Editorial Policy, Publication Ethics, and Complete Instructions for Authors

Revised December 2016

    Editorial Policy and Publication Ethics

    Editorial Focus

    Academic Medicine, the Association of American Medical Colleges' (AAMC's) peer-reviewed monthly journal, serves as an international forum for the exchange of ideas, information, and strategies that address the major challenges facing the academic medicine community as it strives to carry out its missions in the public interest.

    To be considered for publication in Academic Medicine, all submissions to the journal must address one or more of the key aspects of a major challenge facing academic medicine today. Submissions may fall within any of our stated editorial focus areas:

    • Education and training issues across the continuum, including premedical education, undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education, and continuing professional development, as well as interprofessional education.
    • Health policyas it relates to education, research, and clinical care.
    • Institutional policy and management of medical schools, faculties of medicine, and teaching hospitals.
    • Alignment of the health professions workforce with societal needs.
    • The culture and environment of academic medicine, including values, communication, professionalism, and professional identity.
    • The intersection of academic medicine's multiple missions, including education, research, patient care, and community and global health.
    • Advancing the field of health professions education research and scholarship.

    Submissions may describe a practical approach to dealing with the issue addressed, add to readers' understanding of that issue, or both. Priority will be given to works that are likely to change thinking and/or practice. For further discussion, please see the January 2008 editorial and March 2008 editorial.



    Ethical Considerations

    Academic Medicine follows the Uniform Guidelines for Biomedical Journals Requirements of the ICMJE for determining authorship (Vancouver Group Guidelines, 2010).

    • Authorship is based on (1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and (3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors must meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.
    • When a large, multi-center group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship/contributorship defined above. When submitting a group author manuscript, the corresponding author should clearly indicate the preferred citation and should clearly identify all individual authors as well as the group name. Other members of the group may be listed under the group name in the acknowledgments at the end of the manuscript. The NLM indexes the group name and the names of individuals the group has identified as being directly responsible for the manuscript; it also lists the names of collaborators if they are listed in the acknowledgments.
    • Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group, alone, does not justify authorship.
    • All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.
    • Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
    • All contributors who do not meet these criteria for authorship should be listed in the acknowledgments section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help or writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support.
    • Persons who have contributed materially to the paper but whose contributions do not justify authorship may be listed in the acknowledgements. Because readers may infer these individuals’ endorsement of the data and conclusions, they must give written permission to be acknowledged. The corresponding author should confirm that such permission has been obtained when submitting the manuscript.
    • The group should jointly make decisions about authors and contributors before submitting the manuscript. All authors must approve any change made to the listed authors after the manuscript is submitted. All changes must be explained in writing to the editor-in-chief, who may confirm these changes with one or more authors or contributors at his or her discretion. The editor-in-chief does not play a role in authorship/contributorship decisions and does not arbitrate conflicts related to authorship.

    Terms of Consideration
    Manuscripts are considered for publication with the understanding that they are not under consideration by other journals and have not been published in the same or substantially similar form previously.

    Prior and Duplicate Publication
    At submission, authors must explain any prior publication of the same or a substantially similar manuscript, or partial disclosure of data, as well as circumstances that might lead the editor-in-chief, deputy or associate editors, reviewers, or editorial staff to believe (1) that the manuscript may have been published elsewhere (for example, when the title of a submitted manuscript is the same as or similar to the title of a previously published article), or (2) that the manuscript or one very similar to it may have been published in or submitted to Academic Medicine previously.

    These circumstances include but are not limited to (1) cases where the results of the same study are divided into different manuscripts (e.g., findings for faculty are reported in one and findings for residents are reported in another), one of which is submitted to Academic Medicine and another of which is submitted either to Academic Medicine or elsewhere, and/or (2) cases in which data from the same study are analyzed in different ways to produce apparently different manuscripts.

    Short abstracts (250-300 words) of preliminary research findings presented in conference proceedings are not considered prior publications.

    Simultaneous Submission
    Authors may not send the same manuscript to more than one journal at the same time, or to any other publisher of books, electronic materials, or other materials. If the editor-in-chief or editorial staff learns of possible simultaneous submission, Academic Medicine reserves the right to consult with other journal editor(s) who have received the manuscript. Furthermore, the manuscript may be rejected without review, or may be rejected without regard to the reviews. The editor-in-chief may make a decision about acceptance in discussion with the other journal editor(s) involved.


    Appeals of editorial decisions are considered by the editor-in-chief. To appeal a decision, a letter must be submitted (to acadmed_online@aamc.org) explaining the reasoning behind the appeal. The editor-in-chief reviews all appeals, and the editorial office will issue a definitive response within two weeks of receipt.

    Conflict of Interest

    Authors are required to declare any and all conflicts of interest—financial, personal, or other—that may affect the information, research, analysis, or interpretation presented in the manuscript in the structured disclosure section that appears after the text, before the references in every article and report published in Academic Medicine. A conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest may be influenced by secondary interests. This information will be held in confidence by the editor-in-chief, unless the manuscript is accepted; in which case a general description of the conflict, provided by the author, will be published with the article.

    Reviewers and editors are required to declare any and all potential conflicts of interest. If an author of a manuscript under consideration has a primary appointment at the editor-in-chief's institution, decisions regarding that manuscript will be made by the deputy editor or an associate editor.

    Editorial Board
    An editorial board is appointed by the editor-in-chief to provide guidance and advice to the editor-in-chief regarding journal content and editorial focus. Each member of the Academic Medicine Editorial Board is expected to (1) present unbiased, independent, and professional advice to the editor-in-chief, (2) maintain confidentiality about editorial board activities and discussion, and (3) sign a disclosure form to affirm that he or she has read, understands, and agrees to abide by the conflict of interest policy and to disclose any known conflicts or to state that no conflicts exist at the time. Conflicts of interest must be disclosed to the editor-in-chief who will determine how to manage, reduce, or eliminate the conflict.  

    Open Access

    Authors of accepted peer-reviewed articles have the choice to pay a fee to allow perpetual unrestricted online access to their published article to readers globally, immediately upon publication. Authors may take advantage of the open access option at the point of acceptance to ensure that this choice has no influence on the peer review and acceptance process. These articles are subject to the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

    The article processing charge (APC) is charged on acceptance of the article and should be paid within 30 days by the author, funding agency or institution. Payment must be processed for the article to be published open access. For a list of journals and pricing please visit our Wolters Kluwer Open Health Journals page.  

    Authors retain copyright

    Authors retain their copyright for all articles they opt to publish open access. Authors grant Wolters Kluwer an exclusive license to publish the article and the article is made available under the terms of a Creative Commons user license. Please visit our Open Access Publication Process page for more information. 

    Creative Commons license
    Open access articles are freely available to read, download and share from the time of publication under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommerical No Derivative (CC BY-NC-ND) license. This license does not permit reuse for any commercial purposes nor does it cover the reuse or modification of individual elements of the work (such as figures, tables, etc.) in the creation of derivative works without specific permission.

    Compliance with funder mandated open access policies

    An author whose work is funded by an organization that mandates the use of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license is able to meet that requirement through the available open access license for approved funders. Information about the approved funders can be found here: http://www.wkopenhealth.com/inst-fund.php 

    FAQ for open access

    Compliance with NIH, RCUK, and Other Research Funding Agency Accessibility Requirements
    A number of research funding agencies now require or request authors to submit the post-print (the article after peer review and acceptance but not the final published article) to a repository that is accessible online by all without charge. As a service to our authors, LWW identifies to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) articles that require deposit and transmits to PubMed Central the post-print of an article based on research funded in whole or in part by the National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, or other funding agencies. The journal’s Author Agreement provides the mechanism. LWW ensures that authors can fully comply with the public access requirements of major funding bodies worldwide. Additionally, all authors who choose the open access option will have their final published article deposited into PubMed Central.

    Research Councils UK (RCUK) funded authors can choose to publish their paper as open access (gold route) with the payment of an article processing charge, or opt for their accepted manuscript to be deposited (green route) into PubMed Central with an embargo.

    With both the gold and green open access options, the author will continue to complete the Author Agreement, as it provides the mechanism for LWW to ensure that the author is fully compliant with the requirements. After completion of the Author Agreement, the author will then sign a License to Publish where they will then own the copyright.

    It is the responsibility of the author to inform the Editorial Office and/or LWW that they have RCUK funding. LWW will not be held responsible for retroactive deposits to PMC if the author has not completed the proper forms.

    For more information, see LWW’s FAQ for Open Access.

    Copyright and Permission
    The content of the published manuscript, as read and approved by the authors after editing and as proofread by the authors after it is typeset, is the responsibility of the authors.

    Authors choosing open access retain copyright for their article and grant LWW a license to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher. Articles published under open access adhere to the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommerical No Derivative 3.0: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0.

    Authors who do not choose open access assign copyright via the Author Agreement to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which publishes Academic Medicine. Material published in Academic Medicine, in print and online, is covered by copyright.  Written permission must be received to reproduce, display, or transmit journal content in any form by any means.  For information on obtaining permission, please visit the Rights and Permissions page.

    Authors are wholly responsible for identifying materials in their manuscripts that are copyrighted by other publishers or authors. Authors must obtain written permission to use these materials in the submitted manuscript and provide a copy of that permission to the journal.

    Publication Ahead of Print
    The author-corrected (but not final) page proofs of research reports, articles, commentaries, perspectives, and AM Last Pages are published online on a rolling basis, four to six weeks after the final edited files are submitted to the publisher. The journal office notifies the corresponding author when the article has been scheduled to post online. Editorials, Cover Art, Letters to the Editor, Medicine and the Arts, and Teaching and Learning Moments are not published online in advance.


    Online Access
    Open-access articles are permanently freely available online from the moment they are published. All content, regardless of open access status, is freely available online 12 months after publication. The journal maintains a freely accessible online archive extending back to its first issue in 1926.

    Ethical Approval for Studies Involving Human Participants
    Academic Medicine's policies regarding the treatment of human participants follow those of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) ( http://www.icmje.org). For studies or evaluations involving human participants (including students, residents, and faculty), it is the author's responsibility to provide details of ethical approval for the research in the manuscript (in the "Method" section), including but not limited to the name of the approving committee (e.g., Institutional Review Board, Research Ethics Board) and the name of the institution at which approval was granted. (Please note that at many U.S. institutions, a decision of "exempt" must be made by an Institutional Review Board or an individual designated by the institution, but may not be made by the investigator.) These details, as well as the approval date and reference number, must also be provided in the structured disclosures section at the end of the manuscript.

    Authors who do not have access to a formal ethical approval process must provide information in the manuscript about the treatment of human participants. The following should be addressed:

    • how risks to human participants were minimized,
    • why the risks were reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits,
    • how the selection of participants was equitable,
    • whether adequate procedures were in place to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of participants,
    • the plan used to monitor the data and safety of the subjects,
    • how informed consent was sought and documented,
    • if applicable, what safeguards were used to protect vulnerable populations, and
    • other relevant information.

    It is the responsibility of the author(s) to ensure that studies have been conducted in accordance with the latest version of the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki ( http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/). Also, it may be useful to consult the statements on ethics of the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, and/or other national and international organizations.

    The embargo period begins when a manuscript is submitted to Academic Medicine and ends on the publication date at 6:00 p.m. eastern time. The embargo means that information concerning the manuscript cannot be published, broadcasted, posted online, or otherwise placed in the public domain until the manuscript is published. For Articles, Research Reports, Perspectives, Innovation Reports, Commentaries, and AM Last Pages, the embargo lifts when these items are posted online; for other items (Cover Art, Letters to the Editor, Medicine and the Arts, Teaching and Learning Moments), the embargo lifts when the print issue is mailed and posted as the Current Issue on the home page.

    Communication with the Media
    Academic Medicine sends out monthly announcements about recently published online ahead-of-print articles to members of the press. These articles are no longer under embargo but instead able to be shared. Authors may therefore receive calls or emails from representatives of the media. We encourage authors to cooperate with journalists to maximize the accuracy of subsequent media coverage. Authors whose articles are scheduled for publication may also arrange their own publicity, but they must strictly adhere to Academic Medicine’s embargo policy. If an author’s organization is planning a press release, media pitch, or other media outreach, these activities should be coordinated with Toni Gallo, Senior Staff Editor, tgallo at aamc dot org and John Buarotti, AAMC Media Research Specialist, jbuarotti at aamc dot org.

    Communications with Colleagues or at Conferences
    Academic Medicine recognizes the importance of timely communication among researchers.  For that reason, presentation and discussion at conferences and meetings of manuscripts that have been submitted to Academic Medicine is permitted, but authors must indicate that their work is subject to the press embargo above.  Authors may publish abstracts in conference proceedings, but should not distribute copies of manuscripts, or tables and figures from manuscripts, that are under embargo.


    Types of Manuscripts

    Articles, Perspectives, Commentaries, Point–Counterpoints
    Articles may vary in style and length. Generally, they are no longer than 3,000 words and no shorter than 1,500 words. However, an author should choose the manuscript length and number of references needed to get the message across. The final length and format will be determined by editorial staff during the review process or when the accepted manuscript is edited.

    Articles may have up to five tables or figures in total. The abstract for an article has no headings and is no longer than 250 words. The number of references should be appropriate to the length and depth of the piece. References should be representative, not comprehensive, and are generally limited to 50.

    Articles are generally of 4 types:

    1. General scholarly articles
      • The article covers topics of broad concern to academic medicine; for example, examinations of policies affecting the academic medicine community as a whole; descriptions of institutional mergers or starting new schools, analyses of current educational, political, financial, or social trends affecting or likely to affect academic medicine; and descriptions of innovations with systemic implications for medical education, training, and research.
      • The article describes topics directly and practically relevant to medical school education, residency training, graduate medical education, or continuing medical education. Such topics include descriptions of established innovative programs, medical informatics, information and medical technologies, the history of medical education and training, humanities in medical education, administration or funding innovations, etc.
      • The article combines elements of research and description, where the research is not sufficiently robust or central enough to the article's message to constitute a full-fledged research report.
    2. Perspectives describe a considered view about one or more issues in academic medicine, propose and support a new hypothesis, or theorize the implications of as-yet unimplemented programs or innovations. Perspectives, which are peer reviewed, must be scholarly and arguments must be well-supported. They generally have few tables and figures, if any.
    3. Commentaries are invited by the editor-in-chief. These solicited opinion essays comment on or set the context for an article or articles that have been accepted for publication. They can also be stand-alone essays framed as calls to action on major challenges. Commentaries have few references and rely heavily on the author's perspective and experience to support the argument. They should be less than 2,000 words and generally have few tables and figures, if any.
    4. Point-Counterpoints are page-long, invited articles (750 words). Like commentaries, they may respond to an accepted article, or may explore two or more sides of an issue. They generally have few tables and figures, if any.
    Additional guidelines for articles can be found in the Publication Criteria for Articles. Additional information on describing established innovative programs is available in the August 2008 editorial; for information on describing pilot or early-stage initiatives, see Innovation Reports. The For Authors page also offers a resource on preparing articles.

    Research Reports
    Research reports are reports of original research on any aspect of academic medicine. They may vary in style and length. Generally, research reports are no longer than 3,000 words and no shorter than 1,500 words. However, an author should choose the manuscript length needed to get the message across. The final length and format will be determined by editorial staff during the review process or when the accepted manuscript is edited.

    Research reports may have up to five tables or figures in total. The abstract for a research report should be structured under the headings Purpose, Method, Results, Conclusions, and no longer than 250 words. The text should be structured under the main-level headings Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion. Raw numbers should accompany percentages, wherever possible (see Data Reporting and Analysis). The number of references should be appropriate to the length and depth of the piece; except for literature reviews references should be representative, not comprehensive, and are generally limited to 50.

    The following are general research parameters:

    • The study addresses a serious challenge facing the academic medicine community.
    • The study critically reviews the scholarly literature. While a systematic or chronological review may be considered, priority will be given to critical reviews by experts that help advance our understanding of a specific topic or problem. Comprehensive parameters are defined and followed for searching the literature, and findings are interpreted and put into context.


    Additional guidelines for research reports can be found in the Publication Criteria for Research Reports. The For Authors page offers resources on preparing research reports and systematic reviews.

    Innovation Reports

    An Innovation Report introduces a new, preliminary approach to a challenge facing the wider academic medicine community. The goal of an Innovation Report is to highlight first steps toward a larger-scale solution to such a challenge, whether through an innovative pilot or early-stage initiative at a single institution or preliminary research that defines the challenge and/or lays the groundwork for larger-scale approaches to the stated problem. An Innovation Report must demonstrate that the authors’ work has significant implications for the continued study of the stated problem. It must also provide enough information to allow the replication of the innovation or continuation of the research in other settings.

    Innovation Reports have a strict limit of 2,000 words (not including abstract or references). The abstract and text must be organized under the main-level headings Problem, Approach, Outcomes, Next Steps. These reports may have no more than 10 references and are limited to three total tables, figures, charts, lists, or appendices.

    Additional guidelines for Innovation Reports can be found in the Publication Criteria for Innovation Reports.

    Special Features

    Abstracts are not needed for the items in the following categories; generally, references are not needed either.

    Cover Art
    These original works of art should be inspired by, but not necessarily representative of, a health care experience from any perspective: caregiver, student, or patient (for example, learning how to be a physician or scientist, caring for patients, exploring research questions, making a new discovery, being a research participant, teaching, or being cared for in a teaching hospital). The journal welcomes photography, sculpture, painting, textile work, and other visual media. Images may be cropped or resized to fit into the allotted cover space. Acceptance is contingent on the artist's signing an AAMC Artist Consent Form provided at the time the offer of publication is extended.

    Artists must also submit a related Cover Art essay as a narrative companion to the artwork, to explain the connection between the work and the "academic medicine experience." The related narrative should be 250 to 600 words and is subject to editing.

    High-resolution TIFF files with a minimum of 300 dpi resolution are required at the time of submission. Images are at least 4 ¼" x 4 ¼" (with the ideal size being 4 ¼" x 4 ½" ) and are vertical or square, not horizontal. Images must be grayscale or CMYK. Submissions do not require an abstract.

    Last Page (“LP”) 
    This monthly feature is designed to make the journal’s content more accessible to more people by promoting a general understanding of important issues that affect medical schools and teaching hospitals. This feature tells a story, visually and succinctly, through images or figures and complementary text of phenomena, controversies, policies, groups, services, or trends important to medical education or the medical community at large (see Last Page Collection for samples). Each LP and all the information on a single LP should answer a single question or satisfy a single objective. LP topics should be timely (i.e., of current or on-going interest) and evidence-based.

    An LP may have as many images as can fit well on one portrait-oriented page; the ideal is three or four.  Each LP should have no more than 750 words, possibly fewer depending on the number and size of visual elements. Submissions do not require an abstract. Not all of the information needs to be new, but it must be combined and presented in a unique way so as to provide new insights to AM readers. (Additional guidelines for information already under copyright can be found in the copyright and permission section of these instructions. Authors must provide written permission to reuse any copyrighted materials.) LPs may include up to 4 references.

    Photos and graphics must be of print quality (a minimum of 300 dpi) and should be submitted in the file format in which they were created. Submissions are subject to editing and peer review.

    Letters to the Editor
    Letters can be responses to articles in the journal, replies to other letters, or about issues of importance in academic medicine. They may not be reports of research or programs, although these may be mentioned briefly if germane to the letters’ issues. They must not duplicate other material that has been published or submitted for publication. Letters will be published at the discretion of the editor and are subject to abridgement and editing for style and content.

    Letters should be tightly focused and are no longer than 400 words (including references). They have no tables or figures and no more than three authors. Submissions do not require an abstract. The cover letter that accompanies submissions must include the full citation of the article or letter being commented upon.

    Authors whose published articles are the subject of a Letter to the Editor will have the opportunity to respond to that letter, in the same issue in which the letter is printed.

    Medicine and the Arts (MATA)
    This column is the journal's longest-running feature. It is published on two facing pages. The left-hand page features an excerpt from literature, a poem, a photograph, etc. Literature excerpts generally run no more than 700 words and may include a very brief introduction as needed. The right-hand page presents an original commentary of about 900 words that explores the relevance of the artwork to the teaching and/or practice of medicine. Since submissions cannot be fully accepted for publication until Academic Medicine acquires permission to reprint literary excerpts or artworks, authors should include all relevant information about the piece they are explicating (publisher, museum, dates, etc.) to enable staff editors to find and contact the copyright holder.

    Teaching and Learning Moments (TLM)
    This feature is published on a regular but space-available basis. Pieces vary in style and subject but must be first-person, narrative essays. Typically, the author tells the story of an experience related to the art or science of teaching, learning, or practicing medicine, and reflects on the meaning of that experience, as it pertains to her or his life and work. Essays should be no more than 600 words and must fit on one journal page.


    Complete Instructions for Authors

    Preparing a Manuscript: Requirements and Standards

    General Format

    • All manuscripts must be submitted electronically via Editorial Manager at http://www.editorialmanager.com/acadmed/. (See Submitting a Manuscript section for more details.)
    • Manuscripts should be double spaced and left-justified, including references. Use12-point type, approximately 1-inch margins, and format for 8 ½ x 11 paper
    • Supply a title page as the first page of the manuscript with the following information:
      1. The manuscript's full title
      2. An author byline that lists all authors' full names and academic degrees at the master’s level and above; for example, "Jane M. Smith, MD, PhD, and John Q. James, MD, MBA"
      3. Sentence-style bios for each author than list position(s) or title(s) and institutional affiliation(s); for example, "Dr. Smith is assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, State University College of Medicine, City State"
      4. Contact information (address and email address, plus telephone and/or fax) for the corresponding author
      5. Disclosure of funding received for this work from any of the following organizations: National Institutes of Health (NIH); Wellcome Trust; Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); Research Councils UK; and other(s).
    • Number all pages, starting with the title page.
    • Spell out all acronyms in full at first use.
    • Generally, write using the first person, active voice; for example, "We analyzed data," not "Data were analyzed." The Abstract and acknowledgments/disclaimers are the exceptions to this guideline, and should be written in the third person, active voice; "The authors analyzed," "The authors wish to thank."


    File Formats
    NOTE: The types of files accepted when manuscripts are originally submitted for review and consideration through Editorial Manager are not the same types of files supplied if a manuscript is accepted and will be edited.

    Initial Manuscript Submission
    For reviewing purposes, Editorial Manager accepts the types listed below. Please be aware that all files you submit at this stage will be combined and converted into a PDF by Editorial Manager for peer-review purposes.

    Text Files:
    • MS Word
    • RTF
    • PostScript
    • PDF


    Graphics Files:
    • MS Word
    • TIFF
    • EPS
    • PostScript
    • PDF
    • PowerPoint


    Revised Manuscript Submission
    For editing purposes, edit-ready files must be submitted through Editorial Manager.

    • Text files must be submitted in MS Word, without any links between in-text reference citations and references.
    • Table files must be submitted in MS Word. See section on tables for more information.
    • Figures must be provided in files that can be opened and edited (e.g., PowerPoint, Excel, Illustrator, or Word [figures that were not created in Word should not be provided in that format]). In the event that such figure files cannot be provided or editors cannot manipulate the provided files, authors will be required to revise figures as requested during the editorial process. Please see figures for information about formatting graphics and resolution requirements.

    Detailed Instructions

    NOTE: The editor-in-chief or editorial staff will make reasonable allowance for minor deviations from these specifications as long as they do not interfere with reading, reviewing, or editing the manuscript. Corrections or changes may be required of authors if the manuscript undergoes revisions. Major deviations, however, will lead journal staff to send the manuscript back to the authors for corrections before the manuscript is initially processed.


    • The abstract should be written in the past tense, third person, and must not exceed 250 words; for example, "The authors interviewed 30 deans."
    • The abstract must fully reflect the scope of the manuscript. It cannot contain information that is not also included in the main text.
    • The data and findings reported in the abstract must match those reported in the main text.
    • The abstract must appear on its own page, between the title page and the first page of the main text.
    • For research reports only, abstracts must be in the structured form of four paragraphs, with headings Purpose, Method, Results, and Conclusions; and must include the year of the study.
    • For innovation reports only, abstracts must be in the structured form of four paragraphs, with headings Problem, Approach, Outcomes, Next Steps, and must include the year of the study.



    • For all manuscripts. Use main headings and short subheadings as needed. Do not create a heading at the very top of the manuscript, since layout constraints make such headings unworkable. At least a full paragraph of text must precede the first heading (e.g., Introduction, Background). Distinguish main-level headings (16-point font, bold, Title Style Capitalization) from subheadings (12-point font, bold, Sentence style capitalization). If subheadings are used, two or more such headings must be used, as in outline style.
    • For research reports. Structure the body of the manuscript using the main-level headings Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussions. Sometimes, additional main-level headings (e.g., Conclusions) may be appropriate. Subheadings may be used as needed within each main section.
    • For articles. Create headings that are substantive and interesting and that will give readers a sense of the article's organization. Make headings as short as is feasible.
    • For innovation reports. Structure the body of the manuscript using the main-level headings Problem, Approach, Outcomes, and Next Steps. Unlike other manuscripts, innovation reports must begin with the Problem heading before the first paragraph of text. Subheadings may be used as needed within each main section.


    Data and Analysis

    • Percentages: Include raw numbers with percentages; for example, 100 (50%) of the respondents; many respondents (n = 100, 50%); 100 respondents (50%). Round percentages consistently, e.g., to the nearest whole number (50%) or one decimal place (50.0%).
    • Confidence intervals: Report appropriate confidence intervals whenever possible.
    • Standard deviations: Report standard deviations in parentheses—i.e., “mean (SD)” rather than “mean ± SD.”
    • P values: In general, report actual P values to two decimal places (e.g., P = .01), unless P < .01 or rounding to two places would make a particular value insignificant. In such cases, report the P value to three decimal places. Do not round P values to 0 or 1; instead, use P < .001 and P > .99, respectively. Describe P values as “statistically significant” or “not statistically significant.”
    • Software used: When describing statistical analyses in the Method, please include the name and version of the software used in the text, followed by the manufacturer’s name and location in parentheses. Please do not cite the manufacturer in the reference list.



    • Use tables (1) only when their information cannot easily be stated or summarized in the manuscript, and (2) only when that information concerns a central issue of the manuscript.
    • Up to 5 tables and figures, total, are permitted per article/research report in the print journal. Additional exhibits may be published at the discretion of the editor-in-chief as supplemental digital content.
    • Tables must be created in Word using the table function. Tables created in Excel or informally created in Word with tabbing or spacing will not be accepted.
    • Table titles should make the table sufficiently understandable independent of the manuscript. Typically, include type of data, number and type of respondents, place of study, year of study. Titles should be placed directly above the table, not in a data cell.
    • Columns should be clearly labeled and include unit of measure.
    • Footnotes: Create one or more table footnotes if information is needed to make the table understandable independent of the text and that information won't easily fit into the table title or data cells. Place footnotes at the bottom of the table, not in a data cell. Define abbreviations in a single table footnote and label it “Abbreviations.” Symbols for all other table footnotes are superscript lowercase letters used in alphabetical order (a, b, c, etc.).
    • All tables should be separated from the text file, yet bundled into a common file, with individual tables separated by page breaks.
    • All tables must be called out in the text.



    Academic Medicine does not redraw or create figures. It is the author’s responsibility to provide high quality figures that are ready to publish and to make revisions as requested by staff editors during the review and editing processes.

    Creating Digital Artwork

    • Review the publication requirements for digital artwork on the publisher’s website: http://links.lww.com/ES/A42
    • Refer to the Digital Artwork Guideline Checklist, below, as you create, scan and save your artwork.
    • Upload each figure to Editorial Manager in conjunction with your manuscript text and tables.

    Digital Artwork Guideline Checklist
    Before submitting your digital artwork, make sure it meets the basic format and resolution guidelines below. Note that the staff editors require figure files that can be opened and manipulated during editing. If such files are not provided, the author will be required to make all changes requested by the staff editor.

    • Artwork should be saved as TIFF, EPS, or MS Office (DOC, PPT, XLS) files. High resolution PDF files are also acceptable. Do not provide figures as DOC files unless they were created in Word. 
    • Crop out any white or black space surrounding the image.
    • Diagrams, graphs, and other line art must be provided as live files that can be edited. If that is not possible, they must be vector or saved at a resolution of at least 1200 dpi. If created in an MS Office program, send the native (DOC, PPT, XLS) file.
    • Photographs, radiographs and other halftone images must be saved at a resolution of at least 300 dpi.
    • Photographs and radiographs with text must be saved as postscript or at a resolution of at least 600 dpi.
    • Each figure must be saved and submitted as a separate file. Figures should not be embedded in the manuscript text file.


    • Use figures (1) only when their information cannot easily be stated or summarized in the manuscript, and (2) only when that information concerns a central issue of the manuscript.
    • Up to 5 tables and figures, total, are permitted per article/research report in the print journal. Additional exhibits may be published at the discretion of the editor-in-chief as supplemental digital content.
    • Figures should be two-dimensional; black-and-white or grayscale; and without gridlines or background shading. X- and Y-axes, if present, must be labeled and should include hatch marks as appropriate.
    • Figure legends should make the figure sufficiently understandable independent of the manuscript. Legends should be placed on the last page in the manuscript.  
    • All figures must be called out in the text.



    • Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references and for correct in-text citations.

    • Academic Medicine's reference style for the format and sequence of citations mirrors American Medical Association (AMA) style. (See American Medical Association Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors , 10th edition, chapter 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.)

    • The list of references should be double spaced and placed at the end of the manuscript.
    • Number the references according to the order in which they are first cited in the manuscript (do not list alphabetically). Use superscript numerals in the body of the text to indicate the reference list numbers being cited. Do not use footnotes or endnotes; remove any hyperlinks between the in-text citations and the references.
    • Any unpublished sources and personal communications should be included as numbered references rather than noted within the text of the manuscript in parentheses. (This is a departure from AMA style.)
    • For guidance, see Examples of Typical References. For more comprehensive examples, please consult the AMA style guide, 10th edition, and review published reference lists in recent issues of the journal.


    Acknowledgments, Funding, Disclaimers, Ethical Approval

    • All articles published in Academic Medicine must include a structured disclosures section at the end of the text, before the reference list, using the category headings specified below. Each category should appear as a separate paragraph in the following order:
      1. Acknowledgments: Write author acknowledgments in the third person ("The authors wish to thank..."), or indicate "None."
      2. Funding/Support : List any external funding, including grant names or numbers, or indicate "None." If required by the funder, include a statement on how readers can access the underlying research materials (e.g. data, samples, models).
      3. Other disclosures: List any potential conflicts of interests for author(s) of this manuscript that fit Academic Medicine'sAuthorial Conflict of Interest Policy, or indicate "None."
      4. Ethical approval : For manuscripts involving studies or evaluations of human participants, either (a) state that ethical approval has been granted (or waived) for studies involving human subjects, provide the name of the reviewing body, and include the date and reference number; or (b) indicate "Not applicable." Please note that program descriptions that include an evaluative component may require ethical approval or exemption from the authors’ IRB(s). For more information, review Ethical Approval for Studies Involving Human Participants and see the journal’s resource on ethical issues to consider.
      5. Disclaimer: Write any disclaimer in the third person, or indicate "None."
      6. Previous presentations: Report previous presentation of materials in a different form, such as at a conference, with date(s) and location(s), or indicate "None."

    Supplemental Digital Content (SDC): Authors may submit SDC via Editorial Manager to be considered for online posting.  SDC may include standard media such as text documents, graphs, tables, figures, audio, video, etc.  On the Attach Files page of the submission process, please select Supplemental Audio, Video, or Data for your uploaded file as the Submission Item.  If an article with SDC is accepted, the publisher’s staff will create a URL for the SDC file.  The URL will be placed in the call-out within the article. The author is responsible for the accuracy and content of SDC files, which are not edited by journal staff and by the publisher’s staff; they will be presented digitally as submitted.  For a list of all available file types and detailed instructions, please visit http://links.lww.com/A142.

    SDC Call-outs
    SDC items must be numbered and cited consecutively in the text of the submitted manuscript.  Citations should include the type of material submitted (Audio, Figure, Table, Appendix, Video, etc.), be clearly labeled as “Supplemental Digital Content,” include the sequential list number, and provide a description of the supplemental content.  All descriptive text for audios or videos should be included in the call-out as it will not appear elsewhere in the article.

    The complete survey is available as Supplemental Digital Appendix 1.  

    We performed many tests on the degrees of flexibility in the elbow (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, which demonstrates elbow flexibility) and found our results inconclusive.

    List of Supplemental Digital Content
    A listing of Supplemental Digital Content must be submitted at the end of the manuscript file. Include the SDC number and file type of the Supplemental Digital Content. This text will be removed by the publisher's production staff and will not be published.
    Supplemental Digital Content 1.  wmv

    SDC File Requirements
    All acceptable file types are permissible up to 10 MBs.  For audio or video files and any files greater than 10 MBs, authors should first query the journal office for approval.  For a list of all available file types and detailed instructions, please visit http://links.lww.com/A142.


    "Uniform Requirements" and Academic Medicine Format
    Academic Medicine will consider manuscripts prepared according to:

    1. Academic Medicine 's specific requirements as outlined in these instructions, or
    2. The "Uniform Requirements for Articles Submitted to Biomedical Journals" (http://www.icmje.org). The Uniform Requirements is a set of consensus guidelines agreed to by approximately 500 English-language biomedical journals. Participating journals will consider all manuscripts that conform to the Uniform Requirements even though each journal has different specific requirements for format—in other words, the journal will not refuse to consider a manuscript merely because it does not conform to that journal's specific requirements (e.g., for references, table format, or organization) if the manuscript is prepared according to the Uniform Requirements.

    If Academic Medicine invites a revision of or accepts a manuscript prepared according to the Uniform Requirements, the author must then revise the manuscript to meet Academic Medicine's specific requirements (reference style, for example) as directed by a staff editor.



    Submitting a Manuscript

    Online submission

    • Manuscripts must be electronically submitted via Editorial Manager, the journal's online submission system. After creating an author's account, follow the step-by-step instructions.
    • First-time users: Please click the Register button on the Editorial Manager log-in page and enter the requested information. On successful registration, you will be sent an e-mail indicating your user name and password. Print a copy of this information for future reference.
    • Your Editorial Manager account user name and password are independent of the user name and password with which you access full-text articles on the journal’s Web site.
    • Authors: Please use the same account each time you submit a manuscript. Click the log-in button from the menu at the top of the page and log in to the system as an Author. Submit your manuscript according to the instructions given by Editorial Manager. You will be able to track the progress of your manuscript through the system.
    • Forgotten password or username: Do not create a new account. If you cannot recall your existing password, follow the prompts on the log-in screen. If you cannot recall your existing user name, contact the journal offices at 202-828-0590 or email acadmed_online@aamc.org.
    • Formatting: Refer to Preparing a Manuscript: Requirements and Standards for manuscript formatting instructions.
    • Questions or problems: For questions related to online submissions, or if you encounter difficulty uploading your manuscript, please contact the journal offices at 202-828-0590 or email, acadmed_online@aamc.org.


    Submission Requirements
    Editorial Manager requires the following information at the time of submission. Manuscripts will not be considered unless they include the following components:

    • Name of the corresponding author, his or her full mailing address and telephone number, e-mail address, and fax number if available.
    • Name of a backup person (e.g., co-author, assistant), with phone and e-mail information, whom journal staff can contact if the corresponding author cannot be reached.
    • The working title of the manuscript.
    • A statement that the manuscript has not been previously published and is not under consideration in the same or substantially similar form in any other journal. See Prior and Duplicate Publication; Simultaneous Submission.
    • A statement that all those listed as authors are qualified for authorship and that all who are qualified to be authors are listed as authors on the byline. See Authorship.
    • A statement that, to the author's knowledge, no conflict of interest, financial or other, exists. (If a possible conflict exists, the author must describe the circumstances.) See Authorial Conflict of Interest.
    • Acknowledgment of funding, in whole or in part, specifically by the National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Research Council UK, or other funding agencies.
    • For any manuscript that includes one or more studies involving human participants, it is the author's responsibility to indicate ethical approval by the appropriate committee (e.g., Institutional Review Board, Research Ethics Board) to conduct such research. See Ethical Approval for Studies Involving Human Participants.



      How Manuscripts Are Processed

      1. Initial Processing. All manuscripts are automatically logged into our tracking system when they are submitted online through Editorial Manager and processed for conformity to basic standards. Authors are able to track the decision process via Editorial Manager.
      2. Initial Review. All manuscripts undergo internal review by the editor-in-chief, deputy editor, associate editors, and staff editors as appropriate.
      3. Peer Review. Some manuscripts are selected after this initial review to be sent to external peer review. Reviewers are required (1) to keep the manuscript confidential; (2) to not to make copies of the manuscript or share its content with others without the permission of the editor-in-chief; and (3) to apprise the editor-in-chief of any conflicts or biases that might affect their ability to objectively assess the manuscript. The review process for all manuscripts is "partially masked"—that is, a reviewer's identity is not revealed to the author or to other reviewers of the same manuscript. However, each peer reviewer will receive a copy of the decision letter for the manuscript that she or he has reviewed.
      4. Publication Decisions. Most decisions are made within 90 days of receipt of the manuscript. Authors are notified of decisions via email. See Editorial Conflict of Interest for additional information about decision making.
      5. Revisions. Most manuscripts require revisions, minor or extensive, before they are accepted in full for publication. Authors receive instructions for revisions in manuscript decision letters, based on feedback from peer reviewers and staff editors.
      6. Editing. All accepted manuscripts are substantively edited for content and overall presentation, not merely for grammar and correct style, so authors should be prepared for further revisions (sometimes extensive) during editing. These revisions reflect detailed critiques of presentation, completeness, clarity, and balance by the editor-in-chief, deputy editor, associate editor, and/or staff editor. Some changes are needed to make content clearer to a broad readership; others are required so that the manuscript will conform to "house style" (that is, to be consistent with rules for standardized terminology, reference style, table style, spelling, and word usage).
        The authors are responsible for the accuracy of the final, edited version, which the corresponding author approves on behalf of all authors, either after consulting with all co-authors or by obtaining their advance authority to approve the final version on their behalf. Once the final, approved version is typeset, the authors may not rewrite or revise content (except to correct errors in data or typesetting); therefore, it is essential that the corresponding author ensure the accuracy of the final, edited version before it is sent to the publishing house for final checking and typesetting.
      7. Proofs. Technical production is handled by the journal's publisher, Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins (LWW). LWW's production editor will send to the corresponding author an e-mail notification that the page proof is ready to download from Editorial Manager; this message will include instructions. The corresponding author will have about a week to make any corrections and upload corrected proofs to Editorial Manager or notify the LWW production editor that no changes are needed. LWW also coordinates publication of the online version of the journal.
        The corresponding author is responsible for proofreading the typeset materials carefully, and consequently all authors are wholly responsible for the accuracy of the final printed version based on that proof. The corresponding author may correct typographical errors and data errors but may not make discretionary or non-error-related changes to the proof. If the authors make discretionary changes that should have been made during editing, they may be charged the cost of these extra changes.
      8. Reprints. Authors may order reprints (copies of the article as it appears in the print journal) from LWW. An order form for reprints is included in the PDF file with the page proofs. The corresponding author is responsible for submitting all co-authors' reprint orders. If authors decide later that they want reprints, they may obtain them through LWW.
      9. Rejected manuscripts. When a submitted manuscript is not accepted for publication, the editorial office will retain an electronic copy of it. The editor-in-chief reserves the right, however, to discuss the manuscript and its disposition with the editor of another journal if either editor has a reasonable concern that duplicate publication, simultaneous submission, or other inappropriate actions have been taken.



      For assistance with online submissions via Editorial Manager, or to discuss any aspect of these instructions with editorial staff, call the journal at 202-828-0590 or email, acadmed_online@aamc.org.


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