Health Behavior and Policy Review adheres to the COPE Core Practices regarding ethical guidelines for publication. In addition, we support use of the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines regarding journal policies and practices. Please review the full guidelines here.

Manuscripts are accepted with the understanding that they have not been previously published. To minimize bias during the editorial process, we employ a double-blind peer review process.

Health Behavior and Policy Review publishes four types of articles:

  • Research articles
  • Systematic reviews (prefer following PRISMA guidelines)
  • Brief reports 
  • Commentaries

Research articles include empirical papers that employ quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods, and that report full analytic findings; reviews are papers providing state-of-the-art examinations of any issue relevant to health behavior or health policy; brief reports are generally limited in scope and may report preliminary findings, pilot-test results, applied innovative research strategies, or research-to-practice recommendations for health behavior or policy; commentaries include position papers, viewpoints, point-counterpoint papers, analyses of current or controversial issues, and creative, insightful, reflective treatments of topics relevant to health behavior or policy.

Submission Checklist (see below for details)

  1. Cover letter
  2. 2 title pages (1 blinded, 1 unblinded)
  3. Abstract and key words
  4. Paper body with headings specified below
  5. No more than 6 Tables and Figures combined; no more than 2 Tables and Figures combined for Brief Reports and Commentaries

Cover Letter (1000 words)

A cover letter is required with your submission.

Title Page

Prepare 2 title pages.

  • (Unblinded) Include the title, all relevant author information, and indicate the corresponding author. Provide information for all authors including degrees, affiliations, and an email address for the corresponding author.
  • (Blinded for peer review) The blinded title page should have the title only. Include the blinded title page, abstract, main body of the manuscript, references, and any tables and figures in a single document.

Limit titles to 100 characters including spaces. Titles should appear flush left. Capitalize only the first letter of each word in the title- do not format in all caps.

Abstract (200 words) and key words

Include headings for Objectives, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Include up to 6 key words.

Main Body (6000 words for Research Articles; 3000 words for Brief Reports and Commentaries; no limit for Reviews) 

Use the AMA Manual of Style 11th Edition as your guide. Text should be double-spaced and in 12-point, Times New Roman font.

Include page numbers and the following headings:

  • Acknowledgements 
  • Human Subjects Approval Statement 
  • Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement
  • References
  • Tables and/or Figures

Primary headings should appear flush left, boldfaced, and in all capital letters – eg, METHODS). Secondary headings should appear flush left and boldfaced, with the first letter of each word capitalized – eg, Data Analysis. Tertiary headings  should be indented, italicized, and boldfaced, with only the first letter of the first word of the heading capitalized – eg, Multivariate statistics.

Commentaries need not include headings but must include IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH BEHAVIOR OR POLICY.

Implications for Health Behavior or Policy (required for all types of papers)

This section is required for HBPR and should be thoughtful, interpretative, and directive, and not simply a summary of the Discussion. It should be action-oriented– ie, what researchers should do, what practitioners should do, or what policymakers should do. We recommend using bullet points, if feasible. Be as specific as possible by relating actions to principles, policies, regulatory measures, or actual legislation. You should be explicit as to how your paper contributes to priority health topics identified by the World Health Organization or as identified for the United States in Healthy People 2020 or Healthy People 2030.


List all sources of support and note disclaimers, if any, including notices of the manuscript’s prior appearance as a preliminary report or abstract.

Human Subjects Approval Statement

Indicate review and approval of the study by an institutional review board, if applicable, or statement of exempt status.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement

Disclose any and all potential conflicts of interest including financial and non-financial interests and relationships, direct employment with a private sector entity (whether full-time, part-time, or on a consultancy basis), and service on private sector and non-profit boards and advisory panels, whether paid or unpaid. We encourage authors to err on the side of full disclosure if in doubt.

If authors have no conflicts of interest to declare, include this statement: “All authors of this article declare they have no conflicts of interest”.


Number references consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text.  Identify references in text by superscript numerals. Prepare all references in AMA style, with the Library of Medicine (NLM) abbreviations for all journal titles that have them. For assistance with abbreviations consult the NLM website. Use the style of the example below:

    Marley AR, Gathirua-Mwangi W, Forman MR, Stump TE, Monahan P, Champion VL. The relationship between mammography and a multi-factor behavioral index. Health Behav Policy Rev. 2019;6(6):582-596. doi: org/10.14485/HBPR.6.6.4
    Estrella ML, Kelley MA, Durazo-Arvizu RA, Gallo LC, Chambers EC, Perreira KM, et al. Volunteerism and cardiovascular health: the HCHS/SOL sociocultural ancillary study. Health Behav Policy Rev. 2020;7(2):120-135.doi: org/10.14485/HBPR.7.2.5
    ​Hastings G, Angus K, Bryant C, eds. The SAGE Handbook of Social Marketing. London, England, UK: Sage Publications Ltd; 2011.
    Brownson RC, Tabak RG, Stamatakis KA, Glanz K.. Implementation, dissemination, and diffusion of public health interventions. In Glanz K, Rimer BK, Viswanath K, eds. Health Behavior: Theory, Research, and Practice. 5th ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2015:301-325.
    US Government Accountability Office. Reported Status of Department of Defense’s Enterprise Resource Planning Systems. GAO-12-565R. Published March 30, 2012. Accessed August 29, 2020.
    US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Native Diabetes Wellness Program. Published April 24, 2018. Accessed August 29, 2020.

Figures and Tables (no more than 6 total; no more than 2 total for Brief Reports and Commentaries)

Place each figure and table on separate pages at the end of the manuscript after References. Place a call-out in the text (eg. Place Table 1 about here) to indicate where the figure or table should be placed.

  • Figures: Provide high-quality images of figures to ensure clarity in publication. Do not embed titles and notes in the figures. If a figure has been published, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material.
  • Tables: Place a “Note” section underneath the table to explain all abbreviations or data descriptions used in each table in alphabetical sequence: a, b, c, d, e, etc. Use asterisks only to identify significant p-values. If you use data from another published or unpublished source, obtain permission and acknowledge the source. Limit the size of your tables. The width of tables should not run across more than one page. Do not submit tables in PDF or image formats.

Permissions and Plagiarism Prevention

It is the responsibility of the author or authors to obtain the necessary permission to use any quoted material in excess of 25 lines that is incorporated in the manuscript. Permission must be obtained, and credit given, for quotations, tables, and illustrations borrowed from copyright material. Letters granting permission should accompany the manuscript when submitted.

It is the author’s responsibility to check papers for unattributed text.

Abbreviations and Nomenclature

Abbreviations and nomenclature should conform to the AMA Manual of Style (11th edition). Abbreviations should be kept to a minimum in the text and should be defined at first usage. Periods are not used after abbreviations (eg, mm, mL). Generic names are preferred for drugs.

Publication Fees

Please see the fee schedule.

Updated June 26, 2022