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Instructions to Authors

General Policies

The Journal of Health and Pollution (JH&P) is a quarterly, on-line journal of peer reviewed research and news published by Pure Earth (formerly Blacksmith Institute). There are no charges to readers or authors. JH&P is grant funded by the World Bank and European Union. The mission of JH&P is to facilitate a discussion of toxic pollution and its impacts to human health, focusing on low and middle-income countries.

The Journal of Health and Pollution welcomes manuscripts based on original research as well as findings from re-interpretation and examination of existing data. JH&P focuses on point source pollution, related health impacts, environmental control and remediation technology. JH&P also has an interest in ambient and indoor pollution. Pollutants of particular interest include heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), air particulates (PM10 and PM2.5), and other severe and persistent toxins. JH&P emphasizes work relating directly to low and middle-income countries, however relevant work relating to high-income countries will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

JH&P does not publish on the following topics:

  • greenhouse gases or climate change impacts, adaptation or vulnerability,
  • biological or chemical oxygen demand (unless it relates directly to human health),
  • pollution which has no potential human health impact, or for which there is no defined pathway to humans.

Editorial Contact

All questions regarding editorial concerns, such as prospective manuscript ideas, should be addressed via email to the journal’s managing editor at the following address:

Sandy Page-Cook, Managing Editor
Journal of Health and Pollution, Pure Earth

Language Requirement

JH&P is published in English and all manuscripts must be submitted in this language. Our editors are willing to work closely and extensively with authors for whom English is a foreign language in order to bring the writing in accepted manuscripts to a state of publication readiness. In certain limited cases, assistance with translation into English can be given. Prospective authors should contact the managing editor at before submitting an article in need of translation.

Submission Process

All submissions must come in via JH&P online submission system . No postal applications will be accepted .

Criteria for publication

Manuscripts should be based on original research in relevant fields that has not been published elsewhere.

Copyright Policy

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License ( ).

Downloadable Instructions to Authors available here:

JH&P Publication Ethics and Malpractice

JH&P Formatting Details

JH&P Manuscript Descriptions

JH&P Article Guide

JH&P Resources

Publication Ethics and Malpractice

JH&P adheres to the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). We strive to continually improve our publication processes, and aim for the highest ethical standards. Readers, prospective authors and reviewers should reference and for more detailed guidance.

Publication and Authorship


The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following four criteria:

  1. Substantial contribution to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Contributors who meet fewer than all four criteria should not be authors, but may be acknowledged.

Author Responsibilities

In addition to that stated previously:

  • Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process. Manuscripts that editors forward to peer review are reviewed anonymously by at least two qualified reviewers assigned by JH&P editors.
  • Authors are obliged to provide retractions or corrections of mistakes. If the author(s) at any point becomes aware of an error, he/she is required to promptly bring to the attention of JH&P.
  • Author/researchers should present their results clearly, honestly and without fabrication, falsification or inappropriate data or image manipulation.

JH&P’s policy is to investigate and correct substantive errors as soon as possible.

—Disagreements or corrections to published articles should be addressed to the editor.
—Article authors will be notified of any refutations and given opportunity to respond.
—Decisions on corrections will be made by the editorial board.


Papers submitted to JH&P are routinely screened for plagiarism. It is the responsibility of the author to make a full statement to the editor concerning materials in a manuscript that might be considered redundant or duplicative.

Plagiarism involves the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language (in text, figures, images, or tables) and thoughts of others and the representation of them as one’s own original work without permission or acknowledgment by the author of the source of these materials. Plagiarism generally involves the use of materials from others, but can apply to researchers’ duplication of their own previously published reports without acknowledgment (this is sometimes called self-plagiarism or duplicate publication). Additional information about plagiarism can be found here: .

Conflicts of Interest

JH&P has a policy of full disclosure. All authors must declare all actual or potential competing financial interests involving people or organizations that might reasonably be perceived as relevant. Disclosure of competing interests does not imply the information in the article is questionable. Decisions to publish or reject an article will not be based solely on a declaration of a competing interest. For each manuscript, ALL authors must complete a Competing Financial Interests Declaration form. Disclosures will be published if the paper is accepted. If there are no actual or potential competing financial interests, a declaration of “No competing financial interests” will be published. JH&P Competing Financial Interests Declaration form, including additional details about our policies can be found here .

Failure to declare a competing interest could result in rejection or retraction of the article, and a ban on publication. Actual or potential competing financial interests occurring within the last three years, include but are not limited to: grant support; employment (past, present, or offer); patents (pending or applied); payment for expert witness or testimony; personal financial interests and compensation by the authors, immediate family members, or institutional affiliations. Investments do not constitute a competing financial interest.

Duplicate Submission

Authors are prohibited from publishing the same research in more than one journal. All submitted papers must be original work of the author(s) and not have previously been published online or in print.

Copyright Policy

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License ( ).

Accuracy of References

Authors are required to format and numerically list references according to the JH&P instructions found here: ( ). References should be listed on a new page after the Conclusion in the manuscript. Authors are fully responsible for the accuracy of references, however JH&P will double-check all references for accuracy, completeness of information, spelling, formatting, symbols and accent marks.

Research Ethics

Research Involving Humans

Research involving humans must be approved by an appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee and comply with all relevant national, state, and local regulations. Authors must identify the name and jurisdiction of the committee approving the research, and include with their submission a statement confirming that informed consent was obtained from all subjects. If no formal ethics committee orIRB exists, research must be performed in accordance with principles of the Declaration of Helsinki ( ). This information must also be included in the Methods section of the manuscript. Whether or not a committee has given approval, if editors have doubt that the research was conducted in accordance with the declaration of Helsinki, authors will be asked to explain the rational for their approach.

Research Involving Animals

Authors reporting research involving live vertebrates and/or higher invertebrates, must confirm that all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant local guidelines and regulations. The manuscript must include a statement identifying the institutional and/or licensing committee approving the experiments. JH&P requires assurances that animals used in a study, whether live or euthanized have been treated humanely and with regard for the alleviation of suffering. Guidelines for research involving fish or other aquatic animals can be foundhere: .

Peer Review and Reviewer Responsibilities

Manuscripts that editors forward to peer review are reviewed anonymously by at least two qualified reviewers assigned by JH&P editors. Authors are able to suggest reviewers, and may also request that JH&P excludes particular individuals or institutions. JH&P considers such requests, however the editors' decision is final. We do not release reviewer identities to authors of other reviewers except when reviewers specifically ask to be identified. Unless they feel strongly, we prefer reviewers remain anonymous.

Conflict of Interest

Reviewers must declare any potential conflict of interest with respect to the research, the authors and/or the research funders, and decline reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists.


By agreeing to review the manuscript, reviewers agree to to keep submitted manuscripts and associated data confidential, and not to redistribute them without permission from JH&P.


Reviews must be objective. We ask reviewers to abstain from personally negative comments about authors or associates. Frank and honest comments about the scientific content of the manuscripts are encouraged.

Editorial Responsibilities

JH&P editors are responsible for everything published in JH&P. Editors may edit manuscripts for grammar, style, and readability at their own discretion. Authors will be given the opportunity to review changes made to submissions before publication. Editors reserve the right to publish submitted manuscripts next to a photo or logo of the editor's choosing to increase interest in the article or identify the article type. Authors are encouraged to submit relevant photos or images for consideration. Editors make every effort to preserve the anonymity of reviewers.


JH&P editors have complete responsibility and authority to reject/accept an article. A manuscript may be rejected at any time, including after acceptance if there is evidence of any misconduct, including but not limited to plagiarism, undisclosed conflict of interest, or evidence of a breach in research or publication ethics. JH&P editors decide whether or not to forward a manuscript to peer review.

Conflict of Interest

Editors who make decisions about manuscripts shall recuse themselves if they have potential conflicts of interest, or relationships that pose potential conflicts of interest related to articles under consideration.

Submissions from Editors

Submissions from the Editor-in-Chief or a member of the JH&P Editorial Board are assigned to an Editor who can maintain the integrity of the review process. Care is taken to ensure that neither the Editor nor reviewers are from the same institution as the author. Submitting Editors, like all authors, are blinded to all aspects of the review process.

Editorial Board

JH&P maintains an editorial board that actively monitors publication ethics and takes corrective steps where needed. Information about the editorial team can be found here: .


In the case of a report of fraudulent information, and after a thorough investigation, JH&P will publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed. JH&P follows the retraction guidelines of the Committee of Publication Ethics: guidelines.pdf .

Please forward any questions relating to JH&P Publication Ethics and Malpractice policies to .

Publication Ethics and Malpractice can be found here

Formatting Details

Formatting Summary

A brief summary of manuscript formatting can be found here .

  • Manuscripts must be submitted in Microsoft Word or Word compatible software, in a standard font (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman) and size such as 10 or 12.
  • Do not use footnotes. Place all textual information within the manuscript and all citing references in the proper form both in text and in the reference list. (See References for more information.)

Manuscript Template

A template document is available as a guide for preparing manuscripts for submission. This file can be downloaded here .

Word Limits

Limits for specific types of articles can be found in the Manuscript Categories section of this document.

  • All words in the main text, title pages, abstract, tables, and references count toward JH&P word limits. In addition, each figure or table counts as 250 additional words. Informationincluded in Supplemental Material does not count toward the word limit.
  • Depending on the topic and potential impact of a paper, editors reserve the right to waive word limits.
  • Authors should consider placing some types of information,such as lengthy descriptions of previously published methods, into Supplemental Material; however, these methods must be summarized briefly in the text of the paper. (See Supplemental Material below.)

Title Page

Title page should include the following items:

  1. Manuscript Title : Not to exceed 20 words. Titles should not contain abbreviations or numerical values.
  2. Author Names : Spelled out in full in the following order: First Name, Initial (if any), Last Name.
  3. Affiliations & Degrees : Needed for all authors.
  4. Corresponding Author Name and Contact : The corresponding author takes responsibility of the manuscript during the editing process. This should including complete postal address,telephone/fax numbers, and e-mail address.
  5. Key Words : For data indexing purposes.
  6. Acknowledgments : (Optional) Include grant information.
  7. Abbreviations : A list of relevant abbreviations and definitions used in the manuscript.


  • Abstracts must not exceed 350 words and should not contain references.
  • No information should be reported in the abstract that does not appear in the text of the manuscript.
  • Headings to be used in the structured abstracts vary by manuscript type (see Manuscript Categories ).

Language Requirements

All papers must be in English. In limited cases, JH&P may be ableto offer translation assistance.

  • Write with precision, clarity, and economy: use the active voice and first person whenever appropriate.
  • Use American spellings (e.g., behavior, not behaviour) except for titles and articles in books and journals published in British/Commonwealth English.
  • Avoid technical jargon. In deference to the breadth of the journal’s readership, please define terms that may not be universally recognized.

Manuscript Categories and Word Limits

Descriptions of each type of article published by JH&P is outlined below, including required headers. Concise subheadings are used to designate major topics within some of these sections.

Correspondence : Should address specific issues or questions raised by JH&P within the previous year. Authors of papers cited in Correspondence will be given a chance to respond. Authors may include data from or redrawing of previously published materials as long as the work is cited and written permission from the original authors and/or publishers has been granted for republication. Letters that are highly personal or polemic in nature will not be published. Correspondence is published at the discretion of the editors. (<500 words)

Editorials : Short articles written by members of the EditorialBoard describing policy issues relevant to JH&P. Editorials are used to keep readers up to date with important developments, for example, highlighting new articles types launched in the journa land any policy changes. (<1500 words)

Commentaries : Presents information and personal insight intoa particular topic. Commentaries may be commissioned from opinion leaders in the field, and may be presented as one sideof a point/counterpoint debate. Factual data should be included to substantiate arguments. JH&P reserves the right to reject Commentaries if they are perceived as too polemic or personal innature. (<2500 words/Peer Reviewed/Abstract Required)

  • Abstract Subheadings : Background, Objectives, Discussion, Conclusions.
  • Main Text Headings : Introduction (comprising the Background and Objectives stated in the abstract), Discussion, Conclusions.

Research : Reports of data from original scientific research and discovery. May come from any relevant field. (<5000 words/PeerReviewed/Abstract Required)

  • Abstract Subheadings : Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, Conclusions.
  • Main Text Headings : Introduction (comprising the Background and Objectives stated in the abstract), Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions.

Emerging Issue Review : Identifies emerging ideas, concepts or trends. These papers have a highly focused narrative and a limited set of references. (<3000 words/Peer Reviewed/Abstract Required)

  • Abstract Subheadings : Background, Objectives, Methods, Discussion, Conclusions.
  • Main Text Headings : Introduction (comprising the Background and Objectives stated in the abstract), Methods (including data sources), Results, Discussion, Conclusions.

Substantive Reviews : Integrates information and critical analysisof a field of research or a theme related to JH&P . Previous research should be reviewed regardless of whether findings are consistent with the author's hypothesis. Identification of information gaps and making recommendations for future research are strongly encouraged. (<5000 words/Peer Reviewed/Abstract Required)

  • Abstract Subheadings : Background, Objectives, Methods, Discussion, Conclusions.
  • Main Text Headings : Introduction (comprising the Background and Objectives stated in the abstract), Methods (including data sources), Results, Discussion, Conclusions.

Case Studies : Describes a major program intervention or policy option with clear relevance to toxic pollution and human health.Case studies should include a rigorous assessmentof the processes and the impact of the study, as well as recommendations for the future. (<5000 words/Peer Reviewed/Abstract Required)

  • Abstract Subheadings : Background, Objectives, Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions.
  • Main Text Headings : Introduction (comprising the Background and Objectives stated in the abstract), Materials and Methods, Results, Conclusions.

Grand Rounds and Case Reports : Presents discussions of patients or community health issues with a clearly identified link of relevance to exposure to toxic pollution. The case scenario should be presented first, followed by a discussion of the clinical and public health implications of these issues. Visual images are encouraged (e.g. X rays, microscopic pathology) or other graphics are encouraged. (<5000 words/Peer Reviewed/Abstract Required)

  • Abstract Subheadings : Context (ie. relevance to environmental exposures), Case Presentation, Discussion, Relevance to Clinical or Professional Practice.
  • Main Text Headings : Context, Case Presentation, Discussion, Conclusions.

Meeting Reports : Must be submitted no more than 6 months after the events they are describing. Prospective authors should consult with JH&P before submitting a meeting report. (<1500 words)

  • Headers : Introduction, Discussion, Conclusions



  • When setting up tables, do not use table layout format; type tables as text and use tabs to align the columns.
  • The comparison to which the p-value applies must be clearly indicated (e.g., “compared with untreated controls”).
  • Tables must be numbered with Arabic numerals, followed by a brief title (not to exceed 25 words).
  • Tables should contain no more than three layers of column headings, and the entire table should fit on one journal pageor less. Tables that are more than one page may be published online as Supplemental Material.
  • A column heading must be provided for each column. Rather than placing additional column heads in the middle of a table, a new table should be created.
  • List abbreviations and definitions under each table. General footnotes to tables must be indicated by lowercase superscript letters beginning with “a” for each table.
  • Type footnotes directly after abbreviations, beginning on the next line.
  • Footnotes indicating statistical significance must be identified in the following order: asterisks (*, **), number signs (#, ##), and daggers (†, ††).


  • Provide a key defining representational elements (e.g., dotted/dashed lines, symbols) for each figure.
  • All axes must be clearly labeled, giving both the measure and the unit of measurement where applicable.
  • Consistency among terms and styles used in figures is desirable.
  • Each figure should be provided as a separate file in one of the following formats: TIFF, JPG, EPS, or PDF.
  • Each figure must be labeled with the figure number.
  • For TIFF or JPG format, the resolution should be 300 dpi for color images, 600 dpi for grayscale images, and 1200 dpi for line art (black-and-white art).
  • JPG files should be saved on the “highest quality” setting.
  • Color images should be RGB and saved at a minimum of 8 bits per channel.
  • Because figures may be reduced or enlarged to fit our layouts, sufficient resolution is essential.
  • Vector images should be saved as editable EPS files.
  • Any images embedded in the EPS should also be included in a separate file.
  • Do not convert text to path outlines before submission.
  • Graphics must fit standard letter-size paper (8.5 × 11 inches, portrait orientation).
  • Multiple panels within a figure also must fit on a single page.
  • All letters, numbers, and lines must be clearly legible and easy to differentiate.
  • Photomicrographs should include a scale bar in each image, and the length should be specified in the typed figure legend(e.g., “bar = 10 µm”).
  • Complex figures (e.g., figures with multiple panels showing information in a variety of formats, or that include panels related to different experiments) should be divided into separate figures for publication.

Figure Legends

  • Each figure legend should include a title for the entire figure and descriptors for each panel (e.g., “Figure 1. Incidence of hepatocellular adenomas (A) and carcinomas (B) in mice exposed to DEHP”).
  • The comparison to which the p-value applies must be clearly indicated (e.g., “compared with controls from the corresponding age group”).
  • Define error bars and any abbreviations not defined in the text.
  • Footnotes indicating statistical significance must be identified in the following order: asterisks (*, **), number signs (#, ##), and daggers (†, ††).
  • Type footnotes directly after the abbreviations, beginning onthe next line.

Image Integrity

  • Adjusting an image for brightness and contrast is acceptable if it is applied to the entire image.
  • Background data of gels and blots must not be removed.
  • The final image must accurately represent the original data.


All measurements of density must be expressed as a mass per unit of volume, for example, mg/kg, ug/L.

Reference Style

Authors are fully responsible for the accuracy of their references.

In-Text Citations

  • References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text.
  • Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in superscript.
  • References cited only in tables or figure legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure.
  • Unpublished data, personal communications, or manuscripts submitted but not yet accepted, i.e. any items that must be cited but which is not available to the public, should appear in the text in parentheses but should not be listed in the references. Citing personal communications should be avoided unless it provides essential information not available from a public source. Ex. ( Ramsdell JS, Moeller PDR, personal communication ); ( Reeves MK, unpublished data ).

Reference List

  • Reference lists should be formatted in the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) or "Vancouver" style. Please consult ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to BioMedical Journals: Sample References for examples. [ ]
  • In general, references must include:
  • Citation number;
  • Author/editor last name plus initials (for six or fewer authors; if there are more than six authors, use “et al.” after the sixth) or authoring agency;
  • Full title of article or chapter (lower case);
  • Title of journal (abbreviated according NLM [ ]) or book/proceedings in title case;
  • For books and meeting reports, city/state/country of publication and name of publisher;
  • Year of publication;
  • Volume and inclusive page numbers;
  • Date of citation or access (if relevant);
  • URL (if relevant);
  • DOI number, if available, with online publication date. If you are uncertain what to include, please include all information.

Supplemental Material

JH&P welcomes material suitable for inclusion as online documentation, such as kinetic studies, background material, and supporting tables, figures, or videos.

  • Information included as Supplemental Material does not count toward the word count for the paper.
  • Methods must be described in the main body of the manuscript, but detailed descriptions of methods that have already been published may be included as Supplemental Material.
  • Supplemental Material must be uploaded as a separate single file and labeled as such, unless this is impractical given the nature of the material.
  • The Supplemental Material file will be linked with the paper through a common DOI number.
  • The Supplemental Material file will be made available to readers exactly as you have provided it—it will not be copyedited or reformatted by JH&P . Therefore, the file should include a title page with the heading “Supplemental Material” followed by the title of the paper and author list.
  • References also must be provided for all sources cited in the Supplemental Material, and we recommend adding a Table of Contents if the Supplemental Material comprises multiple tables, figures, and/or sections of text.

Resources for Prospective Authors


    This library has a large collection of resources on various topics in research communication. You can use one or more keywords to search for resources, or you can click on the categories at the left to see relevant resources.
    Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.
    Use this site to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement. Publisher copyright policies and self-archiving.
    OpenDOAR is a project to list and categorise academic open access research repositories. The aim is to provide a comprehensive and authoritative list of such repositories for end-users who wish to find particular archives or who wish to break down repositories by locale, content or other measures.

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