Submissions

Login or Register to make a submission.

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • A cover letter describing the article and why it should be published
  • A title page with:
    – the article title,
    – a short title,
    – a brief description of the article of ≤ 50 words,
    – ≤ 7 keywords,
    – full names of all authors and institutions,
    – full contact details of the corresponding author,
    – names and e-mail addresses of two suggested reviewers (optional but recommended)
  • A separate file with acknowledgements, conflicts of interest, ethics statement and funding information (attached as a separate file to ensure a blind review)
  • An MS Word file or equivalent of the article
  • Data in an MS Excel spreadsheet for any graphs
  • A scanned copy of the WPSAR License for Publication signed by all authors (may be submitted after the manuscript is accepted for publication)

Author Guidelines

Instructions to authors for article writing and submission

WPSAR follows the guidelines of the Uniform Requirements for Articles Submitted to Biomedical Journals by the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).

Formatting guidelines

Please submit your article in a Microsoft® Office Word file or a compatible file in English. Double-spaced, 12-point Arial font should be used to format your article. Please remove all automatic formatting including automatic numbering and referencing before submitting.

The format of the article will depend on the article type. Please see the descriptions of article types below for more information.

Illustrations

Refer to the article type for the limit on illustrations (figures/graphs/pictures). Please insert all illustrations at the end of the article with titles. Each illustration must be referred to in the text and must be understood on its own. Use Microsoft® Office Excel for graphs and Microsoft® Office Word for tables and diagrams. Additionally, please provide a Microsoft® Office Excel spreadsheet of the data used to create a graph. Footnotes should be placed under the illustration and should use the following symbols in superscript format: *, †, ‡, §, ?, **, ††, etc.

References

Reference the most recent and relevant publications. Please use the Vancouver referencing style with in-text citations and a bibliography at the end of the text. Sample references can be viewed on the National Institutes of Health website.

Examples:

Journals are normally written as:

  • First 6 authors, et al. Title of article. Journal. Year;Volume(Issue):pages. doi pmid

Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002;935(1-2):40-6. doi:10.1016/s0006-8993(02)02471-x pmid:12088834

E-references are normally written as:

  • Title of article/webpage. Location: Organization; year published. Available from: URL, accessed date.

Measles SIAs planning and implementation field guide. Brazzaville: World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa; 2010. Available from: http://www.measlesrubellainitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/WHO-AFRO-Measles-Fieldguide-April-2011.pdf, accessed 28 October 2016.

Place the bibliography at the end of the article text and not as footnotes. Write journal names in full. Use superscript sequential numbering for citing references in the text. Place the number after any punctuation. For example: These results are consistent with the original study.11

Reference personal communication in the text only and include the person's full name and institution.

Caution should be used in referencing websites; it should be done only when their content has been substantially described in the article. 

Plagiarism

WPSAR is committed to deterring plagiarism in scientific publication, including self-plagiarism. WPSAR uses iThenticate to screen all submissions for similarity to published material. Submissions with a significant amount of plagiarized text (<15%, not including quoted text and references) will be subject to additional review. In such cases, authors may be asked to revise the text and resubmit, or a submission may be rejected without further review.

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 at least 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. Significant effort is made to make this process timely, but since it relies on the availability and cooperation of persons external to the journal, it can take considerable time.

Upon receipt of the reviews, the Coordinating Editor assesses the comments and recommendations made by the reviewers, and then decides on the outcome of the peer review process. One of four options will be chosen: accept submission, revisions required, resubmit for review, or decline submission. The corresponding author will be advised of this outcome.

If the article has been accepted or accepted with revisions are required, you will be invited to revise your article according to the reviewer comments. A separate MS Word document outlining how you addressed each of the reviewer comments is also required. You must indicate the page and paragraph numbers where the changes were made and should provide reasons for not making a suggested change. Both the changes and reasons will be assessed against the reviewer comments by the Coordinating Editor and may require further clarification from the authors. Once all comments have been adequately addressed, the article will commence the publication process.

If the outcome of the review process is “resubmit for review”, then the same process is followed. However, the resubmitted article and responses to the reviewer comments are sent back to the original reviewers for another round of peer review. You will be asked to respond to a second round of reviewer comments, which will again be assessed by the Coordinating Editor. Once both sets of reviewer comments have been adequately addressed, the article will commence the publication process.

The publication process comprises rigorous editing for content and style by an external technical editor, followed by layout and proofreading. Authors may be asked to provide further information or clarifications during these stages. An article is not formally accepted for publication until these stages have been completed and approval has been granted by the Editorial Team. The authors will also have an opportunity to approve the final proof prior to publication on the WPSAR website. The article will be published online once it has completed the publication and approval processes. 

Authorship

As per the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), all authors should have contributed significantly to the article through one or more of the following in each category A, B and C:

A
Study design
Data collection
Data analysis
Data interpretation

B
Drafting the article
Critically revising the article

C
Final approval of the article for submission

Any other contributors may be listed in the Acknowledgements section. Co-first authors will be accepted where two authors have contributed equally to the article.

Acknowledgements

Contributors who do not fulfil the authorship requirements may be acknowledged. Permission from all contributors in the acknowledgement section should be sought. We assume that permission has been granted and will not follow up with the authors to confirm.

Ethics and Permissions

It is the responsibility of authors to gain appropriate ethics approval for their work. A statement of ethics approval obtained or an explanation of why ethics approval was not required should be included for all articles during the submission process.

License for Publication

Prior to publication, all authors are asked to sign a license to publish that grants a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to the World Health Organization under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution IGO License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/igo/legalcode). The editors will ask for this form when your manuscript is accepted for publication, but it may be submitted at any point before then. The form can be found here: WPSAR License for Publication.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest is defined by ICMJE as “when an author or author's institution, reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence (bias) his or her actions”. Conflicts of interest may be financial, institutional, research or personal. A relationship does not always represent a conflict of interest and does not necessarily preclude publication in WPSAR. All authors and reviewers will be required to state any potential conflicts of interest, which will be assessed by the Editorial Team.

Funding

Authors will be required to state the sources of funding for their work. When this is part of routine work, and there is no additional funding source, then a funding statement is not required.

Maps

Papers should contain no maps unless an important finding cannot be conveyed without them or unless they are needed to make an essential point. Maps that show international borders, partially or in full, must be created from the following source, approved by the United Nations: http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/english/htmain.htm following these standard operating procedures: http://gamapserver.who.int/gho/gis/training/DMF_GIS2010_2_SOPSforWHOMaps.pdf, or prepared based entirely on either the template map of the world prepared by the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) work group or maps downloaded from the internet site of the United Nations Cartographic Section without any modification. A vectorial EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) file must be submitted.

Article Types

Below you will find instructions for each article type. Please note that WPSAR does not publish literature reviews, systematic reviews or meta-analyses, thus article types specific to those study designs are not given.

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

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 sections for introduction, methods, results and discussion
  • Structured abstract of ≤ 250 words 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.

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.

  • Structured article with sections for introduction, methods, results and discussion
  • Structured abstract of ≤ 250 words 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.

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

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

Risk Assessment

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

  • Structured article with sections for introduction (including risk question/s), risk assessment methodology, results, discussion and recommendations
  • Structured abstract of ≤ 250 words 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

Original Research

Includes epidemiological studies including outbreak investigations.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

COVID-19: 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

COVID-19: 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 sections for introduction, methods, results and discussion
  • Structured abstract of ≤ 250 words 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.

COVID-19: 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.

  • Structured article with sections for introduction, methods, results and discussion
  • Structured abstract of ≤ 250 words 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.

COVID-19: 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

COVID-19: 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

COVID-19: Risk Assessment

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

  • Structured article with sections for introduction (including risk question/s), risk assessment methodology, results, discussion and recommendations
  • Structured abstract of ≤ 250 words 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

COVID-19: Original Research

Includes epidemiological studies including outbreak investigations.

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

COVID-19: 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 the headings of problem, context, action, outcome, and discussion
  • Structured abstract of ≤ 250 words with the headings of problem, context, action, outcome, and discussion
  • Word limit: ≤ 2000 words
  • ≤ 15 references
  • ≤ 3 figures/graphs/pictures/tables

COVID-19: 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

COVID-19: 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.

COVID-19: 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

COVID-19: 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