Instructions to Authors

Instructions to Authors PDF

The Journal of Epidemiology is the official scientific journal of the Japan Epidemiological Association. The Journal publishes a broad range of original research on epidemiology as it relates to human health and seeks to promote communication among those engaged in the field of epidemiologic research and those who rely on epidemiologic findings. The first and corresponding author(s) of any article submitted from Japan must be members of the Japan Epidemiological Association. However, contributions from non-members in countries other than Japan are welcome.


Manuscript Types

Specifications for manuscript categories (see expanded descriptions in the table below)

Manuscript type Word limit Abstract word limit and format
Original Article 3500 250; structured
Short Communication 2000 250; structured
Review Article 5000 None; unstructured
Statistical Data 2000 250; structured
Study Profile 2000 250; structured
Letter to the Editor 600 n/a

For all manuscript types, the word limit excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgments and contributions, and references.

1. Original Articles;

Articles are full-length reports of original research.
• Maximum length: 3500 words.
• Papers should include a structured abstract containing Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions (maximum length, 250 words).
• Tables longer than two double-spaced manuscript pages (including the legend) will be published online as supplementary material.
• Figure legends should explain what is represented in the figure rather than repeating results, methods, and conclusions.
• Methods sections containing detailed, widely available protocols may be partly limited to online publication, at the Editor's discretion.

2. Short Communications

Short Communications are concise reports of preliminary findings, or an epidemiologic study with narrowly focused or limited findings. Manuscript style (excluding word length) should conform to the requirements for original articles.
•Maximum length: 2000 words.

3. Reviews

Review articles are summaries of recent insights into specific research areas within the scope of the Journal of Epidemiology. Key aims of reviews are to provide systematic and substantial coverage of established topics, evaluations of progress in specified areas, and critical assessments of emerging studies.
•Maximum length: 5000 words.

4. Statistical Data

Reports based on statistical analyses of data sets available in the public domain, such as information on mortality, morbidity, and disease surveillance systems.
•Maximum length: 2000 words.

5. Study Profiles

Description of a study design or overview of a potentially influential cohort or intervention study, including background and purpose, participants and follow-up, main outcome measures, baseline descriptive statistics, and strengths and limitations.
•Maximum length: 2000 words.

6. Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor include opinions regarding any material previously published in the Journal of Epidemiology or by the Japan Epidemiological Association.
•Maximum length: 600 words.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

In principle, manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the instructions below. For issues not mentioned here, consult the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, issued by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors

General formatting

Questions regarding format and style that are not explicitly discussed below should be resolved by referring to a recent issue of the Journal of Epidemiology. Manuscripts for regular papers should be divided into sections, with appropriate section headings. The organization should be as follows: Title page, Abstract, Key Words, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgments (including conflict of interest, funding, and/or other, if any), References, Tables, and Figure Legends. Type all manuscripts using a 12-point font with a text margin of at least 2.5 cm from all edges. Double-space all elements of the manuscript, including the abstract, text, references, tables, figures, and legends. In the upper right corner of each page, type the first author's surname plus the page number, with the title page as page 1. Insert continuous line numbers from the Abstract to the Acknowledgments (do not number references or graphics).

The use of abbreviations should be limited to those required to improve clarity and readability. Abbreviations are allowed only for long or frequently repeated terms. Define abbreviations in parentheses at their first mention in the text. Abbreviations may be used in tables and figures if they are defined in the table titles or footnotes and in the figure legends.

Units of measurement
Units of measurement should be in international use (preferably SI units).

Standardize reporting of numbers
•a) Measures of time should use numerals (e.g., 2 days, 9 months, 1.5 years), as should numbers reported with a unit of measurement (e.g., 10 mL, 6 m/s)
•b) Numbers of objects or actions less than 10 should be written out (e.g., two assessments, three questions, two-sided P values)

English language
Authors are responsible for the linguistic accuracy and readability of their papers. If English is not the author(s) first language, then a specialist in the field with a sound knowledge of English must check and, if necessary, correct the manuscript before submission.

Online manuscript submission

Manuscripts, including a cover letter (see ‘Cover letter for new submissions’ below), must be written in English (either British or American spelling) and submitted for review via the online submission/review system. Step-by-step instructions for formatting and uploading manuscripts are available on the site. The preferred format is Microsoft Word for Windows for the text and cover letter, Microsoft Excel for tables, and Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel for figures. Please note that we do not accept PDF files.

Cover letter for new submissions

All submissions must be accompanied by a cover letter, which should include the following:
• a) the name of the journal, ie. Journal of Epidemiology to which you are submitting your manuscript;
• b) the title of the manuscript;
• c) the article's principal findings and their significance for the field of epidemiology;
• d) a statement indicating that all authors have approved the manuscript and that the materials has not been published in or submitted to any other journal.

Your submission will not be approved for review until all the above information has been received.

Title page

The title page should contain the article title; author name(s); institutional affiliation(s); location of institution (city, country); running title (not exceeding 80 letters, including spaces); number of tables, figures, and supplementary materials; and the name, mailing address, email address, and fax number of the person to whom proofs, correspondence, and offprint requests should be sent.


Original Articles, Short Communications, Statistical Data, and Study Profiles should include a structured abstract of no more than 250 words with the following headings: Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. Unstructured abstracts are permitted for review articles. Three to five key words must be included below the Abstract for cross-indexing.


This section should contain a clear statement of the purpose or aim of the study, the rationale for the study, and a brief summary of previous relevant investigations.


Materials and procedures should be presented in sufficient detail so that the work can be repeated by other investigators. Methods previously published should not be described in detail; rather, appropriate references should be cited. The sources of special reagents or instrumentation used in the study should be provided, along with the location of the manufacturer.

Statistical analysis
Authors are encouraged to specify exact p-values.

Means, standard deviations, and standard errors. To report means, standard deviations, and standard errors, use the following format: "mean (SD)" and "mean (SE)." Do not use "±."

Confidence intervals. In the text, express confidence intervals using a comma, and separate values with a hyphen, eg. "95% CI, 1.20–1.90," unless one or both values of any CI is negative, in which case all values in the manuscript should be separated by the word "to," eg, "−2.3 to −1.4."

Equations can appear within the text or be displayed on a separate line. Whenever possible, mathematical equations should be written on a single line, eg, a/(a + b) and exp(x). With proper use of braces, brackets, parentheses, and exponents, even complicated expressions can be put into this form. However, any mathematical expression that contains a character taller than a line of type should be displayed and numbered as an equation. When referring to an equation in the text, use eg. "equation 6" or "expression 6." When preparing mathematical equations, use italic type for variables and single letters, bold type for vectors and matrices, and regular type for short words such as "exp" or "lim" and Greek letters. Insert a space before and after any mathematical sign or symbol.

For multiplication, use a times sign rather than an asterisk or centered dot. For ±, <, and >, do not use an underline, as the underline may be lost during software conversion, thereby changing the meaning of the data.

Regression analyses. When presenting results of regression analyses, regression coefficients should usually be converted into more generally meaningful terms (eg, relative odds instead of beta coefficients). Note that, because regression coefficients are unit-dependent for continuous variables and category-dependent for discrete or ordinal variables, the Journal requires statements specifying the units or categories, namely as parenthetical statements in the text or in table footnotes or figure legends.

Odds ratio vs relative risk. When reporting the results of a case-based case-control study, where the parameter of interest is an odds ratio, the authors should refer to that parameter as an odds ratio, not as a relative risk.

In a subsection titled ‘Standard Protocol Approvals, Registrations, and Patient Consent’, include (1) a statement that written informed consent was obtained from all participants (or guardians of participants) in the study (consent for research); (2) a statement that an ethical standards committee gave approval for the conduct the study; (3) a statement providing the identity of the public trials registry and the clinical trial identifier number (if the study reports a clinical trial); (4) if applicable, a statement to report previously published methods, eg, "We used the method previously reported by Sato et al.11". Insert the published method verbatim immediately below, citing it appropriately.


Photographs, charts, graphs, and diagrams are termed figures and should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals. Line drawings and graphs should be professionally drawn and lettered; freehand and typewritten lettering is unacceptable. Authors are responsible for the cost of printing color figures. However, there is no fee for the use of monochrome figures in the print version or for the use of color figures in the online version of the Journal. If authors wish to have a group of photographs printed together in a single block (composite figure), one set of photographs may be mounted to show the preferred layout. Photographs must be sized to fit within one column width (8.5 cm) or if necessary, across two columns (17 cm). The maximum plate area for composite figures is 17 × 23 cm. Inappropriately sized material will be cropped or reduced by the Editorial Office. The figure number should not be placed on the printed surface. Letters, symbols, and arrows applied to the surface of a photograph must be of professional quality and sufficiently large to allow easy recognition. All legends should appear together on a separate page(s). Legends should be brief and specific.

Figures should be submitted as DOC, RTF, XLS, PPT, TIFF, EPS, PSD, JPG, BMP, GIF, and/or AI files. Photographs and other scanned images must have a resolution of at least 350 dots per inch (dpi). Images with words must have a resolution of at least 600 dpi.


Tables must include a brief title and should be submitted on separate pages and numbered using Arabic numerals. Use superscript letters (a, b, c, etc.) for footnotes. Tables should be brief and easily understood without referring to the text.

• Do not use internal horizontal or vertical rules.
• Do not embed image files of tables and do not use tabs in creating tables.
• Do not use color or shading within tables.
• Do not include patient names or initials in tables.
• References cited within a table should use numbers rather than author names.


Authors must declare all financial support for their research and any conflict of interest, including directorships, stock holdings, and contracts. In considering whether an interest is conflicting, authors should ask themselves if they would be embarrassed by its subsequent disclosure, if they had not disclosed it originally. Such interests should be considered in conflict, and should be reported as conflicts of interest Aid with technical issues, statistical analyses, photography, or stenography, and advice from colleagues, can also be acknowledged.
The Acknowledgments section also allows authors space to recognize and express appreciation to others (contributors) who have contributed to the study but have not qualified as authors. In this section, list those who have collected data; provided technical assistance; acquired funding; supervised personnel; contributed drugs, reagents, equipment, or study participants; or edited the manuscript for non-intellectual content. The list must include the contributors' affiliations and the specific contributions made by each. The Acknowledgments section is also reserved for authors to thank individuals who have provided general advice or guidance, manuscript review, and technical help. For those helping in preparation of the manuscript, please specify how they assisted (eg, performed substantive or technical editing, copyedited the manuscript, prepared tables or figures, or provided clerical assistance).


Provide information that is explanatory or statistical in nature in an Appendix. If the author list is longer than the space in the author byline area of the first page of the published paper, the authors whose names do not fit will be listed in an Appendix. This list includes collaborators in multicenter trials attributed to corporate or multiple authors, if the investigators qualify as authors according to one of the criteria specified in ‘Definition of authorship’.

Reference style

The references should be numbered in the order that they are first mentioned in the text; do not list references alphabetically. The references may contain only published studies and papers in press. Unpublished data, manuscripts submitted but not yet accepted, and personal communications may not be included in reference lists. However, they may be indicated within the text in parentheses as, for example, "(Saito E., personal communication)."

Correct format of in-text references
1. In-text citations should be superscripted (e.g., Three studies1-3 instead of three studies [1-3])
2. Superscripted citations should follow commas and periods and precede colons and semicolons, without a separating space (e.g., In one study,4 instead of In one study4, or in one study, 4)

References should conform to the examples given below. For more details, the authors should consult the Sample References page of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.

1. Standard journal article
Murayama H, Fujiwara Y, Kawachi I. Social capital and health: a review of prospective multilevel studies. J Epidemiol. 2012;22:179–87.

2. Standard journal article in a language other than English
Matsui K, Kita Y. Why do people consent to participate in genetic epidemiological studies? Nihon Koshu Eisei Zasshi. 2010;57:977–87 (in Japanese).

3. Book
Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.

4. Book chapter
Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93–113.

5. Homepage/Website [homepage on the Internet]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc.; c2000-01 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from:

6. Journal article on the Internet
Abood S. Quality improvement initiative in nursing homes: the ANA acts in an advisory role. Am J Nurs [Internet]. 2002 Jun [cited 2002 Aug 12];102(6):[about 1 p.]. Available from: htmArticle

Abbreviations of journal names should conform to those provided in the NLM catalog. List all authors when there are fewer than six; when there are more than six authors, list the first six, followed by et al. If the title of a paper is in a language other than English, French, or German, it should be translated into English, and the original language should be indicated in parentheses; for example, "(in Japanese)." Authors are responsible for the bibliographic accuracy of all references.

Supplemental Data

Tables and other illustrative material submitted to the Journal should be succinct and easily interpreted by the general readership. Lengthy data that may be difficult to summarize in print are often important to the study. These data — which may take the form of tables, figures, data, references, or appendices — can be posted on the Journal website. All supplemental files intended for publication should be uploaded when the manuscript is submitted for review. Before submission, carefully review all information because it may not be read by a professional copyeditor. The Journal is not responsible for errors or omissions contained in data supplements. The accepted formats for supplemental data are GIF, HTML, JPG, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and plain text. Other formats are not accepted. Please name your files within the document and cite them (within the manuscript text) in the following way:

• Tables: eTable 1, eTable 2, eTable 3...
• Figures: eFigure 1, eFigure 2, eFigure 3...
• Appendices: eAppendix 1, eAppendix 2, eAppendix 3...
• References: eReferences (e1, e2, e3...)
• Any type of data not listed here can be listed by the full name (eg, Acknowledgments, Questionnaire) preceded by "e," eg, "eQuestionnaire."

Table and figure legends should be included on the same pages as the Tables/Figures.

If references are cited in Supplemental Data, please include references at the bottom of the supplemental document. Do not include the references in the main manuscript document.

Required Forms

Authorship and Disclosure Form: All authors must complete the online Authorship and Disclosure form. All authors will receive email notification advising on how to access and complete the form after manuscript submission. The review process is not started until all forms are received from all authors.

Page Charge Agreement Form: The corresponding author must sign the Page Charge Agreement Form before an article is accepted for publication. The form should be emailed with the page proofs. Please include the assigned manuscript number on the form.

Invited submissions

An invitation to write an Editorial for the Journal may be requested through the ScholarOne online submission/review system. Enter the Author Area and select "Invited papers." You can accept or decline the invitation online. The procedure for submission is the same as that for an unsolicited article (see Manuscript Submission Guidelines).

Publication fees

Publication fee for members are 5,000 yen per published page, and 7,500 yen per published page for nonmembers. PLEASE NOTE: We are introducing a change in the publication fees for nonmembers in 2015. The new charge is applicable for papers submitted on and after January 1st, 2015, and nonmembers will be charged 10,000 yen per published page. The page charge will be waived if the senior and corresponding authors can document that they are resident nationals of a country having a low-income economy. Offprints are supplied at a rate based on the number of pages in the printed article and the number of offprints ordered. An order form will be sent to the corresponding author along with the proofs. The order should be returned with the corrected proofs. Readers of the Journal are permitted to download the PDF version of articles published in the online Journal.


Definition authorship

According to the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) as revised in 2013, authorship credit should be based on the following four criteria.

All authors should have: (1) made substantial contributions to the conception and design of the study or the analysis and interpretation of the data for the work; (2) assisted in drafting the work or critically revising it for important intellectual content; (3) approved the final version to be published; AND (4) agreed 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. Submission of a document for publication implies that it has been approved by all named authors, that it describes unpublished work, and that the content is not simultaneously under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Authorship requirements

All authors must complete the online Authorship and Disclosure form. All authors will receive email notification advising on how to access and complete the form after manuscript submission. The review process is not started until all forms are received from all authors.

All individuals qualifying for authorship must indicate their contributions to the article on the Authorship and Disclosure Form. One author, the corresponding author, must be responsible for all communications with the Journal throughout the review process and should ensure that all authors have approved the final submitted version, all revised versions, and the final, accepted version of the manuscript.

The corresponding author is responsible for determining which members meet the criteria for authorship in a study attributed to a group. The corresponding author also takes responsibility for listing contributors (who do not qualify for authorship) in a Contributors Appendix or the Acknowledgments, with their roles and contributions noted in parentheses. When the study is the work of a study group, use "for" before the name of the study group in the byline unless all members of the group qualify for authorship, as stated above.

All authors must complete the Authorship and Disclosure Form. It is essential that the corresponding author include the correct email addresses of all authors in the online submission; doing so will prevent delays in requesting authors to complete required forms at the appropriate times.

Multicenter trials attributed to corporate or multiple authors of a study group must list all authors that satisfy the above criteria, either in the author byline OR in an "Additional Authors" Appendix, along with their disclosure information.

"Guest" or "honorary" authorship based solely on position (eg, research supervisor, department head) is not permitted.

Conflict of interest and disclosure

Authors must state all sources of funding and any other financial and personal relationships that could potentially bias their work. If any author has involvements that might raise any question of bias, they are required to provide details of such involvements.

If any of the authors have such relationship with corporate bodies, organizations, or any parties as listed below, all of the authors must send the “Authorship and Disclosure Form” to the Editorial Office declaring their Conflict of Interests after submission.

(1) Research was commissioned or collaborated (including paid or unpaid work).
(2) Co-own patent or rights over method of therapy, medication, or instruments used in the study.
(3) Has been provided medication or instruments for free, or for a favorable price.
(4) A grant or donation has been provided for the research.
(5) Has been provided unapproved medication or medical instruments.
(6) Has been sponsored for lectures.

To disclose interests that could influence how readers interpret your work, authors should complete the online Disclosure form. Failure to reveal all pertinent information could result in the article being classified as a fraudulent submission and may cause a published paper to be retracted and the authors prohibited from further submission to the Journal of Epidemiology. The corresponding author must include a section titled "Conflicts of interest" at the end of the Acknowledgments. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the disclosures will be published in the Journal as they appear in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript. If the authors have no conflicts of interest to declare, they should declare this with an explicit statement, such as “The authors declare they have no conflict of interest with respect to this research study and paper.”