American Journal of Health Behavior adheres to the COPE Core Practices regarding ethical guidelines for publication. In addition, we support use of the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines regarding journal policies and practices. In addition to the Author Guidelines below, please address the Ethical Guidelines in your manuscript as well.
Once you have addressed the Author Guidelines and Ethical Guidelines, you may wish to review the Submission Checklist which can further assist you in submitting your manuscript.
Manuscripts are accepted with the understanding that they are submitted solely to the Journal and have not been previously published elsewhere. All pages should be numbered. Manuscript should consist of an intro and sections titled METHODS, RESULTS, and CONCLUSIONS/DISCUSSION. The manuscript should end with Human Subjects Approval Statement, Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement, Acknowledgments, References, Tables, and Figures. Use Arabic numerals throughout. Use “AMA Manual of Style” 10th Edition as your guide.
Whereas, the American Journal of Health Behavior has no specific maximum length for papers, we suggest the you prepare yours so that it does not exceed 5000 words (approximately 18 typed double-spaced pages) excluding the title page, abstract, references, tables, and/or figures. If the manuscript exceeds these limits, please contact the journal offices.
The title should be concise but informative (do not exceed 75 characters including spaces), not in caps, not in lower case with only the first letters of each word capitalized.
The entire abstract should consist of 5 sections (Objectives, Methods, Results, Conclusions, Key words) and not exceed a maximum of 200 words, including all 5 headings. The abstract should state the purposes of the study or investigation, basic procedures, main findings, and the principal conclusions. It should emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations. Place no more than 6 key words or short phrases that will assist in cross-indexing directly after the abstract.
Human Subject Approval Statement
ANY research that involves human subjects must have institutional review board (IRB) approval. Include a human subject statement indicating institutional review and approval document number, if possible, or statement of exempt status. Moreover, if no IRB is acknowledged, the manuscript will be returned to the authors.
Informed Consent Requirement
Where appropriate, and consistent with institutional review board requirements, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), European Union Directive 95/46/EC, and other rules specific to the location of where the research was conducted, include a clear indication that informed consent was obtained from all participants in the research.
Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement
Articles published in American Journal of Health Behavior must be accompanied by a conflict of interest disclosure statement, or a statement that authors have no conflicts of interest to declare (All authors of this article declare they have no conflicts of interest). To execute this policy, all authors must privately disclose to the editors of American Journal of Health Behavior at the time of their submission ANY and ALL potential conflicts of interest. These include financial and non-financial interests and relationships (see below for definitions), direct employment with a private sector entity (whether full-time, part-time, or on a consultancy basis), and service on private sector and non-profit boards and advisory panels, whether paid or unpaid. Authors also should disclose to editors any conflict of interest that may have influenced either the conduct or the presentation of research, including but not limited to close relationships with those who might be helped or hurt by the publication, academic interests and rivalries, and any personal, religious or political convictions relevant to the topic at hand. In the paper, authors should include a draft statement that discloses all relevant conflicts of interest and affiliations. Relevance for financial conflicts of interest with private firms is defined as a relationship of any value with a firm with a stake in the subject of the manuscript, or its competitors. Relevance for patents is defined as any invention or pending invention connected in any way to one of the authors. Because relevance is often “in the eye of the beholder,” err on the side of full disclosure in drafting the disclosure statement. Editors will check your draft against the private financial disclosure statement, and initiate discussions toward possible adjustments, if necessary.
What to report: Any financial relationship from the past 3 years (dating from the month of submission) of any size should be disclosed. These potential conflicts of interest include:
- Direct employment, either full or part-time;
- Grants and research funding (but not grants to your institution or others within your institution on which you did not work); this includes grants from trade associations and non-profits substantially (50% or more) funded by private-sector firms;
Travel grants, speaking fees, writing fees, and other honoraria;
- Paid expert testimony for one side in an adversarial proceeding (this does not include testimony as a factual witness in a civil or criminal case);
- Patents granted, pending and applications, whether or not generating royalties;• Stock ownership, investment in related “sector” funds, or stock options, including those of immediate family members but excluding diversified mutual funds and investment trusts; and
- Membership on private sector scientific or other advisory boards, whether paid or unpaid.
In addition, any current negotiations regarding future employment or current job offers, either full-time or part-time, must be disclosed.
In disclosing these financial arrangements to editors, authors can include dollar amounts even though they will not be printed in the journal. Editors may choose to exclude this information from publication, but in no case should an editor or author consider an arrangement irrelevant based on its size alone.
Non-Financial Conflicts of Interest: Authors may have strongly-held views about the article being submitted for publication. Authors should consider disclosing and editors may choose to print any affiliations or expressions of these views that may be relevant. These may be personal, political, or intellectual and may include any expression of strongly held views relevant to the subject of the submission. Such disclosures may be original, or they make reference to opinions previously expressed in books or monographs, op-eds or public comments, or to sworn testimony before or lobbying of legislators or legislative bodies. Non-financial conflicts of interest that should be disclosed also include membership or affiliation with non-governmental organizations that have an interest in the submission.
Conflict of interest disclosure relies on the honor system. Editors do not have the time or other resources to be financial auditors or ideological arbiters. Successful disclosure policies depend on the good will and integrity of authors. In all cases of failure to disclose a relevant conflict of interest of which the editors become aware, they will publish an editor’s note that becomes part of the permanent record of that article. In those rare cases where editors uncover a willful desire to conceal financial conflicts of interest, the editors will disallow publication by the author(s) in American Journal of Health Behavior for a period of up to 3 years.
List the sources of support in the form of (a) person(s), grants, equipment, or drugs; and (b) note disclaimers, if any, including notices of the manuscript’s prior appearance as a preliminary report or abstract.
Redact Identifying Information
Redact author or identifying information in text, Acknowledgements or References that identifies author(s) information for reviewing purposes. The redaction should be obscured with a solid black cover. Should the manuscript be accepted, the redaction will be removed.
If using a Reference Management Software similar to EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero, etc. PLEASE REMOVE. Replace with the Numbering format function in Word. The Numbering format function is next to the Bullet format function in the Tool Bar.
References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are mentioned in the text by using the Numbering format function in Word. No reference should be given more than one number. Identify references in text by superscript Arabic numerals. Avoid using abstracts as references. References to papers accepted but not yet published should be designated as “in press”; authors should obtain written permission to cite such papers as well as verification that they have been accepted for publication. Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted should not be cited. Avoid citing a personal communication unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person and date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text. Authors should obtain written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source.
Prepare all the references in AMA style, with the Library of Medicine (NLM) abbreviations for all journals that have them. DO NOT GUESS AT ABBREVIATIONS; USE ONLY THE LEGITIMATE ABBREVIATIONS. If no abbreviation appears in NLM then use the full title of the referenced journal. For assistance with abbreviations go to https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/journals and type in the title of the journal whose abbreviation is being sought. Make sure that the abbreviated journal titles are italicized and that a periods appears at the end of each journal.
Note: All citations listed must be accessible by the reader or it will NOT be allowed.
For secondary sources, direct quotations, and citations from books or reports, give specific page numbers. Remember, cite personal communications in text only, giving the source and date. If communication is an e-mail: provide sender’s address. Specifically, references should be listed in the following manner:
JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS OF 4 AUTHORS (list all 4)
Kohler CL, Schoenberger YM, Beasley TM, Phillips MM. Effectiveness evaluation of the N-O-T smoking cessation program for adolescents. Am J Health Behav. 2008;32(4):368-379.
PUBLICATION OF MORE THAN 4 AUTHORS (list only 3 followed by et al)
Valois RF, Zullig KJ, Huebner ES, et al. Relationship between life satisfaction and violent behaviors among adolescents. Am J Health Behav. 2001;25(4):353-366.
Davidson JK, Moore NB. Marriage and Family: Change and Continuity. Boston: Allyn & Bacon 1996:129-145.
QUOTED CHAPTER IN BOOKS
Prochaska JO, Redding CA, Evers KE. The transtheoretical model and stages of change. In Glanz K, Lewis FM, Rimer BK, (Eds). Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass 1977:60-84.
Behavioral Risk Factor Survey 1995. A Report on the Lifestyle Behaviors Affecting the Health of West Virginians. WV Bureau for Public Health 1997:45-51.
EXAMPLE OF ONLINE JOURNAL ARTICLE WITH A DOI
Katz SJ, Weijia S, Erkkinen M, et al. High school youth and e-cigarettes: the influence of modified risk statements and flavors on e-cigarette packaging. Am J Health Behav. 2020:44(2):130-145. doi: org/10.5993/AJHB.44.2.2
EXAMPLE OF ONLINE JOURNAL ARTICLE WITH URL
Stetler HC, Orenstein WA, Bernier RH, et al. Impact of revaccinating children who initially received measles vaccine before 10 months of age. Pediatrics. 1986;77(4):471-476. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3960615/. Published November 1, 2013. Accessed November 12, 2019.
Insert each figure on a separate page at the end of the manuscript. Number figures consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text. Letters, numbers, and symbols should be clear and even throughout and of sufficient size that each item will still be legible when reduced for publication. Titles and detailed explanations belong in the legends for figures, not embedded in the figures themselves. If a figure has been published, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material. Permission is required irrespective of authorship or publisher, except for documents in the public domain. Be sure each figure is cited in text and note where you believe the figure should be placed. Images of figures in TIFF, PNG, JPEG or PDF formats are allowed but MUST not have embedded titles or legends (Note section).
Number of Figures Allowed
Each published paper is allowed up to 6 tables and/or figures (any combination of tables or figures adding to 6) at no additional cost. Because an increasing number of authors have requested to include additional figures beyond the number allotted in these guidelines, we have instituted an additional fee to cover the costs of editing and typesetting figures. To peruse fees, click here.
Insert each table, double-spaced, on a separate page at the end of the manuscript. Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief but stand alone title for each. Be sure each table is cited in text and note where the table should be placed. Do not use internal horizontal and vertical lines to create tables, you must use the table function in Word to create the table. Use Note section to explain all abbreviations or data descriptions used in each table in alphabetical sequence: a, b, c, d, e, etc. Do not use superscripted numbers (1, 2, 3, etc), symbols or asterisks to identify items in the table. Asterisks are only used to identify p values. If you use data from another published or unpublished source, obtain permission and acknowledge it fully.
Tables should appear at the end of the manuscript after the references. Limit the size of your tables across the page via columns. Portrait table width should not exceed 7 inches (18 cm) or 8 columns using 12-point Times New Roman font. Landscape table width should not exceed 9 inches (23 cm) or 10 columns using 12-point Times New Roman font. Moreover, if you have too many columns, we may ask you to break into separate or smaller tables. Do not embed title into the table. Do not submit images of tables in TIFF, PNG, JPEG or PDF formats. Use the Table function in Word to create the table. If unsure the table is acceptable, please e-mail the journal offices and send the proposed table for review prior to submission.
Number of Tables Allowed
Each published paper is allowed up to 6 tables and/or figures (any combination of tables or figures adding to 6) at no additional cost. Because an increasing number of authors have requested to include additional tables beyond the number allotted in these guidelines, we have instituted an additional fee to cover the costs of editing and typesetting tables. To peruse fees, click here.
Supplementary Materials/Appendices Allowed
Up to 3 published pages of supplementary materials/appendices is allowed at no additional cost. Typically, 2 double-spaced typewritten pages and/or supplementary tables or figures equaling 2 pages is equivalent to 1 page in the journal of supplementary materials/appendices. Consequently, 6 pages of double-space supplementary materials/appendices (includes tables and figures submitted as supplementary materials) is allowed. Because an increasing number of authors have requested to include additional supplementary material/appendices beyond the number of pages allotted in these guidelines, we will now institute an additional fee to cover the costs of editing and typesetting tables, figures and supplementary material/appendices that exceed the journal guidelines. To peruse fees, click here.
All submitted supplementary materials will be converted to “published papers.”
Options to Excessive Tables, Figures, or Supplementary Materials/Appendices
- Accept the fee(s) for additional table(s), figure(s) or supplementary materials/appendices
- Reduce the table(s), figure(s) and supplementary material(s)/appendice(s) to required amount (no charge)
- Provide a link in the paper that leads readers to the table(s), figure(s) or supplementary material(s)/appendice(s) on your own web site (no charge)
- Provide your email with the instructions that if they wish to secure copies of the additional tables(s), figure(s) or supplementary materials readers contact you (no charge).
It is the responsibility of the author or authors to obtain the necessary permission to use any quoted material in excess of 25 lines that is incorporated in the manuscript. Permission must be obtained, and credit given, for quotations, tables, and illustrations borrowed from copyright material. Letters granting permission should accompany the manuscript when submitted.
Abbreviations and Nomenclature
Abbreviations and nomenclature should conform to the latest edition of the American Medical Association Manual of Style. Abbreviations should be kept to a minimum in the text and should be defined at first usage. Periods are not used after abbreviations (eg, mm, mL). Generic names are preferred for drugs.
To decrease bias during the editorial process, we employ the classic double-blind peer review process. Referees selected are professional scholars in the disciplines of health behavior, education, and promotion; public health; sociology; nursing; medicine; psychology; or dentistry.
- Upon receipt, a manuscript is assigned a reference number.
- A copy of the numbered manuscript is electronically sent to 3-5 referees. Referees are selected from the Editorial Board or Review Board to match the manuscript with the referee’s area of expertise.
- Referees evaluate the manuscript according to established criteria on an evaluation form.
- The Editor-in-Chief transmits reviewer evaluations and comments to the corresponding author within 4 weeks. The Journal has an acceptance rate of approximately 19-21%.
Final disposition of the manuscript rests with the Editor-in-Chief.
Develop a Press Release
Should your manuscript be accepted and published in the journal, you will be provided assistance whereby you can develop a press release to further promote your research.
Revised June 6, 2020