Guide for Authors

In the name of the most merciful


  Guidelines for writing the articles:

Background and objectives:

General principles to be Allowed:

The articles which are acceptable:   

     1- Review Article: Systematic & Controversial Review

     2-Original Research Article

     3-Qualitative Research Article

     4- Letter to Editor


The process for article assessment:

 Background and objectives:

'Journal of Health Literacy' is a seasonal journal published by Iranian Association of Health Education and Health Promotion accepts the articles belonging to health literacy  effects on health promotion and health behaviors.

 Journal of Health literacy accepts a wide range of original articles, reviews, short communications, case reports, and letters to the editor on major themes and innovations on Health Literacy, initiatives and interventions on the literacy level and welcomes manuscripts including the following subjects:

        Health literacy programs effectiveness
        Health literacy and their impacts
        Health literacy and disease prevention
        Evaluation of  health literacy programs
        Social determinants of health
         Health literacy and Health education
        Health literacy  and health promotion
        Healthy literacy in the community level

  General principles to be Allowed:

1. Plagiarism: Use of verbatim texts from other sources without acknowledgement is prohibited. The content of all articles must be the original work of authors and must not be plagiarized from other articles.


2. Open Access Policy: Access to the articles & submissions are FREE.


3.The journal is written in English Language. It must be taken into account that articles Written in English language from other countries will be accepted.


4. Articles should not previously be published in any domestic publications or    simultaneously be sent to other journals. The scientific rank of all writers must accurately be mentioned and all writers are aware of sending the article and its publication. Therefore, it is necessary that writers undertake these obligations by signature of the request of the publication of an article.

5 .Authors should send two folders (files) of their article with and without their name and identifications plus the request of the publication via submission system.

   ". Receiving the article by post service (the regular ways) and electronic mail is excused.


6. Proper names and abbreviations used in contexts, tables and so on should be popular and international, and the full name or word has to mention accompanied by its abbreviation written in a bracket.


7. Key words should be classified in alphabetical order, so ╩║comma╩║ must use between them. Also, Key words should not repeat the title of an article.


8.Graphs, pictures and tables should be printed with full resolution in separate pages; also a number and a title of tables and graphs are shown in the above and the below respectively. Individuals' Pictures should not be identified.

-Each article is not included more than 4 tables.

-As far as possible, graphs are demonstrated in two-dimensional, unless they should be shown in three-dimensional.

-Graphs are presented after references.

-Pictures should be sent in GPEG or GIF format.


9. Frequently inserting the title of articles in each page (Running page) may not be exceed 40 characters.


10. An article should be forwarded in the following format accompanied by the file name:

Line spacing: 1.5 cm, paper size: A4, margins: 2.5 cm, (Microsoft Word).

Font: New Times Roman, size: 12 for Latin texts.


11. The writer is responsible for validity of the contents. The distance between doing a study and sending an article should not take time more than 5 years. 


12. All rights considering reject, accept, edit and summarize of an article are reserved by the journal and the article plus its attachments will not be returned.  


13. Articles will be accepted if the ethical principles are observed, according to the Treaty of Helsinki - Tokyo on clinical studies in humans, thus its observance must be confirmed by the ethical committee of the center in which the study done. Also, testimonials should be taken by subjects and it should mention clearly in the article.  


14. It is authorized to publish the subjects of the journal in the case of referring to the source of  journal of Health Literacy.


 The articles which are acceptable:   


1- Review Article:

Review articles about a particular topic or new trends and theories.  Critical evaluation of existing data, defined topics or emerging fields of investigation, critical issues of public concern. It should be a maximum of 6000 words without references, abbreviations, and table contents. 

Abstract: it has the significant structure as Original Research Articles and it includes introduction (aims and Fields of Study), methods of review and data references (source), findings and conclusion.

Introduction: it should consist of the field of study, causes to do the study, theoretical or conceptual framework.

Methods of Review: it should include the following parts:

  •  Aims: stating the aim/the aims of the review including the title of the research/questions/hypothesis(s)
  •  Study Design: determining the type of the review (describing the design, methods applied and references (sources)
  •  Search Methods: including search strategies/inclusion and exclusion criteria, databases searched, keywords, shortcomings of articles studied, as well as the date of search.
  •  Quality Assessment: including the description of methods, causes to choose or reject studies, audit criteria.
  •  Data Summarizing: summarizing accepted and rejected studies in the review and in separate tables respectively. In this part, the systematic review is included the description of process(s).
  • Synthesis:  describing the processes and procedures to synthesize results.



Results of the review should be presented by appropriate headlines; also conceptual and theoretical concepts should be described in the context.


It is necessary that the discussion is started with the strengths and weakness of evidences, then the theoretical and practical function of the findings are explained in the systematic review.


The conclusion should be presented based on practical function of the findings.

2- Original Research Article:

reporting original and previously unpublished work (maximum of 4500 words without references, abbreviations, and table contents).

Abstract: Abstract  should be written in separate pages and it includes a maximum of 350 words without references, abbreviations, and the mirror of all concepts and contents of the article and it is as follow:

  • Background: it contains two to three sentences to demonstrate why this study does or to summarize the study.
  • Aim: it is a clear, measurable or accessible sentence and it should use in all parts of the article without any change.
  • Material and Methods: it includes general information on the type of the study, the population, the sample, materials and methods of data collection as well as the time and the type of intervention.
  • Results: they are represented according to the aim with the separation of the study groups, with the results of statistical tests accompanied by results, confidence interval and coefficient.
  • Conclusion: this part should not replicate the findings. Final findings plus recommendations, findings applications or results in nursing are expressed in this part.  

Keywords: it contains a maximum and minimum of 3 and 6 words respectively as per MeSH, Persian and English abstracts should be consistent with each other. Keywords in Persian abstract have to be written in Persian Language and English abstract have to be written in English Language. (Key words should be classified in alphabetical order. Also, they have to emerge as a comma). They do not repeat the title of an article.

Context of the Article                                                                              

Introduction: this part is provided the scientific literature and the argument for the study and it is necessary that the aim or the main research question is mentioned clearly at the end of the introduction.

Methods: this part should be included the following issues:

The type of study and location, the relevant dates such as sampling periods, exposure, tracking (following), data collection; the population and the sample, the sample size, the sampling method and if so necessary inclusion criteria, conditions for sample selection and its causes, data collection methods, materials description, statistical software and tests to data analysis and their causes. 

 The Type of the Study:

A) Quasi-experimental, Pre-experimental and Experimental Studies:

The following issues are so essential in methods (part) of these studies:

  •  Study Design, regarding characteristics of the study groups to use the control group and random or none-random distribution of samples.
  • -  The number of study groups, the sample in each group, the frequency of referring each group, how to determine random distribution (Allocation Random) or matching of samples in groups, the method of the sampling and the random selection of samples; if the method of blinding is used, its method, samples periods and sample analysis periods will significantly be explained.
  • -  How to measure dependent variables in the study groups
  • - A concise and clear explanation, how to intervene in the study groups with full details so that it is replicable for the reader. Determination of the intervention diversity in experimental and control groups (investigate on the control group).
  • - The frequency to referring to each group and evaluation of measurements in each group (pretest and posttest).
  • - Determination of inclusion criteria (conditions for selecting a sample and its causes) and exclusion criteria (if so necessary, conditions for excluding a subject from the study during and after the intervention plus its causes)
  • -  How to measure dependent variables in general
  • - Referring to approved statistical methods and explaining and giving sufficient information (causes and limitations) on modern statistical methods

 - An explanation of ethical points should be observed during the study and its criteria.

B) Descriptive Studies

  • Determining the type of the study, if so necessary the study groups, measured variables and their frequency, identifying cross-sectional or longitudinal study, the period taken to do the study
  • - Data collection method
  •  If a questionnaire is required: it is mentioned whether the questionnaire is provided by the researcher or by other scientific sources. If the latter occurs, it is necessary to state the references. If non-Persian questionnaires are used, making native (Familiarization) and translation procedures should be mentioned.
  •   the preparation procedure should be described, in the case provided by the researcher.
  •    the following issues should be explained: a comprehensive description of various parts of a questionnaire, scopes studied, the number and type of questions based on scopes and different parts, a method of answering questions (Likert scale or yes or no questions or …) and a method of giving score (1 to 5 or zero and one or …) as well as a brief explanation of contents.
  •    the method of the validity should accurately be described.
  •    it is necessary to explain the reliability of the questionnaire and results provided via statistical tests to achieve the reliability.
  •    the method of distribution and collection of the questionnaire (via post and electronic services, face to face, …. Individual or group) should completely be explained, also it is described how to follow and refer to subjects for collecting questionnaires and how to attract subjects in order to cooperate and return questionnaires to the researcher.
  •    the method of analyzing and classifying scores of questionnaires must be provided.
  •    if the observation is used, the following notes are very significant:
  • Materials (checklist), various parts and the summary of the contents, a scale for each question and the scoring method, the description of observers' characteristics, how to be taught to be an observer, how to uniform observers as a intra rater and inter rater, the description of a case observed and its features, the duration, the frequency and the setting.
  • The sampling should be identified if data are collected via documents. Variables, how to retrieve, obtain documents and to disclosure information must be explained.
  •  Data Analysis:It includes a description of software and its version, the type of statistical tests, the type of statistics used in inferential statistics, of tests and their applications to variables analysis. Also unusual tests or special cases used should be explained.


  •    If a questionnaire is applied, response rate must be mentioned in the beginning of results.
  •    Demographic characteristics of the study are provided in the beginning of results.
  •    In descriptive statistics, values of frequency and percentage should be stated.
  •    The results should not replicate simultaneously in the table and the context.
  •   If the results are represented via tables, the number of tables should not be more than three ones.


It includes the following issues:

  • It is necessary while the aims of the study are noted by the writer, key and significant findings are summarized too.
  •    It is necessary that the writer's reasons about differences and similarities of results related to the current study in comparing with the other reviews to be explained.
  • It is avoided to mention new findings which are not stated in the result (part).
  •    It is necessary that results are interpreted generally and precisely regarding aims, limitations, variety of statistical analysis, similar results and other relevant evidence.
  •    It is necessary to explain generalization of the results (external validity).
  •    It is necessary to provide some applied recommendations based on the results of the current study and future studies (further researches).
  •    It is necessary to represent the final message of the article as the applied result at the end of the article in conclusion (part) and it should be written in one or two paragraphs.

 3- Qualitative Research Article

involves collecting and analyzing non-numerical data (e.g., text, video, or audio) to understand concepts, opinions, or experiences. It gather in-depth insights into a problem or generate new ideas for research (maximum of 5000 words without references, abbreviations, and table contents).


4- Letter to Editor

It contains 600-800 words with regard to articles or subjects of the journal, useful innovations on the education of medical science, valuable experiences or news on medical education in Iran and the world; if articles are criticized, the writer's response should be mentioned in it. The journal is authorized to publish theses letters.

The abstract should be a short, unstructured, single paragraph summary, no more than 100 words, of the major points raised, making evident the key work highlighted in the article. Please do not use abbreviations or references in the abstract.



References  should be prepared and sent based on Vancouver System and within the framework of End Note Software. All references must be written in English Language even Persian references.


A)  A person as an author

If there are more than 6 writers, "et. al" should be mentioned after the names of the first six writers. Then the title of the article, the summarized title of the journal (using med. line standards), the year of the publication, the volume, the journal number, the first and the last pages, and punctuation are all essential to write in the article.

For example:

- Golmakani N, Dormohammadi M, Asili J, Tavassoli F, Afzal Aghaee M, Fata A. Compare the Effect of Zataria Multiflora Vaginal Cream with Metronidazole Oral Pill in the Treatment of Trichomonas Vaginitis. J Mashhad School Nurs Midw 2009; 9(2): 81-8.

B)  An organization as an author

For example:

- The Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Clinical exercise stress testing safety and performance guidelines. Med J Aust 2006; 164: 282-4.

C)  Authors Team

For example:

- Cancer in South Africa [editorial]. S Afr Med J 2006; 84: 15.

D)  An article not written in English Language

For example:

- Kheirandish Hossein. Hejamat in the view of Islam. 3rd edition, Tehran: Kamalolmolk Co; 2007 (Persian).

E)   Books

    A)  Editor, compiler as an author

For example:

- Norman IJ, Redfem SJ, editors. Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 2008.

   B)  An organization as an author and a publisher

For example:

- Institute of Medicine (US). Looking at the future of the Medicaid program. Washington: The Institute; 2007.

  C)  A chapter of a book

For example:

- Philips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and storkestroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd edition. New York: Raven Press; 2005. pp. 465-78.

 F)  Other References

   A)  Conference Contents

For example:

- Kimura J, Shibasaki H, editiors. Recent advances in clinical neurophysiology. Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of EMG and Clinical Neurophysiology. 2005 Oct. 15-19, Kyoto, Japan. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2006.


   B)  Conference Statements

 For example:

- Bengston S, Solheim BG. Enforcement of data protection privacy and security in medical informatics. In: Lum KC, Degoulet P, Piemme TE, Reinhoff O, editors. MEDINFO 92. Proceeding of the 7th World Congress on Medical Information: 2006 Sep 6-10, Geneva, Switzerland. Amsterdam: North-Holland 2006, pp. 1561-5.

   C)  Thesis 

For example:

- Bolanhemmat M. The impact of perineal massage during pregnancy on the perineal lacerations in primiparous women. (Thesis MSc Midwifery), Mashhad School of Nursing and Midwifery; 1379.

  D)  A article not published yet

For example:

- Leshner AI. Molecular mechanisms of cocaine addiction. N Engl J Med. In Press 2007.

G)  Electronic Sources

   A)  A article of the journal in an electronic copy

For example:

- Kassam S, Stewart D. Novel risk factors for coronary artery disease cardiology rounds 2006; Available at: URL:

   B)  A monograph in an electronic copy

For example:

- CDI, Clinical dermatology illustrated (monograph on CD-ROM). Reeves JRT, Maibach H. CMEA Multimedia Group, Produces. 2nd ed. Version 2.0 San Diego: CEMA; 2005.

    C) Computer File

For example:

- Homodynamic ΙΙΙ: The ups and downs of homodynamic (computer program). Version 2.2. Orlando (FL): Computerized Educational Systems; 2006.

.    Conflict of Interest: writers are responsible for any financial sources or benefits may cause the results of the research to be bias and they should mention them. Please any business relation such as ownership, shareholding, rending consult or Concession right led to writers' benefits must be stated. If the article is accepted, theses information will be published too.


 The process for article assessment:

Articles will be studied as per their receiving date. After the structure of the article is considered by the editorial head and read in the meeting of the editorial board, the article will be judged scientifically as a peer review by at least two experts in the relevant field, in the case of the initial acceptance. It is to be noted that statistical analysis will be considered by a statistician. In the case of acceptance, the name and surname of the main writer will be published in an alphabetic order according to the type of the article. 


Office responsible: Hadi Tehrani

E. Mail :

Tel : +9851-31892210

Address: Department of Health Education and Health Promotion,School of Public Health. Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Daneshgah Street, Mashhad, Iran