A public health journal is a scientific journal devoted to the field of public health, including epidemiology, biostatistics, and health care (including medicine, nursing and related fields). Public health journals, like most scientific journals, are peer-reviewed. Public health journals are commonly published by health organizations and societies, such as the Bulletin of the World Health Organization or the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (published by the British Medical Association). Many others are published by a handful of large publishing corporations that includes Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer Science+Business Media, and Informa, each of which has many imprints (which are brands named after former independent publishers that were merged or acquired). Many societies partner with such corporations to handle the work of producing their journals.
The increase in public health research in recent decades has seen a rapid increase in the number of articles and journals. As such, many public health journals have emerged with a specialized focus, such as in the area of policy (e.g. Journal of Public Health Policy), a specific region or country of the world (e.g. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, Pan American Journal of Public Health or Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal), a specific intervention/practice area (e.g. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention), or other particular focus (e.g. Human Resources for Health).
Public health journals often indicate their target audience as being interdisciplinary, including health care professionals, public health decision-makers and researchers. A main objective is to support evidence-based policy and evidence-based practice in public health. In contrast, medical journals (e.g. The Lancet) typically focus on reaching medical professionals as their main audience, although the boundaries between these two categories are increasingly blurry.
It has been argued that some medical and public health journals are "filled with increasingly complex science" which depends upon advanced statistics and research methods that health care providers may have difficulty understanding. In response they have turned towards publishing "articles that are more journalism than science" such as reviews, news, and educational material. However, science is what attracts major attention and leads institutions and libraries to purchase subscriptions.
For an article to be accepted for publication in a public health or medical journal it must typically undergo a review process. Each journal creates its own process, but they have certain common characteristics in general. There are various general "levels" of scrutiny, which have some effect on the respect given to articles published in the journals. Some broad categories might be editorial review, peer review, and blind peer review. Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, stated in 2006 that studies had found peer review to be ineffective and prone to abuse, but noted that editors consider it invaluable.
In this process, articles which meet the minimum requirements for submission (such as including the necessary descriptions of funding, privacy and publication releases, ethics/institutional review board approval, statements of original work, signatures of authors, and so on,) are first looked over by a managing editor or a member of an editorial board. They may be referred back to the authors for revision and resubmission, rejected, or presented to the editorial board for final approval.
A more stringent review process includes a full peer review. After first review by a managing editor or member of an editorial board, an article which has good possibilities will be sent out for review by two or more researchers in the specific area. If these reviews are positive the article may be referred back to the authors to address any comments by the reviewers, or (rarely) may be accepted immediately by the editorial board.
One common review process is the same as the peer review above, except all references to the authors are removed from the article before review by the researchers.
Most public health journals include various types of content, such as:
Medical journals may also include, for example, case reports and clinical images of interest. Some online journals are also moving to publishing video content (e.g. Journal of Visualized Experiments).
By the early 21st century, most public health and medical journals were available online, thus increasing their accessibility worldwide. There is a general move from print as primary medium to electronic publication, an example being the online journals published by BioMed Central.
With the advent of online publication, some health journals are transforming from traditional subscription-based and pay-per-view access to open access for some or all of their content.
Like other scientific journals, many public health journals are ranked with an impact factor, linked to the probability of an article published in that journal being cited. It is currently accepted that a higher impact factor indicates a better journal quality, at least in some health disciplines.
Journals with high impact factors according to the Journal Citation Reports in the category "Public, Environmental and Occupational Health" include: Environmental Health Perspectives, American Journal of Epidemiology, Annual Review of Public Health, Genetic Epidemiology, Epidemiologic Reviews, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, International Journal of Epidemiology, Epidemiology, Bulletin of the World Health Organization and American Journal of Public Health.
In addition, given their interdisciplinary nature, some journals with a public health focus may be found in other categories. For example, Human Resources for Health is placed in the category "industrial relations and labor", where it was ranked 1st in 2012.
The American Journal of Public Health is a monthly peer-reviewed public health journal published by the American Public Health Association covering health policy and public health. The journal was established in 1911 and its stated mission is "to advance public health research, policy, practice, and education." The journal occasionally publishes themed supplements. The editor-in-chief is Alfredo Morabia. The journal has been criticized for extending its open access embargo from 2 to 10 years as of June 1, 2013.Bentham Science Publishers
Bentham Science Publishers is a company that publishes scientific, technical, and medical journals and e-books. It publishes 140 subscription-based academic journals and over 60 open access journals. It is based at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, and has operating units in the United States, Japan, China, India, and the Netherlands. The company workforce is outsourced to China, India, Japan and Pakistan.Bentham Open, its open-access branch, has received some criticism for its questionable peer-review practices, and was listed as a "potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publisher" in Jeffrey Beall's list of Predatory Publishers.Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The Bulletin of the World Health Organization is a monthly public health journal published by the World Health Organization that was established in 1947. It aims to give public health policy and practice guidance based on the best evidence available, while encouraging closer links between scientific investigation and the art of helping populations to lead healthier lives. Articles are published in English and abstracts are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.It is open access journal and uses the Creative Commons 3.0 IGO license.Canadian Journal of Public Health
Canadian Journal of Public Health is a peer-reviewed scientific journal of public health published by the Canadian Public Health Association on a bimonthly basis. It was originally established in 1910 as the Public Health Journal (ISSN 0319-2660), which became Canadian Public Health Journal (ISSN 0319-2652) in 1928, and acquired its current name in 1943. It is edited by Louise Potvin (Université de Montréal). Articles published by the journal become openly accessible 6 months after publication. In 2013, the journal become online only.
In French, the journal is known as Revue Canadienne de Santé Publique (previously Revue Canadienne d'Hygiène Publique).Evaluation
Evaluation is a
systematic determination of a subject's merit, worth and significance, using criteria governed by a set of standards. It can assist an organization, program, design, project or any other intervention or initiative to assess any aim, realisable concept/proposal, or any alternative, to help in decision-making; or to ascertain the degree of achievement or value in regard to the aim and objectives and results of any such action that has been completed. The primary purpose of evaluation, in addition to gaining insight into prior or existing initiatives, is to enable reflection and assist in the identification of future change.Evaluation is often used to characterize and appraise subjects of interest in a wide range of human enterprises, including the arts, criminal justice, foundations, non-profit organizations, government, health care, and other human services. It is long term and done at the end of a period of time.Global Public Health (journal)
Global Public Health is a peer-reviewed public health journal published by Taylor & Francis and established in 2006. The editor-in-chief is Richard G. Parker (Mailman School of Public Health).Globalization and Health
Globalization and Health is a peer-reviewed open-access public health journal that covers the topic of globalization and its effects on health. The editors in chief are Greg Martin and Ronald Labonté.International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
The International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health was a quarterly peer-reviewed public health journal with a focus on occupational and environmental health. It was established in 1995 and was published by Taylor & Francis. The last editor-in-chief was Andrew Maier (University of Cincinnati).Medical Care (journal)
Medical Care is a peer-reviewed public health journal that covers the field of health care. The editors-in-chief are Catarina Kiefe and Jeroan J. Allison (University of Massachusetts Medical School). It was established in 1963 and is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. It is the official journal of the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association.Meharry Medical College
Meharry Medical College is a graduate and professional institution that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and located in Nashville, Tennessee. Founded in 1876 as the Medical Department of Central Tennessee College, it was the first medical school in the South for African Americans.
Meharry Medical College was chartered separately in 1915. In the early 21st century, it is the largest private historically black institution in the United States solely dedicated to educating health care professionals and scientists.Meharry Medical College includes its School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, a School of Allied Health Professions, School of Graduate Studies and Research, the Harold R. West Basic Sciences Center, and the Metropolitan General Hospital of Nashville-Davidson County. The degrees that Meharry offers include Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.), Master of Health Science (M.H.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. Meharry is the second-largest educator of African-American medical doctors and dentists in the United States. Also, it has the highest percentage of African Americans graduating with Ph.Ds in the biomedical sciences in the country.Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved is a public health journal owned by and edited at Meharry Medical College.Parish register
A parish register in an ecclesiastical parish is a handwritten volume, normally kept in the parish church in which certain details of religious ceremonies marking major events such as baptisms (together with the dates and names of the parents), marriages (with the names of the partners), children, and burials (that had taken place within the parish) are recorded. Along with these vital details, church goods, the parish’s response to briefs, and notes on various happenings in the parish were also recorded. These elaborate records existed for the purpose of preventing bigamy and consanguineous marriage.
The information recorded in registers was also considered significant for secular governments’ own recordkeeping, resulting in the churches supplying the state with copies of all parish registers. A good register permits the family structure of the community to be reconstituted as far back as the sixteenth century. Thus, these records were distilled for the definitive study of the history of several nations’ populations. They also provide insight into the lives and interrelationships of parishioners.Public Health (journal)
Public Health is a monthly peer-reviewed public health journal. It was established in 1888 and is published by Elsevier on behalf of the Royal Society for Public Health. The editors-in-chief are Phil Mackie (NHS Health Scotland) and Fiona Sim (National Health Service). According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2016 impact factor of 1.538.