Quality in Primary Care (formerly the Journal of Clinical Excellence) is an international peer reviewed journal for those involved in research, teaching or practice in the fields of quality improvement, clinical governance or clinical audit related to primary and prehospital care as well as organisational development and education connected to these areas of interest. We particularly welcome high-quality original research that advances knowledge on these topics generalisable to other settings and countries. In addition to traditional research papers we welcome less formal contributions, including short reports, which would make the journal more accessible. We also welcome contributions from other disciplines related to medicine, including nursing, practice management, professions allied to medicine and social science.
Papers can be submitted electronically (email: email@example.com).
- Editorials: These are usually written in-house or commissioned but other submissions are encouraged. Please contact the editor in the first instance to discuss a particular topic.
Research papers: High quality academic articles relating to quality in primary care are welcomed.
- Clinical governance in action: Examples of innovative projects in primary care and interface settings. The aim of this section is to encourage sharing of good practice and solutions to common quality improvement problems.
Short reports/quality improvement and audit: This is a new section designed to promote rapid publication of significant quality improvement projects, ideas or innovations. Please submit articles up to 1000 words.
- Quality assurance, appraisal, education and teamwork: This is a new section will include articles on various issues of organisation and leadership which can impact directly or indirectly on quality improvement.
Patient safety: Articles describing studies highlighting problems or solutions related to the issue of patient safety.
- Patient perspective: This section of the journal is devoted to contributions relating to patient and public involvement in the health service, particular related to quality improvement. Lay people usually write articles in this section which is edited in conjunction with Patricia Wilkie , our lay representative on the editorial board. Articles are also welcome from healthcare professionals describing important developments in public involvement policy and practice.
Debate: This section intends to promote discussion of unresolved or controversial areas in quality improvement. The aim is to promote new thinking and stimulate debate.
- International exchange: We welcome descriptions of quality projects from all countries in the world, particularly those that describe the organisation of quality systems, reports of projects with transferable learning, engagement of clinicians, setting of national and international standards, patient involvement and management of underperformance. Papers that compare and contrast different approaches to quality and critically appraise health service policy on quality will be encouraged.
Principles of quality improvement: Articles reviewing current knowledge and advances in the principles and science and practice of quality improvement.
- Knowledgeshare: Please submit reviews of health-related websites and information sources for quality that have particularly impressed you.
Primary care quality digest: The aim of this new section is to bring to your attention recently published guidelines, reviews and papers related to issues of quality in primary care. We would welcome contributions from other organisations of family medicine that report their activities, anywhere in the world, particularly European countries.
- Letters: Letters to the editor up to 500 words are always welcome. They can be emailed and can relate to articles published in the journal or can be on any issue relating to quality facilitating communication between clinical governance leads and community and primary care trusts and allowing important issues to be discussed.
Book reviews: If you are interested in doing book reviews for QPC, then please contact the editor.
- Courses and conferences: Please inform us of any forthcoming courses and conferences. We will try and include these in future issues (space cannot always be guaranteed).
- Submit paper electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to the address at the base of this page. An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent to the corresponding author.
- All material submitted for publication will be subject to external peer review. Papers are assumed to be submitted exclusively to the journal. Papers that are outside the remit of the journal, that do not comply with the guidance here or are judged to be unsuitable by the editor will be rejected without peer review. Reviewers advise on the originality and scientific merit of the paper and the editor, with advice from the editorial board, will decide on publication.
The turnaround time for papers will be up to eight weeks from submission to decision and up to 12 weeks from decision to publication with a fast-track process also available. This process will be audited.
- The editor reserves the right to make minor adjustments and, if necessary, to shorten the article without changing the meaning.
When requested one copy of a revised article should be submitted with revisions annotated. A covering letter describing changes made should also make it clear that the final manuscript has been seen and approved for publication by all authors.
- All manuscripts should be typed in double-line spacing on one side only of A4 paper, with a margin of 3cm all round and a pages numbered consecutively.
The first page of the paper should contain the title, author(s), name(s) and an address for correspondence. Each author should indicate his/her professional discipline, current appointment and qualifications. The address of the corresponding author will be printed with the paper (if published) unless you request that it is omitted.
- When first using abbreviations in the text, the term the author wishes to abbreviate should be spelt out in full with its abbreviation in brackets. Thereafter the abbreviation in capital letters and unpunctuated should be used.
QPC supports the code of conduct for editors of biomedical journals drawn up by the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE), and available at: http://www.publicationethics.org.uk/guidelines/code
- QPC upholds the ethical principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) which are available at http://www.publicationethics.org.uk/guidelines/code.
- Authors are referred to the need to conform to the Declaration of Helsinki and to provide confirmation that the study has been approved by a named Research Ethics Committee.
Authors are also asked to declare that the paper has not been submitted elsewhere for publication and that duplicate publication has been avoided.
- The following declarations should be made at the end of the article before the references: ‘ethical approval(s)’, ‘acknowledgements’, ‘source of funding’ for the study, and any ‘conflict of interest’. This includes ownership of shares, consultancy, speaker's honoraria or research grants from commercial companies or professional or governmental organisations with an interest in the topic of the paper. If in doubt, disclose.
Authors are also asked to declare, where relevant, that patient consent has been obtained and that all reasonable steps have been taken to maintain patient confidentiality.
- Once submitted authors are assured that the material under consideration will be kept confidential.
Authors have the right to appeal against editorial decisions. Once an appeal is lodged, this will be dealt with by an editorial board member who has not been involved in the editorial progress of the paper in question.
- Misconduct is investigated and acted on according to COPE guidance.
Length and structure of articles
- Articles should normally be up to 3000 words excluding (usually up to 30) references. Short reports should be up to 1000 words. However, when authors are invited to submit a specific article, the editorial staff will specify the proposed length.
- Subheadings are encouraged, when suitable, to break up the text as well as to improve readability.
A structured abstract up to 300 words to include background, aim(s), methods (include design, setting, subject and main outcome measures as appropriate), results and conclusion should be included.
- The abstract should be followed by up to five keywords recognized by Index Medicus.
Authors should also include a box headed ‘How this fits in with quality in primary care’ with text under the following subheadings summarising the article: What do we know? What does this paper add?
Tables, figures and illustrations
As far as possible articles should be suitably illustrated but not contain more than five tables.
- Tables should not duplicate but rather supplement information given in the text. They should be typed on a separate sheet and have a caption. Do not use vertical rules in tables.
Tables should only be used when data cannot be expressed clearly in any other form. Figures should not duplicate information provided in the text.
- Illustrations may be line drawings or black-and-white photographs of good quality, preferably with a gloss finish. Illustrations will not be returned after publication unless specifically requested. All illustrations are submitted at the owner’s risk, the publisher accepts no liability for loss or damage while in possession of the material.
- The style of referencing used is the Vancouver system (http://www.wame.org). References should be numbered in the text and listed consecutively at the end of the article in the order that they appear in the text. They should be assigned superscript numbers, outside any punctuation.
- The list of references should include: names and initials of all authors (unless there are more than six, in which case the first three should be mentioned followed by et al.). The format of references is as follows:
Example 1: Journal article Rao, M, Clarke A, Sanderson C and Hammersley R. Patient’s own assessments of quality care compared with objective based measures of technical quality of care. Cross sectional study. British Medical Journal 2006:333:19 – 22.
Example 2: Author of whole book or other publication Coulter A. The Autonomous Patient. Ending paternalism in medical care. London : The Stationery Office, 2002.
Example 3: Chapter in a book Marshall EJ and Bhugra D. Services for the mentally ill homeless. In: Bhugra D (ed). Homelessness and Mental Health. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 99 – 109.
- Information taken from unpublished papers, personal communications and observations should only be included in the text and not referred to as a formal reference.
- Authors are responsible for the accuracy of their references.
Proofs will be sent to the author submitting the paper and must be returned promptly. This will allow correction of printers’ and similar errors. Major changes will not be entertained and authors may be charged for excessive amendments at this stage.
Correspondence and enquiries
All correspondence should be addressed to:
Professor A Niroshan Siriwardena
Faculty of Health, Life and Social Sciences
University of Lincoln
Fax: +44 (0)152 283 7058