Guideline for Review Article

Manuscripts should not exceed 7000 words for the main text, including the abstract, tables and references. However, at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief, a more flexible approach to the word limit may be approved for reviews of exceptional quality and importance.


Literature reviews requirement:


The title should contain a descriptor that best describes the type of review, such as: ‘Systematic review’, ‘Narrative review’, ‘Meta-analysis’, 'Integrative review', ‘Scoping review’



An unstructured abstract is for narrative review. But for systematic review, meta-analysis, integrative review, scoping review, the structured abstract should include the following headings:

  • Background
  • Objective
  • Design
  • Data Sources (include search dates)
  • Review Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusion

The abstract is not more than 300 words and should not contain abbreviations or detailed statistics, with maximum 5 keywords.


Main content

This is main content with no authors' detail. All illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end of the manuscript.


Narrative review

  • Narrative review articles describe and discuss the state of the science of a specific topic or theme from a theoretical and contextual point of view.
  • Do not list the types of databases and methodological approaches used to conduct the review nor the evaluation criteria for inclusion of retrieved articles during databases search
  • Use the following headings:
    • DEVELOPMENT (using necessary sub-headings to divide and discuss appropriately the topic)


Systematic review, meta-analysis, integrative review, and scoping review

The main text of your paper should include the following headings and sub-headings.


Include background and rationale, conceptual or theoretical context, international relevance of topic, and aim(s). Include research topic/objectives/questions: for example, ‘The aim of the (type) review was to…’.



  • Design. The review design should be the most appropriate for the review question. Identify the type of review and describe its design and the methods used in detail (e.g. meta-ethnography, Cochrane review, realist synthesis etc). Report the original methodological reference(s) for the review design and methods. Report the processes and steps used and any methodological adaptations/modifications (if any) with supporting rationale.
  • Search methods. Include: Development, testing and choice of search strategies (consider using a supplemental information file to report searches); inclusion/exclusion criteria, including languages and inclusive dates and databases searched.
  • Search outcome. Search outcome and audit trail - application of inclusion/exclusion criteria, retrieval and selection of references and handling. Summarise included studies (and, if appropriate, excluded studies) in separate tables.
    Include a flow diagram illustrating the flow of literature through the review.
  • Quality appraisal. For most systematic review approaches quality appraisal is an essential component. Include a description of approaches used, outcome of appraisal process and audit of discarded studies. Make clear the criteria that were used for discarding studies. If quality appraisal was not undertaken provide a convincing and robust explanation, and in the limitations section outline the potential impact on the credibility of the review findings. The quality appraisal is optional for scoping review and integrative review.
  • Data abstraction. Describe the methods and process(es) used.
  • Data analysis / Synthesis. Include clear description of process(es) used.



  • Present the results of your review using appropriate subheadings outlined here and adhere to relevant standard(s) of reporting (e.g. PRISMA for systematic review of RCTs). Include a flow diagram.
  • Review methods that involve multiple methodological stages/processes should report the outcome of each stage/process. If appropriate, identify the conceptual or theoretical context of each definition or discussion of the concept found in the literature.



  • Draw out the applicability, theoretical and practical implications of the review findings.
  • End with limitations and strength and generalisability/ transferability of the evidence.



  • This should not be a summary/repetition of the findings. Clarify the contribution of the review to existing knowledge, highlight gaps in knowledge and understanding, outline future research, report implications/ recommendations for policy/ practice/ research/ education/ management as appropriate, consistent with the limitations.
  • If appropriate, consider whether one or more theoretical frameworks could guide future research about the topic of the review.



Use APA (American Psychological Association) 6th Edition format for citation and references.