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Summary of Instructions for Authors

doi: 10.1097/01.ACM.0000325669.40443.41
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See also the Complete Instructions for Authors, at (

To be considered for publication in Academic Medicine, submissions to the journal must address one or more of the key aspects of major challenges facing academic medicine today. Submissions may describe a practical or innovative 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.

Manuscripts are considered with the understanding that they are not under consideration elsewhere and have not been previously published. 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. Each author must meet all three conditions.

For manuscripts that report findings from a study using human subjects, authors must state in the cover letter and in the manuscript whether they sought and received, or were exempted from, IRB or ethical approval. If outside funding supported research or any aspect of a program that any manuscript describes, authors must state the funding source(s) in the manuscript’s acknowledgments. National Institutes of Health (NIH), Wellcome Trust, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute funding must be acknowledged on the title page.

How to Submit a Manuscript

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically via Academic Medicine’s online submission system, Rapid Review, at ( After creating an author’s account, or logging in to an existing account, follow the step-by-step manuscript submission process. Before uploading the manuscript, be sure that it has been formatted in accord with the “Detailed Instructions” section of the “Complete Instructions for Authors.”

The online system will prompt for a cover letter. Cover letters must include (1) the title of the manuscript, (2) the name of the corresponding author, and a back-up person, (3) a statement that all those qualified for authorship are so listed, and that all those who are listed are qualified, (4) a statement that the manuscript has not been published and is not under consideration in the same or similar form in any other journal, and (5) a statement declaring any and all potential conflicts of interest that may affect the information, research, analysis, or interpretation presented in the manuscript.

Authors should contact the editorial office with any questions: Phone: (202) 828-0590 Email: (

Types of Published Pieces


Articles deal with issues of broad concern to the entire academic medicine community or are descriptive pieces on topics directly and practically relevant to medical education or academic medicine. Perspectives, formerly called “Viewpoints,” offer a considered view about one or more issues, propose and support a new hypothesis, or theorize the implications of as-yet unimplemented innovations. They must be scholarly and well-supported. Commentaries are invited by the editor-in-chief. They comment on or set the context for an article that appears in the concurrent issue. Point–Counterpoints are short, invited essays that explore different approaches to a common problem or proposition; they may respond to an article in the concurrent issue.

Articles, including Perspectives, are generally 2,000 to 4,000 words, with up to 5 tables or figures. (Commentaries and Point–Counterpoints are 1,200 and 750 words, respectively, with few or no tables or figures.) Abstracts of up to 250 words are required. The number of references should be appropriate to the piece and topic; references should be representative, not exhaustive.

Research Reports

Research reports are reports of original research on any aspect of academic medicine, including critical reviews of the scholarly literature. They are generally 2,000 to 4,000 words, with up to 5 tables or figures. Structured abstracts of up to 250 words are required. The number of references should be appropriate to the piece and topic; references should be representative, not exhaustive. Literature reviews may have up to 50 references.

Special Features

Medicine and the Arts (MATA). This monthly column combines a work of art (an excerpt from literature, a poem, a photograph, etc.) with a commentary on the relevance of the work to medicine and medical education. Literature excerpts generally are no more than 700 words; commentaries are limited to roughly 850 words.

Teaching and Learning Moments (TLM). This feature is published on a space-available basis. Pieces vary in style and subject, but most are first-person, informal narratives in which the author relates an experience or idea that provides a lesson applicable to medical education. Pieces range from 250 to 600 words.

AM Cover Art. The cover features original artwork of any visual medium that is inspired by some aspect of the “academic medicine experience”—learning how to be a physician or scientist, caring for patients, being a study participant, teaching, being cared for in a teaching hospital, etc. Artists have the option of submitting a related Teaching and Learning Moments essay as a narrative companion to the artwork, to help explain the connection between the work and the experience that prompted its creation.

Letters to the Editor. Letters can be responses to articles or other letters published in the journal, or brief comments about issues of importance in academic medicine. Letters will be published at the discretion of the editor and are subject to abridgement and editing for style and content. Letters must be tightly focused and no longer than 400 words, including references; letters should have no more than three authors. The cover letter that accompanies a submission should include the full citation of the article or letter being commented upon, if applicable.

The Review and Publication Processes

Rapid Review generates an automatic e-mail acknowledgment of each submission, enabling authors to track the decision process online. All manuscripts are reviewed in depth by the editor (or by a designated associate, if an editorial conflict of interest exists) and by other internal advisers as appropriate. Those considered for publication are reviewed by external peer reviewers. In most cases, authors are invited to revise a manuscript according to guidelines from the external reviewers and/or journal staff before the manuscript is fully accepted.

Accepted manuscripts are substantively edited in-depth. The edited manuscript is sent to the corresponding author, who (either in consultation with co-authors, or on their behalf) responds in writing to the editor’s changes and questions, makes any changes or additions needed, and returns this feedback to the editor. The editor prepares a final manuscript for the publisher, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW), who copy-edits the manuscript and, in general, coordinates production of the print and online versions of the journal. A PDF proof is emailed to the corresponding author to check for gross errors. The corresponding author is responsible for full and thorough proofreading of this proof. Each author of an accepted manuscript must assign copyright to the Association of American Medical Colleges. LWW enables compliance with NIH and other research funding agency accessibility requirements by identifying appropriate articles to the National Library of Medicine for repository deposit, and by transmitting post-prints of funded articles to Pub Med Central (See copyright form).


The embargo period begins when manuscripts are submitted and ends on the publication date at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time. For full information, see the “Complete Instructions for Authors,” at (, under “Information for Authors.”

© 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges