Thomas Friemel, U Zurich, Switzerland
Doreen Reifegerste, U Erfurt, Germany
Julia van Weert, U Amsterdam, Netherlands
Gert-Jan de Bruijn, U Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sarah Geber, U Zurich, Switzerland
The European Journal of Health Communication (EJHC) is a peer-reviewed open access journal for high-quality health communication research with relevance to Europe or specific European countries. The journal aims to represent the international character of health communication research given the cultural, political, economic, and academic diversity in Europe.
EJHC welcomes the full breadth of health communication research. It publishes articles that relate to the following health communication issues with an emphasis on their relevance to Europe:
EJHC publishes original research papers, theoretical and methodological papers, review articles and living reviews, as well as brief research reports in English.
As an online journal, EJHC is able to publish all types of electronic supplements. The idea of supplements is to provide information that is not essential for the basic understanding of the article but nevertheless provide the reader with additional insights into instruments, measures, datasets, statistical models etc.
All articles undergo a rigorous peer review process. Once the paper has been assessed as appropriate by the editors (with regard to form, content, and quality), it will be peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers in a double-blind review process, meaning that reviewers are not disclosed to authors, and authors are not disclosed to reviewers. To ensure timely review and publication processes, EJHC builds on a broad editorial structure and immediately publishes articles online after their acceptance.
As an alternative to the traditional article types and review process, EJHC provides the opportunity to “pre-register” original research before data collection. For this purpose, authors are called to submit a proposal for a scientific question, presenting the theoretical background, hypotheses, and a detailed methods and analysis plan (up to 4,000 words). The proposal will be reviewed and if it is evaluated positively, the study receives an “in principle” acceptance. After completion of the study, authors submit the second part of their work presenting and discussing their results (additional maximum of 1,000 to 2,500 words). Though the second part will undergo a review round (to evaluate whether the results and discussion sections meet the standards of the journal), the manuscript will be published regardless of whether the hypotheses are supported or not.
Academic research is publicly funded and both editors and reviewers work voluntarily. Therefore, EJHC supports the idea of open science and is a platinum open access journal. This means that neither the users nor the authors will be charged. This open access strategy will heighten the visibility of the European field of health communication and ensure that authors obtain the maximum possible exposure for their work. Articles are distributed under the "Creative Commons Attribution"-License (CC BY).
All articles receive a unique digital object identifier (DOI). This will ensure their unambiguous identification by databases, search engines, and other researchers. After its launch, the journal aims to be listed in the relevant indices of its field. The editors will manage the journal with the aim to qualify the journal for the relevant indices.
Based on long and careful deliberations, we have decided to allow submissions to the journal by editors. The most important argument for this regulation is that an exclusion would disadvantage a significant share of our community. In order to peruse our goal of a freely accessible journal with an inclusive understanding of health communication, we have built a broad editorial structure (three editors-in-chief, two managing editors, and seven associate editors). Furthermore, an exclusion of these persons would also affect their collaborators including many young scholars and PhD students under their supervision.
Our strategy is not to exclude these persons from publication in the journal, but to guarantee that our aspiration for a fair and transparent process can be upheld also for their submissions. The respective measures include technical solutions within the editorial system to guarantee a double-blind review process. Furthermore, submissions by the editors-in-chief and the managing editors are handled by two associate editors (instead of one in all other instances) and are reviewed by at least three (instead of two) anonymous reviewers. We are confident that these additional safeguards will guarantee to our readers and future authors the impartiality of the review process for all submissions, even those coming from within our editorial team.