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Mathematical Modeling Guidelines

Editorial criteria for mathematical, economic, and statistical manuscripts

  • Mathematical, economic, and statistical jargon should be eliminated or used sparingly.
Table. Editorial criteria for mathematical, economic, and statistical papers


Overall content
  • Must provide information that our audience (public health officials) is likely to find of "immediate and practical" value.
  • Must reflect the realities of public health.*
Writing style
  • Should be written in a style most likely to appeal to most of our intended audience.
  • In the main text, equations should be kept to a minimum, and those that are presented should preferably be written out in words rather than mathematical notation.
  • In the main text, and in diagrams and tables associated with the main text, mathematical notations should be kept to a minimum.
Technical aspects
  • Where possible, mathematical, economic, and statistical articles should include a simple schematic diagram outlining the elements in the model(s) and how they are connected.
  • Models should contain detailed sensitivity analyses. Univariate (1 variable at a time) sensitivity analyses are generally considered inadequate. One goal of sensitivity analyses should be to define which inputs are, within the model, relatively most important.
  • All articles should contain sufficient description of the methods to allow independent replication of results by another researcher with suitable skills and interest.
  • Papers should contain a Table 1 which lists all the inputs, the values and ranges, and identifies data sources.
  • Figures should be as simple as possible. The use of color should be kept to a minimum.
  • It is insufficient to only report p values as evidence of statistical significance. Authors must also report some measure of dispersion (e.g., standard deviations, confidence intervals).
  • For statistical models, a table of results should provide the results of all the variables used in the model, the statistical significance of each variable, and a measure of goodness-of-fit of the entire model.

*Public health officials have to be practical. Purely conceptual modeling papers, for example, are unlikely to be of immediate and practical value to our intended audience.

Additional Information:

Manuscript Preparation
Manuscript Submission
Editorial Policy

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Page created: February 04, 2010
Page updated: May 10, 2016
Page reviewed: May 10, 2016
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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