Term of reference


1. Preamble

Ethiopian Journal of Public Health and Nutrition is a scholarly journal of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI). The journal aims to keep scientific community; policy and decision makers; and implementers informed about current developments in public health, nutrition, food science and technology, biomedicine, biotechnology, public health emergency management, traditional and modern medicine, and their contributions to public policy, with particular emphasis on Ethiopian context. The institute provides every required support to sustain timely publication of the journal, and improve its quality and impact.

2. Purpose

The editorial board has the responsibility of providing direction, scholarly input, promotion, oversight and encouragement to all involved in the process of publication of the journal.

3. Scope

This TOR applies to the establishment, and roles and responsibilities of the Editorial Board of Ethiopian Journal of Public Health and Nutrition. It also includes overall technical and administrative issues required to review and edit manuscripts; publication of the journal; access/distribution of published articles to users; promotion and timely publication of the journal.

4. Composition of the editorial board

  • The editorial board consists of five to nine members,

  • The editorial board is expected to be composed of members from different academic backgrounds within the scope of the journal,

  • Editorial board member will be an employee of EPHI or from other research and academic institutions who are identified based on his/her academic excellence; excellence in research and scientific paper writing and editorship; as well as enthusiasm to serve as member of the editorial board of the journal. However, experts from outside the institute should not exceed one third of the board members,

  • Efforts will also be made to include emeritus scholars in the areas of public health; biomedical sciences and possibly social sciences in the editorial board members list,

  • The editorial board shall consist of:

    • Editor-in-Chief,

    • Vice-Editor-in-Chief,

    • Editorial Board Members and

    • Editorial Manager who is serving as ex officio member of the editorial board.


5. Membership requirements

  • Director General of EPHI is responsible to appoint the editor-in-chief and members of the editorial board,

  • The editorial board members are appointed for a period of three years. The Director General may renew member(s) term if deemed appropriate and the member`s interest and devotion to continue serving as editorial board member. The term of the editorial board member may terminate at any time when the member fails to shoulder his/her responsibility due to various reasons, and

  • Editorial board members should have at least MSc degree or equivalent in relevant subjects and good publication record.


6. Roles and responsibility

6.1. Editorial board members

  • Elect vice-editor-in-chief to execute tasks shouldered by the editor-in-chief during his/her absence,

  • Provide guidance for overall accomplishments of the mission of EJPHN publication,

  • Provide final decision on contents of manuscripts to be published in each issue of the journal,

  • Provide decision for publication of especial issues of thematic area based manuscripts,

  • Identify key topics and respective authors to submit manuscripts for publication in the journal,

  • Write feature article(s) or support an existing section of the journal,

  • Participate in providing continuing education in areas of scientific paper writing and presentation to researchers and other experts in EPHI, and other institutions when found appropriate and/or requested,

  • Improve their capacity in terms of scientific paper writing and presentation; manuscript review; editing and other pertinent topics,

  • Every editorial board member will review at least two manuscripts of his/her area of expertise per annum. However, the editorial board member should decline to review a manuscript when he/she has conflict of interest with the assignment/author(s),

  • Provide support to the review and editorial processes when requested,

  • Contribute to pool of potential manuscript reviewers of the journal,

  • Develop editorial policy of the journal and monitor adherence of each edition to the policy,

  • Contribute in identifying suitable reviewers for manuscripts as appropriate,

  • Promote the journal within EPHI and externally,

  • Revise the TOR as stipulated under 13 (Amendment to ToR) of this TOR,

  • Develop strategic plan and cascaded annual business plan of the journal,

  • Develop budget for the upcoming financial year and/or especial events as appropriate and solicit financial support,

  • Exert every effort to increase citations and impact factor of the journal,

  • Maintain scientific integrity, confidentiality and language standard during manuscript review and editorial processes, and

  • Work on continuous improvement in readability of the journal using different strategies.


6.2. Editor-in-Chief

  • Responsible to chair editorial board meetings and liaise directly with the General Director of Ethiopian Public Health Institute,

  • He/She will serve as chair-person of the editorial board,

  • Provide leadership to and support the work of the editorial manager,

  • Communicate with the editorial manager and editorial board to discuss on strategic issues that can lead to quality manuscript submission, communication with authors and reviewers, publication of peer reviewed and accepted manuscripts and easy access to readers,

  • Guide the editorial manager and journal editorial office to develop training modules on scientific paper writing, scientific paper presentation, scientific paper review as well as EJPHN instruction to authors,

  • Take appropriate action against manuscripts that are found plagiarized,

  • Make final decision on acceptability of peer reviewed manuscripts, and

  • Represent and actively promote EJPHN.

6.3. Editorial manager

  • He/She is head of the journal editorial office,

  • Serves as secretary and voting member of the editorial board,

  • Serves as liaison officer among authors, editor-in-chief, journal editorial board, reviewers, staff of the editorial office, journal publishers and other experts working on the journal,

  • Screen all manuscripts that are submitted for publication are within the scope of the journal to qualify for peer review,

  • Ensure peer reviewed and accepted manuscripts have strictly followed authors’ guideline of the journal,

  • Develop and continuously upgrade web page for manuscript submission, communication with reviewers and authors, online access of published issues/articles and archives, scientific discussion platforms on current issues within the scope of the journal, announcements and calls, promotions etc.

  • Conduct proofreading of scientific/technical and non-technical details of manuscripts to be published in the journal and communicate with the editor-in-chief for decisions,

  • Exert utmost possible effort to ensure originality of research articles,

  • Conduct plagiarism check for every manuscript and report plagiarized manuscripts to the editor-in-chief for appropriate measure,

  • Arrange training in the areas of scientific writing and presentation,

  • Prepare and amend, as deemed necessary, of journal referee evaluation form,

  • Timely distribution of newly published journal issues, which are prepared as hard copy, to identified stakeholders without delay,

  • Shoulders responsibility of all the administrative matters, timely publication of journal issues and quality of paper based publications of the journal, and

  • Archive the editorial board documents.

7. Resignation, exclusion, replacement and recognition of members

  • Members may resign their positions by submitting letter of resignation to the editor-in-chief,

  • Members may be excluded from continuance should the editor-in-chief provide justification on failure of the member to attend scheduled board meetings as stipulated under 8 (Editorial board meetings) of this TOR, conflict of interest and/or other grave misconduct committed by the member to editorial board members for decision . The decision of the board will be communicated to the director general for final decision,

  • Members who have resigned or excluded or believed to be justified for replacement will be substituted by the director general, and

  • Editorial board member who has resigned or replaced by another member for good reason will obtain letter of recognition for his/her service from the director general.


8. Editorial board meetings

  • The editorial board meets every two months regularly. The editor-in-chief may however postpone the meeting or call for extra ordinary meeting when deemed necessary,

  • Agenda will be set by the editor-in-chief in collaboration with the editorial manager, and enriched by the members during the meeting,

  • The agenda and supporting documents, if there are any, will be distributed at least five working days prior to the editorial board meeting, and

  • Minutes will be recorded by the secretary (editorial manager); drafts will be sent to members through their email address; members will subsequently send their remarks within three working days and the secretary makes appropriate correction; and minutes will be approved in the upcoming meeting.

9. Quorum requirements

  • More than 50% of the board members shall be present at a meeting in person or through teleconference or telephone conversation in order to discuss, issue a valid advice and/or decision.

10. Voting system

  • Decisions will be made on a consensus basis. Whenever there is difference among board members that cannot be resolved through discussion, decisions will be made by simple majority votes with all members having equal voting rights. When votes are at par, the decision whereby the editor-in-chief supports will be final.


11. Editorial office

  • The editorial manager is head of the editorial office,

  • The editorial office is accountable to the Scientific and Ethical Review Office (SERO) of EPHI,

  • The office seeks administrative support from and submits seasonal reports to SERO,

  • Promote EJPHN for submission of quality manuscripts,

  • Contributes in improving quality and timely publication of the journal, and

  • The editorial office is responsible for copyediting of manuscripts approved for publication and typesetting, journal webpage development and management, production of the journals and other responsibilities provided by the editor-in-chief and SERO.

12. Acceptance or rejection of manuscripts

  • Authors who have submitted manuscripts that are not prepared based on authors’ guideline will be communicated by the editorial manager for possible correction. When the corresponding author fails to properly address the comments, the editorial manager will report the same to the editor-in-chief to decide for rejection or continuance of the review process,

  • Any peer reviewed manuscript will be accepted for publication and proceed to the editorial process when at least two of three assigned reviewers suggest for its acceptance. When only one of two assigned reviewers suggest for acceptance of a manuscript, the editor-in-chief will provide final decision, and

  • Manuscripts which failed to be published (as of submission) in two years time for different reasons will be subjected for resubmission or automatically rejected.


13. Amendment to terms of reference

  • The terms of reference will be reviewed regularly on annual basis to determine if any update(s) are/is required. Prior amendment can also be made when found necessary.

14. Endorsement

Terms of reference for EJPHN editorial board were endorsed at the meeting of the board that was held on 22 February 2019.