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Announcing PCD’s 2018 Student Research Paper Contest

Announcement posted 9/5/17

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) announces its 2018 Student Research Paper Contest. PCD is looking for students at the high school, undergraduate, or graduate level and recent post-graduates to submit papers relevant to the prevention, screening, surveillance, or population-based intervention of chronic diseases, including but not limited to arthritis, asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

The 5 primary goals for PCD’s Student Research Paper Contest are to:

  • Provide applicants with an opportunity to become familiar with a journal’s manuscript submission requirements and peer-review process;
  • Assist applicants to connect their knowledge and training on conducting quality research with a journal’s publication expectations;
  • Develop applicants’ research and scientific writing skills to become producers of knowledge rather than just consumers of knowledge;
  • Provide applicants with an opportunity to become first author on a peer-reviewed paper;
  • Promote supportive, respectful, and mutually beneficial student/post-graduate―mentor relationships that result in strengthening students’ ability to generate and submit future scholarly manuscripts.

Submission Requirements

PCD uses PCD ScholarOne Manuscripts for manuscript submission and tracking. Before submitting your manuscript, please read the instructions below in addition to the information provided on the PCD website under Manuscript Requirements.


  • Student applicants must be currently enrolled in a high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree program. Post-graduate applicants must have received their graduate degree within the past 12 months and be participating in a medical residency, post-doctoral fellowship, or similar training program under the supervision of a mentor, advisor, or principal investigator.
  • Applicants should meet the standard to serve as first author. The first author is the person who conducted or led the topic being presented and prepared the first draft of the manuscript. The first author must also ensure that all other authors meet the criteria for authorship.
  • Applicants and coauthors are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards in submitting scholarly work to the journal for consideration. Applicants and coauthors should become familiar with the journal’s Editorial Policy.
  • Applicants (not mentors) must serve as the corresponding author for manuscripts submitted in conjunction with the student research contest. No exceptions will be allowed.
  • Manuscripts must report on research done while in one of the qualifying student or post-graduate categories listed above.
  • The research must have been completed within the last 12 months.
  • Manuscripts must not be published previously or submitted elsewhere for publication.
  • Manuscripts must represent original research submitted in Original Research format or GIS Snapshots format. Other article types will not be considered. For a detailed explanation, see information on Original Research and GIS Snapshots articles on PCD’s Types of Articles page.
  • Students and recent post-graduates must submit a cover letter indicating their interest in being considered for the contest and the name and contact information of their advisor. The cover letter must also indicate current level of academic enrollment: high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree, or applicable post-graduate residency, fellowship, or other training program. In addition, applicants should address all routinely required disclosures in the cover letter. Learn more about general cover letter requirements on PCD’s How to Submit a Manuscript page.
  • Applicants must provide a letter of recommendation from their advisor confirming either the student’s enrollment in a degree program or the post-graduate candidate’s residency or fellowship. The advisor must confirm that the research was conducted while in training under the advisor’s supervision. The advisor’s letter must confirm that the applicant conceptualized the analysis and was the primary author of the manuscript. The advisor’s letter must also acknowledge that the advisor recognizes that no one other than the applicant can serve as corresponding author.
  • Applicants should submit the cover letter and advisor letter when they submit the manuscript.


Manuscripts must be received electronically no later than 5:00 PM EST on Friday, February 23, 2018.

Manuscript Review Process

  • Not all manuscripts submitted for consideration will undergo peer review.
  • Applicants and advisors must understand that the decision-making process to identify which manuscripts will advance through the various stages of review is a lengthy process. Therefore, applicants and advisors must have patience as the decision-making process moves through review stages.
  • An applicant manuscript receiving comments and suggestions does not mean the manuscript will be accepted for publication.
  • Applicants interested in getting a sense of where manuscripts are in the review process are encouraged to contact the journal. Such inquiries should only come directly from the applicant serving as first and corresponding author on the manuscript.

Helpful Hints

Please be sure to visit the Author’s Corner section of PCD’s website for important information on what to avoid when developing the manuscript, tables, and figures.


  • The winning manuscript will be recognized on the PCD website and published in a 2018 PCD release with an accompanying editorial, podcast interview, and social media promotion.
  • The winning author will be invited to participate in the panel review process for the 2019 Student Research Paper Contest.


Other manuscripts may be accepted for publication depending on the outcome of the peer-review process. Accepted manuscripts that remain in the contest after the second round of review will be published after the winning manuscripts are published and recognized as submissions to the student contest.

About the Journal

PCD is a peer-reviewed electronic journal established to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners in chronic disease prevention and health promotion. The journal is published weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

PCD Announces 2017 Student Research Paper Contest Winners

Announcement posted 8/30/17

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is pleased to announce the winners of our 2017 Student Research Paper Contest. A total of 5 papers were selected as top selections in each category by our review panel. Two winners were named in the doctoral category and 1 winner each was selected from the graduate, undergraduate, and high school categories. Thank you to all the students who submitted manuscripts and to the educators and advisers who encouraged and supported their participating students. The winning papers and podcast interviews with each winning student will appear in an October 2017 release of PCD.

Congratulations to the following student winners:

Doctoral Winner: Lorena S. Pacheco, MPH, RDN, CPH

Current epidemiology doctoral student at University of California, San Diego–San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program.

Doctoral Winner: Katherine Arlinghaus

Current doctoral student at the University of Houston.

Graduate Winner: Kenny Mendoza-Herrera, MSc

Former graduate student at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

Undergraduate Winner: Kayla Smurthwaite

An undergraduate student at Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.

High School Winner: Emily Liu

University of Pennsylvania first-year student.


PCD Pilots Simplified Submissions for Authors

Announcement posted 7/5/17

As part of our ongoing efforts to accelerate the dissemination of research findings and to improve customer service, PCD is piloting a simplified submissions process from July through October 2017. During this period, PCD hopes to make the process of submitting manuscripts faster and easier by reducing formatting and technical requirements in tables, figures, and other supporting files. In addition, references may be submitted in varied formats as long the format is used consistently and includes all information. In adopting this streamlined submission process, we strongly encourage authors to focus on research results and implications for practice in their papers. Those papers that move through peer review to the revision stage will be required to conform to PCD guidelines. We hope through this 4-month pilot effort to streamline the submissions process, reduce the burden on authors, and shorten the overall turnaround time in bringing important quality research to publication. Visit our updated Simplified Submission Process page for more information.


Watch and Learn: How to Get Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Announcement posted 6/13/17

Did you miss the Public Health Reports webinar on how to get published in peer-reviewed journals? Watch a recording of the presentation and hear what Public Health Reports Editor in Chief Frederic E. Shaw, MD, JD, PCD Editor in Chief Leonard Jack, Jr, PhD, MSc, and fellow public health and editorial experts had to say about organizing a writing strategy when preparing an article for peer-reviewed literature, including how to structure it, how to plan it, how to execute it, and how to position it so that it will be attractive to journals and peer reviewers.


PCD Named Top HHS Innovator

Announcement posted 5/10/17

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) has been recognized as part of the HHS family of products ranked number 1 in the Reuters Top 25 Global Innovators: Government category for 2017. HHS rose from 4th place in 2016, largely due to its increasingly influential patent portfolio, which saw a rise in the number of citations by researchers at other institutions around the world. To create the ranking, Reuters News relied on Clarivate Analytics to identify more than 600 global organizations (including educational institutions, nonprofit charities, and government-funded institutions) that published the most articles in academic journals. Then they identified the total number of patents filed by each organization and evaluated each candidate on factors including how many patents it filed, how often those applications were granted, how many patents were filed to global patent offices in addition to local authorities, and how often the patents were cited by other patents. Candidates were also evaluated in terms of the number of articles published by researchers in academic journals, how often those papers were cited by patents, and how many articles featured a co-author from industry. PCD is honored to be among these prestigious innovators.


Student Paper Contest Update

Announcement posted 4/12/17

Thank you to all the students who submitted manuscripts to this year’s PCD Student Research Paper Contest. The journal received a record 70 submissions this year and the review process is underway. Contest winners will be announced soon.


PCD Introduces New Article Type: Implementation Evaluation

Announcement posted 3/30/17

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) recognizes that public health and clinical interventions are often collaborative, multifaceted, multicomponent, and multisite with diverse program participants, stakeholders, and partnerships. As such, evaluation of these efforts cannot rely on linear approaches to assess the complex mix of individual, familial, organizational, economic, and environmental contextual factors that contribute to the success of interventions. PCD’s new Implementation Evaluation article type will be a platform for researchers to provide information to program planners, policy makers, evaluators, researchers, and diverse stakeholders on how to refine evaluation methods; make health system improvements; strengthen collaborations and partnerships; build organizational infrastructure; measure return on investments; and enhance data collection approaches. Implementation Evaluation articles will also allow researchers to provide insights into understanding factors that affect the ability of public health practice to successfully package and disseminate effective interventions implemented and evaluated in real-world settings. More information is available on our Article Types page.


2016’s Top 10 Articles

Announcement posted 1/10/17

Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is excited to announce its most popular articles of 2016, as rated by Altmetric. Thousands of conversations about scholarly content happen online every day. Altmetric tracks a range of sources to capture, collate, and score this activity. The complete list of top 10 articles are available here.


The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions.