Health Information & Libraries Journal

Cover image for Vol. 32 Issue 3

Edited By: Maria J Grant

Impact Factor: 0.632

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 43/85 (Information Science & Library Science)

Online ISSN: 1471-1842

Author Guidelines

The journal to which you are submitting your manuscript 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.

Table example

Health Information and Libraries Journal is a European journal of international and interdisciplinary interest to practitioners, researchers and students in the information, library and healthcare sectors. Its objectives include promoting debate about new health information developments with an emphasis on communicating evidence-based information both in the management and support of healthcare services.

The Editor welcomes original health information articles on current practice, research projects or the development of new resources or services. Review articles are also welcome.

Health Information and Libraries Journal is the official journal of the Health Libraries Group of the UK Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. The scope of the journal encompasses (but is not restricted to):

- Bibliometric studies of a specific health topic or geographic region
- Educating and training health library and information workers
- Identifying health information needs and use
- Information technology and its applications in healthcare settings
- Managing health information programmes and services in the changing environment
- Outreach to healthcare providers as users of health information services

From time to time the Editor may decide that a particular issue should be devoted to a single theme or topic. Guest editors will be asked to solicit a range of papers relating to that theme or topic. Guidelines for guest editors are available from the Editor.

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 Authors are encouraged to visit for further information on the preparation and submission of articles and figures.


Health Information and Libraries Journal adheres to the below 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. ALL authors must have made an active contribution to the conception and design and/or analysis and interpretation of the data and/or the drafting of the paper and ALL must have critically reviewed its content and have approved the final version submitted for publication. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship.

It is a requirement that all authors have been accredited as appropriate upon submission of the manuscript. Contributors who do not qualify as authors should be mentioned under Acknowledgements.

Acknowledgements: Under Acknowledgements please specify contributors to the article other than the authors accredited. Please also include specifications of the source of funding for the study and any potential conflict of interests if appropriate. Suppliers of materials should be named and their location (town, state/county, country) included.

2.2 Conflict of Interest and Source of Funding

Conflict of Interest: Authors are required to disclose any possible conflict of interest. These include financial (for example patent, ownership, stock ownership, consultancies, speaker's fee). Author's conflict of interest (or information specifying the absence of conflicts of interest) will be published under a separate heading.

The Health Information and Libraries Journal requires that sources of institutional, private and corporate financial support for the work within the manuscript must be fully acknowledged, and any potential conflicts of interest noted. As of 1st March 2007, this information will be a requirement for all manuscripts submitted to the Journal and will be published in a highlighted box on the title page of the article. Please include this information under the separate headings of 'Source of Funding' and 'Conflict of Interest' at the end of your manuscript.

If the author does not include a conflict of interest statement in the manuscript then the following statement will be included by default: 'No conflicts of interest have been declared'.

Source of Funding: Authors are required to specify the source of funding for their research when submitting a paper. Suppliers of materials should be named and their location (town, state/county, country) included. The information will be disclosed in the published article.

2.3 Appeal of Decision

The decision on a paper is final and cannot be appealed.

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 in writing and provide copies to the Publishers.

2.5 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 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:

Accepted manuscripts, disks, tables and figures will not be returned to authors, and may not be published elsewhere without written permission from Wiley-Blackwell. Special copyright queries should be addressed to the Editor.

2.6 OnlineOpen

OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. In addition to publication online via Wiley Online Library, authors of OnlineOpen articles are permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository, or other free public server, immediately on publication.

If you wish your paper to be OnlineOpen you are rquired to complete the OnlineOpen payment form available here.


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. Each page of the ScholarOne Manuscripts (formerly known as Manuscript Central) website has a 'Get Help Now' icon connecting directly to the online support system at Telephone support is available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week through the US ScholarOne Support office on 1 434 817 2040 ext. 167. If you do not have internet access or cannot submit online, the Editorial Office can assist. Please telephone 44 (0) 1865 476522, Fax 44 (0) 1865 471522

3.1 Getting Started

1. Launch your web browser (Internet Explorer 5 or higher, Netscape 7 or higher, Firefox 1.0.4 or Safari 1.2.4) and go to the Health Information and Libraries Journal ScholarOne Manuscripts homepage (
2. Log-in or click the “Create Account” option if you are a first-time user of ScholarOne Manuscripts.
3. 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”.
4. If you have an account but have forgotten your log in details, go to “Password Help” on the ScholarOne Manuscripts log-in page and enter your email address. The system will send you an automatic user ID and password reminder.
5. Log-in and select “Author Center.”

3.2 Submitting Your Manuscript

6. After you have logged in, click the “Submit a Manuscript” link in the menu bar.
7. Enter data and answer questions as appropriate.
8. Click the “Next” button on each screen to save your work and advance to the next screen.
9. 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 next to the Browse button.
• When you have selected all files you wish to upload, click the “Upload Files” button.
10. Review your submission (in both PDF and HTML formats) before sending to the Journal. Click the “Submit” button when you are finished reviewing.

3.3 Manuscript Files Accepted

Manuscripts may be submitted from any country, and must be written in clear, concise and readable English. All listed authors should have seen and approved the submitted article.

If the paper derives from a report or other larger work that is available on the Web, then the content should be substantially different or present a different perspective.

Manuscripts should be uploaded as Word (.doc) 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.

3.4 Blinded Review

All manuscripts submitted to Health Information and Libraries Journal will be reviewed by two experts in the field. Health Information and Libraries Journal 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, plus 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, Acknowledgements and Conflict of Interest Statement where applicable, should be uploaded under the file designation 'title page'.

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 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. After submission, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. You can also access ScholarOne Manuscripts any time to check the status of your manuscript. The Journal will inform you by e-mail once a decision has been made.

3.6 E-mail Confirmation of Submission

After submission, the Editor will acknowledge it within five days. For an original article, the Editor and Associate Editor, using the database of expertise, will select two appropriate referees. The Associate Editor will contact referees to ascertain their availability. Within 1 week of receipt, the referees will be sent the manuscript together with a 'Manuscript Evaluation' form and 'Guidelines for Referees'. All referees are informed that manuscripts are sent on the understanding that strict confidentiality is maintained.

3.7 Manuscript Status

You can access ScholarOne Manuscripts 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.

3.8 Submission of Revised Manuscripts

In some cases, authors of rejected papers are invited to resubmit if they can address the major criticisms by revision and/or additional material. The Associate Editor will write to the author giving a checklist of points to be considered before resubmission. All resubmitted and revised manuscripts are subjected to careful re-examination and no guarantee is made about their ultimate acceptability. Revised manuscripts must be signed and approved by all authors.

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.


Review articles: up to 10,000 words including references, abstract, tables, illustrations and key messages; subject to peer review. Intending authors are advised to consult ‘A typology of reviews’ and to contact the Review Editor (for address please see inside front cover) prior to starting the development of their review.

Original articles: of 3000-5000 words excluding references, abstract, tables, illustrations and key messages; subject to peer review. Papers should present interesting and important developments within the field, original ideas and findings, case studies and service innovations. The paper should be structured to include an abstract, background, objectives, methods, results, discussion, conclusions, bibliography and key messages. In most cases the structure should be:
Abstract – structured abstract of no more than 200 words
Background – describing the problem/issue the study seeks to address incorporating a review of the international literature
Objectives – a clear description of the aims of the study
Methods – describing research tools/processes use
Results – a brief summary of main results with figures where appropriate
Discussion – provide an interpretation of your findings in light of what is already known about the subject and explain how the study moves the subject forward from what is presented in the background section of your manuscript
Conclusions – primary conclusions and their implications, suggesting areas for further investigation if appropriate

All manuscripts must include keywords and key messages. If reporting a survey, a copy of the questionnaire should be supplied as part of the appendices.

Keywords – No less than 4 and up to 10 keywords should be provided during the submission. These should be selected from MESH headings available at

Key Messages – Key messages are important because they tell the reader why the report or study is important and highlights its implications for health science librarians and information scientists.

When submitting an article to HILJ a key messages box should be provided.
• This should contain no more than 5 key messages.
• Focus: messages should relate to implications for practice OR implications for policy OR implications for future research. (If appropriate you may use two categories as long as there are not more than 5 messages.)
• Word count: each key message should contain no more than 25 words.

Click here for further guidance on how to write engaging key messages.

Other items: such as letters, short reports, brief news items and book reviews are likely to be more appropriate for publication in the HLG Newsletter and should be sent the HLG Newsletter Editor. The Editor may also suggest publication in the HLG Newsletter, where appropriate, and also reserves the right to refuse any material.


5.1 Format

Language: The language of publication is  English. Authors for whom English is a second language must have their manuscript professionally edited by an English speaking person before submission to make sure the English is of a high quality. It is preferred that manuscripts are professionally edited. 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. This should conform with the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.

Referees are asked to examine writing style as well as content. It is therefore important that authors take care in submitting a manuscript that is written in plain language and adheres to published guidelines (see The new Fowler's Modern English Usage 3rd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996; Hall G.M. How to write a paper. London: BMJ Publishing, 1994).

Authors should:

  • Aim at simplicity
  • Focus on the main topic
  • Use familiar words
  • Use short paragraphs
  • Avoid unnecessary words especially adjectives
  • Use active verbs
  • Use headings to break up text
  • Pay attention to grammar and punctuation
  • Remember that they will be writing for people whose first language may not be English
  • Not use abbreviations on their own. Where abbreviations are used they should appear in full followed by abbreviation/acronym in brackets e.g. National Health Service (NHS) thereafter initials only may be used.

Descriptions of statistical methods should include the following:

  • Study objective(s)
  • Study design
  • Data collection methods, source of research subjects and selection methods, with justifications
  • Study procedure
  • Response rate
  • Data analysis with statistical methods used and appropriate references
  • Main results with confidence intervals
  • Actual P values obtained rather than ranges (e.g. P=0.143 rather than P>0.05); the test statistic; degrees of freedom; and sample size (even for negative results)
  • Study limitations

5.2 Structure

Main text: Include only the title of the paper in the main body of the article.
Acknowledgements: Where acknowledgements are made it should be explicit that the person(s) acknowledged are not held responsible for the content of the paper. Personal acknowledgments should be kept to a minimum.

Footnotes should not be used.

Turn the hyphenation option off, so that only 'hard' hyphens are used. Specify any special characters used to represent a non-keyboard character.

5.3 References

The editorial team is responsible only for the format of references, but the author will be held responsible for the accuracy of content of bibliographic reference.

Reference citations should conform to the 'Vancouver' style (see British Medical Journal 1991 302 338-41). References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear in the text by means of superscript arabic numerals. They should be assembled in numerical order at the end of the article and submitted on a separate sheet. Names and initials of all authors should be given: do not use et al.

  • cite journal references in the following order: author's last name and initials; article title; full name of the journal; year of publication; volume and issue number; inclusive pages.

    e.g. Brice, A. Connecting Anglia & Oxford to core health information. Health Information and Libraries Journal 1998, 15, 196-200

Where each issue of a journal has separate pagination the issue number or date of issue should be given after the volume number.

  • e.g. Hull, J. Do nurses get involved with research? Nursing Times 1995, 91 (4), 11-12

  • cite book references as follows: author's last name and initials; book title, place of publication; publisher; year; series, if applicable.

    e.g. Sackett, D.L., Richardson, W.S., Rosenberg, W.M. & Haynes, R.B. Evidence Based Medicine: How to practice and teach EBM. London: Churchill Livingstone, 1996.

  • cite a chapter in a book as follows: author of chapter; title of chapter; 'In'; editor of complete work; book title; edition statement; place of publication; publisher; year; inclusive pages of chapter.

    e.g. Poll, R. The House that Jack built: the consequences of Measuring. In: Wressell, P. (ed.) Proceedings of the 2nd Northumbria International conference on performance measurement in libraries and information services, 1997. Newcastle upon Tyne: Information North, 1998: pp39-45

  • cite electronic material as follows: authors' last name and initials; date, and/or last update/document version; title, including the journal reference if applicable; publication details or URL.

    Journal article
    e.g. Tent, J (1995, February 13). Citing e-texts summary. Linguist List,6 (310) [Online serial] . URL

    e.g. Beckleheimer, J (1994). How do you cite URL's in a bibliography? [WWW document]. URL 

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 EndNote or Reference Manager for reference management and formatting.
EndNote reference styles can be searched for here:
Reference Manager reference styles can be searched for here: 

5.4 Tables, Figures and Figure Legends

Tables, figures and graphs should be inserted at the appropriate place in the manuscript. They should be numbered with Arabic numerals to correspond to their appearance in the text. A descriptive legend should be given for each table, figure and graph.

Figures should be supplied in either TIFF or EPS format at 300 dpi or above and uploaded as separate files onto S1M. Figures should have an accompanying note within the manuscript indicating ‘Insert Figure X’ here.

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-orientated 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). Please submit the data for figures in black and white or submit a Colour Work Agreement Form (see Colour Charges 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 and illustrations at:

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: It is the policy of the Health Information and Libraries Journal for authors to pay the full cost for the reproduction of their colour artwork. Therefore, please note that if there is colour artwork in your manuscript when it is accepted for publication, Wiley-Blackwell requires you to complete and return a Colour Work Agreement Form ( before your paper can be published. Any article received by Wiley-Blackwell with colour work will not be published until the form has been returned.

5.5 Supplementary Material

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.

Supplementary Material, 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 Supplementary Material is intended to be made available through the online edition. If the size or format of the Supplementary Material is such that it cannot be accommodated on the Journal's website, the author agrees to make the Supplementary Material 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 Supplementary Material is located changes. The content of the Supplementary Material must not be altered after the paper has been accepted for publication.

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

Extra issues: Larger papers or monographs may be published as additional issues (numbered as ordinary issues), the full cost being paid by the author. Further information may be obtained from the editor.


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

Jabeena Begum
Production Editor
Journal Content Management

6.1 Proof Corrections

The corresponding author will receive an e-mail alert containing a link to download their proof as a PDF (portable document format). Corrections must be returned to the Production Editor within three days of receipt.

6.2 Early View (Publication Prior to Print)

Health Information and Libraries Journal is covered by Wiley-Blackwell'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.

6.3 Author Services

Online production tracking is available for your article through Wiley-Blackwell’s Author Services. Author Services enables authors to track their article – once it has been accepted – 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 author will receive an e-mail with 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.

For more substantial information on the services provided for authors, please see Wiley-Blackwell Author Services.

6.4 Author Material Archive Policy

Please note that unless specifically requested, Wiley-Blackwell will dispose of all material submitted two months after publication. If you require the return of any material submitted, please inform the editorial office or Production Editor as soon as possible.

6.5 Offprints and Extra Copies

Free access to the final PDF offprint of the article will be available via Author Services only. Additional offprints can be ordered on the offprint order form that accompanies the proofs. Payment must be made in advance.