Drug Science, Policy and Law aims to be the definitive source of evidence-based information and comment for academics, scientists, policymakers, frontline workers and the general public on drugs and related issues.
A peer-reviewed journal of science, policy and law relating to drugs, Drug Science, Policy and Law is international in scope and grounded in a rigorous evidence base making it essential reading for all those in the field and related disciplines.
In particular, the following topics are covered:
Those relating to drug science, both from hard science – addiction science, chemistry, psychopharmacology, psychiatry, psychology, forensic toxicology, behavioural neuroscience – and from social science and other related fields – criminology, law, policy.
|David J. Nutt
|Imperial College London, UK
|Imperial College London, UK
|Anne Katrin Schlag
|Imperial College London, UK
|University College London, UK
|University of New South Wales, Australia
|Queen Mary University of London, UK
|Mohamad Hussain Bin Habil
|University of Malaya, Malaysia
|University of Queensland, Australia
|Transnational Institute, Netherlands
|Bekhterev St. Petersburg Research Psychoneurological Institute, Russia
|Durham University, UK
|University of Pennsylvania, USA
|All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India
|University of Otago, New Zealand
|University of Toronto, Canada
|Wim van den Brink
|Academic Medical Center, Netherlands
This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics
This Journal recommends that authors follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals formulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/dsp to submit your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Drug Science, Policy and Law will be reviewed.
There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.
As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Drug Science, Policy and Law may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy. If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.
If you have any questions about publishing with Sage, please visit the Sage Journal Solutions Portal
- What do we publish?
1.1 Aims & Scope
1.2 Article types
1.3 Writing your paper
- Editorial policies
2.1 Peer review policy
2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
2.6 Research ethics and patient consent
2.7 Clinical trials
2.8 Reporting guidelines
2.9 Research Data
- Publishing policies
3.1 Publication ethics
3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
3.3 Open access and author archiving
- Preparing your manuscript
4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
4.3 Supplemental material
4.4 Reference style
4.5 English language editing services
- Submitting your manuscript
5.2 Information required for completing your submission
- On acceptance and publication
6.1 Sage Production
6.2 Online First publication
6.3 Access to your published article
6.4 Promoting your article
- Further information
Before submitting your manuscript to Drug Science, Policy and Law, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.
Drug Science, Policy and Law is a peer-reviewed journal publishing original research and review articles on all aspects of drug science, policy, and law. The journal considers the following kinds of article for publication:
1. Research Reports: describing new experimental findings
Short reports requiring rapid dissemination
2. Review Articles: the Editors wish to encourage the following types of review, but request that authors contact them in advance:
General reviews that provide a view of an area of drug science, policy and/or law;
perspectives - brief overviews, including references, that address important new areas of general interest;
critiques - focused and provocative reviews that are followed by a number of invited commentaries, with a concluding reply from the main author
Reports and articles should preferably be on a currently relevant issue, targeting either the research community, current affairs, public interests, or all of these. They should be based on a succinct and balanced summary of existing research on the issue.
3. Letters to the Editors: readers' letters should address issues raised by published articles or should report significant new findings that merit rapid dissemination. The decision to publish is made by the Editors, in order to ensure a timely appearance in print.
4. Word length: though there are no strict guidelines, f ull papers are generally restricted to a maximum of 4,000 words, including all elements (title page, abstract, notes, references, tables, biographical statement, etc.). We are reluctant to burden our referees with very long manuscripts. Authors who suspect that their articles will have to be cut anyway should make the required deletions before submitting.
Writing Style: Drug Science, Policy and Law is produced for the public and professionals as well as academics so we ask that papers are written to be intelligible to the intelligent layperson.
The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.
1.3.1 Make your article discoverable
When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
Drug Science, Policy and Law operates a strictly anonymous peer review process in which the reviewer’s name is withheld from the author . The reviewer may at their own discretion opt to reveal their name to the author in their review . Each manuscript is reviewed by at least two referees. All manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible, and an editorial decision is generally reached within 4-6 weeks of submission.
Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.
The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:
(i) Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
(ii) Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
(iii) Approved the version to be published,
(iv) Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.
Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.
Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.
2.3.1 Third party submissions
Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:
• Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
• Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
• Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.
Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.
2.3.2 Writing assistance
Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.
Drug Science, Policy and Law requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
It is the policy of Drug Science, Policy and Law to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.
Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.
Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.
Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.
For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.
Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative. Please do not submit the patient’s actual written informed consent with your article, as this in itself breaches the patient’s confidentiality. The Journal requests that you confirm to us, in writing, that you have obtained written informed consent but the written consent itself should be held by the authors/investigators themselves, for example in a patient’s hospital record. The confirmatory letter may be uploaded with your submission as a separate file.
Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.
Drug Science, Policy and Law conforms to the ICMJE requirement that clinical trials are registered in a WHO-approved public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.
The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, all randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed CONSORT flow chart as a cited figure and the completed CONSORT checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should include the completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure and the completed PRISMA checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline.
Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives
The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the Sage Research Data policy pages.
Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:
- share your research data in a relevant public data repository
- include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
- cite this data in your research
Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.
Drug Science, Policy and Law and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
3.1.2 Prior publication
If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.
Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.
Drug Science, Policy and Law offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.
The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.
For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.
Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online and in the print issue. There is no charge for reproducing figures in colour in the printed version.
This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.
Drug Science, Policy and Law adheres to the Sage Harvard reference style. View the Sage Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
Drug Science, Policy and Law is hosted on Sage Track, a web-based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/dsp to login and submit your article online. IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.
We encourage all authors and co-authors to link their ORCIDs to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. We collect ORCID IDs during the manuscript submission process and your ORCID ID then becomes part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.
If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.
5.2 Information required for completing your submission
You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).
Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.
Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.
Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.
Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.
Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.
Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Drug Science, Policy and Law editorial office as follows: