Hastings Center Report Submission Guidelines

General Manuscript Submission and Review

The Hastings Center Report takes a broad understanding of bioethics. We welcome manuscript submissions that address social and ethical issues in health care, the life sciences, and human alteration of the environment. Topics within our scope include clinical care decisions, institutional policies and organizational, societal health policy, social and environmental determinants of health, public health, and the development and use of biological science and technology for humans, nonhuman organisms, and the environment. Prospective contributions must be clearly written and of interest to a broad readership. They may take many forms:

  • scholarly articles, of 4,000 to 8,000 words, based on research and discussing moral, social, philosophical, historical, and empirical questions—Articles that report empirical research may include a brief discussion of methods and other technical aspects of the study, but these may be contained in a box or sidebar rather than comprising a large portion of the text. The focus of articles should be on the question that the research is designed to investigate rather than on the research itself.
  • essays, of 1600 to 4000 words, on bioethical issues in the news, clinical ethics, institutional or organizational topics, legal and regulatory developments, medical education, books relevant to bioethics, and media
  • case studies (with roughly 400-word case descriptions, which may be accompanied by one or more 600-word commentaries on the case)
  • personal narratives, limited to about 1600 words, about the ethics of providing health care (for the Report‘s In Practice column)

Tables and figures should be kept to a minimum. References should be restricted to the most pertinent, up-to-date sources; heavily referenced manuscripts are not preferred. (Commentaries for Perspective, which appears on the inside back cover, are typically commissioned.) Book review essays are usually commissioned, but unsolicited manuscripts will be considered and should be no longer than 1,600 words and have no endnotes; page numbers for quotations in book reviews should be provided parenthetically in the text.

In matters of grammar and usage, the Report refers to the Chicago Manual of Style (although for purposes of review, manuscripts need not conform to this). Authors’ instructions for formatting endnotes are available below.

How to Submit

Manuscripts should be submitted via the Report’s Scholar One Manuscripts review system at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hast. Names and contact information for the author(s) should not appear on the manuscript text. The system will prompt you for all additional information that we need for review, including authors’ names and contact information, the type of item you are submitting (whether it is an article, essay, Case Study, In Practice, or book review), a brief abstract, and a disclosure of any conflicts of interest. The system also allows you to give us suggestions for possible reviewers.

Review Procedure

Manuscripts will be acknowledged upon receipt. Feature articles, all reports and reviews of empirical work, and many short essays recommended for consideration by the editor will also be reviewed by an independent reader. Manuscripts recommended after this second review will be presented to the Report’s Editorial Committee for final disposition. Authors will be notified of a decision by email.

The Hastings Center Report Editorial Committee consists of Gregory E. Kaebnick (editor of the Report), Laura Haupt (managing editor), Nancy Berlinger (research scholar), Susan Gilbert (director of communications and editor of Hastings Bioethics Forum, the Report‘s blog), Michael K. Gusmano (research scholar), Carolyn P. Neuhaus (research scholar), and Erik Parens (research scholar), all at The Hastings Center, and Tod S. Chambers (Northwestern University), Marion Danis (National Institutes of Health), Rebecca Dresser (Washington University in St. Louis), Carl Elliott (University of Minnesota), Joseph J. Fins (Cornell University), Christine Grady (National Institutes of Health), Bradford H. Gray (Urban Institute [retired]), Bruce Jennings (Center for Humans and Nature), Eric Juengst (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Hilde Lindemann (Michigan State University), Jamie Nelson (Michigan State University), Tia Powell (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Annette Rid (King’s College London), Ilina Singh (University of Oxford), Robert D. Truog (Harvard University; Boston Children’s Hospital), Benjamin S. Wilfond (Seattle Children’s Research Institute; University of Washington), and Matthew Wynia (University of Colorado).

Conflict of Interest

The Hastings Center Report expects all prospective contributors and reviewers to declare any potential conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest include any personal or professional affiliations, any financial interests, and/or any past, present, or anticipated activities that may compromise the quality or objectivity of a manuscript or review. The rough test that we ask authors and reviewers to employ is, Is there anything that would likely cause readers to second-guess your objectivity if it were to emerge after publication? Authors will be asked to disclose conflicts of interest when a manuscript is submitted for consideration to the Report.

Author Licensing Options

If a paper is accepted, a licensing agreement must be signed by one or more of the authors before the paper can be published. Authors may choose to publish under the terms of the journal’s standard copyright transfer agreement, or they may purchase open access under the terms of a Creative Commons license. Information about open access is available here.

Authors who are using the copyright transfer agreement will receive it to fill out (along with the journal’s conflict-of-interest form, which every author must fill out) shortly after receiving their galley for review. Permitted uses of different versions of the paper (submitted, accepted, and final published versions) are described in the CTA.

Authors who would like to purchase open access should email the managing editor, Laura Haupt (hauptl@thehastingscenter.org), for the Creative Commons license to begin the process; she will then put someone from Wiley, the publisher that distributes the journal, in touch with the authors to facilitate the process. Note that certain funders require a particular type of Creative Commons license. If you know which type your funder requires, please tell the managing editor.

NIH-Funded Work

Any author whose work was supported by an NIH grant and is accepted for publication in the Hastings Center Report is responsible for depositing the accepted version of the manuscript (not the final, published version or any version that includes editing by the Report‘s editorial staff) with PubMed Central. This can be the version that the author submitted following peer review. If the title was changed for publication, use the final title. On the version deposited with PubMed Central, include a note explaining that this is an earlier version of the manuscript published in the Report and provide a citation for the publication. This accepted version will be made publicly available twelve months after the piece is published in the Report.

Authors’ Instructions for Formatting References

The Report prefers to keep references to a minimum. Our style avoids discursive notes wherever possible, and we ask that citations be restricted to the most important or useful sources.

Endnote numbers in the text should be sequential, never repeating, and only one endnote number should be placed at any location. When multiple citations are relevant to a particular point in the text, they are grouped together in a single endnote.

For questions on any formatting issue not specified below, please see the guidelines set out in the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. For legal cases, Bluebook style should be followed.

(As a side note, when referring to a person [such as the author of a study] by name in the text, include the first as well as the last name upon first mention; the last name only can be used subsequently.)


1. S. Hauerwas, Naming the Silences: God, Medicine, and the Problem of Suffering (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1990), 64-68, emphasis added. [Include page numbers if passages appear in the article.]
2. R. R. Faden and T. L. Beauchamp, A History and Theory of Informed Consent (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).
3. Hauerwas, Naming the Silences, 64.

More than three authors: D. Schneider et al. [no comma before “et al.”]. Second reference: Schneider et al.

Omit “Publishing Company,” “Co.,” “Inc.,” “Ltd.,” etc.

Page numbers: When inclusive page numbers begin with a multiple of 100, all three digits of the second number are used (200-234). In all other instances use only the last two digits of the second number (70-77, 205-34). More complete rules are found in the Chicago Manual of Style.


4. G. J. Annas, “Whose Waste Is It Anyway? The Case of John Moore,” Hastings Center Report 18, no. 5 (1988): 37-39, at 38. [Here, “at 38” indicates that a quotation in the text appears on that page.]
5. See T. A. Shannon and A. B. Wolter, “Reflections on the Moral Status of the Pre-embryo,” Theological Studies 51 (1990): 603-26.
6. Annas, “Whose Waste?,” 38.

The titles of all journals should be spelled out in full. Omit “The” at the start of journal titles.

List issue number (or month if there is no issue number) if necessary to disambiguate the reference. For example, no issue number is needed for the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association, which use a single set of consecutive page numbers throughout a volume.

Editor as Author:

7. E. F. Kittay and D. T. Myers, eds., Women and Moral Theory (Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1987), 234.
8. Kittay and Meyers, Women and Moral Theory, 200-234.

Article in an Anthology:

9. B. Steinbock, “The Moral Status of Extracorporeal Embryos,” in Ethics and Biotechnology, ed. A. Dyson and J. Harris (London, U.K.: Routledge, 1994), 79-82, at 80. [The clause “at 80” indicates that the citation is providing the location of a quotation.]
10. J. Cohen and R. L. Hotz, “Toward Policies regarding Assisted Reproductive Technologies,” in Setting Allocation Priorities: Genetic and Reproductive Technologies, ed. R. H. Blank and A. Bonnicksen (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), 228-29.
11. Steinbock, “Moral Status,” 82.
12. B. Steinway, “On the Stem Cell Debate,” in Setting Allocation Priorities, ed. Blank and Bonnicksen, 230-40.

[In note 9, “ed.” means “edited by” and thus is not “eds.”]

Government Documents:

13. U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Neonatal Intensive Care for Low Birthweight Infants: Costs and Effectiveness (Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, December 1987), 21.

Online Materials:

14. R. Hughes IV and A. Fix, “As Advancements in Treatment Drive a Newborn Screening Evolution, Will States and the Federal Government Be Able to Keep Up?,” Health Affairs Blog, August 21, 2019, https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20190816.174106/full/.

Please note that access dates are omitted from both these references. Access dates are necessary only if the site is likely to have substantive changes and the citation carries no publication date.