Author Instructions

The Journal of Appalachian Health features research reports from a wide range of sources, as well as shorter articles on preliminary research (brief reports) that focus on the unique health problems and programs of Appalachia. In addition, the Journal will publish papers that provide information on policies and their implications, as well as commentary that highlights community efforts to improve the health of the population in the Appalachian region.

All research and review articles are peer-reviewed. Other types of articles that are not peer-reviewed include editorials, commentary, book reviews, letters to the editor, announcements, Notes from the Field, and Voices from the Hollow, a section that will highlight work, regardless of its source, being done in the community to improve the health of the population.

This Journal will publish articles (both peer-reviewed research and those that are more narrative in nature) that focus on these key terms: Appalachia, community and economic development, economic opportunity, health disparities, health equity, infrastructure, neighborhood conditions, policy, public health, rural health and rural populations, social determinants of health, and the strengths and assets of the region.

Ethical Standards and Scientific Integrity

The editors and staff adhere to the ethical standards established by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE; https://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. To maintain the highest integrity of the Journal, articles may be submitted to an online plagiarism-detection program.

In addition, the Journal of Appalachian Health supports the policies of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE; www.icmje.org). Conflict of interest (COI) 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 the 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 review board (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.

The Journal encourages authors, where possible and applicable, to deposit data that support the findings of their research in a public repository.

NOTE: The Journal uses a double-blind process for manuscript review. Avoid the inclusion of any identifying information in the text being downloaded. Author identification is not shared with the reviewers, nor reviewer identification with authors.

Types of Manuscripts and Submitting a Manuscript

Research Reports (3000 words; 4 tables or figures; and 25 references); Brief Reports (1500 words; 3 tables or figures; 12 references); and Review manuscripts (3000 words; 4 tables or figures; and 25 references) must include a structured abstract, limited to 250 words and containing the following sections: Introduction (or Background), Purpose, Methods, Results, and Implications. Nonresearch Reports are those manuscripts that deal with special issues important to the health of the region (e.g., health-related project reports such as those focused on social determinants of health). Abstracts for Nonresearch Reports should be 1–2 paragraphs and limited to 250 words.

The Journal staff is exploring the use of visual abstracts and would welcome any abstracts that are presented in that format.

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

Other types of published articles (editorials, commentary, book reviews, letters to the editor, announcements, Notes from the Field, and Voices from the Hollow) should be concise and limited to 700 words, with a short (100 words) abstract.

Information about Specific Sections of the Research Article

Introduction (or Background): This first section 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 (2–3 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 (including the dates), 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 (to avoid redundancy).

Implications: The concluding section should succinctly state the decisions and actions that 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 each, authors should answer the following three questions: What is already known on this topic? What is added by this report? and What are the implications for future research? These answers contain the key 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.

Do not use an automatic reference numbering system, as they may cause problems in the editing phases of the manuscript. Remove field codes (from EndNote and other reference managers) before submitting.


Titles of journals must be abbreviated according to Index Medicus style:

Make sure references are correct by using the PubMed Citation Matcher

Examples of reference entries

Journal article

NOTE: Older publication without a DOI (digital object identifier):

Gemson DH, Elinson J. Prevention in primary care: variability in physician practice patterns in New York City. Am J Prev Med 1986;2(4):226–34.

NOTE: Newer publication with a DOI:

Gage KL, Burkot TR, Eisen RJ, Hayes EB. Climate and vectorborne diseases. Am J Prev Med 2008;35(5):436-50.
Doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.08.026.

Deck J, Herson BD. The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends changing the world, one correction at a time. New York: Crown Publishers, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-307-59107-4.

Book chapter
Needleman J, Kurtzman ET, Kizer KW. Performance measurement of nursing care. In: Anderson RM, Rice TH, Kominski GF, editors. Changing the U.S. Health Care System. 3rd edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0-7879-8524-0.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guide To Community Preventive Services website. www.thecommunityguide.org/about/default.htm#cite.

Tables and Figures: Tables should be created in Word table function or in Excel. (Contributors may study tables in previous reports for style.) Tables cannot have tabs or extra spaces within the cells. Bar graphs and line graphs should have underlying data tables. Tables and figures must be sent in separate files (supplemental material) and not embedded in the text. Tables and figures should be created in common file formats such as .docx, .jpg, .png, or .pptx. Place keys/legends within the Figure.

While we can accommodate a range of file types, high resolution (minimum 72 dpi) images in .jpg, .png, or .gif format are preferred.

Footnotes: For footnotes (used in tables only, not in text), 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 the Journal of Appalachian Health please contact Rachel Dixon, Managing Editor: rachel.dixon@appalachianhealth.org