Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The journal publishes results of research into and evaluation of practice-based education of the workforce in health, including discussions of theoretical issues related to health education. It aims to:

  • Enhance education and training of the workforce by sharing best available evidence from practice-based and academic research
  • Contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning, particularly in health
  • Foster communication and connections between communities of practice with similar interest
  • Promote innovation in health education and communication of findings.

Out of scope: health education of patients and general public

 

Section Policies

Articles

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed
 

Peer Review Process

All submitted manuscripts are subject to blind peer-review. Manuscripts are reviewed according to criteria relevant for each publication stream. Submissions, reviewer’s reports and editorial decisions are handled online. In case of double-blind peer review, authors will receive two separate reports.

Reviewing processes are outlined in Figure 1 below.

  

HEPJ Journal review workflow

Figure 1. HEPJ review process

Stage 1 (submission and review stage)

Initial manuscript evaluation

All new submissions are screened by the Editorial team for completeness, adherence to author guidelines and the journal’s scope. Authors of manuscripts rejected at the initial stage will normally be informed within ten days of receipt. Feedback is provided by the Editor for all manuscripts rejected without review and, where possible, suggestions are made for resubmission. 

Peer review process

Typically, the manuscript will be reviewed within 80 days. If reviewer responses contradict each other or the response is delayed, another reviewer may be sought. Reviewers and the Editor may seek alternative reviewers and/or additional manuscript revisions at any time.

Author revisions

The Editorial Team will inform author/s of the reviewers’ decisions and feedback. At this stage author/s will be asked to respond to reviewer comments and decide whether they will revise their manuscript accordingly. Revised manuscripts are normally returned to the Editorial team within a month unless a different timeline is negotiated with the author.

Revision acceptance

The Editorial Team will make the decision whether the revision and author/s’ responses satisfy the requirements. If necessary, revised manuscripts may be returned to the initial reviewers. Normally, the author/s will be advised of the final decision within a month.

Stage 2 (editing stage)

Initial copyedit

The Editorial team sends the manuscript to the copy editor for an initial copy-edit, to be returned within ten days unless a different timeline has been negotiated.  

Stage 3 (publication stage)

Author copyedit

The copy-edited manuscript is then sent to the authors for checking and returned within seven days.

Layout edit

After acceptance, the manuscript is formatted by the Editorial Team and normally published within seven days of receipt on the OJS website. Articles are published online as part of the rolling publication model as soon as the whole process is complete.  

How to submit a review

  1. Log in to the HEPJ website using your username and password.
  2. Select the active manuscript/s that appears in your reviewer portal by clicking on the relevant article title.
  3. In 'Step 1', indicated you 'Will do the review' to confirm your appointment and to access to the full manuscript and any supplementary files.Reviewer guidelines are appended below the form for your reference.
  4. Review the files available for download/view in the portal.
  5. Upload your review by either entering your review using the review form in 'Step 5'. We ask that uploaded review files be identified as for the editor or for the author. Other files may be uploaded such as 'Tracked changes - manuscript'.
  6. Select a recommendation for the manuscript in 'Step 6'
  7. Submit review to Editor to finalise the process

Reviewer guidelines

A guideline for reviewers is also provided for all reviewers who have accepted an invitation to review a manuscript submitted to HEPJ. 

 

Publication Frequency

HEPJ is published online throughout the year and compiled in two issues a year, please see announcements for upcoming deadlines. 

 

Open Access Policy

HEPJ is an open access publication. The journal accepts original articles, which have not been previously published or submitted for publication elsewhere.

Copyright is held by the authors with the first publication rights granted to the journal. Conditions of sharing are defined by the Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike-NonCommercial 4.0 International, adopted by HEPJ.

The journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

 

Foundational policies

Journal publication is determined by overarching NSW Health policies (https://www.medicalresearch.nsw.gov.au/policies-guidelines/), in addition to being guided by the industry standards and policies for scholarly and professional publications. HEPJ accepts and implements key policies adopted by communities of journal publishers and editors internationally:

The journal adopted the following foundational policies:

 

Publication policy

Authorship

HEPJ accepts the recommendation of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors that authorship is based on the following four criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

(International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) 2018, Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors, ICMJE. Available from:  http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html)

Other contributions, which do not constitute authorship, should be noted in acknowledgments.

A Corresponding Author is identified for manuscripts with two or more authors at the time of manuscript submission. The Corresponding Author is responsible for communication with the Editorial Team throughout the publication process.

Reviews

Manuscripts are submitted and reviewed for publication in one of two publication streams:

  • Research and Evaluation (scholarly stream) – papers are submitted for double-blind peer-review and assessed according to established standards used for scholarly papers. Word length is 4000 – 7000 words.
  • Education in Practice (professional stream) – papers are submitted for single-blind peer-review. Articles in this stream are not scholarly articles and can provide information on ongoing projects and practitioner reflection. Articles should be of a professional standard and the information within the article must be correct and theoretically sound. The articles need to be structured well, but do not require the standard structure of scholarly papers. Word length is around 500 – 2000 words.

The education-in-practice stream includes professional papers that include but are not limited to the following:

  • Reports on results of research and evaluation work-in-progress
  • Information on relevant policies related to education of the health workforce
  • Non-scientific papers outlining any specific discourses or issues related to the evidence-based educational practice
  • Reflections based on literature review or experience of educators/professionals and practice-based researchers.

All manuscripts are submitted for blind peer-review. This means that authors and reviewers are not informed of each other’s identity and affiliation throughout the reviewing process. A reviewer’s identity will remain confidential.

Transparency, confidentiality and high standard of the reviewing process will be ensured in the following manner:

  • Author/s should not submit any manuscript, which has been submitted in any other journal either in part or in full form
  • Author/s need to mention if an ethics approval was deemed necessary for the research, which is to be submitted in HEPJ. In the event that an ethics approval was required, the ethics approval number from the relevant HREC needs to be outlined in the manuscript
  • Author/s should obtain permission for the use of any copyrighted material from other sources
  • Reviewers will be selected on the basis of their relevant expertise and to avoid any possible conflict of interest
  • Reviewers are expected to be professional, courteous and constructive. Their feedback is a valuable mechanism in paper development so reviews should provide sufficient detail to support any manuscript revision
  • Reviewer/s should respect the confidentiality of material supplied to them and may not discuss unpublished manuscripts with colleagues or use the information in their own work
  • Reviewers are not allowed to delegate reviewing to someone else without editor’s permission beforehand
  • The Editor-in-Chief will make the final decision considering reviewers’ comments. In case of reviewers’ significant difference in opinion, an additional review will be sought
  • The Editorial Team will ensure strict confidentiality of the reviewing processes. The Editorial Team will not share personally identifiable information related to reviewing unless required by law and for auditing purposes.

 

Conflict of interest policy

A conflict of interest (COI) constitutes a situation that may trigger bias and affect the integrity and objectivity of scholarly practice in research. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) states in its Guidelines on Good Publication Practice (2003):

‘Conflicts of interest arise when authors, reviewers, or editors have interests that are not fully apparent and that may influence their judgments on what is published. They have been described as those which, when revealed later, would make a reasonable reader feel misled or deceived.’

(The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) 2003, The COPE Report 2003: Annual Report of the Committee on Publication Ethics, London, UK. Available from: https://publicationethics.org/files/u7141/COPE2003pdfcomplete.pdf)

The following outlines policies for dealing with conflicts of interest in relation to particular roles.

Authors

  • Authors submitting a manuscript in HEPJ should include a relevant disclosure statement, in conjunction with any acknowledgments and details of funders/institutions, if applicable.
  • Authors should mention any other competing conflicts of interest in a separate document highlighting the relevant parties or institutions referring to the exact reason why a conflict of interest may occur.
  • A Reviewer should declare any competing interests.
  • Reviewers should decline to review manuscripts in which they have a competing interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships and connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
  • Editorial Team members will not be involved in editorial processes if they have a COI related to a particular manuscript. It includes their own or a close family member’s financial interest; and personal, political or religious conflict of interest related to manuscript author/s.
  • An Editorial Team member of HEPJ will not be involved in the editorial decision making if they are an author or co-author of a manuscript submitted in HEPJ to be considered for publication.
  • A manuscript authored by HETI staff will be assigned to reviewers outside HETI and, whenever possible, outside NSW Health.
  • An Editorial Board member should declare an intention to submit a manuscript to HEPJ. The Editorial Board or Editor-in-Chief will decide whether the Editorial Board member needs to withdraw from making editorial decisions about the issue for which the article is considered.

Reviewers

  • A Reviewer should declare any competing interests.
  • Reviewers should decline to review manuscripts in which they have a competing interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships and connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

Editorial Team (Editor, Journal Manager and Editorial Assistant)

  • Editorial Team members will not be involved in editorial processes if they have a COI related to a particular manuscript. It includes their own or a close family member’s financial interest; and personal, political or religious conflict of interest related to manuscript author/s.
  • An Editorial Team member of HEPJ will not be involved in the editorial decision making if they are an author or co-author of a manuscript submitted in HEPJ to be considered for publication.
  • A manuscript authored by HETI staff will be assigned to reviewers outside HETI and, whenever possible, outside NSW Health.
  • An Editorial Board member should declare an intention to submit a manuscript to HEPJ. The Editorial Board or Editor-in-Chief will decide whether the Editorial Board member needs to withdraw from making editorial decisions about the issue for which the article is considered.

Editorial Board

  • An Editorial Board member should declare an intention to submit a manuscript to HEPJ. The Editorial Board or Editor-in-Chief will decide whether the Editorial Board member needs to withdraw from making editorial decisions about the issue for which the article is considered.

 

Corrections policy

HEPJ is an online publication and considers an article published in an issue to be the version of a record. Articles can be read online from publication and changes made to the article after publication may impact those who have read or cited the earlier version. Authors are provided the ability to review article proofs and copyedits prior to publication to ensure accuracy. They may, however, notify the editor post-publication of errors via formal written notice.

At the editor’s discretion, a correction notice to alert readers of any issues will be published, however the version of a record will remain unchanged. The process is regulated by the Corrections Procedures.

 

Complaints and appeals statement

HEPJ adopts COPE’s recommendations and flowcharts for handling complaints and appeals (https://publicationethics.org/appeals).

Complaints regarding editorial decisions should be sent to journal email (HETI-HEP@health.nsw.gov.au) and outline details of the complaint. The Editor-in-chief will consider the complaint. The paper may then be sent for additional review outlined in the Corrections Procedures. After this review, the editorial decision will be final.

Complaints regarding other matters should be sent to the relevant and corresponding member of the editorial team in the first instance. Response will be sent in a timely manner. If the response is unsatisfactory, the complaint should be forwarded to the Editor-in-Chief. For all unresolved matters, advice will be sought from members of the Editorial Board if required. The principles of the NSW Health Complaint Management Policy will be followed.

 

Archiving

HEPJ is hosted by the Sydney University Press (SUP). Open Journal Systems (OJS), an open source journal management and publishing software, is developed, supported, and freely distributed by the Public Knowledge Project under the GNU General Public License. The University of Sydney, acting through Sydney University Press, maintains and supports the OJS platform, which assists with every stage of the refereed publishing process, from submission through to online publication and indexing.

The OJS management system provides:

  • Complete records of submission process for published and declined items
  • An email history archive, providing a log of communications between the Editorial Team and authors, reviewers, and copyeditors
  • A journal archive that allows issue browsing, with indexing by Open Archive Initiative (OAI) search engines, Google, etc.
  • Access for the Editorial Team to these archives

HEPJ also uses a private folder in HETI’s version of TRIM to archive any relevant documents, which have not been archived via OJS. All journal correspondence is managed via HETI-HEP@health.nsw.gov.au and can be retrieved via the Outlook Email Archive (Quest Archive Manager (QAM)) used for NSW Health email addresses.

The journal’s publications are deposited in multiple digital archives to guarantee long-term digital preservation. These archives include:

  • National Library of Australia (https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-723046924)
  • Information Services, Health Public Affairs NSW Health
  • Brian Tutt Library and Knowledge Centre, NSW Health
  • State Library of New South Wales
  • NSW Parliamentary Library
  • University of Western Sydney Library.

 

Journal roles

The roles of people involved in journal publication are outlined below.

Editorial Board

Editorial Board members are prominent scholars and professionals in disciplines related to the journal scope. They work with the Editor-in-Chief to provide guidance, support and advice on policy, strategy, and style, including future directions and journal growth.

Publisher

The Publisher (i.e. Health Education and Training Institute - HETI) enables journal publication by ensuring ethical publication practices, staffing, and by providing financial and other support. HETI’s Chief Executive (or delegate) represents journal publisher.

Editorial team

The Editorial team comprise the publication office for HEPJ. The team is responsible for content acquisition, the publication process and management of digital publication.

Editor-in-Chief

The Editor-in-Chief or Editor is responsible for setting and implementing journal direction, and for ensuring rigorous and ethical publication processes. The Editor develops connections with professional and scholarly communities to ensure journal content, review and promotion. Editor-in-Chief observes the standards described in Editor’s Code of Conduct.

Journal Manager

The Journal Manager oversees and manages end-to-end publication process, using the online submission and peer-review system, and maintains regular communication with all stakeholders involved in the production process.

Editorial Assistant

The Editorial Assistant supports journal editorial processes, especially in the final stages of publication. The Editorial Assistant updates journal website and oversees information management for the journal.

Copy Editor

A Copy Editor ensures the appropriate and consistent use of language, visual consistency, accuracy, and the correct use of references in manuscripts. They check for the completeness of the final manuscript.

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