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AFRO-NETS> New International Journal of Health Geographics

New International Journal of Health Geographics

The International Journal of Health Geographics, an on-line journal 
is now accepting papers.

About International Journal of Health Geographics 


Currently health geographics papers are offered very little room, low 
priority and recognition in journals dealing with medical informat-
ics, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or public health. All such 
journals available today are not specifically focused on the broader 
spectrum of geographic information science in health and healthcare 
(see below), and are at best journals of social medicine, public 
health, planning and policy with an emphasis on the concept of place. 
Journals are still needed that actively encourage articles which have 
a focus on using geographic information science (including geoinfor-
matics) in health and healthcare or encourage papers to be submitted 
which are oriented towards investigations in which spatial analysis 
or geographic principles are used as perhaps the most important tool.

International Journal of Health Geographics: 

ISSN 1476-072X is the first peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the 
application of GIS and Science in public health, healthcare, health 
services, and health resources. It is an interdisciplinary journal 
covering a wide, but well-focused range of topics, and is thus ex-
pected to attract audiences from many different fields.

International Journal of Health Geographics would also publish manu-
scripts that are not peer-reviewed (clearly labelled as such), but 
nonetheless result from investigations, surveillance and assessment 
activities which used GIS and spatial analysis as tools, perhaps from 
government agencies and organisations (e.g. the NHS in the UK) that 
use GIS and spatial analysis in their work but are not focused on 
producing research results for peer-reviewed journal publication. In-
ternational Journal of Health Geographics wishes to encourage ex-
changing information between public health practitioners and the aca-
demic and research community.

Geographic Information Systems are software systems for storing, ana-
lysing and displaying geographic and geo-referenced data. Geographic 
Information Science is a term that captures the wider process of con-
verting geographic data into useful information, i.e. not just the IT 
and software aspects of this process. Geographic Information Science 
draws on the technology of GIS, the methodology of "spatio-temporal 
analysis", the models and concepts of geography, and other relevant 
disciplines and technologies in order to make sense of geo-referenced 
data. Relevant disciplines and technologies include surveying, map-
ping (cartography), remote sensing, Global Positioning System (GPS), 
Internet technologies, database management systems (DBMS), spatio-
temporal statistics, and many others.

In the context of health and healthcare, one would also add disci-
plines like public health and epidemiology, microbiology, human ecol-
ogy, etc. Health (individual and community health issues) and health-
care (clinical issues, and service planning and management issues) 
are two intertwined concepts, and so are their interactions with lo-
cation and time. Health Geographics can improve our understanding of 
the important relationship between persons, place (and its character-
istics), time and health, and thus assist us in discovering, under-
standing and eliminating disease, in public health tasks like disease 
prevention and health promotion, and also in better healthcare ser-
vice planning and delivery.

Manuscripts are invited which deal with/report research into: 

* Health and healthcare applications of GIS;
* Methods of spatio-temporal analysis and statistics;
* GIS modelling, and GIS-related technologies, e.g. visualization and
  cartography, remote sensing, and GPS;
* The geography of disease (chronic/non-communicable and communica-
  ble) and disease ecology, which covers the exploration, description
  and modelling of the spatio-temporal incidence of disease, exposure
  and risk factors and related environmental phenomena, the detec-
  tion, analysis and prediction of disease outbreaks, clusters and
  patterns, causality analysis and the generation of new disease hy-
* Geographic Information Science research and methods applied to pub-
  lic health surveillance and environmental health, including the de-
  sign and monitoring of the implementation of health interventions,
  and disease prevention and health promotion strategies;  
* The geography of healthcare systems and healthcare delivery, which
  deals with the planning, management and delivery of suitable health
  services, e.g. to ensure among other things adequate patient ac-
  cess, after determining healthcare needs of the target community
  and service catchment zones, and research and methods identifying
  inequities in health status and health service delivery between
  classes and regions, and helping in the efficient allocation and
  monitoring of scarce healthcare resources; 
* The management and effective communication of geographical knowl-
  edge and information required by health systems users and health-
  care professionals; 
* Barriers facing the adoption of GIS technology in the health sec-
  tor, including data availability, data/metadata quality issues, se-
  curity, confidentiality and ethical issues, and "spatial illiter-
  acy" among healthcare workers; 
* Relevant standards and technological advances in the context of
  health and healthcare; 
* Geographic Information Science and the Internet, e.g. online GIS
  data warehouses and Internet mapping servers, in the context of
  health and healthcare; 
* Mobile GIS and location-based services in the context of health and
  healthcare; and 
* Cybergeography in the context of health and healthcare, including
  geographics and demographics of cybermedicine, and mapping concep-
  tual health spaces and their semantics, e.g. spatialized browsing
  of health information repositories. 

Format and Policy 

The journal will adopt the standard BioMed Central 
( format and policy for BMC journals 
(including Advertisement Policy, Peer Reviewing Policy and Instruc-
tions for Authors - 

In health geographics, printing colour maps on paper (printed jour-
nals) is prohibitively expensive. On the other hand the Web offers 
many opportunities, including rapid and cheap publication of manu-
scripts, and many other features not available on paper like support-
ing dynamic (animated) maps, e.g.

An opportunity also exists to publish data supplements: code, pro-
grams, datasets (and even e-letters/comments) alongside related re-
search papers. Manuscript authors are invited to contact the Editors-
in-Chief to arrange for uploading such material. 

The journal is essentially a peer-reviewed journal, but the editors 
reserve the right to publish selected non-peer-reviewed material (the 
so-called "grey literature") from time to time as outlined above. 
Non-peer-reviewed manuscripts will be clearly labelled as such.

Ric Skinner, Sr. GIS Coordinator 
Health Geographics & Spatial Analysis Program 
Baystate Medical Center 
759 Chestnut St. 
Springfield, MA 01199, USA 
Tel: +1-413-794-4240 (office)
Tel: +1-413-262-2561 (cell)

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