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CCDC Weekly Instructions for Authors

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Instructions for Authors
(Updated Oct 27, 2019)


Contents

I. Criteria for Publication

II. Types of Reports

A. Preplanned Studies

B. Outbreak Reports

C. Policy Notes

D. Notes from the Field

E. Vital Surveillances

F. Healthy China

G. Recollection and Reflection

H. Review and Perspective

I. Announcements and Notices to Readers

J. Notifiable Infectious Diseases Reports

III. Author Submission Checklist and Submission Formats

IV. Clearance

V. Submission, Acceptance, and Scheduling

VI. Guidance for Correcting Errors


VII. Contact Information


I. Criteria for Publication

A. Compliance to Standards. The editorial and publication of the CCDC Weekly is subject to relevant laws, regulations and policy requirements for the editing and publishing of Chinese scientific journals. It also must follow guidance from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.

B. Appropriateness. The CCDC Weekly’s Weekly Report is intended for readers in the public health community, including public health professionals and administrators, clinicians, researchers, teachers, students, and the news media. It focuses on publishing surveillance data analysis, large scale survey and research reports with public health policies and practical implications.

C. Originality. In principle, reports should not contain previously published information, guidelines or recommendations. However, reports can be published in conjunction with other academic journals under written agreement.

D. Scientific. Surveillance data analysis, survey and research reports published by CCDC Weekly should be based on accepted scientific analysis methods, should include sufficient data to interpret the public health implications and give recommendations for further public health practice.

E. Timeliness. Reports should contain the most current data from surveys, surveillance systems or studies. Reports on in progress or recently completed investigations have higher priority for publication. In principle, data from outbreaks should be reported within ten months, and surveillance and other data should be reported within three years.

F. Clarity. Reports should adhere to principles of plain language with minimal use of acronyms and initialisms. All reports have a limit on the number of words, figures, tables, and references.


II. Types of Reports

The following types of reports are published in CCDC Weekly Reports:

A) Preplanned Studies

B) Outbreak Reports

C) Policy Notes

D) Notes from the Field

E) Vital Surveillance

F) Healthy China

G) Recollection and Reflection

H) Review and Perspective

I) Announcements and Notices to Readers

J) Notifiable Infectious Diseases Reports


A. Preplanned Studies

A preplanned study report is a report on a national or regional survey or a special study on important public health issues. The recommendations in the report should be able to guide future public health practice. In principle, pre-planned studies should be no longer than 1,400 words and include no more than 10 references, three total tables, figures, and/or boxes.

(TIPS: The most prominent feature of Weekly reports is simplicity. These reports are intended only to summarize the analysis and recommendations and not to provide every detail. The strict 10-reference rule is intended to limit the scope of the report. A good test for simplicity is whether, in a sentence or two, you can tell a casual reader what the report is about and what should be done.)

1. Introductory Paragraph

The first paragraph of a preplanned study report is similar to the abstract in a typical medical journal and is limited to 150–200 words. The introductory paragraph should contain the following components:

1) Background (Why conduct the research or survey? What public health issues are targeted?).

2) Method of analysis (When, where, who did what, using what data, and why?).

3) Key findings (Summarize one or two main results and any actions that resulted).

4) Public health message (What should be done by public health practitioners or, if relevant, by clinicians or the public?). All information regarding methods, data sources and results in the introductory paragraph should be repeated elsewhere in the report.

Additional background (as needed).

If all essential background information will not fit in the introductory paragraph, that background should be placed in a second introductory paragraph, before Methods.

2. Methods

For most reports, the second section should be a concise summary (1 or 2 paragraphs) of the methods used to conduct the analysis. Important components of this section might include the sources of data, a statement of how the data were collected, case definitions or participant selection criteria, the period of study, types of specimens taken and tests performed (e.g., serology, culture, or toxicology), and statistical methods used. For survey and surveillance data, response rates should be specified. For statistical software, provide the version and manufacturer in parentheses after the software name, as shown in the following example: “SAS (version 9.4; SAS Institute)” was used to conduct all analyses.

3. Results

The results section is a concise highlighting of major results of the analysis. Examples might include elements of the descriptive (i.e., time, place, person) and epidemiologic results, disease trends and rates, treatments, and outcomes. Minor results from tables or figures should not be highlighted in the results. Case reports and series should include details on exposure, signs and symptoms, initial diagnosis, laboratory and radiologic findings, treatment, clinical course, and outcome. Generally, data highlighted in the text also are presented in a table or figure.

4. Actions taken

When appropriate, one or two sentences should be provided describing any control measures implemented.

5. Discussion

The Discussion should begin by stating the conclusions of the report, interpreting the results, conveying their public health meaning, and placing the results into context by citing comparative or corroborative studies. With the exception of Outbreak Reports, Preplanned Studies Reports should include a limitations paragraph, typically placed near the end of the Discussion. The Discussion should conclude by stating the implications of the findings to public health practice and any recommendations for prevention and control. When appropriate, specific examples of successful public health interventions should be included. A common fault is the inclusion of recommendations that, although sound, do not follow from the analysis presented in the report.

6. Authorship

Criteria for CCDC Weekly authors are as follows:

a. Weekly Reports attribution policy follows guidance from the relevant sections of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) for medical publishing and research.

(http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html)

Authorship credit should be based on three conditions, all of which must be met: 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the report or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published.

b. All authors must assume responsibility for the published version of the manuscript. Authors should be able to defend their contribution independently. Collectively, authors should be able to defend the design, execution, and conclusions of the report.

c. Persons will not be listed as authors merely by virtue of their position in an organization or by attendance at a meeting. Similarly, participation solely in the acquisition of funding, the collection of data, or general supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship.

d. Persons or groups that reviewed a submission for a clearance process, suggested revisions or limited changes to a submission will not be listed as authors.

e. An acknowledgments section may be used to recognize the work of persons who made substantial contributions to the project but do not meet the CCDC Weekly author criteria.

f. The list of authors follows the title. First and last names and middle initials (optional) should be used and the single highest academic degree (masters or above) should follow the names. The organizational affiliation will be footnoted as in the example. Contact information should be provided for the corresponding author.

g. The order of authorship should be a joint decision of the coauthors. Weekly reports recognize that scientific work is a collaboration and collaborators have a responsibility to define, accept and fulfill their roles. Weekly reports recommend that author order be discussed early during a collaboration and revised as needed as the work progresses. Authorship order, including choice of first author, should be based on the level of contribution to the report and the work underlying it. The first author will have responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole from inception to publication. First authors also are responsible for providing leadership in determining order of the other coauthors, establishing writing assignments, providing direction for reviews and revisions, and compiling drafts. The first author should ensure an open forum for coauthors to share their concerns and suggestions and should ensure that all ethical considerations (e.g. IRB review and disclosure of conflicts of interest) have been addressed.

h. An example of the author format is as follows: Progress toward measles elimination in the People’s Republic of China, 2013 – March 2019. Chao Ma, PhD1; Lance Rodewald, MD1; Lixin Hao, PhD1; Qiru Su, PhD1; Yan Zhang, PhD2; Ning Wen, MPH1; Chunxiang Fan, MPH1; Hong Yang, MPH1; Huiming Luo, MPH1; Huaqing Wang, PhD1; James L. Goodson, MPH3; Zundong Yin, PhD1; Zijian Feng, MPH1(Author affiliations at end of text)

1 National Immunization Program, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention;2 Institutes for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, National Measles-Rubella Laboratory Network, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention;3 Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Corresponding author: Zundong Yin, yinzd@chinacdc.cn)

7. Acknowledgments

May be used to recognize the work of persons involved in the project but who do not meet CCDCW contributor criteria. The corresponding author should ensure that all named individuals have consented to being listed under Acknowledgments.

8. References

Must be limited to 10.

9. Summary box

In 1 or 2 sentences for each, contributors should answer the following:

What is already known on this topic?

What is added by this report?

What are the implications for public health practice?

These answers contain the key public health message, as well as the justification for the publication. Total word count should be between 75‒100 words. Answers longer than 100 words will be edited to meet the word limit.

B. Outbreak Reports

An outbreak report is a report on public health emergencies, cluster cases, and special cases, etc., which requires a chronological description of the outbreak management process.

These should generally follow the format of Preplanned Studies with some elements specific to outbreak reporting.

1. Introductory paragraph

Generally, the introductory paragraph should begin with one to three sentences establishing the existence of the outbreak or underlying public health problem. (e.g., “At the beginning of April 2019, China National Health Commission and China Center for Disease Control and Prevention received a cluster febrile illness involving about ten Chinese workers in a manganese ore in Cooperative Republic of Guyana”) . The introductory paragraph also usually contains:

1) A statement that an investigation was conducted, providing when and by whom;

2) The most important finding(s);

3) The actions taken to address the outbreak;

4) A statement of the public health implications and actions that should be taken in response to the investigation.

2. Investigation and results

a. First, present the initial investigation and its findings. This might include:

1) A description of the setting and a statement of how the outbreak came to the attention of health authorities;

2) A clinical description of the index case or initial cases;

3) Initial key test results;

4) Hypothesis generation activities and results.

b. Second, summarize the full investigation, including: case definition, case-finding activities, method of investigation, and results. Cases should be counted and described by clinical characteristics, treatment, outcome, and descriptive results such as time, place, and person.

c. Next, present the methods and results of any analytic epidemiologic studies (e.g., cohort or case-control studies).

d. Finally, provide detection results of any relevant microbiological, genetic, or toxicological tests, followed by the results of any testing of environmental samples.

3. Public health response

When appropriate, a brief description summarizing any public health interventions taken and the results of the interventions that followed.

4. Discussion

Same as a Preplanned Study, except that a Limitations paragraph might not be required for an Outbreak Report.

5. Acknowledgments

See Preplanned Studies.

6. References

See Preplanned Studies.

7. Summary box

See Preplanned Studies.

C. Policy Notes.

Policy Notes are mainly for the brief interpretation of the latest public health policies and technical documents (such as recommendations and guidelines from China CDC). These reports can be thought of as briefer, more immediate versions of the Serial Report and include Recommendations and Guidelines. Maximum word count at submission is 1,400 words. Up to three tables, figures, or boxes may be included. Policy Notes contain no discussion or limitations and a summary box is not required. Contributors should check published reports similar to their submission to determine the optimal format and structure for their reports. Policy Notes can vary considerably. The following is a rough guide.

1. Introductory paragraph

The introductory paragraph should be limited to 150–200 words. It might contain all or some of the following components: a brief introductory statement orienting the reader to the topic and placing it in context, a brief description of the public health problem, a brief statement of the rationale for the policy or recommendation, mention of the most important parts of the policy or recommendations, and one or two sentences stating the conclusions and the public health implications of the new policy or recommendations.

2. Background

The Policy Note should include a paragraph after the introduction that summarizes background information relevant to the policy or recommendations that can help the reader understand the context and need for the policy or recommendation.

3. Methods

The Policy Note should include a summary of the methods used to establish the policy or recommendation, including answers to some or all of these questions:

a. Who was involved in the production of the guidelines or recommendations, and how were they involved?

b. What evidence base was considered?

c. What was the rationale for considering this evidence base? Was other evidence excluded from consideration and, if so, why?

4. Rationale and evidence

The Policy Note should provide a concise review of the rationale for the policy or recommendation and a descriptive review of the scientific evidence used to establish it. It should include an explanation of how the policy or recommendation adds to or differs from relevant previously established policies or recommendations.

5. Presentation of the policy or recommendation

The policy or recommendation should state clearly when it takes effect and to whom and under what circumstances it applies.

6. Discussion or comment

The Policy Note should comment on the likely impact of the new policy or recommendation and plans for assessment of the policy or recommendation.

7. References