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Types of Articles

The following are brief descriptions of articles published by Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD). Prospective authors should review the manuscript checklists provided for each category. These checklists present the criteria by which peer reviewers judge whether to recommend publishing a paper.

Implementation Evaluation

Subject to peer review

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These articles recognize that public health and clinical interventions are often collaborative, multifaceted, multicomponent, and multisite with diverse participants, stakeholders, and partnerships. As such, evaluation of these efforts cannot rely on linear approaches to assess the complex mix of individual, familial, organizational, economic, and environmental contextual factors that contribute to the success of interventions. Implementation Evaluation articles provide information to program planners, policy makers, evaluators, researchers, and diverse stakeholders on how to refine evaluation methods; make health system improvements; strengthen collaborations and partnerships; build organizational infrastructure; measure return on investments; and enhance data collection approaches. Implementation Evaluation articles also provide insights into factors that affect the ability of public health practice to successfully package and disseminate effective interventions that have been implemented and evaluated in real-world settings. Although successful intervention efforts are important, PCD is also interested learning about factors and circumstances that can help the field learn what did not work and why.

All Implementation Evaluation articles must present findings generated from either qualitative methods (eg, focus groups, interviews), quantitative methods (eg, quasi-experimental, experimental), or mixed methods (both qualitative and quantitative). Evaluation studies could also explore economic analyses  focusing on cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, return on investment, and cost-benefit analysis. Priority will be given to manuscripts using evaluation approaches that report short-term and long-term health outcomes. Program descriptions, theoretical framework descriptions, literature reviews, opinion pieces, commentaries, or essays will not be considered for this article type.

Tables, figures, and other graphics should be well constructed, easy to comprehend, and visually appealing. Information in tables, figures, and other graphics should not be duplicated in text but should be consistent with the information in the text. Tables, figures, and other graphics should be able to stand independently without requiring explanation from the text. We encourage the use of photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings, short video or audio files (up to 5 minutes), multimedia, or other information that complements the article and that can be delivered or linked to via the Web.

Use the following subheadings in the structured abstract: Purpose and Objectives, Intervention Approach, Evaluation Methods, Results, and Implications for Public Health.

Introduction 
Describe the public health concern of interest that the intervention is designed to address. The public health concern can address one or a combination of the following: chronic disease, health behaviors, structural and environmental supports, policy changes, and health system changes.

The introduction must provide the following information:

  • Purpose and rationale for selecting the evaluation method, including literature support and the circumstances under which the implementation and evaluation activities occurred.
  • Partnerships and project staff critical in conceptualizing, implementing, and evaluating this effort.
  • Intervention period during which reported activities were implemented and evaluated. (NOTE: Authors should include information on when data collection was initiated and completed.)

Purpose and Objectives
Describe the intervention and how it is thought to improve health outcomes. Describe how the implementation and evaluation were planned. Describe the intervention — whether it was an adopted or modified intervention derived from previous efforts or newly developed and not previously evaluated. Program planning must be evidence-driven, based on some form of pre-implementation assessment to determine priority areas, and evidence-based strategies to address needs and identify factors that shaped implementation of the intervention. State the specific objectives or evaluation questions for the intervention (eg. How were stakeholders engaged? What process was used to identify and measure outcomes?). Present relevant characteristics of the setting and population in which the intervention was conducted or evaluated. Setting characteristics may include staff capacity, evaluation expertise, securing support, intervention fidelity, and human and fiscal resources.

Intervention Approach
Intervention approach is defined as a combination of actions taken to address a set of factors necessary to improve population health. Describe the intervention approach used to frame the overall work being described in the article. The description should clearly delineate the assumptions underlying the intervention. Innovative approaches are welcomed: however, authors are still required to provide justification or rationale for their creation. Present a clear intervention approach (often referred to as a program model, logic framework or guiding theory, or theory of) that would help readers understand the importance of the intervention, the components constituting the intervention, the short-term and long-term outcomes, and the selected evaluation methods. The intervention approach must be intentionally linked to the evaluation methods used to obtain the evaluation findings. The intervention approach must be supported by insights derived from published literature and current data on the disease prevalence. Describe how other relevant information was used to develop the reported intervention approach, if such information is available and relevant. Examples include demographic shifts, geographic factors, setting attributes, economic factors, needs assessments, capacity-building needs, stakeholder input, and pilot studies. Link the intervention approach to the results being reported (outcomes, measures, indicators). Use an illustrative figure or diagram to demonstrate the relationship between the public health concern, contextual factors influencing health and intervention efforts, intervention components, essential partnerships, evaluation approach, and outcomes of interest.

Evaluation Methods
Provide a rationale and describe the process used in selecting the evaluation methods described in the article. The rationale for evaluation method selection may include participation rates, data collection approaches, availability of qualitative and quantitative data, frequency of data collection, outcomes, and with whom evaluation findings will be or have been shared. It is critically important that authors describe how selected outcomes (measures or indicators) authentically (reliably) capture the success or failure of the intervention.

Describe the evaluation method and evaluation design used to conduct the evaluation. Evaluation methods could have been used at different stages for different components of an intervention. Authors should ensure that the links between the intervention components being discussed and the evaluation approaches demonstrate alignment with the outcomes reported on in the article.

Articles involving human subjects must include the name of the institutional review board that approved the work. Provide the participation rate in terms of a numerator and a denominator. Report pre-evaluation calculation of required sample size. Provide the significance level established for quantitative data. Evaluators using qualitative methods should justify why the number of participants being reported adds credibility to reported findings. Identify the qualitative or quantitative statistical software used.

Results
Provide characteristics of study participants (eg, number of participants, age distribution, sex, racial/ethnic characteristics). Results should be specific and relevant to all objectives and evaluation questions. All results reported should align with information presented in all other sections of the article. Use tables and figures to support linkages between intervention activities, findings, and recommendations. Results should aid the understanding of factors in real-world settings that influence how intervention efforts are delivered.

Implications for Public Health
Address the objectives and evaluation questions and objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of the evaluation. Give equal emphasis to positive and negative findings of equal technical, methodologic, and scientific merit. Delineate ways that the reported evaluation findings can be used by others to increase implementation fidelity and improve population health in real-world settings with similar contextual factors. Share information that would help readers ascertain what evaluators learned that would shape refinement of the intervention. Share insights on how the evaluation approach could be improved. Discuss ways that readers can facilitate diffusion and uptake of a similar evidence-based intervention in a comparable real-world setting.

 

Number of words: text, 4,500 words; abstract, 300 words.
References: 40
Tables: 5
Figures: 4

 

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Program Evaluation Brief

Subject to peer review

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Program evaluation briefs are a condensed version of our Implementation Evaluation articles and present evaluation results of interest to a broad audience of public health professionals. These short articles focus on understanding how various aspects of activities related to program implementation, program performance, health policy, and/or system change influence health outcomes.

This article type recognizes that public health and clinical interventions are often collaborative, multifaceted, multicomponent, and multisite with diverse participants, stakeholders, and partnerships. As such, evaluations must frequently be multimodal and sensitive to context (eg, participant characteristics, setting characteristics, economic and social factors, staffing availability, staffing capacity, organizational support, organizational change, and fiscal resources).

Articles that focus exclusively on providing program descriptions, describing theoretical frameworks and/or logic models, and sharing opinions will not be considered for publication using this article type. Program evaluation articles that report findings published extensively in other peer-reviewed journals are not of greatest interest to PCD; for example, articles that report survey or focus group findings on factors identified to promote partnership building and collaboration have already been published extensively. Hence, PCD would not find of greatest interest articles identifying ways to build partnerships, forming and maintaining coalitions, or building and sustaining partnerships. Authors are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the published literature to ensure submissions to PCD contribute new insights to the field of public health.

All Program Evaluation Briefs must present findings generated from either qualitative methods (eg, focus groups, interviews), quantitative methods (eg, quasi-experimental, experimental), or mixed methods (both qualitative and quantitative). Potential topics of interest include:

  • Whether a program, policy, and/or systems change had an impact on improving its reach and access to its target population.
  • How well a program was implemented.
  • Whether costs were reasonable in relation to the program’s effectiveness and benefit.
  • Drivers and barriers surrounding program implementation, outcomes, or sustainability, in particular how they may have varied by site/location.
  • Potential areas for improvement that increase a program’s efficacy and cost effectiveness.
  • Whether and how a program, policy, and/or system change could be expanded to other settings, geographic areas, and populations facing similar public health challenges.
  • Which evaluation efforts were effectively employed during different program phases such as: program planning, implementation, completion, dissemination, and reporting.

Priority will be given to manuscripts using evaluation approaches that report findings among the topic areas above and on a program’s impact on improving health outcomes. Articles can share preliminary findings from reported evaluation efforts. PCD is also interested in learning about factors and circumstances that can help the field learn what did not work and why. Articles that focus exclusively on providing program descriptions, theoretical framework descriptions, literature reviews, opinion pieces, commentaries, or essays will not be considered for this article type.

Tables, figures, and other graphics should be well constructed, easy to comprehend, and visually appealing. Information in tables, figures, and other graphics should not be duplicated in text but should be consistent with the information in the text. Tables, figures, and other graphics should be able to stand independently without requiring explanation from the text. We encourage the use of photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings, short video or audio files (up to 3 minutes), multimedia, or other information that complements the article and that can be delivered or linked to via the Web.

The unstructured abstract has no more than 6 sentences, each one corresponding to the subheadings in the body of the paper: Introduction, Purpose and Objectives, Intervention Approach, Evaluation Methods, Results, and Implications for Public Health.

Introduction 
Describe the public health concern of interest that the intervention is designed to address. The public health concern can address one or a combination of the following: chronic disease, health behaviors, structural and environmental supports, policy changes, and health system changes.

The introduction must provide the following information:

  • Purpose and rationale for selecting the evaluation method, including literature support and the circumstances under which the implementation and evaluation activities occurred.
  • Partnerships and project staff critical in conceptualizing, implementing, and evaluating this effort.
  • Intervention period during which reported activities were implemented and evaluated. Authors should also include information on when data collection was initiated and completed.

Purpose and Objectives
Describe the intervention and how it is thought to improve health outcomes. Describe how the implementation and evaluation were planned. Describe the intervention — whether it was an adopted or modified intervention derived from previous efforts or newly developed and not previously evaluated. Program planning must be evidence-driven, based on some form of pre-implementation assessment to determine priority areas, and evidence-based strategies to address needs and identify factors that shaped implementation of the intervention. State the specific objectives or evaluation questions for the intervention (eg: How were stakeholders engaged? What process was used to identify and measure outcomes?). Present relevant characteristics of the setting and population in which the intervention was conducted or evaluated. Setting characteristics may include staff capacity, evaluation expertise, securing support, intervention fidelity, and human and fiscal resources.

Intervention Approach
Intervention approach is defined as a combination of actions taken to address a set of factors necessary to improve population health. Describe the intervention approach used to frame the overall work being described in the article. The intervention approach must be supported by insights derived from published literature and current data on the disease prevalence. The description should clearly delineate the assumptions underlying the intervention. The intervention approach must be intentionally linked to the evaluation methods used to obtain the evaluation findings. Link the intervention approach to the results being reported (outcomes, measures, indicators). Use an illustrative figure or diagram to demonstrate the relationship between the public health concern, contextual factors influencing health and intervention efforts, intervention components, essential partnerships, evaluation approach, and outcomes of interest.

Evaluation Methods
Provide a rationale and describe the process used in selecting the evaluation methods described in the article. The rationale for evaluation method selection may include participation rates, data collection approaches, availability of qualitative and quantitative data, frequency of data collection, and outcomes.

Describe the evaluation method and evaluation design used to conduct the evaluation. Evaluation methods could have been used at different stages for different components of an intervention. Authors should ensure that the links between the intervention components being discussed and the evaluation approaches demonstrate alignment with the outcomes reported on in the article.

Articles involving human subjects must include the name of the institutional review board that approved the work. If appropriate, authors should provide the participation rate in terms of a numerator and a denominator. Authors should report pre-evaluation calculation of required sample size. Provide the significance level established for quantitative data. Evaluators using qualitative methods should justify why the number of participants being reported adds credibility to reported findings. Identify the qualitative or quantitative statistical software used.

Results
Provide characteristics of study participants (eg, number of participants, age distribution, sex, racial/ethnic characteristics, geographic location) in a concise and accurate way. Results should be specific and relevant to all objectives and evaluation questions. All results reported should align with information presented in all other sections of the article. Use tables and figures to support linkages between intervention activities, findings, and recommendations. Results should aid the understanding of factors in real-world settings that influence how intervention efforts are delivered.

Implications for Public Health
Address all objectives and evaluation questions and objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of the evaluation. Give equal emphasis to discuss positive and negative findings of equal technical, methodologic, and scientific merit. Share information that would help readers ascertain what evaluators learned that would shape refinement of the intervention. Share insights on how the evaluation approach could be improved. Discuss ways that readers can facilitate diffusion and uptake of a similar evidence-based intervention in comparable real-world settings.

Number of words: text, 2000, words; unstructured abstract, 150 words.
References: 15.
Tables/Figures:

  • 2 tables, or
  • 2 figures, or
  • 1 table/1 figure

 

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Original Research

Subject to peer review

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These articles present research results to a broad audience of public health professionals. They explain the value of the research to public health and the relevance of the findings to chronic disease prevention.

We welcome articles from many disciplines as long as the research results are pertinent to preventing or reducing the effects of chronic disease. Below are some examples of suitable topics for articles:

  • A demonstration of an Internet-based worksite nutrition education program.
  • A randomized trial of a behavioral intervention to reduce the effects of diabetes.
  • An examination of a program to increase awareness of signs and symptoms of stroke.
  • A focus group analysis of older adult perspectives on physical activity.

Articles that report results of randomized controlled trials must conform to the standards of the CONSORT statement (www.consort-statement.org). In addition, all randomized controlled trials described in an original research article must be registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (http://clinicaltrials.gov/).

Tables, figures, and other graphics should be well constructed, easy to comprehend, and visually appealing. Information in tables, figures, and other graphics should not be duplicated in text but should be consistent with the information in the text. Tables, figures, and other graphics should be able to stand independently without requiring explanation from the text. We encourage the use of photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings, short video or audio files (up to 5 minutes), multimedia, or other information that complements the article and that can be delivered or linked to via the Web.

Use the following subheadings in the Abstract: Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusion. Use the following subheadings in the body of the paper: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion.

Introduction 
Explain the context of the study and, the importance of the study question. State the precise objective of the study in the final paragraph. If more than 1 objective is addressed, state the main objective and note only key secondary objectives. Provide a brief literature review to identify gaps in knowledge on the study topic and show how the study will add to what is already known. Define terms specific to the context of the manuscript. This section should be no longer than 300 words.

Methods
State and describe the type of study design used. Provide the dates of the study. If the study describes an intervention, describe the essential features of the intervention. Provide survey questions for a study that includes a survey. Describe the setting from which participants are drawn (eg, general community, school, hospital, worksite), including a description of key demographic features. Provide detailed inclusion and exclusion criteria for study participants. Describe recruitment of study participants and sampling procedures. If the manuscript describes research involving human subjects, include a statement that the research was approved by an institutional review board. Provide the participation rate in terms of a numerator and a denominator. Report the prestudy calculation of required sample size. Provide a section on statistical methods. Identify the statistical software that was used, and report the level at which significance was established. Use the active voice.

Results
Results should be specific and relevant to the research hypothesis. All results reported should have a corresponding section in the Methods section. Present characteristics of the study participants (eg, number, age distribution, sex, racial/ethnic characteristics). Provide the main outcomes of the study. For surveys, provide the response rate. Give measures of data distribution or precision (eg, standard deviation, 95% confidence intervals). Provide information on how study participants may compare with people not included in the study. Explain outcomes or measurements unfamiliar to a general public health readership. Describe validation measures if they are included as part of the study.

Discussion
Address the research question or hypothesis and objectively evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the study. Give equal emphasis to positive and negative findings of equal scientific merit. Avoid a lengthy reiteration of the Results section. Compare and contrast study findings with findings of similar studies. Mention unexpected findings and suggest explanations. Discuss the limitations of the study. Discuss the generalizability of the results and the implications of the study for public health, but avoid speculation and overgeneralization. If appropriate, suggest future potential studies. End this section with a clear, concise conclusion that is directly supported by the study findings.

Number of words: text, 3,000 words; abstract, 250 words.
References: 30.
Tables: 3
Figures: 2

 

 

Research Brief

Subject to peer review

 

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These short articles are a condensed version of our original research articles and present research results of interest to a broad audience of public health professionals. They explain the value of the research to public health and the relevance of the findings to reducing or preventing chronic disease. We welcome articles from many disciplines as long as the research results are pertinent to preventing or reducing the effects of chronic disease.There should be no more than 2 figures or 2 tables or 1 of each. The tables and figures should be well constructed, easy to comprehend, and visually appealing. Information in the tables or figures should not be duplicated in the text but should be consistent with information in the text. Tables and figures should stand independently without requiring explanation from the text. We encourage the use of photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings, short video or audio files (up to 5 minutes), multimedia, or other information that complements the article and that can be delivered or linked to via the Web.

The unstructured abstract has no more than 4 sentences, each one corresponding to the subheadings in the body of the paper: Objective, Methods, Results, Discussion.

Objective 
This section should be no more than 100 words.
State clearly the main purpose of the research and the main hypothesis to be tested or the main question to be answered. Explain the context of the study and the importance of the study question. Provide definitions of terms specific to the context.

Methods
This section should be no more than 300 words.
State the type of study design used. Provide the dates of study. For a study that describes an intervention, note the essential features of the intervention. Describe briefly the setting from which the participants are drawn. Provide inclusion and exclusion criteria for participants. If the manuscript describes research involving human subjects, include a statement that the research was approved by an institutional review board. Provide the participation rate in terms of a numerator and a denominator. Describe any controls used. Report the prestudy calculation of required sample size. Provide brief information on statistical methods.

Results
This section should be no more than 300 words.
Report only the most relevant results and provide the main outcomes. Results should be specific and relevant to the research hypothesis. All results reported should have a corresponding section in the Methods section. Present key characteristics of study participants (eg, number, age distribution, sex, racial/ethnic characteristics). For surveys, provide the response rate. Give measures of data distribution or precision (eg, standard deviation, 95% confidence intervals). Provide information on how study participants may compare to people not included in the study. If validation measures are part of the study, describe them.

Discussion
This section should be no more than 300 words.
Address the research question or hypothesis and note strengths and weaknesses of the study. Give equal emphasis to positive and negative findings of equal scientific merit. Avoid a lengthy reiteration of the Results section. Mention unexpected findings and suggest explanations. Note limitations of the study and generalizability of the results. If appropriate, suggest future potential studies, but avoid speculation and overgeneralization. End the section with a clear, concise conclusion that is directly supported by the study findings.

Number of words: text, 1,000 words; abstract, 100 words.
References: 12.
Tables/Figures:

  • 2 tables, or
  • 2 figures, or
  • 1 table/1 figure

 

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Systematic Review

Subject to peer review

 

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These articles provide systematic assessments of literature and data sources pertaining to our Scope of Interests. Authors should describe their methods for performing the review, including the ways information was searched for, selected, and summarized. Meta-analyses also will be considered as reviews. Minireviews provide brief historical perspectives or summaries of developments in fast-moving areas (fewer than 2,000 words and 40 references).Tables, figures, and other graphics should be well constructed, easy to comprehend, and visually appealing. Information in tables, figures, and other graphics should not be duplicated in text but should be consistent with the information in the text. Tables, figures, and other graphics should be able to stand independently without requiring explanation from the text. We encourage the use of photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings, short video or audio files (up to 5 minutes), multimedia, or other information that complements the article and that can be delivered or linked to via the Web.

Use the following subheadings in the abstract: Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusion. Use the following subheadings in the body of the paper: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion.

Introduction 
State the review question and explain its importance. State the precise primary objective. This section should be no more than 300 words.

Methods
The Methods section should include the following 3 subheadings: Data sources, Study selection, and Data extraction.

Data sources.
Describe the search strategy. Identify and succinctly summarize data sources. Identify the exact years. Use the most current information possible for your search. The search should be conducted no more than several months before the manuscript is submitted. Consider all potential data sources. State the exact search terms used to identify and retrieve articles. Cite search constraints.

Study selection.
Describe inclusion and exclusion criteria for selecting studies for detailed review. Provide details on the disease, population, intervention, methodologic design, or outcome being studied. State the method used to identify and apply inclusion and exclusion criteria. State the proportion that met the selection criteria of the studies initially identified.

Data extraction.
Describe the guidelines used to extract data and assess data quality and validity. Provide information on how the guidelines were applied (eg, independent extraction by multiple observers). End this section with a description on how the data collected were analyzed.

Results
State the main results of the review in the first paragraph. All results should be well described, specific, and relevant to the review question. All results reported should have a corresponding section in the Methods section. For numerical results, give measures of data distribution or precision (eg, standard deviation, 95% confidence intervals).

Discussion
Objectively evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the study. Give equal emphasis to positive and negative findings. Avoid a lengthy reiteration of the Results section. Compare and contrast study findings with findings of similar studies. Mention and explain unexpected findings. Discuss the limitations of the study and the generalizability of the results. Discuss implications for public health and, if appropriate, suggest potential future studies, but avoid speculation and overgeneralization. The section should end with a clear, concise conclusion that is directly supported by the study findings. The interpretation of the data should be limited to the domain of the review.

Number of words: text, 3,500 words; abstract, 300 words.
References: no limit.
Tables: 3
Figures: 2

 

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GIS Snapshots

Subject to peer review

 

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Submissions to this category may include one or more maps that address chronic disease outcomes, risk factors, and/or relevant community characteristics, policies, and programs. We welcome submissions that address a broad range of chronic disease conditions (including injury, mental health, etc) and that can be used in a wide range of settings (eg, access to care, policy and program development, etc).

The map(s) may include a single layer of data or multiple layers of data. The map(s) should be easy to comprehend and visually appealing. All maps should be submitted as vector-based files (extensions .ai, .eps, .svg, .drw) formatted to fit a standard 8.5 in x 11 in portrait layout. Any color scheme may be chosen; recommended color combinations can be found at the Color Brewer website: www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/c/a/cab38/ColorBrewer/ColorBrewer_intro.html

When using a monochromatic color scheme, use the following percentages to ensure distinction between screen tints:

  • 2 tints: 30%, 50%
  • 3 tints: 10%, 25%, 50%
  • 4 tints: 10%, 20%, 50%, 80%
  • 5 tints: 10%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 100%
  • 6 tints: 10%, 15%, 25%, 40%, 60%, 100%

The legend for each map should clearly and succinctly describe the data displayed on the map, including the date of data collection. Data sources should be documented on the map as footnotes. Each map should be able to stand independently without explanation from the text.

Map submissions should be accompanied by a title for the map.

In addition to the map(s) and title(s), submissions should include the following 5 sections of text:

Map Caption

Map should include a brief text caption of 75 words or less summarizing the main messages of the map and their importance; for example, indicate how the information can be used or how the information adds to our understanding of the geographic distribution of the condition. This caption will appear underneath the map.

Background
Introduce the topic of the map(s) and discuss why it is important in the context of chronic disease prevention. Include references if appropriate.

Date Sources and Map Logistics
This section provides the basic information needed to understand the data displayed on the map. Provide a brief overview of the methods, including data sources used to create the map, a short description of any data analyses performed, and the mapping techniques employed.

Highlights
Highlight the main findings on the map and their importance.

Action
Describe ways in which the map(s) can or will be used in the prevention of chronic disease (eg, informing decision making on policies and/or programs, facilitating partnerships with relevant organizations, educating the public) or adds to our understanding of the geographic distribution of the condition.

Number of words: explanatory text, 1,000 words.
Number of references: 10.

Example of a recent GIS Snapshots article:
The Most Distinctive Causes of Death by State, 2001-2010

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Tools for Public Health Practice

Subject to peer review

 

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NOTE: Before submitting a manuscript under this article type, email a 1-paragraph summary to the Editor in Chief at PCDeditor@cdc.gov for consideration.

These are instructional materials for professional development that focus on the practical application of methods. They are written intentionally as how-to articles. Sample topics include how to develop a logic model as a tool for program planning and evaluation, how to design and implement legal frameworks that can broaden the range of effective public health strategies, and how to use geographic information systems to assess environmental supports for physical activity.

The article should be instructional, showing readers how to apply a particular method. It should explain the public health context of the “tool” and provide definitions of terms specific to the context of the manuscript. The tool  should be described in a way that allows others with sufficient skills and interest to implement it on their own. The strengths and weaknesses of the tool or technique should be objectively evaluated. If appropriate, suggest areas of future research.

Tables, figures, and other graphics should be well constructed, easy to comprehend, and visually appealing. Information in tables, figures, and other graphics should not be duplicated in text but should be consistent with the information in the text. Tables, figures, and other graphics should be able to stand independently without requiring explanation from the text. We encourage the use of photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings, short video or audio files (up to 5 minutes), multimedia, or other information that complements the article and that can be delivered or linked to via the Web. The submission should include at least 3 headings in the body of the text; these headings must be creative (ie, not Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion). Use an unstructured abstract.

Number of words: text, 3,000 words; abstract, 250 words.
Number of references: 40.
Tables: 3.
Figures: 2.

 

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Letter

May be subject to peer review

 

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Letters focus on the scientific, clinical, or ethical issues raised by an article previously published in PCD. Letters may be subject to peer review, and, as with other articles, they will be edited for clarity, sense, and style. Authors have the right to refuse publication after editorial revisions have been made. If warranted, journal editorial staff will solicit a reply from the author of the corresponding article; both letter and reply may appear in the same issue. Support your point of view with evidence and cite references to support your argument. Citations should be up to date and relevant. The letter should be written clearly and concisely and should be free of jargon. Letters require statements of authorship responsibility and disclosure of conflicts of interest. List authors and their affiliations at the end of the letter. Note that some indexing/abstracting services do not include letters in their databases.Tables, figures, and other graphics should be well constructed, easy to comprehend, and visually appealing. Information in tables, figures, and other graphics should not be duplicated in text but should be consistent with the information in the text. Tables, figures, and other graphics should be able to stand independently without requiring explanation from the text. We encourage the use of photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings, short video or audio files (up to 5 minutes), multimedia, or other information that complements the article and that can be delivered or linked to via the Web.

Number of words: 600 words.
References: 6.
Tables/Figures:

  • 2 tables, or
  • 2 figures, or
  • 1 table/1 figure

 

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Essay

Not subject to peer review

 

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Essays are opinion pieces that provide thoughtful discussion of contemporary issues in public health. They raise issues of interest to researchers and practitioners, initiate or focus discussion, or propose a position or consensus statement. Essays can report on unusual cases or personal experiences. Not suitable are reviews, methods, how-to papers, or responses to published articles.Tables, figures, and other graphics should be well constructed, easy to comprehend, and visually appealing. Information in tables, figures, and other graphics should not be duplicated in text but should be consistent with the information in the text. Tables, figures, and other graphics should be able to stand independently without requiring explanation from the text. We encourage the use of photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings, short video or audio files (up to 5 minutes), multimedia, or other information that complements the article and that can be delivered or linked to via the Web.

Number of words: text, 1,500 words; no abstract required.
References: 10.

 

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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.

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