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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Recommendations and Reports / Surveillance Summaries

 

Instructions for Authors
(Updated January 18, 2018)

 

Contents

I. Types of Serial Reports
II. Proposing and Submitting a Serial Report
III. Authorship
IV. Clearance
V. Submission Formats
VI. Contact Information

 

  1. Types of Serial Reports
    1. Recommendations and Reports. The MMWR Recommendations and Reports contain in-depth articles that relay policy statements for prevention and treatment on all areas in CDC’s scope of responsibility (e.g., recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices).
    2. Surveillance Summaries. The MMWR Surveillance Summaries provide a means for CDC programs to disseminate surveillance findings, permitting detailed interpretation of trends and patterns based on those findings.
    3. Supplements. The MMWR Supplements present information that does not easily conform to the format or content of an MMWR Recommendations and Report or Surveillance Summary, such as compilation of historic events or accomplishments and reports or proceedings from national conferences.
  2. Proposing and Submitting a Serial Report
    1. Acceptance: When a program is planning an MMWR Serial report (i.e., Recommendation and Report, Surveillance Summary, Supplement), it should submit a brief proposal (~300 words) outlining the purpose of the report, methods, findings, and conclusions to the Serial Team Lead (dcj0@cdc.gov). Upon receipt of proposal, the Serials Team Lead and Deputy Editor will review the proposal and arrange a conference call to discuss the proposal and determine if report is appropriate for MMWR. If the report is deemed acceptable, a submission date will be established
    2. Submission: All reports must be submitted through ScholarOne Manuscripts (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/mmwr-sp). Included in the submission should be documentation of clearance (See Section IV) and signed Conflict of Interest (COI) forms for each author. Once clearance is confirmed, COI forms are reviewed, and the text and accompanying supports are determined to be in the appropriate format (See Section V), the report is assigned to a project editor and the production process begins. Serial reports typically require 12-16 weeks, from the time it is assigned to a projected editor until the report is published.
    3. Publication date: Publication dates are typically determined after review of the first proof during the production process. At the program’s request, we will set a publication date prior to submission. However, maintaining the publication date is dependent on the report being submitted at the time agreed upon by MMWR and the author.
  3. Authorship
    Criteria for MMWR authors are as follows:
    1. MMWR attribution policy follows CDC authorship policy (https://www.cdc.gov/maso/policy/authorship.pdf) and guidance from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
      (http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html). Authorship credit should be based on three conditions, all of which must be met: 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the report or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published.
    2. All authors must assume responsibility for the published version of the manuscript. Authors should be able to defend their contribution independently. Collectively, authors should be able to defend the design, execution, and conclusions of the report.
    3. Persons will not be listed as authors merely by virtue of their position in an organization or by attendance at a meeting. Similarly, participation solely in the acquisition of funding, the collection of data, or general supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship.
    4. Persons or groups that reviewed a submission for a clearance process or who suggested revisions or limited changes to a submission will not be listed as authors.
    5. An acknowledgments section may be used to recognize the work of persons who made substantial contributions to the project but who do not meet the MMWR author criteria.
    6. The list of authors follows the title. First and last names and middle initials (optional) should be used and the single highest academic degree (masters or above) should follow the names. The organizational affiliation will be footnoted below the list of authors. Contact information should be provided for the corresponding author.

    The order of authorship should be a joint decision of the coauthors. MMWR recognizes that scientific work is a collaboration and collaborators have a responsibility to define, accept, and fulfill their roles. MMWR recommends that author order be discussed early during a collaboration and revised as needed as the work progresses. Authorship order, including choice of first author, should be based on the level of contribution to the report and the work underlying it. The first author will have responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole from inception to publication. First authors also are responsible for providing leadership in determining order of the other coauthors, establishing writing assignments, providing direction for reviews and revisions, and compiling drafts. The first author should ensure an open forum for coauthors to share their concerns and suggestions and should ensure that all ethical considerations (e.g., IRB review, disclosure of conflicts of interest) have been addressed.

  4. Clearance
    MMWR publishes only reports that have been cleared according to CDC and MMWR clearance policies. The MMWR clearance policy applies to both reports submitted by CDC authors and reports submitted from outside the agency. Before submitting reports to MMWR for publication, contributors should ensure that reports have received clearance from the following:
    1. All entities that are required to clear the report in accordance with the current CDC Clearance Policy.
    2. Local and state health departments involved in the investigation or analysis (for states, usually the state epidemiologist).
    3. CDC branches, divisions, and national centers (or CDC offices) that have a programmatic interest in the report’s topic.
    4. Other federal agencies named in the report or that have a programmatic or regulatory interest in matters mentioned in the report.
    5. Private-sector organizations, international health agencies, ministries of health, and other organizations at which any named contributor is employed, according to the clearance policies for that organization, agency, or ministry.
    6. Outside authors are not required to have a CDC coauthor to submit their reports. Outside authors who do have a CDC coauthor (including CDC contractors and state-based EISOs) should have their report submitted for clearance and cross-clearance through the CDC coauthor’s center.
  5. Submission Formats

    Text. Text should be submitted in Microsoft Word, double-spaced, in Times Roman font and in 11 or 12 point. There is no word limit for Serial reports. Because CDC is the corporate author and stands behind every report, use of first person (I, we, our) is not permitted.
    Tables. Tables should be created in Word table function or in Excel. Contributors should study tables in previous reports for style. Tables cannot have tabs or extra spaces within the cells. Tables should be sent in separate files and not embedded in text. For tables listing epidemiologic data by geographic division (e.g., state, locality, city), MMWR prefers to publish table data sorted by performance.
    Figures. Figures should be created in (not pasted into) Adobe Illustrator, PowerPoint, Excel or (in the case of maps) vector format files (such as .ai, .eps, and .wmf). Bar graphs or line graphs should have underlying data tables. Place keys/legends within the figure. Figures should be submitted in separate files and not embedded in text.
    Footnotes. For footnotes, do not submit with the endnotes function of MS Word engaged. Use the following footnote symbols in order of appearance: *, †, §, ¶, **,††, §§, ¶¶, etc. The * symbol is not superscripted. All others are superscripted.
    Cover Art. Art work for the covers of reports is accepted but is not mandatory. Photographs and line art are acceptable. Photographs should be 300 dpi and should be submitted, preferably, as a .tif file (.jpeg and .cmyk are acceptable). Line art should be submitted as an .eps file or .pdf.
    Summaries and Abstracts. A summary (maximum 275 words) is required for Recommendations and Reports and supplements. A structured abstract (i.e., Problem/Condition, Reporting Period, Description of System, Results, Interpretation, and Public Health Action) is required for Surveillance Summaries.
    Method (Recommendations and Reports). All CDC guidelines should provide a methods section that transparently discusses the following:

    1. How do the guidelines add to or differ from what was available previously?
    2. Who was involved in the production of the guidelines and how?
    3. What information base was considered?
      1. What was the rationale for considering this evidence base?
      2. What potential information bases were not consulted?
      3. How does the information considered support or relate to the conclusions or recommendations?

    References. Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references and for correct text citation. References should be cited according to instructions contained in The Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Reference numbers must be cited in the text in parentheses and italicized, not superscripted. All citations included in the reference list must be cited at least once in numerical order in the text only. Abbreviate names of journals according to the journals list in PubMed (available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/). For authors, list up to six authors and/or editors; if more than six, list the first three followed by “et al.” Reference numbers must be manually inserted in the text, not linked to an endnote function or reference manager software. There is no limit on the number of references used in any Serial report unless established prior to submission.

  6. Contact Information
    • Mailing address: Editor-in-Chief; Executive Editor; Editor (weekly); Editor (serial publications);or Managing Editor, MMWR Office, Mailstop E-90, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30333.
    • Acting Editor-in-Chief, Executive Editor, Charlotte K. Kent, e-mail: ckent@cdc.gov; telephone: 404-498-0576.
    • Editor (serial publications), Christine Casey, e-mail: ccasey@cdc.gov; telephone: 404-498-6621.
    • Managing Editor, Teresa Rutledge; e-mail: trutledge@cdc.gov; telephone: 404-498-2371.
    • Lead Technical Writer-Editor, MMWR Serial Publications, David C. Johnson; e-mail: dcj0@cdc.gov; telephone: 404-498-2105.
    • MMWR  office fax: 404-498-2389.
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