Scope and purposeAims and scope
Criteria for consideration
Aims and scope
Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health is an open access journal that publishes original, rigorous applications of evolutionary thought to issues in medicine and public health. It aims to connect evolutionary biology with the health sciences to produce insights that may reduce suffering and save lives. Because evolutionary biology is a basic science that reaches across many disciplines, this journal is open to contributions on a broad range of topics, including relevant work on non-model organisms and insights that arise from both research and practice.
Criteria for consideration
To be considered for publication in EMPH, manuscripts must represent a substantial advance in terms of originality, relevance and timeliness. All contributions should advance the intellectual development of linkages between evolutionary biology and medical science and will be reviewed, wherever possible, by one person from each of those two broad communities. Thus, the focus of papers should be to elicit (through clinical, ecological or experimental research, or by systematic review) evolutionary (or ‘ultimate’) explanations for human susceptibility to disease, or the biological mechanisms that connect ultimate to proximate explanations, and to leverage such perspectives to suggest improvements in clinical practice, public health procedures, research approaches or medical education. While likely to focus on one of these audiences, papers should be written to be understandable and of interest to clinicians, public health professionals, medical researchers and educators, and evolutionary biologists.
Our priorities are first clarity, then concision. In the following list of article types, the suggestions for number of words, display items, and references are guidelines. The framework they establish can be adjusted in negotiation with editors and reviewers. Manuscripts that exceed the stated limits should be accompanied by a statement in the cover letter that justifies that decision. Do not submit papers that are any longer than clarity demands.
- Editorials are contributions (suggested 1000 words) invited by the Editor-in-Chief to discuss policy issues affecting the entire evolution and medicine community.
- Commentaries are in-depth essays that advance a personal view on or a hypothesis about an important topic. A commentary may be used to establish the plausibility of an important new hypothesis and to suggest how to test it. Commentaries are commissioned by the Editor-in-Chief and may be suggested by members of the Advisory Board and Editorial Board: unsolicited submissions will not be considered. Commentaries should have a 150-word abstract and around 3500 words of text, 30 references, and 4 display items (graphics, tables, or explanatory boxes*).
- Reviews should discuss progress and prospects in a specific area of research or practice relevant to the journal’s scope. Reviews may be commissioned by the Reviews Editor or be unsolicited. They should have an unstructured abstract of up to 250 words and about 5000 words in the main text, 100 references, and 6 display items. Authors of Reviews are encouraged to include explanatory boxes* and a running glossary of key terms to ensure that the article is accessible to the whole journal readership.
Occasionally the Reviews Editor in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief may commission a Targeted Review on a particularly timely or controversial issue, which will be accompanied by solicited responses (about 500 words each) from up to 20 commentators.
- Interpretive essays in ‘News and Views’ style may be commissioned by the Editor-in-Chief to accompany selected papers. They might have 1500 words, 10 references, and 1 display item. No abstract is required.
- Original research articles should present the outcomes of well-planned and rigorously executed research in any field relevant to the journal’s scope. Typically they will contain 4000 words, 30 references, and 5 display items (figures or tables). Articles should be preceded by an abstract (about 250 words) structured as follows: Background and objectives; Methodology; Results; Conclusions and implications. The text of the article itself should be structured the same way.
- Brevia: high-priority results with the nature of rapid-breaking news may be communicated in brief articles of about 1500 words, 10 references and one display item preceded by an unstructured abstract of about 100 words. Brevia are given priority reviewing.
- Correspondence comprises substantive reactions (around 1000 words and 5 references) to published articles. Correspondence will be reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and by the Associate Editor who handled the article to which it reacts. Authors of the original article will see any accepted correspondence and have the opportunity to reply in the same format. The interchange will normally be limited to one submission of Correspondence and one reply from the author(s) of the published article.
- Case studies should take an educational approach by highlighting the value of evolutionary insights to medical practice in a particular patient. They are suggested to have a 100 word abstract, 1500 words of text, 2 display items, and 10 references.
- Book reviews are of two types, short and long. Short reviews are about 1000 words and make a concrete recommendation to a specific audience. Long reviews (about 3500 words) are structured like the essays in the New York Review of Books: they open by stating the general issues and state of play in the area that the book addresses and then go into a fairly detailed discussion of how the book does or does not advance the field. The decision to publish a long review is not taken lightly and is made by the Book Review Editor in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief. Abstracts are not required for book reviews. Suggestions of books to review may be directed to the Book Review Editor.
- Meeting reports are about 1500 words, 10 references, and 1 display item. No abstract is required.
*Explanatory boxes can contain references, which should not be in addition to the overall reference limit, and whose numbering should follow on from the main text references.
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