Guidelines for contributors

Submission formats

  • submit both hard and electronic copies of manuscripts
  • provide a covering letter and/or email clearly stating the title and authors of the paper, the name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of the corresponding author, and approval from all authors
  • include a word count for the manuscript (including abstract and references)
  • ‘Original articles’ and ‘Reviews’ should be less than 4,000 words, and ‘Brief reports’ less than 2,000 words

Hard-copy version

The hard-copy version should:

  • be single-sided, double-spaced and include all figures and tables
  • have margins of at least 25mm all round
  • be of 11-point or 12-point type
  • have all pages numbered consecutively, including abstract, text, acknowledgments, references, tables and figures
  • not use more than three levels of sub-heading or type text or heading in capitals
  • avoid footnotes or endnotes for parenthetical matter – include it in the text or delete it.

Electronic version

The electronic form should:

  • be in a Office Word for Windows compatible file
  • have any graphics in a readable format and text in a standard font (preferably 11 point Arial).
  • not use automatic reference numbering unless the manuscript is accompanied by an EndNote library containing all references used (see ‘References’ below)


Abstracts are required for ‘Original articles’, ‘Reviews’ and research-related ‘Brief reports’. The abstract should be no longer than 250 words and contain the following headings: Objective; Methods; Results; Conclusions; and Implications (for Indigenous health).

  • Objective – purpose(s) of the study or investigation
  • Methods – basic procedures (for example, selection of study subjects and observational and analytical methods, as well as date and place of study)
  • Results – main findings – specific data and their statistical significance (if appropriate and possible)
  • Conclusions – the principal conclusions drawn from the findings
  • Implications – the implications of your study for Indigenous health

The abstract should not be a description of your paper or an advertisement for it – do not dwell on how remarkably original or successful your study was, or say that further work needs to be done (it always does). Instead, state the main implications for other programs, management, etc. in one simple sentence. Do not report any information or opinion that is not in the article itself. People will use the abstract to decide whether to read the full article, so it should be clear, concise, readable and appealing – try to make it vivid and brisk.


Acknowledgments should be kept brief. They may include technical and managerial assistance (for example, data management, library research, funding sources (any relevant financial interests should be declared)) and, if necessary, clerical assistance, typing, text editing and useful comments.


Claims of scientific fact must be supported by reference to published articles in peer-reviewed journals or to other authoritative and accessible sources.

Please observe the following:

  • Unpublished observations, personal communications and unobtainable reports should not be used as references, although personal communications may be cited (in parentheses) in the text. Permission to cite should be obtained from the person.
  • For manuscripts accepted but not yet published, designate the journal, followed by ‘In press’. Information from manuscripts submitted but not yet accepted should be cited in parentheses in the text as ‘unpublished observations’
  • References to conference papers should be to the published proceedings, which should be cited like a book, with editor(s), title, publisher and place and date of publication. If reference to an unpublished paper is unavoidable, either: (1) give a reference to the abstract in the conference program book, including editor(s) if any, title, sponsoring body or publisher, and place and date of publication (simply giving the place and date of the conference is not sufficient), or (2) give the institutional affiliation of the author(s) of the unpublished paper so that an interested reader could contact them to obtain a copy.

Submitted manuscripts are required to follow Vancouver referencing style. Please refer to the HealthInfoNet‘s Overview of Indigenous health for the specific version of the Vancouver style used.

Ideally, submitted manuscripts should be accompanied by an EndNote library containing all references used. If this is not possible, number references consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in the text by Arabic numerals enclosed in square brackets. (We have created our own EndNote style, copies of which are available to authors on request.) For repeated (identical) references, reuse the original reference number. Unless ambiguity ensues, locate the numeral at the end of the first sentence to which the reference relates before any punctuation mark.

For the endtext references, journal titles should be given in full and not abbreviated. List all authors up to four. When more than four, add ‘et al.’.


Tables should be:

  • numbered consecutively
  • include a fully identifying title at the top
  • contain no vertical lines and only three horizontal lines: above and below the main column headings and at the bottom.
  • have any notes (qualifying comments, sources, statistical tests, etc) indicated by superscripts: a, b etc.

Note: A complex table with sub-sections may be better made into two or more separate clear, simple tables.

Electronic versions of the tables should be in a form compatible with the Tables format in PC Word for Windows.

Figures and illustrations

Electronic versions of figures and illustrations are preferred.

  • Figures should be numbered consecutively and have fully identifying separate figure legends.
  • Information about the figure, such as keys and notes, should be included in the separate legend.
  • Any labelling, apart from the figure legend (or caption), should be within the boundaries of the figure itself.
  • Any lettering on the figure should be in a sans serif font (preferably Arial), sized so that it will be clearly legible after the figure is reduced to size.
  • Make sure that the weight of the lines and axes is sufficient to remain clear at the final size.
  • Graphs should be as simple as possible; they should not have grid lines, unnecessary ticks on the axes or superfluous graphic devices/effects.
  • Do not use colours – remember that figures and illustrations will be reproduced in black and white.
  • Histograms should have simple bars, not three-dimensional blocks. Use black and white bars, and if there are more than two, various patterns should be used to distinguish them. Do not use shading, as this does not reproduce well.

So that your artwork can be reproduced in a legible and attractive form, we may contact you about the figures and ask you to revise them or prepare them to camera-ready quality. For example, we may ask you to have a figure redrawn or printed out on a laser printer. Camera-ready figures should be identified with the name of the first author and the figure number on a label on the back.

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