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Author Guidelines

The European Medical Journal is an independent, open-access, eJournal dedicated to delivering first-class insights into ground-breaking changes and advancements in medicine. Spanning sixteen therapeutic areas, including medical innovations, cardiology, oncology, and more, each journal provides the reader with the latest medical congress highlights, abstract reviews, and peer-reviewed articles to name but a few of its wide content selection. Flagship EMJ journals are also published quarterly, bringing together an assortment of research papers from a variety of topics, alongside unique features.

We welcome contributions from professionals, consultants, academics, and industry leaders on relevant and topical subjects. We seek papers with the most current, interesting, and relevant information in each therapeutic area. Although many of our papers are commissioned, we also welcome unsolicited papers. Articles accepted for publication within the eJournals and website include original research, review articles, case reports, and features. The European Medical Journal endeavours to publish unbiased content. All articles submitted must be of an impartial nature. Any references to companies or products must be strictly on an essential basis only.

Please contact the Editorial team if you wish to discuss a potential topic ([email protected]). Before submitting your manuscript, please read our guidelines and editorial policies below for further information.

Guidelines for Authors:

Reasons to Publish with Us

  • Free publication – no article processing fees or submission charges.
  • Open access – all our journals are open access, allowing researchers, healthcare professionals and the public unrestricted access to the most up to date research.
  • Journals published just 6 weeks after the relevant European medical congress – ensuring your paper is part of the hot topics discussed and debated alongside the congress review section.
  • An expert, international editorial board and a qualified in-house editorial team ensuring papers are published to the highest quality.
  • Wide promotion of articles – through email alerts, newsletters, postings on our homepage, and press releases to the general and scientific press, all resulting in increased levels of access for each article. We have a social media audience of over 24K and a further 61K on individual therapeutic area twitter accounts.

Peer Review Process

All submissions are initially reviewed by the Editorial team. At this stage, papers may be rejected without peer review if we feel that they are not of high enough priority or quality or not within the scope of the journal. This ensures that authors are given a quick decision if their paper is unsuitable. Papers that are not rejected in the initial review process will be sent out for peer review to a minimum of two independent reviewers. The process is double blinded. Papers will be selected for publication based on peer review feedback, compliance of the author in making the modifications, and Editor’s final choice. Articles which fail peer review will be rejected.

Submitting a Paper

Manuscripts should be submitted through our online submission system, Editorial Manager, at http://www.editorialmanager.com/e-m-j/Default.aspx. You will find help on how to register and step by step instructions on how to submit your paper, but if you have any problems please contact us ([email protected]). Once your paper has been successfully submitted it will be allocated a manuscript number. Please use this manuscript number in any future correspondence.

Please ensure you have the following documents ready to upload before submitting your manuscript on Editorial Manager:

  1. Title page – A single Word file containing the following information only: title of paper, names of all authors, authors’ affiliations (these should be linked to the authors’ names using a superscript number and should include the author’s name, position in their organisation, the organisation, and the organisation’s location), email addresses for all authors, identification of the corresponding author using an asterisk), and an abstract. The data included in this file will be used to populate information for you later in the submission process.
  2. Cover letter – A cover letter should be included with the submission outlining the importance of the paper, putting the work described into context, and highlighting why it is a valuable addition to the scientific literature. Please highlight anything particularly novel or unusual.
  3. Author Declaration of Conflicts of Interest Form – Please download and complete for all authors.
  4. Anonymised manuscript (Word file) – Your manuscript should include the title of the paper, the main body of text, figure and table legends (but not the figure/table themselves) and reference list. See below for editorial formatting and style for the different types of submission. Please do not include anything in the manuscript that could identify the authors as this will be the file that is sent to the peer reviewers.
  5. Figures/Tables – Figures and tables should be numbered and uploaded separately from the manuscript. Figures should be 300 dpi JPEG or Tiff. Tables should be cell-based in Word or Excel.

Types of Submissions

Original research (abstract: structured, ≤250 words; main text: <3,000 words +/-10%; maximum of 3 tables or figures; maximum 60 references).

Original quantitative or qualitative research with a structured abstract and clear Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion (including the limitations of the study) and Conclusion sections. We encourage authors to use the following tools to ensure good practice in reporting their work:

  • The CONSORT checklist of items to include when reporting randomised trials.
    The STARD checklist of items for reporting studies on diagnostic accuracy.
  • If human subjects are involved the paper should include a statement that the patient’s written consent was obtained. Ethical approval must be sought, and the local ethical committees and authorising body should be stated in the paper.

Note: Clinical trials (where applicable) should be registered in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment.

Review articles (abstract: unstructured [unless a systematic review], ≤250 words; main text: <3,000 words +/-10%; maximum of 3 tables or figures; maximum 60 references).

Reviews should provide an overview of the agreed topic but should not recapitulate material found in textbooks. A review should offer readers an insight into the current hot topics, latest research, and include an additional perspective from the authors. The abstract should be unstructured (unless it is a systematic review) and state the type of review i.e. literature review, narrative review, and the aims and scope of the review.

If a systematic review, it should follow the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) checklist and guidelines. Please structure the paper using the headings Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion. The review should have a clearly formulated question that uses explicit, systematic methods to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research, and to collect and analyse data from the studies that are included in the review. The methods section should clearly state the sources (databases, journal or book reference lists, etc.) of the material covered and the criteria used to include or exclude studies. The abstract should be structured (Background or Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion.

Case reports (abstract: unstructured, ≤250 words; main text: <3,000 words +/-10%; maximum of 3 tables or figures; maximum 60 references).

We consider case reports that add new information or perspectives to what is already published in the literature. The paper should highlight a particular challenge, or a novel aspect and the lessons learnt from the case. It should discuss the disease in the broader context, ideally give the patient’s perspective and include any follow up. Any photos submitted should not identify the patient or, if they do, agreement from the patient is required.

Use the CARE checklist, which can be found here: https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/care/.

Features (no abstract; 1,000-2,000 words; maximum of 3 tables or figures; up to 10 references).

These are opinion pieces usually commissioned by the Editorial team and focus on:

  • How a clinician would diagnose and treat a disease.
  • Discussion around established or new European guidelines.
  • Critically appraising established information and ideas.
  • Illustrating how established information and ideas can be relevant in a new context.
  • Opinions on what future techniques/technologies/medications you would like to see developed.

They should be of broad interest to European healthcare professionals. If you have a potential topic you would like to write on please contact the Editorial team first to discuss: [email protected]

Manuscript Layout and Language

Manuscripts should be supplied in Microsoft Word, text double spaced, with all page and line numbers included. Use headings within the text to make it easier to read and understand. Subdivide the text into main sections with subheadings. Keep these short and succinct and similar in sense and style. If a research paper, include Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion headings.

All articles should be written in plain English, free from jargon, and the writing should be clear and direct. If English is not the authors’ first language we recommend you ask an English-speaking colleague to read over the paper before submitting or there are English Editing services you can use. Abbreviations should be kept to a minimum and shown in full when first used.

Tables, Figures, Text boxes

These are welcome where they add emphasis, clarity and/or interest to articles and should be clearly labelled, with relevant legends (no more than a few lines each). If graphs, all axes should be labelled. All display items should be referred to in the main text (Table 1, Figure 1, Box 1 etc.). Tables should not exceed one A4 page (portrait). Figures should be 300 dpi in JPEG or Tiff format. Text boxes are used to supply additional information to supplement the text, for example listing criteria for diagnosis or for listing advantages and disadvantages of procedures or treatment regimens.

Any copyright permissions required for figures etc should be sought before submission from the original source and relevant detail will need to be added when submitting your manuscript on Editorial Manager.

References

References should be up to date. References must be numbered in order of first mention. They must be indicated in the text by a number with the full list at the end of the article in numerical order. No references should appear in the abstract and references should not be provided in EndNote. References cited in the text should be superscript (outside the punctuation where appropriate). There should be a reference for every citation. No duplicate references.

Please ensure references follow the formats below:

  • Journal articles – Journal abbreviations are used as per the ANSI/NISO Z39.29-2005 (R2010) Bibliographic References standard used by MEDLINE/PubMed.

Surname & Forename Initials. Paper title. Journal name. Year;Volume:Page number.

(If there are only two authors then separate their names with a comma, more than two authors and the first author names should be noted followed by ‘et al’)

For example: Lazarus K, Diggins B. Hepatic arterial embolization and chemoembolization for imatinib-resistant gastrointestinal stromal tumours. Eur Med J. 2013;345(16)1234-5.

  • Books – Surname & Initial, “title of chapter”, editored author (eds), Name of book (Year), City: Place of publication, pp. numbers.

For example: Poole AR et al. “Etiopathogenesis of Osteoarthritis”, Moskowitz RW et al. (eds), Osteoarthritis: Diagnosis and Medical/Surgical Management (2007), Philadelphia: Williams and Williams, pp. 27-49.

  • PDFs and Websites – Organisation Author (surname & forename initials). Title. Link. Date accessed.

For example: International Diabetes Federation. The IDF Consensus worldwide definition on the metabolic syndrome. 2006. Available at: http://www.idf.org/webdata/docs/IDF_Meta_def_final.pdf. Last accessed: 16th December 2015.

Note: Wikipedia cannot be cited as a reference.

  • Clinical Trials – Company. Title. [Clinical number] NCT (number). Link (remove hyperlink)

For example: Onyx Therapeutics, Inc. A study of carfilzomib vs best supportive care in subjects with relapsed refractory multiple myeloma (FOCUS). NCT01302392. http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01302392

  • Abstracts – Surname & Forename Initials. Title. Abstract Number. Meeting, location dates and year.

For Example: Shah JJ et al. Phase I/II dose expansion of a multi-center trial of carfilzomib and pomalidomide with dexamethasone (Car-Pom-d) in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. Abstract 690. ASD Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA, 6-9 December 2013.

  • Personal communication and unpublished data – Personal communications (J. Jones, personal communication, year) and unpublished data should be cited in the text and not included in the reference list. References to manuscripts submitted, but not yet accepted, should be cited in the text as (B. Jones and L. Smith, manuscript submitted).

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Keywords

Why is SEO important?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process in which we improve our content so that it ranks highly in search engine results. This is essential in order to get content seen, and the more times the content is seen, the more likely it is to get used again (cited).

How to choose good keywords

Keywords are essentially the words that people search for when looking for specific things online. Therefore, you must choose the appropriate search terms that would be used when looking for the content in your article. Keywords should be chosen once you have finished the first draft of your text to maintain accuracy and ensure relevance.

  • Think of 3–5 main keywords or phrases that an individual might search for to find your article.
  • Think of 3–5 secondary keywords, that may be alternative phrases that someone may use to search for your article.
  • To help, search for similar articles to yours and see what keywords they have used.

Where to include keywords

Keywords must be used enough so that they are flagged as relevant content to a search engine, but it is important not to use them too much. Saturating your article with keywords highlights abuse to a search engine, and subsequently your article will not rank highly.

  • Title: 2–4 keywords. Include majority of keywords in the first half of the title
  • Abstract: 3–4 keywords. Repeat 2–3 times naturally throughout
  • Subheadings: Ensure each subheading contains at least one keyword
  • Secondary keywords should be included throughout the main text and in figure/table legends

How to get your article seen

When a link to one page is included in another page, search engines see that link as important content. Therefore, the more times that link is included on other pages, the more important that content seems to be. Hence, it is essential to share your article link on as many platforms as possible. Remember: the more times that content is seen, the more likely it is to get used again (cited).

  • Share on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, ResearchGate
  • Include on professional web pages
  • Share with colleagues via email or social media

Ask co-authors to share on their social media and professional web pages.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

Authors should disclose all the financial and non-financial relationships that could be perceived to influence their professional judgement or bias their work.

A conflict of interest can be said to exist when professional judgement concerning the manuscript may be influenced by a secondary interest (e.g., financial gain). For example, this would include disclosing the names of (and relationship with) any pharmaceutical, biologics, medical device, and diagnostic companies for which an author (or one of their close family members) is employed, contracted for, provides services, or has otherwise collaborated with.

It should be noted that a perception of a conflict of interest is as important as actual conflicts of interest. This is as trust in the scientific process and the validity and credibility of published manuscripts depend partly on the transparency of conflict of interest.

Please download the Author Declaration of Conflicts of Interest Form and complete for all authors.

The ICMJE provides further guidance on conflicts of interest: http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/author-responsibilities–conflicts-of-interest.html

Authorship

Authorship implies responsibility and accountability for published work as well as providing credit for a researcher’s contributions to a study. Assignment of authorship is to individuals who have contributed to the analysis and interpretation of a study but who may not have contributed to its conception and design. The contribution and responsibility of every author should be included. Authors may wish to acknowledge other contributors, such as a professor, who has helped during the process but who may not have made the required contribution to the article to be labelled as an author.

The lead author of a paper is defined as one who takes the lead for writing and managing each publication. Clear descriptions of the role of each contributor during preparation of the article should be included in the manuscript submission. A medical writer may qualify for authorship if they have defined the scope of a review article and are willing to take public responsibility for relevant portions of the content.

EMJ’s authorship guidelines are based on the ICMJE’s guidelines. All those designated as authors should meet the following four criteria.

  1. Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; and
  2. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and
  3. Final approval of the version to be published; and
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Please note that all those who meet the criteria should be acknowledged as authors. Furthermore, these criteria should not be used to disqualify those who meet the first criterion from authorship by denying them the opportunity to meet other criteria. For example, all those who meet the first criterion should have the opportunity to participate in the writing, drafting, and approval of the manuscript. Author contributions should be specified, e.g., Author A designed the study. Authors A, B, and C analysed the study data. Author B reviewed the literature. All authors critically reviewed the manuscript and approved the final version for submission.

If you wish to add or remove an author after your manuscript has been submitted and/or published, you will need to provide an explanation for the requested and a signed Statement of Agreement from all listed authors as well as the author who is being added or removed.

For further guidance on authorship criteria, please see the ICMJE recommendations.

Acknowledgements

If there is an individual or individuals who have contributed to the manuscript (e.g., proofreading, general administrative support, general supervision of a research group) but have not fulfilled all four criteria outlined above in the Authorship guidelines, their contribution should be acknowledged in the acknowledgements section. Their contribution should be specified, e.g. XXX participated in proofreading the manuscript.

Please be aware that as acknowledging may imply an endorsement of a manuscript’s data and conclusions, a written statement permitting acknowledgement should be provided that has been signed by all acknowledged individuals.

Ethical Approval

We expect that all authors conducting medical research should follow the Declaration of Helsinki, which can be viewed here: https://www.wma.net/policies-post/wma-declaration-of-helsinki-ethical-principles-for-medical-research-involving-human-subjects/. Authors should be able to submit, upon request, a statement from their institutional review board or ethics committee indicating approval of the research. Authors should make every effort to protect patient privacy and anonymity. Potentially identifying information should only be included if it is crucial and unavoidable; furthermore, the individual or individuals should have provided written consent.

Policy on Plagiarism

By submitting your manuscript to the European Medical Journal it is understood that it is an original manuscript, is unpublished work and is not under consideration elsewhere. Falsification or fabrication of data, plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the authors’ own work without proper citation, and misappropriation of the work are all unacceptable practices. Manuscripts submitted to the Journal will be checked using anti-plagiarism software. Any cases of ethical misconduct in this regard will be treated very seriously and dealt with in accordance with the COPE guidelines.

For further guidance on what constitutes plagiarism, please see below. This information has been based on the Office of Research Integrity’s Guidelines on how to Avoid Plagiarism, which can be found here: https://ori.hhs.gov/plagiarism-0.

According to the ORI, “plagiarism has been traditionally defined as the taking of words, images, processes, structure and design elements, ideas, etc. of others and presenting them as one’s own.”

  • If you borrow any ideas, data, or conclusions from others and use them as the cornerstone of your own manuscript, they must be properly acknowledged.
  • When copying text word-for-word, enclose that information in quotation marks and indicate the source of that text.
  • Plagiarism can also occur if portions of text are copied from one or more sources and some of the words are slightly changed but the original author(s) are not given acknowledgement. This can also include paraphrasing. Whether paraphrasing or summarising, the source of the original information should be identified.

For further details on what constitutes an overlapping publication, please see below. These guidelines are based on the ICMJE recommendations, which can be viewed here: http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf.

  • Duplicate submission: The manuscript you submit should not have been simultaneously submitted to another journal (in the same or a different language).
  • Duplicate publication: Publishing a manuscript that has substantial overlap with a manuscript that has already been published and failing to provide a clear acknowledgement of the original manuscript. If your manuscript contains a significant proportion of work that has been published or submitted for publication elsewhere, please make this clear when submitting so it can be decided how best to handle your submission.
    • Please note that this does not prevent publication of a complete manuscript following publication of a preliminary report (e.g., abstract poster displayed at a scientific congress). Furthermore, in the case of a public health emergency, information that will have an immediate impact on public health should be shared without fear that this will prevent subsequent consideration for journal publication.

Permissions & Copyright

The author(s) must obtain permission for all copyright material and acknowledged as specified by the copyright holder. Evidence will need to be provided where permission has been granted upon request.

Unless otherwise stated/agreed in writing, copyright will remain with the European Medical Journal. This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.

Proofs

Queries may be raised to the authors while the paper is being copyedited. These should be answered promptly to ensure there is no hold up with publication. The page proofs will be sent to the corresponding author once the paper has been copyedited and laid out. Any requests for changes must be returned by the deadline given. Only minor changes can be made at the proofing stage; major changes will not be accepted. Changes submitted after the given deadline will not be incorporated. All accepted manuscripts will be subject to editorial revisions for clarity, punctuation, syntax, and conformity to house style.

Errors and Omissions

The European Medical Journal will take every care possible to try to ensure that all content is reproduced correctly; however, due to human or mechanical errors we cannot guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of any information and cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use thereof.

Open Access

We are an open-access journal in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. This permits users to:

Share – copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Adapt – remix, transform, and build upon the material

Under the following terms:

Attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
Non Commercial – You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
No additional restrictions – You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Indexing

Various European Medical Journals are indexed on Google Scholar and DOAJ.

Submission Deadlines

Submission deadlines for the subsequent 2018 journals are as follows:

  • EMJ Urology 6.1 – 30/11/17
  • EMJ Hepatology 6.1 – 26/12/17
  • EMJ Nephrology 6.1 – 07/02/18
  • EMJ Allergy 3.1 – 09/02/18
  • EMJ Rheumatology 5.1 – 27/02/18
  • EMJ Hematology 6.1 – 28/02/18
  • EMJ Neurology 6.1 – 02/03/18
  • EMJ Reproductive Health 4.1 -16/03/17
  • EMJ Cardiology 6.1 – 11/05/18
  • EMJ Dermatology 6.1 – 29/05/18
  • EMJ Respiratory 6.1 – 01/06/18
  • EMJ Diabetes 6.1 – 15/06/18
  • EMJ Oncology 6.1 – 05/07/18
  • EMJ Gastroenterology 7.1 – 06/07/18
  • EMJ Innovations 3.1 – 27/07/18

Papers submitted after these deadlines will not be considered for publication in the 2018 edition of the therapeutic journal but may be considered for our quarterly EMJ journal.

Appeals

If you would like to appeal the decision made about your manuscript, please email [email protected]  with the word ‘appeal’ and your manuscript number in the subject line. Please provide detailed reasons for the appeal and responses to any comments provided. Please be aware that only one appeal can be considered per manuscript so do give any submitted appeal due time and effort. Furthermore, it is EMJ’s policy that appeals will be prioritised behind the normal workload.

Correspondence

Please send any correspondence to [email protected].