Health Information Management Journal

ISSN 1833-3583 (print) * ISSN 1833-3575 (online)

Research Journal of the Health Information Management Association of Australia

     

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INFORMATION FOR AUTHORS

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  • Form and style

  • Production Schedule [view schedule]

  • Peer review policy

  • Copyright form [download]

  • Copyright

  • Manuscript submission categories

  • Structure and organisation of manuscripts

  • Manuscript submission

The Health Information Management Journal (HIMJ) is the official peer-reviewed research journal of the Health Information Management Association of Australia Limited. The journal publishes original research, critical reviews, professional practice and innovation papers and forum articles that build on existing knowledge. The journal also publishes reviews of relevant professional literature, commentary and analysis of relevant health policies and encourages debate in the form of reader commentary on articles. Submissions of papers are invited from authors worldwide and all contributors are encouraged to present their work for an international readership. If conference papers are submitted then only an Abstract to the paper must appear in the published proceedings.

Form and style
Authors should prepare manuscripts according to the Harvard (Author-Date) referencing style, except that spelling should conform to the Macquarie Dictionary. For details, please refer to the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers, Revised by Snooks & Co. (6th edition), 2002, Milton, QLD: John Wiley & Sons. The following website is also a valuable resource: www.lib.latrobe.edu.au/help/style-guides.php#Harvard and select Harvard (Author-Date) System (La Trobe University).

Word count
The word count is limited to 5,000 words (excluding references) but shorter contributions will be accepted. Additional details are supplied below for different submission categories.

Peer review
Articles in HIMJ go through a rigorous peer review process. The editor(s) for each issue selects several reviewers from the HIMJ Editorial Panel of Reviewers to review each paper. If appropriate, a guest reviewer or one of HIMJ’s consultant reviewers with specific expertise may be consulted. The process is anonymous in that the identity of authors and reviewers is not known to the other party. Articles may be accepted, returned for revision, or rejected. The editor may make minor alterations to articles. The decision of the editor is final. The review process normally takes at least three months – longer when revision is necessary (revisions are often requested).

Final copy and proofs
A copy of the manuscript should be retained by the author for proof-reading purposes. A PDF proof of the copy-edited article will be emailed to the corresponding author for correction prior to publication. No changes to content are permitted at this stage and alterations are restricted to correction of typographical errors.

Reprints
Authors receive free online access to their article through the HIMJ website and a complimentary copy of the issue containing their article. Free open access to papers is provided six months after date of publication, available from the HIMJ Research Paper Archive: http://www.himaa.org.au/reviewed_papers/

Copyright
It is a condition of publication that authors assign copyright or licence the publication rights in their articles, including abstracts, to the Health Information Management Association of Australia Ltd. Authors retain many rights under the copyright agreement, available for download as a PDF here.  Authors are themselves responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyright material from other sources. Acceptance for publication does not imply endorsement of authors' opinions by the HIMAA or the Editorial Board. Contributing authors are protected by the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth of Australia).

Manuscript submission categories
1. Research Articles
Research articles should present original research that describes research outcomes, or processes, techniques or applications that enhance the practice of health information management. A range of methodological approaches, including qualitative research, time-series designs, experimental studies and correlational designs are acceptable. Papers should include an abstract, introduction, methodology, results and discussion section. Research papers should not exceed 5,000 words in length (excluding references).

The Editorial Board suggests the usual academic model of abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion and conclusion for most original articles. Other articles of substance that are submitted for editorial review may also follow this model, or variations of it.

  • Abstract
    Abstracts should be approximately 100 words in length, and summarise the purpose, method, results, summary of key findings and conclusions of the paper.
  • Keywords
    The Abstract should be followed by a list of at least four Keywords, selected from the Index Medicus Medical Subject Headings list (MeSH): http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html
  • Introduction
    The introduction should state the purpose of the paper. Normally, an introduction includes a short, relevant literature review, including pertinent background information, and ends with a clear statement about the aim of the current paper.
  • Method
    Includes selection of subjects (population and sample sizes, for example), mode of observation, apparatus and statistical procedures. The aim of the method section is to provide enough information to allow replication of the procedures used in the original research. Reasons for selection of methods should also be included in this section.
  • Results should be presented logically, and can include text, tables, figures or other graphics. Do not duplicate data presented in tables within the text.
  • Discussion
    Major, new and significant observations and findings should be highlighted and discussed. The significance of results compared with similar previous studies is to be included. If a hypothesis was being tested, it is necessary to report whether the hypothesis was supported or rejected. The implications and limitations of the findings, along with their practical implementations, should be reported here. The significance of the study’s results should be compared and contrasted with similar, previously published information in this section. It may be helpful to readers to accurately sub-head the section to make clear differentiations between the ‘discussion’ and the ‘literature review’.
  • Conclusion
    The conclusion contains a brief summary of the major findings of the study, but is not a reiteration of the abstract. Statements which cannot be supported by the information are not to be presented in the manuscript. Do not include new information, nor summarise the manuscript.
  • Footnotes
    Footnotes may be used to elaborate a point, and in some cases to cite information not normally included in the references at the end of the manuscript. Footnotes may, for example, provide further technical information about computer hardware or software used in a project, which, if included in the body of the text, is confusing to the reader. It is also useful for adding an aside, or valid comment apart from the text. Footnotes should be numerically identified by using superscript roman numerals in the text, with links at the bottom of the page on which the footnote indicator appears.

2. Literature Reviews
Review articles will be also considered if they are comprehensive systematic reviews of recent literature, and a variety of sources are discussed critically and thematically to highlight key concepts, debates, and practice issues. Where reviews of research form the subject matter, the context in which the study was conducted must be outlined, and full details of the scale of the research must be detailed in the methodology section. Literature reviews should not exceed 5,000 words in length (excluding references). Contributors should note that referees of review articles are asked to use the Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP) ('10 questions to help you make sense of reviews') as one of their evaluation tools.

3. Professional Practice and Innovation papers
Practice papers are similar to research papers in that both should be carefully and systematically written in a style and with a structure that is accessible to readers and builds upon existing knowledge. They differ in scale and depth. Practice papers are typically smaller in scale with narrower questions and a focus on the process and early effects of interventions, and may also include case studies. The knowledge contained in practice papers is not as deep or academically rigorous as that in research articles, but is more immediately relevant to other practitioners grappling with similar issues. Normally practice papers will be between 1,500 and 4,000 words, including abstracts and references.

The following format is provided as an example of how a Professional Practice and Innovation paper might be structured:

  • Abstract / Summary
    The summary should be approximately 100 words in length, and summarises the aims, the context (e.g. policy or service context), the case study or practice innovation, what can be learnt from this case, and a brief conclusion.
  • Keywords
    The Abstract should be followed by a list of at least four Keywords, selected from the Index Medicus Medical Subject Headings list (MeSH): http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html
  • Introduction
    The introduction should state the purpose of the paper. Normally an introduction includes a short, relevant literature review, including pertinent background information. For example: o Context: (e.g. the policy or service context). o Review of literature on similar cases o Discussion of the evidence base o Discussion of the relevant links between research and practice
  • The case study or innovation
    Discussion of the case study or the initiative.
  • What can be learnt from this case?
    What was learnt or what resulted from this initiative. Observations and outcomes should be highlighted and discussed. It is useful to examine the significance of outcomes compared with similar initiatives, cases or examples.
  • Conclusion
    The conclusion contains a brief summary of the major outcomes of the case study or practice innovation, but is not a reiteration of the abstract. Do not include new information, nor summarise the manuscript.
  • References
    References should be provided for any other case studies or practice innovations referred to in the introduction/review of the literature on similar cases. Typically, the reference list of a Professional Practice and Innovation paper will be relatively short.
  • Footnotes
    Footnotes may be used to elaborate a point, and in some cases to cite information not normally included in the references at the end of the manuscript. Footnotes may, for example, provide further technical information about computer hardware or software used in a project, which, if included in the body of the text, is confusing to the reader. It is also useful for adding an aside, or valid comment apart from the text. Footnotes should be numerically identified by using superscript roman numerals in the text, with links at the bottom of the page on which the footnote indicator appears.

4. Forum articles
Forum articles should address important policy, research, service delivery or practice issues that have wider application to health information management. They should present new ideas, proposals and analyses through scholarly argument drawing on the literature and previous literature as appropriate. Forum papers should not normally exceed 5,000 words in length (excluding references).

The following format is provided as an example of how a Forum paper might be structured:

  • Abstract / Summary
    The summary should be approximately 100 words in length, and summarises the purpose of the paper, the context (e.g. policy or service context), relevant argument(s), discuss potential outcomes, and concluding thoughts.
  • Keywords
    The Abstract should be followed by a list of at least four Keywords, selected from the Index Medicus Medical Subject Headings list (MeSH): http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html
  • Introduction
    The introduction should state the purpose of the paper. Normally introductions include a short, relevant literature review, including pertinent background information. For example: o Context: (e.g. situate the issue in the broader context). o Review of literature on similar issues /policies o Discussion of the relevant arguments / evidence base
  • The Issue
    Discussion of the issue or the initiative.
  • What can be learnt from this case?
    For example, what resulted (or might result) from this initiative; what can be learnt? Provide evidence for arguments. Observations and outcomes should be highlighted and discussed. It is useful to examine the significance of outcomes compared with similar initiatives, cases or examples.
  • Conclusion
    The conclusion contains a brief summary of the major outcomes of the case study or practice innovation, but is not a reiteration of the abstract. Do not include new information, nor summarise the manuscript.
  • References
    Discussion of ideas / policies should be carefully referenced. Typically a Forum paper will have a relatively long list of references.
  • Footnotes
    Footnotes may be used to elaborate a point, and in some cases to cite information not normally included in the references at the end of the manuscript. Footnotes may, for example, provide further technical information about computer hardware or software used in a project, which, if included in the body of the text, is confusing to the reader. It is also useful for adding an aside, or valid comment apart from the text. Footnotes should be numerically identified by using superscript roman numerals in the text, with links at the bottom of the page on which the footnote indicator appears.

Qualitative research methods
Contributors who use qualitative research methods are encouraged to refer to the Critical Appraisal Tools devised by the British NHS Public Health Resource Unit by the Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP). This resource is used by referees to assist the review of such papers. It is available for personal use at http://www.phru.nhs.uk/casp/critical_appraisal_tools.htm

In addition, the following articles provide useful information regarding academic rigour in qualitative research:

Structure and organisation of manuscripts
Headings and subheadings
Headings and subheadings are a very important aspect of any manuscript. They define the structure of a paper and provide readers with a map that makes reading and understanding of the paper easier. Clear distinctions should be made between headings and subheadings.

Level 1 headings outline the major sections of the manuscript. The example below assumes a traditional manuscript structure divided into sections under the following Level 1 headings: Title; Abstract; Keywords; Introduction; Method; Results; Discussion; Conclusion; References.

  • The Introduction provides a brief broad overview of published research in the area and quickly narrows down to focus on the specific research directly related to the present paper, drawing attention to gaps in the literature that the present paper seeks to fill. The literature review should lead logically to a statement of aims/operational hypotheses that define exactly the purpose of the present paper. It is recommended that authors include a Level 2 heading “Aim(s) of the Present Research” at this point. The introduction can be likened to a funnel: broad at the top and narrowing down to make a point.
  • The ‘Method’ section (Level 1 heading) is next, followed by
  • ‘Results’ (Level 1),
  • ‘Discussion’ (Level 1) and
  • ‘Conclusion’ (Level 1).

Level 2 and Level 3 headings should be used for all other headings within the major sections.

L1 format: Left-aligned: Bold; Sentence case (only first letter of first word capitalized)

L2 format: Left-aligned: Bold italics, Sentence case

L3 format: Left-aligned: Italics; not bold, Sentence case


The typical structure or ‘map’ of a research paper

Title of manuscript
Abstract

Introduction
Literature review
Subheading 1

Subheading 2
Aim(s) of the study

Method
Design of study
Sample and procedures
Measures
Data analysis
Ethics approval

Results
Summary statistics/Initial analyses
Major findings
Subheadings …etc

Discussion
Limitations of the study
Subheadings …etc
Implications

Conclusion

Acknowledgements
References
Appendices

Tables and figures
Tables, figures and other graphics are to be submitted on separate pages at the end of the document, and not embedded in the text. The body of the text is to include notations about placement of tables, figures or graphics by leaving four lines of space and making a note ‘Insert table/figure/graphic x here’. Tables, figures and graphics should be clearly identified by consecutive numbering using Arabic numerals and by providing concise titles for all figures used. A legend for each table and figure should be included.

References
Titles of journals must be written in full; e.g., Medical Journal of Australia, not MJA. References should be listed in alphabetical order at the end of the paper, using the Harvard format for sequence of details and for punctuation.

Acknowledgments
Acknowledgments may include significant contributions made in the support of the study or in writing the manuscript. Permission should be obtained from any individuals named in the acknowledgments. (Be aware that people being identified may need to give their permission, since inclusion of names may infer potentially unwarranted endorsement of the paper’s conclusions). Copies of permission statements should be submitted with the manuscript.

Manuscript submission

  • Manuscripts are to be submitted electronically, saved in Word format, and with no headers and footers. Do not submit papers in PDF format.
  • Only digital photographs are accepted. If they are essential, photographs and other images accompanying manuscripts should be provided as separate files, clearly identified and captioned. In addition, the subject’s permission to publish may be required.
  • Data for tables and graphs should be provided in separate Excel files as well as in their final form.
  • Formatting of the document should be kept to a minimum.
  • A formal covering letter should be included with the manuscript.
  • Ensure that in addition to the main text, the manuscript includes the following on separate pages: Title, abstract followed by four MeSH keywords (see http;//www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html) ;author details (including academic qualifications, affiliations, postal and email addresses, and if there are multiple authors the identity of the corresponding author.
  • Acknowledgements. Acknowledgments of sources of funding for research projects should be included. Please note that this information will be published. As acknowledgements could identify the authorship of the paper, they should be written on a separate page.

Contributors checklist
Please ensure you have:\

Included a covering letter with the manuscript
Removed all headers and footers
Saved the document in word format
Nominated an author to receive correspondence
Provided title, author details and abstract on separate pages
Numbered all pages of main text
Checked all pages have been included
Asked someone not involved in writing the manuscript to proof read it
Checked all referencing and ensured that it complies with the Author-Date (Harvard) system
Included all necessary acknowledgements on a separate page
Included all necessary permission statements
Included a 100 word abstract
Included at least four key words or terms (selected from MeSH)
Provided captions for photographs, tables, figures and graphs
Provided tables, figures and graphics on separate pages
Provided data for all tables and figures in a separate Excel spreadsheet
Removed all jargon from text
Expressed all acronyms and abbreviations in full at their first iteration
Checked all diagrams and tables are clearly labelled

Manuscripts should be emailed to:

The Editor
Health Information Management Journal
himj@himaa.org.au


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