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Editorial Policies

As a member of the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors, Substance Abuse journal supports and follows the principles of the Farmington Consensus ( The Farmington Consensus describes the ethical responsibilities of authors, peer reviewers, and editors. Authors submitting to Substance Abuse journal must also adhere to the policies described below.

Conflict of Interest
The submitting author is required to disclose whether conflicts of interest exist for any authors on the manuscript. The presence of a conflict of interest does not preclude publication of a paper. These conflicts of interest should be discussed in a paragraph, which can be provided in Step 5 of the submission process.

Taylor & Francis has additional guidance and examples of conflicts of interest available on its website.

Submitting authors are required to confirm that they have seen, read, and understood the publisher’s guidelines on copyright and author rights.

Human Subjects Protection
Substance Abuse journal requires that authors submitting work involving human subjects research adhere to the ethical principles expressed by the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki ( Further, authors are required to include human subjects protection information in their Methods section. Authors must indicate that an independent research ethics committee (e.g., Institutional Review Board) reviewed and approved, or exempted the study protocol. A short description of the informed consent process should also be included. If ethics committee approval and/or informed consent were not obtained, a brief explanation must be provided.

Substance Abuse journal only accepts manuscripts written in English. The journal welcomes either US English or British English, but authors must be consistent in their usage throughout the text of the manuscript.

Only those persons who have contributed significantly to the work being submitted should be listed as co-authors. “Significant” contributions include research conception and design, collection of data, analysis, and/or interpretation of the results. Co-authors must also be involved in the writing or revision of the manuscript. Substance Abuse journal requires the submission of a paragraph describing the specific contributions made by each author, which will be published as part of an accepted article. Other contributing persons who do not meet the standards described above should be listed (with their permission) in the Acknowledgements. The Editorial Board reserves the right to refuse post-acceptance requests for changes to the list of authors. Please contact the Managing Editor with questions.

Substance Abuse journal uses CrossCheck software to screen papers for unoriginal material. Please note that by submitting your paper to Substance Abuse journal you are agreeing to any necessary checks your paper may have to undergo during our peer review and production processes. Manuscripts without proper citations for direct quotations or with inadequate paraphrasing have been and will continue to be rejected by Substance Abuse journal. Potential authors are encouraged to make sure that they fully understand the concept of plagiarism. There are many resources for this on the web, e.g.,

Substance Abuse journal supports the mission of the Association of Medical Education Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA), which is “to improve health and well-being through interdisciplinary leadership in substance use education, research, clinical care, and policy.” The Editorial Team believes that improving health and well-being requires interdisciplinary leadership regarding the language that we use in our scholarship. We ask authors, reviewers, and readers to carefully and intentionally consider the language used to describe alcohol and other drug use and disorders, the individuals affected by these conditions, and their related behaviors, comorbidities, treatment, and recovery in our publication. Specifically, we make an appeal for the use of language that:

  • Respects the worth and dignity of all persons (“people-first language”)
  • Focuses on the medical nature of substance use disorders and treatment
  • Promotes the recovery process
  • Avoids perpetuating negative stereotype biases through the use of slang and idioms

For an overview of each of the above principles, examples of preferred and non-preferred terms, and discussion of some the nuances and tensions that inherently arise as we give greater attention to the issue of how we talk and write about substance use and addiction, please refer to our 2014 editorial in Substance Abuse journal, entitled, “Confronting Inadvertent Stigma and Pejorative Language in Addiction Scholarship: A Recognition and Response,” which is available at:

In sum, the Editorial Team does not seek to issue a formal or final dictum on language use for authors and reviewers, but instead, to encourage thoughtful and deliberate consideration of language that is most consistent with operationalizing respect for personhood in Substance Abuse journal’s policies and practices. Authors and reviewers are encouraged to contact the Managing Editor with related questions about this policy.

Substance Abuse journal uses a double-blind reviewing process. Authors should take care to blind all potentially identifying information within the body of the article. Commonly overlooked identifying information includes: the description of the setting/study site, IRB affiliation, and references to “our” prior research. Authors may consider blinding the reference list as it applies to their prior work. All identifying information should be included in the title page, which will not be shared with reviewers. The journal’s reasoning behind choosing a double-blinded approach to peer review is described in detail here:

Submission Details

All manuscripts are to be submitted electronically via the ScholarOne Manuscripts website:

Title Page

Required File Format: Microsoft Word document.

The title page is a separate document from the main manuscript. The identifying information provided on the title page will not be shared with reviewers. A template for the title page is provided on the ScholarOne Manuscripts website under Step 6. The title page needs to include the following:

  • Manuscript title
  • Full names, degrees, and institutional affiliations for all authors
  • Complete contact information for the corresponding author, which should include institutional mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address
  • Acknowledgements: Recognize people who contributed meaningfully to the article but did not qualify as co-authors.
  • Funding: Funding sources for the research process and for manuscript preparation must be listed. Please provide the grant number, if applicable. Authors should also specify the degree to which the funding agency was involved in the work reported in the manuscript or in the composition of the submission.
  • Author contributions: Provide the contributions of each co-author in paragraph form. See Authorship subsection under Editorial Policies.

Main Document

Required File Format: Microsoft Word document or LaTex file.

The main document should contain all of the required sections listed in the Manuscript Types section. Do not include figures and tables in your main document. However, the text should contain a placeholder indicating the preferred location for each table and figure, e.g., [TABLE 1 HERE]. Captions for figures should also be included in the main document. A template for the main document (manuscript type: original research) is available on our ScholarOne manuscripts website under Step 6.


References and citations should be prepared in accordance with the American Medical Association Manual of Style, 10th edition. References should be cited consecutively within the text using superscript arabic numerals. The names of all journals should be in italics and be abbreviated according to the NLM title abbreviation, which can be found using the NLM catalog. Substance Abuse journal’s EndNote output style is available for download here. Examples can be found below.

Journal Article with 6 or fewer authors:
Black JJ, Chung T. Mechanisms of change in adolescent substance use treatment: how does treatment work? Subst Abus. 2014;35(4):344-351.

Journal Article with >6 authors:
Broyles LM, Binswanger IA, Jenkins JA, et al. Confronting inadvertent stigma and pejorative language in addiction scholarship: a recognition and response. Subst Abus. 2014;35(3):217-221.

Epublications ahead of print:
Baxter JD, Clark RE, Samnaliev M, Aweh G, O’Connell E. Adherence to Buprenorphine Treatment Guidelines in a Medicaid Program[published online February 23, 2015]. Subst Abus. doi:10.1080/08897077.2014.991469

Book section:
Borg L, Buinora M, Butelman ER, Ducat E, Ray BM, Kreek MJ. The pharmacology of opioids. In: Ries RK, Fiellin DA, Miller SC, Saitz R, eds. The ASAM Principles of Addiction Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins; 2014:135-150.

Entire book:
Gold MR, Siegel JE, Russell LB, Weinstein MC, eds. Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1996.

Stata Statistical Software: Release 12 [computer program]. Version Release 12. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP; 2011.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2014.

International Society of Addiction Journal Editors. Farmington consensus [Webpage]. Available at: Accessed March 5, 2015.

Tables and Figures

Required File Formats:

  • Tables: Microsoft Word (using the Table feature) or Excel.
  • Figures: Authors who have created their own figures are encouraged to submit them in the original file formats (e.g., Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint). Images should be TIFFs with a minimum resolution of 300 DPI.

Tables and figures are to be uploaded separately from the main document, with the appropriate file type designated. Do not include figure titles and captions within your images – they will not scale appropriately. Figures should be sized to fit on a journal page and 300 DPI or higher. (Using a PC, authors can check the resolution of an image by right clicking on it, selecting Properties, and viewing the Details tab.)

Color art will be reproduced in the online production at no additional cost to the author. Color illustrations will also be considered for the print publication; however, the author will bear the full cost involved in color art reproduction. Contact the Managing Editor with questions.

Supplemental Information

Accepted File Formats: Text, MSWord, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Zip Archive, RealVideo, PDF, HTML, QuickTime, MPEG Video, Image, VRML, GIF Image, WAV Audio, AIFF, PDB, AVI Video, or Windows Media/Video.

Substance Abuse journal offers the opportunity to upload relevant supplemental material that enhances the work described in the manuscript. Supplemental information will only be published online. Supplemental information will be published “as is,” i.e., the material will not be typeset or modified by the publisher, and authors will not be sent proofs for supplemental material. Authors should make sure that they have permission to publish their supplemental material in an online format. Publication of online supporting material is at the discretion of the Editorial Team.