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About Implementation Science

This page includes information about the aims and scope of Implementation Science, editorial policies, open access and article-processing charges, the peer review process and other information. For details of how to prepare and submit a manuscript through the online submission system, please see the instructions for authors.

Aims & scope

Implementation Science is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal that aims to publish research relevant to the scientific study of methods to promote the uptake of research findings into routine healthcare in clinical, organisational or policy contexts.

Biomedical, social science, organisational, and managerial research constantly produce new findings-but often these are not routinely translated into healthcare practice. Implementation research is the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of proven clinical treatments, practices, organisational, and management interventions into routine practice, and hence to improve health. In this context, it includes the study of influences on patient, healthcare professional, and organisational behaviour in either healthcare or population settings.

The lack of routine uptake of research findings is strategically important for the development of healthcare because it clearly places an invisible ceiling on the potential for research to enhance health. Further, it is scientifically important because it identifies the behaviour of healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations as key sources of variance requiring improved empirical and theoretical understanding before effective uptake can be reliably achieved.

Implementation science is an inherently interdisciplinary research area, and the journal is not constrained by any particular research method. Implementation Science wishes to publish articles of high scientific rigour using the most appropriate methods to produce valid, generalisable answers to research questions. As well as hosting papers describing the effectiveness of implementation interventions, Implementation Science provides a unique home for articles describing intervention development, evaluations of the process by which effects are achieved, economic evaluations of implementation, and the role of theory relevant to implementation research. The journal is also interested in publishing articles that present novel methods (particularly those that have a theoretical basis) for studying implementation processes and interventions. We are also interested in receiving articles that address methodologically robust study of the de-implementation of ineffective clinical and organisational practices.

We welcome study protocols, but these will only be considered if the study has received ethics approval and been approved for funding through external peer review via an established funding body at the national level in the respective country. We do not consider protocols for systematic reviews or protocols for studies that have begun data cleaning or analysis.

Open access

All articles published by Implementation Science are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

Authors of articles published in Implementation Science are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

For authors who are US government employees or are prevented from being copyright holders for similar reasons, BioMed Central can accommodate non-standard copyright lines. Please contact us if further information is needed.

Article-processing charges

The publication costs for Implementation Science are covered by the journal, so authors do not need to pay an article-processing charge.

Indexing services

All articles published in Implementation Science are included in PubMed, the most widely used biomedical bibliographic database service, which is run by the US National Library of Medicine. Other bibliographic databases that index articles published in Implementation Science include:

  • Citebase
  • Current contents
  • DOAJ
  • EmCare
  • Google Scholar
  • OAIster
  • PubMed
  • PubMed Central
  • Science Citation Index
  • Science Citation Index Expanded
  • SCImago
  • Scopus
  • Social Sciences Citation Index
  • Zetoc

The full text of all research articles is deposited in PubMed Central, the US National Library of Medicine's full-text repository of life science literature, and other digital archives including e-Depot (The Netherlands).

The full text of all research articles published by BioMed Central is also available on SpringerLink.

Implementation Science is tracked by Thomson Reuters (ISI) and has an Impact Factor of 3.20.

Publication and peer review process

Criteria for publication

Implementation Science considers the following types of articles:

  • Research - reports of data from original research; should be no longer than 5500 words.
  • Debate articles - present an argument that is not essentially based on practical research. Debate articles can report on all aspects of the subject including sociological and ethical aspects; should be no longer than 5000 words.
  • Methodology articles - present a new experimental method, test or procedure. The method described may either be completely new, or may offer a better version of an existing method; should be no longer than 5500 words.
  • Short reports - brief reports of data from original research; should be no longer than 2500 words.
  • Study protocols - describe proposed or ongoing research, providing a detailed account of the hypothesis, rationale, and methodology of the study; should be no longer than 5500 words. We only consider protocols which have been through competitive external peer review by a nationally recognised research agency.
  • Systematic reviews - Title the article in the style "The effectiveness of audit and feedback: a systematic review". State background to the area, what is already known and why a systematic review is needed. Then describe the search strategy, the databases searched, inclusion and exclusion criteria, the data extraction methods and the proposed methods of data aggregation and analysis. Present the results and discuss their interpretation and implications; should be no longer than 5500 words.

Peer-review policies

  • Implementation Science operates using an open peer review system, where the reviewers' names are included on the peer review reports. In addition, if the article is published, the named reports are published online alongside the article as part of a pre-publication history. All previous versions of the manuscript, and all author responses to the reviewers are also available to readers.
  • Manuscripts will be assigned to a Handling Editor who will oversee the review process.
  • For manuscripts deemed suitable for peer review two or more expert reviews will be sought.
  • Reviewers may be members of the Editorial Board or external experts in the field.
  • Reviewers are asked to declare any competing interests they may have in reviewing a manuscript.
  • The journal aims for a first decision to be made within 6 weeks of receipt of the submission.
  • If an author is unhappy with, or formally appeals, an editorial decision then the Editors-in-Chief will review the decision in accordance with the procedures outlined in the COPE Code of Conduct for Editors.

Edited by Anne Sales and Michel Wensing, Implementation Science is supported by an expert Editorial Board.

Implementation Science operates using an open peer review system, where the reviewers' names are included on the peer review reports. In addition, if the article is published, the named reports are published online alongside the article as part of a 'pre-publication history'. All previous versions of the manuscript, and all author responses to the reviewers are also available to readers.

Authors will be able to check the progress of their manuscript through the submission system at any time by logging into My Implementation Science, a personalized section of the site.

Copyediting and proofs

Implementation Science will copyedit manuscripts before they are published.

Following the acceptance of an article, it is published in Implementation Science as a provisional PDF file with minimal delay (subject to formatting checks, copyediting and author verification). Fully formatted PDF and full-text (HTML) versions are made available shortly after that.


High-quality, bound reprints can be purchased for all articles published. Please see our reprints website for further information about ordering reprints.


Implementation Science will consider supplements based on proceedings (full articles or meeting abstracts), reviews or research. All articles submitted for publication in supplements are subject to peer review. Published supplements are fully searchable and freely accessible online and can also be produced in print. All full length articles (proceedings, reviews or research articles) are indexed by PubMed. PubMed displays the title of the supplement only in the case of meeting abstract collections. For further information, please contact us.

Editorial policies

All manuscripts submitted to Implementation Science should adhere to BioMed Central's editorial policies.

Citing articles in Implementation Science

Articles in Implementation Science should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.

Article citations follow this format:

Authors: Title. Implementation Sci [year], [volume number]:[article number].

e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. Implementation Sci 2009, 1:115.

refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.

Why publish your article in Implementation Science?

High visibility

Implementation Science's open access policy allows maximum visibility of articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. Articles that have been especially highly accessed are highlighted with a 'Highly accessed' graphic, which appears on the journal's contents pages and search results.

Speed of publication

Implementation Science offers a fast publication schedule whilst maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published with their final citation after acceptance, in both fully browsable web form, and as a formatted PDF; the article will then be available through Implementation Science, BioMed Central and PubMed Central and will also be included in PubMed.


Online publication in Implementation Science gives authors the opportunity to publish large datasets, large numbers of color illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example, to PubMed, to sequence and other databases, and to other articles).

Promotion and press coverage

Articles published in Implementation Science are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be included in abstract books mailed to academics and are highlighted on Implementation Science's pages and on the BioMed Central homepage.

In addition, articles published in Implementation Science may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in Implementation Science. A list of articles recently press-released by journals published by BioMed Central is available here.

Authors of articles published in Implementation Science retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work (for further details, see the BioMed Central copyright policy and license agreement).

For further information about the advantages of publishing in a journal from BioMed Central, please click here.