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Q&A with Maria Nilsson

The New Editor-in-Chief of Global Health Action


Meet the Editor

We had the opportunity to sit down with our new Editor-In-Chief, Maria Nilsson, to ask a few questions about Global Health Action, including her plans for the journal and what it can do for authors looking to publish their Global Health research.


Global Health Action is an open access journal publishing peer-reviewed research on global health, engaging with key public health and policy issues. Global Health Action is published in cooperation with Umeå University, Sweden.

Global Health Action aims to be a leading journal in the global health field, narrowing health information gaps and contributing to the implementation of policies and actions that lead to improved global health.

The journal seeks to contribute a concrete, hands-on approach to addressing the global health challenges brought to the fore by the impact of globalization. The journal intends to generate new knowledge and evidence where it is lacking, as well as to bridge the gaps between existing knowledge and the implementation of relevant findings.

Journal Metrics

What is your professional background?

I am a Professor of Public Health at the Department of Epidemiology and Global Health at Umeå University, Sweden. One of my research areas is designing, implementing, and evaluating public health interventions, with a broad interest in public health sciences. My professorship has orientation towards climate change and health, and in my research I connect climate change mitigation and adaptation in low-, middle- and high-income countries with a focus on vulnerabilities, as well as climate-, risk-, and health communication. In 2017, I was awarded a fellowship for global health leadership from the Swedish Institute of Global Health Transformation (SIGHT), under the auspices of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences.

As the new Editor for Global Health Action, what are your goals?

I will continue the development of Global Health Action (GHA), started by my precursors. In the journal’s inaugural editorial in 2008, the founding Editor-in-Chief Stig Wall wrote about “the gap in health information between rich and poor countries” and the “widening gaps between winners and losers of globalization”. This is still valid in 2021 and a challenge global health researchers must continue to act on. Public health in a global context consists of major and increasing challenges for humanity and my goals are for GHA to contribute research results for evidence-based policy and practice, and provide innovative solutions for improved global health.

As a prospective author, what are the benefits of publishing in an open access journal like Global Health Action?

GHA provides an excellent opportunity to reach the global scientific community and policy makers at different levels, with research results on a broad range of important global health topics. Through being a fully open access journal, GHA offers authors a platform for global visibility, by allowing the spread of research results and citations of scientific work freely, and making articles permanently available to anyone with internet access, anywhere in the world. We strive to provide authors submitting their work to GHA a constructive and efficient review process. In GHA, an important ambition is to contribute to capacity building. This is, for example, done by offering the article types PhD synthesis and Capacity building articles with a lower fee than other article types. We think mentorship in scientific writing is a way forward in research capacity building for LICs and we are currently reviewing our ability to offer this in a more structured way.

Which research topics are you most interested to cover in the journal?

GHA will continue to publish high-quality papers in core global health topics such as health determinants and health information, public health interventions, health- and gender inequalities, environmental and climate change impacts on public health, with a specific focus on the most vulnerable populations and regions. To me three points are particularly important while doing this, i) we want to contribute to capacity building with the goal of decreasing health information gaps between rich and poor countries, ii) expect strong implementation and policy components in our published research, as understood by the name of the journal, and, iii) we want to increase the number of manuscripts published based on inter- and transdisciplinary research, these are increasingly needed to meet some of the major current global health challenges.

What would your advice be to early career researchers?

It is important to publish articles and by doing so with open access, one's results become visible to a global readership. This may help early career researchers to build their own network, when coupled with being open to new collaborations.

GHA offers an opportunity for young or emerging researchers who have recently defended their theses on a global health topic to write a synthesis article based on their thesis. One rational for this is that PhD theses are often based on a set of articles synthesized into a "cover story" of about 30-50 pages. Some of these provide excellent reviews of the research area but seldom reach beyond the host institution, the close collaborators, and examiners. Condensing the articles into a PhD synthesis may serve as a "kick-start" to the research career by publishing his or her first post-doctoral paper as a sole author.

When I was a young researcher, I regularly reviewed manuscripts within my topic area. Reviewing others work kept me updated on new findings and offered an opportunity to clearly see how research should be presented. In GHA, we look for manuscripts with a coherent narrative supported by results being concisely discussed in relation to other published literature, and with conclusions contributing to evidence-based policy and practice.

How can someone who wishes to publish in Global Health Action go about doing so?

All the information needed is available on the Global Health Action homepage. You may start by reading the Aims and Scope and then continue reading the Instructions for Authors for information on how to submit your article.

Feeling inspired?

Global Health Action is currently welcoming submissions. If you're feeling inspired to publish your research, please click on the button below.

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