Guide for Authors
- Communicating with the Editorial Office
- General Information
- Article Types
- AJPM's Publication Process and Features
- Expedited Review and Publication Online Before Print
- Supplemental Online-Only Material
- Sponsored Articles
- Online-Only Publication
- Continuing Medical Education (CME)
- Offprints, Reprints, PDFs
- Press Activity
- Embargo Policy
- Scientific Misconduct
- Open-Access Articles
- Manuscript Preparation
- Manuscript Format
- Common Abbreviations
- Clinical Trial Registration
- Reporting Guidelines
- How to Submit a Paper
We encourage you to communicate with the AJPM Editorial Office.
Address: AJPM Editorial OfficePhone: 858-534-9340
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0811.
To check on the status of a manuscript, e-mail: eAJPM@ucsd.edu or call 858-534-9340.For all other business, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) is the official journal of the American College of Preventive Medicine and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. Started in 1985, AJPM is a fully peer-reviewed international journal that publishes original research articles, reviews, current issues papers, commentary, and correspondence on all aspects of practice, education, policy, and research in preventive medicine and public health.
Manuscripts are accepted for consideration with the understanding that they have been submitted solely to AJPM; that they have not been previously published, either in whole or in part; and that the findings have not been posted online. The editors reserve the right to make editorial changes in all matter published in the Journal and cannot enter into correspondence about manuscripts not accepted for publication. The editors, editorial board, sponsoring organizations, and publishers are not responsible for the statements expressed by authors in their contributions.AJPM does not charge submission or publication fees unless the manuscript is sponsored for open access.
The editors and staff of AJPM adhere to the ethical standards established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE; www.publicationethics.org) and are committed to providing authors with a transparent process in the handling of manuscripts received in the editorial office. Any alleged breach of scientific integrity will be adjudicated by COPE.In addition, AJPM follows the guidance on editorial independence produced by the World Association of Medical Editors (www.wame.org), and subscribes to the tenets of reporting guidelines established by the EQUATOR network (www.equator-network.org/). AJPM supports the policies of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the following author instructions follow the ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, available at www.icmje.org/. Manuscript preparation should follow these ICMJE guidelines.American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Authors may use their own material in other publications provided that AJPM is acknowledged as the original place of publication and that permission is obtained from Elsevier Science Inc. in advance and in writing. Requests may be completed online via the Elsevier website at www.elsevier.com/permissions.
- Required elements:
- Structured abstract (for research papers): background; purpose; methods (include years of data collection and analysis); results; conclusions
- (for interventions): background; purpose; design; setting/participants; intervention; main outcome measures; results; conclusions
- Objective or hypothesis
- Research methods (including statistical methodologies and IRB approval and informed consent)
- Essential features of interventions
- Outcome measures
- discuss in context of published literature
- emphasize what is novel about findings
- emphasize contribution to literature in medicine and public health
- Word limits (text only - does not include abstract references, tables, or figures):
- Research articles: 3000
- Randomized controlled trials: 4000
- Brief reports: 1200
- Required elements:
- Structured abstract: context; evidence acquisition; evidence synthesis; conclusions
- Inclusion and exclusion criteria for sources
- Description of search and selection process
- Type of study or analysis, description of population, intervention, exposure, tests/outcomes for each article or data source
- Word limit: 4000
Note: Tables longer than two pages will likely be published as an online-only appendix.
Special Articles may address virtually any important topic in preventive medicine or public health. Word limit: 4000Research and Practice Methods articles include those detailing the methods used to answer specific research questions. Typical length: 3000 words
Teaching Preventive Medicine articles highlight methods used in teaching preventive medicine or evaluating educational methods, either at the undergraduate or graduate level. They cover the spectrum of educational topics in preventive medicine and public health. Typical length: 3000 wordsCurrent Issues papers are scholarly but not exhaustive reviews of any area that the author thinks might be of interest to AJPM readers. They should be broadly informative, and bold in prompting new thinking. Example topic areas include preventive medicine, public health, social and behavioral health, health disparities, global health, environmental and ecologic issues, and health-related technologies. No abstract. Reference limit: 10. Word limit: 2000
Commentaries are short, essay-type articles that comment on another article in the same issue; these are generally solicited by the editors.Letters to the Editor offer opinions or interpretations of articles previously published in AJPM. It is customary for the editorial office to send each letter to the author(s) of the original work; the authors' response may be published as a companion to the Letter to the Editor. Tables and figures included only if absolutely necessary. Reference limit: 7. Word limit: 500
Research Letters report original research (e.g., the result of a pilot study) and should include: introduction, methods, results, and discussion. All research letters considered for publication undergo external peer review. May include one table or figure. Reference limit: 10. Word range: 500-700.Book/Media Reviews are generally solicited by the editorial office. AJPM publishes a list of books that have been received but not reviewed, in the June and December issues, as a courtesy to AJPM readers.
Corrections are published for printed errors relating to data collection or interpretation, or information that is likely to lead the reader to misinterpret the research. PubMed then publishes the correction(s) as part of the online article.AJPM'S PUBLICATION PROCESS AND FEATURES
- 4-7 days from initial submission for internal review and to learn whether the manuscript will be rejected or sent out for external peer review.
- 4-8 weeks until all the reviews are received and the editors make a decision on whether the paper should be accepted, revised, or rejected based on reviews.
- 4-6 weeks is the average time authors take to submit a revision, but the amount of time is up to the author.
- 3-4 weeks for final decision of acceptance/rejection for publication (may include a re-review).
- 10 weeks to publication (print); about 6 weeks for online publication.
Expedited Review and Publication Online Before Print
Authors who feel that their paper should receive expedited review and/or rapid publication should request it and explain their rationale in the Comments section of EES (ees.elsevier.com/ajpm/). They should also send a separate explanatory e-mail to the managing editor at email@example.com. Expedited peer review takes 5-7 days, with the paper edited and online in 4-5 weeks. Authors are reminded that as a monthly journal, AJPM does not operate on the timeframe of a weekly and does not ordinarily publish “news” items.Supplemental Online-Only Material
Material that is considered to be supportive of the published article, but not critical for inclusion in the print issue, may be posted online only as an appendix. Direction to the website (www.ajpmonline.org) will be given within the print copy. This material will not be typeset, and therefore will not be provided with the author proof. Requests for changes to appendixes should be directed to the editorial office.Sponsored Articles
AJPM offers you the option of making your article freely available to all via the www.ajpmonline.org and www.sciencedirect.com platforms. To prevent any conflict of interest, you can only make this choice after receiving notification that your article has been accepted for publication. The fee of $3000 excludes taxes and other potential author fees such as color charges. Authors of accepted articles, who wish to take advantage of this sponsored option, should complete and submit the order form (available at: www.elsevier.com/locate/openaccessform.pdf). In some cases, institutions and funding bodies have entered into agreement with Elsevier to meet these fees on behalf of their authors. Details of these agreements are available at http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies. Whatever access option you choose, you retain many rights as an author, including the right to post a revised personal version of your article on your own website. More information can be found here: http://www.elsevier.com/authorsrights.Online-Only Publication
Each month, some articles will be chosen to be published online only. These decisions are based on the available print pages, and do not reflect the importance of a particular article. All online-only articles are fully published, with a doi (digital object identifier), and are fully citable. As with many medical journals, AJPM has significant online activity.Audio/Visual
AJPM produces and posts video casts related to the print articles. If an author would like to participate in the production of a video cast, please contact the editorial office. In addition, authors may be interested in submitting other types of visuals to enhance the printed article. The AJPM editors and staff will work with authors who would like to provide animated GIFs, links to database files, or JAVA-applets, for example.SciVee
Located at www.scivee.tv, SciVee has partnered with AJPM to provide a video pubcast based on a different article each month. View these at www.ajpmonline.org. Authors should contact the AJPM editorial office to participate in this project.Continuing Medical Education (CME)
Each month, AJPM editors select two articles to participate in the Continuing Medical Education project supported by the American College of Preventive Medicine. Each article is so noted in the print issue, with objectives printed in the front section of each issue. The test for each article is located on the AJPM website at www.ajpmonline.org.Offprints, Reprints, PDFs
Reprints are available from the publisher. A PDF of the article is provided to corresponding authors of each paper for their internal use.Press Activity
The AJPM editors and staff work with the Center for Advancing Health and Elsevier to provide press releases for many AJPM articles. If authors want to coordinate press activity between AJPM and their institutions, please contact the editorial office.Embargo Policy
For the protection of each author's work, AJPM does not allow the unauthorized pre-publication of any materials slated for publication. All materials within AJPM are under embargo until the appropriate release date. AJPM recognizes the authority of the Committee for Publication Ethics in any breach of scientific integrity.Scientific Misconduct
The U.S. Government Printing Office defines scientific misconduct as the fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Any published article found to have been based on fabricated or falsified data will be officially retracted in print and online, with notifications made to the indexing services as required.In the interest of preserving the scientific integrity of all articles published in AJPM, starting in January 2011, the Editorial Office will be running all revised manuscripts through an online plagiarism-detection program. Following the lead of the Committee on Publication Ethics, whose policies are in turn supported by the ICMJE, if plagiarism is discovered, the author will be notified before any further action is taken. AJPM adheres to the process established by COPE, whose guidelines and flowcharts for action are available online at http://publicationethics.org/.
Self-plagiarism (“text recycling”) is one of the most prevelent forms of plagiarism. If AJPM authors are found to have used the same text from their own previous publications, they will be asked to revise, reword, and rephrase that text before it is considered for publication.Corrections that are based on honest error, and are not the result of falsification or fabrication, will be published as such in AJPM, and used by PubMed to correct the literature.www.ajpmonline.org). In addition, AJPM adheres to the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy:
The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION
Authors whose first language is not English. AJPM is increasingly read worldwide, and we welcome submissions from scholars around the globe. We encourage authors whose first language is not English to seek assistance in manuscript preparation, including writing and editing, prior to the initial submission.Manuscript Format
- Dimensions: Format as an 8.5" x 11" (215 mm x 280 mm) page with 1" (25 mm) margins on all four sides.
- Font: Times New Roman 12-point is recommended for text and tables; use Arial (nonserif) font for figures.
- Spacing: Text should be double-spaced, flush left; separate paragraphs with two hard returns, not tabs.
- All text should be written in the third person (do not use "we" or "our" unless expressing the opinion of the authors).
- Order of sections: title page, abstract, text, acknowledgments, references, list of titles for all figures (on 1 page), tables, and figures.
- Page numbering: Number pages consecutively, beginning with the title page. No other automatic formatting is permitted.
- Line numbering: Number all lines of text continuously (do not start each page with 1).
- Section groupings by file: The sections should be organized into the following MS Word files: (1) cover letter, (2) title page, abstract, text, acknowledgements, references, figure titles, and tables, (3) figures.
The cover letter must state that the manuscript has been submitted solely to AJPM and that it has not been previously published, either in whole or in part, nor have the findings been posted online. The corresponding author must include a statement confirming full access to all aspects of the research and writing process, and takes final responsibility for the paper.Title Page
- Title: Should be concise but informative; highlight rather than explain; be a label, not a sentence; reflect what you did; have no verbs, have dense nouns for improved searchability; use no symbols or abbreviations
- Author names and affiliations: Include the first name, middle initial, last name, and highest academic degree of each author, and the names of their departments and institutions (including city and state), to which the work should be attributed
- Corresponding author information: Include the name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address of the author responsible for correspondence
- Word count: Provide the total word count (text only) and the number of pages, tables, and figures
- Conflict of interest statement on title page: Include a statement from each of the authors disclosing all funding sources that supported their work as well as all institutional and corporate affiliations. Also include a publishable statement disclosing any commercial associations, current and over the past 5 years, that might pose a conflict of interest. These include but are not limited to consultancies, including those for investment companies; stock or other equity ownership; stock options; patent licensing arrangements; and payments for conducting or publicizing the study.
In addition, authors are required to disclose similar associations with companies that make a competing product. If the authors have competing or conflicting interests that cannot be disclosed in publishable statements, authors should list them in the comments section of EES (ees.elsevier.com/ajpm/). When no competing interests are present, this should be indicated in the publishable disclosure statement (e.g., "No financial disclosures were reported by the authors of this paper.").
- Example of disclosure statements that should appear on the title page:
- (Author 1 name) owns stock in _____ company.
- (Author 2 name) has no financial disclosures.
- (Author 3 name) has no financial disclosures.
- (Author 4 name) has received consulting fees from ______, a company that manufactures a competing product to the one discussed in this paper.
- Structured format required for:
- Research articles: background, purpose, methods, results, conclusions
- Intervention studies: background, purpose, design, setting/participants, intervention, main outcome measures, results, conclusions
- Review articles: context, evidence acquisition, evidence synthesis, conclusions
Word limit: 250; for interventions: 300.Other article types: include unstructured abstract. Length limit: 250 words; two paragraphs. Note: Current Issues papers include no abstract.
TextAll research manuscripts must include (in both abstract and methods section) the year(s) in which the data were collected and when the study/analysis was conducted. The number of figures and tables should be in proportion to the amount of text. Follow the word-count parameters provided in the Article Types section.
Abbreviations used commonly in AJPM are listed here; you do not have to expand these terms in your text.
List sources of support in the form of grants, equipment, or drugs, and describe the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design. Acknowledge only people who have made substantive contributions to the study. All individuals mentioned in the acknowledgments or in personal communications within the paper must provide consent for their names to be used. Include any necessary disclaimers.Clinical Trial Registration:
A clinical trial is any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes. Health-related interventions include any intervention used to modify a biomedical or health-related outcome; purely observational studies do not require registration. Any study that was started after July 2005 requires registration. If a trial started before July 2005, it should be registered retrospectively, before submission to a journal.
Some trials assign healthcare providers, rather than patients, to intervention and comparison/control groups. If the purpose of the trial is to examine the effect of the provider intervention on the health outcomes of the providers' patients, then investigators should register the trial. If the purpose is to examine the effect only on the providers (for example, provider knowledge or attitudes), then registration is not necessary.Manuscripts reporting clinical trials must include the following information on the title page: trial registry name and registration number, date of registration, funding source for the trial, and the name and date of approval of an institutional review board.
General information about trial registration can be found at www.icmje.org. Questions about whether a trial requires registration should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.Acceptable trial registries include:
Other trial registration sites will be considered on an individual basis.References
- Ensure that references are correct by using the PubMed Citation Matcher www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query/static/citmatch.html
- Automatic reference numbering in Word is not accepted; programs such as EndNote and Reference Manager are acceptable.
- References are to follow the Vancouver Style and should be identified by number in the order in which they are mentioned in the text (citation-order system) with a superscript arabic numeral, not a number in parentheses, e.g.,1. If subsequent reference is made to a citation, the original reference number should be used again. All reference numbers must be outside of punctuation.
- References that apply only to tables and figures should be numbered in sequence where the text first refers to the table or figure.
- Titles of journals must be abbreviated according to Index Medicus style, which can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=journals.
Example ReferencesJournal article
Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Intern Med 1996;124(11):980-3.
Norman IJ, Redfern SJ, editors. Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1996.
Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven Press, 1995.
Website (include in references only those websites that take the reader directly to a document within a website)Articles accepted but not yet published
Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Using evidence for public health decision making: overview of the Guide to Community Preventive Services. CDC. 2005. www.thecommunityguide.org/about/Overview_GuideCommunityPreventiveServices_1and2.pdf.
Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Intern Med. In press.
Cite the Following in Text Only, Not in the References Section
- Personal communication. Format: first initial, last name, affiliation, "personal communication," date (R. Draco, Syracuse University, personal communication, 1998). Consent must be provided from all individuals named in the text.
- Software. Format: name of software, version number. (Stata, version 9).
- Websites that refer to the website in general (e.g., a home page). Format: URL in parentheses (www.anaconda.com)
- Articles that have been submitted but not accepted. Format: (J Smith, University of Minnesota, unpublished observations, 1999)
- Citing an unpublished work by one of the authors. Format: (JWK, unpublished observations, 1999)
TablesFormat: submit each on a separate page.
Numbering: identify with arabic numerals (Table 1).Titles: word limit: 15
Footnotes: use lowercase letters (a,b,c). Exception: footnotes reporting statistical significance should be noted with asterisks (*, **, ***).Abbreviations: ALL abbreviations used in a table must be defined in an alphabetical list below the table. Example: FDA, Food and Drug Administration; HEI, Healthy Eating Index
FiguresFormat: submit in a form suitable for reproduction.
Typeface: nonserif (e.g., Arial).Coloring: use only black on white background, with bold patterns or distinct variations of gray shading. Exception: maps, photos, and graphs that are too confusing in black and white must be submitted in color.
Titles: a list of all figure titles should be typed on one page and placed after the references.File types: figures can be submitted in TIFF, EPS or PDF formats. MS Office files (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) are also accepted. Figure resolution for pixel-based images should be at least 1,200 dpi for line art (e.g., graphs, flow charts) or 500 dpi for photographs, micrographs, computed tomography scans, and related images. Color images should use CMYK color mode.
Permissions: if the figure is from another publication, provide written permission from the original publisher to reprint it.Reporting Guidelines
In an effort to make the reporting of health research more transparent and to provide guidance and structure to authors, AJPM joins other major medical journals in supporting the following reporting guidelines.
- The EQUATOR (Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research) network (www.equator-network.org/) is an umbrella network that brings together researchers, medical journal editors, peer reviewers, and the developers of reporting guidelines to provide collaboration and consistency.
- CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement (revised), found at www.consort-statement.org for randomized controlled trials. The flow diagram and checklist must be included in the article.AJPM style for the CONSORT flow diagram:
Please note that papers reporting RCTs must include a statement that there was no racial or gender bias in the selection of participants.
- TREND (Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Nonrandomized Designs), found at www.cdc.gov/trendstatement/, provides information on the use of the checklist, a required element in manuscript submissions.
- PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses), located at www.prisma-statement.org/, provides information for using both the checklist and the flow diagram. Both of these items should be included in submitted manuscripts.
HOW TO SUBMIT A PAPERAJPM uses an online submission and peer-review program via the Elsevier Editorial System, located at ees.elsevier.com/ajpm. Follow the onscreen instructions for all submissions. If you have questions during the process, please contact the AJPM Editorial Office at email@example.com.
- Review manuscript submission requirements
- Include cover letter, detailed as outlined in these author instructions
- Provide first and last names and middle initials of all authors; include highest degree and institutional affiliation
- On title page, include word count (text only), number of tables and figures, and conflict of interest statements
- Provide an abstract that conforms with author instructions for article type
- Provide text files in Microsoft Word
- Provide text in Times New Roman, 12 pt, and double-spaced
- Provide continuously numbered lines (each page does not start at 1)
- Check all references for accuracy and completeness, as well as AJPM format
- Title each table and figure
- Include all sources of financial and material support in the Acknowledgments section, including grant numbers as appropriate
- Include in the Methods section any information on institutional review board approval or informed consents
Conflict of Interest Statement for Papers Accepted for Publication
To maintain a transparent process throughout the writing and publishing of a scientific article, when a paper has been accepted for publication, each author will be required to sign a formal conflict of interest statement, which includes author-contribution information. Each author will have to state his/her level of participation in the production of the manuscript.Reviewed and revised April 2013