Call for papers: Apps for COVID-19 (#Apps4Covid)

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China (Covid-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV) represents a significant and urgent threat to global health.  

We have created a new Theme Issue on Apps for COVID-19 (#Apps4Covid) for JMIR MHealth, for which we will accept COVID-19 relevant original papers, systematic reviews, scoping reviews, viewpoint papers and systematic searches in app stores. 

Example topics include (but are not limited to): 

  • Systematic reviews and scoping reviews on the literature relevant to mobile data for surveillance, digital contact tracing and proximity tracing
  • Privacy analyses of different app approaches
  • Participatory surveillance through apps
  • COVID-19 testing and dissemination of results through apps
  • Citizen education
  • Knowledge Translation
  • Use of apps in the clinical context
  • "Hacks" and innovative uses of mobile phones, e.g. remote monitoring of patients
  • Supply chain management, PPE management through technology
  • Telehealth and telemedicine through mobile phones wearables as well as domestic technologies for screening, surveillance, and quarantine

Submissions will be reviewed and published within 2-3 weeks (when submitting, just choose a target journal that fits best).

JMIR Publications is one of the signatories of a statement that calls on researchers, journals, and funders to ensure that research findings and data relevant to this outbreak are shared rapidly and openly to inform the public health response and help save lives.

We affirm our commitment to these principles, and submissions to this theme issue will ensure that results are published in a rapid manner and that the WHO has rapid access to emerging findings that could aid the global response. Researchers are encouraged to use the JPHS Theme Issue to share interim and final research data related to the outbreak, together with protocols and standards used to collect the data, as rapidly and widely as possible. To further the public health response to this global threat, JPHS can also use new mechanisms for sharing datasets in combination with publication of the methods used to produce them. 

All COVID-19 related articles submitted to this theme issue (and in fact also all other JMIR journals) will be shared and published rapidly through the following mechanisms:

  • JMIR Preprints (example) are immediately available after submission (with DOI); authors should select the preprint option on submission. Preprints already submitted to MedRxiv can be transmitted to JPHS via the M2J interface
  • Free fast-tracking, rapid peer-review, and publication within 1-3 weeks
  • Free “PubMed Now!” feature, ensuring that the paper is submitted to and searchable on PubMed within 24 hours after acceptance (fees are waived)
  • Accelerated publication where we do not wait for APC payments, rather production will begin immediately after acceptance
  • All peer-reviewed research publications relevant to the outbreak are immediately and permanently made open accessthis is of course the standard for JMIR journals
  • Research findings relevant to the outbreak are shared immediately with the WHO upon journal submission, by the journal and with the authors' knowledge (if authors think that the report should be shared immediately with WHO, please opt-in for the preprint options on submission and send a request to; the JMIR team will use its direct line to the WHO evidence team to share the paper)
  • Special tagging of the XML of the published paper for priority release on PubMed Central (in collaboration with NCBI)

How to submit

Please submit to JMIR MHealth by selecting "Theme Issue: #Apps4COVID" in the "Section" drop-down list.  See also How do I submit to a theme issue? in our KB.

Or submit to any other JMIR journal - we will automatically fast-track papers with "COVID-19" in the title, abstract or keywords.