Information for authors, 2015


Volume 41-1, January 8, 2015: Chikungunya virus

Editorial policy

Information for authors


The Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR) is a bilingual, peer-reviewed, open-access, online scientific journal published by the Public Health Agency of Canada (the Agency). It provides timely and practical information on infectious diseases to clinicians, public health professionals and policy makers. CCDR publishes rapid communications, surveillance and outbreak reports, original research, systematic reviews, summaries of Agency and Advisory Committee infectious disease reports, editorials and commentaries, as well as useful links to online resources, upcoming webinars and conferences.

In 2015 CCDR will be published on the first Thursday of every month (unless it is a civic holiday, and then it will be the following Thursday). In addition, six to eight supplements will be published per year.

We welcome submissions of manuscripts from within and outside the Agency with practical, authoritative information on infectious diseases that will inform communicable disease policy, program and practice. CCDR follows the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat policies on official languages, publishing, and web accessibility. CCDR does not contain policy statements, except as summaries of Advisory Committee statements. Authors retain responsibility for the content of their articles; opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Agency.

Types of articles

The following types of article are published in CCDR. (Note: the word counts identified below are for text only and do not include the abstract, tables or references.)

  • Rapid Communication: Provides a short, timely and authoritative report of an emerging or re-emerging infectious disease that typically includes the results of preliminary investigations and any interim clinical and public health recommendations. (750−1,500 words)
  • Surveillance Report: Summarizes the trends in the incidence or prevalence of an infectious disease in Canada. (2,000−2,500 words)
  • Outbreak Report: Provides information on an outbreak once it is complete, summarizing its epidemiology, risk factors, associated morbidity and mortality, public health interventions and outcomes. (2,000-2,500 words)
  • Original Research: Includes epidemiologic studies on infectious diseases as per the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) guidelines. (1,500−2,000 words)
  • Systematic Review: Provides a review of the literature on an infectious disease topic according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. (2,000−2,500 words)
  • Summaries of Agency Reports and Advisory Committee Statements: Includes an abstract and short summary with links to the longer report or statement (which generally has not been previously published in the scientific literature). (500−1,000 words)
  • Invited Editorial: Comments on one or several articles being published in the same issue, often placing it/them into a larger context. (1,000−1,500 words)
  • Commentary: Addresses a stand-alone issue, setting forth both the strengths and arguments to support a particular point of view as well as outlining potential weaknesses and counter-arguments.

Other types of manuscript may be appropriate; consult with the Scientific Editor prior to submission.

Manuscript preparation

Manuscripts may be written in either French or English, and should be prepared using Microsoft Word—preferably WORD 7.0 (.docx). Develop a short and interesting title, identify the author(s) and their primary affiliation(s), and provide an e-mail address for the corresponding author. For research articles, prepare a 200- to 250-word structured abstract (Background, Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion); for commentaries and editorials, prepare a 150- to 200-word text abstract.


In the introduction, provide the context, a review of the literature and the objective of the study. In the methods section, provide enough detail so that the study could be reproduced. It may be useful to organize this section with sub-headings, such as Setting, Population, and Analysis. Present the results to clearly correspond with the objective of the study and summarize the content of tables and figures. Identify personal communications or unpublished material in brackets in the text. (Include the name and date of personal communications and, when possible, where unpublished data can be obtained.) Begin the discussion section by highlighting your key findings, and then consider the strengths and weaknesses of your study, their implications, and potential next steps. Conclude by tying the findings in with the original objective of the study.

Tables and figures

Tables and figures are used to highlight key findings and are inserted after the paragraph in which they are first mentioned. Develop a title that explains the table or figure in such a way that it would be self-explanatory as a stand-alone slide in a PowerPoint presentation. (For example, in the title, include: “who, what and when.”) To meet accessibility guidelines for the visually impaired, prepare a short text description of each figure, or provide the Excel table with the figure. Send in tables and figures as separate files. Figures need to be sent as editable files for translation. Provide graphs in an Excel or PowerPoint format.

Acknowledgements, Funding, and Conflict of interest statements

After the text, add an acknowledgement section, if indicated, to note anyone who contributed to a paper (but did not meet the requirements for authorship). Note any funding sources in a separate section, and add a conflict of interest statement, even if only to state “None.”


Prepare references according to ICMJE recommendations. Only published material or papers accepted for publication are referenced. Cite references in the text in numeric order, and cite references in tables and figures according to where they will be placed in the text.

Manuscript submission and review

Submit manuscripts by e-mail to: the Scientific Editor and Authors who work for a government organization are responsible for obtaining approval or clearance from their employer before their manuscript is submitted. Authors who work for the Agency require Director approval for submission, as per the Agency’s Policy for the Publication of Scientific and Research Findings. It is an expected courtesy to copy those who have provided clearance on the cover letter.

Cover letter

Cover letters are generally submitted by the corresponding author, copied to all the co-authors, and contain the following:

  • A full statement indicating that the manuscript has not been published previously. CCDR generally considers only previously unpublished work.
  • A statement on authorship noting that the manuscript has been read and approved by all the authors and that the ICMJE requirements for authorship have been met.
  • An ICMJE Conflict of Interest Form from each author.

If indicated, include permission to reproduce previously published material (such as figures or illustrations), and report information regarding identifiable persons.

Review and approval process

Following submission, if a manuscript meets the basic format requirements and falls within the purview of the journal, it will undergo a double-blind peer review process (meaning the names of the authors are withheld from the reviewers and the names of the reviewers are withheld from the authors). Reviewers will assess the manuscript for relevance, content and methodological quality, identify what improvements might be made, and advise the Scientific Editor as to whether the manuscript may be of interest to the CCDR readership.

After considering the reviewers’ comments, the Scientific Editor decides whether to accept the manuscript, reject it or request revision. If revisions are indicated, an editor will collate the reviewers’ comments, provide additional comments, and send the manuscript back to the corresponding author for revision. Once the revised manuscript is received, the Scientific Editor will decide whether to accept the manuscript, reject it, or accept it with additional revision.

The copyright of all papers in CCDR belong to the Government of Canada. For authors who are employed by the Government of Canada, the copyright remains with the Government of Canada. Authors who are outside the Government of Canada will need to sign a document assigning copyright to the Government of Canada.

The publication process

All manuscripts accepted for publication are copy edited, put into PDF format, translated and web-coded. The corresponding author will be sent a copy-edited PDF version of their paper to assess for accuracy (the final quality control check) prior to web-coding; authors can also review the translation upon request.

Please contact the CCDR Editorial Office if you have any questions.

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