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Hastings Center Report Submission Guidelines

Manuscript Submission and Review

The Hastings Center Report welcomes manuscript submissions that address ethical concerns in medicine and the life sciences. Prospective contributions should be clearly written and of interest to a broad readership. They may take many forms:

  • articles that explore philosophical and ethical issues in medicine, health care, technology, medical research, the use of human subjects in research, and the environment;
  • mid-length essays and brief commentary on developments that raise bioethical questions;
  • reports or reviews of empirical studies that implicate relevant philosophical and ethical questions;
  • case studies (which may be accompanied by commentary on the case);
  • personal narratives about the ethics of providing health care (for our In Practice column); and
  • book reviews.

Most articles and empirical reviews accepted for publication are no longer than 6,000 words, and short essays no longer than 2,400 words. Shorter work is encouraged. 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. For case studies, descriptions should be about 400 words, and commentaries should be no more than 650 words. Brief commentaries should be no longer than 800 words. (Commentaries for Perspective, which appears on the inside back cover, are typically commissioned.) Essays for the In Practice column should be no more than 1600 words.  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 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 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 the editor of Hastings Bioethics Forum, the Report’s blog), Michael K. Gusmano (research scholar), Josephine Johnston (director of research and research scholar), Carolyn P. Neuhaus (research scholar), and Erik Parens (research scholar).

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.

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.

For questions on any formatting issue not specified below, please see the guidelines set out in the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.


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 Studies51 (1990): 603-26.
6. Annas, “Whose Waste?,” 38.

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.

The titles of all journals should be spelled out in full.

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” is needed if the citation is giving 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.


14. Families USA, “One in Three: Non-Elderly Americans Without Health Insurance, 2002-2003,” June 2004, at
15. P. B. Ginsburg, “Can Hospitals and Physicians Shift the Effects of Cuts in Medicare Reimbursement to Private Payers?” Web exclusive, Health Affairs(2003): 473, at

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.