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Instructions for authors
Editorial Aims and Scope

Palliative & Supportive Care publishes papers on the psychiatric, psychosocial, spiritual, existential, ethical, philosophical, and humanities aspects of palliative and supportive care. Papers on psychiatric disorders and their management in the palliative care setting, including but not limited to depression, delirium, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder and bereavement are invited. Evolving constructs of particular relevance to the interface of psychiatry/psychology and palliative medicine, such as demoralization, meaning, dignity, hopelessness, will to live, suffering, and developmental growth at the end of life are also a major focus of this journal. Research focusing on these issues, including epidemiology, diagnostic screening, assessment, management, and intervention drug and psychotherapy trials, are also addressed. In addition, the journal provides a forum for the study of psychosocial and sociocultural matters such as caregiver burden, health care provider burnout, counseling interventions, the impact of psychosocial factors related to pain and physical symptom control, and communication issues.


These articles represent well designed quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods research studies that present new information that makes a substantial contribution to the body of knowledge on the subject. Original research manuscript must contain a Title page, an Abstract (with the headings: Objectives, Methods, Results, Significance of Results – 500 word limit) and be organized into the following major sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Disclosures and Acknowledgments, and References (word limit 4,000 words not including references, Tables and Figures)


Review articles describe and evaluate previously published material in order to synthesize or describe the state of the science or suggest new approaches or ideas relevant to important topics in psychosocial palliative care. The Journal accepts both systematic and narrative reviews of high quality. Word limit: 5000 words, not including references, tables or figures. An abstract of the same format as an Original Article is required (500 word limit).


Case reports describing a singe case or case series which describes a novel, relevant or unusual presentation of a clinical problem that is important to make the field aware of are accepted for publication. An abstract with the journal standard headings is suggested ( 500 word limit) case Reports have a 1500 word limit excluding references, tables and figures.


Personal essays are creative original essays by clinicians , researchers, patients or relatives that are compelling personal experiences or insights into clinical practice or the experience of caring for patients in the supportive and palliative care setting (1500 word limit excluding references)


Scholarly opinions on scientific, clinical or policy aspects of palliative and supportive care . They can be related to papers which have appeared or currently appear in an issue of Palliative and Supportive Care.No Abstract.(1500 word limit excluding references)


Letters to the editor are academically oriented letters commenting on papers appearing in Palliative and Supportive Care 500 word limit, excluding tables or figures.


Poems related to the themes of psychosocial existential and spiritual aspects of palliative care. (750 word limit, exceptions made)

Manuscript Submission and Review

All manuscripts must be submitted through the Journal's online submission platform, ScholarOne Manuscripts. When submitting articles online, authors are required to submit a separate abstract (utilizing specific abstract headings), the full manuscript (including the elements and order described in Instructions for Authors, e.g., title page, abstract, etc.), as well as an optional cover letter. Each manuscript will normally be reviewed by at least two referees with relevant scientific experience. Authors may suggest appropriate reviewers, but final selection of referees will be made by the Editor. Reviewers are asked to evaluate manuscripts for their scientific merit and clarity of presentation.

Manuscript Preparation and Style

Manuscripts must be in English and double-spaced. Numbers should be spelled out when they occur at the beginning of a sentence; use Arabic numerals elsewhere. Abbreviations should be used sparingly and nonstandard abbreviations should be defined at their first occurrence. Metric system (SI) units should be used. Manuscripts that do not conform to the style of Palliative & Supportive Care will be returned without review.


Unless there are obvious and compelling reasons for variation (e.g. review articles, short communications), manuscripts should be organized as follows:

Title page. This is page 1. The title should be concise, informative, and free of abbreviations, chemical formulae, technical jargon, and esoteric terms. This page should include (a) the article's full title, (b) names and affiliations of all authors, (c) the name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number of the corresponding author, (d) the address for reprint requests if different from that of the corresponding author, (e) a short title of 50 characters or less, and (f) a list of the number of manuscript pages, number of tables, and number of figures.

Abstract and keywords page. This is page 2 and should include (a) the article's full title, (b) an abstract of no more than 300 words, and (c) up to 5 keywords or phrases that reflect the content and major thrust of the article. The abstract should give a succinct account of the article contents utilizing these specific abstract headings: Objectives; Methods; Results; Significance of Results.

Introduction. This section begins on page 3 and should clearly state the objective of the research in the context of previous work bearing directly on the subject. An extensive review of the literature is not usually appropriate.

Methods. This section should be brief but provide sufficient information to permit others to replicate the study. Pertinent details of species, apparatus and equipment, procedures and experimental design should be described.

All experiments involving human subjects must be conducted in accordance with principles embodied in the Declaration of Helsinki (Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association). Experiments involving animal subjects must conform to the principles regarding the care and use of animals adopted by the American Physiological Society and the Society for Neuroscience. The editor may refuse papers that provide insufficient evidence of adherence to these principles.

Results. The results should be presented clearly and concisely, using figures and tables to summarize or illustrate the important findings. Quantitative observations are often more effectively displayed in graphs than in tables.

Discussion. The discussion should summarize the major findings and explain their significance in terms of the study's objectives and relationship to previous, relevant work. This section should present compact, clearly developed arguments rather than wide-ranging speculation or uncritical collation of earlier reports.

Acknowledgments. Use a separate page to recognize the contributions of individuals and supporting institutions.

References. In the text, references should be cited as follows:

as shown by Cella and Tusky (1990)
(Bloom et al., 2000)
(Cella & Tusky, 1990; Bloom et al., 2000)

The alphabetical list of references begins a new page, and must be typed double-spaced. Each in-text citation must have a corresponding reference and vice versa. List works by different authors who are cited within the same parentheses in chronological order, beginning with the earlier work. Journal titles should not be abbreviated. Only published articles and articles in press should appear in this list. Responsibility for the accuracy of references cited lies with the authors. Brief examples:

Journal article
Cella, D.F. & Tusky, D.S. (1990). Measuring quality of life today: Methodological aspects. Oncology, 4 , 29–38.

Tompar-Tiu, A. & Sustento-Seneriches, J. (1995). Depression and Other Mental Health Issues: The Filipino American Experience. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Chapter in an edited book
Karnofsky, D.A. & Burchenal, J.H. (1949). The clinical evaluation of chemotherapeutic agents in cancer. InEvaluation of Chemotherapeutic Agents in Cancer, Macleod, C.M. (ed.), pp. 191 –205. New York: Columbia University Press.

For more than one work by the same author(s) published in the same year, use (Jones, 1986 a , 1986 b ) in text and likewise in the reference section.


Tables may be submitted as Word or Excel files. Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. A short explanatory title and column headings should make the table intelligible without reference to the text.

Figures and Legends

Figures may be submitted as TIFF or EPS files at 300pi or higher. The number of figures should be the minimum necessary to make the essential points of the paper. Diagrams and illustrations must have a professional appearance.

Copyediting and Page Proofs

The publisher reserves the right to copyedit manuscripts to conform to the style of Palliative & Supportive Care. The corresponding author will receive page proofs for final proofreading. No rewriting of the final accepted manuscript is permitted at the proof stage, and substantial changes may be charged to the authors.

Author Language Services

Cambridge University Press recommends that authors have their manuscripts checked by a native English-language speaker before submission; this will ensure that submissions are judged during peer review exclusively on academic merit. We list a number of third-party services specializing in language editing and/or translation, and suggest that authors contact as appropriate. Use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense.

Originality and Copyright

To be considered for publication in Palliative & Supportive Care a manuscript cannot have been published previously, nor can it be under review for publication elsewhere. Papers with multiple authors are reviewed with the assumption that all authors have approved the submitted manuscript and concur in its submission to Palliative & Supportive Care. An Author Publishing Agreement must be executed before an article can be published. Government authors whose articles were created in the course of their employment must so certify by using the Government Employer License to Publish. Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from the copyright owners to reprint any previously published material included in their article.

Conflicts of Interest 

Authors should include a Conflicts of Interest declaration in their manuscript. 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 manuscript 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”.

Funding Statement 

Authors must include a Funding Statement in their manuscript. 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)”. Grants held by different authors should be identified as belonging to individual authors by the authors’ initials, for example: “Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (AB, grant numbers XXXX, YYYY), (CD, grant number ZZZZ); the Natural Environment Research Council (EF, grant number FFFF); and the National Institutes of Health (AB, grant number GGGG), (EF, grant number HHHH).”

Where no specific funding has been provided for research, you should include the following statement:

“Funding Statement: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.”


Palliative & Supportive Care now requires that all corresponding authors identify themselves using their ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

  • Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.
  • Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.
  • Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

If you don’t already have an iD, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to Palliative & Supportive Care. You can register for one directly from your user account on Scholar One or via If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting, either by linking it to your Scholar One account or supplying it during submission by using the “Associate your existing ORCID ID” button.

Publishing your article as Gold Open Access

You will have the option to publish your article as Gold Open Access, enabling the final published version to be made freely available under a Creative Commons license. You might be required to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) for Gold Open Access. You may be eligible for a waiver or discount, for example if your institution is part of a Read and Publish sales agreement with Cambridge University Press. For more information about your Open Access options, please see here. For more information about the benefits of choosing to publish Open Access, see here.

Last updated 22 January 2020