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When an author submits a manuscript to Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD), the journal’s editors evaluate it for overall quality and appropriateness for the journal’s readership. Once cleared at this level, the manuscript undergoes confidential peer review.
The solicitation of a manuscript by PCD editors or others acting on PCD’s behalf (such as a guest editor) does not guarantee that the article will be accepted for publication. The journal’s editor in chief makes final publication decisions. Editorial staff members edit accepted papers for organization, grammar, style, format, and clarity prior to publication.
Members of the Editorial Board represent a wide spectrum of public health expertise. We are committed to evaluating and publishing papers promptly and to upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct. Papers expressing novel ideas of interest to a broad public health audience receive priority.
Redundant or duplicate publication
PCD is a primary-source periodical. The journal requires authors to agree to an authorship statement that verifies that PCD is the only journal to which the authors have submitted their manuscript. Authors seeking guidance on this matter may want to consult the section on “Redundant or Duplicate Publication” in Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, produced by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE, also known as the Vancouver Group). Preliminary reports in MMWR generally do not constitute duplicate publication. Authors should consult with the editors of PCD. Ultimately, the journal’s editors decide what constitutes prior or duplicate publication.
We follow the criteria for authorship detailed in Uniform Requirements, beginning with the recommendation, “All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.” The three criteria for authorship defined by ICMJE are:
Individuals must fulfill all three conditions to qualify for authorship. General supervision, data collection, acquisition of funding, and substantial contributions to writing and editing are not grounds for authorship. Authors should recognize these participants in Acknowledgments, with participant permission.
All authors of a manuscript submitted to PCD must agree to its submission, take responsibility for its content, and agree in writing to any corrections or retractions. All parties must also agree in writing to changes in authorship (for example, adding or deleting names, or changing the order in which they appear in the byline) after the paper has been submitted. The authorship statement, which the corresponding author must electronically sign, provides verification of the responsibilities claimed by the author. We may choose to publish explanations of specific author contributions along with articles.
If PCD determines that the manuscript warrants peer review, it is assigned to two or more peer reviewers. Some papers may receive assessment by statistical reviewers.
Peer reviews are conducted in strict confidentiality. We have a single-blind review process; while authors are identified to reviewers, reviewers remain anonymous to authors. We ask reviewers to give detailed comments (with references whenever possible) that would help authors to improve their papers and PCD editors to decide whether or not to publish. For each article reviewed, we ask reviewers to complete the Reviewer’s Confidential Manuscript Assessment for the Editor. Reviewers serve as advisors to PCD editors, who make final decisions.
We ask reviewers to disclose any conflicts of interest or personal or professional biases that may render them unable to provide a fair and objective assessment of the manuscript under review.
We welcome suggestions from authors for appropriate peer reviewers. The author online submission process provides the opportunity to list suggested reviewers.
Conflicts of interest
We require authors to disclose any and all financial, professional, or personal conflicts of interest in an accompanying cover letter. Details of this information remain confidential to the journal’s editors and are not provided to peer reviewers. We may, however, choose to disclose certain financial interests to readers upon publication. Disclosure encompasses information about author affiliations that may potentially be regarded as having biased the research or results described in a manuscript. Financial conflicts include employment, salary, consulting fees, honoraria, stock or equity interests, expert testimony, and intellectual property rights (patent grants and pending applications for patent grants, royalties, and copyrights).
In addition, authors are responsible for identifying all sources of funding for the work described in the manuscript and to include this information in the manuscript’s Acknowledgments.
If any undisclosed conflicts or financial interests are identified after publication, we may choose to publish notices of failure to disclose such information.
We also ask reviewers to disclose any conflicts of interest and personal or professional biases that may render them unable to provide a fair and objective evaluation of the manuscript under review. Reviewers may wish to consult the editor in chief if they have any questions about such matters, and we ask reviewers to disqualify themselves if they consider themselves unable to give an impartial assessment.
Access to manuscript data
By submitting a manuscript to PCD, authors agree to provide access to data that may be needed during the editorial and external peer review process prior to publication as well as after publication, should questions arise during either time. Journal editorial staff and peer reviewers would use such data for the sole purpose of further evaluation.
The author hereby grants, transfers and assigns to the U.S. government for the full term of copyright and all extensions thereof the full and exclusive rights comprised in the copyright in and to the report, article, or other paper (the “work”) published by PCD and the material and contributions contained therein, any Revised Editions thereof and all derivative works based thereon, and all other proprietary rights thereto, in all languages and forms, and in all media of expression now known or later developed, throughout the world. The U.S. government will commit the work to the public domain and allow it to be used and reproduced by anyone without permission. An author that includes materials that are copyrighted by a third-party agrees to obtain written permission to ensure that the U.S. government may place the work, including said material, in the public domain. If the work was funded by an NIH grant, the author and U.S. government agree that author retains the rights necessary to provide the manuscript to (and for display by) PubMed Central.
Authors must obtain written permissions in these four situations:
Corresponding authors are responsible for maintaining these written permissions and making them available to the editors at PCD upon request.
Use of human subjects or animals
Manuscripts that describe projects involving human or animal subjects must indicate clearly in the Methods section that the appropriate ethics committee or institutional review board approved the project. For investigations involving human subjects, state also in the Methods section the manner in which adult subjects and parents or legal guardians of minors or incapacitated adults provided informed consent.
Our policy is to correct mistakes within the electronic text of the article as soon as we know of them. We note within the corrected article that a correction has been made, and we note the date it was made. In the issue immediately following the correction, we detail the error in our Errata section and link the notice of error to the original article. Any disagreements with authors or others on what constitutes errata are referred to the editor in chief or designee.
The editors of PCD adhere to the policy stated by the ICMJE in Uniform Requirements: “If substantial doubts arise about the honesty or integrity of work, either submitted or published, it is the editor’s responsibility to ensure that the question is appropriately pursued, usually by the authors’ sponsoring institution. However, it is not ordinarily the task of editors to conduct a full investigation or to make a final determination; that responsibility lies with the institution where the work was done or with the funding agency.”
Opinions and endorsements
The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
News media inquiries
Once a manuscript is accepted, its content remains strictly confidential and cannot appear in print, on radio or television, or in electronic form, or be released by the news media until publication. After publication, all inquiries from members of the news media will be directed to the corresponding author.
Requests for copies
The corresponding author has the responsibility to respond to any requests for manuscript copies, and any requests received by PCD will be sent to the corresponding author. This policy also applies to requests from the author to share a manuscript with someone outside the PCD staff.
Because of our production process, documents produced by PCD, including PDF versions, translations of abstracts, generated images, and other documents or media are not released to the author or to anyone outside of PCD prior to publication.
The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above. URLs for nonfederal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. URLs do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the federal government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of Web pages found at these URLs.
This page last reviewed May 15, 2008