Health Expectations

Cover image for Vol. 17 Issue 4

Edited By: Carolyn Chew-Graham

Impact Factor: 2.852

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 11/70 (Health Policy & Services); 18/85 (Health Care Sciences & Services); 30/160 (Public Environmental & Occupational Health)

Online ISSN: 1369-7625

Author Guidelines

Effective with the 2014 volume, this journal will be published in an online-only format. Print subscription and single issue sales are available from Wiley’s Print-on-Demand Partner. To order online click through to the ordering portal from the journal’s subscribe and renew page on WOL.

Content of Author Guidelines: 1. General, 2. Ethical Guidelines, 3. Submission of Manuscripts, 4. Manuscript Types Accepted, 5. Manuscript Format and Structure, 6. After Acceptance.

Useful Websites: Submission Site, Author Services, Publication Ethics , Guidelines for Figures,


Health Expectations publishes original material relating to all aspects of public participation in health care and health policy including:

  • the involvement of patients and their advocates in decisions about individual health care;
  • the involvement of health service users and their representatives in aspects of service design, delivery and evaluation;
  • the involvement of health service users and family members in efforts to enhance the quality and safety of care;
  • the involvement of wider publics in debates about health care policy.

The journal aims to be multidisciplinary and international in scope.


The following types of material will be published:

  • Original research (including qualitative and quantitative work, primary studies and systematic reviews)
  • Review Articles (including papers which clarify concepts or develop theories, and papers which critically assess developments and trends).
  • Viewpoint Articles (well argued opinion pieces, and interviews with people who have made significant contributions to the fields of interest to the journal). These will normally be commissioned.
  • Book reviews, and reviews of patient information materials and consumer health information systems. These will normally be commissioned.

Original research, review and viewpoint articles will be peer reviewed by at least two independent referees.

Please read the instructions below carefully for details on the submission of manuscripts, the journal's requirements and standards as well as information concerning the procedure after a manuscript has been accepted for publication in Health Expectations. Authors are encouraged to visit Author Services for further information on the preparation and submission of articles and figures.


Health Expectations has adopted the following ethical guidelines for publication and research.

2.1. Authorship and Acknowledgements

Authorship: Authors submitting a paper do so on the understanding that the manuscript has been read and approved by all authors and that all authors agree to the submission of the manuscript to the Journal.

Health Expectations adheres to the definition of authorship set up by The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). According to the ICMJE authorship criteria, all named authors should meet the following conditions: 1) substantial contributions to conception and design of, or acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data, 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. All people who do fulfil the criteria for authorship should be listed as authors. Contributors who do not qualify as authors should be mentioned in Acknowledgements.

The editors recognise that complex, large-scale and multi-centre research will often result in a significant number of people fulfilling the authorship criteria. However, they reserve the right to ask the lead author to justify the inclusion of more than six authors.

Acknowledgements: Under Acknowledgements please specify contributors to the research / article other than the authors accredited. Please note that research funders are now listed separately under Source of Funding.

2.2 Conflict of Interest and Source of Funding

Health Expectations requires that sources of financial support for the work reported within the manuscript are fully acknowledged, and any potential conflicts of interest noted.

Conflict of Interest: 
As of 1st March 2008, a statement about authors' conflicts of interest will be required for all manuscripts submitted to the Journal. Please disclose any possible conflict of interest under the heading 'Conflicts of Interest' on the title page of your manuscript. Any reported conflicts of interest will be published in a highlighted box as part of the article. If no conflicts of interest are reported, the box will include the statement "No conflicts of interest have been declared".
Possible conflicts of interest include financial interests relating to issues discussed in the manuscript (for example patent ownership, stock ownership, consultancies, speaker's fees).

Source of Funding: Authors are required to specify the sources of funding for their research when submitting a manuscript. These include the individuals and organisations that supplied resources for interventions as well as those that funded researcher time and other research costs. All sources of funding should be named and their location (town, state/county, country) included. The information should be provided on the title page of the manuscript and will be disclosed in the published article.

2.3 Appeal of Editorial Decisions

The Editor and Associate Editors make careful judgements about the selection of manuscripts for publication, taking into account the extent to which the manuscript is consistent with the aims and scope of the journal and their own and referees' assessments of the quality of the work and the contribution it is likely to make to knowledge, policy and practice. We are able to accept only a proportion of the manuscripts that are submitted to the journal, and recognise that authors are often disappointed when we decline to publish their manuscripts. We strongly discourage routine appeals against such decisions. Authors who believe there were serious flaws in our editorial judgement may appeal decisions by e-mailing the editorial office  with a detailed explanation of their concerns.

2.4 Permissions

If all or parts of previously published illustrations are used, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder concerned. It is the author's responsibility to obtain these permissions in writing and provide copies to the Publishers.

2.5 Copyright

Authors submitting a paper do so on the understanding that the work and its essential substance have not been published before and that a substantially similar manuscript is not being considered for publication elsewhere. The submission of the manuscript by the authors means that the authors automatically agree to assign all copyright to Wiley Blackwell, if and when the manuscript is accepted for publication. The work shall not be published elsewhere in any language without the written consent of the publisher. The articles published in this journal are protected by copyright, which covers translation rights and the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute all of the articles in the journal. No material published in the journal may be stored on microfilm or videocassettes, in electronic databases and the like, or reproduced photographically without the prior written permission of the publisher. (Papers subject to government or Crown copyright are exempt from this requirement; however, the form still has to be signed).

Correspondence to the journal is accepted on the understanding that the contributing author licences the publisher to publish the letter as part of the journal or separately from it, in the exercise of any subsidiary rights relating to the journal and its contents.

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:


Manuscripts should be submitted electronically via the online submission site The use of an online submission and peer review site enables immediate distribution of manuscripts and consequentially speeds up the review process. It also allows authors to track the status of their own manuscripts. Complete instructions for submitting a paper are available online and below. Further assistance can be obtained from Robert Huston in the Editorial Office at

3.1. Getting Started

  • Launch your web browser (supported browsers include Internet Explorer 6 or higher, Netscape 7.0, 7.1, or 7.2, Safari 1.2.4, or Firefox 1.0.4) and go to the journal's online Submission Site:
  • Log-in or click the 'Create Account' option if you are a first-time user.
  • If you are creating a new account:
    - After clicking on 'Create Account', enter your name and e-mail information and click 'Next'. Your e-mail information is very important.
    - Enter your institution and address information as appropriate, and then click 'Next.'
    - Enter a user ID and password of your choice (we recommend using your e-mail address as your user ID), and then select your area of expertise. Click 'Finish'.
  • If you have an account, but have forgotten your log in details, go to Password Help on the journals online submission system and enter your e-mail address. The system will send you an automatic user ID and a new temporary password.
  • Log-in and select 'Author Center'.

3.2. Submitting Your Manuscript

  • After you have logged in, click the 'Submit a Manuscript' link in the menu bar.on
  • Enter data and answer questions as appropriate. You may copy and paste directly from your manuscript and you may upload your pre-prepared covering letter.
  • Click the 'Next' button on each screen to save your work and advance to the next screen.
  • You are required to upload your files.
    - Click on the 'Browse' button and locate the file on your computer.
    - Select the designation of each file in the drop-down menu next to the Browse button.
    - When you have selected all files you wish to upload, click the 'Upload Files' button.
  • Review your submission (in HTML and PDF format) before sending to the Journal. Click the 'Submit' button when you are finished reviewing.

3.3. Manuscript Files Accepted

Manuscripts should be uploaded as Word documents or Rich Text Format (.rtf) files (not write-protected) plus separate figure files. GIF, JPEG, PICT or Bitmap files are acceptable for submission, but only high-resolution TIF or EPS files are suitable for printing. The files will be automatically converted to HTML and PDF on upload and will be used for the review process. The text file must contain the entire manuscript including title page, abstract, keywords, text, references, tables, and figure legends, but no embedded figures. Figure tags should be included in the file. Manuscripts should be formatted as described in the Author Guidelines below.

3.4. Blinded Review

Manuscripts submitted to Health Expectations will usually be reviewed by at least two experts in the field. Health Expectations uses double-blinded review. The names of the reviewers will thus not be disclosed to the author submitting a paper and the name(s) of the author(s) will not be disclosed to the reviewers.

To allow double-blinded review, please submit (upload) your main manuscript and title page as separate files.

Please upload:

  • Your manuscript without title page under the file designation 'main document'
  • Figure files under the file designation 'figures'
  • The title page, including author details, acknowledgements, and statements about sources of funding and conflict of interest.

All documents uploaded under the file designation 'title page' will not be viewable in the HTML and PDF format you are asked to review at the end of the submission process. The files viewable in the HTML and PDF format are the files available to the reviewer in the review process.

3.5. Suggest a Reviewer

Health Expectations attempts to keep the review process as short as possible to enable rapid publication of new scientific data. In order to facilitate this process, please suggest the names and current e-mail addresses of up to 3 people whom you consider capable of providing a rigorous and independent review of your manuscript. Members of the journal editorial team may invite these and/or other people to review your manuscript.

3.6. Suspension of Submission Mid-way in the Submission Process

You may suspend a submission at any phase before clicking the 'Submit' button and save it to submit later. The manuscript can then be located under 'Unsubmitted Manuscripts' and you can click on 'Continue Submission' to continue your submission when you choose to.

3.7. E-mail Confirmation of Submission

After submission you will receive an e-mail to confirm receipt of your manuscript. If you do not receive the confirmation e-mail after 24 hours, please check your e-mail address carefully in the system. If the e-mail address is correct please contact your IT department. The error may be caused by spam filtering software on your e-mail server. Also, the e-mails should be received if the IT department adds our e-mail server ( to their whitelist.

3.8. Manuscript Status
You can access Manuscript Central any time to check your 'Author Center' for the status of your manuscript. The Journal will inform you by e-mail once a decision has been made.

3.9. Submission of Revised Manuscripts

Revised manuscripts must usually be uploaded within 3 months of authors being notified of an invitation to submit a revised version. Locate your manuscript under 'Manuscripts with Decisions' and click on 'Submit a Revision' to submit your revised manuscript. Please remember to delete any old files uploaded when you upload your revised manuscript. Please also remember to upload your manuscript document separate from your title page.


Original Articles: original research (includes qualitative and quantitative work, primary studies and systematic reviews).

Review Articles: includes papers which clarify concepts or develop theories, and papers which critically assess developments and trends.

Viewpoint Articles: well argued opinion pieces, and interviews with people who have made significant contributions to the fields of interest to the journal. These will normally be commissioned.

Book reviews, and reviews of patient information materials and consumer health information systems: These will normally be commissioned.

Case Reports
The journal does not accept case reports for publication. Authors of case reports are encouraged to submit to the Wiley Open Access journal, Clinical Case Reports which aims to directly improve health outcomes by identifying and disseminating examples of best clinical practice.


5.1. Format

Language: The language of publication is English. Authors for whom English is a second language should have their manuscript professionally edited by an English speaking person before submission to make sure the English is of high quality. A list of independent suppliers of editing services can be found at All services are paid for and arranged by the author, and use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication.

The typescript should be on A4 paper on one side only, double spaced with a wide margin on each side. Original Research Papers and Review Articles should usually not be longer than 5000 words. Viewpoint Articles will not normally exceed 2000 words, and reviews of books and information materials should be less than 1000 words long.

5.2. Structure

All manuscripts submitted for consideration as Original Research Papers, Review Articles or Viewpoint Articles should include: title page, abstract, keywords, main text, references and (if applicable) tables, and figure legends.

Title Page: The title page should include: a descriptive title for the article; the names (first name, initials of middle name(s), surnames), qualifications and affiliations of all authors; the full postal address, fax and telephone number and email address of the author to whom correspondence should be addressed; statements about sources of funding and conflicts of interest; and acknowledgements.

Abstract: The abstract should be on a separate page and should not exceed 250 words. The abstract should be structured. Suggested headings for abstracts of primary research are: background or context; objective; design; setting and participants; intervention or main variables studied; main outcome measures; results; discussion and conclusions. Suggested headings for systematic reviews are: background or context; objective; search strategy; inclusion criteria; data extraction and synthesis; main results; discussion and conclusions.

Optimizing Your Abstract for Search Engines

Many students and researchers looking for information online will use search engines such as Google, Yahoo or similar. By optimizing your article for search engines, you will increase the chance of someone finding it. This in turn will make it more likely to be viewed and/or cited in another work. We have compiled these guidelines to enable you to maximize the web-friendliness of the most public part of your article.

Main Text
This should begin on a separate page. Please ensure the title is at the top (the title page will not be shared with reviewers). Sections within the main text should be given appropriate sub-headings. Abbreviations and footnotes should be avoided where possible. The use of non-discriminatory language is encouraged and spellings should conform with the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English.

The editors are aware of the debates surrounding use of the terms 'patient', 'consumer', 'client', 'user', 'lay person' etc. In the absence of consensus about preferred terms, authors are encouraged to use whichever they consider to be most appropriate. A brief explanatory note may be included to clarify which population is being discussed where necessary.

5.3. References

The Journal follows the Vancouver style. References should be numbered sequentially as they occur in the text and identified in the main text by numbers in superscript after the punctuation. The reference list should be prepared on a separate sheet from the main text, and references should be listed numerically. The following are examples of the style. Where there are less than six authors all names should be listed and where there are more than six authors the first three names should be given followed by et al.. Journal titles should not be abbreviated. Do not use opcit. etc.

  1. Kassirer JP. Incorporating patients' preferences into medical decisions. New England Journal of Medicine 1994; 330: 1895-1896.
  2. Macklin R. Enemies of Patients. How Doctors are Losing Their Power and Patients are Losing their Rights. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  3. Coote A. The democratic deficit. In: Marinker M. (ed.) Sense and Sensibility in Health Care. London: BMJ Publishing, 1996: 173-197.

The editor and publisher recommend that citation of online published papers and other material should be done via a DOI (digital object identifier), which all reputable online published material should have - see for more information. If an author cites anything which does not have a DOI they run the risk of the cited material not being traceable.

We recommend the use of a tool such as Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.

Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here:

5.4. Tables, Figures and Figure Legends

Tables: Clear tables presenting relevant data are welcome. If tables of important data are particularly lengthy (for example tables reporting details of a large number of studies included in a systematic review), the editors may suggest that some are published as supplementary online material.

Only horizontal lines should be used for tables, one above and one below the column headings and one at the table foot. Each table should be type written on a separate sheet and should include a clear title. Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals and listed on a separate page at the back of the manuscript.

Figures: All graphs, drawings and photographs are considered figures and should be numbered in sequence with Arabic numerals. These should be on separate sheets grouped together at the back of the manuscript, headed as briefly as possible and numbered consecutively throughout the article. Each figure should have a legend and all legends should be typed together on a separate sheet and numbered correspondingly.  If all or parts of previously published illustrations are used, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder concerned.  It is the author's responsibility to obtain these in writing and provide copies to the Publisher.

All figures and artwork must be provided in electronic format.  Please save vector graphics (e.g. line artwork) in Encapsulated Postscript Format (EPS) and bitmap files (e.g. halftones) or clinical or in vitro pictures in Tagged Image Format (TIFF).

Preparation of Electronic Figures for Publication
Although low quality images are adequate for review purposes, print publication requires high quality images to prevent the final product being blurred or fuzzy. Submit EPS (line art) or TIFF (halftone/photographs) files only. MS PowerPoint and Word Graphics are unsuitable for printed pictures. Do not use pixel-oriented programmes. Scans (TIFF only) should have a resolution of at least 300 dpi (halftone) or 600 to 1200 dpi (line drawings) in relation to the reproduction size (see below). EPS files should be saved with fonts embedded (and with a TIFF preview if possible).

For scanned images, the scanning resolution (at final image size) should be as follows to ensure good reproduction:

  • line art:  >600 dpi;
  • halftones (including gel photographs): >300 dpi;
  • figures containing both halftone and line images: >600 dpi.

Further information can be obtained at Wiley Blackwell's guidelines for figures:

Check your electronic artwork before submitting it:

Permissions: If all or parts of previously published illustrations are used, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder concerned. It is the author's responsibility to obtain these in writing and provide copies to the Publisher.

Colour Charges: There will be no cost to authors for the publication of colour images in the online-only edition journals.

Figure Legends: Each figure should have a legend and all legends should be typed together on a separate sheet and numbered correspondingly.

5.5. Page Charges

With the increasing popularity and impact of the journal, we have experienced a marked increase in submission of high quality papers. As a result, the pipeline of accepted papers has increased, and with it the lag time from acceptance to publication.

As a result of this, the journal is instituting page charges on papers which exceed 12 proof pages. We estimate this to be approximately 7,000 words (incl references and 3 small tables and figures). Our figures are provided as guidance and are estimates only as other factors can influence the length of the proof pages once accepted and paginated at production stage. If your paper exceeds 12 pages in the final published version you will incur a charge of £60GBP per extra page. This will take effect for all papers submitted after 1st December 2012. The editor may decide to waive this charge in exceptional circumstances.

If necessary, we encourage authors to provide additional material as online supporting information (see 5.6. Supporting Information).

5.6. Supporting Information

Publication in electronic formats has created opportunities for adding details or whole sections in the electronic version only. Authors need to work closely with the editors in developing or using such new publication formats.

Supporting Information, such as data sets or additional figures or tables, that will not be published in the print edition of the journal, but which will be viewable via the online edition, can be submitted.
It should be clearly stated at the time of submission that the Supporting Information is intended to be made available through the online edition. If the size or format of the Supporting Information is such that it cannot be accommodated on the Journal's website, the author agrees to make the Supporting Information available free of charge on a permanent website, to which links will be set up from the Journal's website. The author must advise Wiley Blackwell if the URL of the website where the Supporting Information is located changes. The content of the Supporting Information must not be altered after the paper has been accepted for publication.

The availability of Supporting Information should be indicated in the main manuscript by a paragraph, to appear after the References, headed 'Supporting Information' and providing titles of figures, tables, etc. In order to protect reviewer anonymity, material posted on the author's website cannot be reviewed. The Supporting Information is an integral part of the article and will be reviewed accordingly.


Upon acceptance of a paper for publication, the manuscript will be forwarded to the Production Editor who is responsible for the production of the journal.

6.1 Proof Corrections

The corresponding author will receive an e-mail alert containing a link to a website.  A working e-mail address must therefore be provided for the corresponding author.  The proof can be downloaded as a PDF (portable document format) file from this site.

Acrobat Reader will be required in order to read this file. This software can be downloaded (free of charge) from the following website: This will enable the file to be opened, read on screen, and printed out in order for any corrections to be added. Further instructions will be sent with the proof. Hard copy proofs will be posted if no e-mail address is available; in your absence, arrange for a colleague to access your e-mail to retrieve the proofs.

Proofs must be returned to SPS within three days of receipt.