Scope and editorial policy
1 Content. The Bulletins mission is "to publish and disseminate scientifically rigorous public health information of international significance that enables policy-makers, researchers and practitioners to be more effective; it aims to improve health, particularly among disadvantaged populations". The Bulletin welcomes unsolicited manuscripts, which are initially screened in-house for originality, relevance to an international public health audience, and scientific rigour. Manuscripts passing the initial screening are sent for peer review. After the reviews have been received, a decision on the manuscripts acceptability for publication in the Bulletin is made by the Editorial Advisers. Accepted papers are subject to editorial revision, including shortening of the text and omission of tables and figures if appropriate. The word limits shown below do not include the abstract (where applicable), tables, figures, and references. The principal types of manuscripts are outlined below.
2 Ethical issues. The World Health Organization publishes the results of research involving human subjects only if it has been conducted in full accordance with ethical principles, including the provisions of the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki (as amended by the 52nd General Assembly, Edinburgh, Scotland, October 2000; see: http://www.wma.net/e/policy/b3.htm) and the additional requirements, if any, of the country in which the research was carried out. Any manuscript describing the results of such research that is submitted for publication must contain a clear statement to this effect, specifying that the free and informed consent of the subjects or their legal guardians was obtained and that the relevant institutional or national ethical review board approved the investigation. The Bulletin is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE; see: http://www.publicationethics.org.uk). Issues involving publication ethics may be referred to this Committee by the editors.
3 Competing interests. A competing interest arises when a professional judgement concerning a primary interest (such as patients welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). We ask all authors to disclose at the time of submission any competing interests that they may have. Examples of types of competing interests may be found at: http://www.icmje.org/index.html#
4 Funding. Authors should declare sources of funding for the work undertaken, affirm that they have not entered into an agreement with the funding organization that may have limited their ability to complete the research as planned, and that they have had full control of all primary data.
5 Reprints. Reprints of contributions are not produced; a print copy of the issue will be sent to the corresponding author of each contribution, and a PDF file can be supplied on request or may be downloaded from the Bulletin web site (http://www.who.int/bulletin/).
Preparation and submission of manuscripts
1 Correspondence. Manuscripts should be submitted to the Bulletin of the World Health Organization via our submissions web site (http://submit.bwho.org/), where full information is given. Queries about online submissions should be sent to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Authors who experience difficulties in using the online submission system should seek assistance by contacting the Editorial Office, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland (fax: +41 22 791 48 94; email: email@example.com; or through our web site: http://www.who.int/bulletin/).
2 Uniform requirements. Papers should be prepared in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals established by the Vancouver Group (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, ICMJE). The complete document, updated October 2005, is available at http://www.icmje.org/index.html.
3 Languages. Papers should be submitted in English. The Bulletin is published in English; the abstracts and MeSH descriptors of main articles are translated into Arabic, French and Spanish. Authors who have difficulty in preparing their manuscript in English should contact the Editorial Office for advice.
4 Authorship. Authors should give their full names and the name and address of their institutions. In accordance with the "Uniform requirements" (see above, 2.2), each author should have participated sufficiently in the work being reported to take public responsibility for the content; each author should provide a description of his or her contribution to the work being reported. The full postal and email address of the contacting author will be published unless otherwise requested.
5 Licence for publication. If a manuscript is accepted for publication, the author(s) will be asked to sign a statement granting exclusive licence for publication to the World Health Organization. A copy of the statement is available at http://submit.bwho.org/journals/bullwho/forms/licence.pdf. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce in their articles any material enjoying copyright protection. The letter granting such permission should be sent to the Editorial Office.
6 Automatic links. All links inserted by the automatic reference and footnote facilities of word-processing software must be removed before the manuscript is submitted. The use of footnotes is discouraged.
7 Tables and Figures. Tables and Figures should be used only if they enhance understanding of the text. In the text, Tables and Figures should be numbered consecutively (e.g. Table 1, Fig. 1). They should be presented with clear, concise titles at the end of the text and not incorporated or embedded into it. Abbreviations or acronyms should be avoided but if used must be explained. Graphs or Figures, which should be presented in two-dimensional and not pseudo three-dimensional "perspective" format, should be clearly drawn and all the data identified.
8 Abstracts. Abstracts, which should be clearly written and serve as an "appetizer", should be provided for the following types of articles: Research, Policy and Practice, base articles for Round Tables, Public Health Reviews, and Lessons from the Field The abstract, which should not exceed 250 words, appears in English at the beginning and is translated into Arabic, French and Spanish for publication at the end of the article. Accuracy of the translations is the responsibility of the Bulletin. For Research articles the abstract should be structured: Objective, Methods, Findings, Conclusion. For Lessons from the Field articles the abstract should be structured: Problem, Approach, Local setting, Relevant changes, Lessons learned.
9 Keywords. Authors should not provide keywords when submitting the manuscript. For accepted articles the WHO library will index the papers using descriptors from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus (US National Library of Medicine, NLM) The Arabic, French and Spanish equivalents will also be included.
10 Bibliographic references. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all references, which should be verified at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: these are not checked by the editors. References should be numbered consecutively as they occur in the text (in superscript roman type, preferably at the end of a sentence) and listed in numerical order at the end of the text. The Bulletin adheres closely to the Vancouver style of references (see http://www.icmje.org/index. html, updated October 2005). The first six authors of a work should be named, followed by ", et al." if there are more than six.
11 Maps. Use of maps should be avoided, but should their use be necessary authors are requested to use the relevant UN-approved maps, which can be downloaded from: http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/english/htmain.htm.
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