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Value in Health Guide for Authors


Increasingly, health care decision makers and policy makers are seeking outcomes research information (comparative treatment effectiveness, economic costs and benefits, and patient-reported outcomes) that can guide them in health care resource allocation, and in evaluating alternative treatments and health services interventions.  Value in Health contains original research articles in the areas of economic evaluation (including drugs and other medical technologies), outcomes research (“real world” treatment effectiveness, and patient-reported outcomes research), and conceptual, methodological, and health policy articles.  All published articles must be conducted in a rigorous manner and must reflect valid and reliable theory and methods. Empirical analyses and conceptual models must reflect ethical research practices and provide valuable information for health care decision making as well as the research community.  As the official journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research  (ISPOR), Value in Health provides a forum for researchers, health care decision-makers, and policy makers to translate pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research into health care decisions.

Given that the ultimate purpose of health care is to increase the overall health-related well being of individuals and society as a whole in an efficient manner, the content of Value in Health focuses on health care value.

Value in Health welcomes papers that make substantial contributions by providing new evidence or ideas that extend the current knowledge base. As such, manuscripts should describe the unique contribution of the article and place the current paper in context with prior publications. Value in Health does not consider papers reporting data series or data sets that do not include appropriate statistical analyses.  The journal uses the peer review process to assure rigorous and transparent use of statistical methods. Value in Health also requires that papers reporting modeling results include sensitivity analysis of key and influential model parameters.

Value in Health publishes all papers in English and authors are responsible for assuring that the paper reflects good grammar prior to submission. Authors for whom English is a second language may choose to have their manuscript professionally edited before submission. Authors wishing to pursue a professional English-language editing service should make contact and arrange payment with the editing service of their choice. For more details regarding recommended services, please refer to


The mission of Value in Health is to set a high scientific standard using editorial review and peer review, not just to screen articles, but also to foster communication within the research community and between the outcomes research community and health care decision-makers. Using this underlying premise and with attention to detail, the editors of Value in Health hope to enhance the validity, reliability and transparency of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research and its real world applicability.

The Journal aims to provide a forum for the advancement and dissemination of knowledge and research in pharmacoeconomics and the health-related outcomes of interventions used to treat disease. The journal, therefore, solicits original contributions in applied and theoretical pharmacoeconomics, and in the theory, measurement, analysis, and translation of health-related outcomes research.  The goal of Value in Health is to advance scholarly and public dialogue about the assessment of value in health and health care. In keeping with its broad mission, Value in Health also will accept methodology papers and systematic reviews of empirical and theoretical literature in pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research.


Authors are invited to submit research articles that are based on coherent models, empirical studies, and theoretical work having pragmatic or policy-relevant implications.    Appropriate valuation of health care interventions requires multidisciplinary perspectives and assessment of economic and outcomes data. Therefore, theoretical and empirical articles about health effects and health costs that further the foundations of this field and improve the quality and reliability of outcome evaluations of health care interventions, not only from economists, but also from behavioral psychologists, sociologists, clinicians, ethicists, and others are welcomed.

We particularly welcome articles in the following topic areas:

Economic Evaluations

Economic evaluations are studies that assess the costs and consequences of alternative health care interventions. All healthcare interventions are of interest, including those involving drugs, devices, procedures and systems of organization of health care. Studies that only consider costs, or the economic burden of disease, are also admissible, but are unlikely to be accepted unless they address important methodological or policy issues. (See also ‘Country Adaptations’ below.)

Patient Reported Outcomes

There remain many challenging empirical and theoretical problems in the concept and measurement of patient reported outcomes (PRO) including health-related quality of life (QoL). Articles presenting research on the development of measures for PRO/QoL instruments, especially innovative ways of assessing content or construct validity are invited. (See also ‘Country Adaptations’ below.)

Preference-based Assessments

Articles are welcomed on the development and use of various types of instruments to express the value of health care, including health ‘utility’ assessments, discrete choice experiments/conjoint analyses and assessments of individuals’ willingness-to- pay. (See also ‘Country Adaptations’ below.)

Comparative Effectiveness Research/Health Technology Assessment

Although it is difficult to be precise about the nature of the articles in this category  (see Luce et al The Milbank Quarterly 2010;88: 256-276 for one taxonomy), Value in Health welcomes articles presenting  information that can assist those deciding on  the efficient and equitable allocation of health care resources by examining the relative value of interventions. In some cases relative value may be addressed by considering only clinical outcomes, although normally it will involve considering, in addition, patient reported outcomes/quality of life measures and impacts on resource utilization. Articles in this category can report the results of primary research, or systematic reviews of the existing literature.

Health Policy Analyses

The journal invites articles that discuss various aspects of health policy, in particular those concerned with pricing and reimbursement issues, the adoption of new health technologies, or policies to encourage ‘value-based’ decision-making. However, the journal’s scope does not include papers dealing with more general issues of health care financing, health insurance and cost-containment measures.


Value in Health recognizes that it is sometimes instructive to publish the results of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research studies relating to more than one country. In the case of economic evaluations, this might involve using a model that was previously developed for an evaluation of a given intervention in another country. In the case of outcomes research, this might involve the validation of a quality of life instrument in another language or different jurisdiction. The Journal is willing to consider such papers for publication, but only if they make a substantial independent contribution to the literature.  Those submitting country adaptations should indicate, in the paper and their covering letter, what they consider the substantial independent contribution to be. It will not be sufficient to state that ‘results for intervention X have not previously been reported for country Y’.

If you need to know more about ‘Country Adaptations’, click here.


Value in Health publishes the reports on “Good Practices for Outcomes Research” developed by Task Forces appointed by the ISPOR Board of Directors. There are now more than 40 Task Force Reports, which can be accessed via the following link ( They provide guidance for best practices across a variety of research areas, including methods related to articles relevant to the scope of Value in Health. These include comparative effectiveness research, economic evaluation, observational studies, patient-reported outcomes, modelling, preference-based methods and the use of outcomes research in decision-making.

 Although Value in Health does not prescribe any particular research methods, we strongly encourage authors to review the ISPOR Good Practices for Outcomes Research reports relating to the methods or topics covered by their paper. The reports are written by thought leaders in the various fields of research and are extensively peer-reviewed by members of the Society.

Some of the Task Force reports concern the reporting of research studies, irrespective of the methods used in a particular study, Value in Health feels that adherence to accepted standards of reporting is important. Therefore, if your paper reports an economic evaluation, we recommend that you follow the CHEERS guidelines. If your analysis is based on a model, we recommend that you follow the guidance in the ISPOR-SMDM Task Force report on model transparency and validation. Other reporting standards of particular relevance of authors of papers in Value in Health are the PRISMA guidelines for the reporting of systematic reviews and the CONSORT guidelines for reporting the results of studies assessing health-related quality of life/patient reported outcomes.


Value in Health considers articles in the following categories.  (These categories make up the sections of the journal.)  In making a submission, authors should indicate the category under which they wish their paper to be considered. All submissions will be considered for peer-review prior to publication, with the exception of ‘Editorials’ and ‘Letters to the Editor’, which will be reviewed by the Editors-in-Chief only.


These papers report the findings of original research may contain the results of empirical analysis, instrument development or policy analysis.  Original Research papers can be up to 4000 words long, excluding references, and may have up to 6 figures or tables.

Methodological Articles

As the name implies, these papers deal with methodological issues in any of the topic areas within the scope of the journal.  They can include data if these are required to illustrate the importance of particular methodological points.  Methodological articles can be up to 3500 words, excluding references, and may have up to 6 figures or tables. 

Opinions (formerly Policy Perspectives)

These papers discuss important health policy topics within the scope of the journal. They may reflect conceptual pieces or reviews of the literature. Opinion papers can be up to 3000 words long, excluding references, and may have up to 4 figures or tables.

Review Articles (formerly Systematic Reviews)

These are papers containing reviews of empirical studies consistent with the methods of systematic review proposed by the Cochrane Collaboration. However, they need not be confined to reviews of randomised controlled trials and can include reviews of observational studies, economic evaluations, outcomes research studies and preference-based assessments. Review articles can be up to 4000 words long, excluding references, and may have up to 6 figures or tables.

Short Communications (formerly Brief Reports)

These are empirical analyses with a more narrow focus than original research articles and generally a single aim. Short Communications can be up to 2,500 words, excluding references, and may have up to 2 figures or tables.


These are shorter papers containing commentaries on any topic area within the scope of the journal. They do not necessarily need to be based on original research or reviews of the literature and can be based on opinion, providing the points made are transparent and well-argued. Commentaries can be up to 2000 words, excluding references, and may have up to one table or figure.

Personal Reports (formerly Good Practices for Outcomes Research Task Force Reports)

Critics point out that pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research lack consensus regarding methodological approaches, underlying theoretical paradigms and presentation of results. Value in Health serves as a forum for dissemination of the ISPOR Good Practices for Outcomes Research Reports developed by key thought leaders in their respective fields through a consensus development process as well as articles on the philosophical foundations of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research. Task Force Reports are commissioned by the ISPOR Board of Directors and are peer-reviewed by ISPOR members through the Society's website, prior to submission to Value in Health. Task Force reports often contain substantial reviews of the literature and can be up to 5000 words long, or published in more than one part.


Editorials are commissioned by the editorial team and deal with issues of current interest in the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research. Individuals can suggest topics for editorials to the Editors-in-Chief. Editorials are sometimes commissioned for papers published in the Journal, especially Good Practices for Outcomes Research Task Force Reports. They are normally around 1000 words long, but may be longer, with agreement from the editors.

Correspondence (Letters to the Editor)

Individuals can write to the editors about any of the content published in the Journal. In instances where the letter contains a critique of a published paper, the authors will be given the right to reply. Normally the letter and reply will be published in the same issue of the Journal.



For information on Ethics in Publishing and Ethical guidelines for journal publication see External link and


All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding.

See also


Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere including electronically in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright-holder.


As an author you (or your employer or institution) retain certain rights; for details you are referred to: External link


Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors whose articles appear in journals published by Elsevier, to comply with potential manuscript archiving requirements as specified as conditions of their grant awards. To learn more about existing agreements and policies please visit External link

VI. Manuscript Submission and Specifications

To submit a manuscript to Value in Health, please go to:

For assistance, authors may contact the Value in Health editorial office at:

If submissions are larger than 500 KB, they should be compressed using PKZIP or WINZIP.

Authors will be required to assign copyright of their papers. Copyright assignment is a condition of publication and papers will not be passed to the publisher for production unless copyright has been assigned. An appropriate copyright assignment form can be found at the following address: Value in Health Copyright Assignment Form.  A faxed copy of this completed and signed form is acceptable; fax to (609) 586–4982 or email to:

If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright owners and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: please consult External link

Each Submission should contain separate documents as follows:

  1. Cover Letter

    The cover letter should include: 1) title of the manuscript; 2) name of the document file(s) containing the manuscript and the software (and version) used; 3) name and   all contact information for the corresponding author and a statement as to whether the data, models, or methodology used in the research are proprietary; 4) names of all sponsors of the research and a statement of all direct or indirect financial relationships the authors have with the sponsors; and 5) if applicable, a statement that the publication of study results was not contingent on the sponsor's approval or censorship of the manuscript.
  1. Title Page

    The title page should contain the following: 1) title; 2) full names (first and surname) of all authors including academic degrees and affiliation(s); 3) name, mailing and   email addresses, telephone and fax numbers of corresponding author (with whom all correspondence will take place unless other arrangements are made); 4) all sources of financial or other support for the manuscript (if no funding was received, this should be noted on the title page); 5) at least four key words for indexing purposes; 6) a running title of not more than 45 characters including spaces; and 7) Acknowledgements (if any).
  1. Manuscripts

    Manuscripts must be written in English, typed in Microsoft Word (2003 or later; .doc or .docx file formats). Manuscripts should be in 8.5x11-inch page format, double-spaced with 1-inch margins on all sides and size 10 font (Arial or Times New Roman fonts are preferred). Minimal formatting should be used, i.e., no justification, italics, bold, indenting, etc. There should be no hard returns at the end of lines. Double-spacing after each element is requested (e.g., headings, titles, paragraphs, legends). The 'Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals' should be consulted for specific style issues not addressed here (, Ann Intern Med 1997;126:36-47).
    1. Highlights (formerly Key Points)
      Value in Health is keen to publish papers that add to the literature in a substantive way to inform healthcare-related decision making. Therefore, during the submission process, authors are asked to identify several 'Highlights'. Highlights should not summarize the article, but rather should highlight the novel insights related to value in health care delivery that the paper provides.
      1. What is already known about the topic?
      2. What does the paper add to existing knowledge?
      3. (optional) What insights does the paper provide for informing health care-related decision making?

    2. Abstract
      An abstract of 250 words or less is required, summarizing the work reported in the manuscript. Original research manuscripts should use a structured format for the abstract, i.e., Objectives, Methods, Results, Conclusions.

    3. Text
      The body of the manuscript should be divided into sections that facilitate reading and comprehension of the material. This should normally include sections with the major headings: Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusions, and References. Acknowledgments (if needed) should be included in the title page and not the manuscript. There should be no footnotes. Figures (inclusive of figure legends) and Tables must be submitted as separate files, independent of the main manuscript file. Section headers (first, second, third, etc.) should also be included.

    4. References
      References should be listed in a separate section and numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals in the order in which they are cited in the text. Referencing software, superscripts, or any other electronic format should not be used when referencing, neither in the text nor the reference list. Citing unpublished or non-peer-reviewed work such as abstracts and presented papers is discouraged. Personal communications may be indicated in the text as long as written acknowledgment from the authors of the communications accompanies the manuscript. Reference style should follow that of Index Medicus. Spell out single-word journals and abbreviate all others according to the style of Index Medicus. If there are more than four authors, use only the names of the first three, followed by et al.

The four most common types of references are illustrated below for example.

Journal article: Surname and initials of author(s), title of article, name of journal, year, volume number, first and last page.

Arocho R, McMillan CA. Discriminant and criterion evaluation of the U.S.-Spanish version of the SF-36 Health Survey in a Cuban-American population with benign hyperplasia. Med Care 1998;36:766-72.

Book: Surname and initials of author(s)/editor(s), title and subtitle, volume, edition (other than first), city, publisher, year.

Johnston J. Econometric Methods (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, 1984.

Chapter in Book: Surname and initials of author(s), title of chapter, author(s)/editor(s) of book, title of book, volume, edition (other than first), city, publisher, year.

Luce BR, Manning WG, Siegel JE, et al. Estimating costs in cost-effectiveness analysis. In: Gold MR, Siegel JE, Russell LB, et al., eds., Cost-effectiveness in Health and Medicine. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Website: WWW Document. Available from: http://www . . . [Accessed Month Day, year].

International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). ISPOR Good Practices for Outcomes Research Index. Available from: [Accessed January 1, 2011].

  1. Tables

    Tables should be clearly labeled, neatly typed, and easy to understand without reference to the text.  Each should be double-spaced and presented on a separate page. Statistical estimates should indicate parameter estimates and, as appropriate, t ratios or standard error, statistical significance, sample size, and other relevant information. All abbreviations must be explained below each table. Each table should be numbered and have a self-explanatory title.
  1. Figures

    Figures should each be submitted as a separate image file, not embedded in the manuscript document or in a slide presentation.  Cite figures consecutively, as they appear in the text, with Arabic numbers (Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3A, etc.). If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then the Journal will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color on the Web (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. There will be a charge for color reproduction in print; you will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Please indicate your preference for color in print or on the Web only.  Each figure must be assigned a brief title (as few words as possible, and reserving abbreviations for the legend) as well as a legend.  The corresponding legend should be typed double-spaced on a separate page.  All symbols, arrows, and abbreviations must be explained in the legend.  Please submit files with a resolution of at least 300 DPI.  Line artwork should contain a resolution of least 1000 DPI. Elsevier recommends submitting figures in the following formats:   TIFF, JPG, EPS, and PDF.  Please be sure to delete any identifying patient information such as name, social security number, etc. Photographs in which a person's face is recognizable must be accompanied by a letter of release from that person explicitly granting permission for publication in the Journal. For any previously published material, written permission for both print and electronic reprint rights must be obtained from the copyright holder.  For further explanation and examples of artwork preparation, see Elsevier’s Author Artwork Instructions at
  1. Supplementary Material or Supplementary Data:

    You may submit appendixes that describe either methods or results in more detail if these are needed for clarity of understanding by either peer reviewers or readers. If appropriate, materials suitable for Web publication but not print publication (e.g., audio or video files, see below) can also be submitted. If you do so, indicate the particular reasons for the appendix and whether you are submitting it for possible Web publication or simply for peer review purposes.  Value in Health accepts audio and video files as ancillaries to the main article. Audio files should be in .mp3 format; the recommended upper limit for the size of a single file is 10 Mb. Video files should be submitted in .mpg or .mp4 format, the recommended upper limit for the size of a single file is 10Mb. Any alternative format supplied may be subject to conversion (if technically possible) prior to online publication.
  1. Survey Instrument

    For papers analyzing preferences, Value in Health requires the submission of a copy of the survey instrument (translated into English in case of different original language) used to generate the preference data. This is to help in the    review process and the survey instrument need not appear in a final publication. If the authors wish the questionnaire to be published with the paper, it should be submitted through ScholarOne Manuscripts as part of the paper. If they do not wish it to be published, it should be submitted through ScholarOne Manuscripts as Supporting Information and then will be sent to the reviewers as a reviewer's appendix.

VII. Data, Models, and Methodology

All authors must agree to make their data available at the Editor's request for examination and re-analysis by referees or other persons designated by the Editor.  All models and methodologies must be presented in sufficient detail to be fully comprehensible to readers.

VIII. Author Anonymity

From September 15, 2003, it is the policy of Value in Health that peer review of submitted manuscripts is double blinded, i.e., the reviewers do not know the names of the authors of manuscripts and the authors do not know the names of the reviewers. Blinded reviews are common practice at many important scientific and medical journals.

IX. The Review Process

All manuscripts deemed appropriate for Value in Health after initial screening will be reviewed by at least two peer reviewers. The objective of the journal is to complete peer review and reach editorial decision within ten to twelve weeks of submission, at which time the corresponding author will receive written notification, including anonymous reviewer commentary.

Value in Health expects the highest ethical standards from their authors, reviewers and editors when conducting research, submitting papers and throughout the peer-review process.  Value in Health subscribes to the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) and supports COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.

X. Author Tracking Services

Authors may track accepted articles at External link and set up e-mail alerts to inform them when an article’s status has changed. Contact details for questions arising after acceptance of an article, especially those relating to proofs, will be provided by the publisher.

XI. Proofs

Proofs will be sent electronically to the Authors to be carefully checked for printer's errors. Substantive changes or additions to the edited manuscript cannot be allowed at this stage. Corrected proofs should be returned to the publisher within 2 days of receipt.

XII. Offprints

The corresponding author, at no cost, will be provided with a PDF file of the article via e-mail. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. The PDF file is a watermarked version of the published article and includes a cover sheet with the journal cover image and a disclaimer outlining the terms and conditions of use.

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