Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

The aims of WPSAR are:

  1. to provide an open access journal to publish articles on the surveillance of and response to public health events and emergencies in the WHO Western Pacific Region and in areas with relevance to the Western Pacific Region; and
  2. to build capacity in communicating epidemiological and operational research within the WHO Western Pacific Region.

Our objectives are:

  1. to provide a platform for people working in surveillance and response in the Western Pacific Region to share their scientific and operational findings;
  2. to build capacity in communicating epidemiological and operational findings in the Western Pacific Region through pre-submission assistance; and
  3. to publish a broad range of articles not limited to conventional research articles:
  • to disseminate short reports on outbreak investigations
  • to publish analyses of surveillance data on communicable diseases
  • to encourage the publication of evaluations of new and existing surveillance systems
  • to promote the use of risk assessment for public health by facilitating risk assessment articles
  • to support preparedness and response to public health events and emergencies through the dissemination of lessons learnt from such events.

Audience

WPSAR is aimed at people working in or studying the surveillance of and response to public health events, both within the Western Pacific Region and globally. Our audience includes people conducting field epidemiology or operational research, public health professionals working in regional, national and subnational health departments or academic institutions, laboratory and other scientists and medical practitioners. WPSAR is also targeted at Field Epidemiology Training Programme fellows and graduates.

Humanitarian workers, logicians and others involved in response activities for public health emergencies are also included.

Indexing

All articles are indexed in PubMed/MEDLINE the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM), EBSCO and Google Scholar.

Why publish in WPSAR?

WPSAR publishes a broad range of articles, including epidemiological and operational research, short field and outbreak investigation reports, lessons from the field, analyses of surveillance data, evaluations of surveillance systems and risk assessments for public health events. There are limited opportunities to publish these types of articles in other journals. We also accept the more traditional original research, perspectives and case reports/case series articles.

WPSAR is an open access journal, meaning it is free of charge for both readers and authors. It is also a continuous publication, which means articles are published as soon as they have completed the review and editing process.

WPSAR accepts all articles that fit the scope of the journal and that meet the minimum publication standards. We are especially interested in field epidemiology and operational research.

WPSAR also aims to build capacity in scientific writing and encourages submissions from authors with little or no experience in publishing in peer-reviewed journals. The Editorial Team can work with new authors on their submissions to ensure that articles fit the scope of WPSAR and meet the minimum standards for publication.

 

Section Policies

Perspective

An unstructured article discussing an issue regarding surveillance and response of public health events. The scope of the discussion must be clearly defined.

  • Word limit: ≤1000 words
  • ≤15 references
  • ≤1 illustration

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Field investigation report

A short article describing an investigation conducted in the field while responding to a disaster or public health event.

  • Structured article with an abstract of ≤ 250 words and sections for introduction, methods, results and discussion
  • Structured abstract with sections for objective, methods, results and discussion
  • Word limit: ≤ 1500 words
  • ≤ 15 references
  • ≤ 2 figures/graphs/pictures/tables

More comprehensive investigations can be submitted as Original Research.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Outbreak Investigation Report

A short article describing an outbreak investigation including how it was detected, investigated and controlled. Rapid risk assessments undertaken during these investigations are also encouraged. These articles may be considered for rapid publication.

  • Structured article with an abstract of ≤ 250 words and sections for introduction, methods, results and discussion
  • Structured abstract with sections for objective, methods, results and discussion
  • Word limit: ≤ 1500 words
  • ≤ 15 references
  • ≤ 2 figures/graphs/pictures/tables

More comprehensive investigations can be submitted as Original Research.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Surveillance report

An article of a summary and interpretation of surveillance data for a given period of time. A description of the surveillance system and the limitations of the data collected must be included.

  • Unstructured abstract of ≤250 words
  • Word limit: ≤2000 words
  • ≤15 references
  • ≤10 figures/graphs/pictures/tables

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Surveillance system Implementation / Evaluation

An article describing the implementation of a new surveillance system or an evaluation of an existing surveillance system used to detect public health events.

  • Unstructured abstract of ≤250 words
  • Word limit: ≤2000 words
  • ≤15 references
  • ≤3 figures/graphs/pictures/tables

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Risk assessment

An article detailing a risk assessment of a public health threat or event.

  • Structured article with an abstract ≤ 250 words and sections for introduction (including risk question/s), risk assessment methodology, results, discussion and recommendations
  • Structured abstract with objectives, method, results and discussion
  • The results should include an assessment and/or characterization of the hazard, exposure and context, as well as the level of risk or risk characterization. The limitations must also be included. Risk management may be included in the discussion.
  • Word limit: ≤ 3000 words
  • ≤ 30 references
  • ≤ 3 figures/graphs/pictures/tables

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Original research

Includes epidemiological studies including outbreak investigations.

  • Structured article with an abstract of ≤ 250 words and sections for introduction, methods, results and discussion
  • Structured abstract with objective, methods, results and discussion
  • Word limit: ≤ 3000 words
  • ≤ 40 references
  • ≤ 5 figures/graphs/pictures/tables

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Lesson from the Field

An article describing an issue faced in field epidemiology and the experience in trying to overcome the issue.

  • Structured article with an abstract ≤250 words, problem, context, action, outcome, and discussion
  • The abstract should also be structured with the headings of problem, context, action, outcome, and discussion
  • Word limit: ≤2000 words
  • ≤15 references
  • ≤3 figures/graphs/pictures/tables

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Case report / Case series

An unstructured article describing an unusual case or series of cases of public health significance. Sub-headings may be used to increase the readability of the article.

  • Unstructured abstract of ≤250 words
  • Word limit: ≤2000 words
  • ≤15 references
  • ≤3 figures/graphs/pictures/tables

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Regional Analysis

An article providing an analysis of a topic for the Western Pacific Region, typically authored by WHO staff as part of their routine work on behalf of Member States. Regional Analyses do not undergo peer review.

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Letter to the Editor

A letter commenting on a previously published article OR a letter commenting on the theme of the issue.

  • Word limit: ≤500 words
  • ≤5 references
  • ≤1 illustration

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Brief report

A short report describing any aspect of the surveillance of and response to public health events and emergencies. These can be unstructured, or structured as per an original research article.

  •  Word limit: ≤ 1000 words
  • ≤ 10 references
  • ≤ 1 figure/graph/picture/table

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

News, Meeting and Conference Reports

News items and meeting and conference reports do not undergo peer review. Please contact the Coordinating Editor at WPSAR@wpro.who.int if you intend to submit such an article.

Unchecked Open Submissions Unchecked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed
 

Peer Review Process

Every article is initially screened by the Editorial Team to ensure it fits the scope of the journal. All articles, with the exception of regional analyses, letters to the editor, news items and meeting and conference reports, then undergo external peer review by two reviewers. This blind peer review process ensures that the reviewer does not know the identity of the author(s) and the author(s) do not know the identity of the reviewer.

Upon receipt of reviews, the Coordinating Editor assesses the comments and recommendations made by the reviewers, and then decides the outcome of the peer review. The authors are advised of this outcome, and if revisions are required, are invited to revise their article according to the reviewer comments. Upon resubmission, a second round of review may be required. Once all reviewer comments have been adequately addressed, the article is copyedited, proofread and approved by the Editorial Team. The article is not formally accepted until these stages have been completed. After the author approves the final version, it is published on the WPSAR website.

 

Publication Frequency

Articles are published on the WPSAR website as soon as the review and editing process is complete. Articles are batched at the end of each quarter and presented as a issue on the WPSAR website. Printed copies of the journal can be made available for areas with limited Internet access.

We will also publish themed issues, by either compiling published articles into a themed issue retrospectively, or publishing a supplementary issue on a pre-defined topic. If you are interested in either of these, please contact the Coordinating Editor for further information, and note that supplementary issues will require that a guest editor be provided.