Publishing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health-related research at the MJA

Some of the text below is adapted from and used by permission of the First Nations Health and Wellbeing - The Lowitja Journal. We acknowledge the diversity of Indigenous research and that appropriate ways to report it are evolving. We encourage authors to contact us with questions at

Study governance, ethics and authorship

For studies involving Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, a statement must be included outlining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership, governance and engagement. Approval by relevant local community representatives is required as well as any relevant Aboriginal Community Controlled ethics committees. See here and here for further discussion on ethics and here for a publication protocol.

We welcome and and will publish statements of positionality from Indigenous authors including nation, clan, or tribal groups. See here for a recent example.


In Australia, care must be taken to ensure appropriate terminology when referring to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. We will accommodate extra word count if needed to do so. The Journal policy is to follow the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander guide to terminology endorsed by the Public Health Association of Australia. For other First Nations communities please consult relevant documents e.g. as listed here.

Authors should also report according to the Consolidated criteria for strengthening the reporting of health research involving Indigenous Peoples (CONSIDER) statement and should include a statement acknowledging this.

We expect authors to be aware of the FAIR and CARE principles in relation to Indigenous research data.

Reviewing at the MJA

Every effort will be made to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health-related research is reviewed by at least one Indigenous researcher.

Attribution of Traditional Indigenous Knowledges

Traditional Indigenous Knowledges, including that obtained through oral traditions, must be appropriately attributed, ideally with the knowledge holder named as an author. For the purpose of this proposal, traditional materials has the meaning set out in section 203FCA of the Australian Native Title Act 1993, and includes but is not limited to information related to the traditional custodians' and their ancestors' use and history of the land, regardless of the form it is in (including letters, photos, diaries and maps).

When dealing with traditional materials or any information contained in them, authors must comply with the wishes of the traditional custodians of the traditional materials about the way in which the traditional materials or information are to be dealt with.

See this article for a discussion of citing Indigenous oral teachings. Templates available here.