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Instructions for Authors

Instructions for Authors

doi: 10.1097/01.CM9.0000767648.60131.d6
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About The Journal

Chinese Medical Journal (CMJ), established in 1887, is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access general medical journal. CMJ is an official journal of the Chinese Medical Association (CMA) and is the oldest medical periodical in China. CMJ is published semimonthly in English both in print and online issues. The journal reports the advances and progress in current medical sciences and technology. It also serves the objective of international academic exchange. The journal allows free access to its contents and permits authors to self-archive final accepted version of the articles on any OAI-compliant institutional/subject-based repository. The most recent (2020) SCI Impact Factor of CMJ is 2.628.

Scope of the Journal

The journal will cover clinical and basic studies in field of all medicine, especially general medicine. Articles with clinical interest and implications will be given preference.

The Editorial Process

A manuscript will be reviewed for possible publication with the understanding that it is being submitted to CMJ alone at that point in time and has not been published anywhere, simultaneously submitted, or already accepted for publication elsewhere. The journal expects that authors would authorize one of them to correspond with CMJ for all matters related to the manuscript. On submission, editors review all submitted manuscripts initially for suitability for formal review. Manuscripts with insufficient originality, serious scientific or technical flaws, or lack of a significant message are rejected before proceeding for formal peer-review. Manuscripts that are unlikely to be of interest to the CMJ readers are also liable to be rejected at this stage itself.

Manuscripts that are found suitable for publication in CMJ are sent to two or more expert reviewers. The journal follows a double-blind review process, wherein the reviewers and authors are unaware of each other's identity. Every manuscript is also assigned to a member of the editorial team, who based on the comments from the reviewers takes a final decision on the manuscript. The comments and suggestions (acceptance/rejection/amendments in manuscript) received from reviewers are conveyed to the corresponding author. If required, the author is requested to provide a point by point response to reviewers’ comments and submit a revised version of the manuscript. This process is repeated till reviewers and editors are satisfied with the manuscript.

Manuscripts accepted for publication are copy edited for grammar, punctuation, print style, and format. Page proofs are sent to the corresponding author. The corresponding author is expected to return the corrected proofs within seven days. It may not be possible to incorporate corrections received after that period. The whole process of submission of the manuscript to final decision and sending and receiving proofs is completed online. To achieve faster and greater dissemination of knowledge and information, the journal publishes articles online as “Ahead of Print” soon after acceptance.

Clinical Trial Registry

CMJ requires registration of clinical trials. CMJ would consider publishing clinical trials that have been registered with a clinical trial registry that allows free online access to public. Registration in the following trial registers is acceptable:;;;;; and and any registry that is a primary register of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP;

Conflicts of Interest/Competing Interests

All authors must disclose any and all conflicts of interest, they may have with publication of the manuscript or an institution or product that is mentioned in the manuscript and/or is important to the outcome of the study presented. Authors should also disclose conflicts of interest with products that compete with those mentioned in their manuscript. A conflict of interest may exist when an author (or the author's institution or employer) has financial or personal relationships or affiliations that could influence (or bias) the author's decisions, work, or manuscript.

Retraction Policy

CMJ should consider retracting a publication if:

  • Editors have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct (e.g., data fabrication) or honest error (e.g., miscalculation or experimental error).
  • The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper crossreferencing, permission or justification (i.e., cases of redundant publication).
  • It constitutes plagiarism.
  • It reports unethical research.

CMJ abides by Retraction Guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (

Submission of Manuscripts

All manuscripts must be submitted online through the website: First-time users will have to register at this site. Registration is free but mandatory. Registered authors can keep track of their articles after logging into the site using their username and password. Authors do not have to pay for submission of articles. If you experience any problems, please contact the editorial office by E-mail: [email protected]

The submitted manuscripts that are not as per the “Instructions for Authors” would be returned to the authors for technical correction before they undergo editorial/peer-review. Generally, the manuscript should be submitted in the form of several separate files (the website has a limit of 100 MB per uploaded file):

The copyright transfer form

The copyright transfer form has to be submitted in original with the signatures of all the contributors as a scanned image via CMJ online manuscript submission and review system: (download address:

Preparation of Manuscripts

Manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with “ICMJE Recommendations”. The uniform requirements and specific requirement of CMJ are summarized below. Before submitting a manuscript, contributors are requested to check for the latest instructions available. Instructions are also available from the website of the journal ( and from the manuscript submission site:

Copies of any Permission(s)

It is the responsibility of authors/contributors to obtain permissions for reproducing any copyrighted material. A copy of the permission obtained must accompany the manuscript. Copies of any and all published articles or other manuscripts in preparation or submitted elsewhere that are related to the manuscript must also accompany the manuscript.

Types of Manuscripts


Editorials are usually commissioned, however, unsolicited editorials are also welcome. We are keen to consider editorials or ideas for editorials from authors outside China. Editorials can be up to 2000 words length with no more than 25 references.

Original Article

These include randomized controlled trials, basic medical studies, studies of screening and diagnostic test, outcome studies, cost effectiveness analyses, case-control series, and in vitro study.

The text of original articles amounting to about 5000 words (excluding abstract, references and tables) should be divided into sections with the headings Abstract, Key words, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, References, Tables and Figure legends.


The abstract of original articles in CMJ is a structured abstract, which includes the following four parts: Background, methods, results, and conclusions. The total number of words in abstract is no more than 300 words.


State the purpose and summarize the rationale for the study or observation.


It should include and describe the following aspects:


When reporting studies on human beings, author should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2013 (available at For prospective studies involving human participants, authors are expected to mention about approval of regional/national/institutional or independent ethics committee or review board, obtaining informed consent from adult research participants and obtaining assent for children aged over 7 years participating in the trial. The age beyond which assent would be required could vary as per regional and/or national guidelines. Ensure confidentiality of subjects by desisting from mentioning participants’ names, initials or hospital numbers, especially in illustrative material. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate whether the institution's or a national research council's guide for, or any national law on the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Evidence for approval by a local ethics committee (for both human as well as animal studies) must be supplied by the authors on demand. Animal experimental procedures should be as humane as possible and the details of anesthetics and analgesics used should be clearly stated. The ethical standards of experiments must be in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CPCSEA and World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Humans for studies involving experimental animals and human beings, respectively. The journal will not consider any paper which is ethically unacceptable. A statement on ethics committee permission and ethical practices must be included in all research articles under the “Methods” section.

Study design

Selection and description of participants

Describe your selection of the observational or experimental participants (patients or laboratory animals, including controls) clearly, including eligibility and exclusion criteria and a description of the source population.

Technical information

Identify the methods, apparatus (give the manufacturer's name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results.

Give references to established methods, including statistical methods (see below); provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration.

Reports of randomized clinical trials should present information on all major study elements, including the protocol, assignment of interventions (methods of randomization, concealment of allocation to treatment groups), and the method of masking (blinding), based on the CONSORT Statement ( 

- Reporting Guidelines for Specific Study Designs
Initiative Type of Study Source
CONSORT Randomized controlled trials
STARD Studies of diagnostic accuracy
QUOROM/PRISMA Systematic reviews and meta-analyses
STROBE Observational studies in epidemiology
MOOSE Meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology


Whenever possible quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Authors should report losses to observation (such as dropouts from a clinical trial). When data are summarized in the Results section, specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Avoid non-technical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as ‘random’ (which implies a randomizing device), ‘normal’, ‘significant’, ‘correlations’, and ‘sample’. Define statistical terms, abbreviations, and most symbols. Specify the computer software used. Use upper italics (e.g., P = 0.048). For all P values include the exact value and not less than 0.05 or 0.01. Mean differences in continuous variables, proportions in categorical variables and relative risks including odds ratios and hazard ratios should be accompanied by their confidence intervals.


Present your results in a logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations, giving the main or most important findings first. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations. Extra- or supplementary materials and technical detail can be placed in an appendix where it will be accessible but will not interrupt the flow of the text; alternatively, it can be published only in the electronic version of the journal.

When data are summarized in the Results section, give numeric results not only as derivatives (e.g., percentages) but also as the absolute numbers from which the derivatives were calculated, and specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Where scientifically appropriate, analyses of the data by variables such as age and sex should be included.


Include summary of Key findings (primary outcome measures, secondary outcome measures, results as they relate to a prior hypothesis); Strengths and limitations of the study (study question, study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation); Interpretation and implications in the context of the totality of evidence (is there a systematic review to refer to, if not, could one be reasonably done here and now?, what this study adds to the available evidence, effects on patient care and health policy, possible mechanisms); Controversies raised by this study; and Future research directions (for this particular research collaboration, underlying mechanisms, clinical research).

Do not repeat in detail data or other material given in the Introduction or the Results section. In particular, contributors should avoid making statements on economic benefits and costs unless their manuscript includes economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. New hypotheses may be stated if needed, however they should be clearly labeled as such. About 30 references can be included.

Clinical Guideline

Official recommendations from professional organizations on issues related to clinical practice and health care delivery. CMJ is flexible with length, reference, and other format requirements given the variability in the format of guidelines developed by different organizations. A concise table or concise graphic summarizing the recommendations and other key points is desirable. Guidelines that meet standards ( will fare more favorably than those that do not.

Meta Analysis

Only results of meta analysis are reported in this kind of article. The length of the article is about 5000 words (not including tables, figures, and references).

The meta analysis should have the following headings: Keywords, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Reference, Tables, and Legends in that order.

Review Article

It is expected that these articles would be written by individuals who have done substantial work on the subject or are considered experts in the field. The prescribed word count is about 5000 words excluding tables, references and abstract. The manuscript may have about 90 references. The manuscript should have a structured abstract (350 words) representing an accurate summary of the article. The section titles would depend upon the topic reviewed. Authors submitting review article should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. These abstracts of review articles should also be structured as follows: Objective, Data sources, Study selection, Results, and Conclusions. In addition, the abstract for a narrative review should be a descriptive summary including the background, main body and short conclusion and should not exceed 350 words.

Medical Progress

Articles which reviewed a specific subject, no more than 1500 words with no more than 10 references and 1 table or figure.


Personal views are welcome and the length should be about 1500 words (not including tables, figures, and references). Authors of this type of articles should sign their real names; no anonymous pieces are published.

Clinical Observation

Brief research. Typically 5 or fewer authors, although exceptions made at editors’ discretion. The text is limited to no more than 1000 words, without abstract and key words, 5 or fewer references, maximum of 1 table or figure. Declaration of patient consent must be stated if the article contains patient information.

Rapid Report

Research article, especially of bench to bedside. The text is limited to no more than 1000 words, without abstract and key words, 5 or fewer references, maximum of 1 table or figure.


Correspondence is letter to editors. They should preferably be related to articles previously published in the journal or views expressed in the journal or briefly report a case or research results. The text is limited to no more than 500 words, without abstract and key words, 5 or fewer references, maximum of one table or one figure. Declaration of patient consent must be stated if the article contains patient information.

Idea and Opinion

Essays representing opinions, presenting hypotheses, or considering controversial issues. The text is limited to no more than 1000 words, without abstract and key words, 10 or fewer references. Typically no tables or figures but occasional exception at the editors’ discretion.


Most comments are commissioned, but spontaneous comments are welcome on a paper or other report or event within the past month or so, or in the near future. The text is limited to no more than 700 words, without abstract and key words, 5 or fewer references.

Protection of Patients’ Rights to Privacy

Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, sonograms, CT scans, etc., and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian, wherever applicable) gives written informed consent for publication. Authors should remove patients’ names from figures unless they have obtained written informed consent from the patients. CMJ abides by ICMJE guidelines: (1) Authors, not the journals nor the publisher, need to have the patient consent form before the publication related to patient privacy and have the form properly archived by the author. (2) If the publication includes some facial images that make the patients identifiable, a statement about the patient's consent needs to be present in the manuscript.

Article Publishing Fee

Authors from China: CHY 1000 per page (the number of pages is calculated based on the final PDF version), an additional CHY 1000 will be charged if figures need to be printed in color.

Authors outside China: USD 200 per print page including the cost of all figures (the number of pages is calculated based on the final PDF version).


The CMA is the owner of all copyrights to any articles published in the journal. Published manuscripts become the permanent property of CMA and may not be published elsewhere without written permission. CMA keeps the right to use these manuscripts in any form, including print, video, audio, and digital.

Additional resources

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