PCD logo

Research Brief



checkboxThe title accurately reflects the content of the manuscript.

checkboxThe article is of interest to PCD readers.

checkboxThe article fits the mission of the journal to address the interface between applied prevention research and public health practice in chronic disease prevention.

checkboxThe manuscript is clearly and concisely written and is free of jargon.

checkboxEach section of the manuscript — Objective, Methods, Results, Discussion — includes the appropriate elements. The sections are clearly delineated.

checkboxThe citations are up to date and relevant.

checkboxAll statements requiring citations have citations.

checkboxThe Acknowledgments identify funding for the study.

checkboxThe article has no more than 1,200 words and 12 references.

checkboxThe journal reserves the right to request the data set used for the analysis, along with the accompanying software program/syntax.


checkboxThe abstract accurately reflects the content of the manuscript.

checkboxThe abstract is unstructured.

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

checkboxThe text has no more than 100 words.


checkboxThe section has no more than 200 words.

checkboxThe precise objective of the study is stated.

checkboxThe context of the study is explained.

checkboxThe importance of the study question is explained.

checkboxA general reader could understand the study question and its importance.

checkboxDefinitions of terms specific to the context of the manuscript are provided.


checkboxThe section has no more than 300 words.

checkboxThe type of study design used is stated.

checkboxAn appropriate study design was used to achieve the study objectives.

checkboxThe dates of the study are provided.

checkboxFor a study that describes an intervention, the essential features of the intervention are noted.

checkboxThe setting from which the participants are drawn (eg, general community, school, hospital, worksite) is described briefly, including the key sociodemographic features.

checkboxFor study participants, inclusion and exclusion criteria are provided.

checkboxParticipants are appropriate to the research question.

checkboxIf the manuscript describes research involving human subjects, it includes a statement that the research was approved by an appropriate institutional review board.

checkboxThe participation rate is provided in terms of a numerator and denominator.

checkboxThe participation rate is satisfactory.

checkboxIf controls were used, they are adequately described.

checkboxThe prestudy calculation of required sample size is reported.

checkboxThe sample size is large enough to produce meaningful results.

checkboxA consistent cohort of study participants, for whom all data items are available, is used.

checkboxThe primary study outcome measures are described as planned before the data collection began.

checkboxFor survey studies, a statement is included on whether the survey instrument has been shown to have validity and reliability.

checkboxResearch brief information on statistical methods is provided.

checkboxThe statistical methods used were appropriately selected.

checkboxThe Methods section includes only a description of the methods; it does not include results.


checkboxThe section has no more than 300 words.

checkboxOnly the most relevant results are reported; the main outcomes of the study are provided.

checkboxThe results are specific and relevant to the research hypothesis.

checkboxAll results reported have a corresponding section in the Methods section. (In other words, for the results reported, the methods for obtaining them were noted in the Methods section.)

checkboxKey characteristics of the study participants are presented (eg, number, age distribution, sex, racial/ethnic characteristics).

checkboxFor surveys, the response rate is provided.

checkboxMeasures of data distribution or precision (eg, SDs, SEs, 95% CIs) are given.

checkboxInformation on how study participants may compare to people not included in the study is provided.

checkboxIf validation measures are conducted as part of the study, they are described.

checkboxThe conclusions drawn from the statistical analysis are justified.

checkboxImplications or weaknesses of the study and the rationale for the statistical procedures used are not discussed in this section.


checkboxThe section has no more than 400 words.

checkboxThe research question or hypothesis is addressed.

checkboxStrengths and weaknesses of the study are noted.

checkboxEqual emphasis is given to positive and negative findings of equal scientific merit.

checkboxA lengthy reiteration of the Results section is avoided.

checkboxUnexpected findings are mentioned, with suggested explanations.

checkboxLimitations of the study are noted.

checkboxThe generalizability of the results is noted.

checkboxSpeculation and overgeneralization are avoided.

checkboxIf appropriate, future potential studies are suggested.

checkboxThe section ends with a clear, concise conclusion that is directly supported by the study findings.

Tables and Figures

checkboxThere are no more than 3 figures or 3 tables or a combination of no more than 3.

checkboxThe tables and figures are well constructed, easy to comprehend, and visually appealing.

checkboxInformation in the tables or figures is not duplicated in the text.

checkboxInformation in the tables or figures is consistent with information in the text.

checkboxNumbers add up correctly.

checkboxThe tables and figures are able to stand independently; they do not require explanation from the text.

checkboxTables and figures are clearly labeled and footnotes added appropriately.

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: May 2, 2022