Instructions for Authors

Guide for authors
 “Journal of Health Administration”, is a Quarterly Journal of School of Health Management and Information Sciences of Iran University of Medical Sciences, with the aim of promoting research in management and health sciences and as an official channel for scientific communication among researchers.  It is Double-blind peer reviewed scholarly journal that released to publish recent findings in both English and Persian languages. Topics in this journal include but not limited to: Health Services Management (Health Policy, Health in Disasters and Emergencies, Health Technology Assessment), Health Information Management (Medical Informatics, Health Information Technology), Health Economics, Medical Librarianship and Information Science.
In this guide, types of published articles are first presented and the structure and descriptions of the various articles are then introduced.
1. Types of Articles
1.1. Research/Original Articles
  • Definition: An article derived from the primary research findings is an original article. This type of article should include a maximum of 5,000 words.
Components of Research Articles
Abstracts should:
  • be structured
  • include less than 250 words
  • include the following sections:
- Introduction: includes the main question and the purpose of the study are discussed
 -Methods: includes research method (design), population, sample specifications, sampling method and frame, and the explanation of the study outputs
- Results: includes summaries of obtained information from conducted research
- Conclusion: includes overall analysis based on the obtained results of the study
- Keywords: (Refer to the explanations of this section on page 9.)
Main text of the Research Article: The main text should be organized with the following titles:
- Introduction: (Refer to the explanations of this section on page 9.)
- Methods: (Refer to the explanations of this section on page 9.)
- Results: (Refer to the explanations of this section in the article writing guide on page 9.)
- Discussion: Refer to the explanations of this section on page 10.
* Note: Research articles are the structured articles.
- Acknowledgement: (Refer to the explanations of this section on page 10.)
- References: (Refer to the explanations of this section on page 11.)
1.2. Review Article
1.2.1. Narrative Review Articles
  • Definition: This type of article is applied in comprehensive and detailed topics. In this article type, the results and discussions of the initially published studies on a particular topic are combined, reviewed, and criticized. It should be limited to a maximum of 4,000 words. Moreover, in the references of this type of article, at least three works of related authors should be cited. The results of a narrative review article, in contrast to a systematic review one, are more qualitative. Components of Narrative Review Articles
Abstract: Abstract of this type of article is written in two ways:
  • Unstructured abstract with less than 250 words in which the subject matter of the article is described.
  • Structured abstract with less than 300 words in which the following sections are included:
- Introduction: Includes the purpose of the study through reviewing the secondary studies.
- Methods: In the methods, data sources, criteria of study selection and their numbers are provided.
- Results: In this section, the relationship between the statements and the integration of the obtained findings is summarized.
- Conclusion: Includes the primary conclusion and summary of the provided content in the article.
- Keywords: (Refer to the explanations of this section on page 9.)
The main text of the Narrative Review Article
- Introduction: In this section, the context of the subject matter, the concept and the hypothesis, the importance of the subject matter and the purpose are explained.
*Note: Avoid explanation of findings in this section.
- Methods: In this section, key words, searched databases, phrase and search strategy, period and resource selection criteria are mentioned.
- Results: The obtained results from the combination and review of the secondary studies are presented in this section.
- Discussion: In this section, summary of results for previous studies is reported and the future research orientation of is given.
- Ethical Considerations: (Refer to the explanations of this section on page 10).
- References: (Refer to the explanations of this section on page 11).
1.2.2. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Article
  • Definition of systematic review article: This is a review article that starts with a centralized question. in order to answer their question, the authors, using a single protocol with explicit and systematic methods, search, identify, select, and critically assess the related resources; and finally, gather, analyze, and synthesize the findings of the primary or secondary studies.
  • Definition of Meta-Analysis Article: A meta-analysis article is a systematic review article using a special statistical strategy in order to combine the results of various related studies in an estimated unit. Components of a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Article
  • The abstract of this type of article, like that of the research/original article, is structured and includes less than 250 words.
  • The abstract includes the sections of the introduction, methods, findings, conclusions, and key words (Refer to structured abstract section on pages 1 and 2.)
The main text of Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Article         
- Introduction: (Refer to page 9.)
- Methods: Includes description of the following:
Research question
Type of studies
Search strategy
Searched databases
Search time
Search period
Interventions and outcomes
The total number of retrieved and selected studies
Evidence selection criteria
Exclusion and inclusion criteria
Quality assessment of studies
Method of data collection and analysis
Method of combining and interpreting studies
Possible biases
- Results: In this section, first, the characteristics and results of the evaluation of scientific quality of studies are shown and, then, the effects of interventions are presented.
Moreover, the research findings are combined and critically evaluated using a systematic and unbiased approach.
- Discussion: In this section, a summary of quality of the evidence, the potential biases and the strengths and weaknesses of the reviewed articles are presented. Finally, the findings are analyzed and interpreted.
- Ethical Considerations:  (Refer to page 10)
- References: (Refer to page 11)
* Note: Each meta-analysis study is a systematic review but any systematic review cannot be a meta-analysis study.
* Note: Systematic review and meta-analysis articles are the structured types.
1.3. Short Communication
  • Definition: This type of article is similar to the research/original article. Short communication is a report regarding ongoing research with few research findings. This report is a maximum of two pages and includes a maximum of two tables or images.
1.3.1. Components of Short Communication
- Abstract: Abstract of this type of structured article contains a maximum of 150 words. To write this abstract refer to pages 1 and 2.
- Introduction: Introduction should be brief and limited to description of the problem, the goals of research and its relation to other research of the same topics. Moreover, research hypotheses should be expressed clearly.
- Methods: This section provides a detailed report of the research method.
- Results: In this section, the results of the research are described.
For more information, refer to the explanation of this section on page 9.
- Discussion: (Refer to the explanation of this section on page 10.)
- Acknowledgment: (Refer to the explanation of this section on page 10.)
- References: (Refer to the explanation of this section on page 11.)
1.4. Letter to the Editor
Definition: It is the shortest non-research article with a maximum of 600 words. The number of resources used, is a maximum of five resources.
The letter to the editor is usually written in one of the following three ways leading to a greater transparency of the topic and increasing the knowledge.
Criticism of recently published articles in the journal by the reader
Response to questions raised by the critics of published articles in the journal
 Comments on specific topics covered by the journal
* Note: Letter to the editor is an unstructured / semi-structured article type.
2. General contents of different types of Articles
2.1. Title page
  • General information of the article and its authors are written in this section.
  • This section includes the full title of the article, the author's information, any disclaimer statement, resources of support, number of words and sometimes the number of tables and images.
* Note: The type of article (letter to the editor, review, research, etc.) is usually indicated in the title page.
2.1.1. Title of the Article
  • It is a brief description of the whole article and should include the information that along with the abstract leads to improvement of electronic retrieval of the article.
  • In systematic review and meta-analysis studies, the study method is mentioned in the title.
  • Title of the article should be no more than 12 words including spaces and letters.
  • Avoid mentioning words such as "review", "research" and "study" in the title.
* Note: A running title is a short description of the main title, which, if any, is written on the top right of the article pages with the font of 10, and in B Titr. The number of words used in the running title is 6 to 8 words.
2.1.2. Author's Information
  • In this part, the authors’ first and last name, affiliation (including school or faculty, research center or university, city and country), the corresponding author's contact information (including address and postal code, e-mail, phone and fax number) are written in Persian and English under the titles.
* Example:
School / Faculty of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Corresponding Author (Email)
* Note: The organizational affiliation for the student is the degree, major (field of study), faculty, university, city, and the country.
* Example:
M.Sc student of Medical Informatics, Faculty of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
* Note: If the author is employed and is not a student or a faculty member, the organizational affiliation would be job position, work place, city, and the country, respectively.
* Example:
Webmaster, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
* Note: In cases where the author is not a student, a faculty member or is unemployed, the organizational affiliation would be degree, major (field of study), the place of education (name of the faculty, name of the university), city, and the country, respectively.
* Example:
M.Sc. of Health Information Management, School / Faculty of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
 * Note: Academic degrees are written from the lowest to the highest degree including Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Master of Science (M.Sc.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Pharmacy (Pharm D), Doctor of Medicine (M.D), Ph.D. Medical Student (Resident).
2.2. Abstract (Abstract)
  • The abstract should explicitly reflect the context, concept of research, most important and the recent observations.
  • In this section, the objectives of the study, methods, main findings and conclusions are described.
  • It should be in the Persian and English languages, and should conceptually convey the exact meaning.
  • The key words contained in the abstract should be between 3 and 5 controlled words based on medical topics, "MESH".
2.3. Introduction
  • This section includes:
  • Statement of the problem, goals and research hypotheses
  • Indication of related sources
* Note: Avoid mentioning the footnote in all parts of the article.
 * Note: Avoid mentioning findings and conclusion.
2.4. Methods
This section includes:
  • How and why the study is conducted, and the type of research, based on the purpose and nature of the study
  • Population, sample, instrument and method of data collection, and data analysis method (applied statistical tests and data analysis software)
2.5. Findings (Results)
This section includes:
  • Obtained data from primary and secondary results (derived from the main and secondary objectives of the research)
  • The most important findings in a logical sequence in the form of text, tables and images
  • The report regarding the findings of the present study in past tense, and the report of the findings of other studies in present tense
  • the most important observations and summary of the findings
  • the charts as an alternative to tables with many entries
  • demographic variables such as age and gender in the data report
* Note: In report findings, avoid repeating the information contained in tables and images.
* Note: Avoid mentioning the% sign in the article text, and use the word percent instead.
* Note: Numbers up to 10 should be written in words except numbers of tables and images.
* Note: Write Persian decimal numbers according to Persian style of writing.  
* Example: “12/5” is correct and “12,5” is wrong.
* Note: Decimal numbers in English should be written according to English style of writing.   Example: 12.5
2.6. Discussion
  • State the main findings of the study.
  • Discuss the main results and compare them with previous research.
  • Describe study limitations for future studies.
  • Draw a general conclusion with reference to previous studies.
* Note: Avoid mentioning the English names of the authors in the text and write the names in Persian.
2.7. Ethical Considerations
2.7.2. Compliance With ethical guidelines
In all articles extracted from biomedical researches, this section should refer to the code of ethics
Example: this research is conducted with ethical code No ___.
2.7.2. Funding:
Authors must make sure that they have declared any financial support they have received from any organizations while doing their research in their manuscript (if any).
In all of research articles a funding acknowledgment statement should be written in the form of a sentence under a separate heading entitled “Funding”:
Example: This work was financially supported by the Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (Grant No.………).
2.7.3. Conflicts of interest:
Generally conflict of interest is a situation happens when the personal or economic interest of people is in contrast with their professional or organizational tasks. This situation can be accomplished in research fields as well. If an author hide interests of a research, that’ll be considered as an ethical or a legal breach.  Example: The authors declared no conflict of interest.
2.7.4. Acknowledgment
The writing style of acknowledgments section may vary according to the journal, but generally this section is written in the first person and is as brief as possible. In this section, you appreciate individuals or organizations that supported your paper.
If the published article is part of a research project or thesis, it should be in the following format:
This article is (a part of) research project entitled .........., approved by …. university, in (year) .......... with ethical code................ The study was supported by …………………. university.
This article is (a part of) a (BA / MA / Doctor of Medicine / Ph.D., ....) thesis / dissertation conducted in (year). The code of ethics is…... This study was (financially) supported by ……University.
2.8. References
  • List the bibliographic information of all sources (including printed materials, unpublished materials, audio-visual media, resources available in CDs, DVDs or drives, and internet sources) in the order they appear in the text.
  • List all references in the Vancouver style which is available from: 
  • (Faculty of Health Management and Information Sciences, Department of Research, Guidelines)
  • Write all references in English.
  • Translate the bibliographic information of Persian references into English. At the end of the reference write the words ‘In Persian’ in brackets: [In Persian].
  • Write "in press" or "forthcoming" when you refer to a paper which is accepted for publication.
  • Avoid using personal communications (including personal letters, memories, personal interviews, emails, and etc.) in the reference list, unless they provide essential information not available from a public source. (They may be mentioned in the text.) 
  • Prevent the citation of retracted papers. Search "retracted publication [pt]" in PubMed to access these types of articles in Medline. The term "pt" stands for publication type. Retracted publications in PubMed can be found through the following link:
* Note: Articles are retracted due to plagiarism, misused statistical tests and other scientific mistakes.
 * Note: Retractions may be demanded by the author(s) of the article, or the journal owners/ publishers, but most of the time it is requested by the editor(s).
Use the abbreviated form of the journals title, based on the style used in Medline (at the following address):
2.9. Appendices (if necessary)
  • If necessary, appendices must appear in the Supporting Information and not in the manuscript.
  • Tables and charts with large amount of data, and questionnaires, should be included in appendices.
3. Additional notes
3.1. Writing Template
  • The paper should be typed in Microsoft word 2007 format on A4 size paper with 3 cm margins.
  • Set line spacing at 1.15 lines.
  • Use 12-point B Zar font for the texts and the abstracts, 16 Bold B Titr for Persian titles, 16 Bold Times New Roman for English titles, 11 Bold B Zar titles of tables and charts, and 12 Times New Roman for English abstracts.
3.2. Tables and Charts          
  • The data of the table should be concise and simple. They should be understandable to readers.
  • Tables should be numbered in consecutive order, and each table should have a separate caption.
  • Captions should concisely and clearly describe the content and be understandable without referring to the text. 
  • Each table and chart should be placed on a separate sheet and include an appropriate title.
  • If the table is more than one page, mention the title of each column and write ‘cont.’ in parenthesis: (cont.)
  • Each column should have a concise title.
  • Use symbols such as $, * to provide additional descriptions below the table.
  • Tables from other sources are subject to author’s approval.
  • Delete blank rows and columns by merging blank cells.
  • The size of the table should not exceed the margins of the paper.
3.3. Images
  • Images should be:
  • of high quality and resolution
  • clear and distinct
  • applicable to any slides
  • in black and white, and mention the software used to produce them
  • numbered in the order they appear in the text
* Note: If published previously, a written consent of the copyright-holder should be obtained to reuse it
* Note: The number of tables, charts and images in the article is limited; insert one table, chart or image for every 1000 to 1200 words.
3.4. Symbols and Abbreviations
  • Use standard/ common abbreviations. Avoid abbreviations in titles and abstracts.
 In order to prevent misleading the readers, use only standard abbreviations. Avoid using abbreviations in the title and the abstract.
* Note: Differences between Abbreviation and Acronym
An abbreviation is typically a shortened form of words used to represent the whole. It can be the name of a country (Fr= France), an organization, etc. (Dr. = Doctor, st. = street, Ave. = Avenue, Mon. = Monday) while an acronym is formed from the first letters of a series of words and are pronounced as a word, such as UNESCO =The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. 
* Note: Acronyms are regarded as subsets of abbreviation.
  • Acronyms should be written in parenthesis following the full term in its first appearance in the text. In the rest of the text the acronym can be used.
 Example: (International Standard Organization (ISO))

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