The American Journal of Accountable Care

Submission of Manuscripts

The editor is pleased to consider manuscripts on a wide range of topics related to the Journal’s mission. All manuscripts and corresponding materials/documents must be submitted through our online submission and peer-review system. Log on to and follow the step-by-step instructions. There are no fees or charges associated with submitting to or publishing in AJAC. Please see the Manuscript Specifications page for AJAC’s sister journal, The American Journal of Managed Care®, for further details on manuscript formatting.

If you have questions or wish to speak to an editor, please email Christina Mattina (

Submissions generally fall into one of the following content categories. Please see our call for papers for linked examples of published articles in each category.


  • Original Research: <3000 words (excluding abstract, references, tables, etc). These should contain no more than 5 combined graphic elements (tables/figures) and no more than 50 references. Supplemental data (extra tables, figures, or appendices) will be made available at at the time of publication.
  • Review Articles: <3000 words, should present a thorough synthesis of the literature and offer new insights and/or recommendations on how to improve the standard of care. These should contain no more than 5 graphic elements and no more than 50 references.
  • Insights: <1500-word opinion pieces, usually solicited from recognized thought leaders that discuss pertinent and sometimes controversial issues in healthcare. These should contain no more than 2 graphic elements and no more than 30 references.
  • Trends From the Field: <2000 words, should provide descriptive data of current trends in the health care system. These reports should contain no more than 2 graphic elements and no more than 30 references.
  • Case Description: <2000 words, should provide case analysis of a single organization’s efforts or practices. These reports should contain no more than 2 graphic elements and no more than 30 references.
  • Editorials: <1000 words, are solicited to accompany key articles and either extend or offer opposing perspectives on a specific subject.
  • Letters: <500 words, are published as space allows. These should contain no more than 1 table or figure and cite no more than 6 references.

Requirements for all submissions conform to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. Our review process is double-blinded, so all identifying information (eg, author names, affiliations) must be removed from the text and cover letter before submission.

By submitting your manuscript, you hereby guarantee that: (1) all sources used have been cited and listed in the references section; and (2) all necessary permissions have been obtained and credit properly given for content (ie, text and graphical items such as tables and figures) used in whole or part in the manuscript/eAppendix not considered to be original work.


Only persons who have made a direct contribution to the content of a paper should be listed as authors. The number of authors listed with the manuscript should not exceed 10; more than 10 requires written justification and approval from the editor in chief. However, group authorship may be used where specified authors (not more than 10) assume responsibility for the entire group. In this case, only the specified authors must meet the criteria for authorship outlined below, and all members of the group may be listed in a footnote, but are not acknowledged as authors.

Nonhuman artificial intelligence and machine learning tools do not qualify for authorship. If such tools are used to draft, prepare, or edit the manuscript (beyond simple tools for checking spelling and grammar), the authors must take responsibility for the content generated and disclose the use of these tools in the Acknowledgments. Disclosures should include a description of the content and the name, version number, and manufacturer of the tool.


All authors must read and sign the Journal’s Author Disclosure Form. It is our policy to have all authors disclose relationships with any commercial interest that may present a conflict of interest if: (a) the relationship is financial and occurred within the past 12 months; and (b) the author discusses products or services of that commercial interest. Relevant financial relationships are those relationships in which the author (and/or the author's spouse or partner) benefits in any dollar amount by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (eg, stocks, stock options, or other ownership interests, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles, such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and/or other activities for which remuneration is received or expected. In addition, authors are required to report all financial and material support for their research, which includes (but is not limited to) grant support and funding sources and any provision of equipment or supplies.

The name of the organization funding or initiating a research project should be made explicit on the title page (eg, “This study was funded by the XYZ Corporation.”). Relevant financial relationships (whether direct to the authors or through a third party) for research and/or writing, including funding, grants, honoraria, etc, must also be named on the title page. If the funding organization had any role in the collection of data, its analysis and interpretation, and/or in the right to approve or disapprove publication of the finished manuscript, this must be noted in the cover letter and described in the Methods section of the text. The editorial staff may inquire further about financial disclosure after the manuscript is submitted. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, disclosure statements will be printed as part of the published article.


All authors must read and sign the Journal's Authorship Form. AJAC uses the criteria provided by the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to determine authorship. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. Authorship credit should be based only on substantial contributions to (a) conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data; and to (b) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and on (c) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions (a), (b), and (c) must all be met. All authors are required to read and sign the Journal's Authorship Form affirming that they have met the criteria for authorship and have agreed to transfer copyright to Managed Care & Healthcare Communications, LLC. Individuals who have contributed to a paper but who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be acknowledged.

Both forms completed by each author should be included with submission and uploaded directly to Manuscript Central. Forms can also be sent to after submission. Please be sure to include the manuscript title, author names, and/or manuscript number in your email.


Acknowledgment of Receipt

Following submission through Manuscript Central, a unique, confidential manuscript number will be assigned and a confirmation email will be sent. Be sure to have submitted all required documents/information. The editorial staff will then assess whether the manuscript submission meets the Journal’s specifications in terms of word count, blinded materials, and other guidelines, and will communicate any necessary changes to the authors.

Internal Review by Editor

Each manuscript is sent to the editor in chief for an internal evaluation to determine its appropriateness. Manuscripts that do not meet the Journal’s criteria for overall appropriateness, relevance, originality, and scientific merit will be returned promptly (usually within 2 weeks) so that authors may pursue alternate avenues for publication.

Peer Review

Manuscripts deemed appropriate for the Journal will be sent to external peer reviewers. Typically, a manuscript will be sent to a minimum of 2 reviewers who will be asked to provide feedback on the scientific merit and relevancy of the paper. The reviewer’s evaluation is requested back within 3 weeks.

Reviewer selection is ultimately the decision of the editorial team, but authors may suggest the names and email addresses of preferred/nonpreferred peer reviewers. The peer-review process is double-blinded, meaning that the identity of the authors is not known to the reviewers and the identity of the reviewers is not known to the authors.

Criteria for Editorial Decisions

Manuscripts are judged on the interest/importance of the topic, the intellectual and scientific strength, the clarity of the presentation, and relevance to AJAC readers. The paper’s strength is compared with others under review and the number of accepted/previously published papers in the category. Original research and review articles should describe how their findings add to the existing literature.

Acceptance, Revision, or Rejection

Most authors can expect a first decision on their manuscript in approximately 2 months. At any time in the process, authors can log on to our Manuscript Central system to check the status of their manuscript submission. However, we communicate editorial decisions on acceptance, revision, or rejection only to the corresponding author.

If the authors are offered the opportunity to revise their paper, the revision will be assessed by the editor in chief (and often the original peer reviewers) to confirm that the comments have been addressed.

On Acceptance

All accepted papers require editorial revision and formatting before publication. An edited version of the manuscript in Word will be sent to the corresponding author approximately 4 to 6 weeks before the issue date. Additionally, 2 sets of PDF page proofs (a first proof and a final proof) will be sent to the corresponding author for review before publication. Manuscript edits and first proofs must be returned to the editorial office within 48 hours, and final proofs must be returned within 24 hours.


By submitting a manuscript to AJAC, the authors confirm that the research meets ethical guidelines, including adherence to the legal requirements of the study country. Manuscripts submitted to AJAC that describe research on human subjects must include in the Methods section a statement of institutional review board approval or exemption and a confirmation that informed consent was obtained from study participants. Please see the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals for further details on protection of research participants.


Final decisions regarding manuscript publication are made by the editor in chief. In the event that the editor has a conflict of interest with a submitted manuscript or the authors, the editorial decisions are made by an editor in chief of AJAC’s sister journal, The American Journal of Managed Care®, who does not have a conflict of interest related to the manuscript.

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