Pre-submission: helping readers find your article
Before you submit your manuscript, go back and review your title, keywords and abstract. These elements are key to ensuring that readers will be able to find your article online through online search engines such as Google. More information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords can be found here: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
One simple thing you can do to improve your article’s visibility and ensure proper indexing and cross-linking is to provide full names for all authors. Please refer to our guidelines for author names, prepared in consultation with Google Scholar, for more information.
Submitting your article
Each SAGE journal has its own editorial office and its own instructions for authors. To submit your article, visit your chosen journal’s homepage and click on the manuscript submission guidelines link. View the list of all our journals here.
Our general guidance for authors can be found below. Please be sure to read your chosen journal’s guidelines as each journal will have its own specific requirements. Please direct queries on the submission process to the journal’s editorial office; details can be found within each journal’s submission guidelines. Other queries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
SAGE is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and follows their best practice guidelines.
For authors submitting to medical journals, SAGE recommends that authors follow the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals formulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
Are you choosing the right journal for your research? With so many journals to choose from you may need a little guidance…
Think, check, submit is a trusted online service with a useful checklist that will help you determine whether you are submitting to the right journal. If you can answer ‘yes’ to most of their questions then you can be confident that your chosen journal is easily discoverable with a suitable reputation.
Peer review policy
Please see the submission guidelines of the journal you wish to submit to. View the complete list of SAGE Journals.
Please note that as part of the submission process you may be asked to provide the names of a number of peers who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below:
Please note that the journal’s editors are not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.
For authors submitting to technical or medical journals, papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.
The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:
Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.
For authors submitting to social science or humanities journals, all parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.
The one individual who takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and publication process, and typically ensures that all the journal’s administrative requirements, such as providing details of authorship, ethics committee approval, clinical trial registration documentation, and gathering conflict of interest forms and statements, are properly completed, although these duties may be delegated to one or more co-authors.
The corresponding author is the person who signs the publishing agreement on behalf of all of the authors and whose contact details are included on the article. They should be available after publication to respond to critiques of the work and cooperate with any requests from the journal for data or additional information should questions about the paper arise after publication.
General guidance for authors submitting to medical journals (please view the relevant journal’s submission guidelines for specific requirements)
Research ethics and patient consent
Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki
Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.
For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.
Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative.
Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants
All research involving animals submitted for publication must be approved by an ethics committee with oversight of the facility in which the studies were conducted.
Many SAGE journals conform to the ICMJE requirement that clinical trials are registered in a WHO-approved public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.
Further to the above, other SAGE journals may consider retrospectively registered trials if the justification for late registration is acceptable, consistent with the AllTrials campaign. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.
The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, all randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) flow chart as a cited figure, and a completed CONSORT checklist as a supplementary file.
Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives
SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway
SAGE takes issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
Previous distribution and/or publication
The author should disclose any prior distribution and/or publication of any portion of the material to the Editor for the Editor’s consideration and ensure that appropriate attribution to the prior distribution and/or publication of the material is included. For more information, visit our Prior Publication page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.
Contributor’s publishing agreement
Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement for traditional subscription journals is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. This licence enables authors to make articles open access by archiving their article at no charge via the green open access archiving route. Authors who have published in a subscription journal can do this by depositing the version of the article accepted for publication (version 2) in their own institution's repository.
For more information please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.
SAGE Choice - publishing open access in a subscription journal
The SAGE Choice program offers authors the option to make their articles freely available upon publication in most subscription-based SAGE journals. It also enables authors to comply with funding body requirements, where publishing research papers open access is a stipulation of funding, while still publishing their article in the subscription journal of their choice. The licence used is the same open access contributor's publishing agreement.
Open Access contributor's publishing agreement
SAGE open access journals all publish articles under Creative Commons licences. The standard licence is Creative Commons by Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC), which allows others to re-use the work without permission as long as the work is properly referenced and the use is non-commercial. Alternative licence arrangements are available, for example, to meet particular funder mandates, made at the author's request. For more information, you are advised to visit SAGE's open access licences page.
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway
Formatting your article
When formatting your references, please ensure you check the reference style followed by your chosen journal. Here are quick links to the SAGE Harvard reference style, the SAGE Vancouver reference style and the APA reference style.
Please refer to your journal's manuscript submission guidelines to confirm which reference style it conforms to and for other specific requirements.
Equations should to be submitted using Office Math ML and Math type.
Microsoft Word guidelines
There is no need to follow a specific template when submitting your manuscript in Word. However, please ensure your heading levels are clear, and the sections clearly defined.
We welcome submissions of LaTeX files. Please download the SAGE LaTex Template, which contains comprehensive guidelines.The SAGE LaTex template files are also available in Overleaf, should you wish to write in an online environment.
If you have used any .bib or .bst files when creating your article, please include these with your submission so that we can generate the reference list and citations in the journal-specific style. If you have any queries, please consult our LaTex Frequently Asked Questions.
Illustrations, pictures and graphs, should be supplied in the highest quality and in an electronic format that helps us to publish your article in the best way possible. Please follow the guidelines below to enable us to prepare your artwork for the printed issue as well as the online version.
Figures should be minimally processed and should reflect the integrity of the original data in the image. Adjustments to images in brightness, contrast, or color balance should be applied equally to the entire image, provided they do not distort any data in the figure, including the background. Selective adjustments and touch-up tools used on portions of a figure are not appropriate. Images should not be layered or combined into a single image unless it is stated that the figure is a product of time-averaged data. All adjustments to image date should be clearly disclosed in the figure legend. Images may be additionally screened to confirm faithfulness to the original data. Authors should be able to supply raw image data upon request. Authors should also list tools and software used to collect image data and should document settings and manipulations in the Methods section.
English language editing services
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
Many SAGE journals are hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Please see the submission guidelines of the journal you wish to submit to find out its preferred submission method.
IMPORTANT: If submitting through SAGE Track, please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
Title, keywords and abstracts
You will be asked to supply a title, short title, an abstract and keywords to accompany your article. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting the SAGE Journal Author Gateway for guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online
Some journals accept video abstracts (please check the submission guidelines of your chosen journal). Read our guidelines on how to produce a video abstract
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID
ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.
We encourage all authors and co-authors to link their ORCIDs to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. We collect ORCID iDs during the manuscript submission process and your ORCID iD then becomes part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.
Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.
Online First publication
Many SAGE journals offer Online First. Online First allows final revision articles (completed articles in queue for assignment to an upcoming issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a final journal issue which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. For more information please visit our Online First Fact Sheet