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Environmental Health Perspectives

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Writing and Preparing Your Manuscript for Submission

All manuscripts should be as concise as possible without sacrificing information necessary for reproducibility and clarity. Failure to comply with author instructions may result in a delay of the manuscript handling and review process.

Title Page

Include the following items in the order shown, beginning on the first page of the manuscript:

Abstract

Include a structured abstract of ≤ 300 words for all Research Articles, Reviews, and Commentaries on a new page after the title page. See specific article types for abstract headings. The abstract should not include references or any information that does not appear in the text of the manuscript. We recommend that authors indicate study names or sources of data that are integral to the study. Summarize major findings in a balanced manner, rather than focusing only on findings that support the study hypothesis.

Brief Communications require an unstructured summary of ≤ 200 words.

Text

Sections should appear in the following order:

Concise subheadings (≤ 8 words each) may be used to designate major topics within each of these sections. Subheadings should be used to organize information, but should not summarize or interpret results or conclusions. Do not exceed three levels of headings, including the main headers.

Select the relevant article type below to access specific information:

Research Articles

Research articles report original research results that are relevant to the relationship between the environment and human health, and that make a substantial advance in the field. For research articles involving animal subjects, EHP expects adherence to the ARRIVE (Animals in Research: Reporting in Vivo Experiments) guidelines for reporting animal research (Kilkenny et al. 2010; Tilson and Schroeder 2013). For observational research studies, EHP strongly recommends that authors consult an appropriate version of the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) guidelines.

Suggested length is < 7,000 words, excluding the text in the abstract, references, tables, figure legends, acknowledgments, and Supplemental Material.

Abstract: Structure using the following headings: Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, Discussion.

Introduction: Provide background information to support the motivation for the study, and state the study objectives or hypotheses. Specifically,

Do not summarize study results or conclusions in the Introduction.

Methods: EHP requires complete methodological transparency—describe methods in enough detail to ensure that the study could be repeated by other researchers in the same field (at least in theory), and can be understood and interpreted by most EHP readers. Specifically,

For research that involves animals: Include all relevant details listed in the latest version of the ARRIVE guidelines, and indicate that the protocol was approved by an institutional animal care and use committee. Provide a rationale for the doses used, and indicate how they compare with environmental exposures experienced by humans.

For research that involves human subjects: Include all relevant details listed in an appropriate version of the STROBE or other guidelines. Provide information about institutional review board approval, and either describe informed consent protocols or explain why informed consent was not required.

Results: Report all results on which study conclusions or inferences are based (in whole or in part), including null findings and results of secondary or sensitivity analyses. Report results in full in the main text or in supplemental tables or figures as appropriate (see Supplemental Material for a list of materials that may be presented in this section). You may organize the Results section using subheadings that describe the nature of the results, but do not use declarative statements indicating your conclusions about the findings.

Discussion:

Commentaries

Commentaries provide new perspectives on important environmental health topics or problems. Commentaries that stem from discussions at workshops and other forums should acknowledge the meeting content and its purpose but should not be presented as a narrative summary of the meeting. Commentaries are not used to discuss individual articles published in EHP or elsewhere.

Suggested length is < 5,000 words, excluding the text in the abstract, references, tables, figure legends, acknowledgments, and Supplemental Material.

Abstract: Structure using the following headings: Background, Objectives, Methods (if relevant), and Discussion.

Introduction: Define and state the importance of the problem at hand. Cite relevant literature pertinent to the issue based on an unbiased search of the literature or on expert elicitation. Clearly state the specific aim(s) of the Commentary.

Methods: If methods are appropriate, include them here.

Discussion: Provide the authors’ perspective(s) on the problem, and discuss data or knowledge gaps, research needs, and recommendations relevant to the problem at hand. Statements and conclusions should be clearly attributed to the authors or supported with appropriate references.

Reviews

Reviews present, contrast, and (when appropriate) combine data across studies to address a specific question or issue related to environmental health. Reviews must utilize systematic review methodologies to identify the corpus of relevant scientific literature, including clearly defined search strategies and study eligibility criteria as needed to capture the current state of knowledge in an unbiased and comprehensive manner. A variety of review formats may be considered by EHP, such as state-of-the-science reviews, scoping reviews, evidence maps, full systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. EHP does not publish narrative reviews or reviews based on meetings (meeting summaries or reports). Regardless of review type, authors should integrate and critically analyze information from previous research, identify information gaps so as to make recommendations for future research, and draw conclusions based on the stated purpose of the review.

Note: For full systematic reviews, authors are expected to conform to appropriate guidelines, such as PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses).

Suggested length is < 10,000 words, excluding the text in the abstract, references, tables, figure legends, acknowledgments, and Supplemental Material.

Abstract: Structure using the following headings: Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, Discussion.

Introduction: Define the question or problem, and provide enough background to allow the reader to understand the importance of the review. Provide a rationale based on previous research and relevant reviews. Provide specific aims of the review with reference to study questions, including relevant population(s) and exposure(s).

Methods: For all types of reviews, including state-of-the-science reviews, provide detailed descriptions and rationales for processes used to identify the corpus of relevant scientific literature, including but not limited to:

For systematic reviews, including scoping reviews and systematic evidence maps, include the following according to PRISMA guidelines:

Results: Provide the results of study screening, summaries of extracted data, and any synthesis measures across studies using tables and figures that allow readers to draw their own conclusions rather than solely being led by the authors’ narrative.

Discussion: Summarize the main findings for primary exposures or outcomes, and put them into context with previous related research and reviews. Discuss any limitations of the body of evidence at the exposure and/or outcome level as well as any limitations of the review process. Conclude with a brief overview of the main objectives and results of the review, including summaries of the state of the knowledge and potential knowledge gaps.

Brief Communications

Brief Communications provide new information of broad interest to the environmental health community. Brief Communications may take a variety of forms, such as descriptions of new and accessible investigative tools, introductions to new programs or emerging issues, or consensus statements from organized groups. The information should be generalizable to a variety of situations or locations, and should be useful to a variety of stakeholders. Brief Communications may include case studies by way of example; however, EHP does not publish isolated case studies as stand-alone articles. Furthermore, Brief Communications should not contain non–peer-reviewed data. Although Brief Communications are not classified as peer-reviewed articles, the editors may solicit comments from subject matter experts.

Suggested length is < 3,000 words, excluding the text in the summary, references, tables, figure legends, and acknowledgments. Supplemental Material is not allowed for Brief Communications. Limited use of tables and figures is allowed, typically not to exceed a total of three items.

Summary: Describe the purpose of the article in ≤ 200 words.

Introduction: Include background information, with relevant references, and state the objective of the Brief Communication.

Discussion: Describe the tool, program, or consensus statement, and explain its usefulness, importance, and value. For example, what contribution does it make to environmental health research or understanding; how can a new tool be used by others or in other situations; how will a consensus statement lead to actions, intervention, or new research?

References

Begin the list of references on a new page after the Discussion section of the manuscript. Authors are fully responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references. To avoid extensive queries, please provide complete, accurate information for references, including:

If you are uncertain whether to include a piece of information, err on the side of inclusion.

Ordering Your Reference List

List references alphabetically by the last name of the first author (or subsequent authors if papers have the same first author) followed by the year of publication (earliest to latest). If the first author shares a last name with another first author (Smith JM vs. Smith RB), alphabetize by initials. Distinguish multiple publications in the same year by the same first author using a, b, c, etc. (e.g., 2017a, 2017b, 2017c, etc.).

Alphabetize government agencies that are listed as the author by their acronyms followed by the full name of the organization in parentheses, e.g., WHO (World Health Organization). For multiple citations by the same agency, spell out the acronym once at first mention.

In-Text Citations

Place all in-text citations in name/year format immediately after the information cited, with no comma separating the name and the year:

Preparing Tables and Figures

Tables

Creating main text tables
Table content
Table notes
Table example

The table below is for illustrative purposes only; do not submit tables as images. All tables should be created using the Table feature in Microsoft Word. The table below is reproduced from Casey JA, Morello-Frosch R, Mennitt DJ, Fristrup K, Ogburn EL, James P. 2017. Race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, residential segregation, and spatial variation in noise exposure in the contiguous United States. Environ Health Perspect 125(7):077017, 10.1289/EHP898.
Example of a Table

Figures

EHP does not redraw or format author images prior to publication. It is the authors’ responsibility to ensure appropriate figure numbering, quality, and sizing to avoid publication delays.

Creating main text figures
Figure size
Saving and submitting figures
Figure captions

EHP editors reserve the right to request that complex figures (e.g., figures with multiple panels showing information in a variety of formats, or that include panels related to different experiments) be divided into separate figures for publication. Direct questions concerning figures to ehp@jjeditorial.com.

Supplemental Material

Reserve Supplemental Material for background information that is needed to support transparency but not required to understand and interpret the findings. The main text must stand alone in the absence of Supplemental Material. Supplemental Material will be peer reviewed along with the manuscript and thus must meet the same rigorous standards. There is no limit on the number of tables or figures in Supplemental Material.

What Goes in Supplemental Material?

In general, Supplemental Material should be limited to tables, figures, questionnaires, and background details that are not required to understand the methods or interpret results. Appropriate information for Supplemental Material may include (but is not limited to):

The Following Should NOT Be Included in Supplemental Material

If you are uncertain about whether something should be included in the main text or in Supplemental Material, include it in the main text. If your manuscript is sent back to you for revisions, your editor will let you know if anything should be moved to Supplemental Material. EHP editors may decline to send new submissions out for peer review if methods are provided in Supplemental Material.

File Types

Supplemental Material (tables and figures) is usually submitted as a single Word file separate from the main text. However, content may be provided as separate files in alternative formats as appropriate:

Preparing Supplemental Material

Supplemental Material files are linked to their associated articles through a common DOI number. Supplemental Material will be published as is without additional formatting or copyediting. Therefore, please confirm that your files are complete, accurate, and appropriately formatted for publication.

Preparing a Supplemental Excel File

Use Excel format only when it is not practical to include a table in the main Supplemental Material file (e.g., if it is too wide to fit on a single manuscript page or is more than 2 pages long).

EHP Style

Line Numbering

Enable continuous line numbering on all manuscripts (line numbers should NOT restart at 1 on each page). Manuscripts received without continuous line numbers will be returned to the author for revision before peer review.

Plain Language

EHP covers all disciplines engaged in the broad field of environmental health science. Therefore, write in a clear and simple manner; when possible, use active rather than passive voice to avoid ambiguity. Avoid unnecessary jargon, and define terms that may not be universally recognized among all environmental health scientists.

Spelling

EHP follows Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Use American spelling throughout the manuscript except for direct quotations from primary sources or proper names.

Symbols and Equations

Footnotes

Do not use footnotes in the main manuscript text. Place all textual information within the manuscript, and indicate all references as in-text citations and, if applicable, as entries in the list of references.

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