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Submission Guidelines for JPAH

Please review this recent comment from the Editor-in-Chief regarding submissions and revisions.


JPAH is a peer-reviewed journal. Manuscripts reporting Original Research, Public Health Practice, Technical Notes, Brief Reports, or Reviews will be reviewed by at least two reviewers with expertise in the topical field, and the review process usually takes from 6 to 8 weeks. A double-blind method is used for the review process, meaning authors and reviewers remain unknown to each other.

All types of manuscripts submitted to JPAH are judged on the following primary criteria: adherence to accepted scientific principles and methods, the significant or novel contribution to research or practice in the field of physical activity, clarity and conciseness of writing, and interest to the readership. There are no page charges to contributors.

Manuscripts generally should not exceed 25 pages (~5000 words including everything except title and abstract pages; the word limit includes the reference section). Reviews should not exceed a total of 30 pages and Brief Reports should not exceed 15 pages. Major exceptions to these criteria must be approved through the Editorial Office before submission. Submissions should not include more than 10 tables/graphics, and should follow the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (visit www.icmje.org/index.html for more detail). JPAH welcomes and encourages the submission of supplementary materials to be included with the article. These files are placed online and can be accessed from the JPAH website. Supplemental material can include relevant appendices, tables, details of the methods (e.g., survey instruments), or images. Contact the Editorial Office for approval of any supplemental materials.

Standardized Publication Reporting Guides

JPAH highly recommends that authors refer to relevant published reporting guidelines for different types of research studies.

Examples of reporting guidelines include

  1. Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) — www.consort-statement.org/
  2. Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) — www.consort-statement.org/mod_product/uploads/MOOSE%20Statement%202000.pdf
  3. Quality of Reporting of Meta-analyses (QUOROM) — www.consort-statement.org/mod_product/uploads/QUOROM%20Statement%201999.pdf
  4. STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) — www.strobe-statement.org/
  5. Improving the Quality of Web Surveys: The Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES) — www.jmir.org/2004/3/e34/

Manuscripts must be electronically submitted to mc.manuscriptcentral.com/hk_jpah in Microsoft Word® (*.doc) or rich text (*.rtf) format only. Do not submit a .pdf file. Graphics should be submitted in .tif or .jpg formats only. Before submitting, authors should complete the Manuscript Submission Checklist (see below). Authors may be asked to provide Human Kinetics with photo-ready graphics and/or hard copy of the text. Authors are responsible for confirming the accuracy of the final copy, particularly the accuracy of references, and to retain a duplicate copy to guard against loss. Final review of the pre-published text is the responsibility of the authors. Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication must transfer copyright to Human Kinetics as applicable.

Cover letter: Submissions must include a cover letter stating that the manuscript has not been previously published (except in abstract form), is not presently under consideration by another journal, and will not be submitted to another journal before a final editorial decision from JPAH is rendered. Full names, institutional affiliations, and email addresses of all authors, as well as the full mailing address, telephone number, and fax numbers of the corresponding author, must be provided. Authors must also provide a statement disclosing any relevant financial interests related to the research.

Title page: The manuscript must include a title page that provides the full title, a brief running head, manuscript type (see definitions below), three to five key words not used in the title of the manuscript, abstract word count, manuscript word count (inclusive of all pages except the abstract and title page), and date of manuscript submission. Do not include author names on the title page. The order of submission must be 1) Title page, 2) Abstract, 3) Text, 4) Acknowledgments, 5) Funding source, 6) References, 7) Tables, 8) Figures/Graphics.

Manuscript types

Original Research: A manuscript describing the methods and results of a research study (quantitative or qualitative), including the background and purpose of the study, a detailed description of the research design and methods, clear and comprehensive presentation of results, and discussion of the salient findings.

Public Health Practice: A manuscript describing the development or evaluation of a public health intervention to increase or promote physical activity in a community setting, or a study that describes translation of research to practice.

Technical Note: A short article that presents results related to a new or modified method or instrument related to physical activity measurement or an important experimental observation.

Brief Reports: A short article (15 or fewer pages), usually presenting the preliminary or novel results of an original research study or public health practice program.

Reviews: Manuscripts that succinctly review the scientific literature on a specific topic. Traditional narrative reviews are discouraged. However, well-conducted systematic reviews and meta-analyses are highly encouraged. The Editorial Office may recruit reviews on specific topics. All review articles must have approval from the Editorial Office prior to submission.

Manuscript sections

Abstract: All manuscripts must have a structured abstract of no more than 200 words. Required headings are 1) Background, 2) Methods, 3) Results, and 4) Conclusions.

Text: The entire manuscript must be double-spaced, including the abstract, references, and tables. Line numbers must appear on each page in the left margin. A brief running head is to be included on the upper right corner of each page; page numbers must appear on the bottom right corner of each page.

For studies involving human subjects, the Methods section must include a statement regarding institutional approval of the protocol and obtaining informed consent. For studies using animals, the Methods section must include a statement regarding institutional approval and compliance with governmental policies and regulations regarding animal welfare.

References: For reference lists, authors must follow the guidelines found in the American Medical Association Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th ed.). Examples of reference style:

Journal Articles: Surname of first author, initials, then surname and initials of each coauthor; title of article (capitalize only the first word and proper nouns), name of the journal (italicized and abbreviated according to style of Index Medicus), year, volume, and inclusive page numbers.

Melby CL, Osterberg K, Resch A, Davy B, Johnson S, Davy K. Effect of carbohydrate ingestion during exercise on post-exercise substrate oxidation and energy intake. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2002;12:294–309.

Book References: Author(s) as above, title of book (italicized and all major words capitalized), city and state/province of publication, publisher, and year.

Pearl AJ. The Female Athlete. Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics; 1993.

Chapter in an Edited Book. Same as book references, but add the name of the chapter author(s) and title of chapter (capitalize first word and proper nouns) before the book information and inclusive page numbers.

Perrin DH. The evaluation process in rehabilitation. In: Prentice WE, ed. Rehabilitation Techniques in Sports Medicine. 2nd ed. St Louis, Mo: Mosby Year Book; 1994:253–276.

Acknowledgments: Provide the names, affiliations, and the nature of their contribution for all persons not included as an author, who played a critical role in the study.

Funding source/trial registration: Details of all funding sources for the work should be provided (including agency name, grant numbers, etc.). Provide the registry name and registration number for all clinical trials (see JPAH Policies below).

Example: This work was supported by a grant (grant #) from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov (No. xxxxx).”

Tables: Each table must be accompanied by an explanatory title so that it is intelligible without specific reference to the text. Column headings and all units of measure must be labeled clearly within each table; abbreviations and acronyms must be fully explained in the table or footnotes without reference to the text.

Figures/Graphics: Graphics should be prepared with clean, crisp lines, and be camera-ready. For shading, stripe patterns or solids (black and white) are better choices than colors. Graphics created on standard computer programs will be accepted. Graphics should be submitted in .tif or .jpg formats only. Each figure and photo must be properly identified. A hard copy may be requested. If photos are used, they should be black and white, clear, and show good contrast.

Manuscript Submission Checklist

Before submitting a first or revised manuscript, the following criteria must be met:

  • All sections are double-spaced
  • Line numbers appear in left margin
  • Page numbers appear in bottom right corner
  • Brief running head appears in upper right corner
  • Title page does not include author names or affiliations
  • Abstract is formatted and contains fewer than 200 words
  • Page count under limit for the manuscript type (15, 25, or 30 pages).
  • Fewer than 10 tables/figures
  • References are formatted per AMA guidelines.

Please visit Manuscript Central to download JPAH’s copyright form located under the Instructions & Forms link in the upper right corner. You do not need an account to access this information.

Submitting Author Revisions

When submitting a revised manuscript, the author must be certain to answer all reviewer questions, comments, and concerns by including a separate response document in addition to the revised manuscript. The response document should include each reviewer comment, the author response, and the modification made to the revised manuscript. For an example of how to format the response document, please view this file.

JPAH Ethics Policies

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE — www.publicationethics.org), International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE — www.icmje.org), and the Council of Medical Editors (CME — www.councilscienceeditors.org), are excellent sources of information regarding misconduct in scientific publication. JPAH ethics policies are modeled after guidance from these three organizations.

Authorship Criteria: All authors must be willing to certify that they have contributed substantially to the 1) conception, design, analysis, and/or interpretation of the data; 2) drafting of the manuscript; 3) revision of the manuscript; and 4) approval of the final version. Each author must provide any relevant information upon request to substantiate their contributions.

Duplicate Publication: All manuscripts must not have been published previously in any format (internet website, journal, newsletter, etc.) with the exception of abstracts presented at scientific meetings.

Trial Registration: JPAH complies with the 2004 International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) requirement regarding registration of all prospective clinical trial studies prior to subject enrollment (www.icmje.org/publishing_10register.html). The ICMJE defines a trial as “any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health-related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes.” Health-related interventions include behavioral treatments (e.g., physical activity).

Compliance with NIH Public Access Policy Requirements. The National Institutes of Health as well as other research funding agencies require open-access of all publications funded by them. JPAH and Human Kinetics, Inc., will work with authors on a case-by-case basis to be compliant with NIH Public Access Policy.

Violations of Journal Ethics Policies. Falsification of data, duplicate publication, breach of confidentiality, abuse of research subjects, etc. are considered violations of the ethical conduct of research. JPAH reserves the right to investigate and impart punishment for any such violation. All allegations of potential misconduct will be investigated by the JPAH Editorial Team, Human Kinetics, Inc, and possibly external experts. Possible violations with be investigated on a case-by-case basis and final decisions will be agreed upon by the Editor’s in consultation with the JPAH Editorial Board and guided by the COPE, IJCME, CME standards.

Human Kinetics Editorial Ethics Policy