Guidelines for Authors

I. The following submissions are subject to double blind, peer review. They may be brief, or up to 3000 words (references are excluded in the word count):

      1. “Articles” (referenced as appropriate)…
        • Unsolicited, on any mental health ethics topic
        • Editor solicited, related to a specific journal theme or topic
        • Editor solicited articles from 2 authors to discuss both sides of a controversial issue
      2. Case studies for the “Front Line Perspectives” section…
        • Actual or prototypical clinical cases (hospital, clinic, office, psychotherapy, community) submitted with commentary that sheds light on the ethical elements of the case and stimulates further ethical reflection by the reader
        • A description of a mental health ethics dilemma encountered in any domain (e.g. government, non-government organization, social, workplace, interpersonal) submitted with commentary that sheds light on the ethical elements of the case and stimulates further ethical reflection by the reader
      3. Legal discussions for the “Benchmark” Section…
        • Unsolicited, or editor solicited, brief legal updates on mental health case law or legislation with commentary that sheds light on the ethical elements of the pertinent legal issues and stimulates further ethical reflection by the reader
      4. "Hindsight"

        This section of the journal aims to provide context for, and analysis of:

          • key leaders in the history of mental health care and their thought and activity;
          • key historical leaders in ethics and the impact of their work on mental health ethics;
          • key advocate and persons living with mental illness who have been leaders in mental health system and social reform and the ethical impact of their work;
          • significant mental health care treatment trends and devolution;
          • landmark social, system, and moral reforms;
          • and paradigmatic conceptual shifts that have occurred through the history of mental health care.

      By understanding our history we better understand the fluid ethical milieu that emerges in the wake of exceptional or distinctive transition points.

II. All other submissions are subject to Editorial Committee review:

    1. "Editorial": commentary prepared by a JEMH editor or by an invited “Guest Editor”.
    2. "Insights": flashes of insight, personal narrative, or reflections on any relevant topic (up to 500 words)
    3. Personal accounts for the “In my Life” section (up to 3000 words)
      • Reports on ethical challenges encountered by consumers, family members, or caregivers, submitted with commentary that sheds light on the ethical elements in the flow of events reported and stimulates further ethical reflection by the reader
      • The JEMH will not accept anonymous submissions, but it is willing to consider publishing a piece (in the "In My Life" section only) without the author's name, with the following attached: "Author's name withheld by request". We recognize that there may be circumstances in which a person is more comfortable not being identified, and these will be reviewed case by case.
    4. "Commentaries in Response" to a published piece (up to 300 words)…
      • should be received within 8 weeks of an article’s appearance
      • authors whose work is discussed are given an opportunity to respond (up to 150 words)
    5. “Letters to the Editors” on any topic (up to 300 words)
    6. “JEMH Conferences: Selected Proceedings”: some papers presented at the JEMH hosted conferences on ethics in mental health may be selected for publication
    7. “Book & Media Reviews”: unsolicited, or editor solicited (up to 3000 words)
    8. “Research Reflections”: The Editorial Committee may publish submissions that highlight ethical challenges related to particular research in progress, or that offer ethical reflections on planned research directions. These pieces should raise interesting questions or ideas about the research project itself, rather than represent a discussion on research outcomes. (note: completed research reports should be submitted to the regular “Articles” section.) (up to 3000 words)
    9. "Select Invited Submissions": The Editorial Committee may from time to time publish select invited submissions on topics of particular significance or interest to the Committee without subjecting them to blind peer review.
    10. "Bernard Dickens Student Award Articles": The JEMH will be providing a cash award ($500 Canadian) once a year to a student in an undergraduate, graduate, residency, post-doctoral or fellowship program who submits an article that is selected by the Editorial Committee for publication. Our goal is to encourage academic interest and writing in the area of mental health ethics.

Exclusive Submission:

By submitting work for possible publication in the JEMH, authors understand that they are declaring that their submission, a close variant, or substantial parts thereof, has not been published previously and is not simultaneously under consideration elsewhere.

Submission Preparation:

All submissions should be in English. Font size should be 12 and text should be double-spaced. Word, Wordperfect, rich-text or text file formatting are preferred.

Your COVERING LETTER should include:

    1. Date of the submission.
    2. The name of the journal section for which the submission is intended.
    3. The title (if appropriate).
    4. Author(s) name(s), academic degree(s), and all academic, professional, and financial affiliations.
    5. “Contact Information”: a complete mailing address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address of the author designated to review proofs.
    6. “Competing Interests / Conflicts of Interest”: All contributing authors are required to declare in writing any possible competing interests, or apparent conflicts of interest, that might reasonably be seen to compromise their ability to write fairly and objectively (see Competing Interests for more detail). If the submission is accepted for publication this self disclosure statement will be appended to the submission. Note: If a real conflict is reported or identified and the individual has not recused him/herself, the Managing Editor will decide whether the author should proceed and, if so, what to disclose in the published work about the conflict.
    7. “Acknowledgements”: collaborators whose contributions are not so substantial as to warrant co-authorship may be named. Statements of credit may also be made.
    8. “Address for Correspondence”: a contact name, mailing address, and e-mail information to be placed at the end of any submission accepted for publication.
    9. Authors should identify individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance.

Your SUBMISSION (sent as an attached file) should contain:

    1. Date of the submission.
    2. The name of the journal section for which the submission is intended.
    3. A “Title” (if appropriate) that clearly identifies what the submission is about.
    4. An “Abstract” for all peer-reviewed submissions only (“Articles”, “Front Line Perspectives”, “In my Life”, or “Benchmark” sections), no longer than 150 words.
    5. A “Key Words” list (if appropriate): All peer-reviewed submissions (“Articles”, “Front Line Perspectives”, “In my Life”, or “Benchmark” sections) require an accompanying list of 3-5 key words that express the precise content of the article (key words are used for indexing purposes).
    6. JEMH is a cross-disciplinary journal and so it is important to adopt a style that is user-friendly. There should be: (a) a clear paragraph structure, (b) use of subheadings as signposts to the discussion, and (c) a conclusion section that summarizes the main points of the submission (and may indicate future directions but avoids introducing new material). Technical terms should be avoided if possible. When employed, they should be clearly defined or illustrated.
    7. Authors should ensure that the body of the submission does not contain any personal identifying information.
    8. “Funding and Support”: Declarations of any funding agency, institutional, or corporate support for the published work are mandatory and should be placed directly following the main body of the submission. A grant support statement must include the full name of the funding agency.

Reference Style:

References should be placed at the end of the submission, in alphabetical order, following guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th Edition. (2002).

A few common examples:

Periodicals: (Journals, mazagines, scholarly newsletters, etc)

Smith, A.A., Black, D.D., & Thomas, C.C. (1994). Title of Article. Title of
periodical, xx, xxx-xxx.

Nonperiodical: (reports, brochures, manuals, A-V media)

Chang, T.S. (2002). Title of work. Location:Publisher.

Part of a nonperiodical: ( e.g., chapter from a book)

Hardy, H.N., & Decker, D.A. (2002). Title of chapter. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C.
Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pp. xxx-xxx). Location: Publisher

Online periodical:

Smith, A.A., Jones, B.B. & Barnes, C.C. (2002). Title of article.Title of Periodical,
xx, xxx-xxx. Retrieved month day, year, from source

Online document:

Smith, A.A., Peters, BB, Simone, C.C. (2001). Title of article. Title of Periodical,
xx, xxx-xxx. Retrieved month day, year, from source.

Citations in Text:

Use the author-date method of citation as shown below. If the authors’ name appears in part of the narrative, just add the year in parentheses (see below).

Noble (2004) examined ethical issues that arose…
A new ethical issue was recently reported (Noble, 2004)…

For citations of two or more authors in parenthesis, use the ampersand. If the authors names are in the running text, use “and” instead of the ampersand as shown below.

Previous articles (Lang & McKay, 2003) failed to examine the issue…
Smith and Howard (2002) failed to mention that …

Illustrations and Tables:

Instructions for preparing illustrations, tables, and figures can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th edition).

Approval Process:

Submissions requiring only editorial review will be evaluated within one month of receipt with a response then sent promptly to the lead author.

Other submission types (“Articles”, “Front Line Perspectives”, “In my Life”, “Benchmark”) will be screened by the editors, and if deemed suitable for possible publication, the submission will be forwarded for double blind, peer review by 2 or more referees. The lead author will be notified within one month of receipt at the JEMH office whether the submission has been forwarded for review.

The peer review process will generally take one to three months, after which the lead author will receive a reply indicating:

  • “acceptance as is”, or
  • “acceptance with minor revisions required”, or
  • “non-acceptance with encouragement to make major revisions and resubmit for further review”, or
  • “not accepted for publication”.

Submissions not accepted for publication will be destroyed.


The editors retain the right to make minor copyediting changes to the text. More substantive changes (e.g. editing for length or clarity) will only be made in collaboration with authors. Authors are responsible for reviewing proofs and promptly answering editors’ queries.

Licensing for Publication:

Upon acceptance for publication, authors are required to sign a licensing agreement granting worldwide publishing rights in all media to the JEMH. Copyright ownership remains with the individual authors.


Authors are responsible for all statements made in their submissions, and for obtaining permission from copyright owners when reprinting or adapting a table/figure, or using a quotation of 500 words or more.

Ethics Regulations and Guidelines Compliance:

Any experimental research that is reported in a submission must have been performed with the approval of an appropriate ethics committee, an institutional review board or human experimentation committee, and informed consent. Research carried out on humans must be in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration (JAMA 1997; 277: 925-926), and any experimental research on animals should follow internationally recognized guidelines. A statement to this effect must appear in the manuscript, including the name of the body which gave approval, with a reference number where appropriate. Manuscripts may be rejected if the editorial office considers that the research has not been carried out within an ethical framework.

Informed Consent

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. The lead author is responsible for ensuring that written informed consent is secured without coercion or negative impact upon a therapeutic relationship. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published.

Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning, relevant clinical history, or matters of conceptual significance and thereby unduly affect the interpretation or proffered discussion; should this be a possible concern, the editors will so note.


It is the policy of the Journal that all language therein be gender-inclusive, in accord with the guidelines set by the American Psychological Association (5th Edition, 2001).

Revised: February 22 2012