Special Issue Call for Abstracts: Advancing a Culture of Health

This call is also posted on the Health Services Research website.

Special Issue of Health Services Research: Advancing a Culture of Health — Research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholars

Sponsored by: The Health Policy Research Scholars, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Submission deadline for abstracts: February 4, 2022

Health Services Research (HSR) and the Health Policy Research Scholars (HPRS) program are partnering to publish a Special Issue on advancing a Culture of Health. The special issue will be co-edited by Monica Peek, MD, MPH, MS, Som Saha, MD, MPH, and Attia Goheer, PhD, MHS.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is working alongside other organizations to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. The Foundation supports several national leadership development programs to help train a generation of leaders who will use innovative approaches to advance a Culture of Health.

HPRS is one of these leadership programs. HPRS is a four-year program for doctoral students from historically marginalized backgrounds or who are underrepresented in their discipline and who want to improve health, well-being, and equity; challenge long-standing, entrenched systems; exhibit new ways of working; collaborate across disciplines and sectors; and bolster their leadership skills. By providing training in health policy, how to think strategically, and how to craft an actionable research question that can inform solutions to advance health equity—as well as mentorship and coaching — HPRS will develop a new cadre of research leaders who will build a Culture of Health in their disciplines and communities.

The goal of this Special Issue is to highlight impactful, innovative, and rigorous work from the HPRS community, with no restriction on professional or scholarly discipline, that can inform how to change systems and policy to advance a Culture of Health. The Special Issue will feature original research or methods articles and a limited number of evidence-based commentaries (see HSR Author Instructions for details). Questions about potential articles that do not fit these categories should be directed to hprs@jhu.edu.

We are interested in work that represents a range of disciplines and topics that are salient to advancing a Culture of Health. A critical aspect of a Culture of Health is health equity, so we also encourage papers that address barriers and opportunities for enabling everyone to live their healthiest life possible. Illustrative examples of the types of research projects that would align with the theme for this Special Issue include:

  • Examining efforts to dismantle structural racism in an organization and its impact on wellbeing and mental health.
  • Exploring the role of civic engagement (e.g., voting, volunteerism) in promoting community well-being.
  • Evaluating the health impact of policies that support collaboration between law enforcement and communities.
  • Measuring walkability and safety hazards by neighborhood income.
  • Studying Black women’s access to substance use treatment.
  • Analyzing the impacts of COVID-19 on learning for school-aged children of color.

Though we will consider work focused on populations and programs outside of the United States, we encourage authors to incorporate lessons for the U.S. as part of the broader discussion.

Abstract Submissions

The deadline for initial submission of abstracts is February 4, 2022. Abstracts may not exceed 500 words. Abstracts for research and methods articles must follow the structure outlined below:

  • Background, including the objective or study question
  • Methods and study design, including, as appropriate, data sources, geographic setting, time frame of the data collection, and eligibility and exclusion criteria
  • Principal findings, including, if applicable, numerical results with appropriate indicators of uncertainty such as confidence intervals
  • Relevance of this work to building a Culture of Health
  • Conclusions

Unstructured abstracts still limited to 500 words will be accepted for commentaries only.  Abstracts must address the relevance of the work to building a Culture of Health.

The lead author on each abstract submission must be an HPRS scholar or alum. Additional authors (e.g., faculty, community partners) need not be affiliated with the program. Scholars and alums may submit multiple abstracts as first author.

Abstracts will be evaluated by the co-editors of the special issue to determine which are invited to submit full manuscripts. Evaluation criteria will include: (1) quality, rigor, and originality; (2) relevance to the special issue theme, articulated above; and (3) clarity of writing and presentation.

If you would like to submit your abstract for consideration, please email your abstract and corresponding author contact information to the editorial office at hsr@aha.org. Include “Special Issue HPRS” in the subject line.

Invited Manuscripts

Manuscripts invited for submission to the Special Issue after abstract screening will undergo the same HSR peer review process as regular manuscripts. A primary goal is to publish the vast majority (if not all) of the invited manuscripts. This will, however, necessitate that we invite a smaller number of authors to submit full papers than is usual for an HSR special issue, and that we have a very high level of commitment from those submitting abstracts. To maximize the successful production of rigorous science, scholars will be paired with mentors, either self-identified or matched from faculty at Johns Hopkins, the editorial review pool at HSR, or other sources of senior faculty.

The print publication date for the Special Issue will be June 2023. Manuscripts will be published online ahead of the print edition once accepted. Accepted manuscripts that are not selected for the Special Issue will be scheduled for print publication in a regular issue of HSR.

Key dates for authors 

  • Friday, February 4, 2022: Submission deadline for abstracts
  • Friday, March 18, 2022: Notification of manuscript invitation
  • Friday, June 17, 2022: Submission deadline of invited manuscripts
  • June 2023: Print publication date

For questions, please email hsr@aha.org and include “Special Issue HPRS” in the subject line.

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