gms | German Medical Science

GMS Zeitschrift für Hebammenwissenschaft

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hebammenwissenschaft e.V. (DGHWi)

ISSN 2366-5076

For authors

Manuscripts are submitted to the Journal of Midwifery Science exclusively via email ( Only those original articles which have been accepted for publication will be published simultaneously on the GMS Zeitschrift für Hebammenwissenschaft (GMS Journal of Midwifery Science).
Please read the following information regarding the review process, manuscript submission and the author guidelines of the Journal of Midwifery Science or visit our website.

1. Review process – from submission to publication

The complete review process up until publication of the original article is double blind, meaning that both authors and reviewers are “blinded” to one another. The reviewers are anonymous to the authors at least until the article is accepted for publication or their report is to be published, and can then choose whether to remain anonymous or not.
The double blind process is to protect authors’ rights. It allows them to submit papers without being concerned about disadvantage in case of rejection – in particular for publications in the context of a postgraduate/doctoral thesis.
All members of the review board and the extended review board are listed in the journal and on the website. This promotes transparency for authors and is at the same time recognition of the willingness of members of the review board to take on the role of reviewer.
The complete review process up to the point of acceptance of the paper as an original article usually takes about 6 months.

Steps of the review process

1.1 Access review of the submitted article with regard to
a. The inherent goals of the journal
As a first step, the editors ensure that the submitted manuscript promotes the interests and strategies of the journal.
b. Compliance with the formal requirements
Scope and anonymisation of the documents, formatting and file formats are reviewed. In addition to the manuscript itself, the two files ‘Contact details’ and ‘Author’s contract’ must be provided.
c. Ethical aspects
Lastly, whether or not a statement regarding ethical aspects and a potential conflict of interest (‘Conflict of interest’ file) have been provided is checked.
If the criteria listed above have not been met, the editors will consider rejecting the manuscript. If all criteria have been fulfilled, the manuscript is sent to two reviewers.
1.2 Acceptance of the manuscript
Authors are informed by email when their manuscript has been accepted. On publication, this is the date given as ‘submitted’.
1.3 Forwarding the manuscript to the two reviewers
The review process begins once the paper has been forwarded to the reviewers, who have approximately 4 weeks for the review.
1.4 Reviewers’ report
The reviewers send a written report including the form for manuscript assessment according to fixed criteria to the editors, indicating whether the manuscript is to be accepted or rejected. If accepted, the paper can either be declared ‘ready to print’ or it may require minimal, moderate or major revisions. In the case of rejection, the reasons are clearly outlined; the possibility of resubmission may be offered.
The editors inform the authors per email of the decision to accept or reject the manuscript with regard to the need for revision. If the paper is rejected, the author/s can request to see the report.
1.5 Revision by the authors
The authors have a maximum of 4 weeks’ time to revise their manuscript and respond to the reviewers’ remarks. The revised sections of text are to be clearly highlighted.
In addition, the authors are required to complete a revision protocol (‘point for point protocol’), in which they respond to all comments either with a revision (including explanation) or with a (clarifying) explanation. The line or page numbers are to be provided in the revision protocol.
1.6 Evaluation of the revision by the reviewers
The editors send the revised manuscript and the revision protocol back to the same two reviewers for evaluation, who then inform the editorial board of their approval for publication or that further revision is necessary.
1.7-A Decision of the reviewers: Acceptance of the manuscript as original article
If the reviewers accept the revised manuscript it is at this point considered accepted. The article is subsequently proof-read and the language possibly improved (see point 1.8). The editors inform the authors of the reviewers’ decision by email, and this date is the one given on publication as ‘accepted’.
1.7-B Decision of the reviewers: Rejection or invitation to further review the manuscript
The authors are informed if the reviewers are not satisfied with the revision. They have the opportunity to respond to the remarks a final time and to revise their article for the second time (see point 1.5).
After the second revision of the article (within two weeks), the revised manuscript and the updated revision protocol are sent back to the same reviewers for the second evaluation. If they find the attempts at revision to be inadequate the manuscript is considered to have been rejected.
If the reviewers accept the revised manuscript it is considered to have been accepted. The article is subsequently proof-read and the language possibly improved (see point 1.8). The authors are informed of the reviewers’ decision by email, and this date is the one given on publication as ‘accepted’.
1.8 Editing of the original article and imprimatur
The text of the original article to be published is edited with regard to language, spelling and punctuation, and if necessary improved by the editors or proof-readers.
The sections which have been changed are highlighted. The tables and illustrations are formatted to conform to the layout of the Journal of Midwifery Science.
The authors are sent the edited text (‘proof’) and are asked to examine the contents and presentation of the tables and illustrations and for their agreement to any changes. On confirmation of their agreement and release of the article for publication (print and online) they then sign the proof on a form provided (scan is also valid) (
1.9 Publication of the original article in print and online
The original article is published with the names and titles of the authors, their statement regarding potential conflict of interest and the dates of submission and acceptance in the Zeitschrift für Hebammenwissenschaft - Journal of Midwifery Science and also online in the GMS Zeitschrift für Hebammenwissenschaft (GMS Journal of Midwifery Science). If the authors have no affiliation with an organisation at time of printing, only their place of residence will be provided.
1.10 Publication of the report (review)
If the authors agree, the reviewers’ reports will be published exclusively on the internal homepage of the DGHWi, which is only accessible to members. The reviewers will be named if they consent, otherwise the reports remain anonymous. 

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2. Guideline for manuscript submission

The manuscript is to be submitted by email (
For soonest possible publication the following deadlines should be adhered to:

  • 30th of April for the December edition
  • 31st of October for the June edition of the following year.

It is possible to submit the manuscript in English only.
The following requirements are binding, if an article is to be accepted.
Authors are requested to use the following guidelines for orientation on composition of abstract and manuscript:

  •     SQUIRE Guidelines (criteria)
  •     Glossary of terms in the SQUIRE Guidelines


 2.1 Contact details
A separate file should contain the complete names and addresses of the institutions, including email addresses, of the authors. The author responsible for correspondence should be highlighted.
2.2 Author’s contract
The author’s contract should be submitted in a separate file (‘Authors contract’; Authors, as creators of the scientific work, retain all rights to their results. They merely transfer the right of publication (print and online) and electronic storage in databases to the DGHWi and GMS. At the same time they confirm that they have exclusive copyright to the work, including figures and tables. The contract only becomes valid on acceptance of the manuscript after completion of the review process. The contract is valid with digital signature/s or as a scan or fax with original signature/s.
2.3 Abstract and keywords
The abstract is to have no more than 1,500 characters (including spaces). It should be structured according to the following points where possible:
  • Background
  • Aims/research question
  • Methodology (the essential aspects of design, setting, target group, interventions, methods of analysis)
  • Results
  • Conclusion
No references are provided in the abstract.
There are to be a maximum of 5 keywords.
The article itself begins on the second or third page and must not contain any names or other identifying details.
2.4 Contents of the article
a) Research article: a research article can involve qualitative or quantitative research. In addition to a description of the methodology it should include reflection on scientific merit and possible distorting influences.
As far as possible, the article is to be structured as follows:
  • Background
  • Aims
  • Methodology (including design, setting, target group, interventions, analytical methods)
  • Results
  • Discussion (methodology and results)
  • Conclusion (including relevance for practice, education and/or future research)
  • References
b) Theoretical article: a theoretical article deals with current issues from practice, education or research, illuminating and discussing them from a scientific perspective. It should provide important impulses to improve understanding of midwifery science or be a reflection on the subject.
The article is to be structured as follows if possible:
  • Background
  • Aims
  • Setting, target group, theories, models, definitions
  • Main argument
  • Discussion (including other and/or contradictory arguments)
  • Conclusion (including relevance for practice, education and/or future research)
  • References
 2.5 References
References are to be made using the Vancouver Format; however the citation number is to be enclosed in square brackets (e.g. [1]). Citations referring to the work of other authors which are not verbatim citations are identified by Arabic numerals and numbered according to their alphabetical order in the reference list. Direct citations and those referring to a book must also include the page number(s) (e.g. [1], p. 31-33). The bibliographic details are listed numerically at the end of the article, i.e. arranged in alphabetical order. If possible, the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) of articles is to be included. If these specifications are not followed the manuscript cannot be accepted.
2.6 Formatting
The manuscript and the reviewed final version of the article must be submitted by email in both open (rtf, doc, docx, odt etc.) and closed (pdf) formats. The contact details and remaining text pages are to be saved in two separate files. The name of the file must reflect the article’s title and not include the authors’ names. The authors must ensure that all digital files are anonymous, i.e. that their names are not shown under ‘Properties’.
The text should be written in at least 12 point font and have at least 1.3 spaces between lines.
Each line of the complete manuscript is to be numbered continuously and the pages must also be numbered. Please DON’T USE hyphenation to separate syllables.  The text should be no longer than 20,000 characters (incl. spaces), not including the reference list. Comprehensive qualitative studies (with citations from interviews) are an exception and may contain up to 30,000 characters (incl. spaces); the same goes for literature reviews.
The same detailed instructions for authors can be found on the DGHWi website:
Up to 5 figures and/or tables can be submitted. They must be provided as pdf and also in an ‘open’ form (xls, xlsx, ppt etc.) so that they can be incorporated into the journal’s format. The figures and tables must be referred to in the text.
A separate file must be provided with a list of the table headings and figure captions using the same numbering as in the text. Copyright issues for illustrations/photos, which are not the authors’ own work, must be clarified prior to publishing; a link is inadequate proof.
2.7 Conflict of interest
The authors are required to provide a written declaration regarding potential conflict of interest (‘Conflict of interest’ file). Existing and/or previous material and immaterial conflicts with regard to the process of creation of the paper (personal and professional relationships, funding and subsidies received and professional circumstances) are to be named. It is important to point out that the goal is transparency, not stigmatisation of interconnected interests. The editorial team does, however, retain the right to reject an article if a conflict of interest exists.
2.8 Review criteria
The review criteria for both research and theoretical articles can be found on the DGHWi website:
These binding criteria guide the reviewers in their evaluation of the manuscripts submitted. Taking these criteria into consideration during writing reduces and simplifies the review process for all parties.
Please contact the Journal of Midwifery Science’s editorial team at if you have any questions.

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3. Publication for up-and-coming scientists

In a separate rubric entitled Young Forum, the print edition of the journal offers young scientists the opportunity of broad dissemination of the results of the scientific work undertaken as part of their studies (for example a Bachelor's or Master’s thesis) to a specialist audience.
The papers should be research-oriented and fulfil journal requirements as far as possible with regard to the framework of the qualifying work. In addition to publication of abstracts in German and English, short articles derived from qualifying theses can be submitted which provide a more comprehensive presentation of the work than an abstract.
The abstracts and short articles in the rubric ‘Young Forum’ are handled differently to original articles. They are not subjected to the review process, but are edited for content and adherence to guidelines. These works can also undergo one or several rounds of revision. Young Forum articles are published in the print edition of the Journal of Midwifery Science and not online in the GMS Zeitschrift für Hebammenwissenschaft (GMS Journal of Midwifery Science).
Please send your abstract or short article per email to
We look forward to your contribution.
Detailed information on the Young Forum can be found on the DGHWi website:

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