to the approval of the Editors. Prior
dissemination of findings does not automatically preclude review and acceptance of an article, but
raises the bar with respect to how publication in HSR will benefit the field. Prior dissemination or
concurrent submission must be disclosed at the time of submission. For further detail see `Policy on
Prior Dissemination' located at www.HSR.org.
Section 8: Additional Material Published in HSR
Additional types of material may be published in HSR, either in print or exclusively in electronic
1. Updates from AcademyHealth and other Organizations. HSR publishes a regular update of
activities and key news from AcademyHealth, the official sponsor of HSR. The journal will
also publish selected 500-word abstracts of key reports from governmental agencies such as
the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Congressional Budget Office, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and
Human Services, and the Office of Management and Budget, as well as reports from private
2. Electronic-only Appendices and Use of Color in Electronic Versions. HSR will publish, at
the Co-Editors' discretion, electronic-only supplemental materials and color figures which
will appear only in the web-based version of the published Journal. These materials should be
referenced in the printed article and will be maintained permanently by Blackwell
Publications. We will also publish the author and contributor grid as an electronic appendix.
3. Other Electronic-Only Published Material . In addition, HSR will occasionally create
electronic-only features designed to improve the peer review process or enhance the field, for
example, by illustrating the evolution of an article through the peer review process;
encouraging reactions and comments on innovations in the field; providing databases or
supplemental appendices for readers to perform additional analyses or examine details of
instruments used or analyses performed that are not available in the print version of HSR. We
welcome suggestions and nominations for such features.
Section 9: Preparation of Manuscript to Submit
1. General order of pres entation of material . In the manuscript as submitted, please use this
preferred order: the title and structured abstract (with keywords) are first, followed by the text,
generally without embedded tables and figures. After the text, place notes (if any) and
references; place tables, and figures at the end of the article, following the references. We
prefer that all text and notes, references, tables and figures be included in the same electronic
file or at least using as few separate electronic files as possible.
2. Text style and manuscript length [w ord counts and tables/figure maximums]. ALL
MANUSCRIPTS MUST BE SUBMITTED IN ELECTRONIC FORM via the web-based peer
review system located at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hsr. Authors' identifying
information should appear only in a cover letter or notes to the editors and appropriate author-
fields, not in the manuscript file, its headers or footers, or in the file name. Manuscripts should
preferably be submitted in a single document, including tables and figures, using Word or
WordPerfect. Please use US English spellings and be sure to number all pages for easy
reference. Only if necessary, include tables or figures in a separate file; PowerPoint or Excel
are acceptable. Provide a brief structured abstract (defined below) and up to five key words
that reflect the content of the manuscript.
Full-length Research Manuscripts and Methods articles, including text and any notes should
be no longer than 4800 words (abstract, references, tables and figures are not included in this
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