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Guidelines for potential contributors to GEMS

General guidelines

  • The topic and content needs to be focused on issues related to children whose parents have a mental illness and/or families affected by parental mental illness.
  • The specific topic needs to be negotiated with the editors of GEMS prior to submission.
  • The GEMS needs to be written in a style that makes the content accessible to individuals in the field.
  • The GEMS needs to be a synthesis of relevant, recent research in the identified topic area. GEMS are not discussion or opinion pieces but instead a distillation of key and recent empirical work in the area.
  • The recommended word count per section are as follows:
    • Text and references combined = 850-1000 words (preferably no more than 350 words in the reference section).
    • Quick facts should be 125-150 words.

Style guidelines

Each GEMS must include:

  • a title
  • for ease of reading, the GEMS needs to be broken into sub-titles, related to the topic section that highlights the limitations of the evidence presented including any gaps in the evidence (NB: this section should not include practice or service limitations)
  • a section outlining clinical and/or practice implications
  • quick facts, providing a quick summary of the main issues raised in the GEMS (e.g. 3-5 key points)
  • Australian English rather than American English
  • a declaration of any competing interests the author/s might have
  • you might like to include web links and other papers and/or books for further reading and information, if relevant and easily available
  • please provide your email and/or other contact details for readers wishing to pursue the material further
  • references presented in the Vancouver style (see below for examples).

Please email the editors (researchevaluation@aicafmha.net.au) if you are interested in submitting a GEMS or if you have any general queries.

Vancouver referencing guidelines

The Vancouver style of referencing gives a number in place of a reference in the main text. This means that when citing a reference, a number enclosed in round brackets is used to refer to an article, book and so on, for example, (1) or (23) placed in the body of your text indicates the relevant reference.

Citations are numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear in the text. The source is then listed, alongside the number, at the end of the publication, with relevant publication information. Once a source has been cited, the same number is used in all subsequent references.  

Here are some examples of Vancouver referencing within the main body of the text:

  • Brown (11) argues that…
  • Several studies (1-5, 11, 12) have found that…
  • For example, see 3… 
  • This finding confirms previous studies. 3, 8, 11-14…
  • In the text, you don’t refer to either the author or the date of the reference, unless relevant to the discussion.

A numbered list of references must be proved at the end of each GEMS. The list needs to be in the order of citation from the text, not in alphabetical order. Ensure you present the correct publication information.

Referencing list layout examples

Journal article

Number. Author of article. Title of article. Title of Journal. year; vol(issue):page number(s).       

  • Bibou-Nakou I. Helping teachers to help with children living with a mentally ill parent. School Psychology International. 2004; 25(1): 42-58  
  • Beardslee, WR, Versage EM, Gladstone TR. Children of affectively ill parents: a review of the last 10 years. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 1998; 37: 1134-1141.


Number. Author. Title. Place of publication: Publisher; Year.

  • Bowlby JA. Attachment and loss. New York: Basic Books; 1969.
  • Smith JA, Jones MA. Children of parents with a mental illness. Brisbane: Alston Park; 2001.

For other guidelines and examples please refer to any of the guides freely available on the web:

Download Free COPMI Resources

For use by families where a parent has a mental illness, their supporters, and services who work with them.