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About Population Health Metrics

This page includes information about the aims and scope of Population Health Metrics, editorial policies, open access and article-processing charges, the peer review process and other information. For details of how to prepare and submit a manuscript through the online submission system, please see the instructions for authors.

Aims & scope

Population Health Metrics is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal featuring innovative research that addresses all aspects of the measurement of population health, including concepts, methods, ethics, and results.

Population Health Metrics will address issues relating to concepts, methods, ethics applications and results in the measurement of the health of populations. This will include areas of health state measurement and valuation, summary measures of level of population health, and inequality in population health, descriptive epidemiology at the population level, burden of disease and injury analysis, disease and risk factor modelling for populations, and comparative assessment of risks to health at population level. The journal aims to provide a platform for researchers in all these areas to share their findings with the global research community.

Many traditional epidemiology journals concentrate on causal studies and on quasi-experimental design. Studies reporting on descriptive epidemiology of major diseases, injuries and risk factors, and on the measurement of health at the population level are not well represented in traditional journals. Additionally there are conceptual, ethical and technical issues in the construction and use of summary measures of population health. While there are journals that accept papers in all these areas, they are scattered across a range of disciplines, and there is currently no journal whose primary scope encompasses measurement of population health as outlined above.

Open access

All articles published by Population Health Metrics are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

Authors of articles published in Population Health Metrics are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

For authors who are US government employees or are prevented from being copyright holders for similar reasons, BioMed Central can accommodate non-standard copyright lines. Please contact us if further information is needed.

Article-processing charges

The publication costs for Population Health Metrics are covered by the journal, so authors do not need to pay an article-processing charge.

Indexing services

All articles published in Population Health Metrics are included in:

  • CABI
  • CAS
  • Cinahl
  • Citebase
  • DOAJ
  • Embase
  • EmCare
  • Global Health
  • Google Scholar
  • OAIster
  • PubMed
  • PubMed Central
  • SCImago
  • Scopus
  • Social Sciences Citation Index
  • Zetoc

The full text of all research articles is deposited in digital archives including e-Depot (The Netherlands).

The full text of all research articles published by BioMed Central is also available on SpringerLink.

Population Health Metrics is tracked by Thomson Reuters (ISI) and has an Impact Factor of 2.77.

Publication and peer review process

Criteria for publication

Population Health Metricsconsiders the following types of articles:

  • Research - reports of data from original research relating to methods or results within the scope of the journal.
  • Reviews - comprehensive, authoritative, summaries of recent insights in specific research areas within the scope of the journal; these articles are usually written by opinion leaders that have been invited by the Editorial Board.
  • Commentaries - short, focused articles on any subject within the journal's scope. These articles are usually related to a contemporary issue, such as recent research findings, and are often written by opinion leaders invited by the Editorial Board.

Peer-review policies

  • Peer review in Population Health Metrics is designed to ensure that the research published is 'good science'. To promote transparency and accountability, a policy of open peer review of submitted articles is adopted by the Journal.
  • Submitted articles will generally be reviewed by two external experts. Reviewers advise the editors, who are responsible for the final decision to accept or reject a manuscript.
  • Reviewers give detailed comments in the following areas to advise the editors and to give guidance to authors on revisions if needed: importance, originality, clarity and presentation, validity and scientific quality, study design and methodology, statistical standards, and justification of conclusions in terms of evidence presented.

Edited by Christopher JL Murray and Alan D. Lopez, Population Health Metrics is supported by an expert Editorial Board.

Population Health Metrics operates using an open peer review system, where the reviewers' names are included on the peer review reports. In addition, if the article is published, the named reports are published online alongside the article as part of a 'pre-publication history'. All previous versions of the manuscript, and all author responses to the reviewers are also available to readers.

Authors will be able to check the progress of their manuscript through the submission system at any time by logging into My Population Health Metrics, a personalized section of the site.


High-quality, bound reprints can be purchased for all articles published. Please see our reprints website for further information about ordering reprints.


Population Health Metrics will consider supplements based on proceedings (full articles or meeting abstracts), reviews or research. All articles submitted for publication in supplements are subject to peer review. Published supplements are fully searchable and freely accessible online and can also be produced in print. For further information, please contact us.

Editorial policies

All manuscripts submitted to PHM should adhere to BioMed Central's editorial policies.

Citing articles in Population Health Metrics

Articles in Population Health Metrics should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.

Article citations follow this format:

Authors: Title. Popul Health Metrics [year], [volume number]:[article number].

e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. Popul Health Metrics 2009, 1:115.

refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.

Why publish your article in Population Health Metrics?

High visibility

Population Health Metrics's open access policy allows maximum visibility of articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. Articles that have been especially highly accessed are highlighted with a 'Highly accessed' graphic, which appears on the journal's contents pages and search results.

Speed of publication

Population Health Metrics offers a fast publication schedule whilst maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published with their final citation after acceptance, in both fully browsable web form, and as a formatted PDF; the article will then be available through Population Health Metrics and BioMed Central.


Online publication in Population Health Metrics gives authors the opportunity to publish large datasets, large numbers of color illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example, to PubMed, to sequence and other databases, and to other articles).

Promotion and press coverage

Articles published in Population Health Metrics are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be included in abstract books mailed to academics and are highlighted on Population Health Metrics's pages and on the BioMed Central homepage.

In addition, articles published in Population Health Metrics may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in Population Health Metrics. A list of articles recently press-released by journals published by BioMed Central is available here.

Authors of articles published in Population Health Metrics retain the copyright of their articles and are free to reproduce and disseminate their work (for further details, see the BioMed Central copyright policy and license agreement).

For further information about the advantages of publishing in a journal from BioMed Central, please click here.