GHEP strives to eliminate health and education disparities (inequities) in local communities in the US and globally by implementing programs that address the social determinants of health (SDOH) and human development. Social determinants are the underlying, root-causes of health and education disparities and poverty in our society. Dissemination, publication, translation and engagement are critical in helping the organization advance its mission. Thus, GHEP engages in the publication of several peer-reviewed and expert reviewed publications both frequently and on an ad hoc basis. These include peer-reviewed journals, newsletters, white papers, reports, infographics, etc. This document presents the policies that will guide the various publications sponsored by the organization. This is a living document and will be updated as the need arises.
2. Editorial Policies
Our publications will adhere to the global best practices on publications. For peer-reviewed journals, our publications will adhere to the global best practices in publishing as contained in the Principles of Transparency and Best Practices in Scholarly Publishing. Our editors will have the utmost editorial independence and as such has full authority over the journal’s editorial content including how and when information is published. Editorial decisions are based solely on the validity of the work and its importance to readers, not on the policies or commercial interests of the publisher, if any.
Author submits paper to their chosen journal or publication:
• Journal Editor completes an initial screen for suitability;
• Peer-reviewers are then approached to start the peer-review process;
• Peer-reviewers assess the paper providing expert insight/comments; and
• Editor reads reviews and makes a final decision on author’s paper, either rejecting paper, request for provisions or accepting paper.
Editors and reviewers are expected to treat articles they handle confidentially. Editors and reviewers must not disclose information about manuscripts (including their receipt, content, status in the publishing process, reviewer feedback and final decision) to anyone, other than the authors.
Objectivity and Fair Play
An Editor will evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors. Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Integrity of the Scientific Record
Our journals are committed to maintaining the integrity of the published record and to publishing the most objective and unbiased scientific information possible. As such, we subscribe to the principles adopted by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and follow the COPE’s Code of Conduct.
Research misconduct includes fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results, according to experts. If a suspicion or allegation of scientific misconduct or fraudulent research is brought to the journal’s attention concerning a manuscript submitted for review. The journal reserves the right to raise these concerns with other relevant institutions or other appropriate authorities for investigation. In the handling and resolution of such cases, we follow COPE’s guidance and recommendations.
Our journals will take all necessary steps to maintain the accuracy and quality of the papers it publishes. To this end, journals will publish correspondence about papers and publish Errata and Corrigenda when appropriate. In cases of serious error or scientific misconduct, it may be necessary to ask authors to retract their papers or to impose retraction upon them. Should an author discern a significant error or inaccuracy in the published article, they are responsible for notifying the Editor-in-Chief or publisher and should work together with them to retract or correct the paper. If the Editor-in-Chief or the publisher learns that a published article contains a significant error, the author will be asked to correct or possibly retract the paper or assist verification by the Editor-in-Chief of the correctness of the original paper.
An author is someone who has made significant and substantial contributions to a study. This should include conception, design, execution and interpretation of the findings being published, and drafting and revising the article. Papers must be submitted with the agreement of all authors, and all authors should give final approval of the version to be published. Those who have made other contributions to the work, such as by providing reagents or assisting with the writing, should be listed in the Acknowledgements, and their role or involvement outlined.
3. Peer-review Policy
Every submission for a featured manuscript is evaluated by at least two members of the review panel. Reviewers help the Editor-in-Chief determine the paper’s relevance and significance, the degree to which it advances knowledge, the quality of scholarly presentation, the integrity of research methods, and content relevant to the fields of the publication. Our journal will utilize peer-reviewers from its pool of Editorial Board and outside experts as is standard in the publishing world and publishing standards by ICMJE.
These are comprehensive, authoritative, descriptions of any subject that addresses existing or emerging areas in all aspects of public health and medical research. Journals comply with the international standards for reporting of review articles. As a result, review articles must conform to the PRISMA standard for reporting systematic reviews. Please review the PRISMA statement here for more information about the PRISMA standard. Authors interested in submitting a Review manuscript should contact the editorial office of the journal prior to manuscript preparation and submission.
4. Advertising Policy
GHEP websites and portal use third parties to serve advertisements and analyze related data. Non-identifiable website visitor data may be collected and used in aggregate to determine the type of advertisement to be seen by site visitors while on the journals portal. Advertisements use persistent cookies (defined below) to identify the number of unique computers from which viewers have viewed an advertisement and to manage the number of times a viewer will see an advertisement and similar advertising efficiencies. No personally identifiable information is collected from the persistent cookie.
GHEP publications platform and websites include the various components referred to above including all journal content products, services, features, functionalities, content related sites, and other information accessible through the network portal [whether provided by GHEP or any third party] or related micro sites. The GHEP publications are committed to preserving site visitors’ privacy of personal information. Journal sites do not collect personal information from a site visitor unless that visitor explicitly and intentionally provides it.
Collection, retention, and use of personal information about site visitors will occur if you choose to interact with the GHEP. For example, you can choose to subscribe to journal resources, receive e-mail notifications regarding tables of contents, topic collections, and article alerts whether or not you are a subscriber, or learn about new offerings from the GHEP. Depending on the type of product or service that you request, you may be asked to provide different personal information. The journal portals may require your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, credit card number, Internet protocol (IP) address, and/or other identifying information. For a specific listing of the type of personal information collected, please refer to the appropriate online form.
5. Research Ethics Policy
Journals comply with the Principles of Transparency and Best Practices in Scholarly Publishing jointly issued by the following international publishing organizations: Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). In addition, our journals comply with ethical and publishing standards established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the Council of Science Editors (CSE). By adopting these principles and complying and following high quality standards, our journal maintains high scientific excellence, ethical integrity, and transparency in our publishing practices.
Our journals will be published through gold open access model, unless where otherwise indicated. When eligible, the journals will apply for indexing in indexing bodies such as the Directory of Open-Access Journals (DOAJ), the Library of Congress, PubMed/PubMed Central, etc. Upon acceptance into indexing bodies, the respective journals will be subjected to the required screening and rescreening for open-access publishing best practices as established and updated by DOAJ. The journal is not a member of publishing trade association OASPA; however, the journal voluntarily subscribes to and complies with the best practices for open-access publishers as established and advocated by OASPA.
Studies involving human subjects (including research on identifiable human material and data) must have been performed with the approval of an appropriate ethics committee and with appropriate participants’ informed consent in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration. In their submitted manuscripts, authors should specify the name of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee (EC) or other relevant authority who approved the study protocol and provide the reference number where appropriate. If ethics approval was not required, or if the study has been granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the name of the IRB/EC who made that decision). For all research involving human subjects, written informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent/legal guardian where appropriate) and a statement detailing this should appear in the manuscript. For studies involving vulnerable participants or participants at risk of potential coercion, detailed information regarding the steps taken to ensure informed consent must be provided. If consent was not obtained, please specify why and whether this was approved by the IRB/EC.
In line with the ICMJE recommendations on the protection of research participants, authors must avoid providing identifying information unless strictly necessary for the submission and participants’ identifiable attributes must be anonymized in the manuscript and its supplementary files, if any. If identifying information is necessary, authors must confirm that the individual has provided written consent for the use of that information in a publication. Manuscripts reporting a case report must include a statement detailing that written informed consent for publication was obtained and from whom. If the patient has died, consent for publication must be obtained from their next of kin. If the patient described in the case report is a minor or vulnerable, then consent for publication must be obtained from the parent/legal guardian.
In accordance with the ICMJE recommendations, all clinical trials should be registered in a publicly available registry approved by the WHO or ICMJE (see the list here and here) and the clinical trial number must be clearly stated in the manuscript. Manuscripts reporting clinical trials must adhere to the relevant reporting guidelines for their study design, such as CONSORT for randomized controlled trials, TREND for non-randomized trials, or other relevant reporting guidelines as detailed on the Equator network website.
Our journals follow the WHO definition of clinical trials: “A clinical trial is 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 […] Interventions include but are not restricted to drugs, cells and other biological products, surgical procedures, radiologic procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, process-of-care changes, preventive care, etc. This definition includes Phase I to Phase IV trials.”
Papers describing experiments on living animals should provide information on the following:
• A full description of any anesthetic and surgical procedure used.
• Evidence that all possible steps were taken to avoid animal suffering at each stage of the experiment. Papers describing experiments on isolated tissues must indicate precisely how the donor tissues were obtained.
In all cases, our journals reserve the right to ask authors for more information about their treatment of human and animal subjects in their work prior to publication.
We subscribe to the principles and guidelines for reporting preclinical research led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Click here to read more about this guideline and its implication for author submitted manuscripts.
Our journal require that all studies that involve human subjects or participants be approved or deemed exempt by an official institutional review board or ethics review board as applicable in the authors home country. Information about ethical approvable must be clearly stated in the Methodology section of the manuscript before submission.
6. Informed Consent Policy
Our journals require that authors obtain requisite informed consent and/or assent or other applicable consent from all human subjects or participants in their study. Authors are required to state whether and how informed consent/assent was obtained in their study in their manuscript.
In reporting their studies, authors should avoid the use of names, initials, and hospital numbers of patients/volunteers or study participants or subjects. In very rare circumstances where the authors are submitting photographs of study participants, these individuals should not be recognizable from photographs unless their written permission has first been obtained.
In reporting their studies, authors should avoid the use of names, initials, and hospital numbers of patients/volunteers or study participants or subjects. In very rare circumstances where the authors are submitting photographs of study participants, these individuals should not be recognizable from photographs unless their written permission has first been obtained. Please contact the editorial office of the respective publication before submitting any videos, photographs, or other images of study participants.
7. Process for Handling Cases Regarding Corrections, Retractions and Editorial Concerns
Our journals will take all necessary steps to maintain the accuracy and quality of the papers it publishes. To this end, publications will publish correspondence about papers and publish Errata and Corrigenda when appropriate. In cases of serious error or scientific misconduct, it may be necessary to ask authors to retract their papers or to impose retraction upon them. Should an author discern a significant error or inaccuracy in the published article, they are responsible for notifying journal Editor-in-Chief or publisher, where they should work together with them to retract or correct the paper. If the Editor-in-Chief or the publisher learns that a published article contains a significant error, the author will be asked to correct or possibly retract the paper or assist verification by the Editor-in-Chief of the correctness of the original paper.
Errata and Corrigenda
Should an error appear in a published article that affects scientific meaning or author credibility but does not affect the overall results and conclusions of the paper, our policy is to publish a correction in print and online in the next available issue of the journal. If an error is introduced by the publisher during the editing and/or proofing stages, the journal takes responsibility and a correction is published as an Erratum, with appropriate apologies to authors and readers. If an error is introduced by the authors, the correction is published as a Corrigendum and the author is required to pay all costs associated with the correction.
If a paper contains one or more significant errors or inaccuracies that change some or all the results or conclusions described therein, the entire paper could be retracted. The word “retraction” will be used in the title of the retraction to ensure that it is picked up by indexing and archiving systems. The journal will request an explanation from the author(s) as to how the errors or inaccuracies occurred, and if they are not satisfied with the response, they will ask the employers of the authors or some other appropriate body to investigate. The journal will also consider the possibility of fraudulent behavior. Reasonable attempts will be made by the journal to ensure that such an investigation is carried out with due diligence. To the extent possible, we will assist the parties and their institutions in the resolutions of these cases. If the author recognizes a significant error or inaccuracy in the article that has been published, then they are responsible for notifying the journal. The journal and the author should work together where they are able to retract or correct the paper. If the journal learns that a published article contains a significant error, the author will be asked to correct or possibly retract the paper or assist verification by the Editor-in-Chief of the correctness of the original paper.
Redundant or Concurrent Publication
Research manuscripts that describe work already published elsewhere will not be considered. The submission of the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently is also considered to be unethical practice. This does not prevent journals from considering articles that have been rejected by other journals or that were not previously published in full (e.g. abstracts or posters presented at scientific meetings).
When submitting, authors should declare any previous submissions or reports that might be regarded as redundant or duplicate publication. Copies of any such related articles should be included with the submitted manuscript to assist editorial decision making. If redundant publication is attempted or occurs, editorial action will be taken, including probable rejection or publication of a notice of redundant or duplicate publication
Plagiarism is the use of other’s published and unpublished ideas or words (or other intellectual property) without attribution or permission and presenting them as new and original rather than derived from an existing source (www.wame.org). Plagiarism is considered as a dishonest and unacceptable practice. By submitting an article, authors are thereby asserting that their work is entirely original, and that others’ work or text has been appropriately cited or attributed.
GHEP is committed to the publication of high-quality, original, research in the field of public health. Journals will take every step to ensure that, to the best of their knowledge, papers published in the journal are original and conform to the best ethical principles. This includes the use of proprietary and open-source anti-plagiarism screening services and software (iThenticate) to verify the originality of content submitted before publication. Manuscripts containing plagiarized contents will be automatically rejected; journal editors reserve the right to notify appropriate agencies or the institutions of the corresponding authors.
For an article to be published in a journal, a manuscript must receive a favorable review from at least one reviewer. If a manuscript receives an even review by two reviewers, the Editor-in-Chief, Editor or a senior member of the editorial board will make the final recommendation upon review of the manuscript. Reviewers submit their reports on the manuscripts along with their recommendation of one of the following actions:
• Accept manuscript unaltered (this is very rare!)
• Accept manuscript after minor changes
• Accept manuscript after major changes
• Revise and resubmit for re-review
• Reject manuscript
After receiving and reviewing comments from all the external reviewers, the Editor makes the final decision, which may be one of the following:
• Accept manuscript unaltered (this is very rare!)
• Accept manuscript after minor changes
• Accept manuscript after major changes
• Revise and resubmit for re-review
• Reject manuscript.
If the Editor recommends (publish unaltered), then the manuscript is accepted for publication. If the Editor recommends, (consider publishing after minor changes), then the authors are notified to prepare and submit a final copy of their manuscript with the required minor changes suggested by the peer-reviewers. Only the Editor reviews the revised manuscript after the minor changes have been made by the authors. Once the Editor is satisfied with the final manuscript, the manuscript will be accepted for publication and sent for copy editing and then production. Authors of articles will receive a portable document file (PDF) galley proof of their manuscript as it is set to publish in the journal for review. Authors are usually allowed only one opportunity to review and identify errors introduced during the production process. Authors will have 2-3 days to review and return the PDF galley proof.
Data Sharing Policy
Our journals will follow the ICMJE’s data sharing statement policy which is detailed in an editorial (see Updates and Editorial).
According to ICMJE, as of 1 July 2018, manuscripts submitted to ICMJE journals that report the results of clinical trials must contain a data sharing statement as described below. In addition, clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after 1 January 2019 must include a data sharing plan in the trial’s registration. The ICMJE’s policy regarding trial registration is explained above. If the data sharing plan changes after registration this should be reflected in the statement submitted and published with the manuscript, and updated in the registry record.
Data sharing statements must indicate the following:
• Whether individual de-identified participant data (including data dictionaries) will be shared (“undecided” is not an acceptable answer);
• What data in particular will be shared;
• Whether additional, related documents will be available (e.g., study protocol, statistical analysis plan, etc.);
• When the data will become available and for how long;
• By what access criteria data will be shared (including with whom, for what types of analyses, and by what mechanism).
Illustrative examples of data sharing statements that would meet these requirements are provided in the ICMJE table which is available on the committee’s website.
Disposal of Materials
Once published, all copies of the manuscript, correspondence and artwork will be held for at least one year before they are finally disposed. Reviewers are requested to destroy the copy of the manuscript upon completion of their reviews.