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About Human Resources for Health

This page includes information about the aims and scope of Human Resources for Health, editorial policies, open access and article-processing charges, the peer review process and other information. For details of how to prepare and submit a manuscript through the online submission system, please see the instructions for authors.

Aims & scope

Human Resources for Health is ready to receive manuscripts on all aspects concerning the information, planning, production, management and governance of human resources for health - particularly those of international relevance.

Human Resources for Health aims to disseminate research on health workforce policy, the health labour market, health workforce practice, development of knowledge tools and implementation mechanisms nationally and internationally; as well as specific features of the health workforce, such as the impact of management of health workers' performance and its link with health outcomes.

The journal encourages debate on health sector reforms and their link with human resources issues, a hitherto-neglected area.

The development, deployment and evaluation of the health workforce are complex processes that require multidisciplinary collaboration in areas such as: analysis of needs; planning; evaluation of programmes; economic evaluation; political and policy analysis; demographics and statistics; effectiveness of teaching methods; and processes for improving motivation and productivity. There is no other specialist journal in which this analytical agenda can be debated and disseminated to the broader community of human resources scientists. This journal invites contributions from all the associated disciplines. It particularly welcomes articles concerning health workforce issues in developing countries.

Open access

All articles published by Human Resources for Health are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

Authors of articles published in Human Resources for Health are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

For authors who are US government employees or are prevented from being copyright holders for similar reasons, BioMed Central can accommodate non-standard copyright lines. Please contact us if further information is needed.

Article-processing charges

Open access publishing is not without costs. Human Resources for Health therefore levies an article-processing charge of £1565/$2450/€1995 for each article accepted for publication. If the corresponding author's institution is a Member, the cost of the article-processing charge is covered by the membership, and no further charge is payable. In the case of authors whose institutions are Supporter Members, however, a discounted article-processing charge is payable by the author. We routinely waive charges for authors from low-income countries. For other countries, article-processing charge waivers or discounts are granted on a case-by-case basis to authors with insufficient funds. Authors can request a waiver or discount during the submission process. For further details, see our article-processing charge page.

Indexing services

All articles published in Human Resources for Health are included in PubMed, the most widely used biomedical bibliographic database service, which is run by the US National Library of Medicine. Other bibliographic databases that index articles published in Human Resources for Health include:

  • Cinahl
  • Citebase
  • Current contents
  • DOAJ
  • Google Scholar
  • Journal Citation Reports/ Social Sciences Edition
  • Medscape
  • OAIster
  • PubMed
  • PubMed Central
  • SCImago
  • Scopus
  • Social Sciences Citation Index
  • Zetoc

The full text of all research articles is deposited in PubMed Central, the US National Library of Medicine's full-text repository of life science literature, and other digital archives including e-Depot (The Netherlands).

The full text of all research articles published by BioMed Central is also available on SpringerLink.

Human Resources for Health is tracked by Thomson Reuters (ISI) and has an Impact Factor of 1.65.

Publication and peer review process

Criteria for publication

All articles published in Human Resources for Health have a maximum word limit of 4,000 words regardless of article type, which excludes text in tables, figures and additional files. Authors are encouraged to avoid repeating unnecessarily information in the main article if it is present in any tables or figures.

Human Resources for Health considers the following types of articles:


  • Research - reports of data from original research.
  • Commentaries - short, focused and opinionated articles on any subject within the journal's scope; these articles are usually related to a contemporary issue, such as recent research findings, and are often written by opinion leaders invited by the Editorial Board.
  • Case studies - present a major human resources for health policy option or programme intervention, usually from a health system perspective.
  • Hypotheses - short articles presenting an untested original hypothesis backed solely by previously published results rather than any new evidence; they should outline significant progress in thinking that would also be testable.
  • Methodology articles - present a new experimental method, test or procedure. The method described may either be completely new, or may offer a better version of an existing method. The article must describe a demonstrable advance on what is currently available. The method needs to have been well tested and ideally, but not necessarily, used in a way that proves its value.
  • Reviews - comprehensive, authoritative descriptions of any subject within the journal's scope; these articles are usually written by opinion leaders that have been invited by the Editorial Board.


Peer-review policies

Human Resources for Health has adopted a policy of open peer review: authors' and reviewers' identities are known to each other. Submitted manuscripts are generally reviewed by two external experts. The journal takes into account authors' suggestions for reviewers to invite, and those to exclude. The peer reviewers' role is to recommend acceptance - either with or without revision or resubmission - or rejection. Reviewers evaluate both the substance of manuscripts and the clarity of the writing; they can choose whether to check the revisions they recommend. The Editor-in-Chief makes the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of manuscripts.

Although published only in English, Human Resources for Health does as much as it can to provide editorial support to authors whose primary language is not English.

Edited by Mario Dal Poz, Human Resources for Health is supported by an expert Editorial Board.

Human Resources for Health operates using an open peer review system, where the reviewers' names are included on the peer review reports. In addition, if the article is published, the named reports are published online alongside the article as part of a 'pre-publication history'. All previous versions of the manuscript, and all author responses to the reviewers are also available to readers.

Authors will be able to check the progress of their manuscript through the submission system at any time by logging into My Human Resources for Health, a personalized section of the site.

Copyediting and proofs

Human Resources for Health will copyedit manuscripts before they are published.

Following the acceptance of an article, it is published in Human Resources for Health as a provisional PDF file with minimal delay (subject to formatting checks, copyediting and author verification). Fully formatted PDF and full-text (HTML) versions are made available shortly after that.


High-quality, bound reprints can be purchased for all articles published. Please see our reprints website for further information about ordering reprints.


Human Resources for Health will consider supplements based on proceedings (full articles or meeting abstracts), reviews or research. All articles submitted for publication in supplements are subject to peer review. Published supplements are fully searchable and freely accessible online and can also be produced in print. All full length articles (proceedings, reviews or research articles) are indexed by PubMed. PubMed displays the title of the supplement only in the case of meeting abstract collections. For further information, please contact us.

Editorial policies

All manuscripts submitted to HRH should adhere to BioMed Central's editorial policies.

Citing articles in Human Resources for Health

Articles in Human Resources for Health should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.

Article citations follow this format:

Authors: Title. Hum Resour Health [year], [volume number]:[article number].

e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. Hum Resour Health 2009, 1:115.

refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.

Why publish your article in Human Resources for Health?

High visibility

Human Resources for Health's open access policy allows maximum visibility of articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. Articles that have been especially highly accessed are highlighted with a 'Highly accessed' graphic, which appears on the journal's contents pages and search results.

Speed of publication

Human Resources for Health offers a fast publication schedule whilst maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published with their final citation after acceptance, in both fully browsable web form, and as a formatted PDF; the article will then be available through Human Resources for Health, BioMed Central and PubMed Central and will also be included in PubMed.


Online publication in Human Resources for Health gives authors the opportunity to publish large datasets, large numbers of color illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example, to PubMed, to sequence and other databases, and to other articles).

Promotion and press coverage

Articles published in Human Resources for Health are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be included in abstract books mailed to academics and are highlighted on Human Resources for Health's pages and on the BioMed Central homepage.

In addition, articles published in Human Resources for Health may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in Human Resources for Health. A list of articles recently press-released by journals published by BioMed Central is available here.

Authors of articles published in Human Resources for Health retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work (for further details, see the BioMed Central copyright policy and license agreement).

For further information about the advantages of publishing in a journal from BioMed Central, please click here.