Guide for Authors

The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) as a professional organization supports educators and other health care providers who believe in "freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives in family-centered maternity and newborn care." ICEA's goals are to provide: professional certification programs, professional training, continuing education programs, and quality educational resources.

ICEA promotes these goals by publishing the International Journal of Childbirth Education, sponsoring international conventions and workshops, publishing booklets and pamphlets for consumers about the childbearing year, providing a wide selection of books and resources through the ICEA Bookcenter, and offering the ICEA Childbirth Educator Certification, Postnatal Educator, and Doula Certification programs.

The information on this page is meant to guide potential authors in submitting to the International Journal of Childbirth Education. IJCE follows publishing standards set by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE; www.publicationethics.org.uk). This is a peer-reviewed journal and accepts submissions from practitioners, prenatal educators, researchers, and scholars. IJCE welcomes submissions of narratives, commentaries, original research, evidence-based application papers and descriptions of best clinical practices. Authors are welcome to contact the managing editor (editor@icea.org) for guidance on the development or submission of their manuscript.

Some IJCE issues are centered on themes, while other issues publish a variety of topics related to the serving families in the childbearing year. For a list of potential upcoming themes visit: http://icea.org/content/2014-call-papers

In Practice:
These articles (minimum 500 words) express an opinion, share a teaching technique, present best practices, or describe a birth experience. Best articles include citations and a limited number of references but keep the language directed to practitioners and make suggestions for best practices. A few current references are strongly encouraged to support evidence-based thinking or practice. Accompanying photographs of the people and activities involved are welcomed. “In my opinion,” “The way I teach,” “Birth story,” “Narratives,” and “Case Study” are common focuses.

Feature Articles:
Authors are asked to focus on the application of research findings to practice. Both original data-driven research and literature reviews (disseminating published research and providing suggestions for application) will be considered. Articles should be double spaced, four to twelve pages in length (not including title page, abstract, or references) and either

1.      Report on evidence-based advances related to the childbearing year,

2.      Discuss recent developments, newly designed programs, or progressive ideas which empower families to make informed decisions about their options in childbirth,

3.      Review programs, methodologies, or studies which are relevant to prenatal educators,

4.      Direct health care professionals to optimal practice standards when serving childbirth educators, or

5.      Disseminate current research into practice and application.

Placement of tables, charts, illustrations, or graphics should be identified in the body of the text. Graphics and pictures should accompany the article in separate attachments. Pictures are encouraged and should be at least 5 X 7” and 300 dpi. Pictures may be altered in color, size, or texture to fit the issue.

Authors should highlight and explain research and emphasize applications to health care practice in the childbearing year. Original articles are blind peer reviewed with the content, method, or style of the article matched to skills and availability of the journal’s peer reviewers. 

In keeping with ICEA Advertising Guidelines, any links or mention of purchase information for books and publications carried by the ICEA Bookcenter must list the Bookcenter as the source.

Regular columns are written by journal staff members, invited guest editors, ICEA president, and board members, and may also be subject to peer review.

Submitting Material:
Submissions should be typed within a word processor system (such as Microsoft Word), double-spaced, a font of times new roman or courier font, size 12, with a one-inch margin on all four sides.

Writers are asked to submit their work in one of three ways:

1.      A file (.doc, .docx, or .rtf) attachment by e-mail (preferred). Email Submissions to editor@icea.org or

2.      Burned on a CD or jump drive (Mac- or PC-formatted), with files saved in Microsoft Word .doc, .docx, .rtf, or as a .txt file and mailed to attention of the Editor of IJCE. CDs, jump drives, or printed material labeled that includes a request and mailing address label can be returned.

What to Submit:
A Cover Letter or Email should include:

1.      A request for consideration for peer review of the article.

2.      The name of the article and full names, credentials, and affiliations of all the authors in the correct order for publication.

3.      A statement that ensures that papers are contributed solely to the International Journal of Childbirth Education. In accordance with the Copyright Revision Act of 1976, the following statement must be submitted in the cover letter sent by the primary authors on behalf of self and coauthors before a manuscript will be sent for peer review. Either typing your name at the bottom of the cover letter or email may be accepted as signatures. You may also sign and scan, fax, or mail the cover letter to ICEA.

Submission Statement:
Include this statement with the submission of your article.

"In consideration of the International Childbirth Education Association taking action in reviewing and editing my submission, the author(s) undersigned hereby transfer, assign, or otherwise convey all copyright ownership to the International Journal of Childbirth Education in the event such work is published in the Journal. This manuscript or its essence has not been accepted or published previously and is not under simultaneous consideration for publication elsewhere. All submitted photographs are for single use only and the photographer has obtained permission from the subjects to publish the photos."

Once submitted, you will receive email acknowledgement of the successful submission, or request for any materials missing. If accepted for publication with suggested revisions, the author will need to make revisions in a timely manner. The corresponding author will be contacted by email by the managing editor. Before submitting, authors should be aware that all accepted papers may undergo grammatical and formatting editing that includes fact-checking, plagiarism checks, and citation/reference verification.  

A Cover Page Should Include:

1.      Title of article and author's name(s) and credentials.

2.      Keywords: 3 to 5 keywords key words for the searchable terms associated with the topic. 

3.      A two to three sentence biography for each of authors that might include affiliations, experience, research interest, or accomplishments. Institutional affiliations and status are not listed separately and should be included in the biography if you wish to include them.

4.      Mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address of the corresponding author.

5.      Email addresses for all authors.

An Abstract Page:
Abstracts should be 50 to 100 words and state the purpose of the article, describe the article, summarize the points made, and end with similar concluding statements as are in the paper.

The Paper:
After re-stating the name of the paper, begin with an introduction that clearly states the purpose of the article in the first paragraph and why this is important. The paper should discuss current thinking on the topic and make suggestions for integration of these ideas into childbirth educators’ practice. We encourage the use of diagrams, pictures, charts, or tables. Use generic language instead of trade names. Headings and subheadings are encouraged to guide the reader through your work. Pages should be numbered upper right hand corner. The APA latest edition style of writing is used (http://www.apastyle.org/). Authors must attribute all ideas, quotations, and borrowed materials to the author and source. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references and are encouraged to use reliable sources. Papers should be double spaced and 4 to 12 pages in length. The paper should end with a strong “take home” message to and implications for practice for childbirth educators.

References:
References should be listed in alphabetical order on a separate page. The majority of references should be less than 5 to 8 years old. Old publications or encyclopedias (including Wikipedia) are seldom appropriate references.

BOOK REVIEWS
Books to be considered for scholarly review should be sent by the publisher, author, or affiliates to the

Managing Editor:
International Journal of Childbirth Education
1500 Sunday Drive, Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27607

For reviewers:
You are encouraged to consider writing a book review that might be of interest to readers of the International Journal of Childbirth Education (IJCE). We occasionally have books available awaiting a review or you might choose to write a review of a book you already have. Please contact the editor by email at editor@icea.org for more information.

Please use the following as a general guideline when composing book reviews for the International Journal of Childbirth Education.

Include:

·        a brief summary of the book’s contents and organization

·        any particular strengths and/or weaknesses

·        contributions to the field of childbirth education

·        suggested audience for the book

·        your recommendations and conclusions

Format:

·        about 500-1,000 words

·        double-spaced times new roman 12 font

·        avoid in-text citations and references

Cover Page Includes:

·        Title: Book Review of Author, A. A. (year). Title of Book. Location: Publisher. Number of pages. Cost.

·        Reviewers name and credentials

·        A two to three sentence bio of the reviewer including affiliations

Reprints and Editorial Address:
Articles, letters, and other editorial correspondence should be addressed to the Journal Managing Editor, c/o ICEA, 1500 Sunday Dr., Suite 102, Raleigh, NC 27607 USA. Messages can also be left at e-mail address: editor@icea.org, telephone 919/863-9487, or fax 919/787-4916.

All photos that do not accompany articles should include the signed Submission Statement: "All submitted photographs are for single use only and the photographer has obtained permission from the subjects to publish the photos.