Help for Authors


List of Future Theme Issues

The instructions below pertain to papers invited for theme issues of Health Affairs. If you are submitting an unsolicited paper, a revised paper, a Perspective, an interview, a paper for Narrative Matters, or a letter to the editor, you must follow different instructions; return to the Help for Authors main page and click on the appropriate link.

All manuscripts must be submitted via Health Affairsonline manuscript processing system.

Log In

An account has been established for you, and you should have been informed of your user ID and password. If you have forgotten your user ID or password, go to the login screen, enter your e-mail address in the "Password Help" field, then click on "Go." You will receive e-mail with instructions on how to obtain a user ID and password. A record has been set up in our system for your paper.

Submitting Your Invited Paper

Once you have logged in, you will be at your main menu. Click on " Author Center," locate the record under "Invited Manuscripts," click on "Continue Submission," and follow the instructions.

Required Information

During the submission process, you will be asked to provide information concerning your manuscript, including

  • - manuscript title and keywords

  • - authors’ names

  • - job titles, affiliations, and contact information—all employers for all authors

  • - a document word count (this count should include the abstract, main text and endnotes, but not exhibits or any supplemental material for reviewers)

  • - whether the paper has been presented at a meeting (this information will be included with the paper if it is published, so please word it just as you would like it to appear)

  • - whether any of the authors received external support (this information will be included with the paper if it is published, so please word it just as you would like it to appear)

  • - whether any of the authors have conflicts of interest related to the submission or associations with organizations that have an interest in the outcome of the paper (relevant information will included with the paper if it is published, so please word it just as you would like it to appear)

  • - whether there are acknowledgments, disclaimers, or disclosures other than those related to funding or potential conflicts (this information will be included with the paper if it is published, so please word it just as you would like it to appear)

  • - whether you have reviewers to suggest for your paper ("preferred" reviewers) or to suggest that the editors not invite to review your paper ("nonpreferred" reviewers). Preferred reviewers should be knowledgeable in your field but should have no knowledge of your current submission. If you offer any nonpreferred reviewers, you should explain your reasons in your cover letter. Editors will consider these requests but cannot guarantee that they will be honored.

  • You will also be asked to confirm that the paper has been submitted exclusively to Health Affairs, that it has not been previously published, that the work behind the paper meets applicable ethical standards, and that all authors are willing to take public responsibility for the work and satisfy the requirements of authorship.

You should indicate during the submission process that your paper is being submitted in response to an invitation for consideration for a theme issue, and indicate which issue in the space provided.


Manuscript And Other Files


During Step 6 of the process ("File Upload"), you will be asked to upload your manuscript documents. These documents will include the following:


1. Abstract (indicate the date of the submission on the upper left-hand corner of this page), main text, and endnotes, all in one document (required; preferred format for this file is MS Word, 95 and above)

2. Exhibits, if any

3. Technical appendices, if any

The manuscript submission system converts all of these files to PDF or HTML for ease of use throughout the review process. If you include exhibits or appendices, please refer to them conspicuously in the text. Because we conduct our review process on a double-blind basis, the files that you upload here should not include any information that would allow readers to identify the authors.

Manuscript Preparation

Main text document:
Your paper should be composed using a standard word-processing format (such as MS Word) in 12-point Courier New font or its equivalent, double-spaced, with a minimum of one-inch margins. These formatting rules apply to all text portions of the paper (including abstract and endnotes). Make sure that there is no information in this document that identifies the authors; this includes any running headers or footers. All manuscript pages should be numbered; exhibits should be numbered and referred to by number in the text at appropriate locations.

Cited references and explanatory notes should be presented in one section of consecutively numbered endnotes—no footnotes, please. Callouts in the text that refer to these notes should be consecutively numbered throughout the document (no repeat note callouts in the text).

Exhibit should include footnotes indicating the source(s) for the data/information presented. Exhibits should have clear titles and labels, and should be understandable at a glance. If the work in the exhibit is not original and has been published elsewhere, you may need to obtain copyright permission from the publisher. We will eventually need plotting data for any graphics that you present, but they are not required at the initial submission stage. Exhibits that are prepared using software (such as MS Excel or PowerPoint) other than the word processing software used to compose the article text should be supplied as separate files in the original software, rather than being "embedded" in the word processing file. There is no strict limit on how many exhibits can be included in a published paper, but we discourage authors from submitting more than six exhibits with one paper. Material in exhibits does not count in the document word count.

Supplemental materials:
You may include supplemental materials with the manuscript. These could include detailed discussion of data/methods or technical discussion of results, large tables or graphics too complicated to include in the published version of a paper, survey instruments, extended bibliographies, etc. You may submit these materials in any format that is suitable to the material (for example, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF). They will be supplied to reviewers but typically will not be published with the manuscript (although they could be made available in the form of an online supplement to a published paper). The files for supplementary material should not include any information that identifies the authors of the paper. The contents of these files do not count in the document word count; nonetheless, if you do include supplemental materials, we encourage you to present them in a concise, clear, and well-organized fashion. You should make explicit references to these items in appropriate locations in the text of the manuscript.

PLEASE NOTE: If your analysis is based on regressions, please include with your manuscript a technical appendix showing the full specification of each regression--number of observations, dependent and independent variables (including any transformations from the variables discussed in the text), coefficients, either standard errors or t-statistics, R-squared and F statistics. You may decide how much if any of the regression results to display in exhibits in the paper, but the presentation should be concise, and presented in a form that would be suitable for nonexperts.

Please see "Manuscript Preparation and Review Process" in the Help for Authors main page for more detailed information on style requirements, including endnote and exhibit preparation.

Additional Information

For additional information on manuscript preparation and the review process, Health Affairs’ editorial policies and philosophy, or other matters, return to the Help for Authors main page and select the appropriate link.

If you have any questions about the submission process, please contact the editor who invited your submission, or Health Affairs’ executive editor, Don Metz, at or 301-347-3907.