Author Guidelines


Please read the following guidance before submitting your manuscript using the button below.

Open-access and licencing

At IJPDS, sharing research freely is at the heart of everything we do and, as an Open Access journal, it is important that we uphold the Open Access ethos of making research freely accessible to all without restriction.

All manuscripts are published using the Creative Commons CC-BY licence that allows others more freedom to engage with IJPDS author’s research whilst still protecting the author’s moral rights, including:

  • the freedom to use published research and associated benefits of using it
  • the freedom to study manuscripts and to apply knowledge acquired from them
  • the freedom to make and redistribute copies of the information
  • the freedom to make changes and improvements, and to distribute derivative works

We also use the CC0 “No rights reserved” licence for publishing source data that permits its re-use.

Benefits of CC-BY

By removing the restriction on derivative works, CC-BY opens up more options for using the research e.g. new ways of representing scholarly articles through text-mining and visualization techniques or allowing articles to be translated into other languages, and encouraging engagement with manuscripts through wider use has clear benefits to the authors.

Protecting Authors

Publishing under a free license does not mean that authors lose all their rights, as the author retains the copyright for their manuscript. Any use of manuscripts published in IJPDS still require full attribution (i.e. giving credit and recognition to the author of a manuscript). Creative Commons licences require that no modifications to manuscripts should ‘be prejudicial to the Original Author’s honor or reputation’ (

Archiving and Preservation

In order to ensure the long-term preservation of our author’s work, all manuscripts published in IJPDS are deposited into the CLOCKSS (Controlled LOCKSS) archive. Publications are preserved in their original format and are made freely available to all via open access. Click here for more information about CLOCKSS.

Submission types

The IJPDS accepts a variety of submissions:

  • Research articles
  • Review articles
  • Cohort development papers
  • Protocol papers with a methodological focus
  • Case studies
  • Features on a particular topic
  • Methodological developments
  • Working papers
  • Commentaries
  • General reader summaries of complex topics
  • Informative reports
  • Comments and letters
  • Help-sheets and tips
  • Consultations
  • Forthcoming, and reports of, events
  • News items
  • Job advertisements
  • Opportunities for collaboration

Before submission

The lead author must ensure that:

  • A corresponding author is identified to be the point of contact with the journal throughout the process
  • The submission is original work
  • Any previously published extracts that are included in the manuscript are fully cited with permission
  • This work is not under consideration by another journal or conference, or has been published previously by another journal or in conference proceedings
  • The work will not be publicised or published elsewhere
  • Any interests that could impair the credibility of the manuscript are disclosed in the cover letter to the Editor, to be uploaded with the submission
  • Authorship conforms to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria
  • If the manuscript is reporting a clinical trial, the trial conforms to ICMJE recommendations


The IJPDS adheres to the ICMJE’s 4 criteria of authorship: To gain credit as an author, each of these criteria needs to be met.  Each author is accountable for their own contribution, and any person meeting these four criteria should be listed as an author.  The responsibility of identifying who meets the criteria falls on authors (and not the journal). The lead and co-authors shall hold harmless Swansea University and the IJPDS as to warranties and representations of the author's ownership, originality, or similar breaches. Such indemnification shall last beyond publication of the article, as well as extend to all related claims. Other contributions that do not meet the criteria should be acknowledged, with permission of the contributor.  Email confirmation of submission will be sent to each author, and any changes to authorship once the manuscript has been submitted must be notified to the journal with an explanation.

Addresses for all listed authors must be provided when submitting your manuscript using the ‘Affiliation’ field on the submission form. Addresses must include the name of the author, their organisation, department, city, and postcode. For multiple entries, please use a semi-colon (;) between each author’s details.

Clinical trials

In accordance with ICMJE recommendations, the IJPDS will only consider publication of clinical trials if the trial was registered with a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment (i.e. the time of first patient consent).  An acceptable registry must include the minimum 20-item trial registration dataset:

( or at the time of trial registration and before enrolment of the first participant.  Secondary analyses of trials should not be registered as a separate trial; instead submissions of this type should include the trial registration number of the original trial.

The online submission system

The submitting author needs to be registered with the online submission system.  This is done by creating a user name and password and entering some personal details.  Please refer to the privacy policy for further information.  The online submission system will guide you stepwise through the process, and you will be able to check the status of your manuscript at any time.

Manuscripts should be uploaded in an editable format: an OpenOffice, Microsoft Word or RTF document. If you are unable to use one of these formats please contact the journal for advice. If accepted, the manuscript will be published in a non-editable format and allocated a DOI number.  Text must be single-spaced in 12-point font. Italics should be used for emphasis, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses).  Please note that IJPDS uses plagiarism checking software to verify the originality of submitted manuscripts.

All manuscripts must be written in English.  There are no rigid word limits but a typical research article should be between 3000 and 6000 words. The IMRAD format should be followed:

Statement on conflicts of Interest

If the IMRAD format is inappropriate for the submission, please contact the journal for advice.

All papers must contain an abstract of up to 300 words.  Research articles abstracts should be structured using the headings: introduction, objectives, methods, results (including relevant statistics), and conclusions.  Other types of papers may submit an unstructured abstract.  Please use subheadings beneath main headings in the body of the manuscript.  For example, if a number of different methods have been used, give each of these a separate heading.  The results from each method should also come under its own heading. Longer manuscripts should also include highlights in the form of 3 to 5 bullet points conveying the focus or findings of the article. These should be placed after the abstract.

Studies using observational routinely-collected data should follow the RECORD statement: Randomized controlled trials should be reported following the CONSORT statement and include a diagram illustrating the flow of participants through the trial (please see online for CONSORT checklist here: Meta-analyses and systematic reviews should be reported in accordance with the PRISMA statement (PRISMA checklist can be found online here:

Addresses for all listed authors must be provided when submitting your manuscript using the ‘Affiliation’ field on the submission form. Addresses must include the name of the author, their organisation, department, city, and postcode. For multiple entries, please use a semi-colon (;) between each author’s details.

Funding Acknowledgement – to signify the importance of your research and create greater context, please provide details of and source of any funding you have received.

Covering letter

A covering letter should be included with your submission regardless of manuscript type.  This can be uploaded as a separate file or inserted in the ‘Comments for the Editor’ box.   Please indicate your intended manuscript type.


References should be cited in Vancouver style (see ‘Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 2nd edition’: for guidance). So that references can be linked, please include the DOI number (where present) of all references cited in your manuscript. When available, please provide URLs for references. 

Please check that you have complied with the following:

  1. References are cited consistently and in accordance with journal style
  2. URLs to online references are provided and live
  3. All references mentioned in the Reference list are cited in the text, and vice versa
  4. All tables and figures are referred to in the text
  5. Abbreviations in tables and figures are explained in the table notes and figure captions
  6. (If you are not a native English speaker) the text has been revised using a professional manuscript editing company. All such services are paid for and arranged by the author. Use of one of these services does not guarantee acceptance or preference for publication
  7. Only one space has been entered after the full-stop at the end of a sentence
  8. Italics or ‘single quotes’ have been used for emphasis (avoid using underlines)
  9. The same elements have been keyed in exactly the same way throughout the manuscript


Authors are encouraged to cite the Population Data Science position paper and other relevant articles published by IJPDS, to advance the field.

Please include all of the following information when citing articles from IJPDS:

  1. Journal title as IJPDS
  2. Volume number
  3. Issue number
  4. Article number and page number
  5. Year of publication

Figures, Tables and Illustrations

Figures, tables and illustrations with legends must be placed within the text at the appropriate points, not at the end of the manuscript.  These must be in portrait format and in 12-point for tables.  When providing tables, please make sure that you create a new table row for each row, rather than have multiple rows in one cell.

You will also have the option of uploading supplementary files as part of your online submission. This could be research instruments (e.g. questionnaires), research materials, research results in full, transcripts, full data analysis, source texts, or other material such as Powerpoint files including screenshots or presentations, graphical/photographic representation of your work, or jpeg versions of conference posters. These must be limited to 1Mb in file size. 

Supplementary appendices intended for publication must be numbered and referred to in the manuscript (e.g. Supplementary Appendix 1).  When these are used, an additional section titled ‘Supplementary Appendices’ should appear in the manuscript before the References section, where appendices should be listed numerically along with a brief description of their content.

Please ensure that all figures, tables and illustrations are produced in high resolution for clarity.

Publishing Data

Sharing the data that accompanies your published research is a positive growing trend for the research community. Whilst we recognise that it is not always possible to share all data openly for ethical or confidentiality reasons, IJPDS encourages the sharing of non-sensitive raw data along with details of the software used wherever possible.


Data Repository Options

1. Open access data repositories that are appropriate for the subject
You can deposit your data into a stable and recognised subject-specific repository of your choice. When selecting a repository please ensure the following:

  • The repository allows full open access to the data and works to FAIR data principles
  • They make the data accessible to IJPDS peer-reviewers
  • They ensure and are committed to long term preservation and access to data
  • Your dataset is assigned a globally persistent unique ID and is made publically available
  • The metadata about the dataset is provided in formats that are accessible and easy to understand by people, whilst also being machine-readable.

When using this option, authors are required to include identifiers and database details in the manuscript submitted to IJPDS for publishing.

2. Funder-sponsored repository
Where funders have dedicated repositories for datasets used in their research projects, please ensure that you include identifiers and database details in the manuscript submitted to IJPDS for publishing. For example, the ESRC has data centres specific to projects they fund.


How to Present Your Datasets

When preparing your dataset for submission please ensure the following:

  • All files are labelled clearly for readers to understand the contents.
  • For authors based in the European Union, and for data pertaining to subjects in the European Union, the processing of datasets must be in line with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force on 25th May 2018.
  • For authors outside the European Union, as well as meeting the above requirements (as relevant), your datasets must also comply with any additional requirements specific to your own jurisdiction.
  • The processing of all datasets for deposit will need to meet the requirements of the UK Data Protection Act 2018, since IJPDS is a UK-based journal.
  • When presenting multiple files as a group, please include a short descriptive title and a more detailed legend that describes each dataset. Each individual dataset must be clearly numbered and cited within the accompanying manuscript as for tables and figures.
  • If specialist software is required to view or re-use the data, please include the details of this, plus how and where it can be accessed. Alternatively, please include the source code if you have coded the software yourself (if possible).

Where appropriate, data will be published under the CC0 licence “No Rights Reserved” that permits re-use.

For guidance on the ethics of sharing data, please refer to the following organisations:

MRC Ethics Series: Personal Information in Medical Research
DCC (Digital Curation Centre): Sharing Medical Data
UK ICO: Data Sharing Code of Practice


Please enter the title of the article (and subtitle if relevant) and include keywords in the relevant section.  Terms from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus should be used (see online: ).

One author must be named as the corresponding author.

Please also provide the names and full addresses of all authors listed on the manuscript, and any translators if applicable, in the ‘Affiliations’ open text box. Manuscripts cannot be published without this information. Author details must include: title, full name, email address, ORCID number (if available), URL (if applicable) and organisational affiliation/s.


The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) addresses issues surrounding breaches of research and publication ethics, and its guidelines define best practice in the ethics of scientific publishing (  This journal strives to adhere to these guidelines and we encourage authors to refer to them. All submitted research articles must include a statement that the study has obtained ethical approval, including the name of the ethics committee, the ID number of the approval and a statement confirming that participants (if applicable) gave informed consent before participating in the study.  If the study did not require ethical approval, this should be stated along with the reason why this was the case.


Sources of awards for funded studies must be declared at the end of the submitted manuscript.  If the funder plays any additional role in the study, for example, in study design or data collection, this should also be noted. Authors should note the source(s) of their salary if they are required to do so by their funder(s).

Conflicts of interest

Conflicts of interest can be personal, commercial, political, academic or financial.  Any actual or potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed by all authors by completing the ‘ICJME Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest’.  If there are no existing conflicts of interest, this will be noted on the published manuscript as ‘None declared’. 

After submission

Once you have completed your submission, you will receive confirmation via email. The corresponding author will take responsibility for the submission as it is being processed, for example, for responding to requests for further information or editorial queries.  However, the editors will send copies of correspondence to all listed authors. Following submission, the manuscript will be assigned to an Editor who will determine whether it is suitable for this journal.  If so, the manuscript will then be sent to be peer reviewed, as appropriate for the type of submission. The Editorial Board reserves the right to choose the reviewers, and reviewer identity will be blinded to authors.  Following peer-review, the Editor will provide feedback to the author, based on the reviewers’ comments and recommendations. These might be to: accept, request minor revisions to, request major revisions to, or reject the manuscript. At this point, the manuscript will be returned to the corresponding author for response. The Editor will make a final decision based on the authors’ response.

Copyediting criteria

IJPDS is keen to ensure a high standard and consistency in the language used in our articles. We operate a copyediting process after manuscript acceptance and before production.

The following copyediting checklist should be used as a guide for editors and authors:

  • Authors have followed the Author Guidance on the site
  • The manuscript is structured with appropriate headings, but with flexibility allowing for different types of manuscript
  • Spelling, grammar and punctuation are accurate
  • The most appropriate tense should be used
  • Importantly for IJPDS, data should be expressed as a plural noun
  • All numbers (and all units, time, etc.) are correct and consistent throughout the paper
  • Tables and figures are mentioned, and indicated to be positioned, accordingly
  • All references are properly cited; all those cited are in the references list and vice versa
  • Reference numbers should be in square brackets
  • The reference numbers in the text are inside the sentence i.e. before the full stop, like this [7].
  • Numbers 1-9 should be spelled out in words, as should any number at the start of a sentence
  • For example (e.g.) and that is (i.e.) should not be conflated
  • Split infinitives are to be avoided
  • There should be no apostrophes on dates (e.g. 1990s) or abbreviations (e.g. ABCs)
  • Too many acronyms should be avoided, and less common acronyms should be written in full each time
  • Lists should be punctuated with commas, or with semi-colons if following a colon
  • Sentences should not end with prepositions
  • There is an ethics statement, where relevant
  • There is a Conflict of Interest statement
  • Authors’ details and affiliations are correct
  • DOIs should be provided for references where available

Generally -

  • There is consistency running through the paper as a whole story
  • Sentences are not confusing or convoluted
  • References to the work of others is respectful, even if the author disagrees with it
  • No disclosive information is included that would risk revealing the identity of data subjects

Where a copyeditor finds anything that needs correcting, or to be queried, they should use track changes and comment boxes so the author can see them.

The author then checks and responds to the copyedits and returns the corrected manuscript to the copyeditor.

If you have any queries about the copyediting process, please contact the journal office via

Fee structure

All manuscript submissions will be subject to Article Processing Charges (APCs). Whilst we endeavour to keep our APCs competitively priced for our authors, we must ensure the sustainability of IJPDS by covering all costs associated with the open access publishing process, from initial submission through to final publication and promotional activities. APCs vary depending on the type of manuscript, and subject to 20% VAT.

  Manuscript Types Word Limits Standard Article Processing Charge (APC)
(prices exclusive of VAT)
2019 Special Offer - 25% Discount
(1st January - 31st December 2019)
(prices exclusive of VAT)
Band A Research articles 3000 - 8000 £1,425.00 £1,069.00
Review articles 3000 - 8000
Protocol papers 3000 - 5000
Case studies 2000 - 5000
Methodological developments 1000 - 4000
Band B Features on a particular topic 2000 - 4000 £995.00 £746.00
Working papers 1000 - 6000
Commentaries 1000 - 4000
Band C Informative reports 2000 - 5000 £665.00 £499.00
Band D General reader summaries of complex topics 500 £480.00 £360.00
Comments and letters
Help sheets and tips
Band E Forthcoming, and reports of, events 500 £295.00 £221.00
News items
Job advertisements
Opportunities for collaborations
Conference Proceedings Volume with up to 50 abstracts £950.00
Volume above 50 abstracts £950.00 plus £20 per additional abstract
    Standard Cost to Submit 6 Articles (as above)* Discount Package Price Total Saving
Discount Package Submit 6 Band A manuscripts within 24 months for the price of 5, plus unlimited submissions free of charge from Band E for 24 month period £5,980.00 £5,345.00 £1,069.00

*The cost to submit 6 individual articles using APC with 25% discount
** All APCs shown do not include, but are subject to, UK 20% Value Added Tax (VAT)


UKRI (RCUK)* block grants now available to fund Article Processing Charges (APCs)

If your research is funded by UKRI (RCUK)* then you can apply for help with Article Processing Charges (APCs)?

The UKRI (RCUK) block grant is now available to its funded researchers to help pay article processing charges (APCs), enabling authors to comply with UKRI (RCUK)* open access policy.

The UKRI (RCUK)* stipulates that journals must meet the following criteria for publication:

  • A peer-review process
  • Gold open access - this allows immediate, unrestricted on-line access to peer-reviewed and published research papers, free of any access charge and with maximum opportunities for re-use
  • Publish under Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence and allow immediate deposit in other repositories

IJPDS is fully compliant with UKRI (RCUK)'s funding criteria as listed on SHERPA/RoMEO and in our author guidelines.

Follow this link to check whether your organisation is in receipt of UKRI (RCUK) open access block funding 2019.


Corrections, Retractions, Republications and Version Control

If a correction is necessary after publication, this must to be notified to the journal promptly.  We will then endeavour to publish a correction notice as soon as possible. If the corrections are significant enough to warrant a retraction of the article, republication may be possible at the discretion of the Editorial Board. In such cases a new version of the corrected article may be published, detailing the changes made, and any prior versions of the article archived.

To submit an article you will first need to register for an account.

Submit An Article Register

Version 1.3
25th March 2019