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Plain English summary

When submitting a manuscript to Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, authors have the option to include a plain English summary. This should be a summary of the article written in language suitable for the public to easily understand. It should not contain technical terminology or complicated statistics.

If you wish to submit a plain English summary as part of your article, please include this within the main body of your manuscript file. Please do not include the plain English summary as part of the official scientific abstract that is requested separately by the journal submission system. The plain English summary should not exceed 250 words and should be inserted immediately after the official scientific abstract within the manuscript file under the heading "Plain English summary".

By adding a plain English summary, we hope to broaden the reach of the article and bring it to the attention of a more general audience. Researchers are trained to be highly focused, specific, and conservative with extrapolation and speculation. These attributes are useful for scientific publications, but not for wider public understanding. Many non-scientists have difficulty understanding technical terms and jargon, and the public requires more context-setting by way of introduction and more help drawing a conclusion.

The following resources provide further information: INVOLVE Plain English summaries resource; The Plain English Campaign guide on medical writing; Cochrane Library.

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