Information for authors: Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada

Our Journal

Journal mandate

Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada: Research, Policy and Practice (the HPCDP Journal) is the monthly, online scientific journal published by the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Branch of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

We publish articles on chronic disease and injury prevention, health promotion and health equity. Content includes research from fields such as public, population and community health; health promotion; epidemiology and biostatistics; the behavioural and social sciences; health services and health economics.

The journal ensures scientific rigour through the peer review process, participation of internal and external Associate Scientific Editors, and governance by Editorial Board Members with extensive public health expertise.

The journal is open access, and does not charge article processing fees. Articles are published in both official languages.

Our commitment

The HPCDP Journal is committed to promoting the field of population health intervention research, as well as the use of sex- and gender-based analysis in health research. The Journal particularly welcomes research articles based on data, interventions or programs relevant to the health of Canadians.

For further information:

Population health intervention research – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Gender-Based Analysis Plus – Status of Women Canada

Article Types

The HPCDP Journal accepts the following article types for publication consideration.

Note: Unless explicitly stated otherwise, manuscript submissions for all articles types are subject to peer review after an initial review by the Editor-in-Chief. Word counts cover the main body of the text and do not include the abstract, tables or references.

Double-Anonymized Peer-Reviewed Articles

1) Original research


  1. Quantitative research.
  2. Qualitative or mixed methods research.
  • Structured abstract: maximum 250 words in English, or 300 words in French.
  • Main text:
    1. Quantitative research: maximum 3500 words in English, or 4400 words in French.
    2. Qualitative or mixed methods research: maximum 7000 words in English, or 9000 words in French.
  • Ethics:
    Must include description of steps taken to ensure ethics approval, or provide a confirmation statement of approval received from an Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board, as applicable, in the methods section of the manuscript. Please provide the full name and institution of the review committee and an Ethics Committee reference number, if applicable.
  • Tables and figures: maximum of 6 total.
  • References: 50 maximum.

2) Evidence Synthesis

Types: systematic reviews, meta-analyses, realist reviews, scoping reviews or other systematic assessments of literature and relevant information sources.

  • Kindly report the type of review undertaken when specifying article type on first page.
  • For systematic reviews and meta-analyses, follow accepted standards such as AMSTAR, PRISMA, QUORUM or MOOSE.
  • For scoping reviews, follow the guidelines provided here.
  • For realist reviews, follow the RAMESES publication standards.
  • Structured abstract: maximum 250 words in English, or 300 words in French.
  • Main text: maximum 4000 words in English, or 5000 words in French.
  • Tables and figures: maximum of 6 total.
  • References: 100 maximum.

3) Evidence-informed policy brief

Plain-language document that answers a policy/program practice question by summarizing what is known about the problem, presenting the evidence-informed policy and program options (including an outline of the known benefits, harms and costs of these options), and presenting a review of the barriers to implementation and strategies to address them.

  • Executive summary: maximum 100 words in English, or 130 words in French.
  • Main text: maximum 5000 words in English, or 6500 words in French.
  • Tables and figures: maximum of 2 total.
  • References: no limit.

4) Commentary

In-depth reflection on a topic, referencing current evidence, the larger context and articles in the issue (often a theme issue or special issue).

  • Main text: maximum 2000 words in English, or 2600 words in French.
  • Tables and figures: maximum of 1 total.
  • References: 35 maximum.

5) At-a-glance

Brief original science or innovation in public health practice, program or policy.

  • Unstructured abstract: maximum 100 words in English, or 130 words in French, 5 sentences maximum.
  • Main text: 1500 words in English, or 1950 words in French.
  • Tables and figures: maximum of 2 total.
  • References: 30 maximum.

Editor-Reviewed Articles

1) Invited editorial

Provides a short opinion on a topic or a group of articles being published in the same issue (often a theme issue or special issue).

  • Main text: 1000 words in English, or 1300 words in French.
  • References: 10 maximum.

2) Letter to the Editor

Reflections on a public health issue or reactions to recently published journal articles or issues. If related to a recent publication, the letter to the editor must be received within one month of its publication to be considered.

  • Main text: 500 words in English, or 630 words in French.
  • References: 6 maximum.

3) Release notice

Short announcement of the recent or upcoming release of datasets, reports or guidelines relevant to public health in Canada.

  • Main text: 250 words in English, or 345 words in French.
  • References: 1 maximum.

Formatting requirements

Title pages

First page

  • Title of manuscript.
  • All author name(s) in full, followed by highest completed degree.
  • Institutional affiliations (including city and province, associated to authors through numbers in brackets).
  • Name, address, email, and telephone details of corresponding author.
  • Intended article type.
  • Word count for abstract.
  • Word count for main text.
  • Number of tables and figures.

Second page

  • Title of manuscript only.
    • Note: page numbering starts here at 1.

Abstract and Highlights box

  • Abstract, if required based on article type. Structured abstracts include Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusion.
  • 3 to 8 keywords (use Medical Subject Headings [MeSH] terms where possible).
  • Highlights box (required for all submissions): Up to 5 bullet points no more than 100 words total (130 in French) to describe the highlights of the paper in plain language.

Formatting of text

  • All contributions are to be submitted in Microsoft Word, double-spaced, using Times New Roman font (12 point size) or Arial font (10 point size) in black.
  • Headings unless otherwise specified by article type: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion (with Strengths and Limitations subsection), and Conclusion.
  • Page numbers at the bottom right of the page, starting on second page (i.e. page with title only).
  • Line numbers within the main body text (start at second page with title only, i.e. the page numbered as 1).
  • Appendices are not accepted.


  • All funding sources for this study, including grants and other research support, should be disclosed in the manuscript.
    • If an individual or group is credited in acknowledgements, authors should state in their cover letter that they have obtained written permission.

Conflicts of interest

  • A statement regarding any conflicts of interest. If there are none, please state this.

Author contributions

  • A brief description of each individual author's contribution (identified by initials) in the design and/or conceptualisation of the work and/or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of the data; and drafting and/or revising the paper, as per the CRediT taxonomy.
  • The HPCDP Journal adheres to the ICMJE’s authorship criteria. All authors must meet this definition of authorship.


  • Vancouver style referencing.
    • List up to three authors (first three and "et al." if more than three).
    • Numbered in superscript in the order cited in text, tables and figures.
    • If a DOI exists, include the hyperlinked DOI at the end of the reference in the following format: doi:10.24095/hpcdp.40.7/8.01.
  • References must be free of fields from, or links to, automatic referencing software.
    • If automatic referencing software is used, ensure that no link to the software remains in the manuscript submitted to the journal.
  • Please do not use an automatic reference numbering feature found in word processing software.
  • Any unpublished observations, data or personal communications used (discouraged) to be cited in parentheses within the text; authors are responsible for obtaining written permission.
  • Authors are responsible for verifying accuracy of references and hyperlinks.

Tables and figures

  • In Word. Tables or figures must be positioned after the paragraph containing the first callout to the table/figure. Exceptionally wide tables should be submitted in Excel (all in one file).
    • If the article is accepted for publication, the figures will be requested in an editable format (Excel, PowerPoint, PDF); the authors may provide this with the submission.
  • Each table and figure should be able to stand alone, apart from the associated article.
    • Use the title or footnotes (in lower-case superscript letters in alphabetical order) to provide contextual information, such as dates, population, or data source, etc.
  • Figures are limited to graphs, flow charts or diagrams, photographs or maps, and must meet international accessibility standards:
    • For graphs, charts and maps, include the data used to create the figure, in table format.
    • For flow charts, diagrams and photographs, include a long text description that explains the information presented. If a detailed and equivalent explanation of the figure appears in the text immediately before or after the figure, you don't have to provide a long text description.
  • Tables must meet international accessibility standards. Each table must have:
    • Column headings.
    • One cell for each data point (do not combine data points in a single cell).
    • No blank cells (add "N/A" or equivalent, as required).
    • No merged cells.
    • The list of abbreviations used, positioned below the table.

Checklist for submitting manuscripts

  • Signed cover letter.
    • Confirm that the material has not been published in whole or in part elsewhere and that the paper is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere.
      • Please note that all articles are screened by plagiarism detection software. Articles containing plagiarised material will be rejected.
    • Include an author contribution statement describing the role or task of each author, as per the CRediT taxonomy: authors were involved in design and/or conceptualisation of the work and/or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of the data; drafting and/or revising the paper; and approval of the final manuscript for submission.
    • Declare whether or not there were any conflicts of interest.
    • Sign (primary author), stating that all authors have seen and approved the final manuscript.
  • Manuscript
    • Formatting requirements have been adhered to.
      • Ensure that no link to automatic referencing software remains in the manuscript to be submitted.
      • Note: appendices are not accepted. To direct readers to additional materials, kindly include a note in the text saying "(available by request)".
    • Article type specifications have been adhered to.
  • ICMJE Conflict of interest form from all authors.
    • An ICMJE conflict of interest form is required by all authors upon initial submission.

Review and publication process

Article submission

Once you have verified that all checklist items have been adhered to, kindly submit your manuscript, signed cover letter and conflict of interest forms through our online manuscript management system.

For detailed guidance on how to submit your manuscript using the online system, refer to the ScholarOne Manuscripts Author Guide.

For additional questions or information not covered in ScholarOne Manuscripts, contact:

Article review

Identity transparency: double anonymized.
Reviewer interacts with: editor.
Review information published: none.

Double-anonymized peer-reviewed articles

All articles undergo an initial assessment by the Editor-in-Chief and, in some cases, an Associate Scientific Editor to assess the suitability of the manuscript for publication with our journal. If the manuscript is deemed to have sufficient scientific merit and be within the scope of the journal, it will undergo a double-anonymized peer review. Once two or more peer reviews have been received, the Associate Scientific Editor will adjudicate the reviews and make one of the following recommendations: "accept," re-evaluate and reconsider after “minor revisions," re-evaluate and reconsider after “major revisions," or "reject." In the case of suggested revisions, authors will be given the opportunity to revise their manuscript. If authors fail to resubmit a revised manuscript after three reminders, the manuscript will be withdrawn or rejected.

Reviewers recommending major revisions will be given a second opportunity to review and validate the revised manuscript.

Editor-reviewed articles

All articles in the category, including editorials, letters to the Editor and release notices, undergo an initial assessment by the Editor-in-Chief. In some cases, the Editor-in-Chief may require an additional review by an Associate Scientific Editor or request an institutional review. Revisions may be requested.


Upon receipt of revised manuscripts, the Editor-in-Chief and Associate Scientific Editor will adjudicate whether to accept or reject the article for publication.

Final attestations

Copyright or license agreement

A copyright assignment or license agreement will be distributed to authors.

  • Public Health Agency of Canada authors are exempt from copyright requirement.
  • Authors from other Government of Canada departments, provincial/territorial governments or governments from other countries: All authors must sign the license agreement.
  • All other authors: All authors must formally assign their copyright to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The copyright license and assignment of copyright agreement are legally required as part of Crown copyright in order to grant the Public Health Agency of Canada the permission to publish, market and distribute the article. Crown copyright does allow for the ability to reproduce and distribute the content without the need for approval as long as it is for personal and non-commercial purposes and with proper attribution.

Any reasonable request to use, make available or distribute any HPCDP Journal article, in part or in whole, with proper attribution, will be granted. Requests to use, make available or distribute any HPCDP Journal article, in part or in whole, must be sent to the Editor-in-Chief by email at


Translation and language editing

All articles will undergo translation so that the publication is available in both official languages. Both English and French versions will be copyedited.

Final proofing

Once the article is final in both languages, it will be sent for graphic design, after which authors will have one week to review the PDF proof of their article and to correct any errors (stylistic changes are not allowed at this point).

For more information, please send us an email at

Our editorial policies 

Authorship changes

To add an author to the manuscript during the editorial process, the corresponding author needs to email the Editor-in-Chief at explaining: 

  • Why this author was not included beforehand 
  • How the author meets all four ICMJE requirements for authorship 

All authors, including the additional author, must be copied in the email and must provide written consent to the change(s). 

To remove a person from the list of authors during the editorial process, the corresponding author needs to email the Editor-in-Chief at explaining why this person should be excluded. All authors, including the person being excluded, must be copied in the email and must agree to this exclusion. 

Please note that changes to authorship cannot be made after acceptance of a manuscript.

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