JEHS Guidelines for authors
This guide describes how to prepare contributions for submission. We recommend you read this in full if you have not previously submitted a contribution to Journal of Exercise and Health Science (JEHS). We also recommend that, before submission, you familiarize yourself with JEHS’s style and content by reading the journal, either in print or online.
Formats for JEHS contributions
JEHS's main formats for original research are Articles.
Articles are original reports whose conclusions represent a substantial advance in understanding of an important problem and have immediate, far-reaching implications. They do not normally exceed 14 pages of JEHS, without references counting. (One page of undiluted text is about 1,300 words.)
Articles have a summary, separate from the main text, of up to 250 words, which does not have references, and does not contain numbers, abbreviations, acronyms or measurements unless essential. It is aimed at readers outside the discipline. This summary contains a paragraph (2-3 sentences) of basic-level introduction to the field; a brief account of the background and rationale of the work; a statement of the main conclusions (introduced by the phrase 'Here we show' or its equivalent); and finally, 2-3 sentences putting the main findings into general context so it is clear how the results described in the paper have moved the field forwards.
A typical Article contains at least 3,000 words of text and maximum 6,000 words, beginning with up to 500 words of referenced text expanding on the background to the work (some overlap with the summary is acceptable), before proceeding to a concise, focused account of the findings, ending with one or two short paragraphs of discussion.
The text may contain a few short subheadings (not more than six in total) of no more than 40 characters each (less than one line of text in length).
Articles typically have 5 or 6 display items (figures or tables).
The editorial process
The principal criteria for publication of scientific papers in JEHS are that they:
• report original scientific research (the main results and conclusions must not have been published or submitted elsewhere)
• are of outstanding scientific importance
• reach a conclusion of interest to an interdisciplinary readership.
To reduce delays, authors should ensure that the level, length and format conforms with JEHS’s requirements, at submission and each revision stage. Although optional, a cover letter is an excellent opportunity to briefly discuss the importance of the submitted work and why it is appropriate for JEHS journal. Please avoid repeating information that is already present in the abstract and introduction. The cover letter is not shared with the referees, and should be used to provide confidential information such as conflicts of interest and to declare any related work that is in press or submitted elsewhere.
What happens to a submitted Article?
The first stage for a newly submitted Article is that the editorial staff consider whether to send it for peer-review. On submission, the manuscript is assigned to an editor covering the subject area, who seeks informal advice from scientific advisors and editorial colleagues, and who makes this initial decision. The initial judgement is not a reflection on the technical validity of the work described, or on its importance to people in the same field. Once the decision has been made to peer-review the paper, the choice of referees is made by the editor who has been assigned the manuscript. Most papers are sent to two or three referees, but some are sent to more.
Referees are chosen for the following reasons:
• Independence from the authors and their institutions
• Ability to evaluate the technical aspects of the paper fully and fairly
• Currently or recently assessing related submissions
• Availability to assess the manuscript within the requested time.
JEHS makes decisions about submitted papers as rapidly as possible. Authors are usually informed within two weeks if the paper is not being considered and most referees honor their agreement with JEHS to deliver a report within two weeks or other agreed time limit, and send their reports online. Decisions by editors are routinely made very rapidly after receipt of reports and plagiarism checking. Normally, over 30% similarity of the text with one or more published articles may remove the article from the processing.
Decision letters and what they mean
All Articles published in JEHS go through at least one round of review. At each stage, the editor will discuss the manuscript with editorial colleagues in the light of referees’ reports, and send a letter to the author offering one of the following options:
• The paper is accepted for publication without any further changes required from the authors.
• The paper is accepted for publication in principle once the authors have made some revisions in response to the referees’ reports.
• A final decision on publication is deferred, pending the authors’ response to the referees’ comments.
• The paper is rejected because the referees have raised considerable technical objections and/or the authors’ claim has not been adequately established.
Under these circumstances, the editor’s letter will state explicitly whether or not a resubmitted version would be considered.
• The paper is rejected with no offer to reconsider a resubmitted version.
In replying to the referees’ comments, authors are advised to use language that would not cause offence when their paper is shown again to the referees, and to bear in mind that if a point was not clear to the referees and/or editors, it is unlikely that it would be clear to the nonspecialist readers of JEHS.
If an author wishes to appeal against JEHS’s decision, the appeal must be made in writing, not by telephone, and should be confined to the scientific case for publication. JEHS’s editors are unable to assign high priority to consideration of appeals. Authors often ask for a new referee to be consulted, particularly in cases where two referees have been used and one is negative, the other positive. JEHS is reluctant to consult new referees unless there is a particular, relevant area of scientific expertise that was lacking in the referees already used. Authors should note that as JEHS is an interdisciplinary journal, referees for a paper are chosen for different reasons, for example, a technical expert and a person who has a general overview of a field might both referee the same paper. Editors’ decisions are weighted according to the expertise of the referees, and not by a “voting” procedure. If JEHS’s editors agree to reconsider a paper, the other original referee(s) will have the chance to see and comment on the report of the referee who is the subject of the complaint. New referees can often raise new sets of points, which complicates and lengthens the consideration process instead of simplifying it. If an author remains unsatisfied, he or she can write to the Editor, citing the manuscript reference number. In all these cases, it is likely that some time will elapse before JEHS can respond, and the paper must not be submitted for publication elsewhere during this time.
Formats and lengths of papers
Space in JEHS is extremely limited, and so format requirements must be strictly observed, as advised by the editor handling the submission, and Editorial process JEHS guide to authors.
Subediting of accepted papers
After a paper is accepted, it is subedited (or copyedited) to ensure maximum clarity and reach. This process enhances the value of papers in various ways. JEHS’s subeditor are happy to advise authors about the format of their Articles after acceptance for publication. Their role is to:
• edit the language for maximum clarity and precision for those in other disciplines.
• ensure that the paper is at the length specified by the manuscript editor (including figures).
• ensure that the terminology and notation conform to JEHS’s house style.
• ensure that the figures and tables are clear and will fit in the space available.
Proofs and reprints
Subeditor send authors the edited text for approval before it is typeset. This enables most of the queries to be resolved before proof stage. Authors subsequently receive a proof (PDF) of the layout, including the figures. Corresponding authors should coordinate with their co-authors to ensure that only one author communicates with JEHS and only one set of proof corrections is sent. The corresponding author is responsible on behalf of the co-authors for the accuracy of all content, including spelling of names and correct affiliations of all co-authors. Proofs are cycled between JEHS’s production staff, our typesetter and the author by means of an online production tracking system. Authors are provided with an encrypted link to this system after their paper has been accepted. Instructions for ordering reprints are provided after papers are scheduled for publication.
Publication and the press
Original research papers are assigned to an issue two weeks before publication. A week later, JEHS distributes a press release summarizing the content and highlighting papers of particular interest. Journalist is given the names, email addresses and contact details of corresponding authors. Journalist is also given online access to the full text of all papers due to appear in that issue. Authors should try and be available to answer any inquiries in the days leading up to publication.
If you wish to enquire whether your Article might be suitable for consideration by JEHS, please read our call for paper. All presubmission enquiries must include a cover paragraph to the editor stating the interest to a broad scientific readership, a fully referenced summary paragraph in the style for Letters to JEHS, and a reference list.
JEHS is an international journal covering all the sciences in sport medicine, Physical activity and healthcare. Contributions should therefore be written clearly and simply so that they are accessible to readers in other disciplines and to readers for whom English is not their first language. Thus, technical jargon should be avoided as far as possible and clearly explained where its use is unavoidable. Abbreviations, particularly those that are not standard, should also be kept to a minimum. The background, rationale and main conclusions of the study should be clearly explained. Titles and abstracts in particular should be written in language that will be readily intelligible to any scientist. Essential but specialized terms should be explained concisely but not didactically.
For gene, protein and other specialized names authors can use their preferred terminology so long as it is in current use by the community, but they must give all known names for the entity at first use in the paper.
Even though no paper will be rejected for poor language, non–native English speakers occasionally receive feedback from editors and reviewers regarding language and grammar usage in their manuscripts. You may wish to consider asking a colleague whose native language is English to read your manuscript and/or to use a professional editing service. Please note that the use of a language editing service is not a requirement for publication in JEHS. However, papers with poor language need a professional re-editing.
JEHS's editors provide detailed advice about format before contributions are formally accepted for publication. JEHS's editors often suggest revised titles and rewrite the summaries of Articles so the conclusions are clear to a broad readership.
After acceptance, JEHS's subeditors (copyeditors) ensure that the text and figures are readable and clear to those outside the field, and edit papers into JEHS's house style. They pay particular attention to summary paragraphs, overall clarity, figures, figure legends and titles.
Proofs are sent before publication; authors are welcome to discuss proposed changes with JEHS's subeditors, but JEHS reserves the right to make the final decision about matters of style and the size of figures.
Format of Articles
Contributions should be double-spaced and written in English (spellings as in the Oxford English Dictionary)
Contributions should be organized in the sequence: title, text, references, acknowledgements, author contributions, author information (containing data deposition statement, competing interest declaration and corresponding author line), tables, figure legends. In order to facilitate the review process, for initial submissions we encourage authors to incorporate the manuscript text and figures together in a single file (Microsoft Word or PDF, up to 10 MB in size). The figures may be inserted within the text at the appropriate positions or grouped at the end, and each figure legend should be presented together with its figure. Also, please include line numbers within the text.
Titles do not exceed two lines in print. This equates to 90 characters (including spaces) for Letters, or 75 characters (including spaces) for Articles. Titles do not normally include numbers, acronyms, abbreviations or punctuation. They should include sufficient detail for indexing purposes but be general enough for readers outside the field to appreciate what the paper is about.
Articles should fill no more than 14 pages of JEHS. An uninterrupted page of text contains about 1,300 words. A typical Article contains at least 3,000 words of text and maximum 6,000 words. Additionally, five small display items (figures and/or tables) with brief legends, reference list and methods section if applicable. A composite figure (with several panels) usually needs to take about half a page, equivalent to about 600 words, in order for all the elements to be visible.
When submitting new or revised manuscripts, authors should state in a cover letter to the editor their rough estimate of the length of their paper in terms of number of pages of JEHS. Authors of contributions that significantly exceed the limits stated here or specified by the editor will have to shorten their papers before acceptance, inevitably delaying publication.
Our preferred format for text is Microsoft Word.
We prefer the use of a ‘standard’ font, preferably 12-point Times New Roman. For mathematical symbols, Greek letters and other special characters, use normal text or Symbol font. Word Equation Editor/MathType should be used only for formulae that cannot be produced using normal text or Symbol font.
Follow APA format for references.
References are each numbered, ordered sequentially as they appear in the text, tables, boxes, figure legends, Extended Data tables and Extended Data figure legends.
When cited in the text, reference numbers are superscript, not in brackets unless they are likely to be confused with a superscript number.
Do not use linked fields (produced by EndNote and similar programs). Please use the one-click button provided by EndNote to remove EndNote codes before saving your file.
As a guideline, only one publication can be listed for each number.
Only articles that have been published or accepted by a named publication, or that have been uploaded to a recognized preprint server, should be in the reference list; papers in preparation should be mentioned in the text with a list of authors (or initials if any of the authors are co-authors of the present contribution).
Published conference abstracts, numbered patents, preprints on recognized servers (preprints of accepted papers in the reference list should be submitted with the manuscript) and research datasets that have been assigned a digital object identifier may be included in reference lists, but text, grant details and acknowledgements may not.
All authors should be included in reference lists unless there are more than five, in which case only the first author should be given, followed by ‘et al.’.
Please follow the style below in the published edition of JEHS in preparing reference lists.
Endnotes are brief and follow the reference list.
Acknowledgements should be brief, and should not include thanks to anonymous referees and editors, inessential words, or effusive comments. A person can be thanked for assistance, not “excellent” assistance, or for comments, not “insightful” comments, for example. Acknowledgements can contain grant and contribution numbers.
Author Contributions: authors are required to include a statement to specify the contributions of each co-author. The statement can be up to several sentences long, describing the tasks of individual authors referred to by their initials.
Author Information: Authors should include a set of statements at the end of the paper, in the following order:
Tables should each be presented on a separate page, portrait (not landscape) orientation, and upright on the page, not sideways.
Tables have a short, one-line title in bold text. Tables should be as small as possible. Bear in mind the size of a JEHSpage as a limiting factor when compiling a table.
Symbols and abbreviations are defined immediately below the table, followed by essential descriptive material as briefly as possible, all in double-spaced text.
For initial submissions, we encourage authors to incorporate the manuscript text and figures together in a single Word doc or PDF file, and for each figure legend to be presented together with its figure. However, if a paper is accepted, we require figure legends to be listed one after the other, as part of the text document, separate from the figure files.
Each figure legend should begin with a brief title for the whole figure and continue with a short description of each panel and the symbols used. For contributions with methods sections, legends should not contain any details of methods, or exceed 100 words (fewer than 500 words in total for the whole paper).
All error bars must be defined in the figure legend, as discussed above.
JEHS requires figures in electronic format. Please ensure that all digital images comply with the JEHS journals’ policy.
Figures should be as small and simple as is compatible with clarity. The goal is for figures to be comprehensible to readers in other or related disciplines, and to assist their understanding of the paper. Unnecessary figures and parts (panels) of figures should be avoided: data presented in small tables or histograms, for instance, can generally be stated briefly in the text instead. Avoid unnecessary complexity, coloring and excessive detail.
Figures should not contain more than one panel unless the parts are logically connected; each panel of a multipart figure should be sized so that the whole figure can be reduced by the same amount and reproduced on the printed page at the smallest size at which essential details are visible. For guidance, JEHS’s standard figure sizes are 89 mm (single column) and 183 mm (double column) and the full depth of the page is 247 mm.
Some brief guidance for figure preparation:
At initial submission, figures should be at good enough quality to be assessed by referees, preferably incorporated with the manuscript text in a single Word doc or PDF, although figures can be supplied separately as JPEGs if authors are unable to include them with the text.
Please note that print-publication quality figures are large and it is not helpful to upload them at the submission stage. Even if they will upload onto the JEHS submissions site, many referees’ institutions have e-mail systems that will not accept large attachments. Authors will be asked for high-quality figures at the time of acceptance of their article for publication, so it is not necessary to send them at the submission stage.
Third party rights
JEHS discourages the use or adaptation of previously published display items (for example, figures, tables, images, videos or text boxes). However, we recognize that to illustrate some concepts the use of published data is required and the reuse of previously published display items may be necessary. Please note that in these instances we might not be able to obtain the necessary rights for some images to be re-used (as is, or adapted versions) in our articles. In such cases, we will contact you to discuss the sourcing of alternative material.
When a manuscript is accepted in principle for publication, the editor will ask for high-resolution figures. Do not submit publication-quality figures until asked to do so by an editor.
All contributions should be submitted online, unless otherwise instructed by the editors. Please be sure to read the information on what to include in your cover letter as well as several important content-related issues when putting a submission together.
Before submitting, all contributors must agree to all of JEHS's publication policies.
JEHS authors must make data and materials publicly available upon publication. This includes deposition of data into the relevant databases and arranging for them to be publicly released on the online publication date (not after).