Information for Authors and Reviewers

Editorial Manager, the American Journal of Public Health's (AJPH's) electronic peer review tracking system is accessible to authors, reviewers, editors, and staff. If you have the appropriate background for serving as a reviewer, we invite you to register. Click here to access Editorial Manager and click on the "Register Now" link if you are not already registered. You will be asked to fill out a registration form. All items with an asterisk are required to complete the registration process. If you have already registered, please enter your username and password. If you encounter any problems, please contact staff at [email protected]. However, we recommend that you first take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.

Triple Masked Randomized Trial

The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) will be conducting an innovative randomized trial to assess whether a triple masked review process reduces bias in editorial decision-making compared to standard double blinding. From September 2023 through March 2024, all original research submissions will be allocated to either the triple masked or usual workflow. Identifying information about authors, institutions, reviewers and editors will be hidden for the triple blind arm. By masking all involved parties, the study aims to determine if this impacts acceptance rates and reasons for rejection. We encourage participation from prospective authors and reviewers as we try to advance fairness in scholarly publishing through this masked trial. More details can be found on the Triple Masked Randomized Trial page.

HOW TO SUBMIT A MANUSCRIPT

Submit a Manuscript Here.

Before beginning the submission process, be sure that you have read our Instructions for Authors for general article information and our Submission Instructions for submission requirements.

In brief, please log into Editorial Manager and click the "Submit a New Manuscript" link, and then enter in the required information as prompted. All papers must have a cover letter, abstract, full manuscript, references, and, if applicable, tables, figures, photos and supplementary data files. Authors can save their work in progress, proof and submit revisions, download and review proofs, check on the status of their article, update personal information, and review their past submission records. Decisions are sent to authors via email. If you encounter any problems during the submission process, please contact staff at [email protected].

If you have a question about AJPH interest in a specific topic, the fastest way to receive feedback is to submit the paper for evaluation. Due to the large number of manuscripts we receive on a weekly basis, Editorial and Internal staff cannot review and comment on appropriateness of articles not formally submitted.

HOW TO BECOME A PEER REVIEWER

From Dr. Northridge's Editorial in our April 2011 edition: "The most important collective quality of peer referees is that they themselves write and publish valued books and papers on essential topics that aim to advance public health. Authors then cite the work of these scientists and scholars and nominate them as potential peer reviewers upon formal submission of their own papers. This in turn aids the Journal editors in soliciting apt peer reviewers through the internal and external search tools available to us. The process continues when authors whose work is published in the Journal are called upon to serve as peer referees on future submissions in their areas of expertise. In this way, reviewing for the Journal serves to build community among public health scientists and scholars devoted to assembling the evidence base for improving population health and achieving health equity.

Potential peer referees are added to the Journal database in a number of ways by a variety of actors in the process. Authors who formally submit potential contributions by default become members of the community of scientists and scholars who may be called upon by the editors to serve as peer referees for the Journal. Editors make use of Ovid, Google Scholar, PubMed, and other search engines to identify experts for particular papers assigned to their care and add these experts to the system records. Peer referees—in the process of declining review invitations—often nominate colleagues and students who may render sound critiques on given topics; editors then weigh these suggestions and often add the nominated individuals to the Journal database. Finally, scientists and scholars who seek to serve as potential peer reviewers may volunteer by logging into the Journal site at http://ajph.edmgr.com and registering in our submission system. Refinements are available that allow editors to readily assess the quality, timeliness, and accumulated records of included database members as both authors and reviewers. In turn, peer reviewers may more readily view the referee reports of their fellow volunteers for a given paper once their own reviews have been uploaded" (Northridge ME. Community-building through reviewing for the journal. Am J Public Health. 2011;101(4):e1–e12. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300144).

The peer review process at AJPH is a double-blind process. Authors do not know the peer reviewers, and peer reviewers do not know the authors of the papers they are reviewing. When peer reviewers are selected to review an article, they receive an email invitation to review that specific article asking that they either accept or decline after viewing the article's abstract. If the invitation is accepted, a follow-up email is sent providing a direct link to the article to be reviewed. Peer reviewers who have not registered with Editorial Manager previously will be asked to register when clicking on the link provided in the email. If the invitation is declined or neither link is clicked, the reviewer will be removed from the request queue for this article, and the next selected peer reviewer will be sent an invitation.

Once the reviewer accesses the article PDF, they review the manuscript and then submit their decision recommendation, comments for the author, and confidential comments for the editor. The decision recommendation is selected from a drop-down menu; comments can be entered directly into the fields provided or uploaded as an attachment by clicking the "Upload Attachment" button. Reviewers have access to an archive of their past papers and performance.

Reviewed papers usually receive careful scrutiny by 3 reviewers and additional assessment by the responsible associate editor, deputy editor, and editor-in-chief. Initial screening results in rejection of the majority of manuscripts within 2 weeks of submission. For those papers that are selected for review, the time to first decision is about 3 months. Overall time from submission to acceptance, which includes revisions by the authors, is about 6 months. Staff can be reached at [email protected] for assistance during the peer review process.

EDITORIAL POLICIES

AJPH aspires to select, through peer review, the highest quality science and public health practice–related manuscripts. To achieve this, the entire peer review and publication process of the AJPH must be thorough, objective, and fair. Every aspect of this process involves important ethical principles and decisions. The reputation of AJPH depends on the trust of readers, authors, researchers, reviewers, editors, public health practitioners, research subjects, funding agencies, and administrators of public health policy. This trust is enhanced by describing as explicitly as possible AJPH policies to ensure the ethical treatment of all participants in the publication process. To learn more please review our Editorial and Ethical Policies.

EDITORIAL BOARD AND STAFF

Journal Editorial Board and staff can be accessed by clicking here.

INFORMATION ON AJPH SUPPLEMENTS

For more information on AJPH supplements visit here.

OPEN ACCESS

AJPH promotes open access in the scientific community. Articles submitted and accepted for publication may be made available for open access for $2,500 per article. Open access can be requested through the Editorial Manager system during the submission process or by contacting Brian Selzer at [email protected] any time after acceptance or publication.

AJPH AGREEMENTS

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