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Author Guidelines

All material submitted is assumed to be submitted exclusively to the journal unless otherwise stated. Submissions may be returned to the author for amendment if presented in the incorrect format.

Manuscript documents are deleted from our systems 6 months after completion of the peer review process.

  • Title page 
  • Manuscript format 
  • Style 
  • Tables 
  • References 
  • Permissions 
  • Online only supplementary material 
  • Pre-submission checklist

Title page

The title page must contain the following information:

  • Title of the article.
  • Full name, postal address, e-mail and telephone number of the corresponding author.
  • Full name, department, institution, city and country of all co-authors.
  • Up to five keywords or phrases suitable for use in an index (it is recommended to use MeSH terms).
  • Word count, excluding title page, abstract, references, figures and tables.

Manuscript format

The manuscript must be submitted as a Word document. PDF is not accepted.

The manuscript should be presented in the following order:

  • Title page.
  • Abstract
  • Main text separated under appropriate headings and subheadings using the following hierarchy: BOLD CAPS, bold lower case, Plain text, Italics.
  • Tables should be in Word format and placed in the main text where the table is first cited.
  • Tables must be cited in the main text in numerical order.
  • Acknowledgments, Competing Interests, Funding and all other required statements. Reference list.

Appendices should be uploaded using the File Designation "Supplementary File" and cited in the main text.

Please remove any hidden text headers or footers from your file before submission.


Abbreviations and symbols must be standard. Whenever possible, Acronyms should be used sparingly and fully explained when first used.


Tables should be in Word format and placed in the main text where the table is first cited. Tables must be cited in the main text in numerical order. Please note that tables embedded as Excel files within the manuscript are NOT accepted. Tables in Excel should be copied and pasted into the manuscript Word file.

Tables should be self-explanatory and the data they contain must not be duplicated in the text or figures. Any tables submitted that are longer/larger than 2 pages will be published as online only supplementary material.


Authors are responsible for the accuracy of cited references and these should be checked before the manuscript is submitted.

Citing in the text

References must be numbered sequentially as they appear in the text. References cited in figures or tables (or in their legends and footnotes) should be numbered according to the place in the text where that table or figure is first cited. Reference numbers in the text should be inserted immediately after punctuation (with no word spacing)—for example,[6] not [6].

Where more than one reference is cited, these should be separated by a comma, for example,[1, 4, 39]. For sequences of consecutive numbers, give the first and last number of the sequence separated by a hyphen, for example,[22-25]. References provided in this format are translated during the production process to superscript type, and act as hyperlinks from the text to the quoted references in electronic forms of the article.

Please note that if references are not cited in order the manuscript may be returned for amendment before it is passed on to the Editor for review.

Preparing the reference list

References must be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are mentioned in the text.

Only papers published or in press should be included in the reference list. Personal communications or unpublished data must be cited in parentheses in the text with the name(s) of the source(s) and the year. Authors should request permission from the source to cite unpublished data.

Example references

Journal article

13 Koziol-Mclain J, Brand D, Morgan D, et al. Measuring injury risk factors: question reliability in a statewide sample. Inj Prev 2000;6:148–50.

Chapter in book

14 Nagin D. General deterrence: a review of the empirical evidence. In: Blumstein A, Cohen J, Nagin D, eds. Deterrence and Incapacitation: Estimating the Effects of Criminal Sanctions on Crime Rates. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences 1978:95–139.


15 Howland J. Preventing Automobile Injury: New Findings From Evaluative Research. Dover, MA: Auburn House Publishing Company 1988:163–96.


16 Roxburgh J, Cooke RA, Deverall P, et al. Haemodynamic function of the carbomedics bileaflet prosthesis [abstract]. Br Heart J 1995;73(Suppl 2):P37.

Electronic citations

Websites are referenced with their URL and access date, and as much other information as is available. Access date is important as websites can be updated and URLs change. The "date accessed" can be later than the acceptance date of the paper, and it can be just the month accessed.

Electronic journal articles

Morse SS. Factors in the emergency of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis 1995 Jan-Mar;1(1). (accessed 5 Jun 1998).

Electronic letters

Bloggs J. Title of letter. Journal name Online [eLetter] Date of publication. url eg: Krishnamoorthy KM, Dash PK. Novel approach to transseptal puncture. Heart Online [eLetter] 18 September 2001.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

A DOI is a unique string created to identify a piece of intellectual property in an online environment and is particularly useful for articles that are published online before appearing in print (and therefore have not yet been assigned the traditional volume, issue and page number references). The DOI is a permanent identifier of all versions of an article, whether raw manuscript or edited proof, online or in print. Thus the DOI should ideally be included in the citation even if you want to cite a print version of an article.

Find a DOI >>

How to cite articles with a DOI before they have appeared in print

1. Alwick K, Vronken M, de Mos T, et al. Cardiac risk factors: prospective cohort study. Ann Rheum Dis Published Online First: 5 February 2004. doi:10.1136/ard.2003.001234

How to cite articles with a DOI once they have appeared in print

1. Vole P, Smith H, Brown N, et al. Treatments for malaria: randomised controlled trial. Ann Rheum Dis 2003;327:765–8 doi:10.1136/ard.2003.001234 [published Online First: 5 February 2002].



If you are using any material e.g. figures, tables or videos that have already been published elsewhere, you must obtain permission to reuse them from the copyright holder (this may be the publisher rather than the author) and include any required permission statements in the figure legends. This includes your own previously published material, if you are not the copyright holder.

It is the author’s responsibility to secure all permissions prior to publication.

Online only supplementary material

Additional figures and tables, methodology,  raw data, etc may be published online only as supplementary material. If your paper exceeds the word count you should consider if any parts of the article could be published online only. Please note that these files will not be copyedited or typeset and will be published as supplied, therefore PDF files are preferred.

All supplementary files should be uploaded using the File Designation "Supplementary File". Please ensure that any supplementary files are cited within the main text of the article.

Some journals also encourage authors to submit translated versions of their abstracts in their local language, which are published online only alongside the English version. These should be uploaded using the File Designation “Abstract in local language”.

Pre-submission checklist

In order to reduce the chance of your manuscript being returned to you, please check:

  • Author information: Have you provided details of all of your co-authors? Is the information that you have entered into HCCAJ submission system the same as the information on the manuscript title page?
  • Manuscript length and formatting: Have you checked that your manuscript doesn’t exceed the requirements for word count, number of tables and/or figures, and number of references? Have you provided your abstract in the correct format? Have you supplied any required additional information for your article type, such as key messages?
  • Tables: Have you embedded any tables into the main text? Have they been cited in the text? Have you provided appropriate table legends? Have you uploaded any lengthy tables as supplementary files for online publication?
  • References: Have all of the references been cited in the text?
  • Supplementary files and appendices: Have you supplied  these in an acceptable format? Have they been cited in the main text?
  • Statements: Have you included the necessary statements relating to contributor ship, competing interests, data sharing and ethical approval?
  • Research reporting checklists: Have you either provided the appropriate statement for your study type, or explained why a checklist isn’t required?
  • Permissions: Have you obtained from the copyright holder to re-use any previously published material? Has the source been acknowledged?
  • Reviewers: Have you provided the names of any preferred and non-preferred reviewers?
  • Revised manuscripts: Have you supplied both a marked copy and a clean copy of your manuscript? Have you provided a point by point response to the reviewer and editor comments?

Information required for all authors submitting a manuscript to HCCA journal:

  • Manuscript files in the appropriate format, including a cover letter and title page
  • Details of any co-authors (name, institution, city, country and email address)
  • Details of preferred reviewers (name and email address)
  • Word count, number of figures, number of tables, number of references and number of supplementary files for online only publication
  • Competing interest statement
  • Contributor ship statement


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. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. 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.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Copyright Notice

Authors publishing with HCCA journal retain the copyright to their work. 

All papers published by HCCAJ is fully open access and online available to readers free of charge.  HCCAJ publishes all open access articles under the Creative Commons Attribution License,  which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction freely, provided that the original work is properly cited.


Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.