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Working Papers

Working Paper Guidelines

Working paper Guidelines

What is a working paper?

Working papers are research reports, technical papers, discussion papers and occasional papers. Faculty, doctoral candidates and others write working papers to help them articulate and develop new ideas, make a theoretical or practical contribution to an area of research or field of study, and disseminate their work professionally. Papers may include preliminary results of research that are not yet ready for publication in a professional journal; pieces that explore a topical or theoretical or methodological issue but may not be appropriate for a journal or are in the process of development; or papers that present data but whose methods do not meet the rigor of a clinical or research journal in the health sciences (e.g., there is no control group). Posters and papers delivered at a conference may also be published in this series.

Although the working papers series is an appropriate place to publish research results quickly and to explore ideas through scholarly discussion, it is not the place for rough drafts or poorly written or organized material or papers that are purely academic exercises for a class. Working papers do not include pieces published elsewhere or drafts of dissertations and theses. All research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by a Human Subjects Committee to be published as a working paper. A working paper may be subsequently expanded or modified to become a published book or article. Feel free to send a query letter briefly outlining your proposed article to the editor at

Are these considered "official" publications?

Yes, in that they have a formal citation with series name and issue number. The HBSC Department will treat publications in the series as having formal status by listing them in its bibliography. As is the standard practice in the academic world, publication in the working papers series does not preclude revision and later publication in another outlet. Publication of working papers provides scholars with a wide audience and the ability to solicit comments earlier in the process of analysis and development of ideas than is possible with a journal article.

The citation for the first paper in 2004 might look like the following:

Doe, John and Doe, Jane. Community Challenges from the 2003 Denver Blizzard. Health and Behavioral Sciences Working Paper #2003-01. Denver, Colorado: University of Colorado at Denver Health and Behavioral Sciences Department, 2003. WWW:

Who may submit papers?

Any person with a formal affiliation with UC Denver's Health and Behavioral Sciences (HBSC) Department with may submit a paper for publication in the series. This would include core faculty, affiliated and adjunct faculty, instructors, graduate students, undergraduate students, and research assistants. Papers from non-HBSC Department members whose work is closely related to HBSC or who have worked with an HBSC Department consultant may also be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

What is the review process for accepting a paper?

A committee of faculty in the HBSC Department decides what to include based on its internal assessment and a letter from a reviewer. Before submitting a paper, the author should have it reviewed by a qualified consultant in the subject area, and then revise it to the satisfaction of the consultant. The consultant should provide a brief letter of recommendation indicating that they found it suitable for publication in the working papers series. If the author has no access to a consultant, then the submission may be sent in without a recommendation. The editors will obtain a consultant review, but this will make the publication process take longer.

What happens after I submit a paper?

The editorial committee will review the paper and the consultant's recommendation, verify that the submission falls within the scope of the series, and assess that the document's style and formatting are satisfactory. Although we recognize that most working papers are "works in progress" or otherwise not intended for publication in a peer-reviewed publication, acceptance is not automatic. The review process may result in communication with the author(s) requesting changes to fix problems with the paper, and may occasionally result in non-acceptance.

How do I submit a paper for the series?

Submit an electronic copy (e-mail, floppy disk, or readable CD) in Microsoft Word of the paper to:

Jean Scandlyn, Working Paper Series Editor
HBSC Department
University of Colorado at Denver
Campus Box 188
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364
Tel: 303-556-4300

All submitted papers must be computer readable and editable and must include an e-mail address or telephone number for the author. We will not accept papers from hard copy only. If a nonstandard character set is used, the font must be included with the document file. It is the responsibility of the author to submit the paper in a workable format.

What style and format must papers use?

There is no standard style for papers in the series, although most papers will follow the format of the American Public Health Association (APHA). The only requirements are that the paper include an abstract (maximum 300 words), be of professional quality and internally consistent in following a standard academic style, and have a title page including the Health and Behavioral Sciences (HBSC) Working Papers identifiers (see the sample title page and statement of purpose provided at the end of this document). We recommend that submitted papers conform to one of these style standards:

  • The American Public Health Association (APHA), preferred, conforms to AMA Manual of Style and the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals
  • A major professional journal, publisher or society
  • A general style such as Chicago, MLA or APA

Authors should indicate in their cover letter which style they have used if it is other than AAA, Chicago, or MLA. Documents will be converted to Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format). Papers must be submitted in electronic format in Microsoft Word as an attached e-mail document.

For examples of working papers, see the Linguistics Working Papers Directory at or the Summer Institute of Language's site:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Thanks to for an initial template for this document. Accessed August 2003.