Guide for Authors
1. Submission Process
2. How to submit a paper
4. Manuscript style
4.1 General Guidelines
4.2 Original research papers
4.3 Short communications
4.4 Review papers
4.6 Celebrating Public Health Lives
4.7 Submitting a revised paper after peer review
5. Preparing your manuscript for submission
6. Preparation of electronic illustrations
7. Colour illustrations
8. Authorship and acknowledgements
9.1 Competing interests
9.2 The role of funding
9.4 Randomized controlled trials
12. Author sponsorship of open-access
14. Funding body agreements and policies
Public Health is an international, multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal. It publishes original research papers, reviews and short communications on all aspects of the health of populations, including the science, art, philosophy and practice of public health.
It is aimed at all public health practitioners and researchers and those who manage public health services and systems. This includes public health doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, demographers, epidemiologists, health education and promotion specialists, environmental health specialists, and other specialists and scientists in the field of public health, including those in training. In addition, it will be of interest to anyone involved in the provision of public health programmes, the care of populations or communities and those who contribute to public health systems in any way.Scope
Public Health considers submissions on any aspect of public health across age groups and settings. These include:
• Public health practice and impactHealth inequalities
• Epidemiology-fundamental and applied, including disease, environmental and toxicological
• Health impact assessments
• Health service effectiveness, management and re-design
• Health protection including control of communicable diseases
• Health promotion, wellbeing and disease prevention
• Evaluation of public health programmes or interventions
• Public health governance, audit and quality
• Public health law
• Public health policies and comparisons
• Capacity in public health systems and workforce
This is not an exhaustive list and the Editors will consider articles on any issue relating to the health of populations or the public.Reviews and Supplements
Public Health publishes invited articles, reviews and supplements from leading experts on topical issues.
Organizations or individuals who wish to present proposals for supplements should contact the Editors at email@example.com for a copy of the specific guidance on the publication of supplements.Impact on Practice
Papers describing original research impacting on public health practice are particularly encouraged. Those describing a particular event (e.g. an outbreak of infectious disease) should be submitted as soon as possible. Fast track publication of suitable articles is possible; please contact the Editorial Office regarding this.
Papers are invited from anywhere in the world, and so authors are asked to ensure that sufficient context is provided for all readers to appreciate their contribution.The Types of papers we publishThe types of papers that may be considered for inclusion are:
1) Original research (see section 4.2);
2) Short communications (see section 4.3) and;
3) Review papers, which include meta-analysis and systematic review (see section 4.4)
We also consider the following papers:We welcome student papers and encourage students to publish their work, e.g. originating from practice-based research, which will be subject to constructive peer review process.
1) Evaluations of public health interventions or programmes;
2) Public health practice original work on audit, workforce or resource development
3) Book reviews (normally by invitation);
4) Letters (see section 4.5);
5) Celebrating Public Health Lives: biographical articles about named individuals, living or deceased, who have made a special contribution to public health (see section 4.6)
On submission, authors should indicate in which category their contribution is to be considered. If authors are uncertain of the category to which their paper is best suited, they should make this clear in their covering letter to the Editors.1. Submission Process
Papers submitted to Public Health are carefully reviewed in the first instance by one of the Editors. Papers that do not meet editorial needs; are methodically flawed; or lack originality will be rejected. We will also reject papers that fail to provide sufficient ethical approval where required (see section 9.3) and we shall refer papers back for revision prior to any review if they do not comply with Journal style.
Papers which pass the Editorial review will be sent out to peer-review and will be reviewed by at least two external reviewers (short communications will only be sent to one reviewer). Reviewers are asked to consider whether the paper: contains new research findings or information; is relevant to public health practice, is technically sound; and is suitably presented.2. How to submit your manuscript
All manuscripts should be submitted online at http://ees.elsevier.com/puhe/ by clicking on the 'submit paper' link. Authors will first need to register their details, and can then submit their paper.
Any author unable to submit online should contact the Editorial Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. CorrespondenceAny correspondence (including books for review) should be sent to the Editorial Office as follows:
The official language of Public Health is British English. Support may be made available to overseas authors whose first language is not English.
The Editors4. Manuscript Style
Public Health Editorial Office
The Royal Society for Public Health
John Snow House
59 Mansell Street
Tel: +44 (0)20 3177 1632
Fax: +44 (0)20 3177 1601
4.1 General Guidelines:
• Use double spacing and wide (3 cm) margins, and avoid full justification, i.e. do not use a constant right-hand margin.
• Ensure that each new paragraph is clearly indicated. Present tables and figure legends on separate pages at the end of the manuscript.
• Number all pages consecutively. Manuscripts should also be spellchecked by the facility available in most good word-processing packages.
• Extensive use of italics and emboldening within the text should be avoided.
One author should be designated as corresponding author and provide the following information:Please note that any papers which fail to meet our requirements will be returned to the author for amendment. Only papers which are submitted in the correct style will be considered by the Editors.
• E-mail address
• Full postal address
• Telephone and fax numbers
4.2 Original research (or evaluation papers)Papers should be clear, precise and logical and should not normally exceed 3,000 words.
Click here for an example
Original research papers should be set out as follows:Please note that any costs for reproducing material whose copyright is not held by the authors or the RSPH is to be met by the authors.
• Covering letter-the letter must contain: why the submission is appropriate for publication in Public Health; what is known about the topic discussed; what your study adds; and confirmation that the paper has not been published elsewhere
• Title page- bearing title, all authors' initials, surname, main degrees (two only) and the name and location of the institution(s) where the work was done. The author to whom proofs and correspondence should be sent should be clearly indicated with correct address, e-mail, telephone and fax details.
• Abstract. This should be structured under the following headings:
• Keywords. 3-6 keywords should follow the abstract
• Acknowledgements including declarations: Statements of ethical approval, funding and competing interests (see section 9)
• References (see section 10)
Tables and figuresTables
Tables and figures should be kept to a minimum. Tables must be comprehensible without reference to the text. References should not be cited in the tables. Authors should indicate at approximately what point in the text the table should appear. Figures, graphs, drawings etc. should not be over complex and must be intelligible when reduced in size for printing. They should be on separate sheets, numbered and with legends.
Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text. Place footnotes to tables below the table body and indicate them with superscript lowercase letters. Avoid vertical rules. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in tables do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article.
4.3 Short communicationsA short communication is preferred for the submission of important preliminary observations or data that does not warrant publication as a full paper. Short communications should be approximately 500-1500 words in length and provide adequate information to allow for the same peer review given to other submissions.
Click here for an example
• An abstract will be requested during the online submission process in order to facilitate peer-review, but should not be included within the manuscript.
• Keywords are not required. Specific sections, such as Methods, should not be used.• A short communication can include one table or figure and up to 10 references. Preliminary data published as a short communication will not preclude subsequent publication of more complete results if the work is significantly expanded.
4.4 Review papersSystematic Review papers presenting exhaustive, critical assessments of the published literature on relevant public health topics or questions will be considered. Such reviews should be prepared in strict compliance with MOOSE or PRISMA guidelines or with Cochrane's complementary guidelines for systematic reviews of health promotion and public health interventions, as appropriate. Public Health encourages authors to use alternative databases covering scientific literature from low- and middle-income countries not indexed in the traditional international databases (i.e. Medline, Web of Science). All systematic reviews need to be submitted with a supporting statement of which guideline has been used in the preparation of the review.
Click here for an example
Narrative Review papers will be considered by Public Health. Whilst no formal guidelines for such reviews exist, authors should be very clear in what criteria they have used for the selection of studies and describe the methods used to undertake the review in the body of the paper. Generally speaking, narrative reviews will only be considered where the author(s) are clearly experts in the research field under consideration or the public health issue under consideration is not amenable to systematic review. The author(s) need to be submitted with a supporting statement justifying the appropriateness of undertaking a narrative review.Review papers should not exceed 3000 words. They should include a Structured Abstract: Tables/Illustrations can be included up to a maximum of 5, though larger tables may be included only on the electronic version of the paper.
References: up to a maximum of 100.4.5 Letters
Readers are encouraged to submit Letters to the Editors and these can include responses to previously published papers or original data.
Authors will be given the opportunity to comment and respond to any correspondence we intend to include in the `Letters to the Editors' regarding their previously published manuscript.4.6 Celebrating Public Health Lives
Click here for an example
Papers should be clear, precise and logical and should not normally exceed 1,500 words in length.An abstract is not required and specific sections, such as methods, discussion etc, should not be used.
Keywords are not required.4.7 Submitting a revised paper after peer review
Authors that have been asked to revise their paper after review must submit a response to the reviewers' comments. This should be submitted as a separate document.
Authors should respond to each point that the reviewer has raised, if the author disagrees with any comment then they must provide a full explanation as to why. Any amendments to the original submission must be clearly highlighted. Authors must clearly state the page number and paragraph where any changes have been made.If authors fail to provide this information in full then their paper will be returned for correction.
The deadline to return revised papers is 6 weeks. Any paper that is not returned within this time (unless an extension has been agreed) will not be considered.Please note that the Editor may decide to send the revised paper for further review.
5. Preparing your manuscript for submissionThe text should be in single-column format. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible.
It is important that the file be saved in the native format of the word processor used.
Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. In particular, do not use the word processor's options to justify text or to hyphenate words.Do not embed 'graphically designed' equations or tables, but prepare these using the word processor's facility.
When preparing tables, if you are using a table grid, use only one grid for each individual table and not a grid for each row. If no grid is used, use tabs, not spaces, to align columns.The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of the conventional manuscript. Do not import the figures into the text file but, instead, indicate their approximate locations directly in the electronic text.
6. Preparation of electronic illustrationsGeneral points
Submitting your artwork in an electronic format helps us to produce your work to the best possible standard, ensuring accuracy, clarity and a high level of detail.
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Save text in illustrations as `graphics' or enclose the font.
• Only use Arial font in your illustrations
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Provide captions to illustrations separately.
• Produce images near to the desired size of the printed version.
A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available on our website: http://www.elsevier.com/artworkinstructions. You are urged to visit this site; some excerpts from the detailed information are given here.Formats
Regardless of the application used, when your electronic artwork is finalised, please `save as' or convert the images to one of the following formats (note the resolution requirements for line drawings, halftones and line/halftone combinations given below):
EPS: Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as `graphics'.Please do not:
TIFF: Colour or greyscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF: Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF: Combinations bitmapped line/halftone (colour or greyscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
DOC, XLS or PPT: If your electronic artwork is created in any of these Microsoft Office applications, please supply `as is'.
• Supply embedded graphics in your word processed (spreadsheet, presentation) document;
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (like GIF, BMP, PICT, WPG); the resolution is too low;
• Supply files that are too low in resolution;
• Submit graphics that are disproportionately large for the content.
7. Colour illustrationsPlease note: owing to technical complications that can arise when converting colour figures to 'greyscale' (should you not opt for colour in print), please also submit usable black and white prints corresponding to all the colour illustrations.
If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable colour figures, Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in colour on the web (e.g. ScienceDirect and other sites) regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Elsevier after receipt of your accepted article. Further information concerning colour illustrations and costs is available from Author Support (email@example.com).
8. Authorship and acknowledgementsAll contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship as defined above should be listed in the 'Acknowledgements' section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.
All authors should have made substantial contributions to all of the following: (1) the conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.
9. DeclarationsFunding: None
Upon submission authors will be required to declare funding, competing interests and to indicate whether ethical approval was sought. This information must also be inserted into the manuscript under the 'Acknowledgements' section with the headings below. If there are no declarations to make, the following statements should be inserted into the manuscript:
Competing interests: None declared
Ethical approval: Not required
9.1 Competing interests9.2 Role of the funding source
All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work under the `Competing interests' statement. Examples of potential competing interests include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding.
All sources of funding should be declared. Authors should declare the role of study sponsors, if any, in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. If the study sponsors had no such involvement, the authors should so state.
9.3 EthicsPapers describing research including human subjects will not be considered if ethical approval has not been sought.
Public Health is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), for more information please visit http://publicationethics.org
Work on human beings that is submitted to Public Health should comply with the principles laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki; Recommendations guiding physicians in biomedical research involving human subjects. Adopted by the 18th World Medical Assembly, Helsinki, Finland, June 1964, amended by the 29th World Medical Assembly, Tokyo, Japan, October 1975, the 35th World Medical Assembly, Venice, Italy, October 1983, and the 41st World Medical Assembly, Hong Kong, September 1989.The manuscript should contain a statement that the work has been approved by the appropriate ethical committees related to the institution(s) in which it was performed and that subjects gave informed consent to the work.
Studies involving experiments with animals must state that their care was in accordance with institution guidelines.Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent which should be documented in your paper. Patients have a right to privacy. Therefore identifying information, including patients images, names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be included in videos, recordings, written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and you have obtained written informed consent for publication in print and electronic form from the patient (or parent, guardian or next of kin where applicable). If such consent is made subject to any conditions, Elsevier must be made aware of all such conditions. Written consents must be provided to Elsevier on request. Even where consent has been given, identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. If such consent has not been obtained, personal details of patients included in any part of the paper and in any supplementary materials (including all illustrations and videos) must be removed before submission.
9.4 Randomized controlled trials10. References
All randomized controlled trials submitted for publication in Public Health should include a completed Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) flow chart. Please refer to the CONSORT statement website at http://www.consort-statement.org for more information. Public Health has adopted the proposal from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) which requires, as a condition of consideration for publication of clinical trials, registration in a public trials registry. Trials must register at or before the onset of patient enrolment. The clinical trial registration number should be included at the end of the abstract of the article. For this purpose, a clinical trial is defined as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or comparison groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Studies designed for other purposes, such as to study pharmacokinetics or major toxicity (e.g. phase I trials), would be exempt. Further information can be found at http://www.icmje.org.
References should be cited using the Vancouver convention, with superscript figures in the main body of the text relating to a list of referenced sources at the end of the text in order of citation.
All authors must be listed in the reference list, please do not use 'et al' unless there are more than six authors.
For further guidance, authors are referred to:Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. JAMA 1997;277:927-34. http://www.icmje.org
Authors should personally verify the accuracy of every reference before submitting the paper for publication, and should ensure that the listed references correspond exactly to those in the text.Text: Indicate references by superscript number(s). The actual authors can be referred to, but the reference number(s) must always be given.
List: Number the references in the list in the order in which they appear in the text.Examples:
Reference to a journal publication:1. Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. J Sci Commun 2000;163:51-9.
Reference to a book:2. Strunk Jr W, White EB. The elements of style. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan; 1979.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:3. Mettam GR, Adams LB. How to prepare an electronic version of your article. In: Jones BS, Smith RZ, (eds). Introduction to the electronic age. New York: E-Publishing Inc; 1999. p. 28-304.
Reference to a website:4. Citizens Advice Bureau. Available at: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk; 2010 [accessed 10.02.12]
Note shortened form for last page number, e.g. 51-9, and that all authors and editors should be listed (i.e. 'et al' should not be used in the reference list).Citations in the text: Please ensure that every reference cited in the text is also present in the reference list (and vice versa). Any references cited in the abstract must be given in full. Unpublished results and personal communications should not be in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.
11. Proofs12. Author sponsorship of open-access
When your manuscript is received by Elsevier, it is considered to be in its final form. Proofs are not to be regarded as 'drafts'. A marked copy of the proof will be e-mailed to the corresponding author who should return the corrected proof to Elsevier with the minimum of delay. Corrections to the proofs should be limited to the correction of printer's errors.
Public Health offers the option of author sponsorship of open-access publication of articles. Any author can make their paper open-access on publication, following payment of a fee. For more information on author sponsorship of open-access publication of articles, see http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/authorsview.authors/sponsoredarticles.
Any author who wishes to do this needs to advise the production department at the time that you receive your proofs for correction.13. Copyright/offprints
Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, it will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the copyright holder.
Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to transfer exclusive copyright (for more information on copyright, see http://www.elsevier.com/authors) to the RSPH. This transfer will ensure the widest possible dissemination of information. A letter will be sent to the corresponding author confirming receipt of the manuscript. A form facilitating transfer of copyright will be provided and must be returned promptly to Elsevier.If excerpts from other copyrighted works are included, the author(s) must obtain written permission from the copyright holders and credit the source(s) in the article. Elsevier has preprinted forms for use by authors in these cases: contact Elsevier's Rights Department, Philadelphia, PA, USA: tel: (+1) 215 238 7869, fax: (+1) 215 238 2239, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests may also be completed online via the Elsevier homepage: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/permissions. Twenty-five free offprints will be sent to the corresponding author of each paper. Extra reprints can be ordered from Elsevier. The RSPH will not put any limitation on the personal freedom of the authors to use materials contained in the paper in other works. 14. Funding body agreements and policies
Elsevier has established agreements and developed policies to allow authors whose articles appear in journals published by Elsevier, to comply with potential manuscript archiving requirements as specified as conditions of their grant awards. To learn more about existing agreements and policies please visit http://www.elsevier.com/fundingbodies