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Simplified Submission Process

These checklists are intended to serve as a guide to authors in preparing their manuscripts for submission to PCD.

For new submissions, PCD staff members will conduct a brief evaluation based on the criteria in the Simplified Checklist only. Our intention is to make submission to PCD easy and to encourage authors to focus on research results and implications for practice in their manuscripts rather than formatting. Manuscripts that move through peer review to the revision stage will be required to conform to PCD guidelines.

Submissions of revised manuscripts after peer review will be subject to an in-depth evaluation based on the Full Submission Checklist.

Do not submit these checklists with your manuscript; they are for reference only.

1. Simplified Checklist for New Submissions

    • All authors are listed on the manuscript and are the same as those entered in the online submission system.
    • The manuscript file is a clean and final copy without watermarks, tracked changes, colored font, or other markups.
    • A correct and complete cover letter has been uploaded.
      • A statement is made regarding conflicts of interest.
      • A statement is made regarding prior publication. If any part of the manuscript has been published before — tables and figures included — it must be noted in the cover letter.
      • A statement is made regarding responsibility for the work.
      • A statement is made regarding financial support for the work. If financial support was not received, please state this.
      • A statement is made regarding Institutional Review Board (author institution) approval. If approval was unnecessary or the study was exempt, please state this.
    • Word and reference counts are within limits for the article type.
    • Submission files follow the correct file type and content:
      • Manuscript file (text)
        • Title page
        • Abstract (if applicable to article type)
        • Body
        • Acknowledgments (and funding statement)
        • References
        • Tables (no more than 3 unless otherwise stated for the article type)
  •                    Additional files uploaded separately
        • Figures, multimedia, and other audio/visual files (no more than 2 unless otherwise stated for the article type)
        • Appendices and other supplemental files (optional, but discouraged)

     

    2. Full Submission Checklist for Revisions After Peer Review

    • Revised and resubmitted manuscript meets the following requirements:
      • Revisions are complete and carefully detailed in the Author Response section of PCD’s online submission system
      • Includes a tracked-changes file
      • Includes a clean and final copy without markups
    • Submission files follow the correct file type and content order:
    • Manuscript file (text)
      • Title page
      • Abstract (if applicable to article type)
      • Body
      • Acknowledgments (and funding statement)
      • References
      • Tables
    • Additional files uploaded separately
      • Tracked-changes markup of the revised manuscript
      • Figures, multimedia, and other audio/visual files
      • Appendices and other supplemental files
    • The text is in a readable font and size (11-point to 12-point font size and at least 1.5 line spacing).
    • Pages are numbered in sequence.

     

    Title, Byline, and Keywords

    • A title page is included and begins on Page 1 of the manuscript file.
      • Try to engage readers. Short, to-the-point titles that describe the results are cited more often!
    • A byline is inserted directly after the title. The byline lists the full name and highest degree(s) or professional certification(s) of each author in the correct order.
      • In separate lines, the affiliation of each author is listed.
      • The corresponding author is clearly identified.
      • Do not redact author names or details. PCD uses the single-blind review model, which means that we want all author information to be visible.
    • The corresponding author’s complete contact information is provided.
      • Full mailing address
      • Telephone number
      • Email address
    • All authors are listed on the manuscript and are entered into the online submission system.
      • If there has been any change in authorship since the previous submission, please describe the change in the Author Response and note it in the tracked changes file.
      • A full explanation of the circumstances of any change in authorship will be required.
    • Key words/terms are provided (up to 10).

     

    Abstract

    • An abstract is provided if required for the article type.
      • The abstract should be formatted according to the requirements of the article type.
      • No reference citations in the abstract.
      • Avoid the use of acronyms, abbreviations, or initialisms.
        • If this is unavoidable, they must be defined at first mention.
    • Abstract word count is within limits for the article type.

     

    Body

    • Subheadings in the body of the text are correct for the article type.
    • Call-outs to references, tables, and other elements are numbered sequentially.
      • No text-based reference citations such as “(Smith et al, 2004)”
    • No footnotes are permitted in the body of the text.
    • Tables, figures, and other visual elements do not appear in the middle of the text.
    • The text word count is within limits for the article type.
      • To check the word count, select the text from the beginning of the Introduction to the end of the Acknowledgments section.

     

    Acknowledgments

    • A statement is made regarding financial support for the work. Provide grant numbers, if applicable.
      • If financial support was not received, please state this.
      • Any statements required by your institution may be included here.

     

    References

    • References are formatted appropriately.
      • References are listed sequentially in the order that they appear in the text.
      • Each reference is complete and correct.
        • Verify all references using PubMed.
        • Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references.
      • PCD follows ICMJE style for references. See https://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.htmlexternal icon for guidance.
    • The number of references listed is within limits for the article type.

     

    Tables

    • There are no more than 3 tables unless the requirements for the article type state otherwise.
    • Tables are presented in the order that they are cited in the text.
    • Tables and figures do not contain identical data.
    • Tables are appropriately formatted.
      • Each table begins on a new page in the manuscript file.
      • Tables may be as long as needed (no page limit).
      • Maintain normal 1-inch margins.
      • Tables must fit into portrait orientation layout.
      • Use a readable text font and size, but do not go below 9 point. This requirement may call for the reorganization of data.
      • No paragraph returns, tabs, or extra spaces should be used to create tables or align cells.
        • Use (Ctrl + Shift + 8) to show/hide paragraph marks.
        • No ¶ marks should be visible in this view.
      • Each piece of data is contained in its own cell, except for point estimates and their measures of precision.
        • Example: “Odds Ratio (95% CI)” or “Mean (SD)” where CI and SD stand for confidence interval and standard deviation.
      • All abbreviations — including CI, SE, OR, etc. — are defined and grouped together in one line placed just below the table, before the footnotes (if any).
      • Footnotes are designated by superscripted lowercase letters. Do not use special symbols such as asterisks and daggers.
      • References, if any, are formatted using numerals as they are in the body.
      • If P values are reported, the actual P values are given, not inequalities such as <.01 or <.05. Any value smaller than P = .001 should be reported as <.001.

     

    Figure List

    • Figure and other file titles are listed after the tables to alert the reader that additional files accompany the manuscript document.

     

    Figures

    • There are no more than 2 figures unless the requirements for the article type state otherwise.
    • Figures appear in the order that they are cited in the text.
    • Figures and tables do not contain identical data.
    • Each figure is appropriately formatted.
      • Include a descriptive title.
      • All abbreviations and/or acronyms are defined.
      • The source of the figure is cited if it is not an original work, has been adapted from the original figure, or has been previously published elsewhere.
      • Each figure is accompanied by explanatory text — a few sentences that describe and clarify the figure.
        • For photographs or illustrations, a short text description of the image is provided.
        • For flow charts, logic models, or similar diagrams, a detailed text description of the information in the figure must be provided. This descriptive text will be needed by the editors to make the figure accessible to readers with disabilities.
      • Acceptable graphics include
        • Flowcharts — MS Word or PowerPoint
        • Graphs or charts — Excel
        • Complicated figures not created in Excel — AI, EPS, SVG, DRW
        • Maps — AI, EPS, SVG, DRW
        • Photographs — High-resolution JPG or TIF
    • Numerical data points used to create figures and other visual elements are provided in an accompanying data table. Editors and reviewers need to see this information to evaluate the effectiveness of the figure presentation.
      • Data tables should be presented with the explanatory text or they may be uploaded as supplemental files.
      • If an Excel file has been provided for a figure, data points should appear in a worksheet within the file.
    • Each figure graphic has been uploaded individually in high-resolution format. The original high-resolution source files will be needed by editors to make changes according to PCD formatting style.
      • Images pasted into Word, Excel, or PowerPoint or a PDF file are not acceptable.

     

    Appendices and Other Supplemental Files

    • PCD discourages the use of appendices and other supplemental files.
    • Appendices must be independent documents and should not be used to accommodate information that is essential to the text, additional references, or tables and figures in excess of the number allowed for the article type.
    • For information that is already available online, provide a URL instead of an appendix.
    • PCD technical editors will make the final decision on whether to include supplementary items at the time of publication. Final acceptance of a manuscript for publication does not guarantee publication of the accompanying appendices and other supplemental files.
    • Appendices and supplemental files are subject to editing by PCD editors.

The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions.

Page last reviewed: September 14, 2017