Editorial Processes

  • All manuscript submissions and reviews are handled electronically through Manuscript Manager.
  • ​All manuscripts received are assigned to an editor, who makes an initial review prior to assigning it for peer review.
  • The editor makes the initial decision to send a manuscript for review based on the scientific validity of the work and its relevance to the journal’s aims and scope and not on the commercial implications for the journal nor on the author’s ability to pay the publication fee.

Peer Review

  • We employ the classic double-blind peer review process.
  • When a manuscript is sent out for review, the blinded version is assigned a tracking number and sent to at least 3 referees for review.
  • Referees are professional scholars in the disciplines of social and behavioral health sciences, health policy, epidemiology, psychology, and other areas of public health.
  • Referees evaluate the manuscript according to established criteria on an evaluation form.
  • The Senior Consulting Editor transmits reviewer evaluations and comments to the corresponding author.
  • Final disposition of the manuscript rests with the Senior Consulting Editor.

Currently, we are averaging about 45 days from submission to first decision. The acceptance rate of manuscripts is approximately 37%.

Corrections, Retractions, and Editorial Expressions of Concern

  • Once an article is published, correction of errors that do not alter the scientific understanding of the article (e.g., typos, grammar, formatting) may be considered at the discretion of the Executive Editor.
  • Errors that altar the scientific understanding of the article, record of the article (e.g., page numbers, DOI) or that impact the reputation of the authors, journal, or publisher will be corrected in the form of a published Correction, which will be bidirectionally linked to the original article and will be assigned a DOI.
  • Concerns about a published article may be communicated with the editors through the Letters to the Editor. If the editors find serious concerns about the integrity of the article or the work presented an Editorial Expression of Concern will be published with bidirectional links to the original article.
  • Retractions may occur when a published article is found to violate any aspect of the ethical guidelines of the journal including scientific misconduct and plagiarism. Retractions may also occur when errors are so substantial that they significantly undermine the integrity of the work published. The online version of the retracted papers will be marked as such with a Retraction Note and watermark on each page.
  • Complete removal of published articles are rare but may occur for legal reasons, if the content is defamatory, or contains information that poses a serious and immediate risk to health.