Checklist for Authors


SHORT CHECKLIST FOR MANUSCRIPTS


This checklist is provided as a courtesy to prospective or returning authors. For definitive guidance, please see the Complete Instructions for Authors.


CONTENT

Voice and style
Write in the first person, active voice (main text) or third person, active voice (abstract, acknowledgments).

Length
Choose a length that will present the message as succinctly and clearly as possible (generally 1,500 to 3,000 words).

Authorship
Verify that each author has made substantial contributions to both (1) conception and design of article or study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, and (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content. Each author should be able to take public responsibility for the entire work.

Permissions
If using material that requires permission to be reprinted, obtain written permission to reproduce and include it with the manuscript. Short quotes do not require permission, but their sources must be cited in reference list.

IRB approval
For studies using human participants, state in the manuscript the status of ethical approval (e.g., from an Institutional Review Board) of the study and explain any related circumstances.

Funding
If the study or program received outside funding, identify the funding and grant number in an acknowledgment and, if appropriate, in the manuscript itself.

Essential content
When reporting study data, or describing new programs, state the year(s) of study or program and name of institution(s), both in the abstract and in the main text.

Reporting data
Percentages: Report data using both raw numbers and percentages, wherever possible. Round percentages consistently (e.g., to the nearest whole number or one decimal place).

CIs: Report confidence intervals whenever possible.

SDs: Report standard deviations in parentheses following means: mean (SD).

P values: Report actual P values to two decimal places, unless P < .01 or doing so would make a value insignificant; in those cases, use three decimal places. Do not round P values to 0 or 1; instead use P > .99 or P < .001.

Software: Include name and version of statistical software used in the Method, with publisher name and location in parentheses. Do not include this in the reference list. 

FORMATTING

Page format
Double-space and left-justify the manuscript; use 12-point type and 1-inch margins; use portrait layout for 8 ½ x 11 paper.

Title page

Provide the manuscript’s full working title. Delete word counts, key words, and short titles.

Provide an author byline that lists all authors’ full names and degrees (master's and above), separated by commas.

Provide a sentence-style ID for each author that lists title, department, institution, and location of institution.

Provide corresponding author contact information: name and email; and address, fax, and/or telephone number.

Abstract
Create a 250-word abstract that is fully representative of the scope of the manuscript, written in the third person. Abstracts for articles have no headings. Abstracts for research reports are structured: Purpose, Method, Results, Conclusions. Abstracts for innovation reports are structured: Problem, Approach, Outcomes, Next Steps. Other features do not require an abstract.

Headings
Articles: Use short, descriptive, interesting headings and sub-headings as needed in the main text.
Research reports: Use main headings: Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion; use additional main headings (e.g., Conclusions) when appropriate. Short, descriptive sub-headings may be used as needed in pairs, as in outline style.
Innovation reports: Use main headings: Problem, Approach, Outcomes, Next Steps; use short, descriptive headings as needed, in pairs.

Acronyms
Spell out all acronyms in full at first use, in text, tables, and figures.

Acknowledgments and Disclosures
Create a structured disclosures section at the end of the manuscript with the category headings Acknowledgments, Funding/Support, Other disclosures, Ethical approval, Disclaimers, and Previous presentations. If a category does not apply, indicate “None” or “Not applicable.” Write in the third person.

 

References

Use superscripted numerals in the text to indicate the reference being cited.

Disable footnote and endnote functions.

Place the list of references at the end of the manuscript. Number the references according to the order in which they are first cited in the manuscript.

 

Ensure that references are complete and that they approximate AMA style.

Include personal communications and unpublished sources as numbered references, instead of noting them parenthetically in the text.

Tables

Place tables at the end of the manuscript or in a separate file.

Refer to each table at the appropriate place in the body of the text.

Create tables using the Table function of Microsoft Word (do not use spacing and tabbing).

Create fully descriptive table titles (generally, type of respondents and data, location of program or study, year(s) of program or study); place titles above the body of the table.

Create footnotes for content that doesn’t conveniently fit in the title or in data cells. Define abbreviations in a single footnote and label it "Abbreviations." For all other table footnotes, use superscript lowercase letters in alphabetical letters as the symbols (a, b, c, etc.).

Figures

Place figures at the end of the manuscript or in a separate file.

Refer to each figure at the appropriate place in the body of the text.

Supply “live” files that can be opened and manipulated, not static pictures; e.g., Excel, PowerPoint, Illustrator.

Label x and y axes, if appropriate; use black, white, grey, and patterns (no color); compose two-dimensional, not three-dimensional, figures.

Compose a legend that sufficiently explains the figure to allow it to stand independent of the text.