Cover image for Vol. 41 Issue 3

Edited By: Marian F. MacDorman, PhD

Impact Factor: 2.048

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 4/106 (Nursing (Science)); 4/104 (Nursing (Social Science)); 30/78 (Obstetrics & Gynecology); 34/117 (Pediatrics)

Online ISSN: 1523-536X

Author Guidelines

Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care is an editorially independent, interdisciplinary journal published quarterly by Wiley-Blackwell. Birth publishes original, peer-reviewed experimental research and review papers on clinical practice in the fields of perinatal medicine, perinatal nursing, maternal/newborn public health, and the social sciences. Birth is ranked as the #1 nursing journal worldwide, with a 2012 impact factor of 2.926, according to the most recent edition of the Journal Citation Reports from Thomson Reuters. The Journal is also highly ranked in the categories of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics.

Readers and subscribers of Birth are nurses in obstetrics, public health, and neonatology; midwives; physicians; childbirth educators; lactation counselors; doulas; psychologists; social scientists; epidemiologists; and other health workers and policymakers in perinatal care. Information on the Journal's aims and scope is available on the Birth website at

Unlike the majority of obstetric and pediatric journals that have a heavy focus on the highest risk situations, the goal of Birth is to improve the birthing experience for the vast majority of women who are at low-risk for poor pregnancy outcomes. As such, we don’t accept case reports or comparisons of drugs, products, or technologies. We accept articles about breastfeeding initiation, duration, and propensity, but not articles about the specific biochemical properties of breast milk, or those advocating formula feeding. Due to space constraints, we do not accept audits of maternity services or questionnaire validations.

Birth welcomes submission of original research articles, brief reports, and systematic reviews on current topics that address clinical and public health issues in perinatal care. A paper is considered for publication on the understanding that it has been submitted solely to Birth and is not being considered for publication elsewhere. A paper presented at a scientific meeting may be considered if it has not been published in full in a proceedings or similar publication. Authors have a responsibility to inform the Editor about potential conflicts of interest, and to send to the Editor any previous reports that might be regarded as prior or duplicate publications of the same data.

Types of Articles

Original Research Articles
Manuscripts that report the results of original quantitative or qualitative public health research are published as original research articles. These articles generally are up to 3,500 words in length in the main text (exclusive of abstract and references), although articles up to 4,000 words in length may occasionally be permitted. The main text includes an Introduction, and separate sections for Methods, Results, and Discussion. These articles contain a structured abstract of up to 250 words, with Background, Methods, Results, and Discussion headings; up to 5 tables/figures; and no more than 50 references. Original research articles are the highest priority for Birth and the majority of papers published fall into this category.

Brief Reports
Preliminary or novel findings may be reported as brief reports (up to 1,500 words in the main text, an unstructured abstract of up to 150 words, and up to 2 tables/figures). The main text of briefs follows the standard format for original articles, with an Introduction and separate sections for the Methods, Results, and Discussion.

Systematic Reviews
Systematic Reviews are reviews of clearly formulated research questions that use systematic and explicit methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyze data from the studies that are included in the reviews. Metaanalysis (statistical techniques to integrate the results of included studies) may or may not be used to analyze and summarize the results. It is strongly recommended that authors follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and MetaAnalyses (PRISMA) guidelines, available at: in the development of their reviews. Systematic reviews should not exceed 4,000 words.

Commentaries are generally commissioned by members of the editorial team or, on occasion, reformatted as commentaries from other submitted papers. They are generally limited to 2,000 words or less.

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor referring to a recent Birth article are encouraged up to 3 months after the appearance of a published paper. Text is limited to 500 words and 10 references. A single small table, figure, or image is permissible. By submitting a Letter to the Editor, the author gives permission for its publication in Birth. Letters should not duplicate material being published or submitted elsewhere. The editors reserve the right to edit and abridge letters and to publish responses.

Indexing of Articles
The contents of Birth are indexed in Index Medicus and indexed or abstracted by U.S. and major international on-line computer retrieval services including MEDLINE of the National Library of Medicine, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences, PsycINFO, Research Alert, Social Sciences Citation Index, Social SciSearch, SciSearch, The Cumulative Index of the Nursing and Allied Health Literature, RNdex Top 100TM, and other major indexes. Articles are abstracted in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Psychological Abstracts, and Dokumentation Arbeitsmedizin.

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. For the full list of terms and conditions, see

Any authors wishing to choose the OnlineOpen option will be required to complete the payment form available from our website at:

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. 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.

Presubmission English-Language Editing Services
Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission to improve the English. 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.

Copyright Transfer Agreement
Publication in the Journal is subject to the condition that the article (as a whole or in part) has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. In submitting the manuscript to the publisher, the author certifies that neither the author's contribution nor any text or figures procured and included by the author infringes upon the rights of a third party, and that the author alone is authorized to dispose of the existing right of utilization. The author will refrain from any other duplication and distribution or digital transfer and reproduction (e.g., on the Internet) during the period of the contract. A paper presented at a scientific meeting may be considered if it has not been published in full in a proceedings or similar publication. Authors have a responsibility to inform the Editor about potential conflicts of interest, and to send to the Editor any previous reports that might be regarded as prior or duplicate publications of the same data. In order for an article to be distributed as widely as possible in the Journal, the author must grant Wiley-Blackwell an exclusive license to publish the article, including the abstract in printed and electronic form, in all languages, and to administer subsidiary rights agreements with third parties for the full period of copyright and all renewals, extensions, revisions and revivals. The article is deemed to include all material submitted for publication with the exception of Letters, and includes the text, figures, tables, author contact details, and all supplementary material accompanying the article. Authors will be asked to complete a Copyright Transfer form on formal acceptance of their article for publication by the Editor. The Copyright Transfer form can be found at

Note to NIH Grantees
Pursuant to NIH mandate, Wiley-Blackwell will post the accepted version of contributions authored by NIH grant-holders to PubMed Central upon acceptance. This accepted version will be made publicly available 12 months after publication. For further information, see Frequently asked questions are answered here.

Manuscripts should conform to the specifications of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Detailed instructions for authors and the ICMJE guidelines can be found at On submission, the Editor reviews a manuscript to determine if the content is appropriate and if it meets the standards of Birth. Articles are reviewed by two or more members of the Editorial Board of Birth and/or by outside experts in the field, using a double-blind review process. A decision for acceptance, revision, or rejection and reviewers' comments will be sent to the corresponding author. Reviews take from 6 to 10 weeks. Accepted articles will be edited for length if needed, journal style, and language. Proofs will be sent via e-mail as an Acrobat PDF format file.

Manuscript Submission
Birth has now adopted ScholarOne Manuscripts for online manuscript submission and peer review. The new system brings with it a whole host of benefits including:

1. Quick and easy submission
2. Centralized and reduced administration
3. Significant decrease in peer-review times

All submissions to the Journal must be submitted online at Full instructions and support are available on the site and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. If you require assistance, please click the Get Help Now link that appears at the top right of every ScholarOne Manuscripts page.

Manuscript Format
Presentation of text

1. Submissions should be double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and 12-point type.
2. Delete running headers and footers.
3. Delete all types of embedded and hidden formatting.
4. Number all pages and lines consecutively.
5. Do not use footnotes; incorporate material into the text or delete.
6. Add Acknowledgments only to your title page, to preserve the double-blind review process.

Title page
1. Type the author name(s) and degree(s) under the title.
2. Next, add a statement of current author affiliations (primary affiliation for each author) with job titles.
3. If appropriate, describe the institution and its location, and identifying numbers of grants supporting the work.
4. Next, add address information for correspondence to the author, including postal address, telephone/fax numbers, and e-mail address.
5. Include a word count of the number of words in the manuscript, exclusive of abstract and references.

1. Compose a concise abstract, using complete sentences, a structured format for original research articles and review papers, and maximum length 250 words. Brief reports use an unstructured abstract of =150 words.
2. Add internal headings of Background (includes objective), Method(s), Results, and Conclusions.
3. Add a list of 4 or 5 keywords.

Tables, figures, photographs
1. Compose tables in Microsoft Word format, numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. Each table or figure must be mentioned in the text.
2. Double-space tables and add a column head for each column.
3. Create figures in black-and-white, and submit them as high-resolution (at least 300 dots-per-inch) TIFF, JPG, or EPS files. Include a key as needed within the figure.
4. Place tables and figures on separate pages at the end of the article.
5. Format tables and figures so text can be accessed for editing.
6. Type figure legend on a separate page.
7. Attribute borrowed material and quotations to author and source; obtain and include copyright holder's written permission to use this material.

1. Double-space references in a list at the end of the manuscript. List each reference with consecutive Arabic numerals followed by a period.
2. Add text reference citations that refer to the numbered reference list as consecutive numbers in parentheses, not superscript.
3. Place references to personal communications or unpublished (submitted) material in the text in parentheses, not in the reference list.
4. Remove any automatic software features and/or linkages between text reference numbers and list reference numbers (e.g., reference manager) before submission.
5. Abbreviate journal names in MEDLINE style and use Vancouver style for references. For example, McCandlish R. The role of a perineal clinic in a maternity hospital. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2002;5:63-83.
6. Book/report references must be complete and include inclusive chapter pages as needed. For example: Snowdon C, Garcia J, Elbourne D. Decisions, decisions: How do parents view the decision they made about a randomized clinical trial? In: Fulford BKWM, Dickenson DL, Murray TH, eds. Healthcare Ethics and Human Values. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002:261-269.
7. For Internet references, provide author(s), title, publisher, date accessed, and website address.

Early View (Publication Prior to Print)
Birth 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. 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.

Free access to the final PDF offprint of your article will be available via author services. Please sign up for author services if you would like to access your article PDF offprint upon publication of your paper, and enjoy the many other benefits the service offers. Visit to sign up.

Editorial Address
Editorial correspondence should be addressed to Jamie Wielgus, Managing Editor, Birth, Wiley-Blackwell, 350 Main St., Malden, MA 02148, USA;; Tel +1 (781) 388-8485.