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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Author Guidelines

Research Article full structure

Title: The article's full title should contain a maximum of 14 words.

Abstract: The abstract, written in English, should be no longer than 200 words and must be written in the past tense. The abstract should give a succinct account of the objectives, methods, results, and significance of the matter. The unstructured abstract for an Original Research article should consist of six parts unlabelled Background, Aim, Setting, Methods, Results, Conclusion, and Contributions.

  • Background: Summarise the social value (importance, relevance) and scientific value (knowledge gap) that your study addresses.
  • Aim: State the overall aim of the study.
  • Setting: State the setting for the study.
  • Methods: Clearly express the basic design of the study, and name or briefly describe the methods used without going into excessive detail.
  • Results: State the main findings.
  • Conclusion: State your conclusion and any key implications or recommendations.

Do not cite references and do not use abbreviations excessively in the abstract.

Introduction: The introduction must contain your argument for the social and scientific value of the study, as well as the aim and objectives:

  • The first part of the introduction should make a clear and logical argument for the importance or relevance of the study. Your argument should be supported by the use of evidence from the literature.
  • The second part of the introduction should make a clear and logical argument for the originality of the study. This should include a summary of what is already known about the research question or specific topic and should clarify the knowledge gap that this study will address. Your argument should be supported by the use of evidence from the literature.
  • In some research articles, it will also be important to describe the underlying theoretical basis for the research and how these theories are linked together in a conceptual framework. The theoretical evidence used to construct the conceptual framework should be referenced from the literature.
  • The introduction should conclude with a clear summary of the aim and objectives of this study.

Research methods and design: This must address the following:

  • Study design: An outline of the type of study design.
  • Setting: A description of the setting for the study; for example, the type of community from which the participants came or the nature of the health system and services in which the study is conducted.
  • Study population and sampling strategy: Describe the study population and any inclusion or exclusion criteria. Describe the intended sample size and your sample size calculation or justification. Describe the sampling strategy used. Describe in practical terms how this was implemented.
  • Intervention (if appropriate): If there were intervention and comparison groups, describe the intervention in detail and what happened to the comparison groups.
  • Data collection: Define the data collection tools that were used and their validity. Describe in practical terms how data were collected and any key issues involved, e.g. language barriers.
  • Data analysis: Describe how data were captured, checked, and cleaned. Describe the analysis process, for example, the statistical tests used or steps followed in qualitative data analysis.
  • Ethical considerations: Approval must have been obtained for all studies from the author's institution or other relevant ethics committee and the institution's name and permit numbers should be stated here.

Results: Present the results of your study in a logical sequence that addresses the aim and objectives of your study. Use tables and figures as required to present your findings. Use quotations as required to establish your interpretation of qualitative data. Metric units and their international symbols are used throughout, as is the decimal point (not the decimal comma).

Discussion: The discussion section should address the following four elements:

  • Key findings: Summarise the key findings without reiterating details of the results.
  • Discussion of key findings: Explain how the key findings relate to previous research or to existing knowledge, practice or policy.
  • Strengths and limitations: Describe the strengths and limitations of your methods and what the reader should take into account when interpreting your results.
  • Implications or recommendations: State the implications of your study or recommendations for future research (questions that remain unanswered), policy, or practice. Make sure that the recommendations flow directly from your findings.

Implications: Explain the theoretical implications and practical implications of the research findings. Explain the advantages of this research and its impact on the development of science.

Recommendations for further research: Explain the advantages of this research so that it needs to be developed in further study. Explain the limitations of this research so that more in-depth research is required.

Conclusion: Provide a brief conclusion that summarises the results and their meaning or significance in relation to each objective of the study.

References: Authors should provide direct references to original research sources whenever possible. References should not be used by authors, editors, or peer reviewers to promote self-interests. Mandatory article citation using the Mendeley app. Using the 7th edition of the APA (American Psychological Association) model of reference and citation.

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