Author Instructions

Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research features peer-reviewed articles that offer brief descriptions of preliminary findings from an ongoing or recently completed empirical study or quality improvement project that answers a question of importance regarding the organization, financing, and/or delivery of public health services; the structure, operation, and/or management of public health delivery systems; the application of quality improvement methods in public health settings; and/or the impact of these endeavors on population health. Findings must have the potential to guide future public health practice, health policy, and/or research.

Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research is intended to provide quick access to actionable public health infrastructure research to improve public health practice at the state or local level. It is of use to practitioners, policymakers, and researchers.

Ethical Standards and Scientific Integrity

The editors and staff adhere to the ethical standards established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE; www.publicationethics.org) and are committed to providing authors with a transparent process in the handling of manuscripts. Any alleged breach of scientific integrity (e.g., plagiarism, duplicate publication) will be adjudicated by COPE. In addition, Frontiers supports the policies of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE; www.icmje.org). Conflict of interest statements are required of all authors: These should include any potential financial conflict or competing interest and any potential nonfinancial (professional or personal associations, political, institutional) conflict or competing interest. Authors will be asked to submit a COI form along with the submission.

The rights of human subjects must be protected by the transparent reporting of the use of same in research. Approval by the institution’s IRB must be included in the Methods section of any research report using human subjects. Informed consent from adults and assent from parents and children must also be noted.

Authorship rights are limited to those who participated in the research or writing of the manuscript. Full information on this topic is included under Submit a Manuscript on the left tool bar.

Types of Manuscripts and Submitting a Manuscript

Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research publishes a variety of items, including announcements, letters to the editor, analytic essays, and book reviews, but the primary manuscript types are Research Reports, Brief Reports, and Nonresearch Reports. Research and Nonresearch Reports are limited to 1200 words, five references, and two tables or figures. Brief Reports are limited to 750 words, three references, and one table or figure. All reports based on research must include a structured abstract, limited to 250 words and containing the following sections: Background, Purpose, Methods, Results, and Implications. Nonresearch Reports are those manuscripts that deal with special issues important to public health (e.g., quality improvement project reports) but are not based on a research protocol. Abstracts for Nonresearch Reports should be 1-2 paragraphs and limited to 250 words.

The body of the Research Report and Brief Report should follow the standard Introduction, Methods, Results, and Implications sections. Nonresearch Reports may use headers as appropriate to delineate the sections.

Information about specific sections

Introductory paragraph: The introductory paragraph should set the stage for the material presented in the manuscript, providing context and orientation for the readers. It should provide a summary of the existing knowledge of the subject and why this article will add something important to the extant body of literature.

Methods: The Methods section should be a concise summary (1 or 2 paragraphs) of the methods used to conduct the analysis. Important components of this section might include the sources of data, a statement of how the data were collected, case definition or participant-selection criteria, the period of study, and statistical methods used. For survey and surveillance data, response rates should be specified.

Results: The Results section is a concise highlighting of the major results of the analysis. Results from tables or figures may be mentioned in the text, but not in detail (no redundancy). Case reports on quality improvement applications should include details on public health practice setting(s), initial diagnosis of process failure modes and effects, QI methods used, and outcomes observed.

Implications: The concluding paragraph should succinctly state the decisions and actions that public health professionals, policymakers, and/or researchers could take in response to the results of this study. Specificity is required in this section. Study limitations should be noted along with their implications for how results should be used by decision-makers.

Summary Box: In one or two sentences, authors should answer the following: What is already known on this topic? What is added by this report? and What are the implications for public health practice/policy/research? These answers contain the key public health message as well as the justification for the publication.

References: References should follow the Vancouver Style and should be identified by number in the order in which they are mentioned in the text (citation-order system) with a superscripted Arabic numeral, not a number in parentheses. If subsequent reference is made to a citation, the original reference number should be used again. References that apply only to tables and figures should be numbered in sequence where the text first refers to the table or figure. Titles of journals must be abbreviated according to Index Medicus.

Tables and Figures: 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. Figures should be created in (not pasted into) Corel Draw, PowerPoint, Excel or (in the case of maps) vector format files (such as .cdr, .cgm, .eps, and .wmf). Bar graphs or line graphs should have underlying data tables. Figures should be sent in separate files and not embedded in text. Place keys/legends within the Figure.

Footnotes: For footnotes, do not submit with the endnotes function of MS Word engaged. Use the following footnote symbols in order of appearance: *, †, §, ¶, **,††, §§, ¶¶. The * symbol is not superscripted. All others are superscripted.

These instructions apply to initial submissions. When a manuscript has been accepted, the corresponding author will be sent a list of detailed instructions for formatting the manuscript for publication.

Contact Information for questions

For questions about submitting a manuscript to Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research please contact Charlotte Seidman, Managing Editor: .