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Social Marketing Quarterly

Social Marketing Quarterly

Published in Association with FHI360
Published in Association with ESMA
Published in Association with iSMA
Published in Association with AASM
Published in Association with SMANA

eISSN: 15394093 | ISSN: 15245004 | Current volume: 30 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Quarterly

Social Marketing Quarterly (SMQ) is a scholarly, internationally-circulated journal focused exclusively on the theoretical, research and practical issues confronting academics, practitioners, policymakers and others involved in behavior change for the social good. SMQ is for professionals who use (or want to use) marketing principles, strategies and techniques to change individual behavior and benefit society. SMQ contains research/evaluation studies, case studies, commentaries, editorials, and book reviews on the use of social marketing to protect the environment, increase health, safety and well-being, and address other issues to increase the social good.

SMQ publishes original work and fosters a cooperative exploration of ideas and practices that promote innovative strategies. The journal occasionally publishes special issues pertaining to current topics of interest and relevance to the social marketing community.

Articles should be submitted via the Manuscript Central online submission system at For more information, and for full submission guidelines, please click here.

The goal of Social Marketing Quarterly is to advance the science and practice of social marketing. SMQ provides a forum for people in various disciplines to explore and share relevant theory, research and evaluation findings, innovative methods, and effective practices in the use of social marketing to bring about behavior change to benefit individuals, communities, and the larger society. SMQ publishes research/evaluation studies, case studies, editorials, commentaries, and book reviews relevant to social marketing worldwide on a wide range of topics, including physical and mental health, environment, safety, well-being, and other social issues. Social marketing focuses on behavior change for social good, thus its scope covers more than communication-only or social media approaches.

Sameer Deshpande Associate Professor, Social Marketing, Griffith University, Australia
Managing Editor
Tina Robinette Communications Specialist, FHI 360, USA
Associate Editor
Judith A. McDivitt Retired, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
Advisory Board
Lynne Doner Elucidate Change, USA
Philip Kotler Kellogg School of Management, USA
James H. Lindenberger University of South Florida, USA
Carol A. Bryant University of South Florida, USA
Editorial Board
Lynda Bardfield Creative Conscience & Tufts University School of Medicine, USA
Michael Basil University of Lethbridge, Canada
Jay M. Bernhardt The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Andy Bhanot Project Concern International, India
Brian J. Biroscak Community Health Center, Inc., USA
Rebecca Brookes Upstream Social Marketing, USA
Brian A. Day Environmental Communication & Training, Inc., USA
Timo Dietrich Griffith University, Australia
Robert Donovan University of Western Australia, Australia
Doug Evans The George Washington University, USA
Giuseppe Fattori University of Bologna, Italy
Jeff French Strategic Social Marketing Ltd, UK
Fred Fridinger Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
Mahmooda Kahliq Pasha University of South Florida College of Public Health, USA
Jay Kassirer Cullbridge Marketing and Communications, Canada
Punam Keller Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, USA
Houda Khayame Open University (Milton Keynes), UK
Krzysztof Kubacki University of Plymouth, UK
François Lagarde University of Montreal, Canada
Shiraz Latiff Hummingbird International, Sri Lanka
Nancy R. Lee University of Washington and Social Marketing Services, Inc., USA
R. Craig Lefebvre RTI International, USA
Terry Long Self-employed, USA
William Madway Social Marketing & Advocacy Campaign Strategies, USA
Ryan J. A. McAndrew Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Doug McKenzie-Mohr McKenzie-Mohr & Associates Inc., Canada
Rowena Merritt The University of Kent, UK
Claire Naidoo LiveMoya, South Africa
Mike Newton-Ward UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, USA
Glen Nowak Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, USA
Norm O’Reilly University of Guelph, Canada
Claudia Parvanta University of South Florida College of Public Health, USA
Brenda Pulley REAP Consulting, USA
Rebekah Russell-Bennett Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Sridhar Samu Great Lakes Institute of Management, India
Darcy Sawatzki Evoke Kyne, USA
Fiona Spotswood University of Bristol, UK
John Strand Independent Consultant, USA
Jennifer J. Tabanico Action Research, USA
Alan Tapp UWE-Bristol, UK
V. Dao Truong Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam
Dave Ward Hazardous Waste Management Program, Seattle & King County, USA
Jennifer Wayman Hager Sharp Inc., USA
Mark A. Weber Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA
Nedra Kline Weinreich Weinreich Communications, Israel
Livingston A. White The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica
Executive Editor
Todd Phillips Director, Social Marketing and Communication, FHI 360, USA
Founding Editors
Carol A. Bryant University of South Florida, USA
James H. Lindenberger University of South Florida, USA
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  • Social Marketing Quarterly (SMQ) is a scholarly, internationally circulated journal focused exclusively on the theoretical, research and practical issues confronting both social marketing academics and practitioners. SMQ publishes the work of professionals who use marketing principles, strategies, and techniques to benefit society (e.g., to improve health and safety, the environment, or address other social problems).

    Sage Publishing and SMQ disseminate high-quality research and engage scholarship globally. We are committed to diversity and inclusion in publishing and encourage submissions from a wide range of authors from across all countries and backgrounds.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Social Marketing Quarterly will be reviewed.

    This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). We recommend that authors follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals formulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Please review section 6 of the guidelines for SMQ’s research and publication ethics policies.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 5.6 below. There are fees associated with Sage Open Access if authors are interested in open access publishing. More information can be found below.

    Please read the guidelines below before submitting your manuscript. Visit the journal’s submission site,, to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned. You can log in to the submission site at any time to check on your paper’s progress through the peer-review process.

    If you have any questions about publishing with Sage, please visit the Sage Journal Solutions Portal.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article Types
    2. Writing and Formatting Your Paper
      2.1 Formatting and References
      2.2 Authorship, acknowledgements, and disclosure policies
      2.3 Research and English language editing services
    3. Submitting your article
      3.1 Requirements
      3.2 Submission site
      3.3 ORCID
    4. Peer review policy and process
    5. Acceptance and publication
      5.1 Sage Production
      5.2 Contributor’s Publishing Agreement
      5.3 Online First publication
      5.4 Access to your published article
      5.5 Promoting your article
      5.6 Open access and author archiving
      5.7 Appealing the publication decision
    6. Policies on research and publication ethics
      6.1 Research ethics and participant consent
      6.2 Publication ethics
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    The goal of Social Marketing Quarterly is to advance the science and practice of social marketing. SMQ provides a forum for people in various disciplines to explore and share relevant theory, research and evaluation findings, innovative methods, and effective practices in the use of social marketing to bring about behavior change to benefit individuals, communities, and the larger society. SMQ publishes research/evaluation studies, case studies, editorials, commentaries, and book reviews relevant to social marketing worldwide on a wide range of topics, including physical and mental health, environment, safety, well-being, and other social issues. Social marketing focuses on behavior change for social good; thus, its scope covers more than communication-only or social media approaches.

    We recommend reading a short article by the Chief Editor, Sameer Deshpande, Guidance to Authors Submitting to the Social Marketing Quarterly

    1.2 Article Types

    SMQ accepts several types of manuscripts. We invite you to submit papers that address aspects of social marketing in any of the following categories:

    • Research and Evaluation – Conceptual, empirical, and systematic review manuscripts that present original research, test existing theories with empirical evidence, propose new theories, or review existing social marketing literature to highlight gaps and evaluations of social marketing programs and interventions. These articles have a limit of 8,000 words and must include a structured abstract.
    • Case Studies – Description and analysis of specific examples of social marketing in practice. Limited to 8000 words, case studies must include a structured abstract.
    • Editorials – Opinion-focused pieces written by the editors or invited guest editors to provide important updates on the journal and analyze critical current issues related to social marketing theory and practice. Submissions to this section are no more than 3000 words and will not be peer-reviewed.
    • Commentaries – Articles written by leading social marketers, usually invited by the editors, that describe new advances or trends in social marketing or question existing field paradigms. Typically commentaries are no more than 3,000 words. Submissions to this section generally will not be peer-reviewed. Contact the editors if you want to write a commentary.
    • Book Reviews – Reviews examine the strengths and weaknesses of recently published books relevant to social marketers, including textbooks for graduate students. Submissions to this section are limited to 3000 words and will not be peer-reviewed. Contact the editors before considering drafting a book review for the journal.

    The following are examples of articles that showcase the quality that we look for in SMQ submissions, organized by article type:

    Conceptual Article – Carolyn Lagoe et al., The Development of an Interdisciplinary and Integrated Model of Occupational Safety

    Empirical Article – Sabrina De Rosis, et al., Segmenting Adolescents Around Social Influences on Their Eating Behavior: Findings From Italy 

    Review Article – Timothy Edgar, Where is the Toothpaste? A Systematic Review of the Use of the Product Strategy in Social Marketing

    Evaluation Article – Jaewon Kim, Outcome Evaluation of an Empirical Study: Food Waste Social Marketing Pilot

    Case Study –Robert John, et al., A Case Study of Two Successful Social Marketing Interventions to Promote 1% Low-Fat Milk Consumption

    Editorial – Lynne Doner Lotenberg, What Can Social Marketers Learn from the Accomplishments of Behavioral Economics?

    Commentary – Nancy R. Lee, Reducing the Spread of COVID-19: A Social Marketing Perspective.

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    2. Writing and Formatting Your Paper

    The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association provides guidance on journal article reporting standards and transparency (Chapter 3) and bias-free language (Chapter 5).

    When writing 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, review this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

    To improve your article’s visibility and ensure proper indexing and cross-linking, a straightforward thing you can do is provide full names for all authors. Please refer to the Sage guidelines for author names, prepared in consultation with Google Scholar, for more information.

    Submissions should not include identifying information. To ensure double-anonymized reviewing, authors must submit:

    1. A version of the manuscript that has had any information that compromises the author’s anonymity (s) removed or anonymized. This version will be sent to the peer reviewers.
    2. A separate title page that includes any removed or anonymized material. This will not be sent to the peer reviewers. 

    See Manuscript preparation for double-anonymized journals for help anonymizing your manuscript.

    2.1 Formatting and References

    All research/evaluation and case study manuscripts must contain a structured abstract of no more than 500 words.

    SMQ has a strict word limit of 8,000 for all research and evaluation and case study articles, including abstract, keywords, references, and other items. Editorials, commentaries, and book reviews are generally limited to 3,000 words, including all items. There is no limit on the number of references allowed.

    We recommend that research/evaluation articles include following sections:

    • Introduction
    • Background and Literature
    • Methods
    • Findings
    • Discussion and Conclusions (including implications for social marketing theory and practice and a discussion of limitations)
    • up to five Keywords.

    Case studies should include following sections:

    • Background and Situation Analysis
    • Priority Audience(s)
    • Behavioral Objectives
    • Strategy/Intervention Planning and Development
    • Implementation
    • Evaluation Methods and Results
    • Discussion and Conclusions
    • Recommendations for Social Marketing Practice
    • Key Words

    The methods section of papers reporting on primary research (that for which the authors questioned or observed individuals or groups) must include information on approval by a relevant ethics committee or institutional review board and on informed consent. See Section 6 for details.

    All submissions should be in Microsoft Word, except photos and artwork. All pages should be numbered and double-spaced, and all text should be in Times New Roman 12-point type. Tables should be editable, include captions, and be placed after the reference list.

    SMQ adheres to American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines, 7th Edition for style, references, and bias-free language. Read this guide for more information on style and ensure your manuscript conforms to the APA reference style.

     Below we have provided a few useful links.

    SMQ publishes articles in English language. Authos may submit articles in either American or British English writing style as long as they are consistent with one throughout their manuscript.

    Photos, figures, graphic images, and tables not created in Word should be submitted as separate, high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) files. For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures, and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines

    Figures supplied in color will appear in color online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For specifically requested color reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding Sage costs after receiving your accepted article.

    This journal can host additional materials online (e.g., datasets, podcasts, videos, images, etc.) alongside the article’s full text. For more information, please refer to guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    2.2 Authorship, acknowledgements, and disclosure policies


    Papers should be submitted for consideration only once all contributing authors have given consent. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those who contributed substantively to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

    The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship and meet the conditions below:

    1. Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work or in the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data
    2. Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content
    3. Approved the version to be published
    4. Participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content

    Acquisition of funding, data collection, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship. However, 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 authorship information.

    All people who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals listed, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as the principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    The corresponding author will take primary responsibility for communication with the journal during manuscript submission, peer review, and publication. He or she typically ensures that all of the journal’s administrative requirements are appropriately completed and signs the publishing agreement on behalf of all the authors. The article will include the corresponding author’s contact information. After publication, this person should be available to respond to critiques of the work and any requests from the journal for data or additional information about the paper.

    When a large, multi-center group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accepted direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.


    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help or a department chair who provided only general support. Per ICMJE recommendations, it is best practice to obtain consent for people you acknowledge in your paper.

    Please list any personal acknowledgements separately from the main text to ensure an anonymous review.

    Third-party submissions - where an individual not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company, and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via a third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g., conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    Writing assistance - Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and 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 the use of language polishing services.

    Disclosure Policies

    Funding – SMQ requires all authors to acknowledge their funding 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 public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.”

    Conflict of interest – It is the policy of SMQ to require documentation of any conflicting interests from all authors. Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of the manuscript, after any acknowledgments, and before 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.

    Transparency – SMQ requests authors to consider ways in which their own identities, positions, values, and expectations could influence their manuscript and to acknowledge these in the limitations section.

    2.3 Research and English language editing services

    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.

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    3. Submitting your article

    3.1 Requirements

    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 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. For more detail, please read the Research and Publication Ethics section below.

    Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that SMQ does not accept submissions of papers that have been posted on preprint servers.

    Additionally, 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 in 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.

    3.2 Submission site

    SMQ is hosted on Sage Track, a web-based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to log in and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before creating a new one. If you have reviewed or authored the journal in the past year, you will likely have an account. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online, please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    3.3 ORCID

    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 with 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. When prompted, it takes seconds to do: click the link, sign in to your ORCID account, and our systems automatically update. 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.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID, please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

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    4. Peer review policy and process

    SMQ adheres to a rigorous double-anonymized reviewing policy for all research/evaluation and case study articles. The identity of both the reviewer and author are always concealed from both parties.

    At least two reviewers read each manuscript and provide feedback. Authors typically receive the first editorial decision within one week, the first decision from peer reviewers within four weeks from when the paper is sent for external review, and the final decision within three months of submission.

    Sage does not permit authors to suggest or recommend reviewers at any stage of the submission process through the web-based submission system or other communication.

    Reviewers come from the SMQ Editorial Board or are social marketing experts recruited as ad-hoc reviewers to assess manuscripts objectively. Our policy is that reviewers should not be assigned to a paper if:

    • The reviewer is based at the same institution as any of the co-authors.
    • The reviewer has recently collaborated with any of the authors.
    • The reviewer is based on the funding body of the paper.
    • The author has recommended the reviewer.
    • The reviewer has provided a personal (e.g. Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail) email account. An institutional email account cannot be found after performing a basic Google search (name, department and institution).

    Editorials, commentaries, and book reviews are reviewed exclusively by both co-editors. In some instances, additional reviewers from the editorial board are included in this review.

    The editors or members of the editorial board may submit manuscripts for possible publication in the journal. In these cases, the peer review process will be managed by alternate reviewers; the submitting editor/board member will not be involved in the decision-making process.

    SMQ is committed to delivering high quality, fast peer-review for your paper and has partnered with Publons. Publons is a third-party service that seeks to track, verify, and give credit for peer review. Reviewers for SMQ can opt into Publons to claim their reviews or have them automatically verified and added to their reviewer profile. Reviewers claiming credit for their review will be associated with the relevant journal. However, the article name, reviewer’s decision, and review content are not published on the site. For more information, visit the Publons website.

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    5. Acceptance and publication

    5.1 Sage Production

    Your Sage production editor will keep you informed about your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit, and changes should be made directly or reported to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence, and contact details, is correct. Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.

    5.2 Contributor’s Publishing Agreement

    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 license agreement, which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and license to publish for the full legal term of copyright. For More information, see the  Contributor Agreement | Sage Publications Inc.

    5.3 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and accepted articles waiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online before being included in a journal issue, significantly reducing the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including citing Online First articles.

    5.4 Access to your published article

    Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.

    5.5 Promoting your 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.

    5.6 Open access and author archiving

    SMQ offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

    5.7 Appealing the publication decision

    Editors have very broad discretion in determining whether an article is an appropriate fit for their journal. Many manuscripts are declined with a very general statement of the rejection decision. These decisions are not eligible for formal appeal unless the author believes the decision to reject the manuscript was based on an error in the review of the article, in which case the author may appeal the decision by providing the editor with a detailed written description of the error they believe occurred.

    If an author believes the decision regarding their manuscript was affected by a publication ethics breach. In that case, the author may contact the publisher with a detailed written description of their concern and information supporting the concern at

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    6. Policies on research and publication ethics

    6.1 Research ethics and participant consent

    All authors must receive the necessary permissions (Institutional Review Board or Ethics Committee approvals) required by their sponsoring institution before submitting their research. The authors should indicate the steps they have taken to protect human or animal subjects in the methods section of their manuscript. For research articles, authors must also state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.

    Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. All papers reporting animal or human studies must state that the relevant ethics committee or institutional review board provided (or waived) approval in the methods section. For this type of research, SMQ will only consider submissions that have undergone a review by an ethics committee or institutional review board. In your cover letter or title page, please provide the full name and institution of the review committee as well as the approval number. You will need to add the approval number into the manuscript as well, however this information should be anonymized for peer review. For now, please leave a placeholder in the methods section with "[Anonymized for peer review]" in place of the institution name and approval number.

    Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.

    Patient consent – 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, which breaches the patient’s confidentiality. The journal requests that you confirm to us in writing that you have obtained written informed consent. However, the authors/investigators themselves should hold the written consent itself, 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.

    Clinical trials – SMQ conforms to the ICMJE requirement that clinical trials are registered in a WHO-approved public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The trial registry name, URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.

    Reporting guidelines for biomedical research – The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, all randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed CONSORT flow chart as a cited figure. The completed CONSORT checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should include the completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure. The completed PRISMA checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline.

    Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives.

    Research data – Sage is committed to facilitating research openness, transparency, and reproducibility. Where relevant, SMQ encourages authors to share their research data in a suitable public repository subject to ethical considerations and, where data are included, to add a data accessibility statement in their manuscript file. Authors should also follow data citation principles. Please visit the Sage Author Gateway, which includes information about Sage’s partnership with the data repository Figshare.

    6.2 Publication ethics

    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.

    Plagiarism -- SMQ and Sage take copyright infringement issues, plagiarism, or other breaches of best practice in publication seriously. We seek to protect our authors’ rights, 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 is found to have plagiarized other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgment, 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 relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    Prior Publication-- The author should disclose any prior distribution or publication of any portion of the material, including where the article has been shared as a preprint, to the SMQ editor. If the 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 Managing Editor.

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries, or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the SMQ editorial office as follows:

    For author inquiries on the status of submissions:

    Managing Editor Tina Robinette:

    Editor Sameer Deshpande:

    Associate Editor Judith A. McDivitt:

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