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As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Instructions for authors

The American Journal of Field Epidemiology publishes manuscripts that, according to peer review, have been considered of quality, originality, significance, well presented both in the text and in tables and graphs, and of course for the interest of readers, mainly who practice epidemiology in public health services, especially in the countries of the American continent.

Preliminary notes on field investigations

The notes in this section are brief notes (no more than 1,500 words) that describe the occurrence of a public health emergency, whether it be an epidemic or epizootic or a disaster that affects or may affect a large number of people, as it may have a considerable case-fatality or an impact on morbidity and mortality, or it is a disease not previously described. If possible, the article should describe an etiological agent, but in the absence of this information describe its mode of occurrence, or vice versa, that is, the agent is identified, but the mode of occurrence is unknown. In the case of notes on an emergency caused by a disaster, you must present either data on the impact on health in terms of mortality or morbidity or a needs assessment, and the ongoing response.

The note has no sections or summary. It should describe the signs and symptoms, the laboratory findings if available. It should provide a name of the syndrome or disease and the case definition, the number of people affected (what?), describe how the cases were identified, the distribution of cases by age and gender (who?), and variables of place (where?) and time (when?). If there is a clearly identified population at risk, the attack rates for these variables should be provided. An epidemic curve, an area map or a spot map illustrating the descriptive epidemiology should be submitted. Most times when a population at high-risk is identified and enumerated or a sample included, a retrospective cohort study might have already been done. In such instance, the ratio or difference of attack rates by specific exposures and their 95% confidence intervals should be presented; if a case-control study was done, describe why this design was chosen, how the controls were selected and provide the odds ratios and its 95% confidence interval. The note must describe the data from environmental, administrative, or other investigations that were available at the time of submission of the manuscript to clarify the mode of occurrence of the disease. Finally, the note must explain what public health actions, including surveillance and control, have been implemented up to the time of submission the preliminary note.

The note should begin with a lead note indicating the health office and jurisdiction that received the notification, who(s) notify, what, including measures of severity, who is affected, when, and where the cases occurred in the lead paragraph. In the second paragraph you can present the case definition used, the laboratory tests without much detail, the description of the methods to ascertain cases. At the end of this second paragraph or in the following ones, you can add the environmental data or more definitive studies in progress and the public health actions including surveillance and control/prevention.

The last paragraph although not labeled “Discussion” should highlight the significance of the research findings, interpret the findings by making reasonable inferences from the information collected, and briefly describe the next steps.

This section will publish update notes that reflect the progress of the investigations, without precluding that an original research article be sent to be published in the corresponding section.

Original research articles

Original articles must be structured in the following four sections: Introduction, Population and Methods, Results and Discussion. The text must be between 1,500 and 3,500 words. Authors may refer to the guidelines for reporting observational studies that are available at https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/strobe/

In the Introduction section, the authors should briefly provide the background, avoiding presenting a review of the literature, perhaps summarized in a few words, and concentrating on the study rationale. It should end with a paragraph that explicitly describes the objectives of the study.

In the Population and Methods section, authors should describe the study population. If there is clearly an identifiable population from which the subjects arose, this should also be described (e.g., “Research subjects were ## cases of disease X presenting consecutively at hospital A between 2020 and 2021. Hospital A it is the reference center of the entire region A although it also serves the contiguous regions B and C.”). The case definition used should be stated if it has not been published before or at least concisely and with reference to the original source. If there was sampling to select the individuals or units in the study population, this method should be described (convenience, or random - simple, systematic, stratified, cluster samples or a complex sampling design). The methods used to identify cases should be described and if they come from a surveillance system, at least a reference to the system should be available. The methods used to measure the variable of the conditions studied (event or health status) and the exposure variables (demographic, socioeconomic, specific to exposure such as frequency, duration, temporality) must be described. If they were collected by interview, it should be explained whether the questionnaire was adapted from an existing instrument and/or field tested or calibrated. The relevant laboratory tests should be briefly described. If the measurements were validated, including previous studies, briefly provide the measures of their reproducibility and/or validity. There should be a subsection on Protection of Research Subjects, describing the consent process and review by an internal review board. If the investigation was deemed exempt from IRB review and approval (e.g., not considered research but practice), provide the reasons why was exempted from IRB review. Finally, in the analysis subsection, the authors should provide information on the statistics used and how the role of chance was evaluated, preferentially using the confidence interval (i.e., 95%) on the P value of statistical tests. If stratified and multivariate analyzes were used, they should specify what justification existed for selecting confounding variables and effect modifiers. Authors are encouraged to assess the sensitivity of the study results to unmeasured potential confounders and biases using the evidence value or “E-valuehttps://www.evalue-calculator.com/ or other approaches to assess the role of possible systematic errors. The authors could in this subsection refer to sample size issues.

In the Results section, the authors should provide a summary of ​​the global magnitude of the occurrence of the disease or event of interest in the study population, if possible, using a standardized measure and specifying the standard population (e.g., the 2000 World Population). The number of cases can be described by variables of time, place, and person, preferably using attack rates or other measures of relative frequency. Relative figures must be presented as integers with only one decimal place. When measures of association or effect are used to compare measures of occurrence, such as the ratio or difference of occurrence, the reference group will have a value of 1 or 0, respectively, without decimals.

Tables and figures in the submitted manuscript should be placed after the paragraph they are mentioned for the first time. Select the appropriate measures and graphs using the guidance prepared in the CDC “Principles of Epidemiology” text available at https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dsepd/ss1978/ lesson4/summary.html

Although tables and figures should be stand alone and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions, the authors should write the results guiding the reader through their findings.

In the Discussion section, the authors should present the significance of their findings and discuss the limitations of the methods used while interpretating the study results. The role of measurement or selection errors and unmeasured or even incorrectly measured confounders should be considered, providing an approximate idea of ​​the size and direction of such biases or uncontrolled confounders on the estimates presented in the manuscripts. The results of sensitivity analyses of the findings to such possible unmeasured confounders and biases including the use of the 'e value' could be discussed. The role of chance must be considered in particular in view of results reporting no association (or "negative" study) when the study sample is small and even reporting an association ("positive" study), such as the power of the study (1 - β or type II error probability) when the study is small and α or type I error probability when the study sample size is very large.

The impact already observed and reported, real or apparent, or the potential impact of the field investigation can be discussed by describing the control measures that have been or could be implemented. The authors may or may not have arrived at a conclusion from the findings of their study and recommendations could be made that they can be included at the end of this section.

Public Health Surveillance

As it is an important part of everyday job of epidemiologists working in public health services, the journal will publish novel reviews of surveillance data that describe any unusual or novel changes in the patterns of occurrence of the conditions or events under surveillance or describe what control or prevention programs either work or they do not work in achieving their explicit goals.

The text must be between 1,500 and 3,500 words. and must have the following sections: Introduction, Population and Methods, Results and Discussion.

The Introduction section will describe the target system condition or event, the monitoring program it serves, the background and objectives of the system data evaluation.

The Population and Methods section will describe the population under surveillance, the description of the system (passive, active, sources, case definitions, validity, reproducibility), and the methods of analysis.

The Results section must present the data oriented in person, place, and time variables with enough detail as relevant to the objective of the manuscript. Exhaustiveness in the number of tables and graphs should be avoided and limited to those that are relevant to describe the unusual or novel change in the patterns of occurrence of the conditions or events under surveillance, or the effectiveness of the control programs.

The Discussion section should reflect the significance of the study results, according to the authors’ interpretation of the findings. Likewise, it must evaluate, if applicable, the role of measurement and selection errors or unmeasured confounders, in the interpretation of the results. The potential impact of the assessment of the data can be discussed by describing the changes in prevention or control measures that have been or could be implemented. The authors may or may not have a conclusion and recommendations based on their study, which they may include at the end of this section.

Lessons Learned

This section will publish lessons learned from epidemiological investigations of epidemics or outbreaks, or the examination of public health surveillance data. Reviews may consider findings across studies that highlight obstacles to achieving a decrease in disease occurrence or mortality, or persistent difficulties in achieving competencies during field epidemiology training activities. The manuscripts published in this section could be the product of editing the memories of the discussion sessions of experts on the topics carried out during TEPHINET conferences or ad hoc meetings organized by the Editorial Committee of the Journal.

Systematic Reviews

This section will publish both narrative and numerical reviews (i.e., meta-analyses) of public health field research and surveillance methods, and topics such as screening for public health, interventions or practices of disease prevention and control, or health promotion that are of interest to public health practitioners, and which have not already been recently reviewed. It is recommended to follow the PRISMA https://www.prisma-statement.org// guidelines for the presentation of meta-analyses.

The text must be between 1,500 and 3,500 words. and must have the following sections: Introduction, Population and Methods, Results and Discussion

The Introduction section will describe in few paragraphs, the methods of epidemiological field research and public health surveillance, the measures of prevention and control of diseases or health promotion that were investigated, briefly describing the background and the objective(s) of the systematic review and meta-analysis.

The Population and Methods section will describe the methods used to identify previous evaluations of the methods and measures described above in the introduction, including descriptors such as literature search terms or any other reviews, and those done by hand from existing files and by direct contact with the authors, in such a way that the findings would be reproducible. For meta-analysis it must specify what methods were used to evaluate the heterogeneity of the findings, such as the I2 statistic and Cochran's Q, among others.

The Results section should present the data by report, instrument, or study as a unit of investigation (K number of units) and a summary of the data presented. If it is possible to do a meta-analysis, a funnel plot should be provided to detect a publication bias, as well as a forest plot or graph with the summary measures. In the presence of heterogeneity, results should be broken down by meaningful groups.

The Discussion section of a systematic review or meta-analysis should contain a general interpretation of the findings in the context of other evidence, discuss the limitations of the evidence presented in the review, including reference to the checklist included in PRISMA, the limitations of the selection process which may prevented the selection from being exhaustive. Finally, its implications for health policy and future research should be discussed.

Trainer's corner

The journal publishes a peer-reviewed series of articles that review various aspects of the methods used in field epidemiology, and other specialties such as biostatistics, environmental sciences, microbiology, genetics, clinical sciences, administration, political and social sciences, behavioral sciences, communication and didactics and teaching of field epidemiology.


Letters to the editor

The journal publishes letters to the editor of no more than 500 words on topics of interest to field epidemiologists.

Letters to the authors and replies

The journal will publish critical letters of no more than 500 words in response to manuscripts published in the last six months. The authors may also submit a written response in no more than 500 words in response to the criticisms made.

 Authorship, plagiarism, corrections, and retractions

The AJFE adheres to the definitions of authorship of the International Council of Medical Journal Editors (ICMEJ), an author should have met the four following criteria :

"1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND

  1. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  2. Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  3. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work he or she has done, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors.

All those designated as authors should meet all four criteria for authorship, and all who meet the four criteria should be identified as authors. Those who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged.”

In addition, the AJFE requires a detailed declaration of the contributions of each author.

The AJFE prohibits manuscripts from being submitted simultaneously to several journals and requires that it be declared that this is not the case, as well as the submission for publication of any manuscript closely related to the one considered for publication.

The AJFE verifies that the texts sent do not contain plagiarism from any previously published text, including self-plagiarism. The presence of plagiarized text will make the manuscript not be considered for publication in the AJFE.

The AJFE assumes the responsibility of correcting texts that affect the results or interpretation of published articles. However, once the text is published, it becomes the official text of record, and a correction will have to be published and submitted for its index in databases such as that of the National Library of Medicine of the United States of America. Typographical errors may not warrant a correction.

The AJFE will retract manuscripts with evidence of 1) data fabrication; 2) critical errors in analysis or interpretation; 3) plagiarism, 4) ghost authorship or 5) conflicts of interest that lead to suspicion of the veracity of the data. The editor-in-chief will consider and decide on any retraction request made to his knowledge by co-authors or third parties. The editor-in-chief will try to contact the corresponding author to discuss the retraction request.

Conflicts of interest and financing

Authors must disclose any relevant conflict of interest including financing, royalties, consultancies or any other that potential conflict which might give the appearance of influencing the objectivity of the manuscript. If there is none, it should be noted in the option "The authors have no conflicts to declare" on the title page of the manuscript.

The manuscript must declare specifically designated funding sources for the research, analysis, or preparation or publication of the manuscript. In the absence of funding that has been specifically designated, “The authors received no specific funding for this research” should be stated on the title page of the manuscript.

Research ethics

Public health services must establish internal review boards to assess the merits of the research and the protection of human subjects. They should anticipate the type of situations that are faced in public health practice, have field research protocols reviewed and approved as well as simplified consent forms approved in advance, to enable the protection of the rights of human subjects, as well as the effective practice of field epidemiology. However, there may be situations where an epidemic investigation is justifiably exempted from such review because the data comes from secondary sources and is deidentified, or the investigation and analysis is part of public health practice, for which a formal review, and approval of an internal review board may not be required and receive expedited approval. In any case, it must be documented whether the protocol was reviewed and, if so, that informed consent was obtained through a process and in accordance with international standards as detailed in the Declaration of Helsinki and the International Council of Medical Organizations. https://cioms.ch/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/International_Ethical_Guidelines_LR.pdf If the research has been exempted from a review, it must be documented that the protocol was declared exempt of full review approved through expedited review but the reasons why the exemption was granted must be disclosed in the manuscript.


Manuscript Preparation

The manuscript should consist of three files. The first one, called the title page, will present a concise title that conveys a message rather than details with less than 150 characters, the authors, their full names and institutional affiliation, the corresponding author's contact information, the word count of the manuscript, number of tables and f, figures (not to exceed five altogether), the conflict of interest statement interests and contribution statement of each author, abstract and keywords that should be listed in the Medical Term Headings (MeSH) map: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html

The Acknowledgments should be included in this file to keep the review blind.

Finally, describe in a paragraph how readers could reproduce or access the data, as well as the computer code to reproduce the results (see below on data repositories).

The second file must have the manuscript with the tables and figures included in the following paragraph in which they are mentioned each time. It should not include any name of the author, their initials or those of the institutions to which they are affiliated, which can be replaced by "Hospital X", Jurisdiction "X", Department "X".

The third file must contain the abstract of the article and must be structured in the following parts: Introduction, Population and methods, Results and Discussion. It should be no more than 250 words and should be informative indicating the type of study, the number of study subjects, and the findings summarized quantitatively or using other measures of association with their 95% confidence intervals.

We prefer that the manuscript file to be in Word format, double spaced, aligned to the left, with Times, Arial or Geneva Sans Serif font, size 12, with half-inch or 1.25 cm all around margins, without line numbering and without page numbers.

Measurements must use the metric system.

Bibliographical references should follow the style of the American Medical Association (AMA). A section called References should be present at the end of the text, with a list of references in the numerical order in which they are cited in the text, and between brackets (i.e., [5]). If there are two consecutive numbers, both will be written (e.g., [5,6]), if there are more consecutive numbers, the first and last numbers can be written separated by a hyphen (e.g., [5-9]).

A reference of a paper published in a Journal should read like this:

  1. Manfredi EA, Rivas M. Brote de intoxicación alimentaria en un jardín de infantes de la provincia de Buenos Aires. Rev Argent Microbiol. 2019;51(4):354-358. doi:10.1016/j.ram.2018.08.008

A reference of an entire book should read like this:

  1. Rivas-Muñoz F. Epidemiologia: fundamentos y reflexiones. Bogota: Universidad Nacional; 2014.

A reference of a book chapter should read like this:

  1. Hanehause S and Rothman KJ. Fundamentals of Epidemiologic Data Analysis. In: Lash T, VanderWeele TJ, Hanehause S, Rothman KJ eds. Modern Epidemiology. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer; 2021:367-394.

A reference of an online only Journal paper should read like this:

Chan M, Johansson MA. The incubation periods of Dengue viruses. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50972. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050972



A reference to a document on the internet should read like this:

Pan American Health Organization. PAHO Weekly COVID-19 Epidemiological Update - 23 August 2022.  https://www.paho.org/en/documents/paho-weekly-covid-19-epidemiological-update-23-august-2022. Visitado el 30 de Agosto del 2022.

It is the style of the AJFE to present frequency counts in addition to relative numbers such as percentages and rates, so that the reader can reproduce the numbers, for example, in future meta-analyses. If possible, you should upload the database to a repository that is provided free of charge, such as figshare (https://figshare.com/), documenting the database without identifiers with its respective dictionary that specifies the field names or labels, and the actual values of the fields represented by code values. Likewise, the authors can give access to at least one sample of their computer programming.

The tables must have an academic format, in which a limited set of rows and columns generally describe the exposure variable in the first column and the distribution between affected and unaffected persons or units of analysis in the following columns. There should be horizontal lines but not vertical lines, and the first and last lines, as well as those that separate the labels of the variables from the frequencies, should be thicker. Prepare your forms in Word and do not use Excel or software output to prepare your charts.

They should have a concise and descriptive title that answers the questions what? where? and when?

For example, the following table describes the occurrence of COVID-19 deaths in New York City between 2020 and 2021 according to the presence or absence of chronic disease or obesity in New York City Department of Health records, using as denominators the estimates of the prevalence of chronic diseases or obesity in adults according to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey applied to the estimated population of the city.

Table 2. Modification of the effect of underlying chronic disease or obesity by age on the rate of mortality from COVID-19, New York City 2020-2021

Age Groups

Chronic conditions or obesity






















MRa per 100,000




MRRb (95% CI)



66.8 (55.3, 80.6)




P <0.0000001







MR per 100,000




MRR (95% CI)

1.6 (1.0, 2.8)


551.9 (457.6, 665.7)


P =0.03


P <0.0000001

aMR: mortality ratio or mortality rate; bMRR: mortality rate ratio using those in the 18-64 and without chronic conditions or obesity as referent.

Relative Excess Risk due to Interaction [RERI] = 551.9 – 66.8 – 1.6 + 1 = 484.5 (95% CI = 404.2, 586.7).

Synergy Factor = 551.9 / (66.8 x 1.6) = 5.0 (95% CI = 3.0, 8.5).

As shown in the example, footnotes are acceptable. If there are annotations in the table, letters of the alphabet (a,b,c,...) can be used consecutively and presented in that order in the footer.

In addition to being embedded in the text, graphics can be sent as separate JPG or GIF files for page layout.


Copyright belongs to the authors themselves. The journal is open access and under a CC-BY-NC-ND license, allows anyone to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full texts. of articles, track them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them. for any other lawful purpose. However, this license, the CC BY-NC-ND, only allows others to "download works and share them with others as long as they give it credit, but they may not change them in any way or use them commercially." The journal will not request the transfer of copyright to the authors.

Article Processing Charges (APCs)

For current FETP trainees, the article processing charges is $ 50 USD, for all other authors  is $100 USD.

There are no charges per page

There is no charge for colors                      

Article Submission

Submit through the AJFE website. Prepare three files: the title page or pages, the manuscript fiel, and a cover letter from the designated corresponding author, specifying that those named are the authors according to ICMEJ regulations. Also state that the article has not been published or is being submitted or is being considered for publication in any other journal. Write a declaration of conflict of interest and specific research funding if any, otherwise declare that the “Authors have no conflicts of interest to declare”, and or “The authors did not receive specific funding for this research”.