Guide for Authors

All journal information and instructions compiled in one document (PDF) in just one mouse-click Download Guide for Authors in PDF

Types of article

AJPM Focus is a fully open access international journal that is founded on the principle of inclusivity in people, methods, and outcomes, and as such we actively welcome submissions from scholars from around the globe. Authors should adhere to the guidelines provided. Reporting requirements vary by study design. In all cases, please use AJPM Focus' instructions for abstract and text headings, even if the reporting guideline recommends a different format.

Research Articles are original articles that used standard research methodologies and methods, including study design, conduct, and analysis. Quantitative research studies include experimental research (e.g., randomized controlled trials [RCTs], pragmatic clinical trials, basic science research studies with clear prevention applications), quasi-experimental studies (e.g., natural experimental studies, single-group pre-post studies), and observational research (e.g., prospective and retrospective cohort and case-control studies, and cross-sectional studies such as prevalence and incidence studies). Quantitative research papers may apply a variety of analytic methods to a broad range of research questions of relevance to preventive medicine, public health, or population health, including both traditional statistical methods (such as regression, parametric, and non-parametric tests) and other analytic research evaluation approaches (such as health economic evaluation/cost effectiveness, utility or benefit analysis, diagnostic test accuracy, psychometric testing, or other quantitative approaches). Qualitative research studies include grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography, action research, and qualitative descriptive studies such as content analysis studies. Mixed methods research studies may use any combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches, including explanatory or exploratory sequential methods and nested methods. All submissions must follow the appropriate reporting guidelines (e.g., CONSORT for RCTs) and instructions for reporting statistics. The study design must be identified in the article title. AJPM Focus requires authors of manuscripts pertaining to clinical trials to register their study in an ICMJE-approved registry. Registration must be completed before any enrollment. For all submissions in this category, authors must also include the completed Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) research study critical appraisal checklist that corresponds to the type of research study they conducted. These tools are available at https://jbi.global/critical-appraisal-tools. Research article submissions require a structured abstract of 400 words or fewer and are limited to 4,000 words of text. There is a limit of 8 tables/figures for this article type.


Review Articles are systematic reviews of quantitative or qualitative primary studies with or without meta-analyses or meta-syntheses (respectively), scoping reviews, rapid reviews, and narrative or integrative reviews that rigorously synthesize the literature on a prevention-focused topic. Data sources for review articles should be as current as possible and well-justified by the review question being answered. These articles must follow standard guidelines for conducting reviews (i.e., they must report how the primary evidence they contain was identified, assessed, and synthesized), such as those of the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI), Cochrane, Campbell, the National Academy of Medicine, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and other reputable review conduct guidelines as appropriate and relevant. They must also follow standard reporting guidelines, such as PRISMA, MOOSE, etc. (e.g., per the PRISMA guidelines, systematic reviews with or without meta-analyses must be identified as such in the article title, a PRISMA flow diagram must be included in reporting the search results, and a GRADE must be assigned for effectiveness reviews with meta-analyses). For all submissions in this category, authors must also include a completed Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) systematic review critical appraisal checklist for their review. This tool is available at https://jbi.global/critical-appraisal-tools. Review Articles require a structured abstract of 400 words or fewer and are limited to 4,000 words of text. There is a limit of 8 tables/figures for this article type. Tables summarizing literature used in the review should be included as appendix material (e.g., table of included study characteristics, list of excluded studies with reasons for exclusion).


Implementation Science Articles describe studies that seek to promote the systematic uptake of research and scholarly evidence-based findings into routine practice and to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services. These studies assess naturalistic variability in a given context or seek to measure change in a given context as a result of a planned intervention, with particular attention paid to barriers and facilitators to change or uptake across multiple levels (e.g., patient, provider, clinic, healthcare facility, organization, system, or community). Studies should report whether and which implementation science theory was applied and how it was appropriate for the given implementation context. Studies in this category may also focus on description of the innovative methodologies or techniques used to implement the given intervention or to change targeted health or system outcomes. In this case, the article should thoroughly demonstrate application of the innovative implementation method/technique and explicitly describe the setting in which application is most appropriate so that the implementation method/technique can be duplicated by others. In addition, authors should illustrate how the implementation method/technique provides an advantage over other implementation approaches. While authors should include data to support their claims, the focus of these submissions is on innovative implementation science methodology. These article submissions require a structured abstract of 400 words or fewer and are limited to 4,000 words of text. There is a limit of 8 tables/figures for this article type.


Translational Science Articles describe studies that connect the dots on the knowledge translation continuum. These studies seek to elucidate an aspect of knowledge translation across the different areas, phases, or stages of knowledge translation and focus on a broad range of topics that connect 2 or more areas on this continuum. These areas include: (1) the methods or tools for the identification of the right research or scholarly questions to ask or problems to address (e.g., research prioritization efforts, stakeholder engagement), (2) the generation of primary evidence (e.g., primary research studies, translational research [T0 through T4] studies, expert-based guidance, or public discourse), (3) the synthesis of primary evidence (e.g., systematic reviews, guideline development), (4) the transfer of synthesized evidence into practice (e.g., dissemination, stakeholder education), (5) the implementation of evidence in practice (e.g., context analysis, change facilitation), and (6) the evaluation of the impact of this evidence on the originally identified problem or question. Articles that do not demonstrate translational science methods (i.e., methods that connect 2 or more of the above areas within the same study) should be submitted to the corresponding article type that best fits the study's methodology (e.g., an article that reports the results of an RCT should be submitted as a Research Article, and an article that reports the results of a systematic review with meta-analysis should be submitted as a Review Article). The article should thoroughly demonstrate application of the innovative translational method/technique and explicitly describe the setting in which application is most appropriate so that the translational method or technique can be duplicated by others. In addition, authors should illustrate how this method or technique provides an advantage over other translational science approaches. While authors should include data to support their claims, the focus of these submissions is on innovative translational science methodology. These article submissions require a structured abstract of 400 words or fewer and are limited to 4,000 words of text. There is a limit of 8 tables/figures for this article type.

Synthesis Science Articles report on innovative methodologies or techniques used to synthesize evidence. The articles should thoroughly demonstrate application of the innovative evidence synthesis method/technique and explicitly describe the setting in which application is most appropriate so that the synthesis method/technique can be duplicated by others. In addition, authors should illustrate how the evidence synthesis method/technique provides an advantage over other synthesis approaches. While authors should include data to support their claims, the focus of these submissions is on innovative synthesis science methodology. Articles that report the results of systematic review and other types of evidence syntheses focusing on a specific clinical or public health topic but without clear emphasis on and description of innovative methods for evidence synthesis should be submitted under the Review Article category. Synthesis science article submissions require a structured abstract of 400 words or fewer and are limited to 4,000 words of text. There is a limit of 8 tables/figures for this article type.

Case Study Articles include case reports, case series, and short qualitative case studies that highlight innovative, novel, or useful approaches or findings covering the global spectrum of health foci embedded in preventive medicine, public health, and population health pedagogy, practice, or policy. For case reports and case series articles, authors must include the completed Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal checklist that corresponds to the type of research study they conducted. These tools are available at https://jbi.global/critical-appraisal-tools. These articles require an unstructured abstract of 200 words or fewer and are limited to 2,000 words of text. There is a limit of 4 tables/figures for this article type.

Pilot Data Analyses or Preliminary Result Articles are short communications of original research that report on the early results of studies using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methodologies. Examples of these include feasibility studies, pilot studies, or studies with significant enough findings to merit immediate dissemination prior to completion of the full primary research study. Articles submitted in this category must include a notation in the title indicating that the results are preliminary. For all submissions in this category, authors must also include the completed Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) research study critical appraisal checklist that corresponds to the type of research study they conducted. These tools are available at https://jbi.global/critical-appraisal-tools. They require a structured abstract of 200 words or fewer and are limited to 2,000 words of text. There is a limit of 4 tables/figures for this article type.

Negative or Null Study Articles are those whose research findings either demonstrate a lack of statistical significance despite the researchers reasonably adhering to standard methodologies to avoid confounding and bias, or reach statistical significance but in the opposite direction anticipated in the stated study hypothesis or commonly accepted scientific theory. Publication of rigorously conducted studies in this category is critical for avoiding publication bias in the evidence used for prevention teaching, research, and practice. For all submissions in this category, authors must include the completed Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) research study critical appraisal checklist that corresponds to the type of research study they conducted. These tools are available at https://jbi.global/critical-appraisal-tools. They require a structured abstract of 200 words or fewer and are limited to 2,000 words of text. There is a limit of 4 tables/figures for this article type.

Replication Study Articles are designed to determine whether the results of another published study can be repeated (i.e., the same causal relationship or association can be identified) when the research is conducted in a different population, setting, or context under similar study conditions. Publication of rigorously conducted studies in this category is critical to reducing bias in the evidence used for prevention teaching, research and practice. For all submissions in this category, authors must include the completed Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) research study critical appraisal checklist that corresponds to the type of research study they conducted. These tools are available at https://jbi.global/critical-appraisal-tools. They require a structured abstract of 200 words or fewer and are limited to 2,000 words of text. There is a limit of 4 tables/figures for this article type.

Primary or Secondary Research Protocol Articles detail the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting methods of primary research studies (e.g., RCTs) and secondary research studies (e.g., systematic reviews). They are important in reducing outcome reporting bias in the prevention literature. Submissions in this category must follow standard reporting guidelines for research protocols, such as PRISMA-P and other reputable protocol reporting guidelines (e.g., JBI, Cochrane), as appropriate. They require an unstructured abstract of 200 words or fewer that follows standard protocol reporting guidelines and are limited to 2,000 words of text. There is a limit of 4 tables/figures for this article type.

Program Evaluation Articles use a variety of methods to perform either a formative or summative/impact assessment of a program in public health, population health, or preventive medicine. Program evaluation articles should ideally either have followed standard research methodologies or applied scholarly methods that reasonably maintain scientific rigor in the reported findings. Articles should use accepted program evaluation reporting approaches (e.g., a description of the program and its relevance to the context where it was implemented; a logic model documenting input, activities, processes, outputs, and outcomes, as well as program assumptions and factors limiting program impact). They require a structured abstract of 200 words or fewer and are limited to 2,000 words of text. There is a limit of 4 tables/figures for this article type.

Quality Improvement Articles use a variety of approaches to document all components of a quality improvement project in a given public health or healthcare system context, and they report the findings of the project using thoughtful scholarly writing with logical conclusions grounded in the evidence presented. Articles in this category may report quality improvement findings of relevance to prevention teaching, clinical practice, or public health policy. They require a structured abstract of 200 words or fewer and are limited to 2,000 words of text. There is a limit of 4 tables/figures for this article type.

Policy Analyses are scholarly reports on a policy implemented in a public health or healthcare system context. They may be either researched policy analyses that undertake extensive evaluation of a public policy conducted over an extended period of time or quick/basic policy analyses that are performed rapidly in a limited fashion, but both types should inform policymakers' decision-making and use a rational problem-solving approach for their analyses and reporting of findings (i.e., define the problem, determine evaluation criteria or benchmarks, identify and evaluate alternative policies using either research or scholarly methods, select the preferred policy, implement the selected policy, and describe how it influenced or was received by the targeted setting, context, or population). They require an unstructured abstract of 200 words or fewer and are limited to 2,000 words of text. There is a limit of 4 tables/figures for this article type.

Editorials are essay-type articles that comment on either another article in the same issue/volume or that examine a topic of significance for preventive medicine, public health, and population health teaching, research, practice, or policy. They do not require an abstract and are limited to 1,000 words of text and 20 references. There is a limit of 2 tables/figures for this article type.

Letters to the Editor offer timely and succinct opinions or interpretations of articles previously published in AJPM Focus. Letters to the Editor do not undergo peer review, although 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. A total of up to 2 tables or figures may be included only if absolutely necessary and will be allowed at the sole discretion of the editor, based on relevance to the field and utility to the arguments proposed by the authors. They do not require an abstract and are limited to 500 words and 10 references.

Corrections are published for printed errors relating to data collection, analysis or interpretation, or information that is likely to lead the reader to misinterpret the results or findings presented in an article. The database of record (e.g., PubMed) then publishes the correction(s) as part of the online article. Contact the editorial office to arrange the publication of a correction.

From APTR/ACPM Articles are research, review, or other scholarly studies that examine a topic of significance for preventive medicine, public health, or population health teaching, research, practice, or policy, and are submitted to the journal on behalf of either or both of the two sponsoring societies (i.e., the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research [APTR] and the American College of Preventive Medicine [ACPM]). These submissions undergo formal peer review and must meet the journal requirements for the study design that they correspond to. For example, a systematic review article submitted under the From APTR/ACPM Articles category must meet the same requirements as any other manuscript submitted under the Review Articles category, which include but are not limited to: a structured abstract, a requirement that the article follow review reporting guidelines, as well as word count, figure, and table limits. Please refer to and follow the requirements for the article type that best fits the design of the study. They also require a brief notification to the Editor-in-Chief by a staff member or by the leadership of the sponsoring society that the article is approved for submission to the journal on behalf of the sponsoring society.

APTR/ACPM News Articles are essay-type articles that examine a topic of significance in preventive medicine, public health, or population health from the perspective of either or both of the two sponsoring societies (i.e., the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research [APTR] and the American College of Preventive Medicine [ACPM]). These may include but are not limited to: society announcements, annual conference summary reports, society campaigns, or society member or award recipient profiles. They do not require an abstract and do not undergo formal peer review, but they are reviewed by and subject to the approval of the Editor-in-Chief of the journal prior to publication. There is no specific limit to the word count, number of figures, number of tables, or number of references for individual articles in this category, but there is a limit to the total journal page allocations per sponsoring society per year for this article type. They also require a brief notification to the Editor-in-Chief by a staff member or by the leadership of the sponsoring society that the article is approved for submission to the journal on behalf of the sponsoring society.

Peer review transparency and study quality

AJPM Focus seeks to publish rigorously conducted, collected, analyzed, and reported prevention research and scholarship across the global spectrum of health. As such, the journal supports the use of critical appraisal checklists specific to given research designs to help improve transparency in the reporting of evidence as well as in the peer review process. AJPM Focus has partnered with JBI (an international research organization dedicated to the synthesis, transfer, and implementation of culturally and methodologically inclusive and relevant evidence) to encourage both authors and reviewers to enhance the transparency of their scholarly submissions and peer reviews, respectively. To that end, for all research or review articles submitted to AJPM Focus, authors must complete and submit the JBI critical appraisal checklist that corresponds to their study design (e.g., a submitted RCT research article must be accompanied by a JBI critical appraisal checklist completed by the authors). This completed checklist will be available to peer reviewers as they evaluate the quality of the submitted article but will not be part of the final published paper. Using this method, the journal aims to offer authors the opportunity to clearly and succinctly identify the congruence of their study with expected methodological quality benchmarks for a given study design (e.g., how well does your grounded theory study address all expected methods for grounded theory studies?), while facilitating a more transparent and efficient peer review process (e.g., peer reviewers will be expected to take into account the content of this checklist as they write their critiques of the submitted article). Authors are instructed to download the JBI critical appraisal checklist that matches their study design (available at https://jbi.global/critical-appraisal-tools), complete this checklist for their own study, and submit this checklist alongside their manuscript, tables, figures, and appendices (if any). To ensure double anonymous peer review, authors should not include their names on the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklists.

In completing this checklist for their submission, the authors should answer "yes", "no", "unclear", or "not applicable" for each of the questions embedded in the checklist, and they must document the page number or place in the text of the manuscript that addresses the identified aspect of their study. Whether the chosen answer is "yes", "no", "unclear", or "not applicable", the authors must provide a very brief justification (not more than 1 concise sentence or bullet point) that supports their answer. The answers that authors provide in this checklist will not be used by reviewers or the editors as the sole basis to accept or reject a manuscript, but will serve as an added component of a holistic peer review and editorial handling process. For example, if the authors identify significant methodological issues with their own work via this checklist, then it is expected that the authors will also address these issues in the discussion or limitation section of their manuscript. This increases the transparency and quality of submissions to the journal and ultimately improves the quality of the prevention literature. For the article types to which this checklist applies, papers will not be sent for peer review unless this checklist is included as part of the submission. Submission of a JBI critical appraisal checklist is not required for the following article types: research studies that used mixed methodologies or basic science approaches, implementation science, translational science, synthesis science, primary or secondary research protocols, program evaluations, quality improvement studies, policy analyses, editorials, letters to the editor, and corrections.

Submission checklist

You can use this list to carry out a final check of your submission before you send it to the journal for review. Please check the relevant section in this Guide for Authors for more details.

Ensure that the following items are present:

One author has been designated as the corresponding author with contact details:
• E-mail address
• Full postal address

All necessary files have been uploaded:
Manuscript:
• Include keywords
• All figures (include relevant captions)
• All tables (including titles, description, footnotes)
• Ensure all figure and table citations in the text match the files provided
• Indicate clearly if color should be used for any figures
Title Page with author details and any Declaration of Interest statement (separate from manuscript file)
Graphical Abstracts / Highlights files (where applicable)
Supplemental files (where applicable)
JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist (where applicable)

Further considerations
• Manuscript must be fully anonymized and should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations
• Manuscript has been 'spell checked' and 'grammar checked'
• All references mentioned in the Reference List are cited in the text, and vice versa
• Permission has been obtained for use of copyrighted material from other sources (including the Internet)
• A competing interests statement is provided, even if the authors have no competing interests to declare
• Journal policies detailed in this guide have been reviewed
• Referee suggestions and contact details provided, based on journal requirements

For further information, visit our Support Center.

Ethics in publishing

Please see our information on Ethics in publishing.

Declaration of interest

All authors must disclose any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work. Examples of potential competing interests include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Authors must disclose any interests in two places: 1. A summary declaration of interest statement in the title page file (if double anonymized) or the manuscript file (if single anonymized). If there are no interests to declare then please state this: 'Declarations of interest: none'. 2. Detailed disclosures as part of a separate Declaration of Interest form, which forms part of the journal's official records. It is important for potential interests to be declared in both places and that the information matches. More information.

Submission declaration and verification

Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract, a published lecture or academic thesis, see 'Multiple, redundant or concurrent publication' for more information), 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, including electronically without the written consent of the copyright-holder. To verify compliance, your article may be checked by Crossref Similarity Check and other originality or duplicate checking software.

Use of inclusive language

Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities. Content should make no assumptions about the beliefs or commitments of any reader; contain nothing which might imply that one individual is superior to another on the grounds of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout. Authors should ensure that writing is free from bias, stereotypes, slang, reference to dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions. We advise to seek gender neutrality by using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") as default/wherever possible to avoid using "he, she," or "he/she." We recommend avoiding the use of descriptors that refer to personal attributes such as age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. When coding terminology is used, we recommend to avoid offensive or exclusionary terms such as "master", "slave", "blacklist" and "whitelist". We suggest using alternatives that are more appropriate and (self-) explanatory such as "primary", "secondary", "blocklist" and "allowlist". These guidelines are meant as a point of reference to help identify appropriate language but are by no means exhaustive or definitive.

Exception to use of inclusive language

The only exception to the stated rules on the use of inclusive language is for qualitative research study articles (e.g., phenomenology, ethnography) that explicitly seek to explore and document issues related to the above terms. In those cases, the use of such terminology is allowed but only as part of the research process (e.g., to adequately capture the voices/perspectives/views of the research study participants and the meaningfulness/appropriateness of the phenomenon using in vivo codes and verbatim participant quotes). All other instances of use of this terminology will be considered incongruent with journal policies and inclusive academic publishing, and the corresponding articles will not be considered for peer review or publication in this journal.

Author contributions

For transparency, we encourage authors to submit an author statement file outlining their individual contributions to the paper using the relevant CRediT roles: Conceptualization; Data curation; Formal analysis; Funding acquisition; Investigation; Methodology; Project administration; Resources; Software; Supervision; Validation; Visualization; Roles/Writing - original draft; Writing - review & editing. Authorship statements should be formatted with the names of authors first and CRediT role(s) following. More details and an example.

Authorship

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, (3) final approval of the version to be submitted.

Changes to authorship

Authors are expected to consider carefully the list and order of authors before submitting their manuscript and provide the definitive list of authors at the time of the original submission. Any addition, deletion or rearrangement of author names in the authorship list should be made only before the manuscript has been accepted and only if approved by the journal Editor. To request such a change, the Editor must receive the following from the corresponding author: (a) the reason for the change in author list and (b) written confirmation (e-mail, letter) from all authors that they agree with the addition, removal or rearrangement. In the case of addition or removal of authors, this includes confirmation from the author being added or removed.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Editor consider the addition, deletion or rearrangement of authors after the manuscript has been accepted. While the Editor considers the request, publication of the manuscript will be suspended. If the manuscript has already been published in an online issue, any requests approved by the Editor will result in a corrigendum.

Articles Transferred from AJPM with Prior Peer Review Critiques

For articles that are transferred from AJPM to AJPM Focus with prior peer review critiques from AJPM reviewers, authors are required to complete the following two processes before submitting the manuscript for further consideration of publication in AJPM Focus:

  • The cover letter must include point-by-point explanations detailing how the manuscript addressed the prior peer reviewer critiques from AJPM peer reviewers.
  • Authors must upload both a clean version and a highlighted version of the manuscript (using either yellow highlighting or preferably the Tracked Changes feature of Microsoft Word).
If the prior AJPM peer reviewer critiques are satisfactorily addressed in this cover letter, and if the changes that the authors made to address the prior peer reviewer critiques as explained in the cover letter are evident in both the highlighted and clean version of the manuscript, the paper may be exempt from undergoing additional peer review, at the discretion of the editor-in-chief of AJPM Focus. Authors of these types of transferred articles are strongly encouraged to follow the above steps which may help expedite the handling, review, and publication of their manuscript in AJPM Focus.

Copyright

Upon acceptance of an article, authors will be asked to complete a 'License Agreement' (see more information on this). Permitted third party reuse of open access articles is determined by the author's choice of user license.

Author rights
As an author you (or your employer or institution) have certain rights to reuse your work. More information.

Elsevier supports responsible sharing
Find out how you can share your research published in Elsevier journals.

Role of the funding source

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the article and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement, it is recommended to state this.

Open Access

Please visit our Open Access page for more information.

Elsevier Researcher Academy
Researcher Academy is a free e-learning platform designed to support early and mid-career researchers throughout their research journey. The "Learn" environment at Researcher Academy offers several interactive modules, webinars, downloadable guides and resources to guide you through the process of writing for research and going through peer review. Feel free to use these free resources to improve your submission and navigate the publication process with ease.

Language (usage and editing services)
Please write your text in good English (American or British usage is accepted, but not a mixture of these). Authors who feel their English language manuscript may require editing to eliminate possible grammatical or spelling errors and to conform to correct scientific English may wish to use the English Language Editing service available from Elsevier's Author Services.

Submission

Our online submission system guides you stepwise through the process of entering your article details and uploading your files. The system converts your article files to a single PDF file used in the peer-review process. Editable files (e.g., Word, LaTeX) are required to typeset your article for final publication. All correspondence, including notification of the Editor's decision and requests for revision, is sent by e-mail.

Suggesting reviewers
Please submit the names and institutional e-mail addresses of several potential reviewers.

You should not suggest reviewers who are colleagues, or who have co-authored or collaborated with you during the last three years. Editors do not invite reviewers who have potential competing interests with the authors. Further, in order to provide a broad and balanced assessment of the work, and ensure scientific rigor, please suggest diverse candidate reviewers who are located in different countries/regions from the author group. Also consider other diversity attributes e.g. gender, race and ethnicity, career stage, etc. Finally, you should not include existing members of the journal's editorial team, of whom the journal are already aware.

Note: the editor decides whether or not to invite your suggested reviewers.

NEW SUBMISSIONS

Submission to this journal proceeds totally online and you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of your files. The system automatically converts your files to a single PDF file, which is used in the peer-review process.
As part of the Your Paper Your Way service, you may choose to submit your manuscript as a single file to be used in the refereeing process. This can be a PDF file or a Word document, in any format or lay-out that can be used by referees to evaluate your manuscript. It should contain high enough quality figures for refereeing. If you prefer to do so, you may still provide all or some of the source files at the initial submission. Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be uploaded separately.

References
There are no strict requirements on reference formatting at submission. References can be in any style or format as long as the style is consistent. Where applicable, author(s) name(s), journal title/book title, chapter title/article title, year of publication, volume number/book chapter and the article number or pagination must be present. Use of DOI is highly encouraged. The reference style used by the journal will be applied to the accepted article by Elsevier at the proof stage. Note that missing data will be highlighted at proof stage for the author to correct.

Formatting requirements
There are no strict formatting requirements but all manuscripts must contain the essential elements needed to convey your manuscript, for example Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions, Artwork and Tables with Captions.
If your article includes any Videos and/or other Supplementary material, this should be included in your initial submission for peer review purposes.
Divide the article into clearly defined sections.

Figures and tables embedded in text
Please ensure the figures and the tables included in the single file are placed next to the relevant text in the manuscript, rather than at the bottom or the top of the file. The corresponding caption should be placed directly below the figure or table.

Double anonymized review

This journal uses double anonymized review, which means the identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa. More information is available on our website. To facilitate this, please include the following separately:
Title page (with author details): This should include the title, authors' names, affiliations, acknowledgements and any Declaration of Interest statement, and a complete address for the corresponding author including an e-mail address.
Anonymized manuscript (no author details): The main body of the paper (including the references, figures, tables and any acknowledgements) should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.

Editor conflicts of interest

While the Editor is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of articles, and the Editor's decision is final, Editors are not involved in decisions about papers which they have written themselves or have been written by family members or colleagues or which relate to products or services in which the editor has an interest. Any such submission is subject to all of the journal's usual procedures, with peer review handled independently of the relevant editor and their research groups.

REVISED SUBMISSIONS

Use of word processing software
Regardless of the file format of the original submission, at revision you must provide us with an editable file of the entire article. Keep the layout of the text as simple as possible. Most formatting codes will be removed and replaced on processing the article. The electronic text should be prepared in a way very similar to that of conventional manuscripts (see also the Guide to Publishing with Elsevier). See also the section on Electronic artwork.
To avoid unnecessary errors you are strongly advised to use the 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions of your word processor.

Article structure

Subdivision - unnumbered sections
Divide your article into clearly defined sections. Each subsection is given a brief heading. Each heading should appear on its own separate line. Subsections should be used as much as possible when cross-referencing text: refer to the subsection by heading as opposed to simply 'the text'.

Introduction
State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results.

Material and methods
Provide sufficient details to allow the work to be reproduced by an independent researcher. Methods that are already published should be summarized, and indicated by a reference. If quoting directly from a previously published method, use quotation marks and also cite the source. Any modifications to existing methods should also be described.

Results
Results should be clear and concise.

Discussion
This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. A combined Results and Discussion section is often appropriate. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature.

Conclusions
The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section, which may stand alone or form a subsection of a Discussion or Results and Discussion section.

Appendices
If there is more than one appendix, they should be identified as A, B, etc. Formulae and equations in appendices should be given separate numbering: Eq. (A.1), Eq. (A.2), etc.; in a subsequent appendix, Eq. (B.1) and so on. Similarly for tables and figures: Table A.1; Fig. A.1, etc.

Essential title page information

Title. Concise and informative. Titles are often used in information-retrieval systems. Avoid abbreviations and formulae where possible.
Author names and affiliations. Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. You can add your name between parentheses in your own script behind the English transliteration. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Indicate all affiliations with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.
Corresponding author. Clearly indicate who will handle correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, also post-publication. This responsibility includes answering any future queries about Methodology and Materials. Ensure that the e-mail address is given and that contact details are kept up to date by the corresponding author.
Present/permanent address. If an author has moved since the work described in the article was done, or was visiting at the time, a 'Present address' (or 'Permanent address') may be indicated as a footnote to that author's name. The address at which the author actually did the work must be retained as the main, affiliation address. Superscript Arabic numerals are used for such footnotes.

The title page must be uploaded as a separate file from the manuscript. The manuscript must be completely anonymized and contain no identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.

Highlights

Highlights are mandatory for this journal as they help increase the discoverability of your article via search engines. They consist of a short collection of bullet points that capture the novel results of your research as well as new methods that were used during the study (if any). Please have a look at the examples here: example Highlights.

Highlights should be submitted in a separate editable file in the online submission system. Please use 'Highlights' in the file name and include 3 to 5 bullet points (maximum 85 characters, including spaces, per bullet point).

Highlights are not required at the time of original submission, but will be required at revision.

Abstract

A concise and factual abstract is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. An abstract is often presented separately from the article, so it must be able to stand alone. For this reason, References should be avoided, but if essential, then cite the author(s) and year(s). Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, but if essential they must be defined at their first mention in the abstract itself.

Graphical abstract
Although a graphical abstract is optional, its use is encouraged as it draws more attention to the online article. The graphical abstract should summarize the contents of the article in a concise, pictorial form designed to capture the attention of a wide readership. Graphical abstracts should be submitted as a separate file in the online submission system. Image size: Please provide an image with a minimum of 531 × 1328 pixels (h × w) or proportionally more. The image should be readable at a size of 5 × 13 cm using a regular screen resolution of 96 dpi. Preferred file types: TIFF, EPS, PDF or MS Office files. You can view Example Graphical Abstracts on our information site.

Keywords

Immediately after the abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of'). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. These keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

Abbreviations
Define abbreviations that are not standard in this field in a footnote to be placed on the first page of the article. Such abbreviations that are unavoidable in the abstract must be defined at their first mention there, as well as in the footnote. Ensure consistency of abbreviations throughout the article.

Acknowledgements
Collate acknowledgements in a separate section at the end of the article before the references and do not, therefore, include them on the title page, as a footnote to the title or otherwise. List here those individuals who provided help during the research (e.g., providing language help, writing assistance or proof reading the article, etc.).

Formatting of funding sources
List funding sources in this standard way to facilitate compliance to funder's requirements:

Funding: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA [grant number zzzz]; and the United States Institutes of Peace [grant number aaaa].

It is not necessary to include detailed descriptions on the program or type of grants and awards. When funding is from a block grant or other resources available to a university, college, or other research institution, submit the name of the institute or organization that provided the funding.

If no funding has been provided for the research, it is recommended to include the following sentence:

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Artwork

Electronic artwork
General points
• Make sure you use uniform lettering and sizing of your original artwork.
• Preferred fonts: Arial (or Helvetica), Times New Roman (or Times), Symbol, Courier.
• Number the illustrations according to their sequence in the text.
• Use a logical naming convention for your artwork files.
• Indicate per figure if it is a single, 1.5 or 2-column fitting image.
• For Word submissions only, you may still provide figures and their captions, and tables within a single file at the revision stage.
• Please note that individual figure files larger than 10 MB must be provided in separate source files.

A detailed guide on electronic artwork is available.
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 finalized, 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 (or PDF): Vector drawings. Embed the font or save the text as 'graphics'.
TIFF (or JPG): Color or grayscale photographs (halftones): always use a minimum of 300 dpi.
TIFF (or JPG): Bitmapped line drawings: use a minimum of 1000 dpi.
TIFF (or JPG): Combinations bitmapped line/half-tone (color or grayscale): a minimum of 500 dpi is required.
Please do not:
• Supply files that are optimized for screen use (e.g., 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.

Color artwork
Please make sure that artwork files are in an acceptable format (TIFF (or JPEG), EPS (or PDF) or MS Office files) and with the correct resolution. If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable color figures then Elsevier will ensure, at no additional charge, that these figures will appear in color online (e.g., ScienceDirect and other sites). Further information on the preparation of electronic artwork.

Figure captions
Ensure that each illustration has a caption. Supply captions separately, not attached to the figure. A caption should comprise a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description of the illustration. Keep text in the illustrations themselves to a minimum but explain all symbols and abbreviations used.

Tables

Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article. Please avoid using vertical rules and shading in table cells.

References

Citation in 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 are not recommended in the reference list, but may be mentioned in the text. If these references are included in the reference list they should follow the standard reference style of the journal and should include a substitution of the publication date with either 'Unpublished results' or 'Personal communication'. Citation of a reference as 'in press' implies that the item has been accepted for publication.

Reference links
Increased discoverability of research and high quality peer review are ensured by online links to the sources cited. In order to allow us to create links to abstracting and indexing services, such as Scopus, Crossref and PubMed, please ensure that data provided in the references are correct. Please note that incorrect surnames, journal/book titles, publication year and pagination may prevent link creation. When copying references, please be careful as they may already contain errors. Use of the DOI is highly encouraged.

A DOI is guaranteed never to change, so you can use it as a permanent link to any electronic article. An example of a citation using DOI for an article not yet in an issue is: VanDecar J.C., Russo R.M., James D.E., Ambeh W.B., Franke M. (2003). Aseismic continuation of the Lesser Antilles slab beneath northeastern Venezuela. Journal of Geophysical Research, https://doi.org/10.1029/2001JB000884. Please note the format of such citations should be in the same style as all other references in the paper.

Web references
As a minimum, the full URL should be given and the date when the reference was last accessed. Any further information, if known (DOI, author names, dates, reference to a source publication, etc.), should also be given. Web references can be listed separately (e.g., after the reference list) under a different heading if desired, or can be included in the reference list.

Data references
This journal encourages you to cite underlying or relevant datasets in your manuscript by citing them in your text and including a data reference in your Reference List. Data references should include the following elements: author name(s), dataset title, data repository, version (where available), year, and global persistent identifier. Add [dataset] immediately before the reference so we can properly identify it as a data reference. The [dataset] identifier will not appear in your published article.

Preprint references
Where a preprint has subsequently become available as a peer-reviewed publication, the formal publication should be used as the reference. If there are preprints that are central to your work or that cover crucial developments in the topic, but are not yet formally published, these may be referenced. Preprints should be clearly marked as such, for example by including the word preprint, or the name of the preprint server, as part of the reference. The preprint DOI should also be provided.

Reference management software
Most Elsevier journals have their reference template available in many of the most popular reference management software products. These include all products that support Citation Style Language styles, such as Mendeley. Using citation plug-ins from these products, authors only need to select the appropriate journal template when preparing their article, after which citations and bibliographies will be automatically formatted in the journal's style. If no template is yet available for this journal, please follow the format of the sample references and citations as shown in this Guide. If you use reference management software, please ensure that you remove all field codes before submitting the electronic manuscript. More information on how to remove field codes from different reference management software.

Reference style
Text: Indicate references by (consecutive) superscript arabic numerals in the order in which they appear in the text. The numerals are to be used outside periods and commas, inside colons and semicolons. For further detail and examples you are referred to the AMA Manual of Style, A Guide for Authors and Editors, 11th Edition.
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. 2010;163:51–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.Sc.2010.00372
Reference to a journal publication with an article number:
2. Van der Geer J, Hanraads JAJ, Lupton RA. The art of writing a scientific article. Heliyon. 2018;19:e00205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00205
Reference to a book:
3. Strunk W Jr, White EB. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. New York, NY: Longman; 2000.
Reference to a chapter in an edited book:
4. 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, NY: E-Publishing Inc; 2009:281–304.
Reference to a website:
5. Cancer Research UK. Cancer statistics reports for the UK. Accessed 13 March 2003. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/aboutcancer/statistics/cancerstatsreport/; 2003. .
Reference to a dataset:
[dataset] 6. Oguro M, Imahiro S, Saito S, Nakashizuka T. Mortality data for Japanese oak wilt disease and surrounding forest compositions, Mendeley Data, v1; 2015. https://doi.org/10.17632/xwj98nb39r.1
Reference to software:
7. Coon E, Berndt M, Jan A, Svyatsky D, Atchley A, Kikinzon E, Harp D, Manzini G, Shelef E, Lipnikov K, Garimella R, Xu C, Moulton D, Karra S, Painter S, Jafarov E, Molins S. Advanced Terrestrial Simulator (ATS) v0.88 (Version 0.88). Zenodo; 2020, March 25. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3727209

Journal abbreviations source
Journal names should be abbreviated according to the List of Title Word Abbreviations.

Video

Elsevier accepts video material and animation sequences to support and enhance your scientific research. Authors who have video or animation files that they wish to submit with their article are strongly encouraged to include links to these within the body of the article. This can be done in the same way as a figure or table by referring to the video or animation content and noting in the body text where it should be placed. All submitted files should be properly labeled so that they directly relate to the video file's content. In order to ensure that your video or animation material is directly usable, please provide the file in one of our recommended file formats with a preferred maximum size of 150 MB per file, 1 GB in total. Video and animation files supplied will be published online in the electronic version of your article in Elsevier Web products, including ScienceDirect. Please supply 'stills' with your files: you can choose any frame from the video or animation or make a separate image. These will be used instead of standard icons and will personalize the link to your video data. For more detailed instructions please visit our video instruction pages. Note: since video and animation cannot be embedded in the print version of the journal, please provide text for both the electronic and the print version for the portions of the article that refer to this content.

Data visualization

Include interactive data visualizations in your publication and let your readers interact and engage more closely with your research. Follow the instructions here to find out about available data visualization options and how to include them with your article.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material such as applications, images and sound clips, can be published with your article to enhance it. Submitted supplementary items are published exactly as they are received (Excel or PowerPoint files will appear as such online). Please submit your material together with the article and supply a concise, descriptive caption for each supplementary file. If you wish to make changes to supplementary material during any stage of the process, please make sure to provide an updated file. Do not annotate any corrections on a previous version. Please switch off the 'Track Changes' option in Microsoft Office files as these will appear in the published version.

Research data

This journal encourages and enables you to share data that supports your research publication where appropriate, and enables you to interlink the data with your published articles. Research data refers to the results of observations or experimentation that validate research findings. To facilitate reproducibility and data reuse, this journal also encourages you to share your software, code, models, algorithms, protocols, methods and other useful materials related to the project.

Below are a number of ways in which you can associate data with your article or make a statement about the availability of your data when submitting your manuscript. If you are sharing data in one of these ways, you are encouraged to cite the data in your manuscript and reference list. Please refer to the "References" section for more information about data citation. For more information on depositing, sharing and using research data and other relevant research materials, visit the research data page.

Data linking
If you have made your research data available in a data repository, you can link your article directly to the dataset. Elsevier collaborates with a number of repositories to link articles on ScienceDirect with relevant repositories, giving readers access to underlying data that gives them a better understanding of the research described.

There are different ways to link your datasets to your article. When available, you can directly link your dataset to your article by providing the relevant information in the submission system. For more information, visit the database linking page.

For supported data repositories a repository banner will automatically appear next to your published article on ScienceDirect.

In addition, you can link to relevant data or entities through identifiers within the text of your manuscript, using the following format: Database: xxxx (e.g., TAIR: AT1G01020; CCDC: 734053; PDB: 1XFN).

Availability of accepted article
This journal makes articles available online as soon as possible after acceptance. This concerns the Journal Pre-proofs (both in HTML and PDF format), which have undergone enhancements after acceptance, such as the addition of a cover page and metadata, and formatting for readability, but are not yet the definitive versions of record. A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is allocated, thereby making it fully citable and searchable by title, author name(s) and the full text. The article's PDF also carries a disclaimer stating that it is an unedited article. Subsequent production stages will simply replace this version.

Embargo Policy
AJPM Focus aims for immediate dissemination of each article as soon as it is accepted for publication. If authors require an embargo for their article, they must notify the editor as soon as possible after receiving a conditional acceptance decision. An agreed-upon embargo date will be set for the article, before which the article will not appear online. Note: The article will appear either as a pre-proof version, or, if ready, the final typeset and approved version of the article. Should authors wish to wait until the final version of the article is ready, they should request an embargo date at least 7 weeks after acceptance, and must return proof corrections promptly.

Online proof correction

To ensure a fast publication process of the article, we kindly ask authors to provide us with their proof corrections within two days. Corresponding authors will receive an e-mail with a link to our online proofing system, allowing annotation and correction of proofs online. The environment is similar to MS Word: in addition to editing text, you can also comment on figures/tables and answer questions from the Copy Editor. Web-based proofing provides a faster and less error-prone process by allowing you to directly type your corrections, eliminating the potential introduction of errors.
If preferred, you can still choose to annotate and upload your edits on the PDF version. All instructions for proofing will be given in the e-mail we send to authors, including alternative methods to the online version and PDF.
We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness and correctness of the text, tables and figures. Significant changes to the article as accepted for publication will only be considered at this stage with permission from the Editor. It is important to ensure that all corrections are sent back to us in one communication. Please check carefully before replying, as inclusion of any subsequent corrections cannot be guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.

Offprints

The corresponding author will be notified and receive a link to the published version of the open access article on ScienceDirect. This link is in the form of an article DOI link which can be shared via email and social networks. For an extra charge, paper offprints can be ordered via the offprint order form which is sent once the article is accepted for publication. Both corresponding and co-authors may order offprints at any time via Elsevier's Author Services.



Visit the Elsevier Support Center to find the answers you need. Here you will find everything from Frequently Asked Questions to ways to get in touch.
You can also check the status of your submitted article or find out when your accepted article will be published.

Editorial Office
For all manuscript-related matters (i.e. submission, editorial handling, peer review, publication decisions)
Contact Dr. Yuri Jadotte, Editor-in-Chief
Email: ajpm.focus@stonybrookmedicine.edu

For all other matters (i.e. social and other media, publisher issues, general public inquiries)
Contact Sara McAdory-Kim, Managing Editor
Email: ajpm_focus@stonybrook.edu