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   Instructions to Authors


World Social Psychiatry (WSP) is the official publication of the World Association of Social Psychiatry. The journal is peer-reviewed in a blinded manner, publishes three issues a year, and accepts high-quality work or writings in the broad realms of social, community and cultural aspects of psychiatry and related areas.

Manuscripts are accepted for consideration for publication by the WSP with the understanding that they represent original material, have not been published previously, are not being considered for publication elsewhere, and each author meets the authorship criteria according to the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE):

  • “Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.”

Article submissions are made online only, through the link http://www.journalonweb.com/WSP/ where an initial sign-up as an author will be needed, followed by step-by-step guided submission process. No other form of submission (e.g., by e-mail or hard copy) will be accepted other than in exceptional circumstances approved by the Editor.


All manuscripts (but see the exceptions below) are reviewed by two or more independent (“blinded”) assessors. There are three sequential steps in the review process.

First, an initial quick review of the submitted manuscript is made by the Editor or his nominated representative (generally the Co-Editor) and decision made regarding the necessity and appropriateness for the detailed peer review process. If found unsuitable for the Journal, the authors are usually intimated about this within one week of submission with a brief note on the grounds for non-suitability of the submission, so that they may not lose time in the review process and start seeking a more suitable home for their work.

Second, once the submission has been found suitable ‘in principle’ for detailed evaluation, it is passed through a Checklist for format and style. This checklist helps to spot areas where corrections or improvements are required before the article can be submitted for detailed evaluation. This process is usually completed within two weeks. The authors are advised to rectify and re-submit in case of substantive deficiencies in formatting (especially references and their citation) and style.

Finally, following the successful completion of the two previous steps, the article is sent to two (occasionally three, in case of a ‘tie’) independent assessors (after anonymizing the article to the fullest extent possible) for a detailed content-focused peer review process. We aim to typically complete this process in 6-8 weeks, though it might take longer depending upon the completion of peer review. All in all, our aim is to conclude the entire review process in about three months.

This detailed review process as mentioned above is not applicable for certain types of submissions that include “Invited Matter” (Commentaries, Perspectives/Viewpoints, Debates, etc. but not invited reviews which are reviewed as above), “Letters to the Editor”, “Book Reviews” and “Film Reviews.” In these cases the Editor can take a quick decision and provide a feedback directly. However, even if accepted, all submissions are screened for formatting and style by using the Checklist mentioned above.


The WSP follows a strict ethical standard adopted by the publisher. It is mandatory for the authors to be aware of these guidelines and abide by them as a pre-condition of manuscript submission. The guidelines as displayed in details at http://www.medknow.com/EthicalGuidelines.asp cover the following areas: redundant or duplicate submissions or publications; ethics committee approval; conflicts of interest; informed consent; permission to reproduce previously published material; and plagiarism. Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Guidelines should be consulted in case of doubt. Plagiarism (defined by COPE as “When somebody presents the work of others (data, words or theories) as if they were his/her own and without proper acknowledgment”; see (https://publicationethics.org/category/keywords/plagiarism) is an especially serious ethical concern.


Review Article

Reviews are usually invited by the Editor. However, good quality reviews on pertinent topics can be independently submitted for possible publication. The maximum length of reviews is 5000 words (excluding abstract and references). Reviews may be narrative, scoping or systematic. The type of review should be identified in the title. Abstract has to be structured (Background/Objectives; Methods; Results; Conclusions) and should not exceed 250 words. A few (3 to 6) keywords should be provided.

Research Article

Original quantitative as well as qualitative research papers are published under this section. Maximum word limit for research articles is 3000 words (excluding abstract and references). Abstract has to be structured (Background/Objectives; Methods; Results; Conclusions) and should not exceed 250 words. A few (3 to 6) keywords should be provided.

Commentary, Debate, Perspective, Viewpoint

These are usually (but not necessarily) invited articles, either commenting/debating on an article to be published in the same issue or fresh submissions on topics of broad relevance to social psychiatry. The views and perspectives are of the authors, not necessarily of the Journal. They are purported to raise awareness, generate meaningful dialogue, and create an atmosphere of healthy debate and controversies. There is no mandatory length of such articles but in general they should not exceed 4000 words (excluding references, which should be kept to a minimum). Commentaries may be briefer (up to 1500 words) and more focused. An abstract is not required for Commentaries but an unstructured abstract will be required for the “Debate / Perspective / Viewpoint” articles (maximum 250 words).

Brief Communication

Under this section data from preliminary studies, studies done with smaller sample size, worthwhile replication studies, or negative studies on important topics are published. Single case reports and case studies do not meet the criteria for this section but can be submitted as Letter to Editor. Brief Communications should not exceed 1500 words (excluding abstract and references). Abstract has to be structured (Background/Objectives; Methods; Results; Conclusions) and should not exceed 250 words. No more than one table and/or one figure can be included.

Letter to the Editor

Brief letters (maximum of 1000 words, including up to 5 references; no tables or figures) will be considered if they include the notation “For publication”. Case reports or any other uncontrolled observations should ordinarily be submitted as Letters to the Editor. Letters critical of an article published in the Journal are highly encouraged but must be received within three months of the article’s publication. Such letters must cite the original article. Letters that do not meet these specifications will be returned immediately.

Book Review and Media Review

The WSP also publishes critical reviews written on recently published books, films or other media pertinent to social psychiatry. Usually such reviews are invited by the Editor. However, authors can submit their own reviews for publication. The Editor takes the final decision as to which review is suitable for publication. In no circumstances should reviews exceed 1500 words. Abstract and references are not required but relevant references (maximum 5) may be cited.


The manuscript should be processed electronically using a standard word processor (e.g., Microsoft Word). All parts of the manuscript should be double-spaced throughout with a minimum margin of 1 inch on all sides. Number pages consecutively on the Article File (see later). The spellings should be American English.

The manuscript should be arranged in the following order, with two mandatory separate Word files: a) title page (“First Page File”), and b) article file, containing the following in this order: abstract (if required),  text matter, references, and tables. Figures, if any, should be prepared and uploaded separately.

a) First Page File

It should mention the title of the article, and the names, address and position/affiliation of the authors at their respective institutions/places of employment. The full postal address, telephone and facsimile numbers, and E-mail address of the author who will receive correspondence and check the proofs should be included, as well as the present address of any author if different from that where the work was carried out. Addresses for authors other than the corresponding author should contain the department, institution, city and country.

Other entries on the first page file should include: a short running title of not more than 50 characters (including spaces), word count (abstract, if applicable), word count (text, excluding abstract, references and tables etc.), declaration of any conflict of interest (if none, please declare so), and acknowledgements if any.

b) Article File

The remaining part of the submission should be combined into a single file (the “Article File”) and uploaded as such. Tables can be entered in this file itself (at the end, after References, each Table starting on a fresh page). Figures, however, need to be uploaded separately, each figure as a separate file. 

Description of each of the components of the article file follows.


A summary of the review, research and brief communication articles must be in the form of a structured abstract of no more than 250 words using the format below. However, abstract may be unstructured for ‘Commentary/Perspectives/Viewpoint/Debate’ articles (as mentioned above). Commentaries, Case reports, letters, and film/book reviews do not require any abstract.

Background/Objectives: need for the study/review with specific aim or objectives; Methods: design, setting, sample, interventions (if appropriate), chief outcome measures, and methodology of data search, selection and organization (for review articles or other non-primary data based article); Results: provide main findings on which the conclusions are based; Conclusions: only those related to results, both positive and negative, and their immediate implications (not far-fetched or beyond the scope of the study results).

Key words: 3-6 key words that will assist indexers in cross-referencing the article should be supplied. Use of the medical subject headings (MeSH) list from Index Medicus is encouraged but not mandatory.

Text Matter

For research articles (full-length and brief reports) the usual IMRaD format should be used: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. For other types of articles, authors’ own or innovative headings and subheadings may be used.

Pejorative Language: Do not use pejorative labels like ‘addicts’, ‘schizophrenics’, ‘psychotics’ and ‘neurotics’. Instead refer to ‘patients with schizophrenia’, etc.

Abbreviations: Key phrases or full names may be abbreviated if they are used repeatedly (e.g., CNS, OCD, etc.). When first used in the text, they should be spelt out in full followed by the abbreviation in brackets. After this, only the abbreviated form should be used.

State the purpose of the article and summarize the rationale for the study or observation in Introduction. For case reports give reference of similar cases in past if available.

The Methods section should start with a statement of approval of the research by the relevant Ethics Committee wherever applicable, with appropriate details (name of the Committee, date of approval), otherwise it must be justified why such approval was not obtained. All clinical trials should be registered with one of the clinical trials registry platforms, and the registry details (registration website, registry number) should be mentioned.

Describe the selection of the observational or experimental subjects clearly in Methods section. Identify the age range, sex, and other important characteristics of the subjects. Identify the methods, research instruments (with references and basic details), apparatus (give the manufacturer’s name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to enable others to understand and replicate if needed. Give references to established methods, describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration. Reports of randomized clinical trials should be based on the CONSORT statement (http://www.consort-statement.org).

When reporting experiments on human subjects, procedures followed should be in accordance with the latest adopted version of the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki 1964, (https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/). Do not use patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, especially in illustrative material.

Present the results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations. Use standard guidelines for statistics (See the SAMPL Guidelines: http://www.equator-network.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/SAMPL-Guidelines-6-27-13.pdf).

Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them along with implications of the findings and their limitations in the Discussion section.


References should include a list of all articles, book chapters, books and various web resources at the end of the paper. Avoid using old unpublished abstracts, unpublished observations, and personal communication as references. Abstracts may be cited only if they have been published in a scientific journal (not souvenirs) in the preceding 5 years. Only those, and all those, references cited in the text should be included in the Reference Section.

Identifying references in the text of the article: References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in superscript within square brackets [ ], which must be placed immediately AFTER a punctuation mark (period, comma, semicolon, etc.) or after a particular word or author name. References cited only in tables or figure legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure.

Citing references in the Reference Section: Follow the same numerical order of referencing as identified in the text. The reference citation styles are the same as in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (the “Vancouver Style”, now formally called the “ICMJE Recommendations”). Detailed guidelines with sample references can be obtained from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html, but some common examples are mentioned below.

  1. Standard journal article: Seshadri L, George SS, Vasudevan B, Krishna S. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and human papilloma virus infection in renal transplant recipients. Indian J Cancer 2001;38:92-5.
    [In case of many authors, list the first six contributors followed by ‘et al.’]

[World Social Psychiatry should be abbreviated as “World Soc Psychiatry”]

  1. Personal author(s) for book: Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd ed. Albany (NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.
  2. Chapter in a book: Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995. pp 465-78.

Web citations: Use of various web or Internet-based resources as citation material has been increasing progressively. There are no fixed rules for citation because the exact source, format, content and other details vary from one type of source to another. At times, authors have to be innovative in their citation style. However, some basic requirements are:

Identify how you are going to refer to the particular web resource. For example, while referring to the Mental Health Advocacy Section of the World Health Organization website, one may cite this as (World Health Organization, 2012) in the text, and mention it in the Reference Section. Next, the topic of citation may be mentioned, e.g., Mental health advocacy. This must be followed by the most important part: the actual and complete web link where one can access that page or material. This should be written as: Available at http://www.who.int/mental_health/advocacy/en/ followed by date when last accessed (in brackets). Thus, this example should be referenced as:

World Health Organization (2012) Mental health advocacy. Available at http://www.who.int/mental_health/advocacy/en/ (last accessed on April 30, 2012).

Please refer to http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html for other types of references such as electronic media, newspaper items, etc.


Tables should be included at the end of the Article File (each table starting on a fresh page), numbered with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3…) and accompanied by short titles at the top. Each table must be referred to in the text in consecutive order where they are mentioned (e.g., in the Results Section). Tables should be self-explanatory and should not merely duplicate text material. Tables with more than 10 columns and 25 rows are not acceptable. Limit the number to minimum required. Data presented should, in general, not be duplicated in the text or figures. Explanatory matter should be placed in footnotes below the tabular matter and not included in the title. All non-standard abbreviations should also be explained in the footnotes. Footnotes should be indicated by *, +, §. Obtain permission for all fully borrowed, adapted, and modified tables and provide a credit line in the footnote.

c) Figures/Images

Figures should be numbered in Arabic and referred to in the text at appropriate places. Line drawings and graphs should be professionally drawn. All lettering should be done professionally and should be of adequate size to retain clarity after reduction. The figures should be of good quality (colour images are acceptable), but each image should be less than 400 kb in size. Size of the image can be reduced by decreasing the actual height and width of the images (keep up to 800 pixels or 4 inches). All image formats (jpg, tiff, gif, bmp, png, eps, etc.) are acceptable, but jpg is the preferred format. Do not zip the files. If a figure has been published, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material. A credit line should appear in the legend for figures for such figures.

g) Formatting instructions:

1. The submission should utilize a commonly used word processor such as MS Word.

2. The font should be TIMES NEW ROMAN, font size 12, color black (do not use other colors other than in exceptional circumstances).

3. The language is American (USA) English, and is to be used consistently throughout your article (other than references and direct quotations). For example please use the spellings “anemia”, “color”, “behavior”, and “organize" (all examples of American English), stick to these spellings throughout your article and do not use “anaemia”, “colour”, “behaviour” or “organise” (all U.K. English spellings).

4. Major (first-level) headings such as Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, etc. should be Bold. Second-level headings such as Sample, Statistics, and next-level headings in Introduction or Discussion etc. should be in Bold italics. Further, third-level sub-headings, if used, (Inclusion and Exclusion criteria, Specific assessment instruments, etc.) should be in plain italics (not bold) followed by a fresh paragraph.

5. Do NOT indent the beginning of a fresh paragraph (in other words, do not use the “Tab”: just leave it on the left-hand margin).

6. Leave one space in between two paragraphs and after major headings.


The journal accepts only online submission through the centralized submission system (http://www.journalonweb.com/WSP/), other than in specific exceptional circumstances approved by the editor.


Declaration of Interest

Authors should disclose at the time of submission any financial arrangements they might have with a company or any organization. It should be clearly mentioned in the first page file which should accompany manuscripts during submission. Such information will be held in confidence while the paper is under review and will not influence the editorial decision but, if the article is accepted for publication, the Editor will usually discuss with the authors the manner in which such information is to be communicated to the reader.

Copyright Transfer

The Journal requires approval of manuscript submission by all authors in addition to transfer of copyright to the World Association of Social Psychiatry so that the author(s) and the Association are protected from misuse of copyrighted material. A copyright transfer form will need to be completed, which must be signed by all the authors upon acceptance of the paper.

Accepted manuscripts will not be scheduled for publication until a completed form has been received in the editorial office. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to obtain the approval of individuals before acknowledging their assistance in the paper.


Click here to download instructions

Click here to download copyright form


These ready to use templates are made to help the contributors write as per the requirements of the Journal.

Save the templates on your computer and use them with a word processor program. 
Click open the file and save as the manuscript file.

In the program keep 'Document Map' and 'Comments' on from 'View' menu to navigate through the file. 

View | Download Template for Original Articles/ABSTRACT Reports. (.DOT file)

View | Download Template for Case Reports.  (.DOT file)

View | Download Template for Review Articles.  (.DOT file)

View | Download Template for Letter to the Editor.  (.DOT file)


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