Annals of Behavioral Medicine Implements COVID-19 Rapid Response Review

Tracey A. Revenson, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, and John Ruiz, PhD, Senior Associate Editor

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the important role that behavioral medicine can and will play, the Annals of Behavioral Medicine instituted a COVID-19 Rapid Response Review process in mid-April. Since this time, we have received a large number of submissions reflecting a broad range of perspectives. We want to take this opportunity to improve the clarity of the call to ensure the submitted work fits the aims of the journal and meets the necessary level of scientific rigor for review.

Submissions using cross-sectional data should be submitted for Brief Reports only (not full-length articles). Longitudinal studies may be submitted as Brief Reports or Full-length articles.

Regardless of design, all studies must meet minimum criteria to be considered for peer review. These criteria include: a) a clear research question with a psychosocial focus and its role in COVID-19, b) a theoretical framework or clear rationale for the research question and analyses; c)  a sample size large enough to make valid conclusions, including a power analysis; and d) contextualization of the research question — that is, how does the state of the pandemic and federal/state regulations when the data were collected affect the interpretation of the findings? For example, if a researcher is study whether health beliefs affect mask wearing, what were the regulations to wear masks when the data were collected? Finally, authors are encouraged to move beyond convenience samples and simple correlations of self-report data to connect to more objective indices, uncover biobehavioral pathways, and focus on unique and understudied populations that will help move understanding on COVID-19 forward.

The rapid review process: All manuscripts will be receive an initial review by two editors for whether they should be sent for peer review. Those that are sent for peer review will receive a 7-7-7 rapid review: 7 days for the initial peer review; 7 days for author revisions (if that is the editorial decision); and 7 days for re-review by the original reviewers. Once an article is accepted, it is published in “Online first” within a matter of days. All articles accepted under this review process will be open access.

Manuscripts should be submitted through the regular review process as specified on the journal’s website. Please indicate in your cover letter that the manuscript should be considered for COVID-19 Rapid Response Review.