Call for publication of papers from the 15th World Congress on Health Economics in two special journal issues

We are excited to announce a call for papers for two journal special issues linked to the International Health Economics Association’s (IHEA) Congress, one in collaboration with Social Science and Medicine and the other with Social Science and Medicine Health Systems. In both cases, papers submitted must be based on research presented at the 15th World Congress on Health Economics, which will be held from 8th to 12th July 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. Papers accepted by these journals will be published as special issues from the Congress.

The primary aim of both of these special issues is to encourage health economists with limited previous opportunities, to publish in an international peer-reviewed journal. Having two special issues enhances this opportunity and allows for publication of a broader array of research.

Please note that there are different themes and criteria for inclusion in each of these special issues; please read the two calls below carefully to identify the most appropriate special issue to submit to. We also recommend that you review the specifications of these different journals – SSM and SSM HS. The same research should not be submitted to both special issues and to allow as many as possible to benefit from this publication opportunity, we strongly encourage researchers to only submit one paper.

Early Career Researcher (ECR) led research is an important target for both special issues. ECRs intending to submit papers for either of the special issues are encouraged to attend the pre-congress session on Saturday 8th July where selected ECR papers will be discussed in detail, including advice from journal editors for publication, and/or the pre-congress session on Sunday 9th July: How to get published in academic journals – an introduction.

Call for papers for Social Science and Medicine special issue: “Equity in health care and health: The contribution of health economics. 15th World Congress on Health Economics”

This call for papers is jointly organized by the journal Social Science and Medicine (SSM) and the International Health Economics Association (IHEA). This special issue will focus on the following theme: “Equity in health care and health: The contribution of health economics”.

Original research articles are invited; review papers will not be considered. Papers must have an explicit economics focus, drawing on relevant economic conceptual frameworks and methods. While it is expected that most papers will focus on equity in health care delivery and financing, research could focus on interventions outside of health services that aim to promote health equity, such as those drawing on behavioral economics theory. We particularly welcome papers that highlight the policy relevance of the research findings. Research should focus on equity and should not simply describe the extent of inequalities, but rather identify underlying causes of inequalities and the policy implications for addressing these causes, or be an impact assessment of interventions that have promoted equity/reduced inequalities.

Full manuscripts should be submitted to Social Science and Medicine by 7th November 2023 through the submission link on the SSM website. Please select the box for this special issue on the submission system.

The aim of this special issue is to encourage early career researchers (ECRs) and researchers from low- or middle-income countries to submit papers. Given IHEA’s commitment to ethical collaborative research practices and fair opportunities to publish research, we strongly advocate for the first author and majority of co-authors of submitted papers to be local researchers from the country which is the subject of the research. All submitted papers will be subjected to the standard, rigorous SSM double-blinded peer-review process.

Any IHEA congress presenter interested in submitting a paper for consideration should complete this form here to provide your name, email address, congress abstract ID number and paper title by 15th August 2023.

IHEA will endeavour to provide limited mentoring support for those preparing papers for the special issue if they meet the following criteria:

  • you have not previously published in an international peer-reviewed journal as first author;
  • you do not have access to senior health economics support in your institution or co-authors at other institutions; and
  • your research is related to one of the IHEA Special Interest Groups listed here.

If you would like to apply for such mentoring support, please complete the form here which includes the paper title, a structured abstract (max. 800 words), list of authors and their institutional affiliation, and a motivation of up to 200 words indicating how you meet the above criteria by 15th August 2023.

Call for papers for SSM Health Systems special issue: “Advancing Universal Health Coverage in African Countries: 15th World Congress on Health Economics”

The SSM Health Systems journal and the African Health Economics and Policy Association (AfHEA) are jointly organizing this call for papers and are supported by the International Health Economics Association (IHEA). The theme of this special issue will be “Advancing Universal Health Coverage in African Countries.”

AfHEA acknowledges the power imbalance in publishing research outputs, with the underrepresentation of African authors in published health economics papers. Therefore, this special issue aims to publish articles from African authors, especially those based in Africa, in line with AfHEA’s goal of increasing research outputs from African authors. Additionally, participation is encouraged from early career researchers, under-represented genders, and those with a limited publication record.  Because the SSM Health Systems journal is committed to publishing papers from low- and middle-income country authors, preference will be given to articles with the first author from the country of research focus. Where the research is a multi-country study, there should be an adequate representation of researchers from all countries, where possible. All submitted papers will be subjected to the standard and rigorous double-blinded peer-review process.


  • Only original research articles directly related to the theme of the SSM Health Systems call are invited; review papers will not be considered.
  • An entirely theoretical paper without practical or policy application will not be considered.
  • Research must focus on African countries.
  • Papers must have an explicit economics focus and draw on relevant economic theory.
  • All papers should highlight the policy relevance of the research findings.

Participation in the SSM Health Systems special issue will be through a competitive selection process described below:

  1. Submit your extended abstract between 800 and 1200 words here by 15th August 2023
  2. In submitting your extended abstract, you must complete a short questionnaire to assess your eligibility for the SSM Health Systems special issue, especially relating to meeting the authorship criteria, the focus of the research, career level, and the mentorship needed, among others.
  3. Submitted abstracts will be screened and evaluated to select and invite submission of full papers from successful applicants. Please note that we cannot guarantee the final acceptance of all invited submissions by the SSM Health Systems journal.
  4. Authors are to receive the outcome of their submissions by 31st  August 2023.
  5. Full manuscripts should be submitted to SSM Health Systems by 7th November 2023. You should note in your submission that your paper is part of the SSM Health Systems special issue.

Authors will have an opportunity to indicate interest in being mentored. Please note that this does not bias the screening and evaluation of extended abstracts. A mentor will be assigned to support the first author who indicates an interest and meets the criteria below.

  • Is an early-career researcher based at an institution in Africa or the Global South and has not previously published in an international peer-reviewed journal as the first author, or
  • Does not have access to a senior or experienced health economist in their institution or among co-authors.