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Author Guidelines

About the Journal

International Journal of Population, Health and Development is an open access and peer reviewed journal covering research in all areas related to population, health and development. Please see the journal's Focus and Scope for information about its focus and peer-review policy.

Please note that this journal only publishes manuscripts in English.


Peer-Review and Ethics

International Journal of Population, Health and Development is committed to peer-review integrity and uphold the standards of ethical behavior commonly practiced in reputable international journals. Once your paper has been assessed for suitability by the editor, it will then be single-blind peer-review by anonymous expert referees.

Article Type

  • Should be written with the following elements in the following order: title page; abstract; keywords; main text introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion; acknowledgments; declaration of interest statement; references; appendices (as appropriate); table(s) with caption(s) (on individual pages); figures; figure captions (as a list)
  • Should be between 7000 and 10000 words, inclusive of:
    • Abstract
    • Tables
    • References
    • Figure or table captions
    • Footnotes
    • Endnotes
  • Should contain an unstructured abstract of 150 words.
  • Should contain between 4 and 6 keywords


Submission Format

Authors may submit their paper in any scholarly format or layout. Manuscripts may be supplied as single or multiple files. These can be OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format. Figures and tables can be placed within the text or submitted as separate documents. Figures should be of sufficient resolution to enable refereeing.

  • There are no strict formatting requirements, but all manuscripts must contain the essential elements needed to evaluate a manuscript: abstract, author affiliation, figures, tables, funder information, and references. Further details may be requested upon acceptance.
  • References can be in any style or format, so long as a consistent scholarly citation format is applied. Author name(s), journal or book title, article or chapter title, year of publication, volume and issue (where appropriate) and page numbers are essential. All bibliographic entries must contain a corresponding in-text citation. The addition of DOI (Digital Object Identifier) numbers is recommended but not essential.
  • Spelling can be US or UK English so long as usage is consistent.

Note that, regardless of the file format of the original submission, an editable version of the article must be supplied at the revision stage.


Submission Guidelines

Please review the article length requirements, examples, table limits, and reference count requirements mentioned below. The title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements, contribution, and references are not included in the word count. Manuscripts should be kept as concise as possible.

  • Original research
  • Protocol
  • Cohort profile
  • Communication
  • Rapid response
  • Supplement



Original Research

A valid, justified research query should be included in research article manuscripts. All articles should include the following:

  • The research question and study design should be included in the article title. The study's findings and result should not be included in the title.
  • Abstract should be  (max. 300 words) and include any of the following (please note that there is a specific CONSORT extension for abstracts for RCTs):
    • objectives: clear statement of research aim and major hypothesis/research question
    • setting: level of care e.g. primary, secondary; number of participating centres (generalise name or geographical location).
    • participants: Selection, entry, and exclusion requirements must all be clearly defined. e.g numbers of people who entering and completing the study; sex and ethnic group, if applicable. 
    • interventions: what, how, when and how long (this can be removed if there were no interventions)
    • primary and secondary outcome measures: planned (i.e. in the protocol) and those finally measured (if different, explain why) – for quantitative studies only
    • results: main result with 95 percent confidence intervals (for quantitative studies) and, where applicable, the exact degree of statistical significance and the number to treat/harm. Where practicable, state absolute rather than relative disadvantages.
    • conclusions: primary conclusions and their implications; if appropriate, propose areas for further study. Do not go beyond the information given in the report.
    • where applicable, trial registration: amount and registry (for clinical trials and, if available, for observational studies and systematic reviews)
  • An article summary, after the abstract, with the heading "Strengths and limitation of research/study" and up to five brief bullet points, each no longer than one sentence, relating directly to the methods. They should not contain the study's findings.
  • The original protocol for the study, as a supplementary file.
  • A funding statement, preferably phrased as follows. Either: ‘This work was funded by [name of funder] grant number [xxx]' or ‘This work was supported by [name of funder] grant number [xxx]'. or ‘This research received no unique funding from any state, private, or not-for-profit funding agency.' You must provide the full, accurate details of your funder(s) as well as any related grant numbers. 
  • A competing interests statement. According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors uniform declaration of competing interests. See our guidelines for further information.
  • At the end of the article, each author's contribution should be listed separately; this section may include contributors who do not qualify as authors. Please visit the ICMJE website for more information on authorship.
  • Any checklists or flowcharts for the proper reporting statement, e.g. STROBE (see below).
  • A patient consent form: Before publication, any article that includes confidential medical details about a living individual might require the patient's express consent beforehand. The patient will be required to sign consent form, which states that the patient has read the report.
  • A data sharing statement, such as: “Technical appendix, statistical code, and dataset available from the Dryad repository, DOI: [include DOI for dataset here].
  • Word count, it is recommended that your article do not exceed 4000 words, with up to five figures and tables. Exceeding it might have an impact on the paper's "readability." There will be no colour fees for any colour figures and images submitted. Authors are allowed to upload their figures separately or not embedded in the manuscript.
  • Supplementary and raw data, Despite we prefer raw data to be made publicly available and linked to in a suitable repository, it can be placed online alongside the article (e.g. Dryad, FigShare). In order to make the main manuscript simpler for readers, we request author to separate some material into supplementary data files.

We also suggest (optional) that the discussion section be no more than five paragraphs long and follows the following general structure (not need to use these as subheadings): a statement of the principal findings; strengths and weaknesses of the study; strengths and weaknesses in relation to other studies, discussing important differences in results; the meaning of the study: possible explanations and implications for clinicians and policymakers; and unanswered questions and future research.

When uploading your article, you'll be asked to choose one general subject area that applies to your article; this will be shown in the main table of contents under this banner. You will also be asked to choose additional subject headings for the 'Browse by topic' section, as well as distinct keywords to help in the identification of reviewers.

We also encouraging authors to have active patient involvement in setting their research agenda, as this step is also implemented in several BMJ Journals. As such, we require authors of Research Articles to add a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the Methods section, that describing how they involved patients and the public in their research. We recognise that this is a developing movement, and that not all researchers would have included patients and the general public in their study. We also recognize that co-production may not be sufficient for all articles. As a result, we will continue to consider clinical research papers with no patient or public involvement, but we will require all writers to mention this in their method section.

See our Original research template for further details.


Pilot studies

Pilot studies article should provide explanation for its work’s context and clarify why they use "pilot study" term. The term "pilot study" should not be applied to justify the publication of a small-scale study. A pilot research is justified for a variety of reasons, including:

  • trialling a new procedure intended for use in a larger programme of research
  • defining power calculations needed for a full-scale study
  • determining how many patients and/or healthcare professionals can be recruited
  • assessing the financial, technical, administrative, or logistic feasibility of a full-scale study, including issues of data collection, protocol adherence, and designed questionnaire

It is also necessary to justify the sample/patient size. The impact of the pilot study’s decision on future research should be explained in the article.

Reporting guidelines

The guidelines listed below should be followed where appropriate. Please structure your article according to these guidelines. Upload completed checklists, abstracts, and flow diagrams with your submission; these will be published alongside the final version of your article.

CONSORT Statement


For reporting of randomised controlled trials: please use the appropriate extension to the CONSORT statement, including the extension for writing abstracts




For reporting qualitative research




For reporting qualitative research




For reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies




For reporting of observational studies in epidemiology
Checklist for cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies (combined)
Checklist for cohort studies
Checklist for case-control studies
Checklist for cross-sectional studies




For reporting of systematic reviews




For reporting of systematic review and meta-analysis protocols




For reporting of scoping reviews




For reporting of meta-analyses of observational studies




For reporting protocols for RCTs




For reporting of gene-disease association studies




For reporting of studies developing, validating, or updating a prediction model, whether for diagnostic or prognostic purposes.




For reporting of health economic evaluations

The Equator Network (Enhancing the Quality and Transparency Of Health Research) provides a comprehensive list of reporting guidelines.





Planned or ongoing research studies should be reported in Protocol manuscripts. We will not consider the manuscript if data collection is complete. We promote the submission of protocol manuscripts that are at early stage of the research. Protocols nearing completion of data collection will be considered on a case by case basis and the final decision on whether to consider a protocol for publication will remain with the Editor.

Researchers and funding bodies will remain current in their fields through a published study protocols, which provide them with exposure to any research activity that may not otherwise be widely publicised. This will help avoid duplication of work and, hopefully, facilitate collaboration. Publishing full protocols might make certain information that is currently required trial registries become more accessible, increasing transparency and making it easier for others (editors, reviewers, and readers) to review and understand any deviations from the protocol that occur during the course of the study.

When drafting their protocols, investigators are encouraged to follow the SPIRIT (Standard Protocol Items for Randomised Trials) statement recommendation and submit a completed SPIRIT checklist with their trial protocol submission. SPIRIT is a evidence-based tool that was developed from thorough analysis and systematic review over wide variety of resources and consensus. It closely resembles the CONSORT statement and also incorporates key ethical considerations.

We also encourage systematic review authors and assessors to use The PRISMA-P (Preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis protocols) when drafting and appraising review protocols. PRISMA-P is a new reporting guidelines that includes 17 elements that are considered important and minimum components of a systematic review or meta-analysis protocol. Authors are recommended to submit a completed PRISMA-P checklist along with their protocol submission.

Other tools, such as the UK Department of Health/Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Toolkit and the US National Institutes of Health, list the components of an authoritative trial protocol. Protocols for any research design, including observational studies and systematic reviews, will be considered for publication by IJPHD.

We strongly advise you to register your research. Any clinical trial must have prospective registration. is one of the appropriate trial research registries. We also suggest Prospero for systematic review registration.

We also encouraging authors of Study Protocols to have active patient involvement in setting their research agenda. As such, we require authors of Research Articles to add a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the Methods section which describe how they involved patients and the public in their research.

Regarding the formatting of manuscript, editorial policies, license forms, and patient consent (where applicable to study designs), general BMJ policies are applied. See our Protocol article template for further details. The following items should be included, as a minimum, in any protocols articles.

    • Protocol papers should include information about upcoming or ongoing studies. Manuscripts that report on previously completed work will not be considered protocols. The study's dates must be included in both the manuscript and the cover letter. 
    • Protocols for studies that require ethical approval, such as trials, are unlikely to be considered unless that approval is obtained.
    • Title: this should include the type of study, e.g. randomized controlled trial.
    • Abstract: this should be structured as followed. Introductions; Methods and analysis; Ethics and dissemination Registration information should be included as a final section, if applicable.
    • An article summary, placed after the abstract, with the heading "Strengths and limitations of this study" and contains up to five brief bullet points, each no longer than one sentence, relating directly to the methods.
    • Introduction: explain why the study is being conducted and what evidence gap it could fill. References to applicable previous literature, including systematic reviews, should be included.
    • Methods and analysis: include the following in a detailed overview/description of the study design. How will the sample be selected; Intervention to be measured; the sample size calculation (based on previous literature) with an estimation of how many participants will be required for the primary outcome to be statistically, clinically, and/or politically significant; what outcome will be measured, where, and how; a data analysis plan.
    • Ethics and dissemination: any dissemination plan (publications, data deposition, and curation) should be addressed here, as well as ethical and safety concerns.
    • Full references.
    • Authors’ contributions: describe how each author contributed in writing the protocol.
    • Funding statement: preferably phrased as follows. Either: ‘This work was supported by [name of funder] grant number [xxx]’ or ‘This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors’.
    • Competing interests statement. See our guidelines for further information.
  • Word Count: 4,000 words. If the word count exceeds this limit, please state this in the cover letter upon submission.



Cohort Profile

The cohort profile is a type of article designed to fill the space between a research protocol and a results paper. Cohort profiles should provide information about the cohort's background, methods, baseline details, and future plans. Cohorts should be long-term, prospective projects, rather than time-limited cohorts established to address a small number of specific research questions.

If a cohort has not yet completed recruitment or collection of baseline data, it should be submitted as a study protocol. Papers that use cohort data to address a specific research question should be submitted as a Research paper.

We also encouraging authors of Cohort Profiles to have active patient involvement in setting their research agenda. As such, we require authors of Research Articles to add a Patient and Public Involvement statement in the Methods section which describe how they involved patients and the public in their research. For further details, see our Cohort Profile template.

Should begin ‘Cohort profile: …’. The full name of the cohort, as well as any widely used abbreviations, as well as its position or if it is international, should be included. Include the cohort’s type.

Use these headings to provide brief descriptions of the following:

  • Purpose: explain why the cohort was set up
  • Participants: describe the members of the cohort.
  • Findings to date: what information has been gathered so far, and any significant findings
  • Future plans: how will the cohort be used in the future, as well as any deadlines for data collection
  • Registration: We require the registry and trial registration number if your Cohort Profile is connected to a clinical trial. Prospective registration of all clinical trials is also required, as recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Registration is not needed for Cohort Profiles that are not related to a clinical trial.

Describe the rationale for the study, including any relevant research questions that prompted it.

Cohort description

Describe the setting locations, and important dates, including recruiting periods, exposure, follow-up, and data collection.

Describe the eligibility requirements and how participants were chosen. Report the number of people who were approached, included in the study, and have been retained at each stage of the research. It is necessary to report the reasons for non-participation. To explain this, a flow diagram is suggested.

Describe methods of data collection and follow-up, and any external data sources used.

Give demographic, clinical, social and other relevant characteristics of study participants, as well as information on exposures and possible confounders. For each variable of interest, indicate the number of participants with missing data.

Detailed statistical plans should not be reported.

Findings to date

Have a brief summary of the cohort's most important findings so far, along with references to related publications. Rather than presenting findings, this section should summarise them.

Strengths and limitations

These should be tailored to the cohort in question. Include any lessons gained during the creation of the cohort that can be shared with future researchers.


Authors should include a section describing what data will be accessible, to whom it will be available, how it will be accessed, and any limitations on reuse that may apply. (Not the data sharing statement; this should be in the text.). Please also state what kind of collaboration you are encouraging.

Further details

Strengths and weaknesses of this report, a data sharing document, funding declaration, contributorship statement, etc. should all be included as it is our standard inclusion.




If you are interested in submitting a communication article, please submit a pre-submission inquiry via our online submission system. You will be asked to submit a title, an abstract, and a cover letter describing why you consider your work is suitable for publication in IJPHD as a communication article.

Communication papers will be considered by the editorial team at IJPHD at their discretion based on the topic's relevance and the quality of a pre-submission enquiry. The editorial team will invite you to submit a complete manuscript if your pre-submission enquiry is approved.

The communication article will cover content that does not fit within our current article categories but is applicable to IJFHD’s readers. It is an opportunity to present concepts, examples, and inventions relating to the conduct of clinical research rather than primary research. Communication article, as all other content in IJPHD, will address related key research issues in population, health and development.

Examples of topics of relevance to IJFHD include:

  • Encouraging patient and public involvement
  • Improving research transparency and reproducibility
  • Reducing research waste through collaboration
  • Improving best practice in publishing and peer review

The following items should be included in the communication article at a minimum:

  • Title: a straightforward, succinct summary of the article's content
  • Abstract: we recommend a structured abstract that states the objective of the paper along with a summary of the key data or arguments and an overall conclusion. 
  • Full References
  • Authors’ Contributions: describe how each author contributed in writing the article.
  • Funding statement: preferably phrased as follows. Either: ‘This work was supported by [name of funder] grant number [xxx]’ or ‘This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors’.
  • Competing Interests statement. See our guidelines for further information.

The author has discretion over the article's structure and format. However, it should follow a logical form and be divided into subsections. See our Communication article template for further details.

Articles on communication should be as brief as possible. A word count of about 2,500 words is recommended (not including references). If you intend your word count to surpass our recommendations, please include a justification in the cover letter of your pre-submission enquiry.



Rapid Response

We encourage readers to comment on articles published in BMJ Open. Please follow our guidelines set out in our blog and e-Letter response terms and requirements. For further details go to our rapid response guidelines.




IJPHD Journals are willing to consider publishing supplements to regular issues. Supplement proposals may be made at the request of:

  • A meeting can be organised by the journal editor, an editorial board member, or a learned society, with sponsorship might be sought and the proceedings published as a supplement.
  • A supplement may wish to be featured on a particular theme or topic by by the journal editor, an editorial board member, or a learned society. Again, sponsorship may be sought
  • IJPHD may have proposals for supplements where sponsorship may be necessary.
  • A sponsoring organisation, mostly an interested organisation or a charitable foundation, that wishes to arrange a meeting, the proceedings of which will be published as a supplement.

It is critical that the journal's integrity, credibility, and intellectual reputation are not jeopardized in any way.

For further information on criteria that must be fulfilled, download the supplements guidelines.

Please include as much of the information below as possible when contacting us regarding a potential supplement.

  • Title of supplement and/or meeting on which it is based
  • Date of meeting on which it is based
  • Proposed table of contents with provisional article titles and proposed authors
  • An indication of whether authors have agreed to participate
  • Sponsor information including any relevant deadlines
  • An indication of the expected length of each paper Guest Editor proposals if appropriate.


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.

  1. 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).
  2. All authors of a manuscript should include their full name and affiliation on the cover page of the manuscript. Author and co-authors must list all relevant affiliations to attribute where the research or scholarly work was approved and/or supported and/or conducted (Institutional Affiliation or Independent Status).
  3. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  4. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  5. 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.
  6. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  7. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Copyright Notice

Copyright allows you to protect your original material, and stop others from using your work without your permission. We offer Creative Commons licenses to publish open access.


Privacy Statement

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