UK College of Public Health researchers start the Journal of Appalachian Health, free to all, free to share

Researchers in the College of Public Health at the University of Kentuckyhave started the Journal of Appalachian Health, an online, peer-reviewed journal, saying their overall objective “is to improve the health status of the population of Appalachia through the rapid dissemination of knowledge of their health problems and evidence-based solutions to them.” The journal is available free to all readers, and all users are free to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format; and can remix, transform, and build on the material for any purpose.

“There is knowledge in the pages of Appalachia’s hills,” the editors write in the first issue. “This journal is positioned to find and publish those translations. It grows from a need to provide an outlet for scholarship about Appalachia’s health so that knowledge, and occasionally wisdom, is shared with those who care about and are committed to improving the region’s health.”

The journal’s first article reports that children 7 to 9 years old in parts of Appalachian Ohio are almost five times as likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke as children in the nation, and that parents likely under-report the prevalence of smoking in their homes, based on blood samples taken from 404 children.

The journal is open to essays and commentaries as well as research reports. Jill Crainshaw of the divinity school at Wake Forest University writes about the experiences of students who have taken “a multicultural contexts course that includes a 10-day sojourn in the mountains of North Carolina. . . . The health and well-being of human communities are connected to the health and well-being of the geographic places where people live, work, and play.”