Sociology of Health & Illness

Cover image for Vol. 39 Issue 1

Edited By: Gareth Williams and Ian Rees Jones (Joint Editor-in-Chief), Davina Allen, Eva Elliott, David Hughes, and Joanna Latimer

Impact Factor: 1.988

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 8/39 (Social Sciences Biomedical); 17/142 (Sociology)

Online ISSN: 1467-9566

Author Guidelines

Editorial Policy

Sociology of Health & Illness is an international journal which publishes sociological articles on all aspects of health, illness and medicine. The journal invites original contributions which address any of these aspects. Submissions without clear empirical or theoretical relevance to the field of sociology cannot be considered. 

Papers should be a maximum length of 8,000 words in length (including notes and bibliography). A strong justification for papers longer than this will be needed if they are to be considered. Longer papers are more likely to experience delays between acceptance and publication, dependent on the availability of sufficient space in an issue. 

Articles which appear in the journal are subject to the usual academic process of anonymous peer review. This refereeing procedure normally takes 3-4 months, and no decision can be made on the publication of a paper until this process has been completed. 

Sociology of Health & Illness will not consider papers that have been made available in full or abstracted form on personal or institutional websites prior to submission. This restriction does not apply to papers or abstracts made available through conference websites. Papers that have been accepted by the editors may be made available in full or abstracted form on personal or institutional websites prior to publication, in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Copyright Transfer Agreement.

All submissions to the Journal must be made via the online electronic editorial office.  Full instructions and a help facility are available at the Sociology of Health & Illness Manuscript Central™  site: A guide for authors on how to optimize articles for search engines is also available here.

Further details and a full guide to online submission to Sociology of Health & Illness is available here.

Requirements for submission of manuscripts 

  • Articles submitted to the journal should comprise original, unpublished material and should not currently be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

  • The main text should be identified only by the title of the article. In order to preserve the principle of anonymous refereeing, any references to previously published work which would identify the author(s) should be removed from the anonymised version, and the author's name or initials should not be used in the text. Electronic submission will require that you upload an anonymised version of your article (to be viewed by referees). All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed. In practice, this means that each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. The acknowledgements section must specify the source(s) of funding for the work reported. Other potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed to the Editors but need not necessarily be published.

  • An abstract of 100-200 words which summarises the article must be supplied. It should be possible to read this summary independently of the article. Please provide a word count for the abstract.

  • Below the abstract authors should provide a word count of the main body of the paper (including tables, figures, notes and bibliography). Tables and figures should be calculated at a rate of 250 words per half page table or figure. Note that papers should be a maximum of 8,000 words.

  • For papers reporting empirical research, the study aims and objectives should be clearly stated, and the research questions or hypotheses clearly specified. The criteria for selecting the sample should be clearly described and justified, and the characteristics of the sample described. Any statistical methods used for analysis should be clearly described. Any limitations of the study design should be addressed.

  • Any ethical issues related to the study should be explored and satisfactorily dealt with.

  • The manuscript should demonstrate systematic analysis and clear reporting of findings. Interpretations should be clearly presented, and adequately supported by the available evidence. We recommend that authors consult the guidelines for referees below before making their submissions.

  • Referencing should follow the Harvard system, both in the text and in the bibliography here.

    All publications cited in the text should be presented in a list of references following the text of the manuscript. In the text refer to the author's name (without initials) and year of publication e.g. ‘As Jameson (2005) argues...’ or ‘Formal knowledge is specialised and elitist (Light 1998)'. For more than two authors use ‘et al.’ as in ‘James et al.’ or ‘James and Prout et al.’ The list of references should be arranged alphabetically by authors' names. The manuscript should be carefully checked to ensure that the spelling of authors' names and dates are exactly the same in the text as in the reference list. References should be given in the following form:

    Department of Health. (2001) Building the Information Core: Implementing the NHS Plan. London: Department of Health.

    Nettleton, S. and Burrows, R. (2003) E-scaped medicine? Information, reflexivity and health, Critical Social Policy, 23, 2, 165-185

    Tannen, D. and Wallat, C. (1983) Doctor/mother/child communication: linguistic analysis of a pediatric interaction. In Fisher, S. and Dundas, A. (eds) The Social Organization of Doctor/Patient Communication. Washington DC: Center for Applied Linguistics. pp. 203-219

    Peterson, G., Aslani, P. and Williams, K.A. (2003) How do consumers search for and appraise information on medicines on the internet? A qualitative study using focus groups, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19;5(4):e33

  • Footnotes and bibliography should normally be presented separately. Footnotes should be as few and as brief as possible, and should be at the end of the text before the bibliography. They should be indicated by numerals placed in the text.

  • Dates should be given in the form 5 January 2003. The least number of figures should be used in page numbers, dates, etc. (e.g. 22-4; 105-6 and 1948-9).

  • Sentences should never begin with a numeral. British, not American spelling is used (-ise not -ize). Demotics (e.g. won't, can't) should not be used, except in verbatim transcripts.

  • Male pronouns and nouns should not be used to refer to people for both sexes. The guidelines on avoiding sexism and racism in sociology are available from the British Sociological Association (Language and the BSA: Sex and Gender, Language and the BSA: Ethnicity & Race) and should be observed.

  • Please format the document in double line spacing.

  • Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce any material in which they do not own the copyright. This permission should cover both print and electronic media, and a copy should be supplied to the editors. The appropriate acknowledgements should be included with the manuscript. Further details on this issue are available here.

  • Legal liability of authors - the journal will not indemnify authors who are the subject of legal actions as a consequence of the publication of their work.

  • Normal practice is that resubmissions received more than one year after decision will be treated as new submissions.

  • Page proofs of accepted contributions will be sent to the author by the publisher, as a PDF file, and should be returned within one week of receipt. Corrections of printers' errors only may be made to the final proofs, as alterations to the text are charged for by the printers.

Copyright Transfer Agreement

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

For authors signing the Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA)

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 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 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:

Early View

Sociology of Health & Illness is covered by Blackwell Publishing’s Early View service. Early View articles are complete full-text articles published online in advance of their publication in a printed issue. Articles are therefore available as soon as they are ready, rather than having to wait for the next scheduled print 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. The nature of Early View articles means that they do not yet have volume, issue or page numbers, so Early View articles cannot be cited in the traditional way. They are therefore given a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which allows the article to be cited and tracked before it is allocated to an issue. After print publication, the DOI remains valid and can continue to be used to cite and access the article.

Publication Ethics

Sociology of Health & Illness abides to the ethical guidelines developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) during the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity in Singapore in 2010 (see

Editors’ responsibilities (see Kleinert & Wagner, 2011) include:

  • Editors are accountable and should take responsibility for everything they publish.
  • Editors should make fair and unbiased decisions independent from commercial consideration and ensure a fair and appropriate peer review process.
  • Editors should adopt editorial policies that encourage maximum transparency and complete, honest reporting.
  • Editors should guard the integrity of the published record by issuing corrections and retractions when needed and pursuing suspected or alleged research and publication misconduct.
  • Editors should pursue reviewer and editorial misconduct.
  • Editors should critically assess the ethical conduct of studies in humans and animals.
  • Peer reviewers and authors should be told what is expected of them.
  • Editors should have appropriate policies in place for handling editorial conflicts of interest.

Authors’ responsibilities (see Wagner & Kleinert, 2011) include:

  • The research being reported should have been conducted in an ethical and responsible manner and should comply with all relevant legislation.
  • Researchers should present their results clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data manipulation.
  • Researchers should strive to describe their methods clearly and unambiguously so that their findings can be confirmed by others.
  • Researchers should adhere to publication requirements that submitted work is original, is not plagiarised, and has not been published elsewhere.
  • Authors should take collective responsibility for submitted and published work.
  • The authorship of research publications should accurately reflect individuals’ contributions to the work and its reporting. Funding sources and relevant conflicts of interest should be disclosed.

Wagner E & Kleinert S (2011) Responsible research publication: international standards for authors. A position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, Singapore, July 22-24, 2010. Chapter 50 in: Mayer T & Steneck N (eds) Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment. Imperial College Press/ World Scientific Publishing, Singapore (pp 309-16). (ISBN 978-981-4340-97-7)

Kleinert S & Wagner E (2011) Responsible research publication: international standards for editors. A position statement developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity, Singapore, July 22-24, 2010. Chapter 51 in: Mayer T & Steneck N (eds) Promoting Research Integrity in a Global Environment. Imperial College Press/ World Scientific Publishing, Singapore (pp 317-28). (ISBN 978-981-4340-97-7)

Further Information

For guidelines for Referees, please click here
For details of SHI publication ethics, please click here
For details of the SHI/Foundation approach to misconduct, please click here