Journal of School Health

Cover image for Vol. 86 Issue 7

Edited By: Robert J. McDermott

Impact Factor: 1.547

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 15/40 (Education Scientific Disciplines); 41/230 (Education & Educational Research); 57/87 (Health Care Sciences & Services); 99/172 (Public Environmental & Occupational Health)

Online ISSN: 1746-1561

Author Guidelines

These guidelines are to assist prospective authors in preparing manuscripts for the Journal of School Health. Failure to follow the guidelines completely may delay or prevent consideration of a manuscript. Contact the Journal Editor-in-Chief, Robert J. McDermott, PhD, for general inquiries: email


The Journal of School Health is committed to communicating information regarding the role of schools, school personnel, or the school environment in facilitating the healthy growth and development of children and youth. This focus on healthy children and youth pre-K to 12th grade encompasses a wide variety of areas including health education; physical education; health services; nutrition services; counseling, psychological, and social services; healthful school environment; health promotion for staff; and family/community involvement. Journal readership includes researchers, school administrators, health educators, nurses, physicians, dentists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, nutritionists, dieticians, and other health professionals. These individuals work cooperatively with parents and the community to achieve the common goal of providing the programs, services, and environment necessary to promote healthy children and youth.

NOTE: Manuscripts that focus principally on clinical health issues, on general education issues without a health-related focus, or on collegiate audiences are not typically appropriate for publication consideration.

Manuscript Categories

Manuscripts may be submitted for possible publication in any of the following categories:

  1. General Articles

    General articles include review, theoretical, developmental, historical and philosophical manuscripts. Review articles address topics of broad reader interest and appeal. They should provide systematic, critical assessments of the literature and creative discussion of topics relevant to children and youth pre-K to 12th grade.

    The manuscript should contain the following major sections boldfaced, in all CAPITAL letters, and appearing flush left, presented in this order:

    • ABSTRACT (unstructured ≤ 200 words including headings)
    • LITERATURE REVIEW - including subsections appropriate to the theme of the manuscript

    Secondary headings should be bolded and appear flush left. For secondary headings, only the first letter of each word should be capitalized.

    If there is a third level of heading it should begin the paragraph and be indented, be followed by a period, have ONLY the first letter of the first word capitalized, be both italicized and boldfaced, and end in a period. DO NOT USE UNDERSCORES ANYWHERE in the article.

  2. Research Articles

    Most papers appearing in the Journal are research articles that report the findings of original, data-based research. They may use quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods approaches. The research should directly relate to children and youth pre-K to 12th grade. The Journal does not consider papers based on college samples. The manuscript should contain the following boldfaced sections presented in this order:

    ABSTRACT (The ABSTRACT is structured with four boldfaced headings – BACKGROUND,METHODS, RESULTS, and CONCLUSIONS and is ≤ 200 words in length, including headings). The main text of the paper should begin with an unlabeled section that is an introduction and reports background related to the paper, usually indicating the subject's significance and summarizing what is known about the subject to date, and including research questions or hypotheses being tested, and the study's purpose. Subsequent to this section should appear the following major headings appearing boldfaced and flush left consisting of: METHODS (generally including the following sub-headings: Participants (not Subjects), Instrumentation,Procedure, and Data Analysis), RESULTS; DISCUSSION (describes the importance and contribution of the findings, limitations, and conclusion); and IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL HEALTH (describes how the information and data presented will help inform school health practice; this section mustbe interpretative and directive and translates the data for possible actions to be considered by school personnel; it should not merely be a gratuitous inclusion – in other words, it should present the actions that schools might undertake but recommended implications/actions should take into consideration budgetary and other constraints that influence decision making by school personnel); Human Subjects Approval Statement (a statement indicating approval of the appropriate institution review board or ethics committee for studies involving human participants);ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS; REFERENCES; and Figures and/or Tables. Research articles should include the year and time frame in which the data were collected, as well as information concerning the psychometric properties of instrumentation (validity, reliability, readability, etc.) where appropriate. For research articles, preparation of second-level and third-level headings should follow the style described above for general articles.

    The outline below shows how a research article should appear when submitted. Please follow this example to minimize the chance of your paper being rejected or returned without being reviewed. Note the major headings that should appear in all CAPITAL letters.

      • BACKGROUND: (concluding with purpose of the study)
      • METHODS:
      • RESULTS:
      • Keywords: (select from dropdown list)
    • BACKGROUND (If your paper is accepted for publication, no actual heading will be used in the published version; it is useful to include during the review process but it is not required; if you prefer, just begin with the main body of the manuscript text to address the relevant literature in review, research questions, and purpose of study)
      • Participants
      • Instruments
      • Procedure
      • Data Analysis
    • Limitations
    • Conclusions
    • Human Subjects Approval Statement
    • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS (Grants or sponsoring/funding agencies should be acknowledged. Generally, the Journal will not include acknowledgements or personal recognitions to individuals. If upon initial submission of your paper it is important to keep these acknowledgements blinded, you may submit them on the separately uploaded author/title page as a supplemental file not visible to reviewers. If your paper is accepted, they can be incorporated into the main paper as indicated above.)

    Graphics, including tables, figures, charts, photos, and diagrams should follow REFERENCES. These features should be appended to the manuscript after the REFERENCES, and NOT SUBMITTED AS SEPARATE FILES. Number tables consecutively as they are referred to in the text (eg, Table 1, Table 2, Table 3 and so on; and not Table 1a, Table 1b, etc.). ALL TABLES AND FIGURES SHOULD BE GRAY-SCALED. Do not number tables and figures using Roman numerals. CAPITALIZE the first letter of each word in the title of a figure or table unless the word is a small word such as an article (eg, a, an, the) or conjunction (eg, and, or, but). YOU MUST LIMIT THE NUMBER OF GRAPHICS TO NO MORE THAN 5. For examples of correctly prepared graphics, see recent issues of the Journal of School Health.

    Preference is given to research manuscripts 4000 words in length (not including references and graphics)

  3. Commentaries

    Commentaries include position papers, viewpoints, point-counterpoint papers, analyses of current or controversial issues, and creative, insightful, reflective treatments of topics related to healthy children and youth pre-K to 12th grade. Generally, commentaries are ≤ 2000 words and contain no abstract, headings, sub-headings, or graphics. They may contain references.

  4. School Health Policy

    School Health Policy articles present an interdisciplinary analysis of policies affecting children and youth pre-K to 12th grade. Manuscripts should focus on policy reviews that shed light on important debates and controversies. They should provide insightful, thought-provoking examinations of policies and analyses of controversial policy issues that have the potential to affect the health, safety, or general well-being of students or school staff. The focus on policy may be from a policy-making, policy-implementation, or policy-impact perspective. Contributions may also analyze legislation, regulations, or judicial rulings that potentially affect the health or safety of pre-K to 12th grade students or school staff. School Health Policy articles are ≤ 2000 words and require a structured abstract ≤ 200 words. If data-based, please submit under the category of Research Articles.

  5. Health Service Applications

    Health Service Applications are practical papers of interest in school nursing, medicine, dentistry, counseling, social work, or food service aspects of the coordinated school health program. They are ≤ 2000 words in length and require no abstract. If data-based, please submit under the category of Research Articles.

Submission of Manuscripts

All submissions are made electronically through the Journal of School Health submission website ( By accessing this website you will be guided stepwise through the creation and uploading of files. The website provides a box into which you will be asked to cut and paste your abstract, but when submitting your manuscript, be sure that your blinded main document file also includes your abstract (if the type of manuscript you are submitting requires one). File designations are for labeling your files as: Main Document, Title Page, Table, Figure, and Supplemental File. The Save in folder has categories for Manuscript files for review (which is what your main document, tables, and figures will be) and Supplemental files not for review (which is what your author/title page and any additional documents should be submitted as). support@scholarone.comImproperly submitted manuscripts will be returned to the corresponding author. Please append all figures, tables, or other graphics (maximum of 5) to the main manuscript at the end of the paper, following the references with each graphic clearly labeled with a stand-alone descriptive title . The author/title page requires the name, degree(s), title, mailing address, email address, telephone number, and FAX number of ALL AUTHORS. The person assuming the role of corresponding author should be designated clearly on this page. Please review the checklist for authors at the bottom and be sure that all steps have been completed. For assistance, contact Scholar One technical support at 434-817-2040 or email:

Electronic manuscripts must be double spaced in 12 point font throughout, including the abstract and references.Times New Roman font is preferred. DO NOT USE BLOCK PARAGRAPH STYLE. Tables and figures may use a smaller font size but only if legibility is not adversely affected. Number all pages consecutively with the abstract page as page one, with text, references, and visuals/graphics following in numerical order. The electronic submission form requires the name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, and FAX number of all authors [including the corresponding author].

All correspondence, including Editor's decision and request for revisions, will be by email. Any queries should be directed to the Editor-In-Chief, Robert J. McDermott, PhD, Manuscripts must be in English and submitted exclusively to theJournal of School Health.

Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA)

If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by certain funders [e.g. The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) or the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)] you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with your Funder requirements.

For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

Manuscript Length
Commentaries, Health Service Applications, and School HealthPolicy papers should be ≤ 2000 words, not including references and visuals/graphics. Other articles should not exceed 4000 words, not including references and visuals/graphics. The Editor may extend those limits in special circumstances, but only when the authors have received the Editor's consent in advance.Journal space is a critical consideration so authors may be asked to revise, condense, or eliminate text and lengthy or complex graphics even if the overall number of graphics does not exceed the limit of five.

Title Page
A title page must be submitted with full author contact information separate from your main document to blind it for review. Submit your title page as the title page for document type. Please make sure that each author is identified in order with their degree(s), title, institutional affiliations, address, phone number and email address, using the format below.

John L. Smothers, PhD (Corresponding Author)
Assistant Professor
Northwest University
2801 W. Bancroft St.
Fargo, North Dakota 53615
Phone: (419) 530-4180
Fax: (419) 530-4759


When first submitting your paper, please keep all acknowledgements on your title page. If your paper is ultimately approved for publication, acknowledgements may be placed at the end of the article and before references. Authors may acknowledge individuals, institutions, or funding agencies. Acknowledge only persons who have contributed to the scientific content or provided technical or financial support, but who do not meet the criteria for authorship. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from persons acknowledged by name because readers might infer their endorsement of information within the manuscript.

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has established uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals, including that each author of a manuscript must have made a substantial contribution to each of the following 3 criteria to qualify for authorship: (1) conceiving and designing the work represented by the article or analyzing and interpreting the data; (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and (3) giving final approval of the version to be published. The Journal prefers to limit the number of authors per article to ≤ 6 authors. In cases where more authors are listed, the Editor-In-Chief may request the delineation of each author's contribution, as it relates to the aforementioned criteria.

Prepare manuscripts using the American Medical Association (AMA) stylebook – 2007 edition. Manuscript titles should be brief and specific. Manuscripts may be written in the first or third person and avoid sexist language. All acronyms should be preceded by their full title following first usage with the acronym or abbreviation in parentheses. Acronyms should be kept to a minimum. Footnotes should be not be used.

Cite references in the text in numerically consecutive order with superscript numbering. List the references as they are cited; do not list references alphabetically. Abbreviate journal titles according to PubMed / Index Medicus. Journal citations should include author, title, journal abbreviation, year, volume, issue, and pages. Book citations should include author, title, city, publisher, year, and pages. Legal citations (e.g., cases and statutes) should generally follow The Bluebook: a Uniform System of Citation. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all references.

1. Bryant CA, Courtney AH, McDermott RJ, Alfonso ML, Baldwin JA, Nickelson J, et al. Promoting physical activity among youth through community-based prevention marketing. J Sch Health. 2010;80(5):214-224.

3. Alfonso ML, Thompson Z, McDermott RJ, Bryant CA, Courtney AH, Jones JA, et al.Kentucky’s VERBTM Summer Scorecard: Change in tweens’ vigorous physical activity 2004-2007. Prev Chronic Dis. 2011;8(5):A104. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2012.

4. Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, 20 U.S.C.S. §1232h (2006).

5. Fields v. Palmdale Sch Dist, 427 F.3d 1197 (9th Cir. 2005).

6. Goss v. Lopez, 419u.s. 565 (1975).

7. Utah Code Ann. §53A-13-302 (2005).

All manuscripts are subject to editing for style, length, and clarity. Corresponding authors are given the opportunity to review PDF page proofs before publication. Eproof notification is sent directly from the publisher to each corresponding author via email. If the corresponding author does not respond as requested, the article is printed as it appears on the proof. Costs for changes requested after the proofing period are billed to the author.

Graphics and Visuals
Use visuals only when necessary. Incorporate basic information into the text in narrative form where feasible. Each chart, graph, diagram, table, and figure should have a brief, self-explanatory title. When visuals are used, they must be mentioned in the written text but submit each visual as a separately numbered page at the end of the manuscript.
Submit original line art, prepared in the required Journal format, using the Helios Condensed typeface or the equivalent. Center visual titles in 9 pt. Helios Bold Condensed. Depending on the size of the visual, use a width of 19 picas unless the visual contains six or more separate columns, in which case, use a width of 40 picas to accommodate the Journal column format. Further information on the submission of electronic artwork can be found at

Peer Review
Contributed manuscripts normally receive a blind peer review from two or more reviewers. Major reasons for rejection include insufficient relevance to coordinated school health programs, lack of originality and uniqueness, improper format and style, faulty research design, poor writing, and space limitations. The Journal Editor-in-Chief makes the final decision concerning acceptance of manuscripts.

Checklist for Authors

  • The manuscript topic is appropriate for the journal.
  • Names, academic degree, current positions, professional affiliations, mailing addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses are provided for all authors. All coauthors should be listed with full contact information on the title page which is submitted as the Title page and saved in the Supplemental files not for review.
  • A 250 word structured abstract is included (where appropriate).
  • Abstract is uploaded into the appropriate Abstract box as well as in the main document when applicable.
  • A copyright release statement signed by the corresponding author only. This is found on ScholarOne Manuscripts Main Log In page under Resources and the instructions and forms link.
  • The AMA stylebook was followed for format, references, and documentation.
  • Manuscripts may be written in the 1st or 3rd person but not mixed style; avoid sexist language.
  • Personal acknowledgments are not included.
  • Footnotes are not used anywhere.
  • Manuscript length and number of references and visuals conform to requirements for the category.
  • The manuscript title is brief and specific.
  • All pages are numbered consecutively.
  • Visuals are prepared on separately numbered pages and placed at the end of the manuscript.
  • The manuscript has been checked thoroughly for style, readability, and quality of writing.

The Teaching Technique Reviewer Checklist is available for download here

The School Health Policy Reviewer Checklist is available for download here

The Research Article Reviewer Checklist is available for download here

The Legal Issues Reviewer Checklist is available for download here

The Health Service Application Reviewer Checklist is available for download here

The General Article Checklist is available for download here

Online production tracking is now available for your article through Wiley-Blackwell's Author Services.

Author Services enables authors to track their article - once it has been accepted - through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production so they don't need to contact the production editor to check on progress. Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.