Information and Guidelines for Submissions

Thank you for your interest in submitting a manuscript to the Health Environments Research & Design Journal (HERD). Please take a moment to review the information and guidelines below for researching, writing, and formatting your paper.

HERD features evidence-based articles and research papers on the relationships among health and environmental design and organizational, provider, and patient outcomes. As a translational journal linking research to practice, HERD features both rigorous research from academic sources and applied research from practice. Papers on research methods and techniques, theory papers, integrative and synthesized reviews of literature, case studies, and critical reviews of new books are accepted. Letters to the editor commenting on published articles or research and theory issues are welcome.

HERD accepts a range of manuscripts including research papers, opinion papers, theory papers, meta-analysis/metasynthesis, book reviews, case studies, independent post-occupancy evaluations, letters to the editors, and responses to letters/papers.

HERD publishes only original works. Manuscripts must not have been previously published and must not be under consideration by another publication. This includes previously published theses and/or dissertations. We also retain all rights to works published in print and online. All authors listed on a submitted manuscript must sign and return a Copyright Transfer Form when the manuscript is submitted. Authors please note that this applies to papers you may wish to use for a future thesis and/or dissertation. Papers published in HERD may not be published again in whole or in part without permission from Vendome. 


Please submit all manuscripts electronically to: Read the following instructions carefully to ensure a successful submission.


HERD is a refereed journal. Authors are urged to seek colleague peer review before submitting their manuscripts. Poorly written or formatted manuscripts will not be sent for peer review.

Manuscript content is assessed for relevance, accuracy, and usefulness to those in healthcare and design settings. Manuscripts will be blind reviewed by two or three peer reviewers, depending on the type of paper. Authors will receive a summary of reviewer comments and recommendations for revision, and the editors’ final recommendation.


All persons designated as authors should have contributed significantly to the conception and writing of the manuscript. Names of those who contributed general support or technical help may be listed in Acknowledgments. As noted above, all authors must sign and submit a Copyright Transfer Form and mail it to the publisher as part of the manuscript submission process before the manuscript will be considered for publication and sent to reviewers. The Copyright Transfer Form may be signed, scanned, and sent as an email attachment to or mailed in hard copy to the following address:

Jennifer Crane, Managing Editor, HERD
Vendome Group, LLC
216 East 45th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Authors are also responsible for obtaining written permission to adapt or reprint all material to which they do not hold the copyright (i.e., which they did not create themselves or which has been previously published), including art (Figures and Tables) and significant textual quotations (exceeding 100 words). Please note that this permission covers reproduction in HERD in all current and future formats. A form for this purpose can be obtained here.


Papers must adhere to the style and format described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), Sixth Edition (2010) in all respects, except the Title Page. The Title Page should contain the following information:

  • Title of article;
  • Name, degrees, job title or position, and affiliation of each author in the order of authorship;
  • Telephone and e-mail for corresponding author;
  • Acknowledgment of funding or other support (financial and otherwise);
  • Keywords; and
  • Suggested running head.

Authors are also strongly encouraged to review back issues of the journal for examples of the various styles they may use to present their research.


Manuscript length depends on the type of article, but in general, the text should be approximately 18–20 pages, exclusive of the Title Page, Executive Summary of Key Concepts, Abstract, Implications for Practice, References, Tables, and Figures. Manuscripts must be double-spaced in 8 ½ x 11-inch format in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins.

All pages should be numbered consecutively and include continuous line numbering. (To insert continuous line numbering into a Word document, first click on the “Page Layout” tab at the top, next click on “Line Numbers,” then select and click on “Continuous” on the menu.)

The Title Page, Executive Summary of Key Concepts, Abstract, text manuscript, Implications for Practice, and References are each submitted as separate files. The text manuscript should have pull-out quotes indicated in ALL CAPS. Each Figure and each Table must be submitted in a separate, individual file (preferably .jpg, .tif, or .pdf files for Figures; Word files for Tables). The author(s) name(s) must not appear anywhere in the Abstract or main text manuscript. In addition, for all article types, please identify five (5) keywords that describe the primary content areas of the paper.

Article Types, Abstracts, and Recommended Lengths

(Note: Keywords for indexing are required for all manuscripts.)

  • Research paper, 4,500 to 7,000 words: The Executive Summary of Key Concepts should not exceed 200 words. The Abstract should not exceed 250 words, with five headings: (1) Objective, (2) Background, (3) Methods, (4) Results, and (5) Conclusions. Research studies can be qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methodology and must include in the text statements of approval from institutional review boards (IRBs) and discuss methods for protecting human subjects' rights or methods of protecting animals (see below). A hard copy or PDF file of the IRB approval should be submitted as a separate file when submitting your manuscript.

  • Theory paper, 4,500 to 7,000 words: The Executive Summary of Key Concepts should not exceed 200 words. The Abstract should not exceed 250 words, with four headings: (1) Aim or Purpose of the paper, (2) Background, (3) Topical Headings, and (4) Conclusions/Recommendations. This type of paper presents a review of theoretical or conceptual models that explain variables of interest, scholarly white papers or manuscripts about healthcare or design innovations, or specific challenges to improve outcomes.

  • Meta-analysis/metasynthesis, 4,500 to 7,000 words: The Executive Summary of Key Concepts should not exceed 200 words. The Abstract should not exceed 250 words, and the manuscript should synthesize all studies pertinent to the topic and have a summarizing conclusion.

  • Book review, 600 to 1,200 words: Book reviews present a scholarly review of a book and your impression of its value to practitioners.

  • Case study, 1,500 to 3,000 words: The Executive Summary of Key Concepts should not exceed 200 words. The Sbstract should not exceed 200 words. Case studies should evaluate a particular methodology in healthcare or healthcare settings.

  • Methodology paper, 1,900 to 3,000 words: Methodology manuscripts should focus on qualitative or quantitative research methods for knowledge development or methods for translating existing research into practice for evidence-based design. Please submit your topic of interest in a query letter to either co-editor. (Contact information is found at the end of these guidelines.)

  • Independent post-occupancy evaluation-1,500 to 3,000 words: The Executive Summary of Key Concepts should not exceed 200 words. The Abstract should not exceed 200 words. Independent post-occupancy evaluations should be third-party evaluations of the strengths or weaknesses of built facilities intended to improve the design of future facilities.

  • Letters to the Editors: Please send all letters to the editors to These submissions are not handled through the Editorial Manager system.


Submit your manuscript text double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman in MSWord with a .doc file extension or in RTF format. Do not use desktop publishing software such as InCopy or QuarkXpress. Do not embed Figures or Tables in the manuscript document, but submit each Figure and Table in a separate file. Avoid complex formatting (using different fonts, colors, etc.), because the publisher will edit your manuscript to conform to HERD style. Left-justify all text; add page numbers in the upper-right-hand corner of the page; and use headings to organize the paper as outlined in the APA publication manual.

Pull-Out Quotes

Pull-out quotes are short, important text extracts (of approximately 25 or fewer words) taken from the main text of your article. They highlight essential or thought-provoking points. Select one pull-out quote per approximately four pages of manuscript, with a maximum of five per article. Please indicate pull-out quotes in your manuscript by TYPING THE SELECTED QUOTATIONS IN ALL CAPS before the actual sentences where they appear. For example, it should appear this way in your submitted manuscript: THIS IS THE PULL-OUT QUOTE. This is the pull-out quote…. .

Tables and Figures

Tables. Please use a 10-point sans serif font (Calibri or Arial) for Tables. Column headings should be bold and all important words capitalized. Submit Tables in both Word files and as PDFs. This makes it possible to edit them, if necessary, for style and typographical errors. Do not embed Tables in the text. Label each with a title and number and save it in an individual file. Tables must be cited in text in numerical order.

Figures. Figures (any images, drawings, photos, graphics, etc.) must be submitted as individually named and numbered files. To ensure the highest quality production, please use Adobe Illustrator to create Figures such as graphs, pie charts, and bar charts (use of PowerPoint should be avoided) and submit Figures in the format in which they were created (e.g., .jpgs, .tifs, .eps, .ai) and as PDFs. Images can be black-and-white or color (color preferred) with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Photographers should be identified for each photo. Graphs must show an appropriate grid scale. Each axis must be labeled with both the quantity measured and the unit of measurement. Permission to reprint and/or model releases (as appropriate) should be submitted with art. Do not include image captions in the area of the images themselves. Instead, insert captions in the text of the manuscript where the figure is cited or list captions separately at the end of the manuscript.

If necessary to include text on an image or graphic, use a 10-point sans serif font such as Calibri or Arial, use sentence capitalization for text in figures (i.e., capitalize only the first letter of a word or series of words), and ensure the text is editable (e.g., typos can be corrected).

If you have any questions about working with graphics files, please contact Jennifer Crane ( for help.


References should be prepared in APA style, as described previously, and placed immediately after the body of the article. References should be keyed single-spaced in alphabetical order according to the (first) author’s last name and double-spaced between references.


Authors will be asked to sign an agreement transferring copyright to the Vendome Group, LLC (publisher). No article can be published unless accompanied by a signed Copyright Transfer Form. Only original papers will be accepted and copyright in published papers will be vested in the publisher. This includes any papers that have been published or that authors might in the future want to publish as a thesis or dissertation.

In addition to signing an agreement transferring copyright to the Vendome Group, LLC (publisher), and a disclosure form for any potential conflicts of interest, it is also the author's responsibility to secure permission for the use of photos or illustrations that come from another source through the Photo License Agreement Form.

It is also the author's responsibility to obtain written permission to reproduce material that has appeared in another publication, including the author's own writings that may have been previously published. Please note: If portions of your paper or article have been published elsewhere, the copyright belongs to that publisher or organization, even though you are the author. If you wish to use any or all of that content in your HERD submission, you must obtain written permission to reproduce those excerpts. The relevant permission forms may be obtained here or at under Copyright Release.

All relevant forms should be submitted concurrent with initial manuscript submission. No article can be published unless all pertinent permissions have been secured.


In April 2008, a federal law was passed mandating that all articles funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) be submitted to PubMed Central within 12 months of publication. While Vendome permits such use and allows for it in its Copyright Transfer Form, it remains the responsibility of the author(s) to fulfill this legal obligation. For information on how to do this, please see the NIH Policy on Public Access at If your study or manuscript was funded by NIH, please mention the NIH award and grant number in an acknowledgment.

Disclosures of Conflicts of Interest

Authors must disclose all relationships that can be viewed as potential conflicts of interest. Potential conflicts of interest include a financial or personal relationship that influences a study's outcome or leads to bias. Authors should identify individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance. All contributing authors to HERD must complete the disclosure of conflicts of interest form issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and submit it with their copyright transfer form. Both forms should be completed, signed, scanned, and sent as e-mail attachments to Jennifer Crane at or mailed in hard copy to the following address:

Jennifer Crane, Managing Editor, HERD
Vendome Group, LLC
216 East 45th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10017


Protecting Human Subjects*

Patients, hospital employees, and all individuals who could be identified in an article have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital identification numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian), employee, or individual gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the individual who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published.

Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve; however, informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. The informed consent should be indicated in the published article.

*International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (“Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals”)-February 2006


Before electronically submitting your manuscript to HERD Editorial Manager, please check the following:

  1. Is the manuscript in MS Word with a .doc file extension or in RTF format?

  2. Are the manuscript pages numbered consecutively?

  3. Are all manuscript lines continuously numbered?

  4. Is the manuscript text double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman?

  5. Is there a 1-inch margin all around?

  6. Have you eliminated all information that identifies the author(s) and/or study (e.g., facility name and location) from the manuscript? (This is to facilitate the blind review process; such information may be added after peer review.)

  7. Have you supplied the following as separate Word files: Title Page, Executive Summary of Key Concepts, Abstract, main text manuscript, Tables, Implications for Practice, and References?

  8. Does your Title Page include: title of article; each author's name, degrees, title, and affiliation in order of authorship; telephone and e-mail for corresponding author; acknowledgment of funding or other support; keywords; and running head?

  9. For research papers, Abstract is no more than 250 words and includes: Objective, Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions?

  10. For theory papers, Abstract is no more than 250 words and includes: Aim or Purpose; Background; Topical Headings; and Conclusions/Recommendations?

  11. Does your text manuscript contain CAPITALIZED PULL-OUT QUOTES before the actual sentences where they appear?

  12. Have you identified five keywords that describe the primary content areas of the manuscript?

  13. Does your manuscript contain Implications for Practice bulleted list?

  14. Does your manuscript conform to APA style (6th Edition)?

  15. Are references in APA style, single-spaced, and in alphabetical order according to the first author's last name, and double-spaced between references?

  16. Are Tables or other illustrative text materials in a 10-point sans serif font (Calibri or Arial), and ready to be submitted as separate Word files?

  17. Are you supplying artwork, photographs, or other images (“Figures”) as separate, high-resolution (300dpi) files in .TIF, .JPEG, or .EPS format?

  18. Does your manuscript length conform to the recommended word count for the type of article you are submitting?

  19. Have you supplied all written permissions to reprint copyrighted material (more than 100 words) that you quote in the text?

  20. Have you supplied written permission to reproduce or adapt any illustrations or photos that come from another source? Have you identified photographers and supplied model releases from identifiable people in photos?

  21. Have you supplied the Copyright Transfer Form, signed by all the coauthors of the article?

  22. Have you disclosed potential conflicts of interest by submitting the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' disclosure form?


Submit manuscripts electronically to Please create an account for yourself as instructed by Editorial Manager, and the system will guide you through the article submission process. You should have the following electronic files ready to copy and paste into the appropriate boxes or to upload into the Editorial Manager system: (1) Title Page; (2) Executive Summary of Key Concepts; (3) Abstract; (4) Keywords; (5) author(s) information; (6) comments you would like to make, including Acknowledgments; (7) manuscript (with CAPITALIZED pull-out quotes and with no author names mentioned), Implications for Practice; and References  (7) Figures in individual files; and (8) Tables in individual files.

Please note that your manuscript will not be considered acceptable for review or edit unless and until all relevant copyright, conflict of interest, and permissions forms have been received.

Contact Information

Correspondence or questions concerning HERD submissions may be directed to either of the co-editors, listed below:

D. Kirk Hamilton, FAIA, FACHA, EDAC
HERD Co-editor
Professor of Architecture
Center for Health Systems and Design
Texas A&M University
TAMU 3137
College Station, TX 77843-3137
Phone: 979-862-6606

Jaynelle F. Stichler, DNSc, RN, EDAC, FACHE, FAAN
HERD Co-editor
Professor of Nursing
Chair, Nursing Leadership in Health Systems
School of Nursing
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-4158
Phone: 858-451-8557

File DownloadSize
HERD Copyright-Transfer.pdf49.79 KB
HERD-Photo-License-Agreement_02.2014.pdf108.1 KB
HERD Disclosure-Conflict-of-Interest-Form.pdf494.46 KB
HERD-Reprint-Permission-Request_02.2014.pdf85.78 KB