Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health


Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health is a peer-reviewed research journal serving researchers, policymakers, program administrators and service providers in the United States and other developed countries. The journal invites submissions based on qualitative or quantitative research on such topics as contraceptive practice and research; fertility levels, trends and determinants; adolescent pregnancy; abortion; sexual behavior; HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases; public policies and legal issues affecting family planning and childbearing; program operation, development and evaluation; information, education and communication activities; and reproductive, maternal and child health.

We encourage authors to fully consider and present the larger practice and research implications of their work, bearing in mind the limitations of their research. In particular, to avoid overreaching their data, authors should avoid using causal language in discussing results of empirical work; words to use cautiously include “effect,” “impact,” “influence” and “factor.” We encourage authors of descriptive studies to discuss various possible interpretations of their findings and how future research might be able to build on them to inform policies or programs.

We receive manuscripts with the understanding that they are not under consideration elsewhere and that the substance of the data or analysis has not been published previously. Submissions undergo a two-tiered review. They are screened initially by the editorial staff for overall quality and interest; about 40% are rejected at this stage, and the author is notified within about two months of submission. The surviving submissions undergo double-blind peer review by at least two experts in the field. Authors of articles sent for review can expect to receive critiques of their manuscript about three months after submission, with guidance from the editors as to whether to proceed with a revision.

Basic Requirements

We expect manuscripts to be double-spaced, with pages numbered. The title page should include the names, titles and affiliations of all authors; we limit the number of authors to eight. (Multicenter clinical studies may have up to 10 authors.)

Use active voice when writing the text. Stick to plain English, and avoid jargon known only to academic or professional subspecialties. In particular, describe the study’s methodology clearly and simply, keeping in mind that some readers may not be familiar with specific statistical techniques. Dispense with arcane acronyms as well as brand names; if brand names are important to the research, give them on first mention in the methodology section, then use generic designations.

Subheads to delineate the sections of the paper are welcome, but they must fit within one journal column. First-level heads should be no more than 27 characters, and second-level heads no more than 50 characters. Third-level subheads may be used if the text merits; these are run-in clauses, in italics and preceded by bullets.

The maximum number of tables and other graphic elements is eight. Place each table and chart on a separate page at the end of the text. All line graphs and charts should be accompanied by their respective data points so that they can be replicated by the journal’s production staff.

While all data and factual observations need a reference, reference lists are not meant to be bibliographies; they should indicate that you are familiar with the literature relevant to the topic. Most authors make do with 10–30 references. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health follows a reference style based on the citation-sequence system of the Council of Science Editors. References are numbered in the text, and are listed in numerical order at the conclusion of the article; they may be typed separately or “embedded” as endnotes using an automatic numbering function. A reference may contain only one citation. When a source is cited more than once, the same reference number is used each time. We have software that will format references to journal articles. For other types of material, authors are required to provide properly formatted references; use any recent issue of the journal as a guide.

Footnotes and references are separate elements and should not be intermingled. Used sparingly, footnotes are appropriate for parenthetical or explanatory information that cannot be smoothly accommodated in the text. To distinguish them from references, use symbols or letters to designate them.

Acknowledgments should include funding information, as well as any employment, appointments or financial arrangements that might be perceived as a conflict of interest. Acknowledgments should not be used to thank anonymous reviewers, study participants or coworkers who provided no special technical or intellectual expertise.

Journal Sections
The journal contains a number of sections to which you may submit your manuscript or to which it may be assigned by the editors. The majority of submissions appear in the “Articles” category. Articles deal with never-before-published data or analyses of a research endeavor, survey, program evaluation or academic exercise. Articles should contain all the standard elements: abstract (of no more than 250 words), introduction, methodology, results and discussion. Extensive literature reviews are not needed for our specialized audience. The abstract summarizes key data; therefore, the results should not be summarized again in the discussion. Rather, you should draw conclusions about what the results mean for the field and what specific and practical applications can be made of them. A word count is mandatory; we look unfavorably upon articles of more than 6,000 words (not including references and footnotes).

“Comments,” too, are usually data-based, but the data may have been compiled from sources other than original research, and the text is an analytic review of some issue or question. Comments may or may not follow the standard structure of a research article, depending on how the author chooses to tackle the subject, but they usually are shorter than an article and have fewer references. Some comments undergo peer review, but others do not.

“Special Reports” cover a wide range of issues; for example, they may present an in-depth discussion of policy issues relevant to sexuality education, summarize a global conference on maternal mortality, evaluate the adequacy of postabortion contraceptive services or investigate the status of research on a new contraceptive method. Special Reports stop at 4,500 words, do not have abstracts, forgo tables, usually do not contain the standard elements of an article and often are accepted on the basis of the editors’ judgment only.

“Viewpoints” follow no specific guidelines and are as individual as the opinions of the people who write them. They are not subjected to peer review, and acceptance is based solely on whether the editors think the opinion is worth airing and the case is cogently made. Viewpoints should be no more than 3,500 words.

We welcome “Letters to the Editor.” They should support or take issue with material published in the journal or present some other observation that can be made in 1,200 words or less. Letters are usually sent to the first author of the original paper for a rejoinder, to be published with the letter.

Finishing Touches

Upon acceptance of a manuscript, we will ask you to assign copyright to the journal. The copyright agreement details your rights with regard to posting your article on the Web, as well as restrictions regarding posting. You may choose to pay a fee to have your published article made freely available online via Wiley-Blackwell’s OnlineOpen option; for details, see below. The average time between acceptance of a manuscript and publication is about six months. All manuscripts are edited for grammar, conciseness, organization and clarity. The editing may be more extensive than at other journals, to make manuscripts suitable for a multidisciplinary readership. You will have two opportunities to review edited galleys; galleys are sent electronically, as PDF files.

To submit a manuscript, go to, and follow the instructions for uploading your paper and cover letter. The cover letter should include the complete affiliation, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the author with whom we are to correspond. Not all authors are required to sign the letter, but implicit in the submission of a manuscript is an acknowledgment by the corresponding author that all authors are aware that they are being listed, have seen and approved the manuscript, and accept responsibility for its content. Receipt of the manuscript is acknowledged by e-mail.

OnlineOpen is available to authors of original research articles who wish to make their article available to nonsubscribers on publication. With OnlineOpen, the author pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to nonsubscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library; the article is also deposited with PubMed Central (PMC). This fee does not apply to articles funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health; final manuscripts of these articles are automatically deposited in PMC at no charge to the author. For the full list of terms and conditions, see

Any authors wishing their paper to be made available through OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form available from our Web site at

Prior to acceptance, there is no requirement to inform the journal’s 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 on their own merit.