International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

Cover image for Vol. 26 Issue 1

Edited By: Kim Usher

Impact Factor: 1.943

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 8/114 (Nursing (Social Science)); 10/116 (Nursing (Science)); 56/139 (Psychiatry (Social Science)); 80/142 (Psychiatry)

Online ISSN: 1447-0349

Author Guidelines


Thank you for your interest in International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. Please read the complete Author Guidelines carefully prior to submission, including the section on copyright. To ensure fast peer review and publication, manuscripts that do not adhere to the following instructions will be returned to the corresponding author for technical revision before undergoing peer review.

Note that submission implies that the content has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere except as a brief abstract in the proceedings of a scientific meeting or symposium. Once you have prepared your submission in accordance with the Guidelines, manuscripts should be submitted online at

We look forward to your submission.


Aims and Scope
The International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (IJMHN) is the official English journal of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc. The Editors welcome original articles dealing with current trends and developments in mental health nursing. The Editors are also looking for papers that will be widely read and cited, thereby having an international impact on mental health nursing education, practice and research. Papers submitted should be relevant to the Aims and Scope of the IJMHN and written in a manner that makes the relevance of content clear for IJMHN’s international readership.

Review and Acceptance
The acceptance criteria for all papers are the quality and originality of the research and its significance and transferability to our readership. Except where otherwise stated, manuscripts are peer reviewed by two anonymous reviewers and the Editor. The Editorial Board reserves the right to refuse any material for publication and advises that authors should retain copies of submitted manuscripts and correspondence as material cannot be returned. Final acceptance or rejection rests with the Editorial Board. There is no process of appeal against rejection and no further correspondence will be entered into regarding rejection decisions.

Manuscripts should be written so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field. Where contributions are judged as acceptable for publication on the basis of scientific content, the Editor or the Publisher reserve the right to modify typescripts to eliminate ambiguity and repetition and improve communication between author and reader.


Principles for Publication of Research Involving Human Subjects
Manuscripts must contain a statement to the effect that all human studies have been reviewed by the appropriate ethics committee and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in an appropriate version of the Declaration of Helsinki (as revised in Brazil 2013), available at It should also state clearly in the text that all persons gave their informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study. Details that might disclose the identity of the subjects under the study should be omitted.

All investigations on human subjects must include a statement that the subject gave informed consent and patient anonymity should be preserved. In general, submission of a case report should be accompanied by the written consent of the subject (or parent/guardian) prior to publication; this is particularly important where photographs are to be used or in cases where the unique nature of the incident reported makes it possible for the patient to be identified. While the Editorial Board recognises that it might not always be possible or appropriate to seek such consent, the onus will be on the authors to demonstrate that this exception applies in their case.

Authorship and Acknowledgements
The journal adheres to the definition of authorship set up by The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria: i) Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; ii) Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; iii) Final approval of the version to be published; and i) 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. Contributors who do not qualify as authors should be mentioned under ‘Acknowledgements’.

Plagiarism Detection
The journal employs a plagiarism detection system. By submitting your manuscript to this journal you accept that your manuscript may be screened for plagiarism against previously published works.

Committee on Publication Ethics
The journal is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).


Note that word counts should include abstract and acknowledgements, but not table or figure legends and references. Longer manuscripts may be negotiated by the Editor In Chief in exceptional circumstances.

Original Articles: Original Articles should not exceed 5,000 words. The main text should be structured as follows: Introduction (putting the paper in context - policy, practice or research); Background (literature); Methods (design, data collection and analysis); Results; Discussion; Conclusion; Relevance for clinical practice. The number of words used, excluding abstract, references, tables and figures, should be specified. Pilot studies are not suitable for publication as original articles. We also ask that authors limit their references to 50 in total and all references must be available in English. We ask that you include all information required by the reporting guidelines relevant to your study. For example, use the CONSORT checklist for RCTs.

Review Articles: Qualitative and quantitative literature reviews on any area of research relevant to clinical nursing are welcomed. Submissions should not exceed 8,000 words. Quotes are included in the overall word count of the main text. Authors are advised to explain their methodology clearly (e.g., overall approach, literature search strategies, data analysis). The PRISMA checklist and flow diagram should be used to guide manuscript development. Systematic review methods are evolving and authors are urged to cite supporting references. The main text should be structured as follows: Introduction; Aims; Methods; Results; Discussion; Conclusion; Relevance for clinical practice. We also ask that authors limit their references to 50 in total and all references must be available in English.

Commentaries and Responses to Commentaries: The Editor-in-Chief welcomes commentaries and Responses to commentaries on papers published in IJMHN. These should be approximately 500 words in length with a maximum of five references (including the original paper) and should offer a critical but constructive perspective on the published paper. All commentaries should be submitted via ScholarOne Manuscripts. Please follow our guidelines when writing a Commentary.

Discursive papers: including position papers and critical reviews of particular bodies of work which do not contain empirical data or use systematic review methods are also welcomed. Submissions should not exceed 5,000 words. These should be structured as follows: Aims; Background; Design (stating that it is a position paper or critical review, for example); Method (how the issues were approached); Conclusions; Relevance for clinical practice.


Pre-submission English-language editing
Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. Visit our site to learn about the options. All services are paid for and arranged by the author.  Please note using the Wiley English Language Editing Service does not guarantee that your paper will be accepted by this journal.

Optimising Your Article for Search Engines
Many students and researchers looking for information online will use search engines such as Google, Yahoo or similar. By optimising 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 maximise the web-friendliness of the most public part of your article.

The advice of a statistician should always be sought for quantitative studies, and this person should be acknowledged in the acknowledgement section if the paper is accepted for publication. Where other than simple descriptive statistics are used, a statistician should be included as one of the authors and identified as such when submitting the paper.

The journal uses UK spelling and authors should therefore follow the latest edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary.

All measurements must be given in SI units as outlined in the latest edition of Units, Symbols and Abbreviations: A Guide for Medical and Scientific Editors and Authors (Royal Society of Medicine Press, London).

Abbreviations should be used sparingly and only where they ease the reader’s task by reducing repetition of long, technical terms. Initially use the word in full, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Thereafter use the abbreviation.

Drugs should be referred to by their generic names, rather than brand names.

Parts of the Manuscript
The manuscript should be submitted in separate files: title page; main text file; figures.

Title page
The title page should contain:
(i) manuscript category
(ii) a short informative title that contains the major key words. The title should not contain abbreviations;
(iii) the full names of the authors;
(iv) the author's institutional affiliations at which the work was carried out;
(v) an authorship declaration: in keeping with the latest guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, each author’s contribution to the paper is to be quantified;
(vi) the full postal and email address, plus telephone number, of the author to whom correspondence about the manuscript should be sent;
(viii) authorship statement;
(vii) acknowledgements;
(viii) disclosure statement;
(ix) word count,including abstract and acknowledgements, but not table or figure legends and references.

The present address of any author, if different from that where the work was carried out, should be supplied in a footnote.

Authorship statement
This must acknowledge i) that all authors listed meet the authorship criteria according to the latest guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, and ii) that all authors are in agreement with the manuscript.

The source of financial grants and other funding should be acknowledged, including a frank declaration of the author’s industrial links and affiliations. The contribution of colleagues or institutions should also be acknowledged. Thanks to anonymous reviewers are not allowed

Authors must declare any financial support or relationships that may pose conflict of interest. This includes any financial arrangements authors have with a company whose product figures prominently in the submitted manuscript or with a company making a competing product.

Main text
As papers are double-blind peer reviewed the main text file should not include any information that might identify the authors.

The main text of the manuscript should be presented in the following order: (i) abstract and key words, (ii) text, (iii) references, (iv) tables (each table complete with title and footnotes), (v) appendices, (vii) figure legends. Figures and supporting information should be submitted as separate files.

Abstract and key words
Articles must have an unstructured abstract that states in 250 words or less the purpose, basic procedures, main findings and principal conclusions of the study. The abstract should not contain abbreviations or references. Five key words, for the purposes of indexing, should be supplied below the abstract, in alphabetical order, and should be taken from those recommended by the US National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) browser list (

Authors should use subheadings to divide the sections of their manuscript as outlined for each article type.

• The Harvard (author, date) system of referencing is used (examples are given below).
• In the text give the author’s name followed by the year in parentheses: Sago (2000).
• If there are two authors use ‘and: Baskin and Baskin (1998); but if cited within parentheses write use ‘&’: (Smith & Jones 2001).
• When reference is made to a work by three or more authors, the first name followed by et al. should be used: MacDonald et al. (2002).
• If several papers by the same authors and from the same year are cited, a,b,c etc should be inserted after the year of publication.
• In the reference list, references should be listed in alphabetical order.
• In the reference list, cite the names of all authors when there are six or fewer; when seven or more, list the first three followed by et al.
• Do not use ibid. or op cit.
• Personal communication, reference to unpublished data and publications from informal meetings are not to be listed in the reference list but should be listed in full in the text (e.g. Smith A, unpubl. data, 2000).
• All citations mentioned in the text, tables or figures must be listed in the reference list.
• Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references.

References should be listed in the following form.

Meehan, T. (1994). Questionnaire construction and design for surveys in mental health. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 3, 59–62.

Taylor, J. & Muller, D. (1994). Nursing adolescents: Research and psychological perspectives. Oxford: Blackwell Science.

Chapter in a book
Bergen, A. & Labute, L. (1993). Promoting mental health. In: A. Dines & A. Cribb (Eds), Health promotion: Concepts and practice (pp. 93–109). Oxford: Blackwell Science.

Electronic material
World Health Organisation (3 July 2003). Update 94: Preparing for the Next Influenza Season in a World Altered by SARS. Accessed: 15 September 2003.

Tables should be self-contained and complement, but not duplicate, information contained in the text. Tables should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals. Each table should be presented on a separate sheet of A4 paper with a comprehensive but concise legend above the table. Tables should be double-spaced and vertical lines should not be used to separate columns. Column headings should be brief, with units of measurement in parentheses; all abbreviations should be defined in footnotes. Footnote symbols: †, ‡, §, ¶, should be used (in that order) and *, **, *** should be reserved for P-values. The table and its legend/ footnotes should be understandable without reference to the text.

Figure legends
Legends should be self-explanatory and typed on a separate sheet. The legend should incorporate definitions of any symbols used and all abbreviations and units of measurement should be explained so that the figure and its legend is understandable without reference to the text.

All illustrations (line drawings and photographs) are classified as figures. Figures should be cited in consecutive order in the text. Figures should be sized to fit within the column (69 mm), intermediate (100 mm) or the full text width (144 mm).

Preparation of Electronic Figures for Publication: Although low quality images are adequate for review purposes, publication requires high quality images to prevent the final product being blurred or fuzzy. Advice on figures can be found at Wiley’s guidelines for preparation of figures:

Supporting Information
Supporting information is not essential to the article but provides greater depth and background and may include tables, figures, videos, datasets, etc. This material can be submitted with your manuscript, and will appear online, without editing or typesetting. Guidelines on how to prepare this material and which formats and files sizes are acceptable can be found at:

Please note that the provision of supporting information is not encouraged as a general rule. It will be assessed critically by reviewers and editors and will only be accepted if it is essential.


Manuscripts should be submitted online at

• Two Word-files need to be included upon submission: A title page file and a main text file that includes all parts of the text in the sequence indicated in the section 'Parts of the manuscript', including tables and figure legends but excluding figures which should be supplied separately.

• The main text file should be prepared using Microsoft Word, doubled-spaced. The top, bottom and side margins should be 30 mm.

• Each figure should be supplied as a separate file, with the figure number incorporated in the file name. For submission, low-resolution figures saved as .jpg or .bmp files should be uploaded, for ease of transmission during the review process. Upon acceptance of the article, high-resolution figures (at least 300 d.p.i.) saved as .eps or .tif files will be required.

Associate your ScholarOne account with your ORCID iD
ORCID iD is a unique and persistent identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and connects you and your research activities. We encourage you to register for an ORCID iD and then associate it with your ScholarOne account. Click here to find out how.


Accepted papers will be passed to Wiley’s production team for publication. The author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Wiley’s Author Services, where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be asked to complete an electronic license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

Authors may choose to publish under the terms of the journal’s standard copyright transfer agreement (CTA), or under open access terms made available via Wiley OnlineOpen.

Standard Copyright Transfer Agreement: FAQs about the terms and conditions of the standard CTA in place for the journal, including standard terms regarding archiving of the accepted version of the paper, are available at: Copyright Terms and Conditions FAQs.

Note that in signing the journal’s licence agreement authors agree that consent to reproduce figures from another source has been obtained.

OnlineOpen – Wiley’s Open Access Option: OnlineOpen is available to authors of articles who wish to make their article freely available to all on Wiley Online Library under a Creative Commons license. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made open access. Authors of OnlineOpen articles are permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on their personal website, and in an institutional repository or other free public server immediately after publication. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

OnlineOpen licenses. Authors choosing OnlineOpen retain copyright in their article and have a choice of publishing under the following Creative Commons License terms: Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY); Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY NC); Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial-NoDerivs License (CC BY NC ND). To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright Terms and Conditions FAQs.

Funder Open Access and Self-Archiving Compliance: Please click here for more information on Wiley’s compliance with specific Funder Open Access and Self Archiving Policies, and click here for more detailed information specifically about Self-Archiving definitions and policies.


Wiley’s Author Services

Author Services enables authors to track their article through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production. The corresponding author will receive a unique link that enables them to register and have their article automatically added to the system. Please ensure that a complete e-mail address is provided when submitting the manuscript. Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.


Once the paper has been typeset the corresponding author will receive an e-mail alert containing instructions on how to provide proof corrections to the article. It is therefore essential that a working e-mail address is provided for the corresponding author. Proofs should be corrected carefully; the responsibility for detecting errors lies with the author.

Early View

The journal offers rapid speed to publication via Wiley’s Early View service. Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Early View articles are complete and final. They have been fully reviewed, revised and edited for publication, and the authors' final corrections have been incorporated. Because they are in final form, no changes can be made after online publication. Early View articles are given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before allocation to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article. More information about DOIs can be found at


Article PDF for authors

A PDF of the article will be made available to the corresponding author via Author Services.

Printed Offprints

Printed offprints may be ordered online for a fee. Please click on the following link and fill in the necessary details and ensure that you type information in all of the required fields: If you have queries about offprints please e-mail:

Author Marketing Toolkit

The Wiley Author Marketing Toolkit provides authors with support on how to use social media, publicity, conferences, multimedia, email and the web to promote their article.

Author Guidelines updated 18 November 2015