Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Author Guidelines

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 STDs; 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 policy, practice and research implications of their work, bearing in mind the limitations of their research. In particular, so as not to overreach 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; manuscripts that the editors consider potentially publishable 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. Roughly 20% of submissions are eventually accepted for publication.

Basic Requirements

Manuscripts should be double-spaced, with pages numbered. The title page should include the names, titles and affiliations of all authors; this page will not be included in copies of manuscripts that are sent for peer review. We limit the number of authors to eight; the exception is that 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 graphic elements (tables, figures and boxes) is eight. Place each on a separate page at the end of the text. Most figures will be replicated by the journal’s production staff; authors are responsible for supplying data points. For figures that cannot be easily replicated, authors will be required to provide a high-resolution PDF.

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 relevant literature. Perspectives 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 contain the following standard elements: structured abstract of no more than 250 words (see any issue of the journal as a guide to structuring the abstract), introduction, methodology, results and discussion. Extensive literature reviews are not needed for our audience. The abstract summarizes key data; therefore, the results should not be summarized extensively again in the article’s Discussion section. Rather, use the Discussion to draw conclusions about what the results mean for the field, what specific and practical applications can be made of them, and how future work might build on them to achieve particular goals. A word count is mandatory; we look unfavorably upon articles of more than 6,000 words (including the abstract, but not the 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 generally do not follow the standard structure of a research article; they do not include an abstract and should be no more than 4,500 words (excluding references and footnotes). 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 sex 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 (excluding references and footnotes), do not have abstracts or 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 (excluding references and footnotes).

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

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.

All accepted 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. After the edited manuscript has been sent for typesetting, you will receive an e-mail from Wiley-Blackwell with instructions for completing the necessary form 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 Online Open option; for details, see below. The average time between acceptance of a manuscript and publication is 3–4 months.

OnlineOpen and Copyright Agreement

OnlineOpen is available, for a fee, to authors of original research articles who wish to make their article available to nonsubscribers upon publication. The article is made available via Wiley Online Library and is deposited with PubMed Central (PMC). The fee does not apply to articles based on work funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health; accepted manuscripts of these articles are automatically deposited in PMC at no charge to the author. For the full list of terms and conditions, and to complete the OnlineOpen payment form, go to

You are not required to inform the journal’s editorial office in advance that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal’s standard peer-review process and are accepted or rejected on their own merit. If you do not select the OnlineOpen option, you will receive a copyright transfer agreement to sign. The terms and conditions of this agreement can be previewed at

If you select the OnlineOpen option, you 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 agreements, please visit and

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust or members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK), you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a Creative Commons Attribution license, in compliance with Wellcome Trust and RCUK requirements. For more information on this policy and the journal’s compliant self-archiving policy, please visit