For Authors

Contents
RAPID COMMUNICATIONS
REGULAR ARTICLES
OTHER MATERIAL
HOW TO SUBMIT MATERIAL
SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL
FORMATTING AND STYLE
SECONDARY PUBLICATION
EVALUATION AND PEER REVIEW
CORRECTIONS/ERRATA
CONTACTING THE EDITORIAL TEAM

RAPID COMMUNICATIONS

Rapid communications are timely, authoritative short reports on important public health events where rapid dissemination of information could potentially lead to a prompt change in an ongoing public health situation or create awareness for topics we consider to be of timely relevance. These articles are usually published within a few days of submission, but when necessary, publication can be arranged within hours of submission (see e-alerts). They undergo rapid independent peer review by at least one expert in the field.
To allow for such rapid processing, these articles are short, usually around 1,000 words, and have a minimum of eight and up to about 20 references and four illustrations (figures or tables). The abstract should not exceed 75 words.

E-alerts are published ad hoc to disseminate information about an important public health event that should not wait until the next regular publication of Health Press. Subscribers receive an email as soon as the e-alert is posted on the website.
Prompt dissemination of preliminary information about important public health events is an important part of public health action. Authors of rapid communications and e-alerts are encouraged to later submit fuller accounts to The Health Press in the form of a regular article.

REGULAR ARTICLES

Research articles provide original results from studies on any aspect of public health. These papers should include new data or insights of public health importance and consist of about 3,500 words, a minimum of 15 and up to around 30 references and six illustrations (figures or tables). We encourage authors to follow the CONSORT guidelines for reporting randomised controlled trials. Research articles should usually follow the IMRaD structure (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion).

Surveillance articles should focus on epidemiological trends regarding a specific disease or a group of diseases as well as any other important public health events, with data from a national or international surveillance system, but they could also be an analysis of a surveillance system or a description of a new surveillance system. Longer reports on national or international outbreaks should be submitted once the outbreak has been fully investigated and focus on new or unexpected aspects and on lessons learnt. The length of these articles is up to 3,500 words, with a minimum of 15 and up to around 30 references and six illustrations (figures or tables). We encourage authors to follow the STROBE guidelines that were set up for observational studies i.e. case-control, cohort and cross-sectional studies.

Review articles provide a comprehensive state-of-the-art overview of issues of major public health importance. They usually are about 4,000 words in length, and contain up to 80 references and six illustrations (figures or tables). All review articles should explain the search strategy and selection criteria, justify the inclusion/exclusion of material and state the sources. For systematic reviews, we encourage authors to follow the PRISMA guidelines.

Case reports submitted to The Health Press should make a contribution to medical knowledge and must have educational value or highlight the need for a change in clinical practice or diagnostic/prognostic approaches. The Health Press will not consider case reports describing preventive or therapeutic interventions, as these generally require stronger evidence.
Authors should describe how the case report is rare or unusual as well as its educational and/or scientific merits in the covering letter that will accompany the submission of the manuscript. Case report submissions will be assessed by the Editors and will be sent for peer review if considered appropriate for the journal.

Case reports should include relevant positive and negative findings from history, examination and investigation, and can include clinical photographs, provided these are accompanied by a statement that written consent to publish was obtained from the patient(s). Case reports should include an up-to-date review of all previous cases in the field. Authors should follow the CARE guidelines.

Authors should seek written and signed consent to publish the information from the patient(s) or their guardian(s) prior to submission.

The information below details the section headings that you should include in your case report manuscript and what information should be within each section:

  • Title page should present a tittle that includes, if appropriate, the study design OR fo non-clinical or non-research studies: a description of what the article reports
  • An Abstract formatted as indicated below
  • Keywords formatted as indicated below
  • The Background section should explain the background to the case report or study, its aims, a summary of the existing literature.
  • A Case presentation section which should include a description of the patient’s relevant demographic details, medical history, symptoms and signs, treatment or intervention, outcomes and any other significant details
  • A Conclusion which should state clearly the main conclusions and include an explanation of their relevance or importance to the field.

Authors should refer to the How to submit material and Formatting and Style sections for further instructions before submitting a Case report.

Regional roundups should provide an analysis of a specific aspect or function of public health in at least five SADC countries, and present an in-depth comparison of systems and/or data. The average length of these articles is 3,500 words with a minimum of 15 and up to around 30 references and six illustrations (figures or tables).

Perspectives provide an insightful analysis of practices, policies and guidance on important public health practices, as well as guidance on developments in the field of vaccines and immunization. These articles have an average length of 2,000 words, and contain up to 20 references and four illustrations (figures or tables).

OTHER MATERIAL

The following article categories are not peer reviewed. However, we may consult an expert for advice on the content of such items.

Letters to the editor comment on recent Health Press articles and should be submitted within 12 weeks after the publication of the article in question. They are intended to stimulate scientific discussion and are not a format for the publication of original data. Their average length is 600 words, with five or fewer references.

Meeting reports should focus on content and contain up to 2,000 words, 10 references (including, when possible, links to full reports of conference activities) and no illustrations. Before submitting a meeting report, please contact the editorial team.

News are short texts related to current public health events, either authored or commissioned by the Health Press editorial team. Their length is usually 400 words, with five or fewer references and no illustrations. News do not have more than one or two authors.

HOW TO SUBMIT MATERIAL

All submissions should be sent through the Health Press online submission system (currently in development). An online author tutorial will be available, if you have any difficulties during the submission process. Alternatively, contact the managing Editor for assistance.

All submissions should contain the following information:

  • the article category;
  • a declaration that the material is original and has not been submitted elsewhere;
  • a declaration that all authors have seen and approved the final manuscript;
  • a declaration that the corresponding author, on behalf of all co-authors, has read and agreed to the terms of the Health Press data protection notice;
  • a declaration that informed consent has been obtained from persons whose details are described in articles (or from the persons’ guardians) that this information may be published;
  • a statement on funding and potential competing interests of the authors;
  • where appropriate, information on approval of the work by an ethics committee;
  • proof of permission to use figures or tables that are adapted or reproduced from other publications.

The following material should be uploaded as separate files:

  • a covering letter;
  • an anonymized manuscript text (managing editor can help to anonymize) in MS Word format (pdf files cannot be evaluated) including an abstract of appropriate length and a minimum number of
  • eight references for rapid communications and 15 for regular articles. All author-identifiable information – authors’ names, affiliations and contributions as well as any acknowledgements – should NOT be included in the document. No illustrations (figures or tables) should be included in this document;
  • authors’ names and affiliations (in the format for publication). The first name of each author should be given in full (i.e. an initial should not be given). Where a collective author is included (e.g. a working group or disease-specific network) and if the persons comprising the group are to be included at the end of the article, please list each person in this file;
  • authors’ contributions: the contribution of each author to the article should be described. This information will be published at the end of the article;
  • all figures in an appropriate format (see details in the section on formatting and style); The following file formats are automatically converted into the PDF: Word, RTF, TXT, LaTeX2e, AMSTex, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, EPS, Postscript, PICT, PDF, Excel, and PowerPoint. Other file types are not automatically supported, but can be included as hyperlink items in the PDF file;
  • all tables in Word format;
  • a scan of the agreement with authors signed by the corresponding author on behalf of all authors.

File names of uploaded files must not contain any author-identifiable information that may lead to identification of the author.

After all files and information have been uploaded in the submission system, the corresponding author is responsible for checking and approving the pdf. Approval of the pdf is required for the article to be sent to the editorial office.

Submissions should conform to the uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals as detailed in: Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Med Educ. 1999; 33(1):66-78 (http://www.icmje.org/index.html)

SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL

Health Press does not publish supplementary material. All necessary information should be integrated in the article, while observing the word limit. In exceptional cases, where strong reasons preclude publication of certain information as part of the article, the authors have the option to make such material available on an independent website and to provide a link to this website in the article. Such material is not edited by Health Press and Health Press is not responsible for the content.

FORMATTING AND STYLE

Articles should be written in clear, appropriate and scientific language that is free of jargon. Avoid abbreviations when possible and define them when you first use them. Please use United Kingdom English spelling.

Titles should be interesting, informative, accurate and as short as possible. They should contain the place/country and the time-period covered in the paper.

Keywords: A maximum of eight keywords suitable for indexing should be provided. Please select from the list provided and add others if needed. Separate the keywords by a semi-colon (;).

Abstracts of regular articles should stay within the limit of 150 to 200 words, those of rapid communications should not exceed 75 words. Abstracts in Health Press do not contain subheadings.

Main text: An introduction should put the topic into perspective using up-to-date references, and clearly state the objective of the work and its relevance. The relevant methods should be presented at an appropriate level of detail; molecular diagnostic techniques that are published or standard, for example, can be named and referenced and do not need to be described in detail. It is important to make it clear at all times which results are the work of the authors, presented as part of the article, and which are already known and given as background or for comparison. If tables and figures are provided, the text should shortly describe and summarize the content, but not unnecessarily repeat the information; the reader should be able to understand text and illustrations independently of each other. The African and international relevance should be discussed with relevant references, and where appropriate, lessons learnt and recommendations for the future should be presented.

Tables and figures
Tables and figures are inserted after the paragraph in which they are mentioned.

Any references given in them are numbered after the citations in the text, i.e. the numbering does not take into account the position of the table or figure in the text.

Figure/table titles should not contain abbreviations and be as short as possible and mention the disease, place and date as well as number of cases/samples shown, so that it can be clearly understood what is shown. Further information needed to understand the figure or table is presented in the footnote under the illustration, together with explanations of all abbreviations and information on the source of the data. Footnotes added to specific entries in the table or figure are numbered as superscript a, b, c, etc. in order of appearance. The reader should be able to understand an illustration without referring to explanations in the text.

Tables and figures that have already been published can only be accepted under specific circumstances. In such cases the authors are required to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the illustration in question. Copyright also needs to be observed, for example, for maps used as a background for entering data.

Tables should be sent in Word format. They must be uploaded as separate files.

All figures should be uploaded as separate, editable files. Graphs should be provided in Excel format. If that is not possible, graphs, as well as phylogenetic trees etc, have to be submitted as vector files such as .pdf, .eps, .wmf, .emf, .svg . could be given. All the programmes used to create graphs should be able to export a file in at least one of these formats. Not all pdfs are vector files: Illustrations should be exported as a pdf directly from the program in which they were created, rather than exporting the illustration in another format and then subsequently saving as a pdf.

Pictures of illustrations simply copied into the above formats cannot be used because they cannot be edited. We need the illustration to be linked to the original data. Bitmap files (.jpg, .bmp, .gif, etc) are not acceptable. Maps should be provided as vector files (.pdf, .eps, .wmf, .emf, .svg). Preferably the maps should not include bitmap elements (i.e. map as a picture in the background). Only photographs should be given as high-resolution bitmap files (.jpg, .tif, etc.). They should be provided as stand-alone original files, and not included in Word or PowerPoint documents.
Data in Health Press are not usually displayed in pie charts. Unless otherwise agreed with the editor, please choose a different type of graph.

References
Citations are numbered in the order of appearance in the text. Reference numbers are placed in square brackets [1] in the text. References cited in a table or figure legend should be numbered after the citations in the text.

Papers that are accepted for publication can be cited as forthcoming. Papers not yet accepted for publication cannot be cited. The source of such information can be indicated in parentheses in the text, either as data not shown, if the information comes from one of the authors, or as personal communication, if the information comes from someone else. Personal communications must include the name of the person and the date the communication took place.

References should be formatted according to the uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals’ (Vancouver style). Do not use italics, bold or underlining.

#. Author of article AA, Author of article BB, Author of article CC. Title of article. Abbreviated Title of Journal. Year;vol(issue):page number(s).

For example:
1. Geck MJ, Yoo S, Wang JC. Assessment of cervical ligamentous injury in trauma patients using MRI. J Spinal Disord. 2001;14(5):371-7.

If there are more than six authors, list the first six authors followed by et al. For example:

1. Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002;935(1-2):40-6.

More samples of reference formats can be seen at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html

Authors and acknowledgements
All listed authors should have made substantive intellectual contributions to the article, be aware of its submission to Health Press and able to account for its content. The contribution of each author to the article must be stated: this information will be shown at the end of the published article.
We do not limit the number of authors, but for the rapid communications it may be more appropriate to list the names of people who have not contributed directly to the production of the article in the acknowledgements. You may acknowledge anyone who has helped you with any aspect of the report, but it is always the corresponding author’s responsibility to obtain permission from anyone being acknowledged.

Please include complete information about each author (full name, affiliation and the name of the institution, city and country in which the work was done). Clearly identify and provide telephone number and email address for the corresponding author.

A statement on funding for the work described in the manuscript should be included.

SECONDARY PUBLICATION

Health Press allows authors to submit material that has previously been published in a language other than English, if dissemination in English would be beneficial from a scientific or public health perspective to a wider readership that cannot read the primary publication or has limited access to it. Such publication will mainly be considered for short articles. Longer articles are usually not accepted for secondary publication.

It should be clear from the submission that it is secondary publication, and permission from the editors of the primary publication must be sought and documented in advance. If published, the primary publication should be clearly acknowledged with a reference and, where possible, web link to the original material.

Prospective authors should follow the guidelines in the section III.D.3. of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals (http://www.icmje.org/publishing_4overlap.html)

Secondary publications are subject to the normal Health Press review process.

EVALUATION AND PEER REVIEW

Upon submission, the articles are screened by the editorial team and scheduled for discussion in the next editorial meeting. Papers received without the necessary accompanying material such as signed agreement with authors, conflict of interest declaration, manuscript text, abstract and figures in the correct length and format, etc. are not considered as submissions and will not be evaluated.

Manuscripts that pass the first evaluation will be sent for peer review to at least two (for rapid communications and e-alerts at least one) independent experts in the field. While we try to avoid delays, this part of the process relies on the availability and cooperation of the referees and can take considerable time. The reviewer is always a person working outside the team or the department of the authors, and is usually from a different institute and/or country. We follow a policy of double-blind peer review where both the authors’ and the reviewers’ identities are kept confidential.

In the online submission system, authors can track the status of their submission. If they wish to contact the editorial office about their manuscript at any point, this should be done by sending an ad hoc email to the Managing Editor through the submission system.

Upon receipt of the reviews, the article is evaluated in detail by the editorial team taking into account the reviewers’ comments and recommendations and is scheduled for the next available editorial meeting where a decision will be made whether to proceed with the manuscript or to reject it. If the reviewers’ opinions are conflicting, the article may be sent for a further review.

If the decision is made to proceed with the manuscript, the reviewers’ comments and suggestions are sent to the authors as guidelines for the preparation of a revised draft. On rare occasions, we may amend the reviewer’s comments before they are sent to the authors, to take into account particular sensitivities or remove passages that are clearly intended as recommendations not for the authors but for the editor. When at least two reviews are obtained (for all regular articles and for some rapid communications), the anonymized comments for the authors will be shared with the other reviewer(s) of the manuscript. The editorial decision will also be passed on to the reviewers.

The invitation to submit a revised manuscript does not imply that the manuscript will eventually be accepted for publication. Together with the revised manuscript, the authors are required to return a detailed, point-by-point response to the reviewers’ comments. The editorial team may decide to consult the original referees once more to judge whether their concerns have been addressed satisfactorily.

The revised manuscript is scheduled for final evaluation and editing. Our papers are rigorously edited for content and style, and the authors may need to provide further information, corrections and clarifications at this stage. Because the editing process itself can bring up points that have gone unnoticed before, we do not formally accept a manuscript before editing is complete.

Once the editor and corresponding author have agreed on the final version of the manuscript, a final copy is sent to the author for approval and the paper is published in one of the next available issues, usually within two weeks from finalization of the text. This may be longer if the article is published as part of a special thematic issue or in the context of a particular event.

Rapid communications and e-alerts follow the same steps but are processed with priority to ensure timely dissemination of important public health information.

Some articles are processed by an editorial board member who is not working at ZNPHI. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, regular articles authored by our colleagues at ZNPHI are processed, whenever possible, by an editorial board member who is not working at ZNPHI. This includes initial evaluation, selection of peer reviewers, evaluation of the reviewers’ comments and evaluation of the revisions.

CORRECTIONS/ERRATA

The editorial team should be informed immediately of any errata or corrections to be made. Such changes are made immediately in the original article as well as the pdf, together with an editorial note explaining the nature and date of the change.

Corrections and errata are usually published in the first issue of every month.

CONTACTING THE EDITORIAL TEAM

If you have any questions about Health Press, please contact our editorial team at editor.healthpress@znphi.co.zm