For Contributors

Aims and Scope of IGHPE

Innovations in Global Health Profession Education (IGHPE) offers health professionals, healthcare administrators and education researchers alike to discuss innovative concepts in all areas of healthcare instruction and learning. Our forum's context is that of an interconnected world which calls for a transformation of health professions education that meets global standards while fulfilling local needs. In addition to reviews and research articles, we welcome novel contribution formats, such as video- and audio files, graphical content and other non-traditional ways of presenting ideas. Besides an impact on scholarship in global health education, publications of IGHPE ultimately aim at measurable improvements of health care delivery.


Content guidelines for submissions

In the interest of clarity, reports about educational innovations should have sufficient information about the following ten items:

1. Title and abstract. In the abstract, briefly state which kind of educational innovation—a one-time intervention, a program, a recurring measure, etc.—was developed. In which context was the innovation applied? It could be geographic or learner-specific, such as for students, nurses, GPs, medical specialists, paramedics, pharmacists, among others. What was the aim of the innovation and what was achieved? Please also provide keywords for your manuscript so that it can be retrieved easily through document databases, such as MEDLINE/PubMed. 

2. Background within health professions education. What is the theoretical background of the innovation? Why was it designed and/or applied? Are there reports that describe similar innovations?

3. Purpose. What are the learning objectives of the educational innovation? For example, is it a change in factual knowledge or clinical performance? How can achievement of the change be measured or quantified? Which behavior or activity of the health professionals is the innovation intended to influence and/or change?

4. Setting. What is the local/regional background of the innovation? What is its organizational background? Who are its stakeholders? Is the innovation part of a more comprehensive program? Who funded the innovation?

5. General conditions. Who planned the innovation? Who taught it? What was the composition of the group of learners (age, sex, educational background)? Were there alternatives to the design of the innovation, and why was one design selected?

6. Formats. What kind of educational resources were used for the innovation? Simulated patients, virtual learning environments, lectures, small group work? Is the innovation a new curriculum, software, or something else? Which and how many steps does the innovation have? How far can individual steps be changed without changing the other steps or the entire innovation?

7. Analytical methods. How were the changes by the innovation measured? Were statistical tools or software used? In which way? Did learners evaluate the innovation? If by questionnaires, which ones were used?

8. Situation analysis. What was the situation before the innovation, and how did it change afterwards? Which elements and stakeholders of the situation or location helped design and apply the innovation? What were the barriers to its successful conclusion?

9. Outcomes. Which outcomes of the innovation were observed? What kind of impact did these outcomes have on healthcare delivery? Was the innovation applied several times, and did it change because of ‘lessons learned’ after first-time application? Were there unexpected outcomes (harms as well as benefits), and did they influence the final design of the innovation? Were there organizational changes caused by the innovation?

10. Summary. What is the most important aspect of the innovation? What are the recommendations for other innovators? Which elements of the innovation have relevance beyond its specific context or on a global level? Which further innovations are possible because of the implementation of the reported one? What in particular contributes to the persistent change achieved by the innovation?


Publication ethics

The editorial team of IGHPE assists authors to publish their contributions through a transparent and timely process. Hereby the publication adheres to the Standards of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE,, and its editors apply the Recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE, We encourage authors to familiarize themselves with the guidelines of both organizations.


Publication policies

  • Open Access. We at IGHPE pursue a full Open Access policy. Publication in IGHPE is free of charges, and upon acceptance, all publications are freely accessible on IGHPE’s website at
  • Copyright policy. Contributions to IGHPE are published under a Creative Commons-Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY) license which allows re-use of the work, provided due credit is given to its authors and IGHPE is mentioned as the platform that published the used material. For details, see


Submission guidelines

Before submission

  • Plagiarism: Submitted manuscripts must not use wordings, sentences, or works of authors who do not occur in the manuscript’s authors’ list without giving credit by proper citation. For IGHPE we use iThenticate —all submitted manuscripts will be routinely checked against a database of existing publications to detect plagiarism.
  • Simultaneous submission and prepublication. Submitting your work to IGHPE excludes its simultaneous submission to another journal or publishing platform. Also, a work can only be published in IGHPE if no part of it or itself has been published before. This does not pertain to contributions for meetings (speeches, presentations, recorded interviews or discussions, and posters), but please indicate from which meeting or conference the material derived. Manuscripts will undergo a pre-publication check after submission.
  • Informed consent. Authors must ensure that informed consent was acquired if human subjects are involved in their work. Research on human subjects must comply with the Declaration of Helsinki.
  • Conflicts of interest. See ‘4. Preparation of the manuscript for submission’.
  • Language. Contributions must be in English language. Accepted manuscripts will be professionally copy-edited before publication. However, major changes of manuscript structure or text are authors’ responsibilities.

Where to submit

Please register at and submit your manuscript online. The software will guide you through the submission process and help you ensure that all required information has been submitted. In case of problems, and if you would like to contribute to IGHPE’s blog at, please contact the editorial office at

After submission

  • Estimated time from submission to decision is four to six weeks if the contribution is accepted without revisions.
  • Editorial process. A submitted manuscript will first undergo plagiarism and prepublication checks. Next, the manuscript or work will be initially screened for suitability to the journal. Afterwards, the managing editor will send the submission to a member of the editorial board, who will select two peer reviewers with expertise on the topic of the work. For more information on peer review, see IGHPE’s Peer Review Policy and Reviewer Guidelines of IGHPE.
  • Fast-track publishing. Manuscripts of special interest or offering exciting approaches to a highly debated topic can be directly published after reviewing by a member of the editorial board.
  • Acceptance for publication. For acceptance, both peer reviewers should recommend publication. If the peer reviewers suggest revisions, these will be returned to the authors; they can then submit a revised version of their work.


Preparation of a work for submission

Cover letter

Please submit your work with a cover letter. This should summarize the relevance of your work for health professions education and its suitability for publication in IGHPE.

Title page

Please submit your work with a title page. This should contain:

  • the full title of the work. Titles should be clear and brief, conveying the message of the paper, 
  • all authors’ names with full first name, middle initial(s) and last name of each author, including Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) number if existing,
  • affiliations of all authors with full address details,
  • information about previous presentations of the work or parts of it at meetings and conferencesources of funding and any support—for all authors—for the work in the form of grants etc.,
  • disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. State whether any author has financial interests relevant to the work,
  • name, address and e-mail address(es) of the corresponding author(s), 
  • word count (including references, but not tables and legends) and number of tables, figures, and supplementary files, and
  • author contributions—please state each author’s specific contribution to the work.

File format

Text files can have the following formats: DOC, DOCX, RTF. We accept most commonly used audio- and video file formats but prefer MP3 for audio- and MP4 for video files. Please feel free to ask the editorial office if you have questions about file formats. Also, graphic material should be submitted, like figures of a traditional article, as TIFF files with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Audio files can be in MP3, and video files in MPG, MOV, or MP4 formats.


Manuscript requirements


Do not use more than three heading levels for manuscript sections and sub-sections. Indicate heading levels clearly in the manuscript text. 

Figures and tables

Preferred format of figures is TIFF with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. For line art, use PDF or EPS if possible. Number figures and tables independently in ascending order.


Use double spacing for the manuscript text; format the text in a single column aligned to the left (no multiple columns, no block format); use a standard font (such as Times New Roman, Cambria, Arial, Helvetica) and 12 pt. font size. Last, please assign line and page numbers to the text. Do not use footnotes.


Define abbreviations upon first appearance in the text. We recommend submitting your text together with a list of abbreviations, which will appear on page 1 in the final publication. Abbreviations should only be used for terms appearing at least three times. Please minimize the use of abbreviations.

Nomenclature and units

Use always correct and standard, established nomenclature. For measurement numbers, SI (metric) units must be used.


Please use the ICMJE ‘Vancouver’ style for giving references as described at In the text, refer to literature source with continuous superscript numbers—1, 2, 3… 



Peer review guidelines

Your work as a reviewer of contributions to IGHPE is extremely important to us. Your review helps us select innovative works and ideas that fit into IGHPE’s profile, and it supports our authors to further improve their work through a critical dialogue with experts from the same area. Please review submitted work in the same way you would like to see your own work reviewed. If you are an experienced reviewer, many of the following explanations will sound familiar to you – in this case, please regard them as a refresher highlighting some special demands of IGHPE.


General peer review issues

Besides critical points, in your review always try to highlight the strengths of the work as it will encourage the authors in their research. Needless to say, but worth mentioning: derogatory, libelous, or person-centered defamatory comments have no place in a review. Novice reviewers in particular are invited to familiarize themselves with the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers,

We at IGHPE aim at a timely editorial process for submitted work. Thus, please do not accept an invitation for peer review if your schedule and current duties do not allow a review within 15 days. If you agree to review a submission, please also keep in mind that it is good peer review practice to re-review a work revised according to your suggestions.


IGHPE peer review policy—main points

  • All communication related to a submission is kept strictly confidential, and the same is expected from our reviewers.
  • IGHPE editors will select two peer reviewers who are experts in the areas of the submitted work.
  • Reviewing is single-blinded. Authors do not know the identity of reviewers.
  • Author(s) cannot exclude or select reviewers of their work.
  • Editors can directly recommend publication of a submitted work, for example, if it offers groundbreaking insights into a highly debated topic.
  • Average time from submission of a work to IGHPE to editorial decision is four to six weeks.


Considerations before accepting an invitation for peer review

Conflicts of interest

Please decline an invitation for peer review if there is any potential conflict of interest between you and the author(s) of a contribution that would lead to a biased review. None of these conflicts will lead to your removal from our list of reviewers – a case of conflict just means that you should refrain from reviewing the particular work sent to you.

Possible conflicts of interest include, but are not restricted to, 

  • any financial interest connected to a submitted work, especially financial gain from publishing a work submitted to IGHPE,
  • personal relationships with the author(s),
  • previous or current cooperation with one or more authors—including being supervisor/employer or being supervised by the author(s), respectively by her/his/their company or research group,
  • a history of open conflicts with the author(s), or
  • direct competition of your own work with the submitted work or with the author(s).

 If you are in doubt whether a conflict of interest exists, please do not hesitate to ask the editorial office at for advice.

Familiarity with the format

Also, peer-reviewed publications of IGHPE may have formats beyond the ‘classical’ research article structure (introduction, methods, results, discussion) – qualitative research articles, concept descriptions, as well as audio and video productions. Before accepting the review of a submission, be sure that you feel familiar with the contribution’s format and specific considerations for reviewing, e.g., qualitative research (see below).


Confidentiality of the peer review process

The editors and the editorial office of IGHPE will keep the submitted work and any communication related to it strictly confidential. We expect the same from our reviewers. For training purposes, you can include a graduate student in authoring your review, just please inform us about this. Viewing the submitted work is restricted to you (and, possibly, a peer review trainee), and you should not comment about the work to other people. After you have completed your review, please destroy the submission mailed to you. 

The identity of the reviewers is not revealed to the authors (single-blind review). Please do not directly contact the authors. For any questions about the submitted work always contact the editorial office first.

If you wish, you may add comments about your submission in a confidential part of your review. However, the tone of the review visible to the authors and the tone in your comments should not clash; for example, if you recommend to accept the submission with minor revisions, do not indicate in your confidential comments that you would actually like to see a major overhaul of the submitted work by the authors. Confidentially adding further critique is unfair to the author(s) and puts IGHPE’s editors and the editorial team in an uncomfortable position.


Structure of your review

  • Number your comments, praises, and critique points; if the submitted work is a ‘classical’ journal article (structured into introduction, methods, results, and discussion), or has several identifiable parts, please address each part on its own. 
  • In the first paragraph, summarize the work from your perspective and in your own words. 
  • For the authors and for us it is helpful if you make a distinction between major and minor points of comment, praise, or critique.
  • Write in a constructive way: If you suggest revisions, specify which. If you find that the objective of the work has not been addressed properly, say why exactly.
  • These points imply that your review should not be cursory or just critically summarizing the submitted work. On the other hand, please be succinct; broad discussions of other authors’ work or of your own work are not necessary and depart from your role as an adviser of a particular work. Generally we assume that two to three normal manuscript pages are enough for a review. 
  • Finally, write a summarizing paragraph and make a statement about the overall value of the work from your perspective. Make a recommendation about acceptance, revision, or rejection (but please keep in mind, it is the editor’s job to decide about rejection or acceptance).


Content of your review

Our author guidelines can also help you draft your review. Although the editor already checked whether the work falls into the Aims and Scope of IGHPE, do not hesitate to write if you disagree and why.

From a formal point of view, consistency in presentation is crucial for acceptance by IGHPE. As a general guidance for reviewing content, assess relevance, novelty, and timeliness of the work for health professions education in a global context, beyond the setting or context chosen by the author(s).

Submissions to IGHPE can have many formats besides the ‘traditional’ journal article – concept descriptions, qualitative research, or multimedia contributions. Beyond the content, be sure that you feel comfortable with the chosen format and have experience with it (for example, in the case of qualitative studies).

The content guidelines for submissions and their content-related questions are intended to support authors in structuring contributions of any kind, and they are also useful for evaluating submitted work. Yet, keep in mind that not each point has to be addressed in a submitted work. However, if, e.g., the author(s) write(s) about formats (item 6 of the author guidelines) used for an educational intervention, evaluate if these (simulated patients or virtual learning environments, etc.) are sufficiently described for understanding and replication, and if these formats suit the proposed intervention.

Regardless of the format of the submitted work, it is important to evaluate the following points (numbers 2, 3, and 9 of the author guidelines):

  • Do the authors describe the work’s position in the current landscape of innovations and concepts in health professions education? Are the background or setting of the work sufficiently explained? Does similar work exist, and do the authors compare their submission to it? 
  • Is the problem the authors want to solve or address lined out clearly? 
  • Are outcomes observed (or expected, for a submission to our Concept Corner) described as detailed as required for understanding? Do the authors discuss if other outcomes could have been expected? 

The following questions can guide you when reviewing a traditional journal article subdivided into introduction, methods, results, and discussion: 

  • Do the authors clearly state the hypothesis guiding their investigation clearly and outline its relationship to the context of research?
  • Did the authors select adequate methods to gain evidence supporting the hypothesis?
  • Are advantages and drawbacks of used methods critically reflected upon? 

If you do not feel familiar with certain statistical techniques and their application, but think that you can evaluate the remainder of the study – in particular that its results lead to an innovation in a certain field of health professions education – please ask the editorial office for advice.

The following questions can guide you to structure your review of a qualitative study:

  • Does the qualitative method actually suit the research question? Does the selected study design (observational comments, interviews, etc.) appropriately address the study question?
  • Are the described procedures reported in a transparent way? For example, do the authors explain why they selected a specific group of professionals? How were they selected? Were all obtainable data (statements, interviewee responses) sufficiently evaluated? Did the researchers reflect their own influence on study design and interpretation?
  • Is the interpretative approach itself sound? Does the analysis of the authors reach sufficient depth? Is the analytical process described in enough detail?


A remark about language and work from authors with English as a second language

Many of our authors are non-native speakers of English. Thus, submitted work may contain grammatical or semantic mistakes. Please do not let your attention to the content be distracted by such issues. The reviewer(s) should not assume the role of copy editors and submit a corrected version of the work or send a list of language mistakes. Except in cases when the language level is too poor to understand the contribution at all (however, the editorial office usually will not forward such submissions to editors and peer reviewers), please focus on the work’s objective and how it is fleshed out.


Levels of recommendation after the review

There are four different categories of recommendation of the submission to the editor after your review: 

1. Accept

2. Accept with minor revisions

3. Accept with major revisions

4. Reject 

We expect a straight ‘accept’ recommendation only rarely. Suggested revisions, even if major, should always be achievable within a reasonable period of time—recommending revisions that would lead to a complete re-conceptualization of a submitted work is not considered useful for the authors or for the editorial process.

The editor will make her/his final decision about publishing a submission from the evaluation of both peer reviews, and we will notify you as soon as s/he has arrived at a decision. 

Again, thank you very much for investing your precious time in reviewing work submitted to Innovations in Global Health Professions Education!