Guidelines for Authors

Components of an Article

Abstract

The abstract should be structured with the following subheadings: Background, Objectives, Methodology, Results and Conclusion. The word count should not be more than 250.

Keywords

The authors should provide 3-10 keywords that will assist indexers in cross-indexing the article. These keywords should be from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus of National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland, USA (https://meshb.nlm.nih.gov/). If suitable MeSH terms are not yet available for recently introduced terms, present terms may be used.

INTRODUCTION

State the purpose of the article and summarize the rationale for the study or observation. Give only strictly pertinent references and do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.

METHODOLOGY

Describe your selection of the observational or experimental subjects (patients or laboratory animals, including controls) clearly. Identify the age, sex, and other important characteristics of the subjects. Because the relevance of such variables as age, sex, and ethnicity to the object of research is not always clear, authors should explicitly justify them when they are included in a study report. The guiding principle should be clarity about how and why a study was done in a particular way. For example, authors should explain why only subjects of certain ages were included or why women were excluded. Authors should avoid terms such as "race," which lacks precise biological meaning and use alternative descriptors such as "ethnicity" or "ethnic group" instead. Authors should specify carefully what the descriptors mean, and tell exactly how the data were collected (for example, what terms were used in survey forms, whether the data were self-reported or assigned by others, etc).

Identify the methods, apparatus (give the manufacturer's name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods (see below); provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration.

Reports of randomized clinical trials should present information on all major study elements, including the protocol (study population, interventions or exposures, outcomes, and the rationale for statistical analysis), assignment of interventions (methods of randomization, concealment of allocation to treatment groups), and the method of masking (blinding).

Authors submitting review manuscripts should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. These methods should also be summarized in the abstract.

RESULTS

Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Avoid relying solely on statistical hypothesis testing, such as the use of P values, which fails to convey important quantitative information. Discuss the eligibility of experimental subjects. Give details about randomization. Describe the methods for and success of any blinding of observations. Report complications of treatment. Give numbers of observations. Report losses to observation (such as dropouts from a clinical trial). References for the design of the study and statistical methods should be to standard works when possible (with pages stated) rather than to papers in which the designs or methods were originally reported. Specify any general-use computer programs used.

Put a general description of methods in the Methods section. When data are summarized in the Results section, specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Avoid nontechnical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as "random" (which implies a randomizing device), "normal," "significant," "correlations," and "sample." Define statistical terms, abbreviations, and most symbols.

WHEN TO USE A PARTICULAR STATISTICAL TEST

Chi-Square Test:

Compares observed frequencies to expected frequencies

E.g. is the distribution of sex and voting behaviour due to chance or is there a difference between the sexes on voting behavior?

T-Test:

Looks at differences between two groups on some variable of interest the IV must have only two groups (male/female, undergrad/grad)

E.g. Do males and females differ in the number of hours they spend shopping in a given month?

ANOVA:

Tests the significance of group differences between two or more groups

The IV has two or more categories

Only determines that there is a difference between groups, but doesn’t tell which is different

E.g. Do SAT scores differ for low-, middle-, and high-income students?

ANCOVA:

Same as ANOVA, but adds control of one or more covariates that may influence the DV

E.g. Do SAT scores differ for low-, middle-, and high-income students after controlling for

Single/dual parenting?

MANOVA:

Same as ANOVA, but you can study two or more related DVs while controlling for the

Correlation between the DV

If the DVs are not correlated, then separate ANOVAs are appropriate

E.g. Does ethnicity affect reading achievement, math achievement, and overall scholastic

Achievement among 6th graders?

MANCOVA:

Same as MANOVA, but adds control of one or more covariates that may influence the

DV

E.g.: Does ethnicity affect reading achievement, math achievement, and overall scholastic

achievement among 6 graders that after controlling for social class?

Relationships

Correlation:

- used with two variables to determine a relationship/association

- do two variables co-vary?

- does not distinguish between independent and dependent variables

E.g. Amount of damage to a house on fire and the number of firefighters at the fire

Multiple Regressions:

- Used with several independent variables and one dependent variable

- Used for prediction

- It identifies the best set of predictor variables

- You can enter many IVs and it tells you which best predictors are by looking at all of them at the same time

- In sequential regression, the computer adds the variables one at a time based on the amount of variance they account for

E.g. IVs drug use, alcohol use, child abuse

  1. Suicidal tendencies

Path Analysis:

- looks at direct and indirect effects of predictor variables

- used for relationships/causality

e.g.: Child abuse causes drug use which leads to suicidal tendencies.

Logistic Regression:

- Like multiple regression, but the DV is a dichotomous variable

- Logistic regression estimates the odds probability of the DV occurring as the values of the

IVs change

E.g. what are the odds of suicide occurring at various levels of alcohol use?

 

Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations.

DISCUSSION

Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail data or other material given in the Introduction or the Results section. Include in the Discussion section the implications of the findings and their limitations, including implications for future research. Relate the observations to other relevant studies.

Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not completely supported by the data. In particular, authors should avoid making statements on economic benefits and costs unless their manuscript includes economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. State new hypotheses when warranted, but clearly label them as such. Recommendations, when appropriate, may be included.

CONCLUSION

 

Acknowledgements

List all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship, such as a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Financial and material support should also be acknowledged.

Groups of persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed under a heading such as "clinical investigators" or "participating investigators," and their function or contribution should be described Ñ for example, "served as scientific advisors," "critically reviewed the study proposal," "collected data," or "provided and cared for study patients."

Because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions, all persons must have given written permission to be acknowledged.

REFERENCES

References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in parentheses. References cited only in tables or figure legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure.

Use the style of the examples below, which are based on the formats used by the NLM in Index Medicus. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus. Consult the List of Journals Indexed in Index Medicus, published annually as a separate publication by the library and as a list in the January issue of Index Medicus. The list can also be obtained through the library's website (http://www.nlm.nih.gov).

Avoid using abstracts as references. References to papers accepted but not yet published should be designated as "in the press" or "forthcoming"; authors should obtain written permission to cite such papers as well as verification that they have been accepted for publication. Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted should be cited in the text as "unpublished observations" with written permission from the source.

Avoid citing a "personal communication" unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person and date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text. For scientific articles, authors should obtain written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source of personal communication.

The references must be verified by the author(s) against the original documents.

The Uniform Requirements style (the Vancouver style) is based largely on an ANSI standard style adapted by the NLM for its databases. Notes have been added where the Vancouver style differs from the style now used by NLM.

Articles in Journals

Standard journal article
List the first six authors followed by et al. 

For Example:
Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Intern Med 1996 Jun 1;124 (11):980-3.
As an option, if a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume (as many medical journals do) the month and issue number may be omitted.
(Note: For consistency, the option is used throughout the examples in Uniform Requirements. NLM does not use the option.) Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Intern Med 1996;124:980-3.
More than six authors: Parkin DM, Clayton D, Black RJ, Masuyer E, Friedl HP, Ivanov E, et al. Childhood leukaemia in Europe after Chernobyl: 5-year follow-up. Br J Cancer 1996;73:1006- 12.

  1. Organization as author
    The Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Clinical exercise stress testing. Safety and performance guidelines. Med J Aust 1996; 164: 282-4.
  2. No author given
    Cancer in South Africa [editorial]. S Afr Med J 1994;84:15.
  3. Article not in English
    (Note: NLM translates the title to English, encloses the translation in square brackets, and adds an abbreviated language designator.)
    Ryder TE, Haukeland EA, Solhaug JH. Bilateral infrapatellar seneruptur hostidligere frisk kvinne. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1996;116:41-2.
  4. Volume with supplement
    Shen HM, Zhang QF. Risk assessment of nickel carcinogenicity and occupational lung cancer. Environ Health Perspect 1994;102 Suppl 1:275-82.
  5. Issue with supplement
    Payne DK, Sullivan MD, Massie MJ. Women's psychological reactions to breast cancer. Semin Oncol 1996;23(1 Suppl 2):89-97.
  6. Volume with part
    Ozben T, Nacitarhan S, Tuncer N. Plasma and urine sialic acid in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Ann Clin Biochem 1995;32(Pt 3):303-6.
  7. Issue with part
    Poole GH, Mills SM. One hundred consecutive cases of flap lacerations of the leg in ageing patients. N Z Med J 1994;107(986 Pt 1):377-8.
  8. An issue with no volume
    Turan I, Wredmark T, Fellander-Tsai L. Arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis in rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Orthop 1995;(320):110-4.
  9. No issue or volume
    Browell DA, Lennard TW. Immunologic status of the cancer patient and the effects of blood transfusion on antitumor responses. Curr Opin Gen Surg 1993:325-33.
  10. Pagination in Roman numerals
    Fisher GA, Sikic BI. Drug resistance in clinical oncology and haematology. Introduction. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 1995 Apr;9(2):xi-xii.
  11. Type of article indicated as needed
    Enzensberger W, Fischer PA. Metronome in Parkinson's disease [letter]. Lancet 1996;347:1337. Clement J, De Bock R. Hematological complications of hantavirus nephropathy (HVN) [abstract]. Kidney Int 1992;42:1285.
  12. Article containing retraction
    Garey CE, Schwarzman AL, Rise ML, Seyfried TN. Ceruloplasmin gene defect associated with epilepsy in EL mice [retraction of Garey CE, Schwarzman AL, Rise ML, Seyfried TN. In: Nat Genet 1994;6:426-31]. Nat Genet 1995;11:104.
  13. Article retracted
    Liou GI, Wang M, Matragoon S. Precocious IRBP gene expression during mouse development [retracted in Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1994;35:3127]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1994;35:1083-8.
  14. Article with published erratum
    Hamlin JA, Kahn AM. Herniography in symptomatic patients following inguinal hernia repair [published erratum appears in West J Med 1995;162:278]. West J Med 1995;162:28-31.

Books and Other Monographs

(Note: Previous Vancouver style incorrectly had a comma rather than a semicolon between the publisher and the date.)

  1. Personal author(s)
    Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd ed. Albany (NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.
  2. Editor(s), compiler(s) as author
    Norman IJ, Redfern SJ, editors. Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1996.
  3. Organization as author and publisher
    Institute of Medicine (US). Looking at the future of the Medicaid program. Washington: The Institute; 1992.
  4. Chapter in a book
    (Note: Previous Vancouver style had a colon rather than a p before pagination.) Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995. p. 465-78.
  5. Conference proceedings
    Kimura J, Shibasaki H, editors. Recent advances in clinical neurophysiology. Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of EMG and Clinical Neurophysiology; 1995 Oct 15-19; Kyoto, Japan. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1996.
  6. Conference paper
    Bengtsson S, Solheim BG. Enforcement of data protection, privacy and security in medical informatics. In: Lun KC, Degoulet P, Piemme TE, Rienhoff O, editors. MEDINFO 92. Proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Medical Informatics; 1992 Sep 6-10; Geneva, Switzerland. Amsterdam: North-Holland; 1992. p. 1561-5.
  7. Scientific or technical report
    Issued by funding/sponsoring agency: Smith P, Golladay K. Payment for durable medical equipment billed during skilled nursing facility stays. Final report. Dallas (TX): Dept. of Health and Human Services (US), Office of Evaluation and Inspections; 1994 Oct. Report No.: HHSIGOEI69200860. Issued by performing agency: Field MJ, Tranquada RE, Feasley JC, editors. Health services research: workforce and educational issues. Washington: National Academy Press; 1995. Contract No.: AHCPR282942008. Sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.
  8. Dissertation
    Kaplan SJ. Post-hospital home health care: the elderly's access and utilization [dissertation]. St. Louis (MO): Washington Univ.; 1995.
  9. Patent
    Larsen CE, Trip R, Johnson CR, inventors; Novoste Corporation, assignee. Methods for procedures related to the electrophysiology of the heart. US patent 5,529,067. 1995 Jun 25.

Other Published Material

  1. Newspaper article
    Lee G. Hospitalizations tied to ozone pollution: study estimates 50,000 admissions annually. The Washington Post 1996 Jun 21; Sect. A:3 (col. 5).
  2. Audiovisual material
    HIV+/AIDS: the facts and the future [videocassette]. St. Louis (MO): Mosby-Year Book; 1995.
  3. Legal material
    Public law: Preventive Health Amendments of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-183, 107 Stat. 2226 (Dec. 14, 1993).
    Unenacted bill:
    Medical Records Confidentiality Act of 1995, S. 1360, 104th Cong., 1st Sess. (1995).

    Code of Federal Regulations:
    Informed Consent, 42 C.F.R. sect. 441.257 (1995).
    Hearing:
    Increased Drug Abuse: the Impact on the Nation's Emergency Rooms: Hearings Before the Subcomm. on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations of the House Comm. on Government Operations, 103rd Cong., 1st Sess. (May 26, 1993).
  4. Map
    North Carolina. Tuberculosis rates per 100,000 population, 1990 [demographic map]. Raleigh: North Carolina Dept. of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Div. of Epidemiology; 1991.
  5. Book of the Bible
    The Holy Bible. King James version. Grand Rapids (MI): Zondervan Publishing House; 1995. Ruth 3:1-18.
  6. Dictionary and similar references
    Stedman's medical dictionary. 26th ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1995. Apraxia; p. 119-20.
  7. Classical material
    The Winter's Tale: act 5, scene 1, lines 13-16. The complete works of William Shakespeare. London: Rex; 1973.

Unpublished Material

  1. In press
    (Note: NLM prefers "forthcoming" because not all items will be printed.) Leshner AI. Molecular mechanisms of cocaine addiction. N Engl J Med. In press 1996.

Electronic Material

  1. Journal article in electronic format
    Morse SS. Factors in the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 1995 Jan-Mar [cited 1996 Jun 5];1(1):[24 screens]. Available from: URL: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/eid.htm
  2. Monograph in electronic format
    CDI, clinical dermatology illustrated [monograph on CD-ROM]. Reeves JRT, Maibach H. CMEA Multimedia Group, producers. 2nd ed. Version 2.0. San Diego: CMEA; 1995.
  3. Computer file
    Hemodynamics III: the ups and downs of hemodynamics [computer program]. Version 2.2. Orlando (FL): Computerized Educational Systems; 1993.

8) Tables

Type or print out each table with double spacing on a separate sheet of paper. Do not submit tables as photographs. Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each. Give each column a short or abbreviated heading. Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Explain in footnotes all nonstandard abbreviations that are used in each table. For footnotes use the following symbols, in this sequence:

Identify statistical measures of variations, such as standard deviation and standard error of the mean.

Do not use internal horizontal and vertical rules.

Be sure that each table is cited in the text.

If you use data from another published or unpublished source, obtain permission and acknowledge them fully.

The use of too many tables in relation to the length of the text may produce difficulties in the layout of pages. Examine issues of the journal to which you plan to submit your paper to estimate how many tables can be used per 1000 words of text.

The editor, on accepting a paper, may recommend that additional tables containing important backup data to publish be deposited with an archival service, such as the National Auxiliary Publication Service in the United States, or made available by the authors. In that event, an appropriate statement will be added to the text. Submit such tables for consideration with the paper.

9) Illustrations (Figures)

Submit the required number of complete sets of figures. Figures should be professionally drawn and photographed; freehand or typewritten lettering is unacceptable. Instead of original drawings, x-ray films, and other material, send sharp, glossy, black-and-white photographic prints, usually 127 — 173 mm (5 — 7 inches) but no larger than 203 — 254 mm (8 — 10 inches). Letters, numbers, and symbols should be clear and even throughout and of sufficient size that when reduced for publication each item will still be legible. Titles and detailed explanations belong in the legends for illustrations not on the illustrations themselves.

Each figure should have a label pasted on its back indicating the number of the figure, author's name, and top of the figure. Do not write on the back of figures or scratch or mar them by using paper clips. Do not bend figures or mount them on cardboard.

Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers. Symbols, arrows, or letters used in photomicrographs should contrast with the background.

If photographs of people are used, either the subjects must not be identifiable or their pictures must be accompanied by written permission to use the photograph (see Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy).

Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text. If a figure has been published, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material. Permission is required irrespective of authorship or publisher except for documents in the public domain.

For illustrations in colour, ascertain whether the journal requires colour negatives, positive transparencies, or colour prints. Accompanying drawings marked to indicate the region to be reproduced may be useful to the editor. Some journals publish illustrations in colour only if the author pays for the extra cost.

Legends for Illustrations

Type or print out legends for illustrations using double spacing, starting on a separate page, with Arabic numerals corresponding to the illustrations. When symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters are used to identify parts of the illustrations, identify and explain each one clearly in the legend. Explain the internal scale and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs.

Units of Measurement

Measurements of length, height, weight, and volume should be reported in metric units (meter, kilogram, or litre) or their decimal multiples.

Temperatures should be given in degrees Celsius. Blood pressures should be given in millimetres of mercury.

All hematologic and clinical chemistry measurements should be reported in the metric system in terms of the International System of Units (SI). Editors may request that alternative or non-SI units be added by the authors before publication.

Abbreviations and Symbols

Use only standard abbreviations. Avoid abbreviations in the title and abstract. The full term for which an abbreviation stands should precede its first use in the text unless it is a standard unit of measurement.