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Author Guidelines

Authors are required to complete and submit the PJPH Authorship Criteria Form and Competing Interests Disclosure. These forms should be uploaded during submission.

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1.1 Objectives and readership

The Pakistan Journal of Public Health is a free-access, peer-reviewed quarterly journal, published as the flagship scientific and technical periodical publication.

Its mission is to serve as an important vehicle for disseminating scientific public health information of national and international significance to improve the health of the peoples of Pakistan.

It aims to bridge the gap between policy-makers, researchers, health professionals, and practitioners.

1.2 Subject coverage

The PJPH publishes materials related to public health in Pakistan that reflect its main strategic objectives and programmatic areas: health and human development, health promotion and protection, prevention and control of communicable and chronic diseases, maternal and child health, gender and women's health, mental health, violence, nutrition, environmental health, disaster management, development of health systems and services, social determinants of health, and health equity.

1.3 Contents

The PJPH will accept contributions for the following sections of the journal: Editorials, Original research articles, Reviews, Special reports, Opinion and analysis, Short communications, Current topics, and Letters. A description of the specific features for each type of contribution will be outlined below.

1.3.1 Editorials

Authoritative expert views, analysis of relevant public health subjects, and/or commentary on specific articles previously published in the journal. From time to time, editorials may also present viewpoints offered by the journal's own editorial staff.

Editorials are commissioned by the Editorial Team and should always bear the author's name and institutional affiliation.

1.3.2 Original research articles

Original research reports on public health subjects of interest.

Experimental or observational research must follow the IMRAD format (Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, and Discussion). Conclusions must be included at the end of the Discussion section and may be identified as a subheading.

1.3.3 Reviews

Systematic reviews about relevant public health matters, priorities, and interventions.

Reviews prepared by experts in the field presenting critical and authoritative analysis will also be considered.

Guidelines for systematic reviews and research protocols should be followed by authors and mentioned in Materials and methods section.

Review articles are usually structured the same as original research articles and should include a section describing the methods used for selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data.

1.3.4 Special reports

Research reports of studies or projects.

1.3.5 Opinion and analysis

Authoritative opinion papers, reflections, and analyses on topics of interest in the field of public health.

1.3.6 Short communications

Short communications describing innovative or promising techniques or methodologies, or preliminary research results of special interest to the field of public health.

1.3.7 Current topics

Descriptions of current national and regional health initiatives, interventions, and/or epidemiological trends related to diseases and major health problems.

1.3.8 Letters

Letters to the editor clarifying, discussing, or commenting on content presented in the PJPH are welcomed. Letters commenting on specific public health topics may also be accepted. Texts may be accompanied by references, if applicable.

Letters must be signed by the author, specifying institutional affiliation and mailing address.

1.4 Language

Manuscripts are accepted in English Language.

1.5 The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

To ensure clarity in disclosing the use of AI, authors should take the following steps:

Acknowledge the use of AI in the 'contributor' section of their written materials. If AI was utilized as part of their research, a more detailed explanation should be provided within the methods section.

A transparent declaration should encompass details such as:

  • The specific AI technology employed (mentioning its name).
  • The rationale behind choosing this AI technology (explaining why it was used).
  • The specific tasks performed by the AI technology (describing its role).

Authors might also consider including supplementary files that summarize the input, output, and the author's approach to reviewing the AI-generated output. This additional information can be valuable for editors to assess. Editors may request further details or request the inclusion of such information in the content, either for internal purposes or for publication.


2.1 General criteria for manuscript acceptance

The selection of material for publication in the PJPH is based on the following criteria:

  • suitability for the journal's subject scope;
  • scientific soundness, originality, currency, and timeliness of the information;
  • applicability beyond its place of origin;
  • compliance with the standards of medical ethics governing experimentation with human and animal subjects;
  • compliance with specific research reporting protocols;
  • coherence of the research design and methodology;
  • the need to strike a balance in topical and geographical coverage.

Final acceptance or rejection of a manuscript is decided by the Editor-in-Chief, based on recommendations resulting from the peer review process.

Manuscripts are accepted with the understanding that they have not been submitted elsewhere for publication, in part or in whole, and that in the future they will not be published or submitted elsewhere without express authorization from PJPH as the copyright holder.

Any instance of possible prior publication in print or electronic format (e.g., the Internet), in the same or in a different language or form, must be disclosed at the time the manuscript is submitted, and authors must provide a copy of the published text.

Authors hold sole responsibility for the views expressed in their texts, which may not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of the PJPH. The mention of specific companies or certain manufacturers' products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended in preference to other ones of a similar nature.

2.2 Manuscript specifications

Manuscripts must be prepared using Microsoft Word or similar Open Office software, in double-space, single column, using 12-pt. characters in Times New Roman or Arial script.

For figures and tables, Excel, Power Point, or other graphics software must be used. Figures may be in color or black and white.

Once articles are accepted for publication, authors may be asked to send figures and tables in a more clear and readable format.

2.3 Length and form

The general format for the PJPH's various sections is presented as follows:




Tables, figures



Up to 5, if any


Original research articles


Up to 35

Up to 5



Up to 50

Up to 5

Special reports


Up to 35

Up to 5

Short communications


Up to 10


Opinion and analysis


Up to 20


Current topics


Up to 20




Up to 5, if any


* excluding abstract, tables, figures, and references.

Exceptions to these standards will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

2.4 Title

The manuscript's title should be clear, precise, and concise and include all the necessary information to identify the scope of the article. A good title is the first entry point to the article's content and facilitates its retrieval in databases and search engines.

If possible, titles should not exceed 15 words. Ambiguous words, jargon, and abbreviations  should be avoided. Titles separated by periods or divided into parts should also be avoided.

2.5 Authors

When submitting a manuscript, all authors must register their full name, institutional affiliations, city and country, and contact information. This information will be omitted during peer review in order to maintain the authors' confidentiality. Corresponding authors must send a complete mailing and e-mail address and telephone number to facilitate contact during the review process. Only the affiliation and e-mail address of the corresponding author will be published.

Names of institutions should not be translated unless an official translation exists.

Only those who participated directly in the research or drafting of the article, and are therefore in a position to assume public responsibility for its contents, may be listed as authors. Inclusion of other persons as authors, out of friendship, acknowledgment, or other nonscientific motivation, is a breach of research ethics.

According to the ICMJE's Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, "Authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published." Authors must declare in the cover letter the contribution of every author.

When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript.

Please refer to the Authorship and Contributorship section of the ICMJE's Uniform Requirements for additional information.

2.6 Abstract

The abstract is the second point of entry for an article and must enable readers to determine the article's relevance and decide whether or not they are interested in reading the entire text. Abstract words are normally included in text word indexes and can facilitate retrieval in databases and search engines.

Original research articles or systematic reviews must be accompanied by a structured abstract of up to 250 words, divided into the following sections: (a) Background, (b) Methods, (c) Results, and (d) Conclusions. Other types of contributions must be accompanied by an informative abstract of up to 250 words.

The abstract should not include any information or conclusions that do not appear in the main text. It should be written in the third person and should not contain footnotes, unknown abbreviations, or bibliographic citations.

2.7 Keywords

Keywords represent the main subjects discussed in the articles and may be identified by the authors or by the Editorial Team of the PJPH.

2.8 Body of the article

Original research articles and systematic reviews are usually organized according to the IMRAD (Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, and Discussion) format. The Results and Discussion sections may require subheadings. Conclusions must be included at the end of the Discussion session and may be identified as a subheading.

Other types of contributions have no predefined structure and may use other subdivisions, depending on their content.

Short communications follow the same sequence of original articles, but usually omit subdivision headings.

2.9 Footnotes

Footnotes are clarifications or marginal explanations that would interrupt the natural flow of the text. They are numbered consecutively and appear at the end of the article in the electronic version and in a smaller type size at the bottom of the page on which they are cited in the pdf format.

Their use should be kept to a minimum. Links or references to cited documents must be included in the references list.

2.10 Bibliographic references

Citations are essential to identify the original sources of concepts, methods, and techniques referred to in the text and that come from earlier research, studies, and experiences; to support facts and opinions stated by the author; and to provide the reader with the bibliographic information needed to consult the primary sources.

References must be relevant and current.

Authors should adhere to the following guidelines for formatting their references:

  • References should be cited in numerical order (e.g., 1, 2, 3) within the text and should be arranged numerically in the reference list located at the end of the article.
  • The reference list must be incorporated within the main text document and should not be placed in the footnotes.
  • When citing references in the text, they should be enclosed in square brackets [6] or parentheses (6) rather than using superscript.
  • If multiple references are cited, they should be separated by commas [6, 9, 12], or by hyphens if the numbers are sequential [12-15].
  • Reference citations within figures and tables (including their legends and footnotes) must also be included in the reference list.

2.11 Tables

Tables present information-usually numerical-in an ordered, systematic arrangement of values in rows and columns. The presentation should be easy for the reader to grasp. The data should be self-explanatory and should supplement, not duplicate, the information in the text. Tables with too much statistical information are confusing and hard to understand. Tables should not be used when data can be described in few text lines.

Tables must be inserted in the text to allow editing and not as objects extracted from other files.

Each table should have a brief but complete title, including place, date, and source of the information. The column heads should be as brief as possible and indicate the unit of measure or the relative base (percentage, rate, index), if any.

2.12 Figures

Figures include graphs, diagrams, line drawings, maps, and photographs. They should be used to highlight trends and to illustrate comparisons clearly and exactly. Figures should be easy to understand and should add information, not repeat what has been previously stated in the text or the tables.

2.13 Abbreviations

The first time an abbreviation or acronym is mentioned in the text, the full term should be given, followed by the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses, as with: Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI). As much as possible, abbreviations should be avoided.

2.14 Units of measure

Authors must use the International System of Units (SI), organized by the International Committee for Weights and Measures

2.15 Submitting the manuscript

Manuscripts must be accompanied by a cover letter, which should include the information about all previous reports and submissions, possible conflicts of interest, permission to reproduce previously published material and any additional information that may be helpful to the Associate editors and the Editor-in-Chief. Authors should also declare in the cover letter that the manuscript has been read and approved by all the authors, and indicate the contribution of each author.

Submission Preparation Checklist

All submissions must meet the following requirements.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • The PJPH Authorship Criteria Form and Competing Interests Disclosure forms have been completed and will be uploaded with the submission.

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