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Policy on prior publication

When authors submit manuscripts to this journal, these manuscripts should not be under consideration, accepted for publication or in press within a different journal, book or similar entity, unless explicit permission or agreement has been sought from all entities involved. However, deposition of a preprint on the author’s personal website, in an institutional repository, or in a preprint archive shall not be viewed as prior or duplicate publication. Authors should follow the Cambridge University Press Preprint Policy regarding preprint archives and maintaining the version of record. 


Authors are encouraged to follow the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals; this is the format used in PubMed/MEDLINE. They should strive for a concise article that is unencumbered by excessive detail. Authors who are not fluent in English should have their manuscript checked by a native speaker of English and/or an editing service that provides such assistance. Manuscripts that do not follow the required format or are poorly prepared may be rejected for that reason.

For guidance regarding the reporting of randomized (CONSORT), observational (STROBE), meta-analyses (PRISMA), and other clinical trials, please consult

Double space the entire manuscript, including title page, abstract, body, references, tables, and figure legends. Use left justification only, so that the right margin is ragged. Number pages consecutively, beginning with the title page. Use a standard font (such as Times New Roman or Helvetica) and set the font size to 12 points (for tables as well as text). Each component of the article should begin on a separate page, as follows: title page, abstract, body text, acknowledgments, references, appendices, figure legends, and tables. All these components must be in a single file, except any figures, each of which should be a separate file (see Figures and Figure Legends, below).

For revised submissions please upload both a clean version of the revised manuscript and a version with changes marked, either with tracked changes or highlighted.

Title Page

The title page should include the following information: (1) the title of the manuscript; (2) the names of the author(s), including each author's highest academic degree or professional certification; (3) the departmental and institutional affiliation of each author, including city, state, and country; (4) the name, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the author responsible for correspondence, and (if different) the name and address to be used for reprint requests; (5) if relevant, a statement about any previous presentation of the data or findings in a preliminary report or abstract; (6) an abbreviated title of not more than 45 characters (including spaces), to be used as a running head in print and for search results online; and (7) a word count for the body of the text (ie, excluding the abstract and the references). Acknowledgment of financial support and potential conflicts of interest must be included and should be placed in the Acknowledgments section (see below).

Abbreviations should conform to those given in the AMA Manual of Style. Symbols for units of measurement (mm, mL) should not be followed by periods. Chemical or generic names of drugs, materials, and equipment are strongly preferred; a proprietary name may be given only after it is preceded by the generic or chemical name the first time it appears and must be followed by the name of the manufacturer or supplier. Terms and abbreviations must be defined at first use, separately for the abstract, the body, and each table and figure. Use only common abbreviations and use as few as possible; and do not abbreviate terms used fewer than 5 times. Abbreviate genus names after first mention.


Original Articles should include a structured abstract of no more than 250 words. The following headings are suggested: Objective, Design, Setting, Patients (or Participants), Methods (or Interventions), Results, and Conclusions. If this list of headings is inappropriate, variations are permitted: for example, a study that involved no intervention would use the heading "Methods" rather than "Intervention"; or an analysis of an existing data set might use the heading "Methods" in place of both "Intervention" and "Setting." For brevity, parts of the abstract can be written in phrases rather than complete sentences, .e.g.,"Design: Retrospective cohort study". The contents of each section should conform to the guidelines below.

Objective. Begin with a clear statement of the precise objective or question addressed in the report. If more than one objective is addressed, indicate the main objective and state only key secondary objectives. If an a priori hypothesis was tested, it should be stated.

Design. Describe the basic design of the study. Include the duration of follow-up, if any. Use as many of the following terms as apply.

        • For intervention studies: randomized controlled trial; nonrandomized controlled trial; double-blind; placebo controlled; crossover trial; before-after trial.
        • For studies of screening and diagnostic tests: indicate the criterion standard against which a new or alternative test is being compared; blinded or masked comparison.
        • For studies of prognosis: inception cohort (subjects assembled at a similar and early time in the course of the disorder and followed thereafter); cohort (subjects followed forward in time, but not necessarily from a common starting point); validation cohort or validation sample, if the study involves the modeling of clinical predictions.
        • For studies of causation: randomized controlled trial; cohort; case-control; survey (preferred to "cross-sectional study").
        • For descriptions of the clinical features of medical disorders: survey; case series.
        • For studies that include a formal economic evaluation: cost-effectiveness analysis; cost-utility analysis; cost-benefit analysis. For new analyses of existing data sets, the data set should be named and the basic study design disclosed.

Setting. To assist readers in determining the applicability of the report to their own clinical circumstances, include a brief description of the study setting(s) such as: primary or tertiary referral center, private or public institution, or an ambulatory or acute care setting.

Patients or participants. Provide information on important eligibility criteria, and key sociodemographic features of patients and how they were selected, including the number of otherwise eligible subjects who were approached but refused to participate. If matching was used for comparison groups, specify the characteristics that were matched. In follow-up studies, the proportion of participants who completed the study must be indicated. In intervention studies, the number of patients withdrawn because of adverse effects should be given.

For selection procedures, these terms should be used, if appropriate: random sample ("random" refers to a formal, randomized selection in which all eligible subjects have a fixed and usually equal chance of selection); population-based sample; referred sample; consecutive sample; volunteer sample; convenience sample.

Intervention(s). Describe the essential features of any interventions, including the method and duration of administration. The intervention should be named by its most common clinical name (eg, the generic term "oseltamivir"), the brand name of a drug, if a specific product was studied, and the name of the manufacturer or supplier for any product(s) mentioned in the manuscript, including software.

Results. Give the main results of the study in narrative form. Define measurements that require explanation for the expected audience of the manuscript. If possible, the results should be accompanied by objective data and the exact level of statistical significance. For comparative studies, confidence intervals should relate to the differences between groups. When risk changes or effect sizes are given, indicate absolute values, so that the reader can determine the absolute, as well as relative, impact of the finding. Approaches such as "number needed to treat" to achieve a unit of benefit are encouraged when appropriate. Studies of screening and diagnostic tests should use the terms sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratio. If predictive values or accuracy are given, prevalence or pretest likelihood should be given as well.

Conclusions. Only those conclusions of the study that are directly supported by the evidence reported should be given, along with the clinical application; indicate whether additional study is required before the information should be used in normal clinical settings. Equal emphasis must be given to positive and negative findings of equal scientific merit.

Clinical trials identifier. If your manuscript is the report of a randomized clinical trial that has been registered in a public trials registry, please provide the trial registry name, the registration identification number, and the URL for the registry at the end of the abstract. This information will be published in the journal if the manuscript is accepted.

Visual Abstracts: 

Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology publishes visual abstracts online, where a figure from an article, or a unique visual image, can be included as a preview in the online table of contents and with the online abstract when published. During the submission process, authors have the option to select a figure or image to be used as a visual abstract. Visual abstract selections should follow the requirements for all figures and images, which can be found in the journals artwork guide. 

Body Text

The main sections and subdivisions of the body text should be indicated by side heads flush with the left margin and two lines above the text.

Keep Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion distinct and separate. The Methods section should provide detail sufficient to allow others to re-create your experiment. Methods may not be described or restated in figure legends or table notes, but must be all together in the Methods section. The Results section contains the previously unpublished data derived by this application of your methods. The Discussion section contains your interpretation of the reported data and comments on its meaning. There should be no separate section labeled "Conclusion." Avoid duplicating in the text data that have been provided in tables or figures. Also avoid duplication within the text; the Discussion section should not restate all the findings that have been presented in Results and/or in tables and figures.

The Editor requests that authors reporting the results of clinical trials describe clearly the following: (1) eligibility criteria; (2) whether subjects were admitted before allocation to one of the study groups; (3) the method of randomization; (4) whether the study was "masked," what specific information was masked, and whether subjects, clinicians, and evaluators were masked; (5) the method used to identify treatment complications; (6) an explanation and analysis of subjects lost to follow-up; (7) statistical methods used; and (8) information that led to the determination of the size of the study groups and the expected differences between groups. For all studies involving human subjects, the Methods section should include a statement that the study was reviewed and approved by the authors' institutional review board.

Footnotes are acceptable in tables but cannot be used in the body of the manuscript; any footnotes in your manuscript will be integrated into the text, perhaps in parentheses.


Financial support. The Acknowledgments section should list all sources of financial support for the work, including any financial arrangement with a company whose product is related to the study. If there was no financial support, that too should be stated. The statement should be consistent with disclosures that would be stated in the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest.


  • Financial support. The GERES Project is supported by the French Ministry of Health. Additional support for this study was provided by Becton-Dickinson and SIMS France.
  • Financial support. H.S.C. received grant support from the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service Merit Review (C2234-MD and C3-2442MD), D.B.L. received support from the US Public Health Service (grant HC41024), and A.E.T. received salary support from an Emerging Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement. C.U. receives 2% salary support from Aventis Pasteur for work on another study.
  • Financial support. None reported.

Conflict of interest. The Acknowledgments section must contain a statement of potential conflicts of interest. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the disclosures will be published. The Acknowledgments section of the manuscript must list the name of each contributing author and any potential conflicts of interest for each author for the previous three years; if no potential conflict exists, that too should be stated. The statement should be consistent with disclosures that would be stated in the ICMJE Disclosure Form. There is a potential conflict of interest when anyone involved in the publication process has a financial or other beneficial interest in the products or concepts mentioned in a submitted manuscript, or in competing products, that might bias his or her judgment. Examples of potential conflicts of interest with respect to a company whose product is mentioned in the manuscript include owning stock (except as part of a diversified portfolio), receiving grants, serving as a consultant, or being on the speakers' bureau. (This information is exclusive of the financial support discussed above.)


  • Potential conflicts of interest. S.A. and K.H. report that they are shareholders in Loke Diagnostics (Aarhus, Denmark).
  • Potential conflicts of interest. K.L.H. reports having consulted for and having received grant support from Astellas and reports having received an honorarium from Cubist before starting employment with the New York Department of Public Health in 2009.
  • Potential conflicts of interest. E.F.M. reports that she has been a consultant to Merck, Novartis, and GlaxoSmithKline and is member of the speakers' bureaus for Ortho McNeil and Novartis. J.A.S. reports that he received research funding from Bayer and Ortho McNeil and that he has been a consultant for Bayer and Pfizer. J.D.C. reports that he is an employee of AB Biodisk.
  • Potential conflicts of interest. All authors report no conflicts of interest relevant to this article.

Authorship and manuscript preparation. If the manufacturer of a product discussed in a submitted manuscript had a role, either directly or through a third party, in the gathering or preparation of data or in the writing of the manuscript, that information must be disclosed in the Acknowledgments section. If anyone other than the named authors had a role in the gathering or preparation of data or in the writing of the manuscript, that too should be disclosed.


  • Manuscript preparation. Steris Corporation provided assistance with study design and data acquisition.
  • Manuscript preparation. Statistical and other analyses were done by 3M Medical Division.
  • Manuscript preparation. MedCommunications (Philadelphia) provided assistance in preparing and editing the manuscript.

Disclosure documentation. All authors of Original Articles, Concise Communications, and Research Briefs are required to complete and upload the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest when and if they are asked to submit a revision of their manuscript. All authors of Letters and invited manuscripts (Letters in Reply, Commentaries, Reviews, and Guidelines) are required to complete and upload the ICMJE Disclosure Form when they initially submit their manuscript. Note that this documentation is in addition to the disclosure statements in the Acknowledgments section of the manuscript file.

Thank you notes. Persons should not be thanked in the Acknowledgments section without their knowledge and consent. Authors will be asked during the submission process to confirm they obtained permission from all persons thanked by name in the Acknowledgments section.


References should be cited consecutively in the text, with superscript numbers placed outside periods and commas and inside colons and semicolons. References cited only in tables or figure legends should be numbered as though all were cited at the point at which the table or figure was first mentioned.

A paper that is "in press" may be included in the reference list if it has been accepted for publication. Citations such as "in preparation," "submitted for publication," "unpublished data," and "personal communication" should be given in parentheses in the text only, including the names of all individuals to whom the information should be attributed, as well as each person's highest academic degree and the month and year of the information's origin. For personal communications, specify whether the communication was written or oral.

At the end of each manuscript, list the references in numerical order, double spaced, according to the order they are cited in the text. If there are 7 or more authors, list the first 3 authors' names, followed by "et al"; otherwise, list all authors. Abbreviations of journal names should conform to Index Medicus or MEDLINE. Unlisted journals should not be abbreviated. Note that issue numbers are not used. Authors are responsible for bibliographic accuracy. Journal titles should be cited as they existed at the time of publication.

Journal article (examples)

  1. 1. Pittet D, Simon A, Hugonnet S, Pessoa-Silva CL, Sauvan V, Perneger TV. Hand hygiene among physicians: performance, beliefs, and perceptions. Ann Intern Med 2004;141:1-8.
  1. 2. Camins BC, Richmond AM, Dyer KL, et al. A crossover intervention trial evaluating the efficacy of a chlorhexidine-impregnated sponge in reducing catheter-related bloodstream infections among patients undergoing hemodialysis.Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2010;31:1118-1123.

Journal article in press (example)

  1. 3. Figueroa P, Johanssen KL, Price FG, et al. Outbreak of Acinetobacter infection in a neonatal intensive care unit.Pediatr Infect Dis J (in press).

Paper presented at a professional meeting (example)

  1. 4. Chen LF, Freeman JT, Sexton DJ, Choi YI, Anderson DJ. NHSN definition of laboratory-detected BSI is overly sensitive for Enterococcus. In: Program and abstracts of the 19th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA); March 18–22, 2009; San Diego, CA. Abstract 359.

Book (example)

  1. 5. Heoprich PD. Infectious Diseases. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Harper & Row; 1977.

Chapter in a book (example)

  1. 6. Schaffner W. Psittacosis: ornithosis, parrot fever. In: Beeson PB, McDermott W, Wyngaarden JB, eds. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 15th ed. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders; 1979:336-338.

Web page (examples)

  1. 7. Clinical laboratory fee schedule. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website. Published 2010. Accessed April 2, 2010.
  1. 8. Rutala WA, Weber DJ, Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. Guideline for disinfection and sterilization in healthcare facilities, 2008. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Published 2009. Accessed January 13, 2015.

Prepare tables with the MS Word table editor; text formatted to look like a table by use of tabs and hard returns is not acceptable and will be rejected. Include tables in the same file as the rest of the manuscript, not in separate files. Tables should be double spaced. Number tables in the order in which they are cited in the text, and provide a descriptive title for each table.

Every column in a table requires a head that describes the contents of the cells below. The units of measure for all data must be clearly stated in the heads, in the stub (leftmost) column, or in data cells, as appropriate. Do not use vertical lines, and do not use ditto marks for repeated information.

List and define any abbreviations in a note below the table, above the table footnotes (no footnote designator is required for this line), even if the abbreviations have been defined in the text. Use superscript letters for footnote designators.

Tables that are too large to be reproduced in print, if accepted for publication, will appear only in the online version of the article, and information about the online-only table (including a full or partial title) will be included in the print version of the article.

Figures and Figure Legends

Figures. Number figures in the order in which they are mentioned in the text, and provide a brief but descriptive caption (legend) for each figure. The journal does not print color figures. Color figures that can be usefully published in black and white will be published that way in print, and color versions will appear in the online journal if necessary. Figures that are useful only in color will be available only in the online version of the article, and information about the online-only figure (including a full or partial legend) will be included in the print version of the article.

All artwork (figures, photographs, and illustrations) should be submitted as digital files. The required format is TIFF or EPS, with the following resolutions: 1,200 dpi for line figures (eg, graphs), 600 dpi for grayscale figures (eg, photographs), and 300 dpi for color figures. PowerPoint, Word, and JPEG files will not be accepted. Each figure or illustration must be a stand-alone file, separate from the text file, and named to match the number cited in the text (eg, fig1.eps). Do not include titles and legends in illustration files.

Figure legends should be double spaced on a separate page of the manuscript. (This is because a figure is reproduced as an image file, whereas the legend that accompanies the figure is typeset as text.) Place figure titles and explanations in the legend, not on the figure image. On the other hand, graphic elements that require definition, such as symbols, are best placed and defined in available open space within the figure itself.

The text of the figure legend should concisely and accurately label what the figure depicts and define any abbreviations or terms used within it. The figure legend should not describe or restate methods, nor state or restate detailed findings, nor state a claim or conclusion drawn from the data displayed. Such statements belong in the appropriate section of the body text, not in a figure legend.

Color Figures: There is a production charge of $320 + VAT per figure for color printing. There is no charge for including color figures online; however, in manuscripts where color figures have been converted to gray-scale for print, the gray-scale figure must retain information that allows for independent interpretation. Submitting a color and gray-scale version of the same figure is not acceptable, and only one version of the figure will be used in publication. 

Supplemental Material (Online-Only Material)

An increasingly appealing option for journal authors is the inclusion of Supplementary Material with the traditional manuscript text. Supplementary Material is defined as any content that supports, but is not key to, the understanding of a print- and / or online-published item's message. Given that Supplementary Material is exclusively published online, it may include file types that are incompatible with a print format, eg., color versions of black and white figures and Excel files containing interactive elements. Designation of content as "online-only" should not be used to shorten the anticipated print version of a submission.

Supplementary Material is subject to the peer review process and copyright requirements as all primary content. Supplementary Material will be available on the Cambridge Website after approval by the Editor-in-Chief.

The author is solely responsible for the content of this material. Supplementary Material will be made available only in its original format and will not be subject to copy editing, or typesetting.

As the submission of Supplementary files becomes more prevalent we would like to offer some guidelines for submission of Supplementary files to Cambridge University Press journals production.

Most common types of Supplementary Material

Common types of Supplementary Material include large datasets or tables. Datasets, tables, and other textual material are commonly submitted as PDF, Excel, or Word files. Our recommendations for the various types of files can be found in Appendix 1 at the end of this document.

APPENDIX: Supplemental file submission requirements

Accepted formats: pdf, doc/docx, xls/xlsx, ppt/pptx, jpeg, tiff, png, and zip

Research Transparency

In the interests of supporting transparency and openness, when possible, authors should make available any data sets, code, materials, processes, and any other resources that would be necessary for others to fully evaluate the basis for any findings, and to verify or reproduce the work. Authors should include any information that will be required by others to allow them to access, interpret and process these resources.

When possible, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology recommends that resources be made publicly available via repositories that:

  • Are committed to the long-term preservation and accessibility of their content.
  • Are supported and recognized by the community as appropriate for the resources they hold.
  • Provide stable, unique identifiers for the information they hold.
  • Support linking between their database records and associated published research articles.
  • Allow free public access to their holdings, with reasonable exceptions (such as administration charges for the distribution of physical materials).

Examples of general repositories include Dryad, Zenodo, Figshare, Dataverse and the Open Science Framework.

For information about citing external data, please take a look at IASSIST’s Quick Guide to Data Citation


Include a cover letter with your submission; the cover letter should state that all authors have read and approved the submission of the manuscript. The letter also should state that the manuscript has not been published elsewhere and that it is not currently under consideration for publication by another journal. Include the names and contact information for any individuals who are especially qualified to review the manuscript; you may also name any individuals who may not be able to provide an unbiased review.

Any closely related manuscripts that have not yet been published should be included with the manuscript being submitted; ICHE does not publish articles that overlap substantially with work published or in press elsewhere.

English language editing services 

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This step is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the Editor and any reviewers.  

In order to help prospective authors to prepare for submission and to reach their publication goals, Cambridge University Press offers a range of high-quality manuscript preparation services – including language editing – delivered in partnership with American Journal Experts. You can find out more on our Language Services page.

Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge-published journal. 

Competing Interests

All authors must include a competing interest declaration in their main manuscript file. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. 

Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. 

If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. 

Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author 1 is employed at organisation A, Author 2 is on the Board of company B and is a member of organisation C. Author 3 has received grants from company D.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”. 

Authorship and contributorship

All authors listed on any papers submitted to this journal must be in agreement that the authors listed would all be considered authors according to disciplinary norms, and that no authors who would reasonably be considered an author have been excluded. For further details on this journal’s authorship policy, please see this journal's publishing ethics policies.

Author affiliations

Author affiliations should represent the institution(s) at which the research presented was conducted and/or supported and/or approved. For non-research content, any affiliations should represent the institution(s) with which each author is currently affiliated. 

For more information, please see our author affiliation policy and author affiliation FAQs.


We encourage authors to identify themselves using ORCID when submitting a manuscript to this journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration with key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

  • Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you have authored.
  • Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.
  • Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

See our ORCID FAQs for more information. If you don’t already have an iD, you can create one by registering directly at

ORCIDs can also be used if authors wish to communicate to readers up-to-date information about how they wish to be addressed or referred to (for example, they wish to include pronouns, additional titles, honorifics, name variations, etc.) alongside their published articles. We encourage authors to make use of the ORCID profile’s “Published Name” field for this purpose. This is entirely optional for authors who wish to communicate such information in connection with their article. Please note that this method is not currently recommended for author name changes: see Cambridge’s author name change policy if you want to change your name on an already published article. See our ORCID FAQs for more information. 

Supplementary materials

Material that is not essential to understanding or supporting a manuscript, but which may nonetheless be relevant or interesting to readers, may be submitted as supplementary material. Supplementary material will be published online alongside your article, but will not be published in the pages of the journal. Types of supplementary material may include, but are not limited to, appendices, additional tables or figures, datasets, videos, and sound files.

Supplementary materials will not be typeset or copyedited, so should be supplied exactly as they are to appear online. Please see our general guidance on supplementary materials for further information.

Where relevant we encourage authors to publish additional qualitative or quantitative research outputs in an appropriate repository, and cite these in manuscripts.

Author Hub

You can find guides for many aspects of publishing with Cambridge at Author Hub, our suite of resources for Cambridge authors.