About the Journal
Focus and Scope
Journal of Health Policy and Management (JHPM) is electronic, open access, peer-reviewed journal. It publishes research articles in the areas of health policy, health planning, health system, and health care management, with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries. The journal began its publication on October 21, 2015, and it is published twice yearly.
The JPHM provides a platform for publishing original and high-quality research that addresses questions pertinent to policy-makers, health care managers, public health researchers, and health care practitioners. The journal covers a broad range of topics from different fields, notably health policy, health management, health economics, epidemiology, social/ public policy, and philosophy. JHPM welcomes studies using multidisciplinary or integrative approaches.
Special encouragement is given to research papers addressing health issues in developing countries, as health policy and management issues impacting populations in the developing world are currently under-documented and underreported in the existing international journals.
Peer Review Process
Journal of Health Policy and Management (JHPM) is a double blind and peer reviewed international journal. Every paper submitted to JHPM for publication is subject to peer review. The peer review in this journal is an evaluation of the submitted paper by two or more individuals of similar competence to the author of the paper. It aims to determine the academic paper's suitability for publication. The peer review method is employed to maintain standards of quality and provide credibility of the papers. The peer review at JHPM proceeds in 9 steps with description as follows.
1. Submission of Paper
The corresponding or submitting author submits the paper to the journal. This is carried out via an online system supported by the Open Journal System (OJS). But in order to facilitate authors, JHPM temporarily also accepts paper submissions by email.
2. Editorial Office Assessment
The submitted paper is first assessed by the JHPM editor. The editor checks whether it is suitable with JHPM's focus and scope. The paper's composition and arrangement are evaluated against the journal's Author Guidelines to make sure it includes the required sections and stylizations. In addition, an assessment of the minimum required quality of the paper for publication begins at this step, including one that assesses whether there is a major methodological flaw. Every submitted paper which pass this step will be checked by Turnitin to identify any plagiarism before being reviewed by reviewers.
3. Appraisal by the Editor-in-Chief (EIC)
The Editor-in-Chief (EIC) checks if the paper is appropriate for the journal, sufficiently original, interesting, and significant for publication. If not, the paper may be rejected without being reviewed any further.
4. Invitation to Reviewers
The handling editor sends invitations to individuals who he or she believes would be appropriate reviewers (also known as referees) based on expertise, closeness of research interest, and no conflict of interest consideration. The peer review process at JHPM involves a community of experts in a narrowly defined field of health policy, health system, health planning, health care management, who are qualified and able to perform reasonably impartial review. The impartiality is also maintained by the double blind peer review employed in this journal. That said, the reviewer does not know the author's identity, conversely the author does not know the reviewer's identity. The paper is sent to two reviewers anonymously.
5. Response to Invitations
Potential reviewers consider the invitation against their own expertise, conflicts of interest, and availability. They then decide to accept or decline. In the invitation letter, the editor may ask the potential reviewer for suggestion of alternative reviewers, when he or she declines to review.
6. Review is Conducted
The reviewer allocates time to read the paper several times. The first read is used to form an initial impression of the work. If major problems are found at this stage, the reviewer may feel comfortable rejecting the paper without further work. Otherwise they will read the paper several more times, taking notes so as to build a detailed point-by-point review. The review is then submitted to the journal, with a recommendation to accept, or reject it, or else with a request for revision (usually flagged as either major or minor) before it is reconsidered.
7. Journal Evaluates the Reviews
The EIC and handling editor considers all the returned reviews before making an overall decision. If the reviews differ widely between both reviewers, the handling editor may invite an additional reviewer so as to obtain an extra opinion before making a decision.
8. The Decision is Communicated
The editor sends a decision email to the author including any relevant reviewer comments. Reviewers' comment are sent anonymously to corresponding author to take the necessary actions and responses. At this point, reviewers are also be sent an email or letter letting them know the outcome of their review.
9. Final Steps
If accepted, the paper is sent to production. If the article is rejected or sent back to the author for either major or minor revision, the handling editor will include constructive comments from the reviewers to help the author improve the article. The author should make corrections and revise the paper per the reviewer's comments and instructions.
After revision has been made, the author should resubmit the revised paper to the editor supplemented with a cover page containing a check list that declares points of correction and revision that have been made.
If the paper was sent back for revision, the reviewers should expect to receive the revised version, unless they have opted out of further participation. However, where only minor changes were requested this follow-up review might be done by the handling editor.
If the editor is happy with the revised paper, it is considered to be accepted. The accepted papers will be published online and all are freely available as downloadable pdf files.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
Users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles in this journal, or use them for any other lawful purpose.
Research and Publication Ethics
Scientific publishing is the ultimate product of scientist work. The publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal forms the basis for the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. The quantity and citability of scientific publication are keys to the promotion of scientists. Publication of scientific work provides recognition among scientific community and establishes intellectual and professional credibility, which in turn contribute to career progression.
However, “Publication at Any Cost” and “Publish or Perish” mantras can adversely affect the whole research environment and cultivate recycled writing. It is easy to find information for most research papers, but it is not always easy to add that information into paper without falling into the plagiarism trap. It is absolutely unacceptable to republish a paper with minor changes, without referring to the primary publication, and to present it to the readership as a new source (Masic, 2012).
It is therefore important to set and follow some standards of expected ethical behavior for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, the publisher and the society of society-owned or sponsored journals. To contribute to the bulk of knowledge, a scholarly paper should be ethical, credible, and should be based on optimal research design and reporting (Masic, 2012).
An ethical manuscript is one which is free from any form of plagiarism, duplicate publication, ghost authorship, copyright laws infringement, any form of bias or conflict of interest, fabrication or falsification, and perhaps most importantly, an ethical manuscript should be free of unethical research (Graf et al., 2007; Lamki, 2013; Elsevier, 2018). All manuscripts submitted to Journal of Health Policy and Management (JHPM) should be free from any form of scientific misconduct mentioned above.The next sections describe some of those important ethical issues that all those concerned in research and publication should be aware.
1. Research Fraud and Misconduct
Fraud and misconduct are the two terminologies often used interchangeably. However, according to Gupta (2013), there is a gross distinction between the two. Scientific misconduct/fraud is a violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in scientific research. Fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual, for instance, intentionally falsifying and/or fabricating research data, and misleading reporting of the results. Research fraud is publishing data or conclusions that were not generated by experiments or observations, but by invention or data manipulation (Gupta, 2013; Elsevier, 2015).
Misconduct may not be an intentional action, rather an act of poor management. It also includes failure to follow established protocols if this failure results in unreasonable risk or harm to humans.Fraud should have an element of deliberate action, which is not the case with misconduct (Gupta, 2013).
There are two kinds of fraud in research and scientific publishing: (1) Fabrication, and (2) Falsification.Fabrication refers to making up research data and results, and recording or reporting them. It is an intentional misrepresentation of research results by making up data, such as that reported in a journal article. It is the intent to deceive that marks fabrication as highly unethical (Elsevier, 2015).
Falsification is manipulating research materials, images, data, equipment, or processes. Falsification includes changing or omitting data or results in such a way that the research is not accurately represented. A more minor form of fabrication is where references are included to give arguments the appearance of widespread acceptance, but are actually fake, and/or do not support the argument. A person might falsify data to make it fit with the desired end result of a study (Elsevier, 2015).
Both fabrication and falsification are serious forms of misconduct and highly unethical, because they result in a scientific record that does not accurately reflect observed truth. Fraud/misconduct can lead to study losing its entire credibility. Moreover, in clinical settings it can lead to ineffective or harmful treatment being available or patients being denied of effective treatment (Gupta, 2013; Elsevier, 2015).
It is therefore important to remind that authors of research papers submitted to JHPM should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the paper. A paper should comprise sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or consciously inaccurate statements form unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
Authors may be asked to provide the research data supporting their paper for editorial review and/ or to follow the open data requirement of the journal. Authors should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if feasible, and should be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable number of years after publication.
All parties involved in the act of publishing in JHPM, including the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, the publisher, and the society, must pay attention to plagiarism and attempt to prevent it. Plagiarism is one of the most common forms of publication misconduct encountered – or at least recognized (Smith, 2007). According to Elsevier (2018), plagiarism arises when one author deliberately uses another's work without permission, credit, or acknowledgment. Plagiarism can also be defined as is the case when someone uses others’ ideas, statements, linguistic style and does not acknowledge intellectual originators (Masic, 2012).
Plagiarism can include: (1) data; (2) words and phrases; (3) sentences or passages; and (4) ideas and concepts. The author should always remember that crediting the work of others (including own previous work) is a critical part of the process. The author should always put the work in the context of the advancement of the field, and acknowledge the findings of others on which one has built the research (Smith, 2007; Elsevier, 2015).
Plagiarism takes different forms: (1) Literal copying; (2) Substantial copying; (3) Paraphrasing plagiarism; (4) Text recycling (Smith, 2007; Elsevier, 2015).
Literal Copying – It refers to reproducing a work word for word, in whole or in part, without permission and acknowledgment of the original source. Literal copying is only acceptable if the author references the source and puts quotation marks around the copied text (Elsevier, 2015).
Substantial copying - "Substantial" can be defined as both quantity and quality of what was copied, and can include research materials, processes, tables, or equipment (Elsevier, 2015).
Paraphrasing plagiarism– Paraphrasing plagiarism is committed when an author summarizes an idea taken from another source and fails both to cite the author(s) and to provide the corresponding reference. It is reproducing someone else's ideas while not copying word for word, without permission and acknowledgment of the original source. Paraphrasing is only acceptable if the author properly references the source and make sure that it does not change the meaning intended by the source. Therefore, it is important that the author understands what the original author means. The author should never copy and paste words that are not fully understood (Indiana University Bloomington, 2014; Elsevier, 2015).
Text recycling- Text recycling, also referred to as self-plagiarism, is the reproduction of an author's own “text” or work from a previous paper, and resubmitting it for publication as an entirely new paper (Smith, 2007, Harriman and Patel, 2014; Elsevier, 2015). Opinions on the acceptability of this practice vary, with some viewing it as acceptable and efficient, and others as misleading and unacceptable. Although the definitions of self-plagiarism are difficult, there is agreement that there should be attribution with citation to the earlier journal article for a text recycing acceptable (Smith, 2007).
Plagiarism is a serious and common form of misconduct in research publication. The solution is essentially simple in most cases – attribution, that is assigning to a cause or source. For papers that are submitted to peer-reviewed journals, work from the minds of others must be acknowledged. It does not mean that it is improper to build on the work of others, just that the contribution of the originator be recognized and the original publication be referenced (Smith, 2007).
There are 6 ways to avoid plagiarism: (1) Paraphrasing; (2) Citing; (3) Quoting; and (4) Referencing (Allen, 2000; WriteCheck, 2018; Imperial College London).
Paraphrase – When an author has found information that is perfect for the research paper, read it and put it into own words. The author should make sure not to copy verbatim more than two words in a row from the text that has been found. If the author use more than two words together, these words should be put in quotation marks (WriteCheck, 2018).
Citing - Science moves forward only by building upon the work of others. It is therefore important to properly and appropriately cite references in scientific research papers in order to acknowledge their sources and give credit where credit is due. This acknowledgement is called a citation. Authors who wish to submit their manuscripts to JHPM should follow the Harvard citing style. Other journals may use different citing formats (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.). Citing is simple. It comprises the addition of the author(s) and the date of the publication or similar information. Not citing properly can constitute plagiarism. But there are other also reasons for citing references in scientific research papers. Citations to appropriate sources show that the author is aware of the background and context into which the work fits, and they help lend validity to the author’s arguments (Allen, 2000; WriteCheck, 2018; Imperial College London, 2018).
Quoting - When quoting a source, use the quote exactly the way it appears. No one wants to be misquoted. Massive quotes should be avoided. Most institutions of higher learning frown on “block quotes” or quotes of 40 words or more. An author should be able to effectively paraphrase most material. This process takes time, but the effort pays off! Quoting must be done correctly to avoid plagiarism allegations (WriteCheck, 2018).
Citing Quotes - Citing a quote can be different than citing paraphrased material. This practice usually involves the addition of a page number, or a paragraph number in the case of web content (WriteCheck, 2018).
Citing The Author’s Own Material - If some of the material the author is using for the current research paper was used in anywhere else previously, it must be cited. Treat the text the same as the author would if someone else wrote it. It may sound odd, but using material that the author has used before is called self-plagiarism, and it is not acceptable (WriteCheck, 2018).
Referencing - One of the most important ways to avoid plagiarism is including a reference page or page of works cited at the end of your research paper. Again, this page must meet the document formatting guidelines used by the journal. In JHPM, use Harvard reference style. The reference information is very specific and includes the author(s), date of publication, title, and source. Follow the style and directions for this page carefully. The author should make sure to get the references right (WriteCheck, 2018).
More detailed information on Harvard citing and reference styles can be found in the Author Guideline.
3. Originality and Duplicate Publication
All manuscripts submitted to JHPM should be original and should not be considered by other scientific journals for publication at the same time. Authors have an obligation to avoid duplicate submission and redundant publication. By duplicate submission / publication it means the practice of submitting the same manuscript to two journals or publishing more or less the same manuscript in two journals. These submissions/publications can come about nearly simultaneous or years later. Submission is not permitted as long as a manuscript is under review with another journal.
Redundant publication (also known as “salami slicing”, “salami publication”, or “segmented publication”) refers to the situation that one study is split into several parts and submitted to two or more journals. It is a form of self-plagiarism. But unlike duplicate publication, which involves reporting the exact same data in two or more publications, salami slicing involves breaking up or segmenting a large study into two or more publications. These segments are referred to as "slices" of a study. According to Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), as long as the "slices" of a broken up study share the same hypotheses, population, and methods, this is not acceptable practice. The same "slice" should never be published more than once (Smolcic, 2013).
Intentionally submitting or re-submitting work for duplicate publication is considered a breach of publishing ethics. According to International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE, 2017), one of the main reasons duplicate publication of original research is considered unethical, is that it can result in "inadvertent double-counting or inappropriate weighting of the results of a single study, which distorts the available evidence". In addition, both duplicate submission and duplicate publication cause editors and reviewers to spend their valuable time and efforts unnecessarily.
There are some situations when “salami publication” or redundant publication is allowed. Manuscripts based on the same or similar patient sample can be published in more than one journal for a different population of readers, for example from an epidemiologist’s or clinical chemist’s point of view (Smolcic, 2013).
Any part of the manuscript accepted in JHPM should not be duplicated in any other scientific journal without the permission of the Editorial Board, although the figures and tables can be used freely if original source is verified. It is mandatory for all authors to resolve any copyright issues when citing a figure or table from a different journal that is not open access.
Current academic promotion and research funding are heavily dependent on the quantity of articles. Authorship provides recognition among peers and establishes intellectual and professional credibility, which contribute to career progression. Naming authors on a scientific paper ensures that the appropriate individuals get credit for the research. However, in tandem with these benefits, come responsibility and accountability for the dissemination of research findings.
JHPM adopts the ICMJE (2017) recommendation on authorship in this journal. The authorship credit of publication should be based on four criteria:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
- Final approval of the version to be published; AND
- 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.
All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. For example, based on these criteria, solely writing or editing a manuscript does not merit author status; involvement in the study design or data collection/analysis, approval of the final draft of the paper, and accountability for the entire work, are also required.
Three types of authorship are considered ethically unacceptable: ghost, guest, and gift authorships. “Ghost” author is one who contributes substantially but is not acknowledged (often paid by commercial sponsor). “Guest” author is one who make no discernible contributions, but is listed to help increase the chances of publication. "Gift" author is one whose contribution is based solely on a tenuous affiliation with a study (Publication Ethics, 2018).
When not appropriately addressed, authorship issues can lead to dispute. According to COPE, some disputes arise from misconduct (such as lying about one's role); some emanate from questions of interpretation, such as the degree to which a person's contribution can be considered "substantial" and if authorship is justified.
The corresponding author to JHPM should make sure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included in the paper. All co-authors should have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. The authors should sign a formal declaration about their contributions and paper approval. If the number of authors is greater than 6, there should be a list of each author's role for the submitted paper. If any persons who do not meet above four criteria, they should be recognized as contributors in Acknowledgments section.
5. Conflict-of-Interest Statement
Conflicts of interest may be defined as “circumstances that create a risk that professional judgments or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest” (Thompson, 1993; Institute of Medicine, 2007; Romain, 2015). According to International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME, 2004), “conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author’s institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence (bias) his or her actions”. Such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties. For example, financial relationships, such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, and paid expert testimony, are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest. Undeclared financial conflicts may seriously undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself (Elsevier, 2015).
Conflicts of interest can also occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion. The potential for conflict of interest can exist regardless of whether an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment (Elsevier, 2015).
According to the US Office of Research Integrity, having a conflict of interest is not in itself unethical. There are some that are unavoidable. Full transparency, however, is always the best course of action, and, if in doubt, disclosure is preferable. If there is a disclosure, editors, reviewers, and reader can approach the manuscripts properly after understanding the situation where the research work was processed (Elsevier, 2015).
6. Statement of Human and Animal Right
Clinical research should be done in accordance of the Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects, outlined in the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 (revised 2008), available from:
https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/ (World Medical Association, 2018).
Clinical studies that do not meet the Helsinki Declaration will not be considered for publication. Medical research is subject to ethical standards that promote and ensure respect for all human subjects and protect their health and rights. While the primary purpose of medical research is to generate new knowledge, this goal can never take precedence over the rights and interests of individual research subjects.
It is the duty of physicians who are involved in medical research to protect the life, health, dignity, integrity, right to self-determination, privacy, and confidentiality of personal information of research subjects. The responsibility for the protection of research subjects must always rest with the physician or other health care professionals and never with the research subjects, even though they have given consent. Medical research should be conducted in a manner that minimizes possible harm to the environment.
Human subjects should not be identifiable, such that patients' names, initials, hospital numbers, dates of birth, or other protected healthcare information should not be disclosed. For animal subjects, research should be performed based on the National or Institutional Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the ethical treatment of all experimental animals should be maintained.
7. Statement of Informed Consent and Institutional Review Board Approval
Informed consent must be obtained for all types of human subjects research, including diagnostic, therapeutic, interventional, social and behavioral studies, and research conducted domestically or abroad. According to Office for the Protection of Research Subjects (OPRS) - University of Southern California (2018), informed consent is a voluntary agreement of the study subject to participate in research that takes place before enrolling a the study subject and ongoing once enrolled, in which the subject has an understanding of the research and its risks. Thus, informed consent is not merely a form that is signed but is a process.
The goal of the informed consent process is to provide sufficient information so that a participant can make an informed decision about whether or not to enroll in a study or to continue participation. Obtaining consent involves informing the subject about his or her rights, the purpose of the study, the procedures to be undergone, and the potential risks and benefits of participation. Subjects in the study must participate willingly (Office for the Protection of Research Subjects- University of Southern California, 2018).
The informed consent document must be written in language easily understood by the participant. It must minimize the possibility of coercion or undue influence, and the subject must be given sufficient time to consider participation (Office for the Protection of Research Subjects- University of Southern California, 2018)
Copies of written informed consents should be kept for studies on human subjects. For the clinical studies of human subjects, there should be a certificate, agreement, or approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of author's institute. If necessary, the editor or reviewers of the journal may request copies of these documents to resolve questions about IRB approval and study conduct.
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Article publication charge (APC)
This is an open-access journal. All articles will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to access, read, download, and print. There is no pay-per-view, submission fee, or pay-per-print fee for the published articles. In order to provide open access, this journal has an open access fee (also known as an article publishing charge/APC) which needs to be paid by the authors or on their behalf (e.g., by their research funder or institution).
The Article Publishing Charge is USD 100. The APC is applicable only if the article is accepted for publication. The APC is required to cover the costs of publishing and maintaining the content online, outsourcing facilities, English translation, if necessary, article editing, and any other tools or resources towards publication of the article. There are no other fees than the APC for articles that are accepted for publication.
Journal of Health Policy and Management (JHPM) is an electronic-only, open access, and peer-reviewed journal. The journal and its website publish a variety of materials, including but not limited to research article texts, tables, graphics, photographs, audio and video files, and metadata, which are known as creative works created by authors, editors, and JHPM publisher. Stakeholders in the scholarly communication system, particularly authors and users of the materials in this journal, must be aware and understand the copyright policy that this journal applies.
The JHPM allows their authors to retain the copyright in their articles. Articles are made available under a Creative Commons licence (Attribution, or CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) to allow others to freely access, copy and use research provided the author is correctly attributed.
The CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license works internationally. This CC license “attribution” guarantees to the author the moral rights – the right to be cited through a proper citation – but otherwise gives broad permission to use and reuse the article, provided the users comply with the license terms. Under this license, users may share, copy, and redistribute the material in JHPM in any medium or format. This means that readers and others can share and use an author’s article provided the author is correctly attributed. Likewise, users may adapt, remix, tweak, transform, and build upon the original material.
In doing so, however, users must comply with the license terms. First, “Attribution” - users must give attribution to the licensor (i.e. the author). Users must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. They may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses the user. Second, “NonCommercial” - users may not use the material for commercial purposes. A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation. It means that users are not allowed to sublicense and sell or rent any material of this journal or its modified version. Third, “ShareAlike” - if users’ remix, transform, or build upon the material, they must distribute their contributions (i.e. new creations) under the identical license. No additional restrictions shall apply. It means that users may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits. In other words, not only users’ new works must also acknowledge the author, and be non-commercial, but also users do have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
This CC type of license is intended to maximize the impact of the research article for the author. It helps the authors pursue their interest in being read and cited, and thus in maximizing the free availability of their creative work. By adopting this copyright policy and working on the same platform of knowledge sharing movement as Creative Commons, JHPM seeks to help authors legally share their knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world. We unlock the full potential of the internet to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.
The Journal of Health Policy and Management is affiliated with World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) for academic review advisory of public health contents. The WFPHA is an international, non-governmental organization composed of over 115 associations member, mostly multidisciplinary national public health associations, and representing around 5 millions public health professionals worldwide. It is the only worldwide professional society representing and serving the broad field of public health. WFPHA’s mission is to promote and protect global public health. It does this throughout the world by supporting the establishment and organizational development of public health associations and societies of public health, through facilitating and supporting the exchange of information, knowledge and the transfer of skills and resources, and through promoting and undertaking advocacy for public policies, programs and practices that will result in a healthy and productive world.