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Make an Impact in Your Field

Manuscript deadline
15 August 2020

Cover image - Health Communication

Health Communication

Special Issue Editor(s)

Xiaoli Nan, University of Maryland
[email protected]

Teri Thompson, University of Dayton
[email protected]

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Public Health Communication in an Age of COVID-19

At the time of writing, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has infected over 3.3 million individuals globally with a death toll of 238,663; the U.S. has confirmed 1.1 million cases of COVID-19 and 64,943 deaths associated with the infection, making itself the new epicenter of the global pandemic. As countries, states, hospitals, and healthcare professionals scramble to brace for the challenges of containing a highly transmissible virus largely unknown to scientists, the general public has an important role to play in the pandemic response. CDC-recommended Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) such as social distancing, handwashing, mask-wearing, and disinfecting are proven to reduce viral transmission. Until a safe and effective vaccine becomes available, the only viable endgame for the pandemic response is to play what has been suggested as “whack-a-mole” with the virus. During these times of uncertainty, public compliance with the recommended NPIs is crucial to the success of the overall pandemic response. When a safe and effective vaccine eventually comes about, public trust in and uptake of the vaccine will then be the key to ending this pandemic.

The field of health communication has had a long tradition of studying public health communication and its impact on individuals’ health beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. At a time of crisis, health communication researchers are uniquely qualified to apply what we know about the design of public health messages to the pandemic case of COVID-19. It is also our responsibility to guide public health communication efforts with evidence-based research midst the confusion and chaos. We therefore announce the Call for Papers for a special Health Communication issue on COVID-19 with a sense of urgency and hope. While the overall scope of the health communication field is undoubtedly vast, the focus of this special issue will be on COVID-19-related public health communication, particularly public health message design and campaigns.

This special issue will consist of peer-reviewed original research papers and invited short commentaries relevant to the special issue theme. We strive for timely publication of the special issue and all articles published in the special issue will be granted open-access for three months.

--Peer-Reviewed Original Research Papers

For this category, we seek original empirical papers as well as theoretical and review papers relevant to all aspects of COVID-19-related public health communication. Submissions addressing COVID-19-related public health communication among high-risk and/or disadvantaged populations are especially welcome. Topics can include but are not limited to: models predicting COVID-19-related risk perceptions, normative beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and/or behaviors; persuasive COVID-19 message strategies; trust in COVID-19 information sources; COVID-19 audience segmentation and profiling; interactions of source, message, and recipient factors relevant to COVID-19 message responses; COVID-19-related health or advertising campaigns, including ongoing campaigns; and COVID-19 misinformation and prevention or correction of misperceptions through tools of public communication.

--Invited Short Commentaries

Invited short commentaries will be coauthored by health communication experts and can be on any topics relevant to the special issue theme.

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Submission Instructions

--Peer-Reviewed Original Research Papers

To submit a research paper for consideration, authors must be prepared to meet the following timeline: (1) submit a completed manuscript by August 15, 2020 to the Health Communication online portal below, indicating it is for the special issue on “Public Health Communication in an Age of COVID-19;” (2) receive peer review comments and invitation to revise the manuscript for inclusion in the special issue by September 15, 2020; and 3) submit final revisions by October 15, 2020.

Manuscripts not selected for inclusion in the special issue will be automatically considered as regular submissions. Authors will be notified by September 15, 2020 if their manuscripts will be included in the special issue or will be considered for a regular issue.

All submitted manuscripts should conform to the guidelines of Health Communication with the exception of page limit; special issue submissions should be no longer than 25 pages, INCLUDING references, tables, and figures. The lower page limit would allow us to feature more articles in the special issue. APA 7 style is required.

--Invited Short Commentaries

Special issue editors will extend invitations by May 30, 2020  to health communication experts who may contribute short commentaries relevant to the special issue theme. Authors who accept the invitation must be prepared to meet the following timeline: (1) submit a completed manuscript by August 15, 2020 to the Health Communication online portal below, indicating it is for the special issue on “Public Health Communication in an Age of COVID-19;” (2) receive special issue editors’ comments by September 15, 2020; and (3) submit final revisions by October 15, 2020.

Submitted short commentaries should not exceed 2,000 words, including references, tables, and figures. APA 7 style is required.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article