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Instructions to authors

  1. Aims and scope
  2. Submission procedures
  3. Format of contributions
  4. Authorship
  5. Permissions
  6. Peer review
  7. Conflicts of interest
  8. Copyright
  9. Technical information
  10. References
  11. Supplementary material
  12. Language editing
  13. Author self-archiving/public access policy from May 2005
  14. Open access publishing

Please note that the journal now encourages authors to complete their copyright licence to publish form online.

Aims and scope

The European Journal of Public Health (EJPH) is a multidisciplinary journal aimed at attracting contributions from epidemiology, health services research, health economics, social sciences, management sciences, ethics and law, environmental health sciences, and other disciplines of relevance to public health. The journal provides a forum for discussion and debate of current international public health issues, with a focus on the European Region. Bi-monthly issues contain peer-reviewed original articles, editorials, commentaries, book reviews, news, letters to the editor, announcements of events, and various other features.

The EJPH is owned by the European Public Health Association, an umbrella organization for over 40 national public health associations from 40 countries. Individual members of these associations (over 4000) are entitled to receive the electronic version of the journal, which ensures an exceptionally large readership consisting of public health researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in 40 European countries.

The EJPH style and editorial policies conform to the 'Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals', as specified by the statements of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Unless differently specified below, all these guidelines apply to the EJPH.

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Submission procedures

Manuscripts must be submitted online. Once you have prepared your manuscript according to the instructions below please visit the online submission web site.  

Manuscripts containing original material are accepted for consideration with the understanding that neither the article nor any part of its essential substance, tables, or figures has been or will be published or submitted for publication elsewhere. This restriction does not apply to abstracts or short press reports published in connection with scientific meetings. Copies of any closely related manuscripts should be submitted along with the manuscript that is to be considered by the EJPH. The EJPH discourages the submission of more than one article dealing with related aspects of the same study.

The EJPH only accepts online submission of papers. Authors are encouraged to refer to the instructions on submitting your manuscript online.

During the online submission procedure, authors are asked to provide: a) information on prior or duplicate publication or submission elsewhere of any part of the work; b) a statement of financial or other relationships that might lead to a conflict of interest or a statement that the authors do not have any conflict of interest; c) a statement that the manuscript has been read and approved by all authors; d) the name, address and telephone numbers and e-mail address of the corresponding author who is responsible for negotiations concerning the manuscript. The manuscript must be accompanied by copies of any permission (see Permissions below) to reproduce already published material, to use illustrations or report sensitive personal information about identifiable persons, or to name persons (see acknowledgements below) for their contributions.

All papers submitted to the EJPH are checked by the editorial office for conformance to author and other instructions all specified below. Non-conforming manuscripts will be returned to authors.

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Format of contributions

The European Journal of Public Health welcomes submissions of the following types of paper: original articles including systematic reviews or meta-analysis, short reports, commentaries, and letters to the editor. In addition, the EJPH also commissions editorials, ‘viewpoint’ papers, and book reviews.

Only articles in English are considered for publication. British spelling conventions (Oxford Dictionary) are used. Examples: standardise (not standardize), colour (not color), paediatrics (not pediatrics), foetal (not fetal), etc.

Prepare your manuscript, including tables, using a word processing program and save it as a .doc, .rtf or .ps file. Use a minimum font size of 11, double-spaced and paginated throughout including the main text, references and tables, with margins of at least 2.5 cm. The text should be left justified and not hyphenated. Number pages consecutively, beginning with the title page. Begin each of the sections on separate pages.

Original articles

Original articles should be presented in the following format: title page; abstract with keywords; introduction; methods; results; discussion; acknowledgements; conflicts of interest; key-points; references; tables (each table on a separate page, complete with title and footnotes); figure legends; figures.

Original articles should only in exceptional cases exceed 5 pages in print. This implies a word limit of appr. 3000 words in the main text of the paper, and a maximum of 4 medium-sized tables/figures.

According to the type of the article, we recommend authors to adhere to the following reporting guidelines:

  • Observational non-experimental studies (cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies): The STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) statement.
  • Reporting randomized controlled trials: The CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement.
  • Randomized controlled trials of herbal interventions: The elaborated CONSORT statement (Annals of Internal Medicine 2006;144:364–367).
  • Meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials: The Cochrane Collaboration guidelines.
  • Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology: The MOOSE (Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) statement (JAMA 2000;283:2008–2012).
  • All systematic reviews must describe search strategy, data sources (databases, journals, books, etc.) and criteria used to include or exclude studies.
  • Study of diagnostic accuracy: STARD guidelines.

The EJPH follows the position of the ICMJE on trial registration. All trials initiated after July 1, 2005, must be registered prospectively in a publicly accessible registry (that is, before patient recruitment has begun), or they will not be considered for publication. Trials initiated prior to July 1, 2005, must be registered prior to submission to the JCI. Please refer to the WHO’s list of approved trial registries.

The manuscript of original articles should be presented in the following order: 1) title page; 2) abstract with keywords; 3) main text (introduction; methods; results; discussion); 4) acknowledgements; 5) conflicts of interest; 6) key-points; 7) references; 8) tables (each table on a separate page, complete with title and footnotes); 9) figure legends; 10) figures.

The title page should carry a) the title of the article, which should be concise but informative; b) first name, middle initial, last name and institutional affiliation of each author; c) name of department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed if not already stated under b); d) disclaimers, if any; e) name, address, telephone and fax numbers of author responsible for correspondence about the manuscript; f) source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, drugs, etc.

The abstract should be structured under the following headings: Background, Methods, Results, Conclusion. The word limit is 250 words. Add three to five key words or short phrases to the bottom of the abstract page, which will assist us in indexing the article and which may be published with the abstract. Use terms from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus when possible.

The main text should be divided into the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. More information on the structure and content of these sections can be found in the Uniform Requirements for manuscripts.

In the acknowledgements, all sources of funding for research must be explicitly stated, including grant numbers if appropriate. Other financial and material support, specifying the nature of the support, should be acknowledged as well. If the work has been presented orally previously, for example at a scientific meeting, then the name, place and date of the conference should be noted. Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from persons acknowledged by name because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions.

A statement on conflicts of interest should be included in the manuscript. Either mention: ‘none declared’, or specify the authors’ financial or other interests which should be known to the readers. See below for further details.

Keypoints should be presented in the form of 3 to 5 bulleted, short statements which summarize what this paper adds to what was already known. Include at least one implication for public health policy and practice.

For the references, see the separate guidelines at the end of the author instructions. There is a limit of 40 references for original articles.

Type each table with double spacing on a separate page, and provide a title for each. Do not use internal horizontal and vertical rules. Abbreviations in tables should be explained.
Excessive tabular data are discouraged: a maximum of four medium-sized tables/illustrations is allowed. Do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Additional tables/figures can be presented on the journals’ web-page if needed. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations. If you use data from another published or unpublished source, obtain permission and acknowledge fully.

Figures should be professionally designed, using a well-known software package for standard personal computers. Three-dimensional figures are not allowed. If a spreadsheet programme has been used to produce the chart, the spreadsheet containing the underlying data should be supplied on diskette. Provide the figures in separate files, not as part of the main text. Symbols, lettering, and numbering should be clear and large enough to remain legible after the figure has been reduced to fit the width of a single column, i.e. 7 cm. Legends for illustrations should be typewritten (double-spaced) on a separate sheet and should not appear on the illustrations. If a figure has been published earlier, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material. If photographs of patients are used, their pictures must be accompanied by written permission to use the picture, whether the patient is identifiable or not. For useful information on preparing your figures for publication, go to http://cpc.cadmus.com/da.

Colour figures are accepted, but the authors will be required to pay the cost of the reproduction (£350/$600/€525 per figure). Alternatively, if the colour is not critical for the image's scientific understanding, colour can be published online only, as Supplementary data, with a black and white version being published in the print version of the journal.

Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses

We accept systematic and in-depth reviews where feasible using a meta-analytical approach. A systematic review would be a rigorous review of the literature that should be drafted according to the PRISMA guidelines.

The review should be less than 5000 words (not including abstract, references and tables). There should be a structured abstract of up to 250 words (using the headings: Background, Aims, Methods, Results, and Conclusions). There should be 3-5 keywords and up to 40 references. Additional references exceeding 40 can be presented on the journals’ web-page if needed. Please name which of them will be online as supplementary materials and upload accordingly. These supplementary files will not be published in the print version of the journal.

Please contact us for more detailed instructions if you are interested in submitting a systematic review or in-depth review.

Short reports

Short reports should have the same format as original articles, but should not exceed 1200 words, and contain a maximum of one table/figure. Abstracts of short reports should not be structured, and should be no longer than 100 words. The maximum number of references is 10.

Commentaries

Commentaries are opinion pieces which reflect on papers previously or currently published in the European Journal of Public Health, or on issues of general interest to public health science or policy.

Their format is free, but they should at least contain a title page, the main text, acknowledgements, a conflict of interest statement, and references. They do not need an abstract. The main text should not exceed 1200 words. The maximum number of references is 10.

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be a maximum of 500 words and do not need an abstract. However, a short heading should be suggested. The maximum number of references is 5.

Editorials

Editorials are usually commissioned. Editorials are opinion pieces which reflect on papers previously or currently published in the European Journal of Public Health, or on issues of general interest to public health science or policy. They should be written in a crisp, lively style. They should have a maximum of 800 words, and not more than 5 references.

Viewpoint papers

Viewpoint papers are usually commissioned. Viewpoint sections in the EJPH usually consist of two or three contrasting pieces which reflect in issues of general interest to public health science or policy. They should be written in a crisp, lively style. They should have a maximum of between 800 and 1500 words, and not more than 5 references.

Book reviews

Book reviews are usually commissioned. They should have a maximum of 500 words.

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Authorship

All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship. The order of authorship should be a joint decision of the coauthors. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. One author will be asked to act as the corresponding author. This needs not be the first author. All communications from and to the editorial office, the editors, Oxford University Press etc. will go through the corresponding author.

Increasingly, multicentre trials are attributed to a corporate author. All members of the group who are named as authors should fully meet the criteria for authorship as defined in the Uniform Requirements.

During the submission procedure, authors will be asked to grant a licence to publish to the European Public Health Association, the owner of the EJPH, and to declare copyright ownership (author, public domain, employer).

After acceptance of the paper, all authors will be requested to sign an authorship statement.

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Permissions

Authors are reminded that it is their responsibility to comply with copyright laws. It is essential to ensure that no parts of the submission have or are due to appear in other publications without prior permission from the copyright holder and the original author. Materials, e.g tables, taken from other sources must be accompanied by a written statement from both author and publisher giving permission to the EJPH for reproduction.

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Peer review

All original papers, short reports and commentaries are evaluated by two or three external referees, who are asked to comment on originality, validity, presentation, and importance and interest.

The European Journal of Public Health is working towards a system of open peer review. Manuscripts are not blinded to reviewers. Reviewers are encouraged to sign their reviews.

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Conflicts of interest

EJPH policy requires that authors of all manuscripts reveal any financial interests or connections, direct or indirect, or other situations that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated - including pertinent commercial or other sources of funding for the individual author(s) or for the associated department(s) or organization(s), personal relationships, or direct academic competition.

When considering whether you should declare a conflicting interest or connection please consider the conflict of interest test: Is there any arrangement that would embarrass you or any of your co-authors if it was to emerge after publication and you had not declared it?

Please provide details of potential conflicts of interest to the editorial office. If the manuscript is published, this information will be communicated in a statement in the published paper.

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Copyright

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.

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Technical information

Abbreviations and footnotes

Do not use abbreviations in the title or the abstract. Except for units of measurement, abbreviations are discouraged. Use only standard abbreviations. The first time an abbreviation appears it should be preceded by the words for which it stands.

Footnotes are permitted only in tables. Use lower case characters - a, b, c, etc. - to indicate each footnote.

Units of measurement

Authors of articles must express all measurements in terms of the International System of Units (SI units), but they may include older conventional units in parentheses if they desire.

Numbers and percentages

All numbers in the text should be written in numeric form except numbers 0-10. Use % symbol instead of writing out the words per cent.

Drug names

Generic names should be used. Authors who wish to do so may insert brand names in parentheses.

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References

References must be typed with double spacing and must be numbered consecutively as they are cited (Vancouver style). References first cited in tables or figure legends must be numbered so that they will be in sequence with references cited in the text. Authors are discouraged from citing material that is not commonly available, e.g., databases, patents, computer files etc. Numbered references to personal communications, unpublished data and manuscripts in preparation or submitted for publication are unacceptable. The style of references is that of Index Medicus. List all authors when there are six or fewer; when there are seven or more, list the first three, then 'et al'. Identify references in text with superscript Arabic numerals. Sample references are as follows:

  1. Standard journal article: McIsaac SJ, Wilkinson RG. Income distribution and cause-specific mortality. Eur J Public Health 1997;7:45-53.
  2. Organization as author: The Royal Marsden Hospital Bone-marrow Transplantation Team. Failure of syngeneic bone-marrow graft without preconditioning in post-hepatitis marrow aplasia. Lancet 1977;2:742-4.
  3. No author given: Coffee drinking and cancer of the pancreas [editorial]. BMJ 1981;283:628.
  4. Article in a foreign language: As above. Include an English translation in parentheses after the original title.
  5. Supplement article: Magni F, Rossoni G, Berti F. BN-52021 protects guinea-pig from heart anaphylaxis. Pharmacol Res Commun 1988;20 Suppl 5:75-8.
  6. Volume with part: Hanly C. Metaphysics and innateness: a psychoanalytic perspective. Int J Psychoanal 1988;69(Pt 3):389-99.
  7. Book reference: Colson JH, Armour WJ. Sports injuries and their treatment. 2nd rev ed. London: S Paul, 1986.
  8. Chapter in a book: Weinstein L, Swartz MN. Pathologic properties of invading microorganisms. In: Sodeman WA Jr, Sodeman WA, editors. Pathologic physiology: mechanisms of disease. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1974:457-72.
  9. Conference paper: Harley NH. Comparing radon daughter dosimetric and risk models. In: Gammage RB, Kaye SV, editors. Indoor air and human health. Proceedings of the Seventh Life Sciences Symposium; 1984 Oct 29-31; Knoxville (TN). Chelsea (MI): Lewis, 1985:69-78.
  10. Scientific or technical report: Akutsu T. Total heart replacement device. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health, National Heart and Lung Institute; 1974 Apr. Report No.: NIH-NHLI-69-2185-4.
  11. Dissertation: Youssef NM. School adjustment of children with congenital heart disease [dissertation]. Pittsburgh (PA): Univ of Pittsburgh, 1988.
  12. Newspaper article: Rensberger B, Specter B. CFCs may be destroyed by natural process. The Washington Post 1989 Aug 7;Sect A:2(col 5)
  13. Legal material: Toxic Substances Control Act: Hearing on S.776 Before the Subcomm. on the Environment of the Senate Comm. on Commerce. 94th Congr., 1st Sess. 343 (1975).
  14. Map: Scotland [topographic map]. Washington: National Geographic Society (US), 1981.
  15. Dictionary and similar references: Ectasia. Dorland's illustrated medical dictionary. 27th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1988:527.
  16. Classical material: The Winter's Tale: act 5, scene 1, lines 13-16. The complete works of William Shakespeare. London: Rex, 1973.
  17. Lillywhite HD, Donald JA. Pulmonary blood flow regulation in an aquatic snake. Science, in press.
  18. Website: Federal Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, Austria: http://www.bmags.gv.at Accessed [Date (i.e. date reference item accessed on organization website)].

The number of references used in a paper are limited to the following:

Original Articles: 40 references
Systematic reviews: 40 references. Additional references can be accommodated in the online version.
Short Reports: 10 references
Letters: 5 references

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Supplementary material

Supporting material that is not essential for inclusion in the full text of the manuscript, but would nevertheless benefit the reader, can be made available by the publisher as online-only content, linked to the online manuscript. There is no charge for the publication of online-only supplementary data/tables/figures. Such material should not be essential to understanding the conclusions of the paper, but should contain data that is additional or complementary and directly relevant to the article content. Such information might include more detailed methods, extended data sets/data analysis, or additional figures (including colour).

All text and figures must be provided in suitable electronic formats (instructions for the preparation of Supplementary material can be viewed here). All material to be considered as Supplementary material must be submitted at the same time as the main manuscript for peer review. It cannot be altered or replaced after the paper has been accepted for publication. Please indicate clearly the material intended as Supplementary material upon submission. Also ensure that the Supplementary material is referred to in the main manuscript where necessary.

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Language editing

Particularly if English is not your first language, before submitting your manuscript you may wish to have it edited for language. This is not a mandatory step, but may help to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. If you would like information about one such service please click here. There are other specialist language editing companies that offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.

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Author self-archiving/public access policy from May 2005

For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.

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Open access publishing

European Journal of Public Health authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences. Authors publishing in the European Journal of Public Health can use the following Creative Commons licences for their articles:

  • Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY)
  • Creative Commons Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC)
  • Creative Commons non-Commercial No Derivatives licence (CC-BY-NC-ND)

More information about the Creative Commons licences.

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The open access charges applicable are:

Regular charge - £1500 / $2400 / €1950

List B Developing country charge* - £750 / $1200 / €975

List A Developing country charge* - £0 / $0 / €0

*Visit our Developing Countries page for a list of qualifying countries.

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour/page charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.

Funding Information

Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled 'Funding'. This should appear before the 'Acknowledgements' section.

The following rules should be followed:

  • The sentence should begin: ‘This work was supported by …’
  • The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health’ or simply 'National Institutes of Health' not ‘NCI' (one of the 27 subinstitutions) or 'NCI at NIH’ (full RIN-approved list of UK funding agencies).
  • Grant numbers should be complete and accurate and provided in brackets as follows: ‘[grant number ABX CDXXXXXX]’
  • Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: ‘[grant numbers ABX CDXXXXXX, EFX GHXXXXXX]’
  • Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency)
  • Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'.
  • An example is given here: ‘This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [P50 CA098252 and CA118790 to R.B.S.R.] and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [HFY GR667789].

Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. See here for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.

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