About the Journal
Focus and Scope
The Journal of Public Health in Africa (JPHiA) is a peer-reviewed, academic journal that focuses on health issues in the African continent. The journal editors seek high quality original articles on public health related issues, reviews, comments and more. The aim of the journal is to move public health discourse from the background to the forefront. The success of Africa’s struggle against disease depends on public health approaches.
Peer Review Process
Our journal follows the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (joint statement by COPE, DOAJ, WAME, and OASPA)
The Editorial Board of the journal will immediately screen all articles submitted for publication in that journal. Those articles which fail to reach the scientific standards of the journal may be declined without further review. Those articles which satisfy the requirements of the Editorial Board will be sent to a maximum of three referees. These are experts in the field who have agreed to provide a rapid assessment of the article. Every effort will be made to provide an editorial decision as to acceptance for publication within 4-6 weeks of submission. Referees may request a revision of the article to be made. In this case, it is generally understood that only one revised version can be considered for a further appraisal under the peer-review system. The Editorial Board of the journal is responsible for the final selection of referees to conduct the peer-review process for that journal.
The names of referees will not be made available to authors. However, referees will be informed as to the identity of the authors whose articles are subject to review.
All members of the Editorial Board and referees are asked to declare any competing interests they may have in reviewing a manuscript. If on receiving the editorial decision concerning their manuscript authors are not satisfied they are invited to appeal to the Editorial Office. In cases in which this is considered appropriate a second opinion on the manuscript will be requested.
All papers are published as soon as they have been accepted, by adding them to the "current" volume's Table of Contents.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
This journal utilizes the PKP Preservation Network, the Global LOCKSS Network and Portico to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration.
Pre- and post-prints
PAGEPress allows and encourages authors to deposit both their pre- and post-prints in Open-Access institutional archives or repositories. The primary benefit of pre- and post-print self-archiving is reaching a larger audience which enhances the visibility and impact of your research.
PAGEPress strongly support the mission of the COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors; all individuals collaborating with PAGEPress are strongly invited to comply with this mission.
All research articles published by PAGEPress journals are subject to a rigorous ethical standards. Our journals endorses the Code of Conduct of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), as well as the COPE International Standards for Editors and Authors Guidelines. The Editorial Board of each journal is responsible for the form the peer review process will take; therefore, all authors in the biomedical field must adhere to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. PAGEPress endorses the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) Policy Statement on Geopolitical Intrusion on Editorial Decisions, too.
The Editorial Board of our journals will immediately screen all articles submitted for publication in that journal. All submissions we receive are checked for plagiarism by using online available tools as iThenticate®. Any suspected misconduct ends up with a quick rejection and is then reported to the European Network of Research Integrity Offices and to the US Office of Research Integrity. The European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) released a European Code of Conduct on Research Integrity, which is fully supported by our journals. All authors submitting papers to our journals are required to adopt these policies.
Below some online resource to help you in understanding plagiarism:
- Roig, M. Avoiding plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and other questionable writing practices: A guide to ethical writing. St Johns University.
- Long TC, Errami M, George AC, et al. Responding to Possible Plagiarism. Science 2009; 323:1293-1294.
- Lewis J, Ossowski S, Hicks J, Errami M, and Garner HR. Text similarity: an alternative way to search MEDLINE. Bioinformatics 2006; 22:2298-2304.
Conflict of Interests
Conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author's institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence (bias) his or her actions (such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties). These relationships vary from negligible to great potential for influencing judgment. Not all relationships represent true conflict of interest. On the other hand, the potential for conflict of interest can exist regardless of whether an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, and paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion.
All participants in the peer-review and publication process must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interest. Disclosure of such relationships is also important in connection with editorials and review articles, because it can be more difficult to detect bias in these types of publications than in reports of original research. Editors may use information disclosed in conflict-of-interest and financial-interest statements as a basis for editorial decisions.
When authors submit a manuscript, whether an article or a letter, they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias their work. To prevent ambiguity, authors must state explicitly whether potential conflicts do or do not exist. Authors should do so in the manuscript on a conflict-of-interest notification page, providing additional detail, if necessary, in a cover letter that accompanies the manuscript. Increasingly, individual studies receive funding from commercial firms, private foundations, and government. The conditions of this funding have the potential to bias and otherwise discredit the research.
Scientists have an ethical obligation to submit creditable research results for publication. Moreover, as the persons directly responsible for their work, researchers should not enter into agreements that interfere with their access to the data and their ability to analyze them independently, and to prepare and publish manuscripts. Authors should describe the role of the study sponsor, if any, in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. If the supporting source had no such involvement, the authors should so state. Biases potentially introduced when sponsors are directly involved in research are analogous to methodological biases.
Editors may request that authors of a study funded by an agency with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcome sign a statement, such as "I had full access to all of the data in this study and I take complete responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis." Editors should be encouraged to review copies of the protocol and/or contracts associated with project-specific studies before accepting such studies for publication. Editors may choose not to consider an article if a sponsor has asserted control over the authors' right to publish.
Reviewers must disclose to editors any conflicts of interest that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and they should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. As in the case of authors, silence on the part of reviewers concerning potential conflicts may mean either that conflicts exist and the reviewer has failed to disclose them or conflicts do not exist. Reviewers must therefore also be asked to state explicitly whether conflicts do or do not exist. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work, before its publication, to further their own interests.
Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts must have no personal, professional, or financial involvement in any of the issues they might judge. Other members of the editorial staff, if they participate in editorial decisions, must provide editors with a current description of their financial interests (as they might relate to editorial judgments) and recuse themselves from any decisions in which a conflict of interest exists.
PAGEPress journals strictly follows the ICMJE Protection of Research Participants policy. Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. When informed consent has been obtained, editors may request authors to provide a copy before making the editorial decision. Authors can find a template for the Informed Consent here.
Manuscripts must be reviewed with due respect for authors' confidentiality. In submitting their manuscripts for review, authors entrust editors with the results of their scientific work and creative effort, on which their reputation and career may depend. Authors' rights may be violated by disclosure of the confidential details during review of their manuscript. Reviewers also have rights to confidentiality, which must be respected by the editor. Confidentiality may have to be breached if dishonesty or fraud is alleged but otherwise must be honored. Editors must not disclose information about manuscripts (including their receipt, content, status in the reviewing process, criticism by reviewers, or ultimate fate) to anyone other than the authors and reviewers. This includes requests to use the materials for legal proceedings.
Obligation to Register Clinical Trials
The ICMJE believes that it is important to foster a comprehensive, publicly available database of clinical trials. The ICMJE defines a clinical trial as any research project that prospectively assigns human subjects to intervention or concurrent comparison or control groups to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. Medical interventions include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, process-of-care changes, etc. Our journals require, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration in a public trials registry. The journal considers a trial for publication only if it has been registered before the enrollment of the first patient. The journal does not advocate one particular registry, but requires authors to register their trial in a registry that meets several criteria. The registry must be accessible to the public at no charge. It must be open to all prospective registrants and managed by a non-profit organization. There must be a mechanism to ensure the validity of the registration data, and the registry should be electronically searchable. An acceptable registry must include a minimum of data elements (http://www.icmje.org/about-icmje/faqs/clinical-trials-registration/). For example, ClinicalTrials.gov (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov), sponsored by the United States National Library of Medicine, meets these requirements.
Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research
When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2013. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. An Informed Consent statement is always required from patients involved in any experiments. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the World Medical Association (2016 revision). When reporting experiments on ecosystems involving non-native species, Authors are bound to ensure compliance with the institutional and national guide for the preservation of native biodiversity.