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Public Health Reports

2016 Impact Factor: 1.867
2016 Ranking: 80/176 in Public, Environmental & Occupational Health (SCI) | 51/157 in Public, Environmental & Occupational Health (SSCI)
Source: 2016 Journal Citation Reports® (Clarivate Analytics, 2017); Indexed in PubMed: MEDLINE; Indexed in PubMed Central

Editor in Chief
Frederic E. Shaw, MD, JD Senior Advisor, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, Office of Public Health Scientific Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services, USA


eISSN: 14682877 | ISSN: 00333549 | Current volume: 133 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Bi-monthly
Public Health Reports is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. The journal is peer-reviewed and publishes original research and commentaries in the areas of public health practice and methodology, original research, public health law, and public health schools and teaching. Issues contain regular commentaries by the U.S. Surgeon General and executives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health.

The journal focuses upon such topics as tobacco control, teenage violence, occupational disease and injury, immunization, drug policy, lead screening, health disparities, and many other key and emerging public health issues. In addition to the six regular issues, PHR produces supplemental issues approximately 2-5 times per year which focus on specific topics that are of particular interest to our readership. The journal's contributors are on the front line of public health and they present their work in a readable and accessible format.

Visit the Public Health Reports homepage for more information about the journal.

Public Health Reports publishes bi-monthly on major topics in public health, such as infectious diseases and immunization, tobacco control, injuries and violence, chronic disease control, public health methodology, and issues of interest to state and local health departments. The journal has departments focused on public health law and public health schools and education, and features special commentaries by the Surgeon General and executives within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Supplemental issues are published two to five times per year on special topics. Recent supplements have covered routine HIV screening in clinical settings, expanded access to hepatitis B and hepatitis C testing and care, and public health preparedness.

Managing Editor
Andrey Kuzmichev, PhD Office of the Surgeon General, USA
Consulting Editor
Lynne Wilcox, MD, MPH Consulting Editor
Production Assistant
Brandi Bryant Baker, MBA KnowledgeBased Solutions, USA
Scientific Editors
Tomas A. Lang, MA Tom Lang Communications and Training International
Jenny Reising Reising Communications
Ellen Taratus, MS Independent Contractor
Raymond K. Whalen, MD Whalen Medical Communications PLLC, USA
Editorial Committee
William Aldis, MD Assistant Professor, Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University, Thailand
James Buehler, MD Clinical Professor, Health Management and Policy, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University, USA
Hazel D. Dean, ScD, MPH Deputy Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services, USA
Zygmunt F. Dembek, PhD, MS, MPH Associate Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; Senior Research Scientist, Battelle Memorial Institute, USA
Cherie L. Drenzek, DVM, MS State Epidemiologist, Georgia Department of Public Health, USA
Amy I. Ising, MSIS Associate Director, Carolina Center for Health Informatics, Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
Harold W. Jaffe, MD Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Ret.)
Russell Kirby, PhD, MS Professor and Marrell Endowed Chair, Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, USA
Richard S. Kurz, PhD Dean Emeritus and Adjunct Professor, University of North Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health, USA
Harold S. Margolis, MD Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Ret.)
Marlynn L. May, PhD Faculty Emeritus and Director, Academic Operations, McAllen Campus, Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Public Health, USA
Beth A. Resnick, DrPH, MPH Associate Scientist, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH); Director, Office of Public Health Practice and Training and the MSPH Program in Health Policy, JHBSPH, USA
Theresa L. Smith, MD, MPH Associate Director for Science, Division of State and Local Readiness, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services, USA
Anne C. Spaulding, MD, MPH Emory University, Atlanta, USA
Betsy L. Thompson, MD, DrPH, CAPT US Public Health Service, Deputy Health Administrator, Region IX, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, USA
Contributing Editors
Scott Burris, JD Professor of Law, Temple Law School, and Director, Center for Public Health Law Research
Sandra Smith, MPH Consultant and Public Affairs Officer (Ret), National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services, USA
Associate Editors
Stephen J. Bertke, PhD Statistician, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services, USA
Mary Beth Bigley, DrPH, APRN Chief Executive Officer, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
Amanda J. Cash, DrPH, MPH Senior Advisor for Evidence & Evaluation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation, US Department of Health and Human Services, USA
T. Stephen Jones, MD, MPH Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services, USA (Ret.)
Mark G. Robson, PhD, DrPH Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor and Professor of Plant Biology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA
David Rosner, PhD, MPH Ronald H. Lauterstein Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and History, Co-Director, Center for the History & Ethics of Public Health, Columbia University, USA
Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH Professor of Health Policy and Management, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, and Professor of Public Health and Law, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indiana University, USA
US Department of Health and Human Services
Alex M. Azar II Secretary of Health and Human Services
US Public Health Service
Brett P. Giroir, MD ADM, USPHS, Assistant Secretary for Health
Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH VADM, USPHS, Surgeon General
Nazleen Bharmal, MD, PhD, MPP Director of Science and Policy, Office of the Surgeon General
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
Donna J. Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH Chair, Board of Directors
Laura Magaña Valladares, PhD, MS President and Chief Executive Officer
Allison Foster, MBA, CAE Deputy Director, Chief Financial Officer
Erin K. Williams Program Manager, Publications
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    Public Health Reports
    Instructions for Contributors

    Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Aims and scope of the journal    
    3. Manuscript types   

    3.1 Original research    
    3.2 Public health evaluation    
    3.3 Public health methodology    
    3.4 Case study    
    3.5 Brief report    
    3.6 Reports and recommendations    
    3.7 Topical review    
    3.8 Commentary    
    3.9 Editorial    
    3.10 Executive Perspective    
    3.11 Letter to the editor  
    4. Special departments of the journal    
    4.1 Law and the Public’s Health    
    4.2 From the Schools and Programs of Public Health    
    4.3 Writing for Public Health    
    4.4 Public Health Chronicles  
    5. Publishing policies    
    5.1 Publication ethics 
    5.2 Plagiarism  
    5.3 Prior publication  
    5.4 Contributor’s publishing agreement   
    5.5 Copyright   
    5.6 Open access and author archiving
    6. Editorial policies   
    6.1 Peer review policy   
    6.2 Authorship  
    6.3 Acknowledgements 
    6.4 Funding   
    6.5 Declaration of conflicting interests 
    6.6 Research ethics and patient consent   
    6.7 Clinical trials   
    6.8 Reporting guidelines 
    7. Preparing your manuscript for submission   
    7.1 Submission of manuscripts to supplement issues   
    7.2 The SAGE Author Gateway    
    7.3 PHR style   
    7.4 Components of your manuscript    
    7.4.1 Title page   
    7.4.2 Abstract    
    7.4.3 Keywords  
    7.4.4 Three-question summary box  
    7.4.5 References  
    7.4.6 Tables and Figures 
    7.5 Expression of statistics   
    7.6 Formatting 
    7.7 Artwork, figures and other graphics
    7.8 Supplementary material  
    7.9 Professional editing   
    8. Submitting your manuscript 
    8.1 Cover letter    
    8.2 ORCID    
    8.3 Information required for completing your submission    
    8.4 Permissions    
    8.5 What to expect after submission    
    9. Acceptance and publication   
    9.1 SAGE Production    
    9.2 Online First publication    
    9.3 Access to your published article    
    9.4 Promoting your article    
    10. Further information  

        
    1. Introduction

    These instructions for contributors are intended to assist authors who wish to submit manuscripts to Public Health Reports (PHR). The journal follows 3 main publication standards: 1) these instructions, 2) the AMA Manual of Style, 10th Edition, 2007 (AMA Manual), and 3) the Manuscript Submission Guidelines of SAGE Publishing, the technical publisher of the journal (SAGE Guidelines). When seeking advice on the publication standards used by PHR, you should first consult these instructions. In instances where these instructions are silent on a particular point, consult the AMA Manual. In instances where both these instructions and the AMA Manual are silent, consult the SAGE Guidelines. Manuscripts that substantially deviate from these instructions may be returned to the contributor without review.

    You should read these instructions before submitting your manuscript. In addition, you should browse the journal to become familiar with the types of articles we publish and our format. Then, visit the journal’s submission site at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/PHR to submit your manuscript. You should take care to ensure that your manuscript conforms to these instructions.  

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that: 1) you are submitting your original work, 2) you have the rights to the work, 2) the work is not being considered for publication elsewhere, 3) the work has not been previously published elsewhere, and 4) you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright materials within the work that are not owned by you (eg, a figure from another copyrighted publication).

    2. Aims and scope of the journal

    PHR is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). The journal is editorially independent from the Office of the Surgeon General and ASPPH, and they have no role in selecting or editing content for publication. The journal is peer-reviewed and publishes original research and commentaries in the areas of public health practice and methodology, original research, public health law, public health history, and public health schools and teaching. Issues contain regular commentaries by the US Surgeon General and executives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. 

    The journal focuses on current and emerging topics in public health, including infectious diseases and their prevention (eg, HIV/AIDS, immunization), non-infectious diseases (eg, chronic diseases, injuries), environmental and occupational disease (eg, lead poisoning), and behavioural and social risk factors (eg, substance use disorders, health disparities). In addition to the 6 regular issues, PHR produces supplemental issues approximately 2 to 5 times per year that cover topics of interest to the readership. Target audiences of PHR include public health professionals working in government or the private sector in the United States or other countries around the world. The journal no longer publishes book reviews.  

    PHR is a subscription journal. Contributors do not pay a fee to submit or publish in PHR, unless they wish to publish with immediate full open access through SAGE Choice. Because PHR is indexed in PubMed Central, your article will discoverable there after it is published, and the article will be freely available in a full text format after 12 months.

    PHR welcomes contributions that fulfill the mission and purpose of the journal: 1) to facilitate the movement of science into public health practice and policy to positively affect the health and wellness of the American public, 2) to publish scholarly manuscripts that describe new and innovative ways to deliver essential services, leading to improved quality, enhanced efficiency, and reduced costs, and 3) to publish evaluations of public health programs that highlight programs’ impacts and describe models of practice that can be replicated by others.

    3. Manuscript types

    The journal accepts manuscripts of the following types: original research; public health evaluation; public health methodology, case studies, brief reports, reports and recommendations, topical reviews, systematic literature reviews, commentaries, and letters to the editor. The following is a description of each article type and its accompanying requirements.

    3.1 Original research

    Original research manuscripts report on research or meta-analyses, conducted to increase knowledge of a particular public health concern, establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, or support previous or develop new theories. You should follow the relevant Equator Network reporting guideline for the study type.

    3.1.1 Number of words, tables, and figures
    3000-word limit, 250-word structured abstract (objectives, methods, results, and conclusions), no more than 5 tables or figures

    3.1.2 Peer reviewed
    Yes

    3.1.3 Manuscript format
    Structured abstract, 3-question summary box (see description below), introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusions, references, and tables/figures. For meta-analyses: structured abstract, 3-question summary box, introduction, methods (data sources, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and criteria for assessing data), results, discussion, public health implications, references, and tables/figures. 

    3.1.4 Review criteria
    The editors review original research submissions in accordance with whether the manuscript: 1) facilitates the movement of science into public health practice, 2) presents actionable results derived from original research, 3) uses sound scientific methods, including the appropriate use of statistics, 4) reports on recent data (preferably less than 5 years old) that include a description of entry criteria for clinical studies and response rates for survey data, 5) follows the relevant Equator Network guideline for the study type, and 6) uses plain language and statistical presentation relevant to a broad range of public health professionals. 

    For meta-analyses, the editors review submissions in accordance with whether the manuscript: 1) states clearly a set of objectives with predefined eligibility criteria, 2) provides an explicit, reproducible methodology, 3) uses a systematic search that attempts to identify all studies that would meet the eligibility criteria, 4) offers an assessment of the validity of the findings of the included studies (eg, through the assessment of risk of bias), 5) provides a systematic presentation and synthesis of the characteristics and findings of the included studies, 6) follows the relevant Equator Network guideline for systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and 7) uses plain language and statistical presentation relevant to a broad range of public health professionals.  

    3.2 Public health evaluation

    Public health evaluation manuscripts report on evaluations conducted to determine whether a public health program or practice has met its goals. You should follow the relevant Equator Network reporting guideline for the study type.

    3.2.1 Number of words, tables, and figures
    3000-word limit, 250-word structured abstract (objectives, methods, results, and conclusions), no more than 5 tables or figures

    3.2.2 Peer reviewed
    Yes

    3.2.3 Manuscript format
    Structured abstract, 3-question summary box (see description below), introduction, description of the program being evaluated, purpose of the evaluation (including evaluation criteria), methods, results, lessons learned, references, and tables/figures

    3.2.4 Review criteria
    The editors will review public health evaluation submissions in accordance with whether the manuscript: 1) presents actionable results derived from original work, 2) offers models of practice that can be replicated by others, 3) uses sound scientific methods of evaluation, including the appropriate use of statistics, 4) reports on recent data (less than 5 years old preferred), 5) follows the relevant Equator Network guideline for the study type, and 6) uses plain language and statistical presentation relevant to a broad range of public health professionals.

    3.3 Public health methodology

    Public health methodology manuscripts describe new or proposed applications of epidemiologic or
    other scientific methods (eg, surveillance, participatory research) to public health problems. You should follow the relevant Equator Network reporting guideline for the study type.

    3.3.1 Number of words, tables, and figures
    3000-word limit, 250-word structured abstract (objectives, materials and methods, results, and practice implications), no more than 5 tables or figures

    3.3.2 Peer reviewed
    Yes

    3.3.3 Manuscript format
    Structured abstract, 3-question summary box (see description below), introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, practice implications, references, and tables/figures

    3.3.4 Review criteria
    The editors review public health methodology submissions in accordance with whether the manuscript: 1) uses methods relevant to the theory and practice of epidemiology and other public health sciences, 2) includes applications and examples with original data to illustrate methodology, 3) describes how the method can be used in practice and the public health implications of its use, 4) follows the relevant Equator Network guideline for the study type, and 5) uses plain language and statistical presentation relevant to a broad range of public health professionals.

    3.4 Case study 

    Case studies describe an innovative public health program or initiative, its current status, documented outcomes, and lessons learned.  

    3.4.1 Number of words, tables, and figures
    2,500-word limit, 250-word unstructured abstract, no more than 3 tables or figures

    3.4.2 Peer reviewed
    Yes

    3.4.3 Manuscript format
    Unstructured abstract, introduction, purpose, methods, outcomes, lessons learned, references, and tables/figures.

    3.4.4 Review criteria
    The editors will review case study submissions in accordance with whether the manuscript: 1) presents actionable results derived from original work, 2) offers models of practice that can be replicated by others, 3) reports on recent data (less than 5 years old preferred), 4) describes lessons learned clearly, and 5) uses plain language and statistical presentation relevant to a broad range of public health professionals.

    3.5 Brief report 

    Brief reports provide preliminary or exploratory results of original research for which a longer form is not needed to convey the details of methods, results, and discussion. The journal prefers not to use the brief report format for submissions that require a substantial introduction or presentation of methods, results, or discussion, including limitations. Most submissions of original research do not qualify for the brief report format.  

    3.5.1 Number of words, tables, and figures
    1500-word limit, 150-word unstructured abstract, no more than 2 tables or figures

    3.5.2 Peer reviewed
    Yes

    3.5.3 Manuscript format
    Unstructured abstract, introduction, purpose, methods, results, discussion, references, and tables/figures.

    3.5.4 Review criteria
    The editors will review brief report submissions in accordance with whether the manuscript: 1) uses sound scientific methods, including appropriate use of statistics, 2) reports on recent data (less than 5 years old preferred), 3) follows the relevant Equator Network guideline for the study type, and 4) uses plain language and statistical presentation relevant to a broad range of public health professionals.

    3.6 Reports and recommendations 

    Reports and recommendations manuscripts are written by standards-setting or recommendation-making entities to present public health expert consensus, formed policy, or recommendations for practice. These manuscripts have been previously vetted by the standards-setting or recommendation-making entity.

    3.6.1 Number of words, tables, and figures
    The word limit is negotiated with the editors. The report includes a 250-word unstructured abstract, no more than 5 tables or figures.

    3.6.2 Peer reviewed
    At the discretion of the editor in chief

    3.6.3 Manuscript format
    Unstructured abstract, introduction, methods, recommendations (if relevant), public health practice implications, references, and tables/figures

    3.6.4 Review criteria
    The editors will review reports and recommendations submissions in accordance with whether the manuscript: 1) presents actionable scientific opinion, standards, or recommendations based on research (may be research of others) or a defined process of expert consensus, 2) offers evidence of thorough vetting by the standards-setting or recommendation-making entity, 3) provides recommendations (if relevant) supported by published science or expert consensus, and 4) uses plain language and statistical presentation relevant to a broad range of public health professionals.

    3.7 Topical review 

    Topical reviews are narrative summaries of a topic relevant to public health practice, including a comprehensive survey of the topic, often including a review of the existing literature and knowledge base, and an update on the current understanding and state-of-the art of the topic.  

    3.7.1 Number of words, tables, and figures
    3000-word limit, 250-word unstructured abstract, no more than 5 tables or figures

    3.7.2 Peer reviewed
    Yes

    3.7.3 Manuscript format
    Unstructured abstract, introduction, methods (if relevant), discussion, public health implications, references, and tables/figures

    3.7.4 Review criteria
    The editors review topical review submissions in accordance with whether the manuscript: 1) provides a comprehensive presentation and synthesis of the topic and, if included, a review of the existing literature and knowledge base, 2) leaves the reader with an update on the current understanding and state-of-the art of the topic, and 3) uses plain language and statistical presentation relevant to a broad range of public health professionals.

    3.8 Commentary 

    Commentaries are opinion essays that initiate or focus discussion on a current or emerging public health issue, important scientific and programmatic development, new technology, policy issue, or current scientific debate. Commentaries may take a personal viewpoint on a topic, if appropriate.

    3.8.1 Number of words, tables, and figures
    2500-word limit and no more than 2 tables or figures

    3.8.2 Peer reviewed
    At the discretion of the editor in chief

    3.8.3 Manuscript format
    Unstructured format including introduction, discussion, public health implications, references, and tables/figures

    3.8.4 Review criteria
    The editors will review commentary submissions in accordance with whether the manuscript: 1) proposes a viewpoint or argument that is can enlighten or improve public health practice, and 2) uses plain language and statistical presentation relevant to a broad range of public health professionals.

    3.9 Editorial 

    Editorials are submitted by invitation of the editors.

    3.10 Executive Perspective

    These articles are perspectives on public health issues of the day written by executives of the US Department of Health and Human Services. They are submitted by invitation of the editors.

    3.11 Letter to the editor 

    Letters to the editor are of 2 types: 1) those that comment on manuscripts published in the journal within the past 8 weeks, and 2) those that make a brief observation or comment upon a topic within the scope of the journal.

    3.11.1 Number of words, tables, and figures
    500-word limit. Tables and figures are allowed if relevant to the comments.

    3.11.2 Peer reviewed
    No. The authors of the originally published manuscript will be given an opportunity to reply.

    3.11.3 Manuscript format
    Unstructured. Limit of 5 references, including the article being commented upon.

    3.11.4 Review criteria
    At the discretion of the editors

    4.  Special departments of the journal

    4.1 Law and the Public’s Health 
    Law and the Public’s Health appears regularly in PHR. Articles address issues of high importance to public health law, policy, and practice in a succinct style (approximately 2000 words). PHR encourages submissions by legal scholars and practitioners. Potential authors should consult previously published articles to determine likely topics and proper formatting. Cover letters should indicate that the submission is intended for Law and the Public’s Health. Potential authors with questions about the suitability of a submission should contact the Associate Editor in charge of this department, Scott Burris, JD, Professor of Law at the Beasley School of Law, Temple University, at burris@temple.edu.

    4.2 From the Schools and Programs of Public Health
    The journal welcomes contributions to From the Schools and Programs of Public Health, a department of the journal that specializes in articles on schools and programs of public health, the theory and practice of public health education, and all the issues that are faced by schools and programs of public health, their faculties, and their students. Submissions may be of any manuscript type. Submissions are subjected to peer review according to the manuscript type.

    4.3 Writing for Public Health 
    The journal has instituted a new department devoted to writing for public health. The journal welcomes contributions on all aspects of expertise in writing for the field of public health, such as observations on writing quality and quantity at public health agencies and schools of public health, approaches to teaching writing, genres of writing for public health (eg, scholarly and non-scholarly, writing for lay audiences, advocacy), lessons learned from other spheres where writing is taught (eg, undergraduate institutions), and related topics, such as the relationship of writing to critical thinking in public health. Submissions may be of any manuscript type. Submissions are subjected to peer review according to the manuscript type.

    4.4 Public Health Chronicles
    Public Health Chronicles is devoted to articles on the history of public health. This department appeared in the journal for many years, was reinstated in 2018, and is edited by David Rosner, PhD, Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, and Co-Director, Center for the History & Ethics of Public Health at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. The submitted format may be any of the articles types described in these instructions or may be accepted as a special article with a flexible format. PHR encourages submissions by public health and history scholars and practitioners. Potential authors should consult previously published articles to determine likely topics and proper formatting. Cover letters should indicate that the submission is intended for Public Health Chronicles. Potential contributors with questions about the suitability of a submission should contact Professor Rosner at dr289@columbia.edu.

    5. Publishing policies

    5.1 Publication ethics
    PHR is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. The journal follows the ethical standards contained in: 1) the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, 2) the best practice guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and 3) the policies and recommendations of the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). PHR encourages contributors to view the SAGE Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    5.2 Plagiarism
    PHR 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 investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles in accordance with the recommendations or best practice guidelines of the ICMJE, COPE, or WAME. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. 

    5.3 Prior publication
    If material has been previously published, it is not usually acceptable for publication in PHR. However, under certain circumstances, previously published material may be considered for secondary or simultaneous publication. Potential contributors should contact the Managing Editor.  

    5.4 Contributor’s publishing agreement
    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.

    5.5 Copyright
    It is a condition of publication in the journal that authors, excluding authors employed by the US government, assign copyright to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). Authors may use their own material in other publications provided PHR is acknowledged as the original place of publication. Material published in the journal may be used, modified, reproduced, and distributed by the US government for government purposes.

    5.6 Open access and author archiving 
    PHR offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

    6. Editorial policies

    6.1 Peer review policy
    After an initial review by the editors, the journal selects promising submissions for external peer review; these manuscripts are sent to 2 or more external reviewers. The journal does not routinely accept recommendations for peer reviewers from authors. After external peer review is completed, the editors select articles for additional consideration, usually after revision. The PHR Editor in Chief makes final decisions on all submissions.

    PHR uses a conventional single-blind reviewing policy in which the reviewer’s name is always concealed from the submitting author. The editors may occasionally submit their own manuscripts to the journal. In these cases, the peer review process is managed by alternative members of the staff, and the submitting editor has no involvement in the decision-making process.

    6.2 Authorship
    Manuscripts should be submitted for consideration only after consent is given in writing by all contributing authors.  The list of authors should include all those, and only those, who can legitimately claim authorship in accordance with the authorship policies of ICMJE, COPE, and WAME.  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.  

    6.3 Acknowledgements
    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. 

    Persons who provided writing assistance, eg, 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 editing services.

    6.4 Funding 
    PHR 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, “The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.”

    6.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
    PHR requires a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors, and this statement will be included as part of the article. 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 authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.” For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations

    6.6 Research ethics and patient consent
    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 also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants 

    6.7 Clinical trials
    PHR 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.

    6.8 Reporting guidelines 
    Contributors should follow the relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines for 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

    7. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    7.1 Submission of manuscripts to supplement issues
    Generally, these instructions apply to procedures for submitting manuscripts to the PHR bimonthly issue. Submission to a PHR supplement issue may follow a separate process. Contributors who wish to submit a manuscript to a supplement issue should first contact the Managing Editor.  

    7.2 The SAGE Author Gateway
    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    7.3 PHR style
    PHR follows the AMA Manual, available at http://www.amamanualofstyle.com. You should consult the AMA Manual to ensure that all components of your manuscript, and its style, are in accordance with PHR and AMA style. As a federal publication, PHR also strives to comply with the principles of the federal plain language writing guidelines, which promote the use of language that is “clear, concise, and well-organized.” 

    Four style points that PHR contributors often overlook are: 1) the use of the passive voice, 2) the expression of proportions, 3) the use of abbreviations, and 4) the use of the correct verb tense. With regard to use of the passive voice, Section 7.3.1 of the AMA Manual dictates that “[i]n general, authors should use the active voice, except in instances in which the actor is unknown or the interest focuses on what is acted on.”  

    With regard to the expression of proportions, Section 19.7.3 of the AMA Manual generally requires presentation of numerators and denominators when showing proportions and percentages: "Whenever possible, proportions and percentages should be accompanied by the actual numerator (n) and denominator (d) from which they were derived.”  

    Regarding the use of abbreviations, Section 19.7.3 of the AMA Manual emphasizes that “overuse of abbreviations can be confusing and ambiguous for readers—especially those whose first language is not English or those outside a specific specialty or discipline.” In accordance with that style, PHR prefers to minimize the use of abbreviations.  

    Regarding correct verb tense, Section 7.3.3 of the AMA Manual provides guidance. Most manuscripts report on analyses and observations made in the past, so the past tense is the proper tense to use.

    In addition, PHR: 1) prefers the use of the word, “person” over “individual,” 2) does not use the word, “case,” to refer to a person. A case is not a person, but a case occurs in a person, 3) in accordance with the AMA Manual, PHR prefers that the results section of abstracts contain specific numerical results, and 4) in general, PHR does not use pie charts. 

    7.4 Components of your manuscript

    7.4.1 Title page
    Your manuscript should begin with a title page, which should include the following: 1) a title (short and descriptive), 2) keywords, 3) the full names of all authors, including their graduate degrees (when the number of authors exceeds 10, the cover letter should contain a justification for this), 4) all authors’ institutional affiliations and job titles during the course of the research (and current affiliation and title for corresponding author if different), 5) the name, advanced degrees, affiliation, street address, telephone number, and e-mail address of the corresponding author, and 6) the total word count of the text, exclusive of abstract, tables, and references, and the number of charts, tables, and figures.

    7.4.2 Abstract 
    Consult the journal’s article types to determine whether an abstract is necessary, how it should be structured, and its length. 

    7.4.3 Keywords
    Provide 3 to 5 keywords that represent the key topics presented in the article.

    7.4.4 Three-question summary box
    PHR is instituting a 3-question summary box to be published in 3 article types: original research, public health evaluation, and public health methodology. The summary box is intended to allow a reader to understand at a glance the essence of the article’s findings and contribution to the literature. Provide 1 or 2 sentences for each of the following 3 questions: 1) What is the current understanding of this subject?, 2) What does this report add to the literature?, and 3) What are the implications for public health practice?  The total word count for the summary box, excluding the questions, should be no more than 85 words. The summary box should not merely replicate language in the abstract. 

    7.4.5 References
    PHR does not limit the number of references. References should follow AMA style. Numerical references should not be embedded in the text (i.e., if you use the “Footnote and Endnote” function in Microsoft Word for references, you should strip out all coding before submission). Citations of personal communications or unpublished material should appear in the text in parentheses, according to the AMA Manual format.  

    7.4.6 Tables and Figures
    Tables and figures should be placed in the manuscript after the references, each on its own separate page in portrait orientation. Tables and figures in landscape orientation will be returned to the author for revision. See the information above on manuscript types to determine limits on the number of tables and figures.

    • Titles: PHR follows the AMA Manual of Style. In addition, all tables and figures should stand on their own. That is, a reader who never sees the text of the article should be able to understand the sense of the material being presented. The title should state the “what, where, and when” of the material fully (e.g., “Demographic characteristics of patients who were offered, accepted, and declined HIV testing at an urban health center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2012-2014”). Footnotes should be added to explain all notations and acronyms used in the table or figure. If the table reports data from a source, the unabbreviated name of the source should be included in the title. The time period covered by the data reported should always be included.
    • For tables, “each piece of data needs to be contained in its own cell in the table. Avoid creating tables using spaces or tabs” (AMA Manual, section 4.1.9).
    • Format for images: TIFF, JPEG files: Common format for pictures (containing no text or graphs). EPS: Preferred format for graphs and line art (retains quality when enlarging or zooming in). For all graphs and charts created in Excel, please submit the original Excel files. These files should include the actual data used to create the graphs or charts. Please avoid inserting Excel graphs or charts in Word documents, especially when these graphs or charts are no longer linked to the data source.
    • Placement: Please add a placeholder note in the running text (i.e., “[insert Figure 1.]")
    •  Resolution: Rasterized based files (i.e., with .tiff or .jpeg extension) require a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Line art should be supplied with a minimum resolution of 800 dpi.
    • Color: Figures can be printed in color for a fee. Otherwise, images supplied in color will be published in color online and black and white in print. Therefore, it is important that you supply images that are comprehensible in black and white or grayscale. Captions should not use words indicating color.
    • Dimension: Check that the artworks supplied match or exceed the dimensions of the journal. Images cannot be scaled up after origination.
    • Fonts: The lettering used in the artwork should not vary too much in size and type (usually sans serif font as a default).

                    
    7.5 Expression of statistics 
    Contributors should review the standards of the AMA Manual to determine proper presentation of statistics. The PHR editors also have found that many errors can be avoided by consulting: Lang TA, Secic M. How to Report Statistics in Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: ACP; 2006. Another useful reference is the SAMPL Guidelines

    PHR seeks to ensure that general epidemiologists are able to understand the presentation of most statistics in the journal. Contributors should strive to present statistics in a way that can be understood by readers who are general epidemiologists. If more advanced statistical presentations are needed, contributors should explain the method used or refer readers to published references. For example, for many studies, the presentation of simple descriptive results and measures of association (eg, prevalence ratios) should precede the presentation of statistical results intended to control for confounding or test hypotheses. 

    Authors often have difficulty with the expression of P values. Contributors should take care to avoid the “P value fallacy” and follow the conventions for P values listed in the AMA Manual, Section 20.9. For example, all hypothesis tests should be presented so as to make clear to the reader what hypothesis is being tested and what groups are being compared. For the presentation of survey data, estimated prevalences generally should be accompanied by a measure of precision, such as the 95% confidence interval.

    7.6 Formatting 
    The preferred format for your manuscript is Microsoft Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Your manuscript should use page numbers, continuous line numbering, and 1.5-line spacing. Manuscripts should be formatted with .75-inch margins on all sides and use 12-point Times New Roman font. Word and LaTeX templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of the SAGE Author Gateway.

    7.7 Artwork, figures and other graphics
    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Artwork Guidelines.

    Figures supplied in color will appear in color online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in color in the printed version. For specifically requested color reproduction in print, you will receive information about the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.  

    7.8 Supplementary material
    PHR prefers not to include appendices and supplementary materials. However, the journal may be 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 SAGE’s guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    7.9 Professional editing
    The journal strongly recommends that all manuscript authors, especially authors with English as a second language, have their manuscripts reviewed and edited by a professional scientific editor before submitting their manuscript. Many companies offer editing services. Information about SAGE Publishing’s service is located at SAGE Language Services on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway. 

    8. Submitting your manuscript

    8.1 Cover letter 
    Include a cover letter that contains: 1) a description of the article and brief explanation of the findings, 2) brief descriptions of what is already known about the topic or research question, how the findings of the article will add to, or fill a gap in, the literature on the topic, and the implications of the findings for public health practice, 3) a statement on how the research or commentary is relevant to the mission and scope of PHR, 4) a statement that the material has not been published nor is being considered for publication elsewhere, 5) a statement indicating institutional review board determination (approval or waiver) for all studies involving human subjects research, 6) a statement regarding any potential conflicts of interest for each author, 7) a disclosure noting any similar or related work submitted or published elsewhere.

    8.2 ORCID
    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 persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher 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 recognised. SAGE encourages all authors to add their ORCIDs to their SAGE Track accounts and include their ORCIDs as part of the submission process. If you don’t already have one you can create one here

    8.3 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. 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). 

    8.4 Permissions
    Please 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.

    8.5 What to expect after submission
    Corresponding authors will receive acknowledgment of receipt within 48 hours. Typically, decisions regarding external peer review are provided within 3 weeks after submission. PHR’s submission gateway is located at https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/PHR. 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.   

    9. Acceptance and publication            

    9.1 SAGE Production
    Your SAGE production editor will keep you informed as to your accepted article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned 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 are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorizing the change.

    9.2 Online First publication 
    Nearly all articles for the PHR bimonthly issue are published online ahead of print, as soon as they have finished the proofing process, through SAGE Publishing’s Online First. This substantially reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    9.3 Access to your published article 
    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    9.4 Promoting your article
    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your article 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. In addition, SAGE is partnered with Kudos, a free service that allows authors to explain, enrich, share, and measure the impact of their article. Find out how to maximize your article’s impact with Kudos  

    10. Further information

    Correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the PHR editorial office as follows: 

    PHR Managing Editor 
    Andrey Kuzmichev, PhD
    Andrey.Kuzmichev@hhs.gov

     

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