The Importance of Publications by Public Health Practitioners

by Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH


The lead editorial of this March/April issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice (JPHMP), “The Importance of Publications by Public Health Practitioners,” emphasizes a central element of the mission of our publication. Our first editorial in January 1995 pointed to the benefits of practitioner authorship. We are redoubling our efforts to encourage this, spurred by a discussion with our editors and publisher and Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation in November at the annual APHA meeting in Atlanta. The editors have worked with Adam Judge of the de Beaumont Foundation to develop a new tool, “Writing in Boxes,” which can be found on our website www.JPHMP.com. This interactive tool, tested by members of our editorial board, guides those interested in authoring scientific articles in a step-by-step fashion. Analysis of authorship documented for this editorial has shown for the 3-year time frame (2015-2017), of the 268 articles published (excluding columns, commentaries, and submissions for supplements, 88 (33%) had practitioners as first authors.

Ross Brownson and colleagues have published “Getting the Word Out: New Approaches for Disseminating Public Health Science.” This is one of our first articles in a new format: Practice Full Report. The report tackles the problem of ineffective dissemination adding to the gap between discovery of public health knowledge and policy development. Recommendations are described to assist reaching practitioners and researchers through various communication channels.

Two articles in the issue continue the focus of JPHMP on disaster preparedness. Mori clarifies evacuation-related decision-making after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Russell reports on the health and wellness needs of vulnerable Rockaway, NY, residents during Hurricane Sandy. The response to Hurricane Sandy included using health coaches and community health workers to address the social health and long-term disaster recovery needs of Rockaway residents two years after Hurricane Sandy made landfall.

With this issue, JPHMP is publishing our first international supplement: Public Health in Vietnam. Guest editors are Professor Minh Van Hoang of the Hanoi University School of Public Health and editorial board member Philip Nasca, past Dean of the University of Albany School of Public Health. Vietnam is undergoing a rapid epidemiological transition, characterized by sharp increases in non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Risk factors for these diseases are documented including smoking, alcohol use, obesity and lack of physical activity. Health care services for these conditions are not available in many localities. Research and scientific evidence on this transition are reported in this supplement.

Finally, each year we recognize and publish the names of our peer reviewers. Without these dedicated individuals, it would not be possible to bring quality content to our readers. We are indeed fortunate for the comprehensive input provided by our reviewers. Our authors also express their appreciation as these evaluations improve their work. For the period 2016-2017, 334 individuals are listed.


Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH is the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice and Professor Emeritus of the Department of Public Health at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. Follow him on Twitter. [Full Bio]

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