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Author Guidelines

Click here for link to  pdf copy of these Guidelines.




Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal

publishes original papers and other contributions on all aspects of health professional education, spanning undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education. The Editorial Board encourages the publication of a wide range of contributions, including: original research, scholarly papers, systematic reviews, reports on educational innovations, and short discussion papers on issues of current importance to educators in the health professions. We also have a format called Innovative Teaching and Learning Practice (ITLP) – see below.

Papers may focus on any aspect of health professional education, e.g. curriculum design and development, aspects of learning, teaching approaches, assessment, and evaluation.

Submissions should be grounded in the relevant literature or theoretical framework.

Submission Formats:

Original Research, Papers, Reviews & Reports

Papers should be less than 3500 words in length (excluding abstract, references and tables or figures). Appendices are negotiable if they are integral to the understanding of the paper. Submissions between 3500 and 5000 words will be considered with a supporting rationale – for example, a qualitative study may run over typical length to include an adequate presentation and discussion of the data or an extensive systematic review.  Any paper over 5000 words without an explanation will be returned to the author for further editing.

Reports of completed research, both quantitative and qualitative, are welcome, and should be presented in a structured format; with an introduction and aims, methods and analysis, results, discussion and conclusions (IaMaRDc).  Statements describing the limitations of the research, and what the study adds to the literature, should also be included.  Scholarly papers may include reviews, discussion of theoretical and conceptual issues or trends in health professional education. 

Short Reports or Discussion Papers

These are intended to provide a brief overview of a project, initiative or a subject that is topical and would be of interest to our readers.  Papers should be between 1000–2000 words in length.  Up to ten references and one table or figure are allowed.

Short reports should be structured in a way that assists the reader: the IaMaRDc format (outlined above) for reports on pilot studies or other research projects, the Introduction/Innovation/Evaluation/Outcomes/What next format? (outlined below) for reports on innovations, or a customised format to be determined by the author, where the rationale is explained in the accompanying cover letter.

Discussion papers should be structured in a way that assists the reader, in a customised format to be determined by the author. The rationale for the format should be explained in the accompanying cover letter.

Innovative Teaching and Learning Projects (ITLP)

This category provides an opportunity for authors to share their innovations in a brief report without producing a full research paper. The ITLP accommodates small-scale innovations in healthcare education and is particularly designed for emerging ‘hot topics’. Each ITLP submission should be limited to 800 words of main text, three references and one figure or table. No Abstract is required.

Submissions must be structured under the following headings:

  • Introduction - What is the background or context for your innovation?
  • Innovation - What did you do?
  • Evaluation - How did you measure the impact of the innovation?
  • Outcomes - What were the results, what did you find?
  • What next? - What was the impact? What further research is needed? How might this innovation be relevant in other settings?

ITLP submissions will be assessed for innovation, evaluation methodology, wider application, and their potential as a stimulus for development and new ideas. 

Letters to the Editor

FoHPE publishes three issues a year and therefore it is difficult for letters to the Editor to be topical. However, we will consider letters reflecting on recent subjects or studies presented in recent journals. Letters must be less than 500 words, have no more than three references, and no tables or figures.

Preparation of Submissions 

It is your responsibility, in the first instance, to submit the paper in a form suitable for publication. You should ensure that your paper is well-organised and conforms to these guidelinesPapers which do not conform to these guidelines will be returned. 

You should review your paper carefully for its English language usage - syntax, sense, spelling and typographical errors. Clear, well-constructed text helps expedite the review process. If you are new to academic writing, you may benefit from asking an experienced colleague to review your paper before submission.  For all authors, a ‘second pair of eyes’ often picks up typographical errors and ambiguities. 

Be consistent in the use of tense. Do not use the future tense: for example, use the phrase ‘as is discussed’ in preference to the phrase ‘as will be discussed’.  When introducing paraphrased or quoted text use past or present perfect tense.

Please anonymise the manuscript. You will asked to enter author and institution details as part of the submission process.  The manuscript should not mention author or institution names, neither should it include the location.  Using initials is acceptable for noting author roles in the text.  Use XXXX to indicate where institution or place names have been removed.  If, following review, the paper is accepted for publication, institution-identifying information will be added in the proof-editing process.


FoHPE Style Guide: 

Manuscript Format

  • MS Word or RTF file (pdf files will not be accepted)
  • Times New Roman font in 12 point
  • Double-spaced and left-justified
  • 2.5cm margins (MS Word default)
  • All pages should be numbered
  • Turn on the marginal line number function, if available (MS Word)
  • A short title in 10 point font in a header on each page - maximum 45 characters including spaces
  • Paragraphs should be separated by a blank line, and the beginning of a paragraph should not be indented
  • All measurements should be in SI units
  • Use APA style for referencing (see below)
  • Spelling – please use the Oxford English Dictionary 

Detailed advice

Tables and Figures should be included in the document, after the reference list.  Both should be given Arabic numbers (e.g. Table 3, Figure 1). Their approximate position should be indicated in the text. Captions should make their interpretation possible without reference to the text. Tables should include absolute numbers as well as percentages which should be rounded to one decimal place. 

You should state whether Ethics approval was required for your research, and, if so, from whom it was obtained.

Acknowledgements should be placed at the end of the paper and should be brief and kept to a minimum. Funding sources can be acknowledged. 

References in the text should follow the American Psychological Association’s (APA) most recent edition – currently the 7th edition.  This referencing format uses in-text citation of author(s) and year with an alphabetical list of cited work at the end of the main body text.  For details and examples, please see: APA Style

If you are new to academic writing, have a look at recent papers in FoHPE to get an idea of how the system works. 

Headings and Subheadings. Use only two levels of headings: Main heading (bold) and subheading (bold Italics).

Emphasis.  Use italics in-text for emphasis, but use them sparingly. Do not use underlined or bold text for emphasis. 

Abbreviations should be kept to a minimum, and should be explained at their first use in the text. Acronyms may be used, but on the first occasion the text should be written in full, with the acronym shown in parentheses. 

Footnotes. Avoid the use of footnotes. Use endnotes if necessary, but use them sparingly. The endnote number should appear after the punctuation mark. 

Quotations - Double inverted commas (“ ... ”) should be used throughout, with single inverted commas (‘ ... ’) being reserved for quotations within quotations. Passages of 40 or more words should be indented without quotation marks.  For qualitative data (interview, focus group or textual quote), use the preceding rule for all quotations.  Omission of words in quotations should be indicated by using three full stops, the first full stop being preceded by a space. Where the omission includes the end of a sentence, use three full stops to indicate the omission and follow these with a full stop, preceded by a space, to indicate the conclusion of the sentence.

Use of parentheses.  Use parentheses sparingly. We prefer you to explain the additional material in a further sentence.

Use of capital letters.  Except for referencing, you should only use capitals for proper nouns. For example, a reference to general practitioners as a professional group should not be capitalised, but a reference to the name of their professional organisation, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, should be capitalised.

Numbers.  Figures should be used to express numbers when they accompany a symbol or a unit or measurement, and in tabulations. In other cases, you should express numbers less than 10 in words. Hyphens should be used when fractions are expressed in words, e.g. one-third.

For further information about numbering conventions please refer to the guidelines contained in the Australian Government Style Manual.

Bullet points. Use sparingly.  Ideally, either express the subject matter in prose or present it as a table.

English language usage. Please note that the word ‘data’ is plural, the word ‘each’ is singular, and the word ‘all’ is plural.  The plural of medium is ‘media’.

Where English is not your first language, you may find it useful to seek the advice of a native English-speaker before submission.

Submission Process:

The submitter must be an author and will be the only person able to access and action the submission.

At the time of submission online, you will also be asked for the following identifying information.  Please have this information prepared.

  • The title (no limit, but please keep it within sensible limits) and short title of the paper (45 characters).
  • A structured Abstract of up to 250 words. This should reflect the structure of the paper.
  • Key words: 3–10 key words for indexing purposes, based on the National Library of Medicine’s MeSH list 
  • Author’s details: surname, first name, place of work and contact details for all authors. The workplace should be that of the institution where the author worked at the time the work was conducted.
  • Nominate one author as the corresponding author.
  • Make a statement, either that no conflict of interest exists, or setting out the  steps taken by the authors to obviate an actual or potential conflict of interest (See Conflicts of Interest section, later).
  • A statement that,
    • the work has not been published elsewhere
    • the text adheres to the Author Guidelines
    • all authors have contributed to the paper*
    • all authors are accountable for the accuracy and integrity of all aspects of the reported work*

*Enter contribution statement in the Comments for the Editor text box.

Separate upload of reference list. Although your references will have been cited in the manuscript and provided as a list according to APA style, you are also required to upload the reference list separately.  This is a requirement of the manuscript management system.  Simply cut and paste the list into the text box, where requested.

Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged by email through the online system.

Conflict of Interest

In the context of health professional education publishing, a conflict of interest exists when a participant in the publication process (author, peer reviewer, editorial staff) has a competing interest that could unduly influence, or be reasonably thought to influence, their responsibilities in the publication process.  The publication process includes the submission of papers, peer review, editorial decisions, and communication between authors, reviewers and editors.

If, as an Author, you believe that a conflict of interest may exist for you, you should undertake the following steps, and report on them when you submit the paper to the Editorial Office.

  • You should disclose all sources of funding, including any relevant conditions.  You should describe your relationship with the funder if it is other than that of a recipient.
  • You should also disclose any role conflicts that arose in conducting the research, and report what action was taken to minimise the effects of such conflicts. E.g. Where you have a vested interest in an evaluation outcome, ensuring data collection and/or analysis was performed independently.
  • If data are derived from interviews or focus groups, you should provide a statement on reflexivity (your relationship to the participants and the data, and any other issues that may influence the research), as is current best practice in qualitative research.
  • However if, for some reason, the potential for influence could not be managed methodologically, you should make a disclosure of conflict of interest.

If you believe that no conflicts of interest exist, you should declare accordingly, because such a declaration will be required as a condition of review and publication. 

Peer Review 

All papers received that meet the above requirements will be submitted for peer review. They will be evaluated, as appropriate, in terms of conceptual framework, grounding in existing literature, methodological approach, data analysis, synthesis and conclusions, overall organisation and clarity, and significance for health professional education.  There are four categories of decision:

  • Acceptance
  • Acceptance subject to revision
  • Rejection
  • Rewrite and resubmit 

Indication of Timescale

Our current typical time to complete the initial review process and feedback is six months.  Our aim is to improve our processes to allow for a decision within three months. If a submission is not sent out for review, that decision is communicated within a month. 

To provide a blind reviewing process, the reviewer will receive the manuscript only. The identifying details will not be given to the reviewer.  As an Author, you will receive copies of the reviewers’ reports as part of the review process.

In addition to this guideline, authors may find the Reviewer Guidelines of interest which can be found on the ANZAHPE website


Receipt of submissions will be acknowledged



Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.  Reference style is APA 7th.
  3. I understand that the submitter must be an author and will be the only person able to access and action this submission.
  4. The word count is appropriate for the style of paper.  Comments have been provided below if appropriate.
  5. I have read and understood the conditions for charging for publication in the journal.

    (see Journal Policies - Charges for articles accepted for publication in the Journal)
  6. The submission has not been before FoHPE for consideration previously. (or and explanation has been provided in the Comments to the Editor).
  7. The manuscript file does not contain any identifying information eg authors or instiutions

Copyright Notice

On acceptance for publication in FoHPE the copyright of the manuscript is signed over to ANZAHPE, the publisher of FoHPE.

Any reproduction of material published in FoHPE must have the express  permission of the publisher.

ANZAHPE has licence agreements with third parties allowing world wide access to material published in FoHPE and these require the honouring of copyright.


This policy is under review by the ANZAHPE Committee of Management.


Privacy Statement

The names, email addresses and personal profile details entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

Author and institution details necessarily appear on published articles and authors should be aware that consequntly they are in the public domain.

Links to other websites are included in this website.  Users should be aware that this privacy statement applies only to this website and visitors from this site linking to other websites should be aware of the privacy policies of those third party websites.

From time to time the Editorial Board may gather data on site useage to inform journal policy and the evaluation and development of its services.  Such data would be anonymous and aggregated.

Notwithstanding the above, the journal is bound to comply with legal requirements should they apply.