Gaceta Sanitaria Gaceta Sanitaria
Guidelines for Authors
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High visibility
Gaceta Sanitaria's open source policy ensures maximum visibility of all articles published in the journal because they are made available to a large global audience. Articles are also available via the SciELO digital library.

Speed of the editorial process
Gaceta Sanitaria offers a flexible publication schedule whilst still maintaining a rigorous peer review process. In 2015, the Editorial Board's response times were as follows: 3.1 days on average for rejection without external review, and 37.2 days (or 5.31 weeks) for rejection after review by external reviewers. The median time period between receipt and final acceptance of manuscripts was 11 weeks. The total rejection rate was 67.4% (this includes manuscripts rejected without review as well as those rejected after external review).

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Articles published in Gaceta Sanitaria are publicised through our press releases. We also have a media relations department. This means that published articles can be even more widely disseminated and read. We also have a social media presence through our Twitter and Facebook accounts. This helps circulate articles more widely and allows authors and readers to share comments.

Guidelines for Authors

GACETA SANITARIA is an Open Access journal requiring payment by authors. After definitive acceptance of an article, its authors will receive specific information on how to make the payment to the SESPAS. The corresponding author will then receive another e-mail with a link to the electronic version of the “Publication agreement”, which should be completed by all the manuscript's authors. Please consult the section on “Publication Expenses” included in these instructions, as well as the following link to obtain more information on copyright and on authors' rights to reuse their work. GACETA SANITARIA provides complete Open Access; all articles can be accessed immediately and permanently to facilitate reading and downloading. All articles are licenced under a Creative Commons licence, which defines the permitted uses of the work. Articles published in GACETA SANITARIA are licenced under the CC BY-NC-ND licence, which allows others to distribute and copy the article and its inclusion in collective works (such as an anthology) provided the work is not used for commercial purposes, is not altered or modified, and appropriate credit is given to the original work and its authors. open-access-licenses If you wish to comply with the policy of the funding body, please request a CC-BY licence after your manuscript has been accepted for publication.

GACETA SANITARIA ( publishes originals, short originals, reviews, field and methodological notes, editorials, debates, letters to the editor and other works related with any aspect of public health and health care administration. All the manuscripts received are evaluated by the editorial board and, where appropriate, by peer-reviewers. The manuscripts should be elaborated following the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors in its latest version (available in, and should be adapted to the instructions herein provided. Lack of consideration of these instructions will inevitably produce a delay in the editorial process and in the possible publication of the manuscript and may also be cause for rejection of the manuscript.

Types of articles

Original. Empirical studies performed with quantitative and qualitative methodology related with any aspect of research in the field of public health and health care administration: health promotion and protection, health education, epidemiology, biostatistics, preventive medicine, health care information systems, occupational and environmental health, health economics, pharmacoeconomy, health care services, community nursing, health planning and policies, social determinants of health and inequalities in health. The following sections should be included in the work: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. Maximum length of the total manuscript is 3000 words, and up to a maximum of six tables or figures will be accepted (for guidelines for tables and figures, see below). Original manuscripts should include a structured abstract with a maximum of 250 words. A maximum of 35 references is recommended.

This type of article should include a box at the end of the document that includes a statement on what is known on the subject and what the study adds to the literature in order to offer the readers a very brief outline of the content. In this box, do not literally replicate the full content of the abstract or isolated sentences. Avoid abbreviations. The following information has to be included: What is known about the subject? Explain in a maximum of 300 characters the status of the scientific knowledge on the subject approached in the study and why this study was pertinent. Be concise and clear. What does this study add to the literature? Describe the study contribution to the already existing knowledge in a single sentence of no more than 200 characters. This should be brief, concise, and clear. Add a second sentence, also with a maximum of 200 characters showing the study implications for the practice, research, policies or public health.

Short originals. These are manuscripts having the same characteristics as the originals, but they can be published in a short form. Maximum length of the text permitted is 1200 words, accepting a maximum of two tables or figures (for the guidelines of the tables and figures, see below). The structure of these manuscripts should be the same as the original manuscripts (Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion) with a structured abstract of 150 words and 15 references at most. Short originals should also include a box at the end of the document that explains what is known about the subject and what this study adds to the literature. The guidelines indicated in the section on original articles should be used to elaborate this box.

Reviews. Bibliometric studies, systematic reviews, meta-analysis and metasynthesis on relevant and current subjects in public health and health care administration, with the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion and Conclusions. The text should have a maximum length of 3000 words and no more than 6 tables or figures will be accepted (for the guidelines of the tables and figures, see below). Reviews should include a structured abstract of 250 words and a maximum of 100 references. Preparation of systematic reviews and meta-analysis should follow the guidelines indicated in the latest version of the PRISMA declaration ( This type of article should include a box at the end of the document that explains what is known about the subject and what the study adds to the literature. To elaborate this box, follow the guidelines indicated in the original articles section.

Field notes. The purpose of this section is to report experiences within the professional practice in different health care and health administration settings that contain new and relevant components for the public health practice. Maximum text length is 1200 words. Two tables or figures will be accepted (for the table and figure guidelines, see below) and a maximum of 10 references. The text does not need to be formally structured, but should follow a logical narrative form (introduction, development of the experience, conclusions) and include a non-structured abstract of no more than 150 words. For the preparation of the field notes, read the editorial note published in Gac Sanit. 2007;21(3):189-90.

Methodological notes. This section includes short articles on new analytic methods, study design or information collection techniques applicable to public health research in health care administration. Maximum length of the text is 1200 words. Two tables or figures will be accepted (for the table and figure guidelines, see below) and a maximum of 10 references. The text does not need to be formally structured, but should follow a logical narrative form (introduction, explanation of the method, practical application, conclusions) and include a non-structured abstract of no more than 150 words. For the preparation of the methodological notes, please read the editorial note published in Gac Sanit. 2007;21(4):278-9.

Protocols. This section includes proposed research protocols preferably in an open, competitive call whose effective period includes the year in which authors are sending the manuscript. The maximum text length is 1500 and a maximum of 30 references are permitted. The structure of the text can be free. As a guideline, it is recommended to include the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Ethical Considerations and Discussion (with limitations). A structured abstract (objectives and methods) of 150 words should be included. All protocols will be sent to external review once they have been previously assessed by editorial board committee.

Letters to the editor. In this section priority is given to the inclusion of scientific observations and opinions on papers published recently in GACETA SANITARIA or in other important and current health care and health care administration issues. Maximum length permitted is 500 words. One table or figure will be accepted (for table and figure guidelines, see further below) and a maximum of 5 references. For the writing of letters to the editor, it is advisable to read the editorial note published in the Gac Sanit. 2005;19(5):354-5. Authors whose work is commented will be given the opportunity to reply to the letter.

Editorials. GACETA SANITARIA publishes editorials requested by the editorial board. Editorials can also be published upon request by the interested authors and after evaluation by the editorial board. All editorials will be peer-reviewed. Editorials are generally requested on current health care topics. They do not express the official position of the editorial board of GACETA SANITARIA or of the Sociedad Española de Salud Pública y Administración Sanitaria -SESPAS- (Spanish Society for Public Health and Health Administration), unless expressly indicated in the editorial itself. All editorials should attempt to be impartial and discuss about new, controversial issues and should reflect the different existing positions. Maximum length of editorials is 1500 words with up to 30 references and no more than one table or figure (for table and figure guidelines, see below). For the writing of the editorials, it is recommended to read the editorial published in Gac Sanit. 2011;25(3):182-3.

Debates. This section aims to consider current health care and public health subjects. This type of manuscript is written on request by the editorial board, although they can also be published after request by the interested authors and evaluated by the editorial board. Number of authors is limited to three. Independently of whether the contrib ution is made by request or by own initiative of the authors, the manuscripts will be peer-reviewed. In this type of article, it is expected that the authors take an empirically argumentative position in favor of or against a current subject that is of interest for the readers of GACETA SANITARIA. Maximum length is 1500 words and up to 15 references and no more than one table or figure are allowed (for the guidelines of the tables and figures, see below). Debates should not include an abstract.

Book reviews. This section includes a brief and critical analysis of a recently published public health book or report. This type of contribution is limited to 800 words and should include: 1) Author(s), title, publishing site, editorial, ISBN, legal deposit and number of pages; 2) abstract of contents and general objectives proposed by the author(s); 3) main strengths and weaknesses of the document; 4) additional information that the author(s) want(s) to stress (on the content, access to complete text, application for the practice, etc.). Book reviews will be made preferentially by request of the editorial board, although some proposed by author(s) after evaluation by the editorial board may be published.

Other sections. These include opinion, health care and public health policy and special articles that do not fit into the previous sections. The manuscripts published in these sections may be requested by the editorial board or spontaneously submitted by the author(s). All the manuscripts received for these sections will be subjected to review by the editorial board, and if appropriate, will be peerreviewed. The length of this type of article should not exceed 1800 words and 2 tables or figures (for table and figure guidelines, see below). They should include an abstract up to 250 words. It is not necessary to structure the abstract or the main text into introduction, methods, results and discussion. A maximum of 15 references is recommended.

Erratum and retraction. This section publishes corrections after having detected errors in the papers already published or retractions when some type of fraud has been reported. Retraction of the manuscript will be reported to the author(s) and to the authorities or administrator(s) of the institutions specified in the retracted paper.

Formal aspects of the manuscript

GACETA SANITARIA publishes papers in Spanish and English. When the paper is in English, it should be reviewed by an English-speaking person before being sent to the journal and must include both an abstract in English and in Spanish. The text should be spaced using 1.5 lines in all sections. Number the pages in the lower part. Only use abbreviations common in the field of public health and health care administration. Avoid abbreviations in the title and in the abstract. In the text acronyms and abbreviations should not be excessive. A word that does not go over 3 times should not be in acronym. The first time that an abbreviation appears in the text, it should be preceded by the complete term it refers to, except in the case of measurement units. These should be preferably expressed in International System Units. Decimals should be separated by a comma and thousands using a period. When the articles are in English, the corresponding punctuation should be followed (units by a period and thousands with a comma). We strongly recommend the use of neutral terms and non-sexist language. Do not make an indiscriminate use of the concepts of sex and gender because their meaning is different.

The files for the first pages, main manuscript, what is known and what is added (when required) and tables, will only be accepted in editable format (Word).

Guidelines for the publication of specific designs

GACETA SANITARIA recommends using the latest version of the STROBE guideline for the publication of observational studies (cross-sectional, case-control and cohorts studies), available in Spanish at Gac Sanit. 2008;22(2):144-50; CONSORT for clinical trials; STARD for articles on diagnostic tests; QUOROM for meta-analysis of clinical trials; and PRISMA and PRISMA-E 2012 reporting guidelines for equity-focused systematic reviews and metaanalyses. These guidelines are available on the web page of the EQUATOR Initiative (

First page: title, author(s) and word count

The title should adequately describe the manuscript content. It should be written avoiding inexact and ambiguous expressions, and should be brief, clear and as informative as possible. Avoid the use of uncommon acronyms, codes and symbols. Maximum length is 15 words. If only one sex or any other specific population group (elderly, migrants...) are included in the study, the title should include an explicit reference to this subgroup population.

Following this, name, last name(s) (one or two, according to the reference signature of each author) should be stated, using the corresponding reference mark with the letters in superscript, along with the authors’ department(s) or institution(s) adding the city. Do not indicate authors’ academic degree or professional category. Include a mailing address and E-mail address for correspondence. Limit the number of authors to six. If there are more than 6 authors, justify the need for a larger number of contributors.

Include word count in the lower right part of the first page. Indicate separately the number of words of the abstract in Spanish and in English, the number of words in the principal text (without including the first page, resumen/abstract, references, tables or figures).

Second page: statement of authorship, funding, acknowledgments and conflict of interest

Contributions of authorship. In this section, on page 2 of the manuscript, include a paragraph that clearly specifies the contribution of each author listed on page 1 to the work as well as in the elaboration of the manuscript. Requirements of uniformity for the submission of manuscripts to scientific journals establish that authorships should be based on a substantial contribution, based on the simultaneous presence of the three following criteria:

  • The conception and design of the work, or the data collection, or the analysis and interpretation of the data.
  • The writing of the article or its critical review with important intellectual contributions.
  • The approval of the final version for its publications.
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

These criteria can be corroborated and extended in different sources of information available in the following links:


All these conditions must be fulfilled because participation in the search and obtention of funds, in data collection, or statistical analysis, for example, does not justify authorship nor does the general supervision of the manuscript. The responsible author should assure that all those included really fulfill the authorship criteria and that no one who fulfills them is excluded.

Examples for the writing of the contributions of authorship can be found at the end of the principal text of the original manuscripts published in most recent numbers of GACETA SANITARIA. Inclusion of this information is an essential requirement for the manuscript to be considered by the editorial board. Therefore, contributions of authorship must be stated in every type of the previously-mentioned articles.

In adition, the authors will be asked to write a statement of transparency that will arise in the following terms:

The corresponding author on behalf of the other authors guarantee the accuracy, transparency and honesty of the data and information contained in the study, that no relevant information has been omitted and that all discrepancies between authors have been adequately resolved and described.

Funding. Financial and material aids that the study may have had must also be acknowledged on the second page, indicating the organization, agency, institution or company and the project number, agreement or contract. If the study has not received any external funding, state “Without funding.” This information is required in all the previously-mentioned types of articles.

Acknowledgments. The second page should include, if pertinent, an acknowledgement paragraph in which all those who do not meet all the requirements of authorship, but who have facilitated the performance of the study or manuscript, are mentioned. It is also acceptable to mention persons or institutions that have supported the study or manuscript, with work or funds. GACETA SANITARIA adheres to the international guidelines of acknowledgements of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ( All persons mentioned specifically in the section of acknowledgements should know and approve their inclusion in this section.

Conflicts of interests. All the articles submitted to GACETA SANITARIA should be accompanied by a statement of the possible conflicts of interests of each one of the signing persons. Conflicts of interest may be related to work, research, financial or moral issues. The authors, on submitting the manuscript, should indicate in writing if any of these conflicts exist. The editors may require the authors to give more information when they consider it to be necessary. Similarly, if there are no conflicts of interest, they should state this explicitly. GACETA SANITARIA adheres to the latest version of the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, which extends the conflicts of interests to the relatives of the authors and to the persons living with them. This information must be included in all of the previously-mentioned types of articles for their consideration by the editorial board. A more detailed description on conflict of interests is available in the ethical guidelines of the GACETA SANITARIA explained further in the Ethical Responsibilities section of the present guidelines.

Third page: abstract and keywords

The abstract should appear on the third page of the manuscript. On this third page, in the upper part, the title of the work should appear again, but without the authors. Following the abstract, include 5 to 8 keywords at most, in order to complement the information contained in the title and to help identify the work in the reference data bases. Use terms equivalent to those found in the list of descriptions in health sciences (Medical Subjects Headings, MeSH) of the Index Medicus for the key words (available at meshhome.html). Equivalence between the terms in Spanish (Descriptores en Ciencias de la Salud, DeCS) and those corresponding to them in English of MeSH can be consulted at

Fourth page: abstract and key words

On the fourth page of the manuscript, the complete and accurate translation to Spanish (or to English in case of papers written in Spanish) of the title, abstract and Keywords should appear. Authors are responsible to assure that the article is grammatically correct and that the spelling is also correct.

Fifth page: main document

The fifth and following pages should include the main document of the manuscript.

Introduction. The reason for the study should be given, summarizing its framework and background. This should be completed with a clear explanation of the study objectives. Only include those references strictly necessary according to the current and important criteria in relation with the purposes of the study. Authors should report where appropiate why sex/gender differences may be expected.

Methods. In this section, specify setting, study design and its time period. Specify selection criteria of participants, including the necessary information on the procedures, measurement instruments, variables and analysis methods used. Statistical methods that are not common in public health research or health care administration should be described in detail. This section should include information enough to make it possible for other authors to replicate the study. The Editorial Board may request the questionnaire used in the study, if pertinent, or permission to publish it with the paper if it is finally accepted. Exceptionally, additional information that is of special interest can be included in form of an online Annex. When applicable, a brief description will be made of the ethical guidelines followed by the investigators, both in observational as well as experimental or quasiexperimental studies. Studies in human beings must have the express approval of the corresponding ethics committee, and this should be stated in the manuscript (see Ethical Responsibilities further below).

It should be reported how sex/gender were taken into account in the design of the study. Where appropriate, you should justify why the study focuses on a specific population (only men, only women, youth, immigrants ...).

Results. The results should be presented clearly and concisely, with the minimum number of tables and figures necessary. Present them in such a way as to avoid unnecessary duplications of information in the text and in the figures or tables. The minimum information that should be included in the results with gender perspective if pertinent is:

  • 1. Presentation of the results stratified by gender.
  • 2. Analysis of subgroups of men and women that allows metaanalysis.
  • 3. Analysis of interactions that make it possible to determine differences by gender.

Discussion. In this section, the new and relevant aspects of the manuscript should be emphasized as well as the conclusions derived from them. Avoid detailed repetition of information or data already presented in the previous sections. Comment on the results obtained in relation with those from other previous relevant studies and interpret the differences and similarities. Indicate the study’s strengths and limitations and comment on their possible implications in the interpretation of the results. End this section with a paragraph serving as a conclusion of the work. The conclusions must be related with the study objectives and statements not sufficiently supported by the available data should be avoided. When pertinent, it is strongly recommended to mention the implications of their study for health care policy and management.

You should discuss the results of analyzes stratified by sex where applicable, or the limitations of not being able to carry out these analyzes incorporating a reflection, for example, whether the results of the study may or may not be generalized to both men and women of the general population, as well as subjects of different ages.

References. Identify the references with Arabic numbers using superscript and consecutively numbered according to their order of appearance in the text, tables and figures. For papers in Spanish, the footnotes should be positioned before the period and the rest of the principal delimiters (comma, semi-colon and colon; for example: “...on the contrary to the previous works6-9, the results show...”), but after the ellipsis. When the paper is in English, the citation should go after the sign (for example: “...radiological parameters. 9 Although...”). Personal communications and manuscripts that have not been accepted for publication should not appear in the references, but may be cited between parentheses in the text. Footnotes for comments or for references are not accepted. Only cite relevant bibliography that is pertinent for the article. These should always appear at the end of the document. Articles “in press” should be cited as such, and if available, the DOI of the manuscript should be included. Furthermore, whenever possible, the authors should update references. Abbreviations of the journals should follow those of the US National Library of Medicine for Medline/PubMed. When the journal is not included in Medline/PubMed, use the complete name of the journal, without abbreviating it. References should be verified with the original documents. When indicating the initial and final pages of a citation, only use the digits that differ from those of the initial page for the final page (examples: 34-9, and not 34-39; 136-41 and not 136-141). The accuracy and veracity of the references are extremely important and should be assured by the authors. In the Reference section, the numbered citations should be included according to the correlative order followed in the manuscript. GACETA SANITARIA uses the citation style proposed in the International Committee for Medical Journals Editors Uniform Requirements according to the guidelines of the US National Library of Medicine (the comprehensive list of the citation styles for all types of documents can be consulted at Some variations are permitted in these guidelines. GACETA SANITARIA has chosen the following recommendations and styles for the citation of the most common documents:


General considerations:

It is not necessary to include the publication date or journal number between parenthesis, but the volume must be included. Examples:

García AM. A nuestros revisores, con amor. Gac Sanit. 2003;17:444-5.

and not as it appears in PubMed:

García AM. A nuestros revisores, con amor. Gac Sanit. 2003 Nov-Dec;17(6):444-5.

All the authors should be included when there are three or less; if there are more, cite the first three followed by «et al.»):

Bravo MJ, Royuela L, Barrio G, et al. Access to sterile syringes among young drug injectors in Madrid and Barcelona and its association with risk behaviour. Gac Sanit. 2008;22:128-32.

Sacristán JA, Dilla T, Pinto JL, et al. Evaluación económica de medica mentos: experiencias y vías de avance. Gac Sanit. 2008;22:354-7.

In the following, some examples are shown according to the type of source that is going to be cited:

1. Original article:

Mar J, Pastor R, Abásolo R. Análisis de costes de la monitorización ambulatoria de la presión arterial en hipertensión leve. Gac Sanit. 1999;13:384-90.

Guxens M, Nebot M, Ariza C, et al. Factors associated with the onset of cannabis use: a systematic review of cohort studies. Gac Sanit. 2007;21:252-60.

2. Corporative author:

EPIC Group of Spain. Relative validity and reproducibility of a diet history questionnaire in Spain. I. Foods. Int J Epidemiol. 1997;26 (Suppl 1):91-9.

3. Authorship is not mentioned:

Preferiría dormir en la misma cama que mis sueños. Gac Sanit. 2008;22:292.

4. Journal supplement:

Palma Pérez S, Delgado Rodríguez M. Consideraciones prácticas acerca de la detección del sesgo de publicación. Gac Sanit. 2006;20 (Supl 3):10-6.

5. Number without volume:

Jané E. Sistemas de salud y desarrollo. Quadern CAPS. 1999;(28):7- 16.

Books and other monographs

General considerations:

The total number of pages of the book, followed by a «p», after the year of publication should be stated:

Pascua M. Metodología bioestadística para médicos y oficiales sanitarios. 2ª ed. Madrid: Editorial Paz Montalvo; 1974. 622 p.

6. Personal author(s):

Regidor E, Gutiérrez-Fisac JL, Rodríguez C. Diferencias y desigualdades en salud en España. Madrid: Ediciones Díaz de Santos; 1994. 277 p.

7. Director(s)/compiler(s) of edition as author(s):

Martínez-Navarro F, Antó JM, Castellanos PL, et al., editores. Salud pública. Madrid: McGraw-Hill-Interamericana; 1998. 915 p.

8. Book chapter:

Porta MS, Hartzema AG. The contribution of epidemiology to the study of drugs. In: Hartzema AG, Porta MS, Tilson HH, editors. Pharmacoepidemiology. 2nd ed. Cincinnati: Harvey Whitney Books Company; 1991. p. 2-17.

9. Published speeches:

Sanz-Aguado MA. La epidemiología y la estadística. En: Sánchez-Cantalejo E, editor. Libro de Ponencias del V Encuentro Marcelino Pascua; 16 junio 1995; Granada, España. Granada: Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública; 1996. p. 35-44.

10. PhD theses and dissertations:

Ballester F. Contaminación atmosférica, temperatura y mortalidad: estudio en la ciudad de Valencia [Doctorate thesis]. Alicante: Universitat d’ Alacant; 1995.

11. Scientific or technical report:

Almazán C, Borrás JM, De la Puente ML, et al. Aproximación a la utilización de la mamografía de cribado en dos regiones sanitarias. Barcelona: Agència d’Avaluació de Tecnologia Mèdica, Departament de Sanitat i Seguretat Social; 1995. Informe técnico N.º: IN95001.

Other works published

12. Newspaper article:

Sampedro J, Salvador I. Cientos de comercios de Castilla-La Mancha venden ilegalmente fármacos para el ganado. Madrid: El País. 19 octubre 1999; p. 37 (col. 1-4).

13. Legal documents:

Ley de Prevención de Riesgos Laborales. L. N.º 31/1995 (8 November 1995).

4. Electronic file:

EPISAME Versión Macintosh [CD-ROM]. Madrid: Escuela Nacional de Sanidad, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia; 1998.

15. Website:

MedlinePlus®: Información de salud para usted [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [consulted on 15/11/2010]. Available at:

16. Journal article in electronic format:

Berger A, Smith R. New technologies in medicine and medical journals. BMJ [electronic edition]. 1999 [consulted on 14/1/2000]; 319. Available at:

17. Audiovisual material:

VIH+/SIDA: elementos de prevención [videocasete]. Cornellà de Llobregat: Aula de Formación; 1998.

Unpublished material

In press (in this case, the author(s) should obtain the confirmation of the future publication of the cited work). It is important to indicate the DOI:

Ortiz-Barreda G, Vives-Cases C. Violencia contra las mujeres: el papel del sector salud en la legislación internacional. Gac Sanit. 2012. Doi:10.1016/j.gaceta.2011.09.027

Appendix. Online material. In some cases when justified by the author(s) in the letter submitted to the journal, the manuscript may be accompanied by additional material available in online version. This material should be referenced in the manuscript document itself, at the time when it is cited, and also just before the reference section, as follows: «Additional material to this article in its electronic version, available in DOI can be consulted: …». The DOI reference will be filled out by the editorial team once the manuscript has been accepted. The online material will not be corrected or page designed and therefore, it will not be submitted for review together with the PDF of the article.


Tables should be numbered in their order of appearance in the text with Arabic numbers (table 1, table 2, etc.). The author(s) should make sure the tables are cited within the text. Use a minimum size of 10 and interlineal space of 1 or 1.5 and present each one on a separate page. Identify them with the corresponding number and a short, but sufficiently explanatory title in its upper part. Do not use inner horizontal or vertical lines or any type of automatic format (shading, etc) in the tables. Each column of the table should have a short heading. Include the necessary explanatory notes below the table, using small superscript letters for footnote references positioned in alphabetical order (a, b…). Maximum length of each table is one page. In uncommon and justified cases their length can be greater but they will only be published in the online version of the paper.

The tables that only appear in Annex online should be numbered with Roman numbers (table I, table II, etc.) following the order mentioned in the text. When this type of table is cited, indicate its location in the online Appendix of the article (for example: table II of the online Appendix of this article). These tables should be sent in word format, the same as the rest of the files corresponding to the first page and the manuscript text.


The figures should not repeat data already presented in the text or in the tables. Figure legends should be included in the figure caption. Identify the figures with Arabic numbers that coincide with their order of appearance in the text. The author(s) should make sure that the figures are cited within the text. Figure legends or captions should contain sufficient information to be able to interpret the data presented without needing to read the text. For the explanatory notes in the figure caption, use footnotes with small letters in superscript and in alphabetical order (a, b…).

If the figures or tables are not made by the authors themselves, but obtained from an outside information source, the authors should request permission to reproduce them and attach this permission when submitting the manuscript. The authors are responsible for obtaining the permissions to partially reproduce such materials (text, tables or figures). These permissions should be requested both from the responsible author as well as from the publisher of the publication.

Ethical responsibilities

The considerations related with these ethical responsibilities developed by the editorial board of the GACETA SANITARIA are available at the journal website and explained in an editorial note published in Gac Sanit. 2012; 26 (2): 103-4. The following shows the aspects that must be declared in the manuscripts.

Protection of persons and animals being used for research.

GACETA SANITARIA adheres to the basic principles of the Declaration of Helsinki of the World Medical Association. The studies submitted to GACETA SANITARIA should have been evaluated and previously authorized by an ethics committee if they have been carried out in persons or animals. The authors should explicitly declare this in their manuscripts and in some cases, the editors may require the certificates. If the authors do not fulfill this requirement, they should adequately explain in the submission letter of the article why they have not requested it.

Informed consent. The authors should mention in the Methods section that the procedures used in the test or studies made in participants in the study were performed after obtaining the corresponding informed consent. If the type of study does not require this consent, the authors should reasonably justify it.

Authorship. All the papers submitted to Gaceta Sanitaria undergo scrutiny of detection of plagiarism with a specialized software. The authorship basically supposes a significant intellectual contribution in the article. For all the articles, the correspondence author should specify the contributions of each signing author. GACETA SANITARIA will especially ensure that the authorship criteria in the manuscripts with more than six authors are fulfilled. In a manuscript with seven or more authors, it is more difficult for the authorship criteria proposed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors to be fulfilled than in one with fewer authors. In recent years, manuscripts based on multicenter studies have been proliferating. In these manuscripts, many of the authors listed had only participated in the recruitment of the subjects, and therefore such authors might not meet the internationally acknowledged authorship criteria.

Redundant or duplicated publication. In the cover letter, the authors should inform about previous submissions or publications of the same work, either totally or partially, that may be considered a redundant or duplicated publication. The references of these previous publications must be cited and included in the new manuscript. A copy of these previous publications should also be included together with the manuscript. The authors are responsible for obtaining the permission to partially reproduce materials (text, tables or figures) of other published manuscripts. These permissions should be requested both from the responsible author and the publisher. The work is not considered a redundant publication if it has been previously presented at a congress.For example, if the response to any of the following questions is affirmative, the publication may be redundant:

  • Does the submitted manuscript form a part of a larger study that has previous publications?
  • Has part of the manuscript been sent to another journal?
  • Have the results of the manuscript been partially or totallyv published or submitted for publication?

Ombudsperson of GACETA SANITARIA. This initiative is aimed to strengthen the mechanisms that guarantee the transparency and good performance of the journal. The commitment of the ombudsperson of GACETA SANITARIA is to pay attention to, investigate if necessary, and in every case give a response to the complaints and claims that have not been solved through the internal organization of the journal, including the editorial and administrative team. Under normal circumstances, if the complainant considers that the answer obtained through these pathways is not satisfactory, the complainant could then appeal to the ombudsperson. However, under special and duly justified circumstances, the claimant could directly turn to the ombudsperson. The E-mail address to contact the ombudsperson is

For more information on the Ombudsperson of the GACETA SANITARIA, consult the editorial note published in Gac Sanit. 2012;26(2):105-6.

Submission of manuscripts

The authors should submit the manuscripts electronically using the publisher’s editorial system. Those authors who are not registered, must register previously on this same page to be able to submit the manuscript. The authors must keep in mind that the E-mail address used to submit the article will be the same one that will be used by the editorial system to send mails with information on the status of the manuscript.

During the manuscript submission process, the publisher’s editorial system will request information on the manuscript and on the authors. Finally, the system will request a series of files be attached. The following instructions refer to the submission of new manuscripts through the website.

Information of electronic submission. The publishing system will request the following information:

  • Type of article.
  • Complete title of the manuscript.
  • Authors (name and last names are obligatory fields).
  • Additional information: declarations of authorship, funding, conflicts of interest and confidentiality of the data.
  • Cover letter of the manuscript (it should not be included in the principal document of the manuscript).
  • Suggestions of peer-reviewers.
  • Files attached:
    • First and second pages (author, personal data, correspondence, number of words, declarations of authorship, funding, acknowledgments and conflicts of interests).
    • Manuscript without information of authors.
    • Manuscript in English (if applicable).
    • What is known? What is added?
    • Figures.
    • Tables (if they were not included in the manuscript).
    • Supplementary files that will only appear in the online version.

In the first place, the editorial system requests the type of article, to choose between those that appear from a drop down menu. Following that, the article title is requested and may be copied and pasted from the manuscript text.

Following this, the section corresponding to the personal data must be filled out: the authors with names and last names, institution and E-mail address, as stated on the first page of the manuscript. The editorial system makes it possible to add, modify or eliminate authors using the commands “add,” “edit” and “remove,” respectively. The name and last names of each author are obligatory fields in this section.

For those types of articles that require an abstract, the resumen and the abstract are introduced in the next step. These may be copied from the manuscript and pasted into the corresponding section of the editorial system in the same box in Spanish and English). In this section, keep in mind the world count limit established for each article modality. Equally, the palabras clave (MeSH terms) and the key words that are stated in the manuscript should be copied and pasted in the corresponding section, each one separated by a semi-colon. After, a window appears in which the thematic classification of the manuscript is requested. GACETA SANITARIA has elaborated a list of large areas of the specialty, and the person who made the submission should choose those (at least two) that he/she believes the manuscript should be assigned to. It is very important to carefully select the areas, since they may be used to assign the manuscript to the reviewers.In the following window on Additional Information, the editorial system reminds about the ethical responsibilities that should be fulfilled by the authors, copyright transfer and conflicts of interests. The authors should declare that the work is original and unpublished, and that it has not been published previously nor is it being evaluated by any other journal. The authors transfer the copyrights of the article to the Sociedad Española de Salud Pública y Administración Sanitaria (SESPAS). The author(s) grant the rights of the article to the Spanish Society of Public Health and Healthcare Administration, retaining the rights for noncommercial use of the article ( rights_es.pdf). Those manuscripts that have not accepted the transfer of the copyrights will not be sent for editorial review. The authors should use the box on Conflicts of Interests to declare any possible conflict in the terms established (see the section Ethical Responsibilities further above). If there are no conflicts of interests, the authors should write «Without any conflicts of interests.» Manuscripts that do not specify this will be returned to the authors to correct them prior to proceeding to the evaluation procedure. In the cover letter, a paragraph should be included describing what the principal message is, its contribution to previous knowledge, originality and the importance of the work for public health and the health care administration. Furthermore, if there are any manuscripts that could be considered redundant, this should be explained in this section, as well as any other eventuality that may be of interest for the editor in chief of GACETA SANITARIA. This letter should not be included in the same file as the manuscript, but rather in the corresponding box of the editorial system. After, suggestions are requested for the selection of peer-reviewers. The minimum information to include in this case is the name and last names of the reviewers.

Finally, the editorial system requests the attachment of several documents. For all the manuscripts, at least two files must be prepared: the first, labeled by the editorial system as First page (it includes authors, personal data, correspondence, number of words, declaration of authorship, funding, acknowledgements and conflicts of interests); and the second, called Manuscript by the system (without information of authors), corresponds to all the manuscript without the information stated in the file “First page.” In the original articles, short originals and reviews, a third file should be attached, called What is known? What is added?, which should include the information required on this aspect. Preferably, the tables should be placed at the end of the manuscript, each one on a separate page. The editorial system also accepts the possibility of attaching the files separately (not recommended). The figures (charts or photographs) should not be included in the manuscript, but rather in separate files. The editorial system allows EPS, TIFF and PDF formats for the figures. The files referring to the first page, principal manuscript, what is known and what is added –when required– and tables will only be accepted in the editable format (Word).

Finally, when applicable, Supplementary online files will be included in the online version of the article. As previously commented, this applies to tables larger than one page and any other material which, exceptionally and in a justified way, are attached online.

Editorial process

The Editor in Chief and Assistant Editor of GACETA SANITARIA, with the help of the editorial board, will make a preliminary evaluation of the manuscripts received. Manuscripts that pass this initial selection are assigned to an associate editor who makes a more detailed evaluation and decides whether to reject it at once or to send it to external evaluators, generally three. In the editorial note of the first number of each volume, updated information is published on the percentage of accepted and rejected manuscripts each year and the time from the first submission of the manuscript to its final acceptance, together with other issues related with the journal performance. If a review of the manuscript is requested, the authors should send, within the period established by the editorial board, the new version of the manuscript with the changes made highlighted in bold or with a source color other than that used for the rest of the document. Furthermore, they should send a letter in which the authors respond to each one of the comments received by the associate editor and the external evaluators. These documents should be submitted electronically through the editorial system of the web page of the journal. The authors should be careful in their revision. Submission of the revised and modified articles does not mean its acceptance, and it also may be resent for peer-review. The final decision on the acceptance or not of a manuscript is the result of an evaluation process in which all the editorial staff and reviewers contribute as well as the quality and capacity of the authors to respond to the suggestions received.

The review process in the GACETA SANITARIA is double blinded. The authors do not know the identity of the external evaluators, who, in turn, do not know the identity of the authors. However, the editorial board does not object to allowing those evaluators who want to sign their comments to do so. In these cases, the manuscript evaluation will be sent to the authors together with the identity of the person who has evaluated their manuscript. After the final acceptance of the manuscript, Gaceta Sanitaria reserves the right to make editorial changes of style or to introduce modifications to facilitate its clarity or comprehension, including modification of the title and abstract, without this resulting in changes in its intellectual content. Once the technical process is carried out, the authors will receive the copy proofs of the edited manuscript, which should be reviewed and approved within a period of 48 hours. In this publication phase, the corrections introduced into the manuscript should be minimum. Only changes related with synthesis and semantic understanding of the text will be accepted. The editorial board reserves the right to accept or not the corrections made by the authors in the copy proof. If the authors want to make an important change (for example, in the results, text, order of the authors), they should send a written document to the journal justifying it and this document should be signed by all the manuscript authors. The editorial board will evaluate the possibility of including these changes. Any manuscripts accepted for publication in the journal will remain the permanent property of Gaceta Sanitaria and cannot be totally or partially reproduced without the permission of the journal except in the case of the examples described under the heading of “Rights of authors publishing in Gaceta Sanitaria”. The opinions and judgments expressed in the articles and communications appearing in the journal are exclusively those of the signing persons.

The editorial board of GACETA SANITARIA, SESPAS and Elsevier decline any responsibility regarding the contents of the manuscripts published. The editorial board of GACETA SANITARIA, SESPAS and Elsevier do not guarantee or support any product advertised in the journal nor the statements made by the advertiser on said product or service.

Publication charges

Once authors have been notified of definitive acceptance of their manuscripts, they will receive specific information on how to make payment to the SESPAS. The cost of original articles, review articles, special articles, and other, similar articles is 450 euros. The cost of brief original articles and methodological articles is 200 euros. Field notes, letters to the editor, editorials, debates and other complementary sections (book reviews…) will be published free of charge. More information is available at:

Basic Recommendations for the Publication of Qualitative Studies in Gaceta Sanitaria

Document written by the Gaceta Sanitaria editorial team with contributions from Erica Briones, Carmen de la Cuesta Benjumea, Isabel Goicolea, Daniel La Parra, Miguel Ángel Mateo, Clemente Penalva and María Luisa Vázquez

This document provides a series of basic recommendations for Gaceta Sanitaria's authors, reviewers and editors regarding the minimum information to be included in qualitative research studies.

It is not a guide to conducting qualitative studies, as it is aimed at experts in the field who wish to publish the results of their research and at reviewers and editors responsible for assessing the quality of the manuscripts submitted to Gaceta Sanitaria for possible publication.

These guidelines are based on two quality criteria for qualitative research: the relevance of the research topic and the validity of the study based on the information provided in the manuscript.

1. Relevance

This criterion refers to the research question or topic, the study objectives and the application of the qualitative approach in research studies seeking to understand facts and explain and analyse structural relationships. The following sections describe the minimum information that should be included in the Introduction and Discussion sections in order to fulfil this criterion.

1.1 In the Introduction section

  • This section should include explicit statements clearly describing the study question and objectives and justifying the use of a qualitative approach. Reasons for the use of qualitative methods include: the study topic is an emerging one, the experience or point of view of the people involved or affected needs to be studied, or new research hypotheses need to be generated. A lack of published qualitative studies on the topic alone does not justify the use of these methods.

1.2 In the Discussion section

  • Here the author(s) should explain why the study contributes to our existing knowledge of the topic and describe what it adds or contributes to practice or policy.
  • It will be seen as positive if the analysis is linked to theory or practice.

2. Validity

This criterion refers to the information provided in the Methods, Results and Discussion sections.

2.1 In the Methods section

  • Identification of the sampling type (purposive, theoretical, etc.) and the reference text.
  • Description of the process used to select the study participants, situations observed and documents or analogues studied.
  • Identification of the information production techniques used and description of their application in the study (places, duration, profiles of interviewers and moderators). Description of the methods used to record that information (audio recorders, video cameras, notes, etc.).
  • Identification of the period in which the information was produced.
  • Description of the techniques used to process the qualitative data (if a computer program was used, name it and include it in the bibliography).
  • Description of the analysis methodology chosen, citing the relevant reference text where appropriate.
  • Description of the steps taken for the analysis.
  • Review of the consistency between the analysis methodology used and the terminology used.
  • Detailed explanation of the measures taken in each case to improve the study validity (this information is also relevant to the Discussion section in some cases).

2.2 In the Results section

  • The author(s) should make a clear distinction between the results obtained during the information production process and their own interpretation of those results.
  • The interpretation of results should be based on the sections of the documents, spoken words or images (photographs, audio, paintings, drawings, etc.) that best demonstrate the interpretation included in the Results section.
  • The use of semiotic squares, concept maps, diagrams, etc. is also recommended where relevant.
  • Use a homogeneous labelling system that guarantees anonymity in case they could be used to identify the contributions made by the study participants.
  • Check the plausibility and consistency of the results described in relation to the study objectives.
  • It will be seen as positive if a theoretical analysis has been carried out (concepts based on data and relationships).
  • It will be seen as positive if the theory is precise and complete (clarity, concision and theoretical saturation).

2.3 In the Discussion section

In addition to the content usually included in this section (see Guidelines for Authors), it is advisable to include reflections on the possible influence of the investigator on the contributions made by the participants (in studies based on this type of contribution).

It will be seen as positive if information is provided about the measures used to improve study validity (this should also be included in the Methods section where appropriate).

Submit manuscripts
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