Focus and Scope

The goal of the Ohio Journal of Public Health (ISSN 2578-6180) is to publish high-quality, peer-reviewed manuscripts that present research, as well as public health and educational practices that are relevant to Ohio. The journal will publish original papers on public health topics such as disease prevention, health promotion, health policy, environmental health, social justice, public health education, public health practice, and surveillance, among other topics. The focus will be on education, practice, and research conducted in Ohio or, if outside Ohio, relevant for Ohio public health. This is an on-line journal that will publish manuscripts on a rolling basis, compiled to form at minimum two issues per year.

Peer Review Process

OJPH uses a double-blind peer review process. The editor invites peer reviewers for each manuscript based on their content and/or methodological expertise.  Peer reviewers are strongly encouraged to consider reviewing revisions of the manuscript if invited to do so; the editor will endeavor to provide a similar time frame for revision reviews. Experienced scholars may collaborate on a peer review with a junior colleague or advanced graduate student; there is space to describe these collaborations in the reviewer form. The editor considers peer reviewer recommendations but takes responsibility for final decisions to accept, request revision, or reject articles.

General Peer Review Guidelines

The aims of the peer review process include:
A.    Ensuring peer experts have determined published articles meet appropriate professional standards for ethics and quality
B.    Ensuring published research reports include adequate but not excessive detail  
C.    Providing specific guidance to authors to help them to meet aims A and B above
To meet these quality control aims, peer reviewers are asked to provide actionable comments (i.e., to structure feedback as explicit recommendations rather than as expressions of preference or opinion) using professional and courteous language.  
If you are interested in additional information about the aims and process of peer review as described by other journals, visit these external sources:
Nature: If you can’t be kind in peer review, be neutral
PlOS: how to write a peer review

Becoming a Peer Reviewer

Faculty members, practitioners, researchers, or scholars interested in becoming a peer reviewer for the Ohio Journal of Public Health, should email an expression of interest to Sheryl L. Chatfield, Editor at schatfi1@kent.edu.  In your email, please identify your content and/or methodological areas of expertise within public health. Please also attach a recent resumé or CV. Typical reviewers have a post baccalaureate degree or a bachelor’s degree and applied public health experience and have previously reviewed one or more manuscripts or responded to peer review comments regarding their own manuscripts.

Resigning your Peer Reviewer Status

It may be necessary for you to resign your peer reviewer status. This may occur because of changes in status, interests, or location. If you wish to be removed from the list of available peer reviewers who provide service to the Ohio Journal of Public Health, please email Sheryl L. Chatfield, Editor, at schatfi1@kent.edu. If you are temporarily unavailable during the regular academic semester (August to May), you may also communicate this directly to the editor – please provide the date when you will resume availability.

Publication Frequency

OJPH publishes articles on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year.

Open Access Policy

Journals published by The Ohio State University Libraries provide immediate open access to their content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

In order to lower barriers to publication for authors, our journals do not charge submission or any other form of author fees.

Beginning with Volume 3, Issue 3 (December 2020), the Ohio Journal of Public Health is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated.

While authors retain copyright ownership of their work, this Creative Commons license will allow readers to print, share, re-post, and republish an article, without asking for permission, as long as the work is properly attributed to the author(s). Read more about the license here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ or view the full legal text here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode.

(Updated December 18, 2020)

Publication Ethics

The Ohio Journal of Public Health (OJPH) is guided by the highest standards in publication ethics as outlined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) in their Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

(Updated November 18, 2020)


All published articles in OJPH will contain clear and accurate attribution of authorship. The author is responsible for ensuring that everyone who contributed to the work is fairly acknowledged.

An author is defined using the ICMJE description:

  • 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.

If authorship disputes arise, the OJPH editorial team will follow the COPE guidelines.

(Updated November 18, 2020)

Complaints and Appeals

OJPH editors have discretion in determining whether an article is an appropriate fit for the journal. However, if the author feels the decision to reject the manuscript was based on an error, the author can appeal the decision by contacting the editors with a detailed description of the perceived error.

OJPH editors will promptly respond to ethical complaints and, in collaboration with OJPH’s publisher, The Ohio State University Libraries, will follow guidance described by COPE.

(Updated November 18, 2020)

Conflict of Interest

Authors, reviewers, and editors are required to disclose conflicts of interest at the earliest possible opportunity - for example, when a manuscript is submitted or a review assignment is accepted. Conflict of interest is defined as any competing personal, professional, or financial interest that may introduce bias into the publishing process of the journal.

Example conflicts of interest:

  • financial support from commercial enterprises that have a vested interest in the results
  • personal relationships that would compromise objectivity during review or publication
  • professional competition that would prevent objective evaluation of a submitted manuscript

Disclosure of a conflict of interest by an author does not necessarily mean that a manuscript will be denied acceptance to the journal. If an author is found to have a conflict of interest that was not disclosed during the submission and review process, the editor will identify an appropriate remedy, which may include a published correction or a retraction.

(Updated November 18, 2020)

Copyright and Plagiarism

Copyright Policy

Authors retain all rights to work published by The Ohio State University Libraries' Publishing Program. The specific terms of our author agreements may vary slightly from journal to journal, but they all constitute nonexclusive licenses covering the rights required to publish, index, abstract, and preserve the content. Authors are free to reuse their work and to enter into other agreements as long as they credit the relevant journal as the site of first publication and provide a link to the journal website.

Beginning with Volume 3, Issue 3 (December 2020), the Ohio Journal of Public Health is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated.

Plagiarism Policy

OJPH does not accept manuscripts with plagiarized material. For the purposes of this policy, plagiarism is defined as the use of previously authored works - including text, data, and images – of others or self without proper attribution.

The editors of OJPH will respond to plagiarism at their discretion. Actions taken will be based on the severity of the plagiarism attempt, but can include corrections to or retractions of the published article, the author being banned from publishing in the journal, and/or the editor notification of the author’s institution or funding agencies.

(Updated December 18, 2020)

Research Involving Human Participants

OJPH will promote the highest standards of research by ensuring that all published research is conducted in an ethical manner. Authors of human subjects research reports must comply with ethical requirements including those specified by the Office for Human Research Protections, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Authors of human subjects research reports should describe institutional review or other ethics board approval process, or verify that the project was deemed exempt from ethics board review and oversight. These standards apply to any submission types (e.g., research reports, public health practice, commentary, etc.) where human subjects research is described.

(Updated September 14, 2021)

Post-Publication Corrections

When errors are discovered in published content, OJPH will follow the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The following language is a brief summary of relevant portions of the guidelines for the benefit of our editors, authors, and readers. The full guidelines should be consulted if questions arise or action is being considered.

If the editor becomes aware of major errors in, or misconduct related to published work, the editor may issue a retraction, statement of concern, or correction. These actions are meant to maintain the scholarly record and are not meant to be a form of punishment. An author who determines that his or her published article may contain errors should contact the editor promptly so that the journal can determine a path forward. Readers are also invited to contact the editor with concerns about published content.


A retraction is defined as a public disavowal, not an erasure or removal. Retractions will occur if the editors and editorial board find that the main conclusion of the work is undermined or if subsequent information about the work comes to light of which the authors or the editors were not aware at the time of publication.

Statement of Concern

A statement of concern will be issued if there is inconclusive evidence of research misconduct / ethical wrongdoing or there is an ongoing investigation and results are pending.


A correction will be published if the scholarly record is seriously affected (e.g., if accuracy / intended meaning, scientific reproducibility, author reputation, or journal reputation is judged to be compromised). Corrections such as misspellings or grammatical errors will not be published. Published corrections will be added to the original article whenever possible. When that is not possible, the correction will link to and from the original work.


Removal of published content may occur if an article is determined to be defamatory by a court of law, if it infringes on legal rights, or if there is a reasonable expectation that it will be subject to a court order for any reason. The bibliographic information about the work will be retained online, but the work will no longer be available through the journal. A note will be added to indicate that the item was removed for legal reasons.

(Updated November 18, 2020)


This journal participates in the Public Knowledge Project's Private LOCKSS Network to preserve its contents. https://pkp.sfu.ca/pkp-pn/

(Updated November 18, 2020)