What we are looking for:
- Importance and originality of the research/policy question: what does the paper add?
- Strengths and weaknesses of study design, data collection and data analysis: are these clearly described?
- Implications of the findings for policy or practice: have these been drawn out and justified?
- International context: would the paper be understood by an international audience and are the findings of international interest?
- Accessibility and presentation: is the paper written clearly, well organised and presented?
The journal is always interested in discussing proposals for funded supplements. Estimated costs including peer review, editing of papers, and 100 sponsor copies is around £18,000 for a 64-page supplement, published in hardcopy as well as online (for subscribers), plus open access flat fee. Interested parties should contact Christine.Rivett-Carnac@lshtm.ac.uk.
Journal of Health Services Research & Policy provides a unique opportunity to explore the ideas, policies and decisions shaping health services throughout the world. Edited and peer-reviewed by experts in the field and with a high academic standard and multidisciplinary approach, readers will gain a greater understanding of the current issues in healthcare policy and research. The journal's strong international editorial advisory board also ensures that readers obtain a truly global and insightful perspective.
Sign up for the latest table of content alerts.
|Jacqueline Cumming||Professor of Health Policy and Management, Health Services Research Centre, Faculty of Health, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand|
|Ellen Nolte||Professor of Health Services and Systems Research, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK|
|Christine Rivett-Carnac||Manager, Journal of Health Services Research & Policy Editorial Office, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK|
|Rob Anderson||University of Exeter Medical School, UK|
|David Cromwell||London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine & Royal College of Surgeons, UK|
|Scott Greer||University of Michigan School of Public Health, USA|
|Steven Lewis||Access Consulting Ltd, Canada|
|Catherine Pope||Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Services, UK|
|Christine Rivett-Carnac||Dept of Health Services Research & Policy, LSHTM, UK|
|Trevor Sheldon||University of York, UK|
|Davina Allen||School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, UK|
|Yvonne Birks||Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, UK|
|Nick Black||London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK|
|Jeffery Braithwaite||Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, Macquarie University, Australia|
|Reinhard Busse||Department of Health Care Management, Berlin Technical University, Germany|
|Mavis Cao||Department of Health Policy and Management, Renmin University of China, China|
|Bronwyn Croxson||Ministry of Health, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Nigel Edwards||The Nuffield Trust, London, UK|
|Giovanni Fattore||Universita L. Bocconi, Italy|
|Josep Figueras||European Observatory on Health Systems & Policies, WHO European Centre for Health Policy, Belgium|
|Colleen Flood||Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, Canda, Canada|
|Maria Goddard||Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK|
|Claire Goodman||Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, University of Hertfordshire, UK|
|Peter Groenewegen||NIVEL, Netherlands|
|Jane Hall||Centre for Health Economics Research & Evaluation, University of Technology Sydney, Australia|
|Chris Ham||The King's Fund, UK|
|Karen Hassell||College of Pharmacy, California Northstate University, USA|
|Jan Kees Helderman||Department of Public Administration & Political Science, Radboud University, Netherlands|
|Lisa Lezzoni||Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA|
|Kyoko Imamura||Office of Pharmaceutical Medicine, Japan|
|Miriam Laugesen||Department of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, USA|
|John Lavis||McMaster Health Forum, McMaster University, Canada|
|Yee Wei Lim||Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore|
|Jill Manthorpe||Kings College London, UK|
|Nicholas Mays||London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK|
|Ruth McDonald||Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK|
|John McKinlay||New England Research Institute, USA|
|Jon Nicholl||School of Health & Related Research, University of Sheffield, UK|
|Kieke Okma||Wagner School of Public Services, New York University, USA|
|Jan Abel Olsen||Department of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway|
|David Pencheon||NHS Sustainable Development Unit, UK|
|Neil Söderlund||Boston Consulting Group, Australia|
|Paul Taylor||University College London, UK|
|Justin Waring||Nottingham University Business School, UK|
Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Journal of Health Services Research & Policy (JHSRP)
This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics
Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jhsrp to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.
The editorial office does not provide individual advice or feedback on draft papers or abstracts before submission.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Journal of Health Services Research & Policy will be reviewed.
There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.
As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Journal of Health Services Research and Policy does not accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers.
- What do we publish?
1.1 Aims & Scope
1.2 Article types
1.3 Writing your paper
- Editorial policies
2.1 Peer review policy
2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
2.6 Research ethics and patient consent
- Publishing policies
3.1 Publication ethics
3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
3.3 Open access and author archiving
- Preparing your manuscript
4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
4.3 Supplemental material
4.4 Reference style
4.5 English language editing services
4.6 Writing style
- Submitting your manuscript
5.2 Information required for completing your submission
5.4 Social Media
- On acceptance and publication
6.1 SAGE Production
6.2 Online First publication
6.3 Access to your published article
6.4 Promoting your article
- Further information
The Journal of Health Services Research & Policy publishes scientific research on health services, health systems and health care from a wide range of disciplines. The Journal also engages in, and responds to, current scientific, methodological and policy debates in health care that are relevant to many health systems. The Journal aims both to reflect current concerns and to contribute to setting health services, health systems and health care policy agendas internationally.
We welcome submissions reporting on research and/or policy analyses concerning low-, middle and high-income countries. In all cases, the international relevance of the submitted work should be clearly drawn out.
As we are a multidisciplinary journal with an international readership we specifically consider a number of criteria in deciding on publication:
• the importance and originality of the research/policy question;
• the appropriateness of the methods used and how well the research has been carried out;
• the strengths and weaknesses of work presented in the article, including the level of critical engagement with the existing evidence base and critical reflection on the findings and implications of the work;
• the extent to which the implications of the findings for policy or practice have been drawn out and have been justified;
• the writing, organisation and presentation of the work reported in the paper;
• the degree to which the paper would be understood by an international audience, which is not necessarily familiar with the health system in question.
We consider the following types of submissions:
Original research papers report on original primary research that uses quantitative and/or qualitative methods to examine a health care or health policy research question or issue and their implications on health services, health systems or health care policies.
Papers reporting quantitative work should be up to 3500 words inclusive of abstract, main text and up to 30 references, plus up to six figures, and/or tables and boxes.
Papers reporting qualitative or mixed methods work should be up to 5000 words inclusive of abstract, main text and up to 30 references, plus up to two figures, and/or tables and boxes.
Please refer to Section 1.4 for specific guidelines for original quantitative or qualitative work.
We consider systematic reviews of published research, which may include rapid evidence syntheses, scoping reviews, meta-ethnography, meta-narrative reviews and realist reviews. Reviews can be up to 5000 words inclusive of abstract, main text and up to 50 references.
Where review work exceeds the maximum number of 50 references, authors are encouraged to present additional material in an online supplement.
Please refer to Section 1.4 for specific guidelines for reviews.
We welcome submissions that discuss theoretical, conceptual or methodological issues in the context of health services and systems research and health care policy. This may include papers that develop novel frameworks or concepts that help advance the analysis of (perennial) health services and systems research questions and health care policy issues, or that propose and/or test innovative methodological approaches to examine research and/or policy questions that are of concern in the fields of health services and systems or health care policy research.
Conceptual or methodological articles can be up to 4000 words inclusive of unstructured abstract, main text and up to 30 references
Essays include commentaries or theoretical pieces that discuss a particular health services or systems research, or health care policy issue that is (or should be) of concern across a wide range of countries and health systems. We welcome Essays that compare and contrast a given research or policy question or issue, trace their historical origins and development, and/or reflect on the wider application and use (or misuse) of a given issue or concept. Essays should always discuss implications for policy along with presenting evidence of policy impact to support the argument.
Essays can be up to 3000 words inclusive of unstructured abstract, main text and up to 20 references
Editorials Please note that we do not consider unsolicited editorials.
Original research and Review articles should include a structured abstract (objectives, methods, results, conclusions). Conceptual/methodological papers and Essays should include an unstructured abstract.
Note that all word counts include the abstract, main text and references. Please do not exceed the word limit.
1.2.1 Virtual collection: Environmental sustainability and the health care system
The Journal of Health Services Research & Policy features a virtual collection of articles that explore issues around environmental sustainability, including the impacts of climate change, and the health care system. We welcome contributions (original research, reviews, conceptual or methodological articles, essays) that offer original insights, critical perspectives or present new research and thinking addressing such themes as:
• What changes can be implemented to achieve a ‘greener’ health system?
• How can we reduce the environmental impact of health services?
• What are the social and economic impacts of climate change on health systems and service delivery?
• What policies can we design to reduce the health inequalities brought about by climate change in settings that are already overstretched?
• What are the key changes in service delivery that are necessary to ensure health care will be sustainable when faced with extreme weather and changes in disease incidence resulting from climate change?
The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.
When devising the paper please be aware that the text must be written in a way that cannot be construed as legally objectionable, infringing copyright, defamatory, obscene or likely to be actionable by law.
Original research: quantitative work
Observational studies (cohort, case-control, or cross-sectional designs) should be reported according to the STROBE statement. For reporting statistical methods and results we encourage authors to review the SMAPL guidelines when preparing the manuscript.
Original research: qualitative work
Qualitative and/or mixed methods studies should be reported according to SRQR guidance, COREQ criteria, or other relevant guidance as appropriate.
Systematic reviews should be reported according to PRISMA guidelines or respective extension for scoping reviews. For realist reviews please follow the RAMESES publication standards. For reporting meta-ethnography please consider the eMERGe Reporting Guidance.
General guidance on how to get published is available from the SAGE Author Gateway, plus links to further resources.
1.3.1 Make your article discoverable
When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online
All papers submitted for publication undergo peer review.
All Original Research, Essays and Review articles are initially reviewed by one or both Editors who select two appropriate reviewers unless the manuscript is of poor quality, outside the scope of the Journal, or not considered sufficiently original or important given the space constraints of a quarterly journal, in which case it is rejected without peer review. Generally, we choose one reviewer who can comment primarily on the methodological aspects of the paper and one who can primarily assess its policy relevance and implications.
We invite authors to suggest two reviewers, one of whom we may use. Most of our reviewers are based in Europe, North America or Australia/New Zealand and are suggested to us by members of the Advisory Board and other established researchers in the field.
For ethical reasons, attempts are made to mask reviewers to the identity of the authors by excluding the names and affiliations of authors and acknowledgements from the manuscript. Our aim is to make initial decisions on manuscripts within 12 weeks of receiving them.The contents of the manuscript should be treated as confidential and should not be discussed with anyone else without prior permission from the editors. Reviewers are asked to comment on the following issues:
- Importance of the research/policy question
- Originality of the research/policy question
- Strengths and weaknesses either of the study design, data collection and data analysis (for research papers) or the policy analysis/commentary (for policy papers)
- The writing, organisation and presentation of the data in the paper
- The extent to which the implications of the findings have been drawn out and have been justified
- The degree to which the paper would be understood by an international audience which is not necessarily familiar with the health system in question (not applicable for systematic reviews)
Reviewers are not asked explicitly to give their opinion as to whether or not the paper should be published.
The Editors aim to decide on each paper within 4-6 weeks of receipt of the second review. Three decisions are available: accept; resubmit; and reject. Authors are sent the editorial decision together with copies of the two reviewers' comments (anonymised). The Editors usually send individualised feedback letters to authors, if the authors are being invited to resubmit the paper. Reviewers are sent the other reviewer's anonymised comments for information.
The covering letter is important. To help the Editors in their preliminary evaluation, please indicate why you think the paper suitable for publication.
Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.
The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:
- Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
- Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
- Approved the version to be published,
- Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.
Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.
Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.
2.3.1 Writing assistance
Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.
Journal of Health Services Research & Policy requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
It is the policy of Journal of Health Services Research & Policy to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.
Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here
Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki
Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.
For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.
Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative. Please do not submit the patient’s actual written informed consent with your article, as this in itself breaches the patient’s confidentiality. The Journal requests that you confirm to us, in writing, that you have obtained written informed consent but the written consent itself should be held by the authors/investigators themselves, for example in a patient’s hospital record. The confirmatory letter may be uploaded with your submission as a separate file.
Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants
SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway
Journal of Health Services Research & Policy and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
3.1.2 Prior publication
If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.
Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway
Journal of Health Services Research & Policy offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.
The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. Manuscripts (in English) should be typed on single-sided A4 paper, in double-spacing with margins of not less than 20mm. Please use minimum font size of 12 points (6cpi). References must be in Vancouver format, and footnotes are not permitted.
For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines
Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.
This journal is able to host additional materials online (such as those required for reporting of systematic reviews; or datasets and images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. Supplemental material files may be subjected to peer-review alongside the article, if directly relevant to the conclusion. It is the responsibility of the authors to ensure that the material is relevant, clearly labelled as ‘Supplement X_online_supp’, and correctly referenced in the main body of the article.
Supplemental material files must be able to ‘stand alone’, as they will be uploaded online as supplied. They will not be checked for accuracy, copyedited, typeset or proofread. The responsibility for scientific accuracy and file functionality remains with the authors.
For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files
Only essential references should be included. Authors are responsible for verifying them against the original source material.
Journal of Health Services Research & Policy adheres to the SAGE Vancouver reference style. View the SAGE Vancouver guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
Authors are asked to ensure that the text must be written in a way that cannot be construed as legally objectionable, infringing copyright, defamatory, obscene or likely to be actionable by law.
Journal of Health Services Research & Policy is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jhsrp to login and submit your article online.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
When submitting a manuscript, the title page, main text, tables or boxes, figures and acknowledgements must be saved and uploaded as separate files:
- Title page file – Manuscript title, Author(s)’ name; author’s position, department, institution and country; Name, email, telephone and fax of corresponding author
- Main text file – Manuscript title, Abstract, Main Text and References (minus author details, acknowledgements and any running heads of author names, to allow blinded review)
- Keywords (3 keywords)
- Tables [or Boxes] – separate file(s)
- Figures – separate file(s)
- Appendix – separate file(s)
- Acknowledgements – separate file
- Supplementary file – supplementary material can be added. Online-only material should be clearly marked.
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.
The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.
You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).
Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.
Journal of Health Services Research & Policy uses the social media hashtag of #jhsrp. Authors and readers are encouraged to join the ongoing discussion around the hashtag on issues related to the journal. Authors are offered the option of providing their twitter handle to be published alongside their name and email address within their article. Providing a twitter handle for publication is entirely optional, if you are not comfortable with promoting your article along with your personal twitter handle then please do not supply it.
By providing your personal twitter handle you agree to let the Journal and SAGE Publications to use it in any posts related to your journal article. To include your twitter handle within your article please provide this within the ScholarOne submission form when prompted and on the separate title page in the format outlined below (please refrain from adding it to the manuscript itself to facilitate anonymous peer review).
As an example of how to supply this information please use the example below:
Joe Bloggs, Department of Research, University, Town, ZipCode, USA
Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal SAGE Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.
Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.
SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.
Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.
Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Journal of Health Services Research & Policy editorial office:
Manager, Editorial Office
Journal of Health Services Research & Policy Editorial Office
Department of Health Services Research & Policy
London School Hygiene & Tropical Medicine,
15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SH, UK
The editorial office does not provide individual advice or feedback on draft papers or abstracts before submission.