Call for Manuscripts

Birth Defects Research (BDR) NBDPN Special Issue
Deadline: Friday July 7, 2023

The National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) will publish its annual special issue on birth defects surveillance and prevention in the January 1, 2024 issue of BDR.   Previous issues were published in Teratology (1997, 2000-2002); Birth Defects Research Part A (2003-2016); and most recently in Birth Defects Research (2017-2023).  This annual issue now consists of a series of articles relating to various topics in surveillance, epidemiology, and the application of surveillance data to birth defects prevention and public health programs, together with an editorial and a spotlight article on a specific defect or group of defects collaboratively developed by the NBDPN Data Committee.  Routine annual statistical data from each of the participating programs will be published every other year on the NBDPN website ( and will not be part of the NBDPN BDR issue.

Manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and approved under BDR guidelines.  They should adhere to the guidelines for preparation and submission as outlined below.  We are interested in manuscripts that utilize or evaluate birth defects surveillance data, use birth defects surveillance data in analytical epidemiological investigations or etiologic research, or apply these data to prevention or intervention programs.  Manuscripts may come from a single state, or from collaborative efforts and activities including both multi-state and international collaborations.  State-specific analyses of a specific birth defect or set of conditions should provide new observations or be hypothesis-driven with objectives and rationale for conducting the study that are clearly identifiable.

We are especially interested in manuscripts focusing on but not limited to the following areas: 
  • Epidemiologic studies to increase knowledge of risk/protective factors and etiology of specific birth defects
  • Statistical techniques for cluster investigations, spatial analysis, novel applications of methods
  • Statistical assessment (simple or complex) of birth defects rates and trends with new insights or observations, novel approaches to monitoring and analysis of trends
  • Surveillance methodology for enhanced birth defects data ascertainment, data quality, and utilization
  • Nationwide estimates pointing to the public health significance of birth defects
  • Epidemiologic methods for birth defects research
  • Using surveillance data to evaluate health promotion/birth defects prevention activities
  • The effect that a specific intervention may have on the health care utilization, long-term outcomes, and survival of infants and children with specific birth defects
  • Health services and outcomes research related to infants and children with birth defects using surveillance data
  • Use of newer analytic methods (e.g. machine learning and artificial intelligence) in birth defects surveillance or research
  • Substance abuse/disorders, infections, the microbiome and birth defects surveillance or research
  • Emerging or re-emerging areas in birth defects surveillance or research
Please contact Dr. Marilyn Browne (518-402-7974, or Dr. Wendy Nembhard (501-614-2145, for more information or for a consultation on topics under consideration. Even if your idea falls outside the topical areas listed above, we would still like to discuss it with you.

Birth Defects Research’s Instructions to Authors can be found at the following website: We also request that each manuscript be accompanied by a cover letter including the name, address and telephone number or email address for at least two potential reviewers uninvolved with the current work who might contribute an objective and unbiased review. Manuscripts should have internal clearance, if required for agency submission, and be submitted online at by Friday, July 7, 2023. You must indicate in the note section that the manuscript is being submitted for consideration as part of the NBDPN Birth Defects Surveillance Report special issue.