The Undergraduate Research in Health journal (URH) is an online, bi-annual, peer-reviewed journal that presents research done by undergraduate students in the health sciences.
The journal was created in order to embrace the notion that sharing research outputs is part of the ladder of scholarship for undergraduate students. The journal aims to encourage, support and showcase the work of health sciences students who have not yet graduated. URH only houses manuscripts written by undergraduate students or manuscripts written collaboratively by undergraduate students and academics.
URH is dedicated to the publication of high-quality undergraduate health sciences student research. The journal welcomes academic articles from all universities. All articles undergo a rigorous peer review which is based on initial editor screening and two anonymous reviews by members of the academic fraternity.
All Editorial Team members are volunteers and are academic members of staff from health sciences faculties across Africa.
Dr Astrid Turner
Editor-in-Chief | University of Pretoria, South Africa | Public health, health economics and health professions education.
Prof Liz Wolvaardt
Associate editor | University of Pretoria, South Africa | Health system strengthening, faculty development for health professions training
Ms Clarissa van der Merwe
Associate editor | University of Pretoria, South Africa | Anatomy, with a focus on Health Science Education – specifically in the field of human evolution
Ms Abigail Dreyer
Associate editor | University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa | Collaborative practice, interprofessional teaching and research that contributes to improving the quality of health care in rural and underserved areas.
Dr Adele du Plessis
Associate editor | University of Namibia, Namibia | Blended learning and use of web -based tools, techniques and technology to enhance student perceptions of 3-D and spatial relationships, the first year student experience, histology, curriculum development and anatomy research.
Dr Scholastika Ndatinda Iipinge
Associate editor | Welwitchia Health Training Centre, Namibia | Contemporary Nursing, Public Health, Contemporary Social Issues including HIV/AIDS and Ethics, Gender issues and Non-Communicable Diseases
Dr Gerda Botha
Associate editor | Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
Peer Review Process
The Editors aim to provide prompt reviews to optimise the quality of the published papers. All submissions are reviewed by an editorial advisory group, who will check for scope, fit, quality, originality, interest for the readership, etc., and recommend acceptance, rejection or referral for review. Once an article has been accepted for peer review, it is assigned to an Associate Editor who will manage it through the peer review process.
A double blind review process is followed, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from each other throughout the review process. A majority of manuscripts will be sent to one or two reviewers, under the management of an editor assigned to the submission. Reviewers as experts in the field provide comments to authors and editors on the importance, originality and scientific merit of the manuscript and suggest changes which may improve the quality and validity of the manuscript. The review process itself takes approximately 4 – 6 weeks to complete but can change depending upon the quality of the manuscript submitted, reviewer’s response and time taken by the authors to submit the revised manuscript.
If the decision is for revision, the author is requested to address each comment by the reviewers, and submit a letter outlining their responses accompanying their revised manuscript. The assigned editor will re-evaluate the revisions and will either make a decision or send the manuscript for a second round of review, usually to the original set of reviewers. Reviewers will be informed of the outcome of manuscripts which they have reviewed.
The Editor-in-Chief has the final decision on any submitted manuscript.
Enrol as a reviewer
The URH encourages readers who are actively involved in research and with particular expertise to serve as peer reviewers of the Journal. Students who have published in URH are welcome to register as a peer reviewer. Training and mentoring will be provided, if needed.
- Already a registered user? Loginto the Journal Editorial Manager website and edit your profile to include ‘Reviewer’ as a role.
Accepting/declining an invitation to review
An invitation to review will be sent via email from the Editorial Manager system, and will provide submission details such as the manuscript title and abstract. Reviewers will be asked to indicate their acceptance/decline to review by a specified date, and a date by which the review should be completed will also be provided. Reviewers can respond to the invite either by clicking on the relevant link in the email or by logging in to their Reviewer role on the AJHPE Editorial Manager website, where they will see that they have a pending New Reviewer Invitation. Reviewers who accept the invite to review can access the full text article, by logging into Editorial Manager or via the link to the reviewers’ ‘pending assignments’ found in the automated acknowledgement email (received in response to the their acceptance to review). The article will be blinded and in PDF format, with the option to download in Word version. Once completed, reviewers will submit their review and recommendation on the Editorial Manager website.
Any queries can be directed to the Managing Editor: ClaudiaN@samedical.org
Performing/submitting a review
As a reviewer, you will be advising the editors who will make the final decision on a manuscript. The reviewer should provide feedback on all components of the article, including the methodology, results and discussion. The review should conclude with a recommendation: accept, accept with minor revisions, major revisions needed, or reject. Please refer to the Reviewer Guidelines which provides further guidance on completing reviews.
A tutorial on how to complete your review on Editorial Manager can be found here.
To complete a review:
- Loginto the AJHPE Editorial Manager website in the Reviewer role.
- Ensure that you have accepted to perform the review (outlined above). Manuscripts that you have accepted to review will be located in your ‘Pending Assignments’ folder.
- Click on ‘View Submission’ to access the PDF version of the manuscript.
- Reviewer Guidelines can be accessed/viewed by clicking ‘Submit Recommendation’.
- Reviewers can record their comments in a separate Word file or the original PDF (if they have the necessary Adobe software) that they can upload on the ‘Submit Recommendation’ page or complete the reviewer questions on the aforementioned webpage.
- All reviewers are required to complete three questions on the ‘Submit Recommendation’ webpage in order to submit their recommendation. Once reviewers have completed and submitted their reviews and recommendation, they can inform the handling editor by clicking ‘Send Email’. An acknowledgement email will also be received by the reviewer once the review has been successfully processed on the website.
Should reviewers require additional time to review or further assistance, please contact the Managing Editor: ClaudiaN@samedical.org
The Undergraduate Research in Health journal is published online quarterly (one volume comprising 4 issues per annum).
Open Access Policy
Undergraduate Research in Health journal is an Open Access Journal and provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. In accordance with the definition of the Budapest Open Access Initiative all content published by the URH is made free to users without any subscription or other charges. Users are permitted to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of these articles, or use them for any other lawful, non-commercial purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.
This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration.
The posting of comments to published articles requires registration with this journal website. Only constructive comments that relate to the published material will be permitted. Posted comments solely represent the opinions of the respective user and not those of the URH, and do not imply endorsement by the URH. The URH reserves the right to remove comments without notice that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, contain advertising or spam, or violate another user’s privacy. The URH reserves the right to revoke the privileges of users that post inappropriate material. Such material may be brought to the attention of the publisher (firstname.lastname@example.org). The URH reserves the right to modify this policy without notice.
Readers of the URH are encouraged to register with the journal website to receive notifications of new issues online (open access).
- Already a registered user? Loginto the journal website and edit your profile to include ‘Reader’ as a role.
A definition of plagiarism is included in the Guidelines to Authors and authors are referred to this policy for the consequences of an offence of this nature. All cases of suspected or alleged plagiarism will be considered seriously and on an individual basis.
(Definition of plagiarism: Plagiarism is when you use someone else’s work (book, article, website, etc.) or idea without acknowledging them as the source, whether it be copied verbatim or paraphrased.
Self plagiarism is the re-use of one’s previously published work without citing the original publication.
Manuscripts submitted online will be screened for potential plagiarism before peer review using similarity detection software. All cases of suspected or alleged plagiarism are considered very seriously in accordance with each journal’s Plagiarism Policy.
All manuscripts submitted for consideration for publication will be scanned for potential plagiarism using iThenticate before undergoing peer review to verify their originality. Similarity reports will be reviewed individually.
• Suspected plagiarism in a submitted manuscript can be brought to the attention of the journal editor either through the similarity report of the plagiarism detection scan or through a reviewer of the manuscript.
• When a similarity report is indicative of potential plagiarism, the report and manuscript will be examined by the journal editor to determine whether or not material has been plagiarised and, if so, the extent of the plagiarism. When plagiarism is supected, the journal editor will contact the author(s), showing evidence either from iThenticate similarity checks or from a reviewer.
• If material has been plagiarised, the corresponding author will be informed by the journal editor that the manuscript is rejected on these grounds.
• If the extent of the plagiarism is minor and journal editor determines that the author/s did not intend to plagiarise, no further action will be taken. If the plagiarism is extensive or admitted to, the author/s’ institution/s and funding bodies will be informed of the offence (the submitted and plagiarised material will be sent to them) by the journal editor. Authors will be notified that their institution/s will be informed and that they will be banned from submitting to the (enter journal name here) in the future.
• The reader or reviewer reporting the suspected plagiarism will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.
• When suspected plagiarism is reported to the Editorial Office, the report will be acknowledged and all relevant documentation/evidence will be retrieved and examined by the journal editor to determine whether or not material has been plagiarised and, if so, the extent of the plagiarism.
• If material has been plagiarised, the corresponding author will be informed by the journal editor and questioned.
• If the extent of the plagiarism is minor and the journal editor determines that the author/s did not intend to plagiarise, a statement indicating the plagiarised material and appropriate reference will be published online and the article online will be linked to the statement and vice versa.
• If the plagiarism is extensive or admitted to, the article will be retracted (see Article Retraction Policy) and a statement published acknowledging the original author/s.
• The author/s’ institution/s and funding bodies will be informed of the offence (submitted and plagiarised material will be sent to them) by the journal editor. Authors will be notified that the relevant institution/s will be informed and that they will be banned from submitting to the (enter journal here) in the future.
• The original author/s and publisher will also be informed of the offence.
• The reader or Reviewer reporting the suspected plagiarism will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.
Article retraction policy
Published articles should remain extant and intact. However, under exceptional circumstances involving plagiarism (see Plagiarism Policy) and redundant publication or data error, articles may need to be retracted, removed or replaced in order to protect the integrity of the literature. The need for a retraction will be determined by the journal editor, but may be initiated, in cases of flawed data or conclusions, at the request of the author/s.
To retract an article, a notice of retraction will be published in the next issue. This notice of retraction will:
• include the title and authors of the article, the reason for the retraction and who is retracting the article
• be linked to the article online.
A publication fee of R 1000 (ex vat) is charged for each research article and R 500 (ex vat) for short report and other article types published. The publication fee is standard as per article type and does not vary based on colour, figures, or other elements.
The URH is published under an Attribution-Non Commercial International Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License. Under this license, authors agree to make articles available to users, without permission or fees, for any lawful, non-commercial purpose. Users may read, copy, or re-use published content as long as the author and original place of publication are properly cited.
Authors grant the Publisher the exclusive right to publish, display, reproduce and/or distribute the Work in print and electronic format and in any medium known or hereafter developed, including for commercial use. The Author also agrees that the Publisher may retain in print or electronic format more than one copy of the Work for the purpose of preservation, security and back-up.
Authors are required to complete and sign an Author Agreement form that outlines Author and Publisher rights and terms of publication. The Agreement form should be uploaded along with other submissions files and any submission will be considered incomplete without it. In undertaking this agreement, the Author represents, and warrants, either as the sole author or on behalf of the co-authors, that the Work is their own work and that the Author has the authority to enter into the Author-Publisher Agreement.