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Public Health Reports: Call for Papers on the History of Public Health: Celebrating the 140th Anniversary of the Journal

Public Health Reports (PHR) invites submitted articles on the general topic of the history of public health. This call for papers is part of the journal’s celebration of its 140th anniversary (1878 – 2018). The journal plans to publish a series of papers on the history of public health beginning with its July – August 2018 issue and ending with its May – June 2019 issue. The journal invites articles that address key topics in the history of public health from the year of the journal’s founding through the present day. Articles need not be about the history of the journal. However, if appropriate, authors may wish to mention key historical articles in the journal as part of their manuscripts.

The first forerunner of PHR was published on July 13, 1878. Thus, the year following July 13, 2018 will mark the journal’s 140th anniversary period. Accepted articles will be published online continuously throughout the anniversary period and will be included in six bimonthly issued published during that time. Articles should be submitted as special articles (see below). All submissions will be externally peer-reviewed.

Dr. David Rosner will serve as the section editor for all articles submitted to PHR in relation to this call for papers. He is the Ronald H. Lauterstein Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and co-director of the Center for the History & Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University and serves as an associate editor of PHR.

The deadline for submissions for the first issue (July – August 2018) of the anniversary period is this December 25.  The deadline for submissions for the last issue (May – June 2019) of the anniversary is October 25, 2018. The journal has created a special article format for the anniversary articles. Submitted articles should present or discuss some aspect of public health history that will be of interest to contemporary public health practitioners and scholars and should meet accepted standards of historical research and scholarship. Manuscripts should fill a gap in the literature of the history of public health or provide a fresh perspective of a historical event, problem, or issue in American or global public health. Submitted manuscripts should be no longer than 3,500 words, with no more than a total of 5 tables and figures. The manuscript text may be unstructured. There is no limit on the number of references. For all other formatting requirements (e.g., cover letter, title page, references), and submission procedures and standards, authors should follow the Public Health Report submission guidelines. Interested authors may send queries about potential articles to Dr. Frederic E. Shaw, the editor in chief of the journal, at

PHR is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service, and is the oldest scholarly public health journal in the United States. It has been published since 1878, dating back to the July 13, 1878 “Bulletin” of the Supervising Surgeon General of the Marine Hospital Service (later U.S. Surgeon General).1,2 Through its history, PHR has published many seminal public health articles including J. Goldberg’s classic epidemiological investigation of the etiology of pellagra.3 Many of its past publications have touched upon the topics that still resonate today, such as the prevalence and trends of drug addiction in the U.S.The journal is published by SAGE Publishing, Inc. through an agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. PHR’s mission is to facilitate the movement of science into public health practice and policy to positively affect the health and wellness of the American public. All issues of PHR published since its founding (except those published in the most recent 12 months) are available electronically.

1. Hunter JS. Public Health Reports’ first century–a chronicle. Public Health Rep. 1978 Nov-Dec; 93(6):591-9.
2. Public Health Reports; from yellow fever to international health. Public Health Rep. 1952 Jan;67(1):1-7.
3.Goldberg J. The Etiology of Pellagra: The Significance of Certain Epidemiological Observations With Respect Thereto. Public Health Rep 1914;29(26), 1683-1686.
4. Kolb L, Du Mez AG. The prevalence and trend of drug addiction in the United States and factors influencing it. Public Health Rep 1924;39(21), 1179-1204.