Submissions guide

General Guidance

Before you start to prepare a submission, please read the information about the journal's policies on the About page:


Preparing a Manuscript

Manuscripts must be prepared in Microsoft Word using the following template:

The template includes instructions to authors regarding the format, contents and structure of the submission. Authors are strongly recommended to follow the instructions and use the paragraph styles provided in the template, to ensure a smooth reviewing and production process.

Authors are also recommended to familiarise themselves with the Review Criteria below to understand what is required of a submission.

Submissions can be in English or French.

There is no maximum word count since the journal is published completely on line. The length of a submission must however be in accordance with the contents.

Submission 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 submission file is in Microsoft Word and uses the JHIA Submission Template provided on the Submissions page of the journal web site.
  3. All illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  4. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Submission Template.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Peer Review have been followed.

Support Regarding Language and Methodological Skills

HELINA Working Group Education is launching a task force to support junior Health Informatics researchers and academicians to get their papers published, particularly regarding language and methodological skills. Please contact the coordinator of the task force through the web site


Ensuring a Blind Peer Review

To ensure the integrity of the double-blind peer-review for a full paper submission to this journal, every effort should be made to prevent the identities of the authors and reviewers from being known to each other. This involves the authors, editors, and reviewers applying the following instructions:

  • Authors of a submission: The names of the authors must not appear anywhere else in the text than on the cover page. The authors can refer to such published papers in which they are among the co-authors, if the reference is made in the same way as to any other publication. If the authors wish to refer to a reference as "my" or "our" prior research, method or so, only the word "Author" and year must be used in the references, instead of the authors' name, article title, etc.
  • Reviewers: The name of the reviewer must not appear anywhere in the text of the review or in any document uploaded as part of the review.
  • Editors: The editors will ensure that the file names and properties do not indicate the identities of the persons who created them. The on-line submission system automatically creates anonymous file names.

Submitting for Reviewing

Submitting manuscripts to the journal must be done by means of the on-line submission system – submissions by email are not accepted except as the last resort. Please follow the steps below, and make sure that you have the necessary information at hand before you start.

Basic step: Create account

You must have registered to the journal (created a user account) before you can submit. If you have not registered yet, click REGISTER on the top banner of the JHIA home page. The mandatory information that you will need to enter is: username, password, your real name, and email address. Make sure that you tick the box Register as Author: Able to submit items to the journal. All other information is voluntary and you can enter or modify it afterwards.

Step 1: Start a New Submission

Log in to the JHIA on-line system using your username. On the User Home page, click Start a New Submission. In step 1 you need to enter the following mandatory information: Journal section (select Full Papers for peer-reviewed submissions) and language (select English or French), as well as tick all the boxes of the Submission Checklist (see Preparing a Manuscript above). When you click Save and continue, a new submission ID number is created for your submission.

Step 2: Upload Submission

In step 2 you will need to upload the file containing your submission from your computer to the on-line system.

Step 3: Enter Metadata

In this step you need to enter the following mandatory metadata: Name and email address of the first author, title of the paper, abstract of the paper (copy-paste from your manuscript). If there are more than one author, click the button Add Author to create a sub-form for each co-author; the mandatory information for each co-author is name and email address. Any one of the authors can be marked as the principal contact for the submission. All other metadata is voluntary, and you can enter or modify the data afterwards. Particularly, it is not feasible to copy-paste the references from the paper file to the metadata until the manuscript has been approved for publication.

Step 4 (voluntary): Upload Supplementary Files

You don’t need to upload any supplementary files when submitting a manuscript for reviewing. When submitting a revised version, you should upload a file that describes what changes have been made to the previous version to address each of the comments of the reviewers or editor (see Review Process below).

Step 5: Confirmation

To conclude the submission, click Finish Submission. You (the submission's principal contact specified in step 3) will receive an acknowledgement by email and will be able to view the submission's progress through the editorial process by logging in to the journal web site.

Review Process

The full paper submissions will undergo a double-blind peer review process; that is, the reviewers will not know the identity of the author(s) and the author(s) will not know the identities of the reviewers. At least two reviewers are appointed for each submission by the editor in charge of the issue in question.

The JHIA aims at responding to the author(s) within two months of the submission date. The reviewers use the Review Criteria below, providing a score from 1=Poor to 5=Excellent for each criterion. They are encouraged to provide free-text feedback also to help the author(s) improve the quality of the submission.

Based on the reviews, the editor can decide to reject the submission, accept it conditionally with modifications, or accept it as such. In case of a conditional acceptance, the author(s) is required to modify the submission taking the reviewers’ and editor’s comments into account, and resubmit the paper as well as a supplementary file which describes the changes made to address each of the comments of the reviewers or editor. The author(s) can also provide counter-argumentation for rejecting a comment.

If the submission was conditionally accepted with major modifications, it will be sent back to the same reviewers for re-reviewing, if possible. If it was accepted with minor modifications, the editor will study the modifications and decide whether to accept the submission for publication or to send it back to the author(s) for another round of modification and reviewing.

When a submission has been accepted for publication, the technical editor will take control of it and transform it into the “camera ready” format (pdf). The author(s) can check the galleys for any final modifications.

Review Criteria

Relevance and contribution

1. RELEVANCE to Journal of Health Informatics in Africa

2. THEORETICAL contribution

3. PRACTICAL usefulness

Scientific quality

4. OBJECTIVES and research questions clear and well described

5. LITERATURE REVIEW (prior research)

6. METHODOLOGY: research design (eg. action, case, questionnaire, explorative), methods, instruments (if any) and data analysis appropriate and correctly applied


Technical quality:

8. Quality of WRITING, paper well-ORGANIZED

9. DIAGRAMS, tables and figures used appropriately

10. REFERENCING consistent and according to the required style