About the Journal

Aims & Scope

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:

  • Media issues, such as media coverage of health topics, health literacy, information seeking behaviour, usage and effects of health messages.
  • Strategic issues, focusing on communication strategies and prevention campaigns, narrowcasting health messages, and health public relations.
  • Health technologies issues, such as usage and effects of novel health technologies, communicative challenges related to novel technologies, e-health, telemedicine.
  • Social and community issues, such as health-related interpersonal communication, social influence and support, and community health risk management.
  • Patient-provider issues, such as determinants, content, and outcomes of patient-provider interactions, communication skills, or trust and disclosure in interactions.
  • Intercultural issues, such as health communication for ethnic minorities, challenges of intercultural health communication, and cross-cultural differences in health communication issues.
  • Methodological issues, comprising methodological innovations and challenges in current health communication research, both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
  • Academic issues, such as self-observations and introspective studies in the field of health communication.

Article Types

EJHC publishes original research papers, theoretical and methodological papers, review articles and living reviews, as well as brief research reports in English.

  • Original research papers report empirical studies (based on quantitative and/or qualitative methods) and range between 4,000 and 7,000 words (plus abstract, notes, tables and figures, references, and supplements).
  • Theoretical papers present innovative theories and models for health communication. The specifications are the same as for original research papers.
  • Methodological papers focus on methodological issues relevant for the discipline (e.g., tracking health data). The specifications are the same as for original research papers.
  • Review articles systematise the existing literature or present a meta-analysis of published results or multiple data sets. The specifications are the same as for original research papers.
  • Living reviews are updated versions of review articles. They need to incorporate the research that has been published since its original/last publication and underline the development and its relevance to the field. The updated version will also be peer reviewed (single blind) and published as a new article with its own DOI.
  • Research reports focus on methods, such as the development of a new questionnaire, or they feature small empirical studies that do not require an extensive theoretical rationale. They contain up to 3,000 words, excluding abstract, notes, tables and figures, references, and supplements.

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.

Publication Ethics

To ensure a responsible research publication process that respects research integrity and publication ethics, EJHC follows the international standards for editors and authors as proposed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Peer Review Process

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.

Open Access Strategy

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.

Submissions by Editors

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.