Call for Papers: "Theme Issue 2022: Chatbots and COVID-19"

JMIR Publications is delighted to announce a collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) in publishing a theme issue entitled “Chatbots and COVID-19".

The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) is issuing a Call for Papers for a special theme issue to examine the use of chatbots during the pandemic. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, chatbots played an important role in health care, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled solutions is expected to increase over the coming years. During the pandemic, with some of the most resilient health systems overwhelmed, people have looked at alternatives for health information. For many, their mobile phones became the primary source of information, and chatbots are in the spotlight now more than ever.

This theme issue springs from the WHO’s experience in building and utilizing chatbots to share information and advice during the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO’s webinar series invited governments, NGOs, academia, and the private sector to come together to discuss and share lessons learned during the pandemic. 

The “Chatbots and COVID-19” theme issue will showcase research papers based on the WHO’s work with chatbots. Additionally, JMIR would like to welcome other submissions related to the development, use, and impact of chatbots during the pandemic and into the future. 

Key Dates for Open Call Papers: 

Submission Deadline: September 30, 2022

Submission Guidelines: 

Submitted papers should report new and original results that are unpublished elsewhere. Manuscripts should be prepared according to the guidelines outlined here

To submit an article to this JMIR theme issue, please go to, click on “Submit Article” on the banner, and be sure to select the “Journal Section” entitled “Theme Issue 2022: Chatbots and COVID-19."

All submitted manuscripts will undergo a full peer-review process, consistent with the standard editorial criteria of JMIR. Accepted papers will be published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, or may be transferred to JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, JMIR Infodemiology, or another JMIR sister journal, according to the focus and impact of the paper. All papers will appear together in an e-collection (theme issue) guest edited by the academics listed below. Papers rejected for this theme issue may still be considered for regular issues.

For this theme issue, the article processing fee (APF) is discounted by 20%. (APF for JMIR will be US $2360.00. This is a discount of US $590.) 

Guest Editors: 

Andy Pattison is currently the Team Lead Digital Channels at the WHO in Geneva. His job is to empower people to make good health decisions. He does that by getting more health messages, into more lives, through more digital channels. Andy has been leading the work on chatbots and COVID-19 for the WHO, working across a range of departments in the WHO, as well as the technology sector. He previously worked at the WHO on digital communications during emergencies. He has over 20 years of experience in digital marketing and communications across a wide range of settings—the UN, international, private sector, and NGOs. He holds degrees from the universities of Reading and Sunderland in the United Kingdom. Andy Pattison | LinkedIn

Gini Arnold has 20 years of experience with the nonprofit sector/WHO, working on population health in the areas of tuberculosis control, drug access and market shaping, tobacco control, noncommunicable diseases, urban health and digital health. She has been part of the startup teams to many major global health partnerships (eg, Stop TB Partnership, Global TB Drug Facility, UNITAID, Bloomberg Initiative to reduce tobacco, the Partnership for Healthy cities, and the WHO/ITU mHealth initiative Be He@lthy Be Mobile). She has an MBA and an MA from the University of Cambridge and a Masters of International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School. She is currently the head of the ambassador team in the Department of Social Determinants at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva. Gini Arnold | LinkedIn


Robert Marten is a Scientist at the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research at the WHO in Geneva. He has previously worked with the WHO Country Office for India on primary health care, WHO Country Office for Sierra Leone on health systems, and as a Council on Foreign Affairs (CFR) Hitachi Fellow at the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) where he studied Japan's role in global health. He has worked for the Rockefeller Foundation and German Technical Cooperation. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Global Health Council, and he is a member of the Advisory Council of the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network. He is on the editorial board of Global Health Governance and Globalization and Health. He holds degrees from McGill, Hertie, and Johns Hopkins, and a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Robert Marten, PhD | LinkedIn

Hebe Gouda is an epidemiologist and project officer with the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative in Geneva. She has worked as a research fellow and is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Queensland. She has led research projects with the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research and the universities of Cambridge and Brunel. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Guelph, and a master’s degree and PhD from the University of Cambridge. Hebe Naomi Gouda | LinkedIn

Tina Purnat is the Team Lead for Infodemic Management at the Unit for High Impact Events Preparedness, Department of Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness at the WHO. Tina has worked for over 20 years with the WHO, European Union, and academia. Her expertise amalgamates health research, analysis, and policy making, with an emphasis on promoting the use of health information and evidence in decision-making and for policy making. As part of the WHO COVID-19 response, she worked in developing and formulating the WHO infodemic response and infodemic management interventions, for which she received the WHO Pathfinder and Innovation Award 2021. Tina D Purnat | LinkedIn