Guideline for Review Article

Updated on 1 January 2022

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, but should not be less than 5000 words of the main text of the manuscript.

'Narrative review" or 'general review' is no longer accepted as a 'review article' in this journal. Please check a 'Perspective' article instead.

This journal only accepts a review of a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and reproducible methods to identify, select and critically appraise all relevant research, and to collect and analyse data from the studies that are included in the review.

Since June 2022, authors with all types of systematic review articles need to provide an appendix or a supplementary file on each step of searching strategy in each database, quality appraisal, and data extraction to enable a study replication. 

Literature reviews requirement:


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


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

Or, classic subheadings can be used: Background, Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusion.

Abstract is not more than 350 words and should not contain abbreviations, with maximum 10 keywords (minimum 3 keywords).

Main test

This is main text 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.

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…’.


  • 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. systematic review, integrative review, scoping review, meta analysis)
  • Search methods. Include: databases searched, keywords, search methods (range of years). Use table if necessary to show readers the number of articles you search from each database.
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria. Including criteria for language, full text, topic, definition, etc.
  • Including the reviewers who did the first screening for selection, and screening for content analysis.
  • Data extraction. Using table which contains authors names, year, country name, objective, conceptual framework, sample, design, instrument, results, conclusion, and gap. 
  • Quality appraisal. 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 analysis. Explain how you analyze the contents.


  • Search outcome. Describe the outcome of your search. Using flow diagram or using e.g. PRISMA for systematic review).
  • Quality assessment results. Describe the results of your assessment.
  • Analytical findings. Describe the results of your findings, usually using themes, categories, patterns, etc.


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


  • This should not be a summary/repetition of the findings. 


Use APA (American Psychological Association) 6th or 7th Edition with DOI number assigned format for citation and references.