Editorial Policy

WPSAR aims and objectives

The aims of WPSAR are:

  • 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
  • to build capacity in communicating epidemiological and operational research within the WHO Western Pacific Region.

Our objectives are:

  • to provide a platform for people working in surveillance and response in the Western Pacific Region to share their scientific and operational findings;
  • 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; and
  • to build capacity in communicating epidemiological and operational findings in the Western Pacific Region through pre-submission assistance.


WPSAR covers all activities related to the surveillance of and response to public health events and emergencies, with a focus on topics that are relevant to the Western Pacific Region. Public health events may be acute or ongoing and can fall under any of the following areas: communicable diseases, natural disasters, food safety, bioterrorism, and chemical and radiological events. Other events and topics may also be considered. Response activities include those for acute events, e.g. responding to natural disasters, or for response to cases or epidemics of disease.


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, logisticians and others involved in response activities for public health emergencies are also included.


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 is not limited to conventional research articles. It 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.

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.


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.

WPSAR is published in English. All abstracts and most articles are also translated into Chinese.

Copyright notice

© World Health Organization (WHO) 2019. Some rights reserved.

The articles in this publication are published by the World Health Organization and contain contributions by individual authors. The articles are available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 IGO license (CC BY 3.0 IGO http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/igo/legalcode), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In any use of these articles, there should be no suggestion that WHO endorses any specific organization, products or services. The use of the WHO logo is not permitted.

Attribution: Please cite the articles as follows: [Author names]. [Article title]. Western Pac Surveill Response J. [Year]; [Volume] ([Issue]). [doi number] [pmid number]. License: Creative Commons BY 3.0 IGO

For example, Hoy D, Saketa ST, Maraka RR, Sio A, Wanyeki I, Frison P, et al. Enhanced syndromic surveillance for mass gatherings in the Pacific: a case study of the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in Solomon Islands, 2012. Western Pac Surveill Response J. 2016;7:3. doi:10.5365/wpsar.2016.7.1.004 pmid:27766181

The World Health Organization does not necessarily own each component of the content contained within these articles and does not therefore warrant that the use of any third-party-owned individual component or part contained in the articles will not infringe on the rights of those third parties. The risk of claims resulting from such infringement rests solely with you. If you wish to re-use a component of the articles attributed to a third party, it is your responsibility to determine whether permission is needed for that re-use and to obtain permission from the copyright owner. Examples of components can include, but are not limited to, tables, figures or images.

Any mediation relating to disputes arising under this license shall be conducted in accordance with the WIPO Mediation Rules (http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/mediation/rules). Any inquiries should be addressed to wpropub@who.int.

License to publish

Western Pacific Surveillance and Response is an open access journal and requires each author of a contribution to grant the World Health Organization (the Publisher) a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution IGO License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/igo/legalcode) for the term of copyright and any extensions thereof. This includes to publish, re-publish, transmit, sell, distribute and otherwise use the article in the Journal, in whole or as a part. This is done by signing the WPSAR License to publish form.


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