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


Instructions for Authors
(Updated April 11, 2024)



I. Types of Serial Reports
II. Proposing and Submitting a Serial Report
III. Authorship
IV. Clearance
V. Submission Formats
VI. Guidance for Correcting Errors
VII. 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 ( 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. Timeliness: Reports should contain the most current data from surveys, surveillance systems, or studies, and the most recent data should not be older than 3 years at the time of submission.
      3. Submission: All reports must be submitted through ScholarOne Manuscripts ( 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.
      4. Attribution: In accordance with recommendations from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, authors must state if any artificial intelligence (AI)–assisted technologies (e.g., large language models, chatbots, or image creators) were used in the development of their submitted work. In both the cover letter and submitted work, authors should describe their use of this technology. Authors should carefully review and edit the result, because AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete, or biased. Authors should assert that there is no plagiarism in their paper, including in text and images produced by the AI. Humans must confirm there is appropriate attribution of all quoted material, including full citations.
      5. Publication date: Publication dates are typically determined after review of the first proof during the production process.
    3. Authorship
      Criteria for MMWR authors are as follows:
      1. MMWR attribution policy follows CDC authorship policy ( and guidance from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
        ( 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; 3) final approval of the version to be published; and 4) responsible for the published version of the report (i.e., defend contribution independently and defend the design, execution, and conclusions).
      2. In accordance with ICMJE recommendations, chatbots (e.g., ChatGPT) should not be listed as authors because they cannot be responsible for the accuracy, integrity, and originality of the work, which are requirements for authorship. Therefore, humans are responsible for any submitted material that includes the use of AI-assisted technologies. Authors should not list AI and AI-assisted technologies as an author or co-author, nor cite AI as an author.
      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, authors should ensure that reports have received clearance from the following:
        • All entities that are required to clear the report in accordance with the current CDC Clearance Policy.
        • Local and state health departments involved in the investigation or analysis (for states, usually the state epidemiologist).
        • CDC branches, divisions, and national centers (or CDC offices) that have a programmatic interest in the report’s topic.
        • Other federal agencies named in the report or that have a programmatic or regulatory interest in matters mentioned in the report.
        • Private-sector organizations, international health agencies, ministries of health, and other organizations at which any named author is employed, according to the clearance policies for that organization, agency, or ministry.
      • Before submitting reports to MMWR for publication, authors should ensure that, when appropriate, reports include Standard Language for Human Subject Determination and Consent.
    5. Submission Formats
      1. 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.
      2. Tables. Tables should be created in Word table function or in Excel. Authors 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.
      3. 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.
      4. 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.
      5. 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 is acceptable). Line art should be submitted as an .eps file or .pdf.
      6. 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.
      7. 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?
      8. 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 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. Guidance for Correcting Errors
      Corrections of errors preserve the integrity of the scientific and public health literature. They also protect the reputations of authors, the MMWR Series, and CDC by demonstrating the commitment to ensuring accurate science in MMWR.
      1. Errors Related to Small Portions of Text, Figures, or Tables
        Requests to publish corrections should be sent to your project editor. An Erratum will be published in the Weekly as soon as possible following notification about the error.
      2. Pervasive Errors Throughout the Text, Figures, or Tables
        If pervasive errors are brought to the attention of authors or MMWR editors, it’s our obligation to transparently correct the literature. MMWR follows recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). After reviewing the nature and source of the errors for each case, MMWR will assess the report in collaboration with the CDC Office of Science and other CDC leadership, as indicated. In cases with suspected scientific misconduct, the Office of Science will determine the appropriate corrective action. In cases of inadvertent, pervasive errors, the MMWR Editor-in-Chief will determine the appropriate method for correcting the report based on current scientific publication guidance. Below are the most likely paths for correcting inadvertent, pervasive errors.
        1. For reports that have pervasive errors but the corrections do not change the conclusions or interpretation of the report, MMWR will correct the literature through the mechanism of “Correct and Republish.” MMWR will follow National Library of Medicine guidance to ensure transparency and clarity for readers. (
        2. For reports that have pervasive errors that change the interpretation or the conclusions when corrected, MMWR will correct the literature through the mechanism of “Retraction.” In collaboration with authors, MMWR will determine whether it is appropriate to also republish the report at the time of retraction. MMWR will follow National Library of Medicine guidance to ensure transparency and clarity for readers.
          NOTE: If pervasive errors have been identified, contact the Editor-in-Chief at and the Editor (serial publications) at as soon as possible.
    7. Contact Information
      • Mailing address: Editor-in-Chief; Editor (weekly); Editor (serial publications);or Managing Editor, MMWR Office, Mailstop V25-5, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30333.
      • Editor-in-Chief, Charlotte K. Kent, e-mail:; telephone: 404-498-0576.
      • Editor (serial publications), Christine Casey, e-mail:; telephone: 404-498-6621.
      • Managing Editor, Terisa F. Rutledge; e-mail:; telephone: 404-498-2371.
      • Lead Technical Writer-Editor, MMWR Serial Publications, David C. Johnson; e-mail:; telephone: 404-498-2105.
      • MMWR  office fax: 404-498-2389.