Customer Feedback Centre

TANZANIA PUBLIC HEALTH BULLETTIN

The Tanzania Public Health Bulletin (TPHB) is a quarterly publication that provides an official and authoritative communication channel for the Ministry of Health (MoH) to rapidly communicate information to the public about both acute and long-term health threats and the government’s response.

MISSION AND OBJECTIVES

The mission of Tanzania Public Health Bulletin (TPHB) is to publish and disseminate relevant high-quality evidence based public health information that is accessible and easily referenced by policy makers, journalists, academics, researchers, health professionals, and the general public to minimize public health threats.

The objectives of TPHB are to:

1.Increase the visibility of the MOH’s work

2.Provide a single, go-to source for key public health recommendations

3.Facilitate timely communication about public health threats and what individuals can do to protect themselves

4.Disseminate new findings rapidly

5.Share findings of research relevant to improving public health.

ETHICS IN PUBLISHING

The editors are committed to maintaining the integrity of the TPHB. Authors need to review and abide by fundamental principles on ethics guiding research and publication. Therefore, before submission:

Declare that your manuscript is not published elsewhere or has been submitted elsewhere for publication

Disclose any conflict of interest

Ensure that all co-authors meet criteria of authorship

Include appropriate funding statement in the manuscript

Ensure the manuscript is free from research misconduct

Fabrication and falsification of data

Avoid plagiarism and respect for intellectual property

Refrain from manipulation of citation

Respect for the rights of human subjects in research

For further information please refer to the Committee on Publications Ethics (COPE) website.

 

ROLE OF THE FUNDING SOURCE

You are requested to identify who provided financial support for the conduct of the research and/or preparation of the manuscript and to briefly describe the role of the sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication. If the funding source(s) had no such involvement then this should be stated.

PREPARATION AND PUBLICATION FORMAT

The TPHB accepts several article formats:

Full-length research articles: These articles contain a comprehensive investigation of the subject matter and are viewed as the standard format. The articles mostly are those with impact to the public. It uses the “IMRAD” format: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion.

Review articles: These articles provide a comprehensive overview of issues of major public health importance. They usually are about 4,000 words in length and contain up to 80 references and six illustrations (figures or tables). All review articles should explain the literature search strategy and selection criteria, justify the inclusion/exclusion of material and state the sources.

Full-length research and review papers should be well structured; they must comprise:

Title: No more than 80 characters. The title should include the disease or condition, population affected, and setting (i.e., where and when).

Author name(s): Full name, postal and email addresses for each author, affiliation and the name of the institution. Clearly identify the corresponding author

Provide their telephone number and email address.

Abstract: No more than 350-400 words briefly specifying the aims of the work, the main results obtained, and the conclusions drawn. Citations must not be included in the Abstract.

Keywords: Up to 6 keywords (in alphabetical order).

Main text:  A full report should use the following format:

Introduction: Describing the background of the work and its aims. 

Methods: A brief description of the methods/techniques used (the principles of these methods should not be described if readers can be directed to easily accessible references or standard texts).

Results: A clear presentation of results obtained, highlighting any trends or points of interest.

Discussion: A brief interpretation of the significance of findings in relation to what was already known about the research problem being investigated and explain any new understanding or insight that emerged as results of research.

Results and Discussion can be combined or separated, if needed).

Include limitations of the article

Conclusions: A brief explanation of the significance and implications of the work reported.

References: References should be to accessible sources. Please ensure that all work cited in the text is included in the reference list, and that the dates and authors given in the text match those in the reference list. References must always be given in sufficient detail for the reader to locate the work cited.

Short (or brief) communications: While not as comprehensive in scope as full-length research articles, these papers also make a significant contribution to the literature. Their length usually is about 3500 words or less and will contain up to 2 tables and figures. Unlike full papers, methods, results, and discussions may be combined into a single section. The format will address the following questions

What is known

What is new

What is the public implications and recommendations

Rapid communications: Rapid communications are timely, authoritative short reports on important public health events that are rapidly disseminated particularly “hot” findings/information such as disease outbreak, usually in a brief communication format. Such communications could potentially lead to a prompt change in an ongoing public health situation or create awareness for topics we consider being of timely relevance. These articles are usually published within 12 hours or few days of submission. They undergo rapid independent peer review by at least one expert in the field and vetting

Policy Brief: These articles present a concise summary of information that can help readers understand, and likely make decisions about, government policies. Should provide enough background for readers to understand the problem addressed. The article should provide objective summaries of relevant research; suggest possible policy options with evidence to support one alternative. No more than 4-6 pages (1,500 words). The format could be as follows:

Executive Summary

Introduction

Approach and Results

Conclusion

Implications and Recommendations

News articles are short texts related to current public health events, either authored or commissioned by the TPHB editorial team. Their length is usually 400 words, with five or fewer references and no illustrations. News does not have more than one or two authors.

Meeting reports: Meeting reports should contain up to 2,000 words (including, when possible, links to full reports of conference activities). Before submitting a meeting report, please contact the editorial team.

Letters to the Editor: This is a short form of communication and it can be written on every topic, which attracts the attention of readers. Most of the frequent reason for writing a letter to the editor is to comment on the published article. These interpretations should be objective and constructive comments, which most criticize the justification, analysis or outcome of the study, and the authors are invited to respond to these letters (author’s response to the letter). While writing a letter one should avoid assuming a personal and biased attitude, and that all suggestions should be made based on scientific evidence. Therefore, letters written to the editor should contain Objective and constructive interpretations or discussions on medical, scientific or general areas of interest.

SECONDARY PUBLICATION

TPHB allows authors to submit material that has previously been published elsewhere to make it available to those that cannot access the primary publication. Such material will mainly be accepted as a simplified and summarized version of the original. If published, the primary publication should be clearly acknowledged with a reference and web link to the original material.

STYLE GUIDE

Please take care that all terminology and notation used will be widely understood. Abbreviations and acronyms should be spelled out in full at their first occurrence in the text.

SI units are strongly recommended. If non-SI units must be used, SI equivalents (or conversion factors) must also be given. Please use the spellings 'litre' and 'metre' (a 'meter' is a measuring instrument).

Please use a decimal point rather than a comma in numbers (i.e. 3.142 not 3,142).

Artwork

All figures and tables should be embedded in the text where possible. The text should shortly describe and summarize the content, but not unnecessarily repeat the information; the reader should be able to understand text and illustrations independently of each other. Figure/table titles should not contain abbreviations and be as short as possible.

Figures

Figures should appear in numerical order, be described in the body of the text and be positioned close to where they are first cited. Each figure should have a caption which describes the illustration, and that can be understood independently of the main text. The caption should be given in the text, and not on the figure itself. All figures should be uploaded as separate, editable files. Graphs should be provided in Excel format.

Tables

Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Number tables consecutively in accordance with their appearance in the text and place any table notes below the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure that the data presented in them do not duplicate results described elsewhere in the article.

Pictures

Pictures of illustrations simply copied into .pdf, .eps, .wmf, .emf, .svg formats cannot be used because they cannot be edited. We need the illustration to be linked to the original data. Bitmap files (.jpg, .bmp, .gif, etc) are not acceptable. Maps should be provided as vector files (.pdf, .eps, .wmf, .emf, .svg). Preferably the maps should not include bitmap elements (i.e. map as a picture in the background). Only photographs should be given as high-resolution bitmap files (.jpg, .tif, etc.). They should be provided as stand-alone original files, and not included in Word or PowerPoint documents

LANGUAGE AND STYLE

Papers must use grammatically correct English free of jargon. Avoid abbreviations when possible and define them when you first use them. Please use US English spelling. The English summary of the article should be accompanied by a Kiswahili translated version.

REFERENCES

Citations are numbered in the order of appearance in the text. Reference numbers are placed in square brackets [1] in the text. References cited in a table or figure legend should be numbered after the citations in the text.

References should be formatted according to the uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals’ (Vancouver style). Do not use italics, bold or underlining.

#. Author of article AA, Author of article BB, Author of article CC. Title of article. Abbreviated Title of Journal. Year;vol(issue):page number(s). For example:

Knobel DL, Cleaveland S, Coleman PG, Fèvre EM, Meltzer MI, Miranda MEG, et al. Re-evaluating the burden of rabies in Africa and Asia. Bull World Health Organ (2005) 83(5):360–8

If there are more than six authors, list the first six authors followed by et al. (See example above)

Online References

These should specify the full URL for the reference and give the date on which it was consulted. Please check again to confirm that the work you are citing is still accessible:

World Health Organization (2020). What is COVID-19: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses] (accessed 24 September 2020)

HOW TO SUBMIT MATERIAL

All submissions should be submitted to the Deputy Editor in Chief at tphb-submission@gmail.com.

EVALUATION AND PEER REVIEW

The TPHB is published quarterly. Information on urgent health threats will be reviewed, edited, cleared and published electronically within 12 hours as preprint. All submitted manuscripts/articles would be subjected to review and vetting before publication. Upon submission the articles are initially screened in house by a team of editors for relevance to the targeted audience. Manuscripts that pass the first evaluation will be sent for peer review to at least two independent experts in the field. While we try to avoid delays, this part of the process relies on the availability and cooperation of the referees and can take considerable time. Those passing the normal review process are submitted for vetting contents relevance and adherence to MoH focus. Vetting is done by a vetting committee chaired by CMO at times authors might be invited to make presentation.

REVISION

Major corrections cannot be undertaken by either the editor or the publishers; if your paper is not prepared in accordance with these instructions, it may not be considered further. Where requested to do so in the course of the peer review process, authors must revise their papers within one month of the request; otherwise, the contribution will be considered withdrawn.

AFTER ACCEPTANCE

Proofs

The corresponding author will be notified via email when proofs are ready. Any corrections must be returned within one week of receipt and should only cover typesetting errors. Proofreading is the sole responsibility of the authors.

Offprints

As soon as the article has been published online, the corresponding author will receive a customized link to the article, which they are encouraged to share via any communication channel, including e-mail and social media. The corresponding author will receive an electronic file of the final version of the article when it has been published in an issue.

Corrections

You should ensure you check your proofs carefully to avoid errors in the final published article. If, however, you notice a scientifically relevant error in the final version of your article, you should contact the TPHB office to request a correction. Relevant reasons for correction include:

An error in a figure that does not alter the conclusions of the article;

An error in data that does not alter the conclusions of the article;

Mislabeled figures;

An error in the author list (an author has been included or omitted);

An error introduced by the publisher during production.

CONTACTING THE EDITORIAL TEAM

If you have any questions about Health Press, please contact our editorial team at

Deputy Editor-in-Chief Dr. Julius Massaga email address: jjmassaga@gmail.com