The Milbank Quarterly is devoted to scholarly analysis of significant issues in health and health care policy. It presents original research, synthesis, policy analysis, and commentary from academicians, clinicians, and policymakers. The in-depth, multidisciplinary approach of the journal permits contributors to explore fully the social origins of health in our society and to examine in detail the implications of different health policies. Contributions are published from many disciplines, including history, law, medicine, epidemiology, bioethics, and the full array of social science and health services research disciplines. Topics addressed in The Milbank Quarterly include but are not limited to the impact of social factors on health, disease prevention, allocation of health resources, legal and ethical issues in health policy, health care management, historical analysis of health policies, and the organization and financing of health care.


All potential authors submitting articles to the Quarterly must familiarize themselves with and agree to follow the recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing, and publication of scholarly work in medical journals as delineated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). See Submissions should be sent electronically to the Quarterly and include a cover letter. Please email Word files of the manuscript to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You will receive a confirmation of receipt. If you do not recieve a confirmation within a few days, please email Tara Strome, assistant managing editor, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The editor-in-chief, Howard Markel, will make an initial determination about the suitability of the manuscript for the Quarterly. Manuscripts that are potentially suitable will be subject to blind peer review regarding scholarly soundness and substantive significance. When the manuscript is submitted, the corresponding author must submit two forms signed by each author indicating that he or she has read and complied with the Quarterly's publication policies. The corresponding author is the person to whom correspondence will be sent and the author responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the manuscript's acknowledgments, for communication with the other author(s) about changes made during copyediting and production, and for final approval of proofs. Upon acceptance of an article, the corresponding author will be directed to sign a copyright transfer form on behalf of his or her coauthor(s) before the article can be published.

Questions about the submission process may be directed to Tara Strome, assistant managing editor, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Specifications for Manuscripts

Before submitting your manuscript, please be sure you have prepared it according to the following instructions.


The length of submitted text ordinarily should not exceed thirty pages, excluding abstract, acknowledgments, figures, tables, and references. Longer papers will be considered on occasion, but additional length must be justified by the corresponding author.


All text must be typed double-spaced using Times New Roman 12-point font, with tabs to indicate new paragraphs. All pages must be paginated consecutively and include line numbers.

Title Pages

On the title page list the names of each author in the order the names should appear if the manuscript is published, including academic degrees and affiliations, as well as the complete address, telephone number, and email address of the corresponding author. Also provide the number of pages for text only as well as any necessary acknowledgments as described in the Quarterly's publication policies.

To facilitate blind review, include a second title page with only the manuscript title. If the manuscript has identifying information in the text, please include a blinded version without internal information (including acknowledgment of funding sources and self-identifications in citations) that reveals authorship.

Policy Points

Manuscripts must include "policy points," a two-to-three bullet point synopsis (fewer than 100 words) of the article’s import on explicating or advancing a particular set of health policies. As the abstract presents, in an abbreviated form, the scholarly design and results of a study, the policy points will serve as your "elevator pitch" to alert policymakers and policy implementers about the ramifications of the study.  

Structured Abstract

Manuscripts must include a structured abstract of 250 to 300 words using the following headings:

Context: The abstract should begin by explaining the article's background, objectives, and salience for policy and research.

Methods: Describe the procedures used to obtain and analyze data and/or research materials.

Findings: Summarize the results of your analyses.

Conclusions: Summarize the implications of the findings for policy, practice, and further research.


The structured abstract must be accompanied by up to four keywords for indexing. Keywords used by MEDLINE/PubMed's MeSH system are preferred because they facilitate searches (, but terms not in MeSH may be used when MeSH terminology is not adequate.


The Quarterly op-ed section consists of essays from a panel of contributing writers. We currently do not accept unsolicited op-ed submissions, though on occasion will invite individuals to contribute a piece at the editor-in-chief's discretion.

Systematic Reviews

For the convenience of reviewers, manuscripts that are systematic reviews should be accompanied by the protocol used by the authors to conduct the review unless that information is provided in the body of the manuscript.


Tables and figures should be explicitly mentioned in text and be numbered consecutively with arabic numerals in the order they are cited in the text (e.g., Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2). Tables and figures should be self-explanatory and include a title; each figure should have a separate legend. For both tables and figures use superscript lowercase letters in alphabetical order (a-z) to identify any footnotes. Any references cited for information used in the tables or figures should be numbered in sequence with references cited in the text (e.g., a Data from the US Census Bureau.5). Submitted artwork should be in printer-ready format, in black and white, and sized to fit within the Quarterly's page space of 4.3 by 6.9 inches, using Times New Roman for text. If you use data from another published or unpublished source, obtain written permission and acknowledge that source fully (e.g., a Reproduced with permission from the American Medical Association.41).


The Quarterly does not use footnotes, except in tables and figures, nor does it use endnotes. Such explanatory material should be incorporated into the text.


All sources used in preparing your manuscript must be properly acknowledged. Please be sure that all references are complete and accurate and cited correctly in text. References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first cited in the text and should be identified in text, tables, and figures with superscript arabic numerals, inserted outside periods and commas, inside colons and semicolons. A reference first or only cited in a table or figure should be numbered so that it is in sequence with references cited in the text at the first text mention of the particular table or figure. When formatting references, follow the AMA Manual of Style, 10th edition, and abbreviate journal names according to their listing in PubMed. List all authors unless there are more than six, in which case list only the first three authors followed by "et al." The following are sample references:

  1. Cawley J, Meyerhoefer C. The medical care costs of obesity: an instrumental variables approach. J Health Econ. 2012;31(1):219-230. Accessed February 12, 2012.
  2. Sweeney P, Gardner LI, Buchacz K, et al. Shifting the paradigm: using HIV surveillance data as a foundation for improving HIV care and preventing HIV infection. Milbank Q. 2013;91(3):558-603. doi:10.1111/milq.12018.
  3. World Health Organization. The World Health Report: Health Systems Financing: The Path to Universal Coverage. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2010. Accessed September 9, 2012.
  4. Bosk CL. Forgive and Remember: Managing Medical Failure. 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press; 2003.
  5. Glanz K, Rimer BK. Perspectives on using theory: past, present, and future. In: Glanz K, Rimer BK, Viswanath K, eds. Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2008:509-518.
  6. Ellis J, Luther M. Restaurants want a piece of food stamp pie. USA Today. September 7, 2011. Accessed November 15, 2011.
  7. Appleby J. California law likely resulted in lower bills, free care for uninsured. Kaiser Health News website. Published June 3, 2013. Accessed July 25, 2013.
  8. Pioneering applied scientific research in healthcare. ECRI Institute website. Accessed August 7, 2013.
  9. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub L No. 111–148, 124 Stat 119 (2010).
  10. Arnett P. Local Health Department Changes Over the Past Twenty Years [dissertation]. Lexington: University of Kentucky; 2011.
  11. Durie M. An indigenous model of health promotion. Paper presented at: 18th World Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education; April 27, 2004; Melbourne, Australia.
  12. Chapman BP, Hampson SH, Clarkin J. Personality-based interventions for healthy aging: results from a National Institute on Aging workgroup. Dev Psychol. In press.

References to material not yet accepted for publication or to personal communications are not acceptable as listed references and instead should be cited parenthetically in the text, e.g., "Similar findings have been noted by Johnson6 and by P.J. Martin, MD (written communication, August 2013)." Written permission should be obtained from the person whose unpublished data or personal communication is thus cited.