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Instructions for authors


Associate Professor Ross G. Menzies

School of Behavioural and Community Health Sciences

Faculty of Health Sciences University of Sydney

Sydney NSW 2141, Australia


NOTE: Behaviour Change now provides the option of Open Access publication. Please see the section below for more details.


To be reviewed for possible publication in Behaviour Change all authors must follow the instructions below and submit their manuscript via the submission system at:

All articles are refereed. Papers submitted to the journal must not previously have been published nor submitted for publication to any other journal.


Papers should be submitted via e-mail in Word or RTF format. Authors who wish to submit their paper in hard copy format may do so by arrangement with the editor.


Contributions should follow the format and style described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Spelling and punctuation should conform to The Macquarie Dictionary (4th ed.). For matters of style not covered in these two publications the Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers (6th ed.) should be consulted.

Documents should be double-spaced with minimum margins of 20 mm on the left and 35 mm on the right. Uncommon abbreviations and acronyms should be explained. Do not use underlining except to indicate italics. Full stops should not be used in abbreviations or acronyms (e.g., NSW).

Use single quotation marks to introduce a word or phrase used as an ironic comment, as slang, or which has been coined. Use quotation marks the first time the word or phrase is used; do not use them again. Do not use quotation marks to introduce a technical or key term. Instead, italicise the term.

Front page: under the title of the article only the names and affiliations of the authors appear. Qualifications, present appointments, and postal and e-mail addresses should be given in a separate section on the front page labelled ‘Address for correspondence’. A word count and suggested running head of no more than 50 characters including spaces should also be provided.

Do not use any footnotes. Endnotes should be kept to a minimum and listed at the end of the text under the centred heading ‘Endnotes’. Acknowledgments should be placed at the end of the article with a separate heading.

Tables should be at the end of the manuscript, not in the main text. Their approximate positions in the text should be indicated by the words, ‘Insert Table X here’. Horizontal and vertical lines should be used sparingly.

To ensure optimum quality, please follow these guidelines when submitting artwork via e-mail or disk:

Photographs, graphs and figures should be prepared to the correct size (max. width up to 120 mm) and each one supplied as an individual file, separate to the manuscript Word file. Include placement instructions in the Word document, such as ‘Insert Figure 1 here’.

  • Figures created in Microsoft Word or Powerpoint need to be saved as PDFs.
  • Figures created in a drawing program such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Freehand, Microsoft Publisher or similar should be saved as EPS (encapsulated postscript) files.
  • Figures created in Photoshop or with other photographic software should be saved as line art (artwork that has only text and lines, no shades of grey or blocks of colour) with a minimum resolution of 600 dpi and in TIF format. Minimum resolution for scanned graphics is 300 dpi for halftone work (e.g. photographs) and 600 dpi for line art, and these should also be in TIF format.
  • If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.
  • Manuscripts that contain equations created with LaTeX or similar specialist software need to be supplied as a PDF file as well as a Microsoft Word document.
  • Prior to sending artwork, the separate files of figures, graphs, illustrations, etc. should be printed by the author to test that the fonts have been embedded correctly and there is no distortion in the artwork (e.g., lines and fonts reproduce cleanly with no jagged lines or fuzzy edges), as any such faults cannot be corrected by the publisher.
  • Preferred media for delivery: e-mail as attachments, Macintosh or PC floppy disk, Macintosh or PC Zip disk, CD-ROM. If your artwork does not meet these guidelines, it may be returned to you.

References and citations should follow the format and style described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).

Examples of citations are:

The theory was first propounded in 1970 (Larsen, 1971). Larsen (1971) was the first to propound the theory.

Examples of references are:

Fisse, B. (1989). The proceeds of crime act: The rise of money laundering, offences and the fall of principle. Criminal Law Journal, 13, 5–23.

Zelinski, E.M., & Gilewski, M.J. (1988). Memory for prose and aging: A meta- analysis. In M.L. Howe & C.J. Brainerd (Eds.), Cognitive development in adulthood (pp. 133–158). New York: Springer- Verlag.

Authors are expected to check the accuracy of all references and citations in the manuscript before submission.

Funding Statement 

Authors must include a Funding Statement in their title page. Within this statement please provide details of the sources of financial support for all authors, including grant numbers, for example: “Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Medical Research Council (grant number XXXXXXX)”.Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma and a space. Where research was funded by more than one agency, the different agencies should be separated by a semi-colon, with ‘and’ before the final funder. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors’ initials. 

For example, ‘This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (A.B., grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (C.D., grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (E.F., grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (A.B., grant number GGGG), (E.F., grant number HHHH).’ Where no specific funding has been provided for research, please provide the following statement ‘This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.’

Conflicts of Interest

Authors should include a Conflicts of Interest declaration in their title page. Conflicts of Interest are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on an author’s presentation of their work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. Conflicts of Interest do not necessarily mean that an author’s work has been compromised. Authors should declare any real or perceived Conflicts of Interest in order to be transparent about the context of their work. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting the title page must include Conflicts of Interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors.

Example wording for your Conflicts of Interest declaration is as follows: “Conflicts of Interest: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no Conflicts of Interest exist, your declaration should state “Conflicts of Interest: None”.

Ethical Standards

Where research involves human and/or animal experimentation, the following statements should be included (as applicable): “The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional committees on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008.” and/or “The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional guides on the care and use of laboratory animals.”

Copyright and Open Access

The policy of Behaviour Change is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant AACBT a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here.

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.

More information about Open Access in Behaviour Change, including the current Article Processing Charge, can be found on the Cambridge Core website here.

Cambridge Language Editing Service

We suggest that authors whose first language is not English have their manuscripts checked by a native English speaker before submission. This is optional, but will help to ensure that any submissions that reach peer review can be judged exclusively on academic merit. We offer a Cambridge service which you can find out more about here. Please note that use of language editing services is voluntary, and at the author’s own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge-published journal.

Last updated: 21/01/2020