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Washington State Journal of Public Health Practice

Guidelines for Authors

Submission of a manuscript for review indicates an official acknowledgement by the author(s) of the following:

  1. The manuscript is original, has not been published elsewhere, nor is being considered for publication elsewhere.
  2. In accordance with the Copyright Act of 1976, “the corresponding author transfers all copyright ownership of the manuscript to the WSJPHP in the event the work is published.”
  3. The author(s) have disclosed all possible or potential conflicts of interest in their cover letter, as well as in the body of the manuscript.

Files to be submitted to the editor:

Online Submission to MSTracker

  1. A title page that includes author(s) information. Include e-mail, address, name of all authors, institution/agencies of all authors, position of all authors, and corresponding author.
  2. An electronic copy of the manuscript including an Abstract, four Keywords, and Acknowledgements.
  3. Photographs, video and other electronic media (if applicable).
  4. Author(s) must cut and paste the following information into the body of the cover letter:
    “The undersigned author(s) transfer the ownership of copyright to the Washington State Journal of Public Health Practice upon acceptance of publication of this manuscript. The author(s) state that the manuscript is original, is not submitted for publication in other journals, and has not already been published. The author(s) state that they are responsible for the research that they designed and carried out; that they participated in drafting and revising the manuscript submitted. They also approve of its content. The author(s) also state that the research reported in the manuscript was undertaken in compliance with the Helsinki Declaration on the protection of human subjects, and the International Principles governing research on animals.
    The author(s) also declare(s) that the manuscript contains no material that is, to the best of the author’s knowledge, libelous or unlawful, or that infringes upon any US copyright, either print or electronic.”
  5. To submit a manuscript, please follow the link below. Only electronically submitted manuscripts using the website below will be considered for publication.

Review Process

  • Acknowledgement of receipt will be emailed within one week.
  • Within two weeks of acknowledgement, the editor will screen all manuscripts and presentations for meeting journal guidelines and appropriateness.
  • Manuscripts meeting guidelines will be e-mailed to three assistant editors within two weeks.
  • The assistant editors will evaluate the manuscripts and assign them to one of the following categories: accepted, accepted with minor revisions, accepted with major revisions, or rejected. The evaluations will be returned to the editor within eight weeks.
  • The final decision for acceptance rests with the editor.
  • The corresponding author of the manuscript will be notified of the acceptance status within one week after completion of the review process. Upon acceptance, the authors will be asked to submit final version source files for editing and publication.
  • The time from submission to final acceptance of reviewed/revised papers averages four months.

Research and Theory

Manuscript Preparation

Please follow the link below to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL). This provides one with an excellent resource for APA 6th Edition formatting and style.

  1. All manuscripts must be submitted electronically through the MSTracker web site.
  2. The author(s) must follow APA format (6th edition).
  3. Formatting: 1-inch margins, Times New Roman, 12 point font, double spaced. Pages should be numbered (bottom center) starting with the first page of the introduction (title and abstract are not numbered).
  4. All authors submitting manuscripts for review need to take all appropriate steps to ensure approval from the institutional review board or other institutional authority responsible for the protection of human and animal subjects. The authors need to describe in the manuscript specific steps taken to obtain approval and informed consent. The authors must include a statement that the institutional review board or similar phraseology approved the research.
  5. Abstract: The Abstract should be in structured format (suggested subheadings: purpose, methods, results and conclusions) and limited to no more than 250 words. The Abstract should accurately summarize the article. At the bottom of the Abstract, please list four Keywords.
  6. Acknowledgements should be included at the end of the manuscript.
  7. The body of the manuscript should be no more than 4500 words (18 page double spaced). The Abstract, References, and Tables, Figures, Notes, and Acknowledgements are not counted toward the word limit.
  8. Tables and Figures: Insert Tables exactly where they belong within the manuscript. Use EXCEL to create graphs and submit as an appendix within the manuscript. Tables and Figures should follow APA (6th edition) formatting.
  9. Photographs: Submit photographs in either TIFF or JPEG. Photos should be labeled as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.
  10. Video: Quick Time video clips on a CD-ROM should be submitted via U.S. postal mail to the editor.
  11. Citation format: APA (6th edition) style has a series of important rules for using author names as part of the author-date system.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab


Promising Practice

Promising Practice is a peer-reviewed section of the Washington State Journal of Public Health Practice that endeavors to share valuable experiences of practice-level Public Health professionals. This section seeks descriptions of innovative successful programs conducted by state and local public health agencies and community-based organizations in order to share practical knowledge and understanding that others may learn from in order to facilitate more effective outcomes. A Promising Practice must include practical experiences, applications for others, and a discussion of implications for improving future practice.

Guidelines for Authors:

The manuscript should not exceed 1,000 words, excluding the Abstract, Key Findings, and other sidebars, references, boxes, and tables/figures. Text headings are recommended. Sidebar boxes highlighting specific aspects of a program are acceptable. Images, especially photographs showing examples of project participants in context, logos, examples of informational flyers or other educational materials are encouraged. Send either camera-ready prints or TIFF files of at least 300 dpi resolution. Please send copies of the release signed by participants that allow free and unrestricted use of their picture.

References: Limit references to those essential for scholarship or further follow-up by readers. If the reference is not a book or an article, provide all the information that you can: page numbers, web site, e-mail address, radio show, manual, personal correspondence, videotape, and so on.

Resources: Provide a separate list, or refer in the text to the location of available educational materials or community tools that you found especially helpful.

In writing the Promising Practice, please provide these headings:

Title: Write short, catchy titles that capture the reader's attention and highlight the uniqueness of the program.

Abstract (unstructured): In the first few paragraphs, give a brief overview of 1) the problem addressed by the program; 2) the policy issues involved; 3) the geographic location of the program and the population it attempts to reach; 4) the approach used to resolve the problem; and 5) the results obtained.

Program Description: Provide enough detailed information about the program to enable the reader to decide whether this effort could be replicated and what resources it would take to do so. Mention the history of the program and, if relevant, describe the key stages in program development, from acquisition of resources to current operational status. Interesting or unusual aspects of the program that merit a more detailed description, such as participant perspectives, staffing needs, volunteer training, special problems and solutions, or compelling situations may merit a more detailed description under a separate heading or as a sidebar box to the article.

Discussion and Evaluation: Summarize the evidence for the program's effectiveness. What has been most successful and most disappointing in your appraisal? What could have been done differently? What additional resources would have helped? Be explicit about funding sources and program costs.

Next Steps: Assess the viability/sustainability of the program and future challenges and opportunities. Comment on practical experiences and implications for other programs.

Key Findings: Use 3 or 4 bullets to highlight key outcomes and public health implications of the program. Write in lay terms easily understood by policy-makers, the media, and readers outside of the field of public health.
(Key Findings will be formatted as a sidebar.)
(Above from AJPH)

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Multimedia Presentations

One of the benefits of electronic publication is the ability to utilize various forms of electronic medium to inform others. The Journal will work with authors to present electronic materials such as PowerPoint presentations, Quick Time video clips, pod casts, or other electronic materials.

Guidelines for Authors:

  1. Multimedia Presentations should be designed using commonly available software applications such as MS PowerPoint®. Authors considering submitting digitized videos of interviews, skill building exercises, lectures about various health education topics, keynote addresses from conferences and seminars, etc., should first consult the Editor. A signed release form and other legal documentation may be required. Digitized video and audio files will be delivered through the Washington State Journal of Public Health Practice as live streaming audio and video. Thus, the quality of the presentations should be high. Authors are responsible for formatting the file for such delivery. Due to the large size of files and the bandwidth necessary to deliver live streaming video, the Journal reserves the right to deliver clips of presentations, with the approval of the author, rather than full length presentations. The entire video presentations on CD-ROM would then have to be purchased at a nominal cost from the Washington State Journal of Public Health Practice.
  2. Authors considering submitting files that are several megabytes in size should first consult with the Editor about the best method to transfer the files over the Internet. All presentations must be zipped.
  3. The quality of multimedia works must be consistent with other academic expectations such as currency (footnoted current citations required), authority, coverage, releases, and writing style. Materials used in the presentation must be consistent with existing copyright laws. For MS PowerPoint presentations, authors should assure that formatting, color scheme, volume of materials per slide, letter sizes, and other design features are consistent with the goals and objectives of the presentation, and appropriate for the target population.
  4. All multimedia works must include clearly defined target populations, learning objectives, current citations, psychometrically reliable and valid test questions, implications for health education (if applicable), and links to online resources for further study. Those authors submitting a multimedia presentation without an accompanying full-length manuscript must still include a short paper (1-2 journal pages) that includes a Title, Abstract, and Keywords. The body of this short paper must include the following sections: Introduction- provide and introduction and background information about why the multimedia presentation was developed; Instructions- identify the goals and objectives, target population/grade level; Outline of Presentation-a gross outline of the slides; and Evaluation.
  5. All multimedia presentations must have been tested or successfully used in a particular population. Please indicate how and where the instrument was tested and the results of the test. If the presentation is currently in use at a college or community organization, please indicate that in this section.
    (Above from

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Book Review

The Journal wishes to publish reviews of books that are recommended to others in the field of Public Health. Therefore, only positive reviews of texts less than one year old will be published.

Guidelines for Authors:

Book reviews are limited to 1000 words, and must be typed, double-spaced, with 1 ½ inch margins. Title page includes title of review, author of the review, and affiliation of reviewer. The book review must follow APA 5th edition style.

Title of Book: Biographical information in APA 5th edition style.

Introduction of the Author: Name, qualifications, affiliations. Present a brief look into author’s perspective.

Summary: This is not intended to be a page-by-page “book report,” but rather a summary of the substance of the book. It should be concise, direct, and not more than a few paragraphs in length.

Body of Review: This is the substance of the review. It addresses the following questions:

  • Why did the author write the book? What is the purpose of the book?
  • What is the book about? Give a general overview.
  • What is the major thesis of the book? (Identify the thesis from the author’s perspective and then explain it in your own words.)
  • Are sub-theses presented? If so, what are they?
  • What support does the author provide to “prove” the thesis? Is this support convincing?
  • What generalizations does the author draw from the material presented? Are these generalizations supported?
  • Are the author’s conclusions presented clearly or are they implied?
  • Style and presentation--i.e. organization of the book. What visuals are presented? Does the author effectively use images and/or tables?

Conclusion: This section presents a concise statement summarizing your review. It is not necessary to state whether or not you enjoyed the book. How does the book contribute to public health? How does the book fit into the prevailing interpretations of the topic? Does it break new ground? Does it restate the obvious? For what type of audience would it best be suited? Did the author accomplish his/her purposes?

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Online Poster Presentations

The Journal invites academic posters of new, breaking, or partial studies. It is the hope of the Editors that all posters will eventually be presented as full manuscripts to the Journal.

Guidelines for Authors:

  • Posters should place the title at the top of the poster, centered.
  • All posters must include an abstract not to exceed 500 words.
  • The abstract should be followed by sections titled introduction/purpose, methods, results, and summary/conclusions. Visual graphs and/or photographs are encouraged. A sample layout follows: