Author Guidelines

Submissions of original content (not published or under review elsewhere) are accepted on an ongoing basis.  There are no fees to submit, publish, or view regular content. Contributions may be requested for the publication of special sections and special issues (see below). 

To send your submission through our publications system, please click here. Style and submission guidelines are provided below.

Types of contributions

We welcome submissions for the following types of contributions (please note that journal sections were changed in April 2020):

Research Articles

Responsible editors: MAT Editorial Collective

Original research articles comprise the core of the journal. MAT seeks to rethink health and medicine in local and global contexts, within the broad fields of medical anthropology, science and technology studies (STS), and global health. In line with our commitment to open access, accepted articles (up to 10,000 words including references) will be written in clear language that makes insights available to a wide readership. The editors seek to publish work that innovates both theoretically and methodologically, or that revisits classical anthropological debates in thinking through contemporary problems. We also seek work from ‘applied’ anthropologists and activists working in sites outside of academia. Research articles can include primary research, for example based on ethnographic fieldwork, or secondary research, for example based on a review of a particular field of literature. Please see here for further information about the Journal scope and aims. Through the publication of original research, MAT aims to fulfill its mission to publish cutting-edge scholarship at the forefront of theoretical and methodological debates in the discipline. 

Position Pieces

Responsible Editors: Martha Lincoln and Tom Widger

Position Pieces are creative in genre and form, subvert disciplinary boundaries, and reflect upon their authors’ positions relative to the material and concepts they engage. We collect these works under the banner of “Position Pieces” as a nod to the role of position in shaping our scholarly activities and professional practices.  In other words, the writing collected under the banner of Position Pieces gestures to the reality that our own positions – in relation to our interlocutors, the field, the academy, and other disciplines – are always moving. Position Pieces aim to capture that momentum through texts that reflect ‘upstream’ thinking – thoughts and conversations that are not yet formatted into academic publication conventions. These may be essays, theoretical forays, instigations, or other experimental texts with a tentative, unfinished edge. Position Pieces provoke debate, unearth hidden assumptions, and contribute to the decentering and deprovincializing of medical anthropology. In this way, they advance MAT’s broader mission to explore how culture, politics, and social norms bear on medicine, illness, and health – and vice versa. We are particularly keen to publish essays written by public health workers, patients, medics, social workers, psychologists, bioethicists, nurses, and clinical practitioners of all stripes, in addition to medical anthropological work. The word limit for a Position Piece is 3,000 words.

Field Notes

Responsible Editor: Rosie Sims

Field Notes is a space to innovate with ethnographic writing. These pieces are experience-near to field research and ought to dwell with the empirics of field work. Let this be a space to try out a new ethnographic style, to hone one’s creative writing skills, or publish those indelible bits of field research that just don’t fit anywhere else. Submissions should be forthrightly empirical and are expected to have few, if any, citations. The word limit for a field notes piece is 3,000 words, though shorter submissions are encouraged.

Photo essays

Responsible Editor: Liz Cartwright

Given the centrality of observing, seeing, and representing to ethnographic projects, MAT provides a forum for researchers to present a set of up to ten photographs that critically engages with these issues. Submissions should include an accompanying textual comment of under 1,000 words (excluding references), reflecting on how photography shapes the ways in which ethnographic subjects are approached, collaborated with, framed, and presented as objects of research, science, and art. Longer pieces that include photos in the text can be submitted to any of the other sections. Authors should also bear in mind that ‘less is often more’ when it comes to the number of images included in photo essays. We encourage authors to carefully consider the value of each image before submitting. Please note: images should be between 1800 and 3000 pixels on one side, and must be uploaded through our OJS portal as ‘supplementary files’ during stage 4 of the submission process. 


Responsible Editor: Bridget Bradley

MAT invites reviews of books, films, podcasts, conferences, and exhibits. Reviews should be in essay form and entail a discussion of at least three different reviewed works (which need not all be of the same medium). Many review essays will be commissioned but we also welcome suggestions and recommendations. The word limit for reviews is 3,000 words.

Special sections & special issues

Responsible Editors: MAT Editorial Collective

We publish two kinds of edited collections: special sections and special issues.

special section consists of 3-7 contributions on a topic or theme, with an invited editorial by the guest editor(s). Special sections can include writing of any submission type (research article, position piece, review, photo-essay, and/or field note), but should include a minimum of 2 research articles. Special sections are published within journal issues as part of the usual publication schedule. Depending on the schedule, they are often published as a collection of advance pre-prints. 

Special sections are accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals should be sent via this form, and should include: Title, editors, overview of the topic and theoretical focus (500-700 words excluding references) and abstracts of all contributions (150-200 words).  

special issue is a curated collection of 7-12 contributions (including at least 4 research articles) with a shared theoretical focus, with an invited editorial by the guest editor(s). We aim to publish 1–2 special issues a year with the possibility of publishing out-with the usual journal publication schedule. We aim for publication of special issues in June and/or October of each year.  Occasionally, public events and issues require a more rapid response than an annual publishing cycle allows. In these circumstances the MAT Editors may publish calls for contributions to special sections or issues on a particular theme. 

Proposals for special issues are considered on an annual basis. The next date for submission of proposals is 30th September 2020. Proposals should be sent via this form, and should include: Title, editors, overview of the topic and theoretical focus (800-1000 words excluding references) and abstracts of all contributions (150-200 words). A response will be given by 16th October. All manuscripts (exempting editorial) included in an accepted special issue will need to be submitted by November 31st 2020. 

Article processing fees 

MAT is a fully independent and open-access publication that relies primarily on grants and public funding to operate. Publishing special issues/sections results in costs that exceed our operating budget, with each contribution requiring hours of editing, proofreading, and web-based work. As a result, we ask special issue contributors to help offset these costs of readying a special issue for publication. The cost per research article is £400 and for all other contributions is £300 (including  editorials, position pieces, field notes, etc.). Fees can be paid as a whole by one institution or individually by each contributor, and all fees must be paid prior to publication. As we are committed to open access, fees may be negotiated; we offer a sliding scale for authors without access to institutional support and/or based in the global South. Article processing charges for contributions to rapid response special section/issue calls issued by the MAT Editors can be waived for authors without access to institutional funds.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. 

Guidelines for special issue/section editors: 

  1. Guest editors are expected to work with authors to ensure that papers submitted for a special issue/section are of high quality, would be expected to be well reviewed, and that they adhere to the technical requirements set out in the journal guidelines, which can be found on our website.  

  2. All articles should follow the usual author guidelines for submissions. Each contribution must be submitted by individual authors through our online system, with a note tying them to the special issue so that we can track them appropriately. 
  3. Papers are handled by MAT for peer review; guest editors are expected to provide us with a minimum of three suggested reviewers for each paper to facilitate the process.

  4. We make a decision on the basis of the reviewers’ comments and inform the author(s) directly, copying in the guest editor(s). We also discuss contradictory reviews with guest editors. Papers may be rejected, and submission for inclusion in a special issue is therefore not assurance of acceptance. If the reviewers suggest that an article be rejected, the guest editors may appeal, but MAT retains the right to make the final decision.

  5. If we have other papers ready for publication that fit with the theme of the special section/issue, we may suggest to the guest editors that they include them. Papers submitted through the usual journal system will not incur a fee. 

  6. Articles that are provisionally accepted are reviewed by MAT’s editors, and it is desirable that guest editors assist in this. If an article requires further external review, then again, we handle this through the editorial office. 

  7. An editorial introduction should be prepared as soon as we know which papers are accepted and will appear in the special issue. This should be submitted at least one month before publication to allow time for copyediting and revisions.  

  8. All other peer-review processes and communications are as for usual submissions. 

Peer review process

Scholarly articles 

Scholarly articles will be initially screened by a member of the editorial collective to assess whether the piece meets relevance and quality thresholds for the journal. We aim to complete the screening process within two weeks of submission. The author will be informed whether their article has been rejected at this stage or will undergo peer review. In the latter case, the article will remain under the oversight of the original editorial collective member for the duration of the review process. Scholarly articles undergo a double-blind peer review process and are reviewed by 2-5 reviewers. We aim for the first round of the review process to take no more than twelve weeks from the time of submission. 

If peer reviewers arrive at widely diverging recommendations, the responsible Collective Editor will review the manuscript and the reviews to ascertain how to proceed. An additional review may be solicited or the editor may provide other guidance to authors in how to handle the various recommendations. 

Section contributions 

Each submission will be reviewed, initially, by one section editor. The process will be single-blinded. Our section editors frequently work with authors on idea development prior to submission, though this is not required for submission, and will be the first point of contact for any submission. If a section editor thinks that a submission is promising, the author will be invited to submit their manuscript through the OJS system. The section editor with then send the piece out for one external, single-blinded review. Section editors may work with authors on the piece prior to sending it out. Authors will be notified whether the piece has been declined, selected for development by working with the editorial team, or immediately sent out for external review. At the point of submission, authors are invited to suggest reviewers for the external review, should their piece reach that stage.  

The journal is committed to keeping a strict regimen on turn-around times and will keep authors updated about the progress of the review process. 

MAT published three issues a year, in April, September and December. Additional special issues and special sections may be published up to two times per year.   

Preparation of manuscripts

All submissions must be original material, not published or under review elsewhere. If a submission is found to be plagiarized, it will be rejected. While MAT does not employ a plagiarism-screening service, the editorial team does spot-check content from time to time. If authors ‘recycle’ their own text, they will be asked to substantially revise their contribution to the satisfaction of the editors. 

We use Open Journal Systems (OJS) for the submission of manuscripts. Your manuscript should be saved as a Microsoft Word file, and be formatted in Ariel font 12 point, and double spaced. In the submission process, you will be asked to provide contact information, up to five keywords, an abstract (150-200 words), an image or images, a biographical note, and a note on authors and contributors (see our authorship policy). Please keep images in their intended place in the Microsoft Word document and please gather information on copyright requirements for the images used. As part of the submission process, you will be asked to agree to our copyright policy, which grants copyright to the author and allows for the sharing of the text with attribution (Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution License). 

Please, also have a look at our Authorship Policy when preparing your manuscript.

Citations and references 

The journal uses Chicago Style internal citations, also known as ‘author/date’ style (AuthorLastName YEAR, page), and reference lists. Please format your citations and references according to the examples found at this website (click the author-date tab): Please, include DOIs (following this format:…) and URLs wherever possible. 

Please keep footnotes to a minimum (no more than 10); include note material in the text whenever possible.  

House style 

For almost all matters of style, MAT follows The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. Please note a few exceptions: 

Headings. Please use initial capital letters only. 

Quotations. Please follow British-style punctuation (single quotation marks to open and close quotations, double quotation marks only within a quote, and punctuation placed outside of quotation marks) and the insertion of block quotes for extracts of 50 words or longer.  

Dates. Please style dates following this example: 12 May 2010. 

Spelling. We follow Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary Either UK or American English may be used, as long as the author is consistent.  

Hyperlinks. Please leave all URL addresses visible so they can be read in PDF versions of articles. 

Image Specifications 

All submissions should be accompanied by a thumbnail image which will appear next to the article on the journal website. Thumbnail images will be requested by the editorial team when entering the copyediting stage. 

Thumbnail images should be: JPG for photographs or PNG for illustrations without photographs, and of larger width than height, recommended 160px x 320px pixels in dimension 

Any images included in the text of the article should be placed in the desired location within the manuscript, and accompanied by caption text. At copyediting stage, the editorial team will request the author for the photographs, and a descriptive line of no more than 125 characters which would serve as ALT text for accessibility.  

Images should be sent in JPG format for photographs or PNG format for illustrations without photographs. Images should be between 1800 and 3000 pixels on one side. 

Authors are responsible for ensuring any copyrighted image has permission or falls within an exception to the general copyright statue, such as public domain, fair use, or open access, and providing these details to the editorial team before the production stage.