Indian Journal of Community Medicine

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Instructions for Authors

​​​​​​​​​​​Indian Journal of Community Medicine, the official organ of the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM), publishes original research articles focusing on community health, primary health care, epidemiology, biostatistics, public health administration, health care delivery systems, health economics, health promotion, medical sociology/anthropology, social medicine, preventive medicine, and family medicine; and invites annotations, comments, and review pa​pers on recent advances, editorial correspondence, news and book reviews.

Indian Journal of Community Medicine is committed to an unbiased, independent, anonymous, and confidential review of articles submitted to it. Journal follows a double-blind peer review process, under which, firstly, the manuscript content, structure, and format are assessed to ensure that it is according to the journal's guidelines and instructions for manuscript preparation. If not, the manuscript is sent back to the authors for modifying and resubmitting as per guidelines. After this, it is assessed for relevance, originality, and audience appeal; based on which the manuscript is sent for External Review (2-3 technical reviewers and one statistical expert based on the need). New and more reviewers are added until the response is obtained from at least two. Based on the reviewers' comments, the manuscript is either rejected or sent back to the authors for revision and re-re​visions. If the original or revised article is deemed fit for publication by the reviewers, it is accepted and is suitably edited before publication. The processes of submission of the manuscript, peer review, communication of the final decision, and sending proofs are done through the online system.

Manuscripts submitted to this Journal, should not have been published or are under consideration for publication in any substantial form in any other publication, professional or lay. The article is published under the terms of the latest Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial License unless notified otherwise. 


1.Original Research Articles (Download Template for Original Research Articles)

The approximate length of the article should preferably be 3000 words (excluding Abstract and References). Original research articles should include a structured abstract (of 250 words maximum) under four subheadings: (i) Background (ii) Materials & Methods, (iii) Results, and (iv) Conclusions, followed by 5-8 keywords arranged alphabetically. The main article should include the sections in the following order: Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgment (if any), Conflicts of Interest, and References. There should be not more than 5 tables/ figures. The permission from Ethics Committee/ Institutional Review Board (IRB) is mandatory for all studies on human subjects and animals and this should be mentioned in the Material & Methods section. Registration of clinical trials is mandatory and the registration number/CTR number should be mentioned. 

2. Reviews (Download Template for Reviews)

Narrative review articles written by scientist(s)/ expert(s) working in the particular area and who has/have published quality original research, will be considered. Continuing Medical Education / Review articles could be 2500 words (excluding Abstract and References) with not more than 100 references (recent & relevant) and a structured abstract of about 250 words under four subheadings: (i) Background (ii) Materials & Methods, (iii) Results, and (iv) Conclusions, followed by 5-8 keywords arranged alphabetically. There should be not more than 3 Tables/ Figures included. Copyright permission should be obtained from the copyright holder in advance, if a published Table/Figure is reproduced in part or whole.

3. Systematic Reviews (Including Meta-analysis) (Download Template for Systematic Reviews)

The articles under this section will be a critical appraisal of different studies on important topics of clinical/public health significance to obtain an unbiased quantitative estimate of the overall effect of an intervention or variable for a defined outcome. The focus could be on cause, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy, prevention, etc. These would be thoroughly researched articles giving comprehensive and balanced perspectives. There should be a structured abstract under four subheadings: (i) Background (ii) Materials & Methods, (iii) Results, and (iv) Conclusions. Systematic reviews could be about 2500-3000 words with the minimum number of Tables/Figures. These will be published subject to peer review.

4. Perspectives/ View point (Download Template for Perspectives/ View point)

These are primarily opinion pieces written by senior scientists, public health experts and policy makers. Such papers will be generally written by a single author. No anonymous articles will be published. There should be structured abstract not more than 200 words. These should be about 2000 words excluding abstract and references. There should be not more than 2 tables/ figures. Except for commissioned pieces, all submissions will be published subject to peer review.

5.  Short Communication Paper/ Letter to Editor

(Download Template for Short Communication Paper/Letter to Editor)

This section includes a Short Communication Paper/Letter to Editor. Original research manuscripts containing well-defined study design and sample size but limited parameters analyzed may be submitted as Short Communication. These would be about 1000-1500 words and contain a structured abstract (not more than 200 words) under four subheadings: (i) Background (ii) Materials & Methods, (iii) Results, and (iv) Conclusions with a combined Results & Discussion section. A Letter to Editor may contain a Table/ Figure. 


American spellings should be used. Authors are requested to adhere to the word limits. Authors must mention the word count on the main article file. Articles exceeding the word limit for a particular category of the manuscript would not be processed further. Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM) submitted to Biomedical Journals should be consulted before submission of the manuscript ( All articles should mention how the human and animal ethical aspect of the study was addressed. Whether informed consent was taken or not? Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. ( ).

All manuscripts submitted for publication to the IJCM should include the following:

The manuscript should be typed in double space (including references), with wide margins. Each of the following sections should begin on a separate page. There should be uniform continuous line spacing (1.5 cm) should be maintained throughout the manuscript along with Line numbering.

All manuscripts submitted for publication to the IJCM should include the following: (1) Title Page file; (2) An Article file; (3) Tables & Figures; (4) A scanned copy of the ethical clearance certificate; (5) Undertaking by authors & copyright transfer agreement. Details are given below.


Number all pages in sequence beginning with the title page. This should include a Covering letter, Title page, and Author's contribution in a single file. This should contain the title of the manuscript, a short title (not more than 40 letters) to be used as the running title, the Word count of the abstract and main text, the number of references, figures, and the table should also be mentioned in the title page.

  • The covering letter should explain why the paper should be published in the IJCM, rather than a specialty journal. One of the authors should be identified as the corresponding author of the paper, who would be responsible for the contents of the paper as for communication with the Editorial office. Author should declare that the article was not published or under consideration, in part or whole, simultaneously in any other journal or proceedings.
  • Title page should include (i) Name(s) of author(s); (ii) Highest degree; (iii) Name(s) of the Department(s); (iv) Designations (academic position) of authors in the Department; (v) Complete postal addresses, mobile number and e-mail id of all authors; (vi) name of corresponding author with all above mentioned details.
  • Title page also should include: (i) Type of manuscript: original article/ review/ correspondence/ perspective/ view point/ clinical image/ letter to editor; (ii) Title; (iii) Short title; (iv) Number of Tables; (v) Number of Figures; (vi) Source of financial support in the form of grants; (vii) Registration number in case of Clinical Trials;
  • Specific author's contribution should be given at the end in the Title page. 



The title of the article should be short, continuous (broken or hyphenated titles are not acceptable), and yet sufficiently descriptive and informative so as to be useful in indexing and information retrieval.

A short running title not exceeding 6-7 words must also be provided.

This should be a structured condensation of the work not exceeding 250 words for original article/ reviews / systematic reviews and 200 words for short communication/ Letter to Editor/ Perspectives/ View Point. It should be structured under the following headings: Background, Materials & Methods, Results, Conclusions, and 5-8 keywords to index the subject matter of the article arranged alphabetically. Please do not make any other heading.

It must be concise and should follow the IMRAD format: Background, Materials and Methods, Result, Discussion and Conclusion. The matter must be written in a manner, which is easy to understand, and should be restricted to the topic being presented. Each Table and Figure should be on a separate page and should be given at the end of the manuscript after the references. Please do not insert tables etc. within the text nor attach/upload them separately.


A brief introduction stating the scope of the paper precisely should be given. Review of the literature should be restricted to reasons for undertaking the present study and provide only the most essential background. The objective of the study should be written clearly with adequate justification at the end of this section.

Material & Methods:

The nomenclature, the source of material and equipment used, within the manufacturer's details in parenthesis, should be clearly mentioned. The procedures adopted should be explicitly stated to enable other workers to reproduce the results, if necessary. New methods may be described in sufficient detail indicating their limitations. Established methods can be just mentioned with authentic references and significant deviations, if any given, with reasons for adopting them. While reporting experiments on human subjects and animals, it should be clearly mentioned that the procedures followed are in accordance with the ethical standards laid down by the national bodies or organizations of the particular country. For example, for research carried out in India on human subjects, the ICMR's Ethical guidelines for biomedical and health research on human participants (2017) should be adhered to Click Here for view. Similarly, for experiments on laboratory animals the ICMR's guidelines: Use of animals in scientific research (May 2006)/INSA's guidelines for care and use of animals in scientific research (2000) or guidelines of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) should be followed. Adequate information should be provided on the care and use of laboratory animals, source of animals, strain, age, sex, housing and nutrition, etc. Whenever needed, appropriate certification should be provided at the time of submission of the manuscripts. The drugs and chemicals used should be precisely identified, including generic name(s), dosage(s), and route(s) of administration.

Study design: Selection of the observational or experimental participants (patients or laboratory animals, including controls, whether randomly or consecutively) and basis of sample size calculation should be mentioned clearly, including eligibility and exclusion criteria and a description of the source population. 

Contributors may consult the following Guidelines for specific study designs:

Sr. No.​ Type of study Source
1.Randomized controlled trials (RCTs)CONSORT-
2.Systematic reviews & meta-analysisPRISMA guidelines-
3.Observational studies in epidemiologySTROBE -
4.Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiologyMOOSE -
5.Studies on diagnostic accuracySTARD -

* For any other type of study contributors may consult ICMJE website (

Studies based on clinical trials: All clinical trials should be registered in a Primary Clinical Trial Registry and the Registration number be given under Material & Methods.

Articles presenting with results of randomized clinical trials should provide 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 (http://www.consort- It should be clearly stated that study protocol was approved by the institutional/local ethics committee and written consent obtained from the participants.

The statistical analysis done and statistical significance of the findings when appropriate, should be mentioned. Unless absolutely necessary for a clear understanding of the article, detailed description of statistical treatment may be avoided. Articles based heavily on statistical considerations, however, need to give details particularly when new or uncommon methods are employed. For standard and routine statistical methods employed, authors need to give only authentic references.


Only such data as are essential for understanding the discussion and main conclusions emerging from the study should be included. The data should be arranged in unified and coherent sequence so that the report develops clearly and logically. Data presented in Tables and Figures should not be repeated in the text. Only important observations need to be emphasized or summarized. The same data should not be presented both in tabular and graphic forms. Interpretation of the data should be taken up only under the Discussion and not under Results.


The discussion should deal with the interpretation of results without repeating information already presented under Results. It should relate new findings to the known ones and include logical deductions. It should also mention any weaknesses/limitations/lacunae of the study.


The conclusions can be linked with the goals of the study but unqualified statements and conclusions not completely supported by the data should be avoided. Claiming of priority on work that is ongoing should also be avoided. All hypotheses should, if warranted, clearly be identified as such; recommendations may be included as part of the Discussion, only when considered absolutely necessary and relevant. This section should preferably end with a concluding remark.


Acknowledgment: These should be placed as the last element of the text before references. Written permissions of persons/agencies acknowledged should be provided.

Financial support & Sponsorship: A statement should be made for funding support and /or sponsorship received from national or international funding agencies.

Conflict of interest: A brief statement on the source of funding and conflict of interest should be included. It should be included on a separate page immediately following the title page.


In citing other work only reference consulted in the original should be included. If it is against citation by others, this should be so stated. Signed permission is required for use of data from persons cited in personal communication. ANSI standard style adapted by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) should be followed.


References should be numbered and listed consecutively in the order in which they are first cited in the text and should be identified in the text, tables and, legends by Arabic numerals as superscripts in square brackets (Vancouver). The full list of references at the end of the paper should include; the names and initials of all authors up to six (if more than 6, only the first 6 are given followed by et al.); the title of the paper, the journal title abbreviation according to the style of Index Medicus (, year of publication; volume number; first and last page numbers. Reference of books should give the names and initials of the authors, book title, place of publication, publisher, and year; those with multiple authors should also include the chapter title, first and last page numbers, and names and initials of editors. For citing website references, give the complete URL of the website, followed by the date of accession of the website. Quote such references as – the author's name, the title of the article, the website address, and the date of accession.

Journals: Mehta MN, Mehta NJ. Serum lipids and ABO Blood group in cord blood of neonates. Indian J Pediatr. 1984; 51:39-43.

Book: Smith GDL. Chronic ear disease. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 1980.

Chapter in the Book: Malhotra KC. Medicogenetics problems of Indian tribes. In: Verma IC, editor. Medical genetics in India. vol. 2. Pondicherry: Auroma Entrprises; 1978. p. 51-55.

Papers accepted but not yet published should be included in the references followed by 'in press'. Those in preparation, personal communications, and unpublished observations should be referred to as such in the text only. 


The count of tables/ figures are restricted to (5) Original articles, (3) Review article ; (2) Perspective/View points and (1) Short communication/ Letter to Editor. There should be minimum number of tables/figures in the Systematic Reviews. The extra table/figure may be uploaded as a Supplementary file which would be available only online (Not in the print version).


These must be self-explanatory and must not duplicate information in the text. Each table must have a title and should be numbered with Arabic numerals. Each table should be typed in double space, on a separate page and included at the end of the manuscript after the references. No internal horizontal or vertical lines should be used. All tables should be cited in the text. Tables should be prepared in APA standard format. Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1,2,3…etc). They should bear a brief title and column headings should also be short. Units of measurement should be abbreviated and placed below the headings. Statistical measurement variations such as SD and SE should be identified. Inclusion of structural formula in Tables should be avoided. Abbreviations used to be given in the footnote.

Illustration/ Figures:
These should be of the highest quality, submit glossy black and white photographs. Graphs should be drawn by the artist or prepared using standard computer software. Number all illustrations with Arabic numerals (1,2,3….). Figures should be submitted in JPEG or TIFF format (size not more than 1 MB and minimum 300 dpi) with appropriate Title and explanation of symbols in the legends for illustrations. Within a multi-panel figure, different parts should be labelled as A, B, C,...etc. on top left corner. Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers regarding details of magnification to facilitate reduction in size in final print. Symbols, arrows and letters used in the photomicrographs should be legible and in contrast with the background. Graphs in JPEG/TIFF format can be uploaded as Figures.

All published material should be acknowledged and copyright material should be submitted along with the written permission of the copyright holder.

A descriptive legend must accompany each illustration and must define all abbreviations used therein.

Download a PowerPoint presentation on common reference styles and using the reference checking facility on the manuscript submission site.

The abbreviations should be used in the text, tables and illustrations without a full stop. Authors should define new abbreviations when used first in the text.

Standard abbreviations to be used in IJCM

Molar (mole/litre)M*counts per minutecpm
milli molar (m mole/litre)mMCurieCi
Micromolar (mole/litre)μMradrad
mole (quantity of substance)molRoentgenR
normalNgravity g
metremortho o
centimetre cm meta m
square centimetrecm2para p
mg/ 100 mlmg/dloralpo
AngstromÅlethal dose-50LD50
millilitremlmilli AmperemA
gramganti meridiem (before noon)am
milligrammgpost meridiem (after noon)pm
hour(s)hvolume ratiovol/vol
minute(s)min(volume per volume) 
week(s)wkweight per volumewt/vol
year(s)yrweight ratiowt/wt
(statistical significance)P(weight per weight) 

*Should not be used as an abbreviation for mole. 


All studies conducted on patients / volunteers/ Human biological material/animals should submit a scanned copy of Ethical Clearance Certificate 


(Downloadable form)

It is necessary that all the authors give an undertaking (in the format specified by the journal) indicating their consent to be co-authors in the sequence indicated on the title page. Each author should give his or her names as well as the address and appointment at the time the work was done, additionally current address for correspondence including telephone and email address. A senior author may sign the Undertaking by Authors for a junior author who has left the institution and whose whereabouts are not known and take responsibility.

A paper with corporate (collective) authorship must specify the key persons responsible for the article; others contributing to the work should be recognized separately.

Author(s) will be asked to sign a transfer of copyright agreement, which recognizes the common interest that both journal and author(s) have in the protection of copyright. It will also allow us to tackle copyright infringements ourselves without having to go back to authors each time. 

Protection of Patients' Right 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 informed consent for publication. Authors should remove patients' names from figures unless they have obtained informed consent from the patients. The journal abides by ICMJE guidelines:

1)Authors, not the journals nor the publisher, need to obtain the patient consent form before the publication and have the form properly archived. The consent forms are not to be uploaded with the cover letter or sent through email to editorial or publisher offices.

2)If the manuscript contains patient images that preclude anonymity or a description that has an obvious indication of the identity of the patient, a statement about obtaining informed patient consent should be indicated in the manuscript. 


Authors of accepted articles are supplied of printer's proofs online on their Author centre and will also receive email alerts when proofs are available. Corrections on the page proofs should be restricted to printer's errors only and no substantial additions/deletions should be made. No change in the names of the authors (by way of additions and deletions) is permissible at the proof stage. If there are valid reasons for such a change, after acceptance of a paper, the permission of the Editor-In-Chief must be sought. 

Policy regarding the plagiarism, disputed authorship, data misconduct etc.

Indian Journal of Community Medicine (IJCM) has a very strong and "zero tolerance" policy towards, plagiarism, disputed authorship, data fudging, data manipulation or scientific misconduct. Any such matter when found on its own or is brought to our notice, first the statements are collected and later the matter is investigated by an expert committee of three members constituted amongst the members of editorial board in consultation with the President and Secretary General. If the concerned author (s) found guilty, action (s) are taken (in consultation with our publishers) which may include anyone or all of the following.

1.     Issuing erratum or corrigendum

2.     Retraction of the article and placing this information in the public domain,

3.     Blacklisting of the author (s) in IJCM and other affiliated journals of IAPSM

4.     Informing the employer (s) of the author (s)

5.     Informing the national professional regulatory body such as the Medical/ Dental Council of India

All allegations of plagiarism are investigated in accordance with COPE guidelines detailed below:

1.     COPE guidelines on suspected plagiarism in a submitted manuscript

2.     COPE guidelines on suspected plagiarism in a published paper

3.     ICMJE Recommendations

Pre-print Policy

Articles already uploaded as Pre-prints are not considered in the IJCM. 

Online Submission of Manuscripts

Submit the article as an electronic copy through the online manuscript submission system at the website . This is an online manuscript processing system that allows submissions and tracking of the decision and its progress till the print proof stage. Authors need to register as new authors for their first submission. Author registration is a simple self-explanatory two-stage process. There is no need to send a hard copy. For any query, contact the Journal Official email: [email protected].


 Article Type Submission Charges Article Processing Charges
Original articleINR 500INR 5000 (Non-IAPSM) and INR 3000 (IAPSM) members
Review articleINR 500INR 5000 (Non-IAPSM) and INR 3000 (IAPSM) members
Systematic ReviewsINR 500INR 5000 (Non-IAPSM) and INR 3000 (IAPSM) members
Invited CMEFreeFree
Editorial CommentariesFreeFree
Letter to EditorFreeFree
Short communicationINR 500INR 5000 (Non-IAPSM) and INR 3000 (IAPSM) members
View point / PerspectiveINR 500INR 5000 (Non-IAPSM) and INR 3000 (IAPSM) members
​​​​​​​​​​Only the first author and the corresponding author would be considered to avail the benefits of the discounted article processing charges as per IAPSM member.​​​​​​​​


 (As mandated by the Indian Government and based on the GST Law and procedures, Wolters Kluwer India Private Ltd, would be charging GST @18% on fees collected from Indian authors with effect from 1st July 2017. The said tax will be in addition to the prices maintained on the website to be collected from the authors and will be paid to the Indian Government.)

​      Online Manuscript Submission Checklist

  1. Covering letter and Title page should be submitted as single file in Title page file.
  2. Manuscript with Abstract & Key words should be submitted as an Article file.
  3. Tables and graphs should be submitted in supporting material in Image section (word document format).
  4. Figures (excluding graphs) should be submitted in Image section (jpeg format with minimum 300 dpi).
  5. Scanned images of Undertaking and Copyright Transfer Agreement Form duly signed by all authors should be submitted as single file (sequence of authors should be maintained as per title page).
  6. Scanned image of Ethical Clearance certificate should be submitted. ​​