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 of 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

Peer-reviewed Articles

1) Original research

Types:

  1. Quantitative research.
  2. Qualitative research.
  3. 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 research: maximum 5000 words in English, or 6500 words in French.
    3. Mixed methods research: maximum 5000 words in English, or 6500 words in French.
  • Ethics:
    • Must include whether written consent was obtained from the local Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board.
    • Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee and an Ethics Committee reference number.
  • 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

Type: 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.

Non-peer-reviewed articles

1) At-a-glance

Types:

  1. Data visualization: Public health infographic, chart, diagram, data or indicators.
  2. Analysis: Brief original science or policy analyses.
  • Unstructured abstract: maximum 100 words in English, or 130 words in French, 5 sentences maximum.
  • Main text:
    1. Data visualization: maximum 500 words, or 630 words in French, to support/explain depicted information.
    2. Analysis: 1500 words in English, or 1950 words in French.
  • Tables and figures:
    1. Data visualization: Maximum of 2 total.
    2. Analysis: Maximum of 2 total.
  • References:
    1. Data visualization: 15 maximum.
    2. Analysis: 30 maximum.

2) Release notice

Type: 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.

3) Commentary

Type: 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: 5 maximum.

4) Invited editorial

Type: 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.

5) Letter to the Editor

Type: 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.

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.

Acknowledgements

  • 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.

References

  • 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.
  • 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 (at the end of main manuscript) or Excel (all in one file).
  • They 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.

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: 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 the first author
    • An ICMJE conflict of interest form is required by the main author upon initial submission.
    • Note: If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the same form will be requested of all other authors.

Review and publication process

Article submission

Once you have verified that all checklist items have been adhered to, kindly submit your manuscript, scanned copy of the signed cover letter and conflict of interest form (for the first author) to the Editor-in-Chief at Journal_HPCDP-Revue_PSPMC@phac-aspc.gc.ca.

Article review

Peer-reviewed articles

Articles undergo an initial assessment by the Editor-in-Chief and an external Associate Scientific Editor to assess the suitability of the manuscript for publication with our journal. If the manuscript is deemed to fit within our mandate, it will undergo a double-blind peer-review process. Once the reviews have been received, the Associate Scientific Editor will adjudicate the reviews and make one of the following recommendations: "accept," "reconsider after minor revisions," "reconsider after major revisions" or "reject." In the case of suggested revisions, authors will be given the opportunity to revise their manuscript. Reviewers who had recommended major revisions will be given the opportunity to review the revised manuscript.

Non-peer-reviewed articles

Articles undergo an initial assessment by the Editor-in-Chief, and in some cases external Associate Scientific Editor, and, if deemed necessary, by an internal policy advisor. Revisions may be requested.

Decision

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

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 Journal_HPCDP-Revue_PSPMC@phac-aspc.gc.ca.

Production

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 Journal_HPCDP-Revue_PSPMC@phac-aspc.gc.ca.

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