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Scope

The Planetary Health specialty section provides a forum for the research community and practitioners to explore and analyse interdependencies between human health, civilisational processes and the Earth system. We seek to enable active and critical contributions to the scientific and policy discourses that must underpin the global transformation towards sustainable health security and environmental stewardship, necessary if we are to survive as an advanced planetary civilisation. Our remit is guided by critical analysis of the visions and challenges of numerous global and local frameworks, including the Sustainable Development Goals, that seek to steer humanity’s trajectory towards a safer, healthier future for all.

We welcome submissions covering any topic consistent with these themes; including but not limited to: climate change, land-use, biodiversity, natural capital and ecosystem services, human population growth, neoliberalism, inequality, atmospheric chemistry, air and other forms of pollution, oceans, water quality and security, food systems and nutrition, built environments, the energy transition and technology as they relate to human health and wellbeing. We are also interested in infectious diseases, epidemics and pandemics (in a One Health perspective), and the risks and benefits of “synthetic” biology and artificial intelligence. Finally, we recognise the importance of mental health and ethics.

Of course, overlap exists between planetary and other aspects of environmental health. In our view, the essential difference is that articles that are relevant to planetary health recognise, at least implicitly, that global civilisation is in danger. For example, a paper on the risk of occupationally associated heat exposure, in part as a result of factors such as climate change, the “heat island” effect and the exploitation of migrant workers, is of relevance to public and also to environmental health. But it is not directly relevant to planetary health unless – at least in the discussion – there is acknowledgement of these wider, planetary, civilisation-scaled processes.

Many aspects of adverse global environmental change have harmful mental health effects; conversely, improving the global environment (such as urban afforestation and more access to green space) can benefit population mental health. Others worry that the prospect of climate change, the loss of biodiversity and other approaching planetary boundaries is triggering despair for large numbers of sensitive, mainly young people. Papers on these aspects are welcome (again, if they recognise a planetary context).

Please refer to the author guidelines for details on article types and the submission process.

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Bibliometric Articles

After careful discussion with the Chief Editors of Frontiers in Public Health, the journal has decided to no longer accept papers concerning simple bibliometric studies. Authors are still welcome to submit Systematic Reviews using publicly available data, but these must adhere to the PRISMA guidelines (please view a checklist here) and have a conclusion related to public health. Studies that are too clinically focused without relevance to public health will be transferred to a more applicable journal.

Frontiers in Public Health is member of the Committee on Publication Ethics.

Facts

  • Short name

    Front. Public Health

  • Abbreviation

    fpubh

  • Electronic ISSN

    2296-2565

  • PMCID

    All published articles receive a PMCID

  • Impact

    3 Impact Factor

    4.8 CiteScore

  • Indexed in

    PubMed, MEDLINE, PubMed Central (PMC), Scopus, Web of Science Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE), Google Scholar, DOAJ, CrossRef, Semantic Scholar, Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, CLOCKSS, 1Science, CiteFactor, OpenAIRE, Polska Bibliografia Naukowa (PNB), Zetoc, Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD), Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE), JuFo

Submission

Planetary Health welcomes submissions of the following article types: Brief Research Report, Community Case Study, Correction, Data Report, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis & Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy Brief, Policy and Practice Reviews, Review, Study Protocol, Systematic Review.

All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Planetary Health, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.

Open access statement

Open access logo

Frontiers' philosophy is that all research is for the benefit of humankind. Research is the product of an investment by society and therefore its fruits should be returned to all people without borders or discrimination, serving society universally and in a transparent fashion.

That is why Frontiers provides online free and open access to all of its research publications. For more information on open access click here.

Open access funder and institutional mandates

Frontiers is fully compliant with open access mandates, by publishing its articles under the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY). Funder mandates such as those by the Wellcome Trust (UK), National Institutes of Health (USA) and the Australian Research Council (Australia) are fully compatible with publishing in Frontiers. Authors retain copyright of their work and can deposit their publication in any repository. The work can be freely shared and adapted provided that appropriate credit is given and any changes specified.

Quality

Each Frontiers article strives for the highest quality, thanks to genuinely collaborative interactions between authors, editors and reviewers, who include many of the world's best scientists and scholars. Frontiers is well aware of the potential impact of published research both on future research and on society and, hence, does not support superficial review, light review or no-review publishing models.

Frontiers uses the single anonymized peer review model, where the reviewer identity is not made visible to the author, while the author identity is visible to the reviewer, and reviewer and the authors’ identities are visible to the decision-making editor. Reviewers interact with the handling editor and the authors. Editor and reviewer names and affiliations are published on all Frontiers articles.

Research must be certified by peers before entering a stream of knowledge that may eventually reach the public - and shape society. Therefore, Frontiers only applies the most rigorous and unbiased reviews, established in the high standards of the Frontiers Review System. Furthermore, only the top certified research, evaluated objectively through quantitative online article level metrics, is disseminated to increasingly wider communities as it gradually climbs the tiers of the Frontiers Tiering System from specialized expert readership towards public understanding.

Frontiers has a number of procedures in place to support and ensure the quality of the research articles that are published:

  • 2023

    • Editorial Board Quality

      • Only leading experts and established members of the research community are appointed to the Frontiers Editorial Boards. Chief Editors, Associate Editors and Review Editors are all listed with their names and affiliations on the Journal pages and are encouraged to publicly list their publication credentials.

    • Associate Editor Assignment Quality

      • Associate Editors oversee the peer-review and take the final acceptance decision on manuscripts. Editorial decision power is distributed in Frontiers, because we believe that many experts within a community should be able to shape the direction of science for the benefit of society.

      • Submitting authors can choose a preferred Associate Editor to handle their manuscript, because they can judge well who would be an appropriate expert in editing their manuscript. There is no guarantee for this preference of choice, Associate Editors can decline invitations any time, and the handling Associate Editor can also be over-ridden by the Chief Editor before she/he is invited to edit the article or at any other stage.

      • Associate Editors are mandated to only accept to edit a manuscript if they have no conflicts of interest (as stated here and in their review invitation and assignment emails).

      • Should it become clear that the Associate Editor has a conflict of interest or is unable to perform the peer-review timely and adequately, a new Associate Editor can be assigned to the manuscript by the Chief Editor, who has full control to intervene in the peer-review process at any time.

      • The Associate Editor initially checks that the article meets basic quality standards and has no obvious objective errors.

    • Reviewer Assignment Quality

      • The Associate Editor can then personally choose and invite the most appropriate reviewers to handle the peer-review of the manuscript, including Review Editors from the board or external reviewers.

      • The Associate Editor is aided in this by the Frontiers Collaborative Review Forum software and interface, which suggests the most relevant Review Editors based on a match between their expertise and the topic of the manuscript. Associate Editors can however choose any reviewer they deem adequate.

      • After a certain time frame and if no reviewers have in the meantime been assigned to the manuscript, the Frontiers platform and algorithmic safety-net steps in and invites the most appropriate Review Editors based on constantly updated and improved algorithms that match reviewer expertise with the submitted manuscript.

      • Review Editors and reviewers are mandated to only accept to review a manuscript if they have no conflicts of interest (as stated here and in their review invitation and assignment emails).

      • Frontiers algorithms are constantly fine-tuned to better match Review Editors with manuscripts, and additional checks are being coded into the platform, for example regarding conflicts of interest.

      • Should it become clear that a particular reviewer has a conflict of interest or is unable to perform the peer-review timely and adequately, he or she shall be replaced with an alternative reviewer by the Associate Editor or the Chief Editor, who will be alerted and has full control to intervene into the peer-review at any time.

    • Independent Review Stage Quality

      • In the Independent Review Stage the assigned reviewers perform an in-depth review of the article independently of each other to safeguard complete freedom of opinion.

      • The reviewers are aided by an online standardized review questionnaire – adopted to article types – with the goal to facilitate rigorous evaluation according to objective criteria and the Frontiers Review Guidelines.

    • Interactive Review Stage Quality

      • The Associate Editor assesses the reviews and activates the “Interactive Review” – informing the authors of the extent of revisions that are required to address the reviewers’ comments, and starting the Interactive Discussion Forum where authors and also the reviewers get full access to all review reports.

      • Manuscript and review quality at this stage are enhanced by allowing authors and reviewers to discuss directly with each other in real-time until they reach consensus and a final version of the manuscript is endorsed by the reviewers.

      • Reviewer identity is protected at this stage to safeguard complete freedom of opinion.

      • Reviewers can recommend rejection at this stage if their requests to correct objective errors are not being met by the authors or if they deem the article overall of insufficient quality.

      • Should a dispute arise, authors or reviewers can trigger an arbitration and will alert the Associate Editor, who can assign more reviewers and/or bring the dispute to the attention of the Chief Editor. The Associate Editor can also weigh in on the discussion and is asked to mediate the process to ensure a constructive revision stage.

    • Decision Stage Quality

      • The decision to accept an article needs to be unanimous amongst all reviewers and the handling Associate Editor.

      • The names of the Associate Editor and reviewers are disclosed on published articles to encourage in depth and rigorous reviews, acknowledge work well done on the article and to bring transparency and accountability into peer-review.

      • Associate Editors can recommend the rejection of an article to the Chief Editor, who needs to check that the authors’ rights have been upheld during the peer-review process, and who can then ultimately reject the article if it is of insufficient quality, has objective errors or if the authors were unreasonably unwilling to address the points raised during the review.

      • Chief Editors can at any stage of the peer-review step in to comment on the review process, change assigned editors, assign themselves as a reviewer and even as the handling editor for the manuscript, and therefore have full authority and all the mechanisms to act independently in their online editorial office to ensure quality.

    • Safeguards against Financial Conflicts of Interest

      • Only leading researchers acting as Associate Editors, who are not part of Frontiers staff, can make acceptance decisions based on reviews performed by external experts acting as Review Editors or reviewers. None have a financial incentive to accept articles, i.e. they are not paid for their role to act as Associate or Review Editors, and any award scheme is not linked to acceptances of manuscripts.

      • Chief Editors receive an honorarium if their specialty section or field reaches certain submission levels. However, this honorarium is based on the total number of submitted articles during a calendar year, and not the number of accepted articles. Therefore they also have no financial incentive to accept manuscripts.

    • Post-Publication Stage Quality

      • The Frontiers platform enables post-publication commenting and discussions on papers and hence the possibility to critically evaluate articles even after the peer-review process.

      • Frontiers has a community retraction protocol in place to retract papers where serious concerns have been raised and validated by the community that warrant retraction, including ethical concerns, honest errors or scientific misconduct.