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Manuscript Types

Substance Abuse journal accepts the following manuscript types: original research, brief reports, review articles, case studies, letters to the editor, commentaries, and editorials. All manuscript types are peer reviewed and cited as articles in relevant citation services.

Word Counts

Authors are expected to adhere to word count limits for initial submissions to the journal unless prior approval has been granted by the Editor-in-Chief. The word count limits for any article type do not include the abstract, title page, references, tables, figures, captions, or supplemental material. All abstracts have a word count limit of 300 words. Titles have a limit of 50 words.

Original Research
Content: Original research articles are articles that present research findings.
Word Count Limit: 3,500 words. Qualitative articles are allowed up to 4,000 words; however, this limit includes quotations.
Required Sections for Main Document: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References.
Required Abstract Section Headings: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.

Brief Report
Content: Brief reports are articles that report on focused research findings. Research and research findings that can be succinctly described are appropriate for Brief Reports. (Please refer to our Latest Articles for examples.) Brief reports may also be an option for studies or curricular innovations where outcomes are emerging.
Word Count Limit: 2,000 words.
Required Sections for Main Document: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References.
Required Abstract Section Headings: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.

Review Article
Content: The journal seeks to publish reviews related to recent innovations in addiction research, education, policy, and treatment. Authors should contact the Editor-in-Chief prior to submitting a review article to ensure that the scope, methodology, and content are appropriate for the journal.
Word Count Limit: 4,000 words.
Required Sections for Main Document: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Review, Conclusions, and References.
Required Abstract Section Headings: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.

Case Studies
Content: The journal is looking to publish case reports or a series of clinical cases under the heading “Case Studies.” Case studies are short descriptions of cases that uniquely enhance the clinical understanding or emerging understanding of addiction-related clinical issues.
Word Count Limit: 2,500 words.
Required Sections for Main Document: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Case Presentation, Discussion, Consent (when applicable; see following paragraph), and References.
Required Abstract Section Headings: Background, Case(s), and Discussion.

If identifiable information, such as photographs or radiographic material, is included as part of the submission, written informed consent must be obtained from the patient or the patient’s legal guardian/representative, and the authors should affirm this in the Consent section. Furthermore, care should be taken when determining which potentially identifying details to include: the description should be adequate to allow for proper interpretation by the readers, but the authors should omit non-essential details. The Editor-in-Chief may request proof of written informed consent.

Please also see the section entitled Ethical Guidelines under the Editorial Policies section below.

Letter to the Editor
Content: This is a flexible format intended to quickly share information of interest to Substance Abuse journal readers. These letters to the editor may include:

  • Responses to an article previously published in Substance Abuse journal
  • Discussion of new tools, technology, and ideas
  • Announcements
  • Responses to recent research, commentary, or policy
  • Implications of recent research or forthcoming research to the addictions field
  • Primary research data in summary form (This format is not intended for full presentation of data.)

Word Count Limit: 1,500 words.
Required Sections for Main Document: Title, Main Body (section headings unnecessary), References.
Required Abstract Section Headings: N/A

Commentary
Content: Commentaries are intended to offer expert insights into important or controversial topics related to addiction in clinical medicine, medical economics, policy, ethics, or related issues. When appropriate, Substance Abuse journal expects authors to acknowledge a limited amount of supporting or opposing literature. Priority is given to novel thought, clear and creative writing, and the relevance of the manuscript to the interests of Substance Abuse journal’s readers. Substance Abuse strongly encourages submission of commentary related to addiction health policy.

Word Count Limit: 3,000 words.
Required Sections for Main Document: Title, Main Body (section headings as appropriate), References.
Required Abstract Section Headings: Abstract required but section headings are not necessary.

Editorial
Content: Submission of editorials is by invitation from or prior arrangement with the Editor-in-Chief. Most editorials will comment on other material (e.g., an innovative original article) appearing in the same issue of Substance Abuse journal or on changes in journal activities or policies. Substance Abuse journal also publishes freestanding editorials commenting on other topics, such as major changes in addiction clinical medicine or addiction health care policy, that were not originally introduced within the pages of Substance Abuse journal. Final acceptance of any editorial, even an invited editorial, is at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board.
Word Count Limit: 2,000 words.
Required Sections for Main Document: Title, Main Body (section headings unnecessary), References.
Required Abstract Section Headings: N/A