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Instructions for Authors

​​Before submitting an article, make sure you read section 7 (How to prepare and submit the manuscript).

1. Introduction

JAAPA's mission is to support the ongoing education and advancement of PAs by publishing current information and research on clinical, health policy, and professional issues. The American Academy of PAs provides JAAPA to the majority of clinically practicing PAs in the United States, including all members of AAPA. The journal is indexed in the Medline and CINAHL databases, and each issue offers AAPA-approved Category I CME. JAAPA is published monthly, with content posted to www.jaapa.com. The Web site also contains additional content and resources available only online.

Authors with potential conflicts of interest:

Please note that JAAPA does not consider for publication within the journal any articles with industry or medical education company involvement or sponsorship. Authors may have relationships to industry (which must be disclosed), but the manuscript itself must be independent of those relationships: written by the author without industry or medical education company planning, oversight, editing, review, financial support, or approval. Manuscripts with industry involvement may be considered for publication as a separately bound and sponsored supplement. Authors interested in this option should contact the publisher for pricing information. 

How to increase your chances of getting published:

  • Choose a topic that takes advantage of your experience and passion. The resulting article will be more practical, will be richer in detail, and will offer more meaningful pearls than would a standard literature review; consequently, it will do a better job of teaching readers things they didn't know before.
  • Search the JAAPA Web site for previously published articles on your topic. (Enter the search phrase surrounded by quotes to get the best results.) If we have published on your topic within the past 2 or 3 years, we will not want another article on that subject unless there is substantial new information to convey.
  • Be familiar with JAAPA. If you aren't a regular reader, look at recent issues to get a feel for the types of articles and departments we publish, how long our articles are, how they are formatted, and so forth.
  • Write your article specifically to fit one of the journal's sections or departments. Or, if the manuscript was prepared for some other purpose, such as an academic requirement, revise it to fit a section or department in the journal before you submit it. Please note that we do not consider manuscripts that are not earmarked for a specific section or department in JAAPA.
  • Read the author guidelines, and follow the requirements in the guidelines while preparing and submitting your manuscript. 

In your manuscript, consider and address the PA competencies and should be mindful of issues related to health disparities involving race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, income, geographic location, sexual orientation, etc., as may be appropriate.

Inexperienced authors may want to consult our Roadmap to Better Writing for help on planning and developing a manuscript. A Webcast entitled Writing for Publication: Ten Steps to Success also presents useful information on writing professionally. 

What constitutes authorship?

JAAPA uses ICMJE standards as the source for its definition of authorship. Authors should satisfy all of the following, except that item 3 applies only to authors of original research. Each author should 1) contribute substantially to the article's conception, planning, organization, and/or design; 2) contribute to the performance of the literature search and/or critical analysis of the literature; 3) help to acquire, analyze, and/or interpret data; 4) participate in the writing and/or revising of the article at all stages of development; and 5) review and approve the final edited copy.

Persons who have discussed the article topic with the authors, read and commented on drafts of the article, provided technical, financial, or editorial assistance, or otherwise assisted the authors may be thanked in acknowledgements at the end of the article. These contributions do not qualify as authorship.

Before the manuscript is developed and submitted, the authors as a group should decide who should be listed on the byline. Resources that may help with this process are listed below.

Avoiding and Resolving Authorship Disputes

Coauthorship of Scholarly Reports, Papers, and Publications

After submission, the corresponding author's role is to ensure that all authors have met the conditions noted above. The editorial staff does not make authorship decisions or arbitrate conflicts related to authorship. 

Instructions for PA students:

Please note that these instructions apply only to PA-S-authored manuscripts—that is, to manuscripts written by students who are not yet practicing PAs and who have not practiced medicine.

If you are a PA, have been in clinical practice, and have returned to school for a graduate degree, this section does not apply to you.

1. All student authors must have a coauthor who is a faculty mentor, a practicing clinician (PA, physician, or other clinician), or both. The coauthor does not have to do any of the research or write any portion of the manuscript, but this person should guide the student closely, reviewing all phases of article development, making suggestions for improvement as appropriate, and making sure, before the manuscript is submitted to JAAPA, that it satisfies the requirements listed in these author guidelines. The coauthor should be very familiar with these author guidelines and ensure that the manuscript has been edited and revised as necessary to be appropriate for the section or department in JAAPA for which it is intended (see number 5 below).

IMPORTANT: All student papers must include a statement from a physician, PA, or other clinician who practices clinically in the topic area of the paper. The statement should provide a brief description of the reviewer's qualifications to review the paper and should indicate that the clinician has evaluated the paper and attests to its clinical accuracy. This statement may come from the paper's coauthor or from an independent clinician who is not a coauthor but who has reviewed the manuscript before its submission.

2. The non-student coauthor must submit the manuscript and must act as the corresponding author throughout the submission and publishing process. The student author may be copied on correspondence.

3. In the submission email, the non-student coauthor should clearly identify the submission as a student manuscript and should explain the roles played by all listed authors in the development of the manuscript.

4. Please note that all student submissions are screened by members of the JAAPA editorial board, who determine whether the manuscript is suitable for consideration and should go out to peer review.

5. PA programs should not ask their students to submit articles for publication to fulfill program or graduation requirements. Instead, we ask that programs limit submissions to a few (5 or less) of the best quality student papers--those that have the greatest chance of being accepted and published. Finally, PA faculty should ensure that Capstone projects, master's papers, and the like are revised and edited as needed to fit the requirements of the journal.

If you are not sure whether your manuscript qualifies as a student submission or you have other questions about these instructions, please contact the editor at [email protected]

2. Types of articles published: CME, reviews, case reports

Prospective authors are encouraged to look at past issues of JAAPA to see how various types of articles read and look in print. Please also consult Problem areas later in these guidelines for important information on submitting photographs, imaging studies, and other illustrative material; citing references; and borrowing information from a previously published source. Authors should also read How to prepare and submit the manuscript.

Note that the word ranges specified in the following descriptions include all text that is part of the article. That is, the reference list, content of tables, figure captions, sidebar text, etc, are included in the total word count. Authors need not write exactly to size, but manuscripts should not be substantially shorter or longer than the ranges specified.

Note also that all feature articles (except research articles) should list the article's 4 or 5 key points at the end of the manuscript. 

CME, Review, and Surgical Review articles (2,000 to 3,500 words): These articles offer either a concise critical assessment of the current state of knowledge about a disease or condition encountered by PAs or a how-to approach to diagnosing and/or managing a specific problem. A Surgical Review might focus on a particular type of surgery, a medical problem in surgical patients (for example, atrial fibrillation in patients undergoing heart surgery), and or practical applications of recent primary research or new guidelines. The author should avoid writing a standard academic literature review, which is systematic, comprehensive, and heavily referenced, in favor of a selective review and update that emphasizes what is practical, current, and evidence-based. Do not simply summarize and describe what the literature shows; instead, explain how what the literature reveals can be practically applied. References should be recent and should, for the most part, be drawn from peer-reviewed journals. Textbook references and generic medical Web sites should be largely avoided. These articles are intended above all to be useful. Once PAs read the article, they should be able to put the information it provides immediately into practice.

Authors should note that articles intended for CME should be on topics consistent with the NCCPA Content Blueprint  for PANCE and PANRE. That is, the topic should be one that might be covered on the certification or recertification exam.

Authors who wish their article to be considered for CME should include three or four learning objectives and a needs assessment with the manuscript. The needs assessment explains why a CME article on this topic is justified by identifying gaps between what is and what ought to be. In other words, why do PAs need a CME article on the topic you are proposing? Evidence and data that a CME article on the topic is needed may be drawn from the following sources (intended as examples rather than a comprehensive list): surveys, Board of Director and/or committee meeting minutes, expert opinion, evaluation results/reports from other educational activities, informal discussions/interviews, focus groups, consensus conferences, practice guidelines, epidemiologic data, and new treatments/advances in existing treatments. The needs assessment should be relatively brief (no more than 150 words) and does not contribute toward the total word count of the article.

Note that some Review and Surgical Review articles are published online only. Both html and pdf versions are provided on the Web site for online-only articles. 

Case Reports (1,500 to 2,000 words): A Case Report should recount an interesting or unusual experience with a patient, discuss the intervention and the reasons it was chosen, and provide the outcome. The manuscript must be written in two main sections: CASE and DISCUSSION. Do not include an introduction before the CASE portion. There may be a final CONCLUSION in which the outcome for the patient is given, but otherwise the patient experience should be confined to the CASE portion of the manuscript. In the DISCUSSION section, review the pertinent literature briefly. At the end of the file, each manuscript should include 3 to 5 key points, which are crucial to the value of a case report. Photographs, radiographs, or other types of clinical images should be submitted if appropriate. Authors should take care to remove any information from the case description that could identify the patient. If this is not possible, authors should obtain the patient's permission to publish the details of the case and include this permission with their submission.

Note that a Case Report is not the venue for a complete review of the literature on a topic. Refer to only a few of the most important papers on the condition you are discussing. Note also that a Case Report is not the place to discuss the standard diagnosis and treatment of a common condition. A CME or Review Article is usually a better choice for topics of this type.

Some Case Reports are published online only. Both HTML and PDF versions are provided on the Web site for online-only articles. 

3. Types of articles published: Original research

Original research (2,000 to 3,500 words) should be reports of original research conducted by the author(s). JAAPA welcomes original research on workforce and related topics that are of particular relevance to practicing PAs. Submissions might include smaller studies and pilot trials that speak to quality of care delivered by PAs, assess the effectiveness of unique models for PA-directed care, provide models for enhancing productivity within clinics or hospitals, describe innovative ways to enhance PA performance, or explore PA demographics. JAAPA does not publish clinical research.

If your research involves a survey, please read the information on surveys at the bottom of section 3. Note also that all manuscripts that report survey results must include the original survey instrument as part of the submission.

Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (www.icmje.org). Please also consult Problem areas later in these guidelines for important information on submitting photographs, imaging studies, and other illustrative material; citing references; and borrowing information from a previously published source. Authors should also read How to prepare and submit the manuscript.

All research articles submitted to JAAPA should include:

Abstract: Please structure your abstract according to the following subheadings: Objective(s), Methods, Results, Conclusions. Limit your abstract to 150 words. Note that your abstract will be available online and will be far more widely read than your paper. Include up to five key words at the end of the abstract.

Introduction: The introduction should be less than 500 words. A 3-paragraph structure is usually sufficient to convince the reader that your topic is new, important, and relevant. Your first paragraph should set the stage for the study by briefly describing the background for the circumstance surrounding the investigation. In the second paragraph, describe why your study is important, what implications it has for PA practice, and how it relates to the material in the first paragraph. In your third paragraph, state what you hope to achieve.

Methods: Describe the design of your study. This link provides some standard vocabulary and definitions: http://jama.ama-assn.org/misc/auinst_term.dtl. Select the one that most accurately describes your study. Describe the study participants and how they were chosen. If you conducted a survey, please describe the underlying frame from which your sample was chosen and your response rate. Please clearly state the outcome of interest and how it was measured. Inform your readers of your explanatory variables and how you hypothesize they are related to your outcome.

Describe your data analysis in detail. Your analytic strategy should demonstrate your familiarity with basic biostatistical methods for continuous and categorical data. These methods include, but are not limited to, measures of central tendency and variability (mean, median, mode, variance, standard deviation, standard error) as well as measures of association (chi square statistic, correlation coefficients, rate differences, relative rates, odds ratios). If you are not comfortable with the statistical aspects of your study, you are strongly encouraged to include a coauthor who is. In general, confidence intervals are to be preferred over simple P values. Please note that surveys using all but the most straightforward simple random samples will require statistical techniques, such as those found in SUDAAN software, to account for complex design factors.

Results: Results should be presented to reflect the methods section. Where possible, confidence intervals in the original clinical metric of interest are much preferred over P values. For example, rather than state: "Patients lived longer under PA care (P <0.0001)," it is much more informative and appropriate to say: "Patients lived 2 hours longer under PA care (95% CI, 1.9-2.1 hours)." In this way, the reader can better evaluate the clinical importance of your results.

Do not repeat results presented in graphs and tables. Please create and label all tables and graphs so that they are self-explanatory and could stand alone without reference to the text.

Discussion: Relate your results to the extant literature. Note that our readers are clinically practicing PAs. Statistical significance is much less important or relevant to them than is clinical importance. Frame your discussion with the JAAPA audience in mind.

Limitations: Clearly and succinctly state both the potential limitations of your study and their implications for your conclusions. If, for example, your response rate was low, how would you expect that to affect your results?

Conclusions: This should be a brief, at most 1-paragraph statement. Please be as explicit as possible. If, for example, you suggest more research is needed, please state precisely what the next step should be.

Acknowledgements: All studies involving human data require a statement of institutional review board approval or exemption. It is the author's responsibility to ensure that all funding sources, including proprietary and for-profit entities such as pharmaceutical companies as well as not-for-profit and government funding sources, are listed in this section.

Important note about survey research: High survey response rates help to ensure that results are representative of the target population. A survey must have an adequate response rate in order to produce accurate, useful results. Obtain the response rate by dividing the number of people who submitted a completed survey (80% or more of questions answered) by the number of people you attempted to contact. If you asked 200 participants to complete the survey and 150 responded, the response rate is 150/200 or 75%. Acceptable response rates vary by how the survey is administered, but the table below offers some general assessments. If the work you are describing yielded a lower response rate but you believe it is truly representative of the sample studied, provide a detailed justification (eg, the sample studied was very similar to the AAPA census by specialty practice, age, and geographic distribution).

Format Response rate evaluation
Mailing 50% adequate; 60% good; >70% very good
Telephone 80% good
Email / Online 40% adequate; 50% good; >60% very good
In-person 80% good ​

4. Types of articles published: Departments

Prospective authors are encouraged to look at past issues of JAAPA to see how various types of articles read and look in print. Please also consult Problem areas later in these guidelines for important information on submitting photographs, imaging studies, and other illustrative material; citing references; and borrowing information from a previously published source. Authors should also read How to prepare and submit the manuscript.

Note that the word ranges specified in the following descriptions include all text that is part of the article. This includes the reference list. Authors need not write exactly to size, but manuscripts should not be substantially shorter or longer than the ranges specified.

Note that JAAPA does not accept outside submissions for all of its departments. This section lists the departments for which outside submissions are welcomed.

Finally, authors should know that some departments may on occasion be published online only. Both HTML and PDF versions are provided on the Web site. ​

Becoming a PA: This department is JAAPA's online medical humanities section for PA students. Student authors may submit creative works about how they experience, explore, and make sense of becoming a PA; the work must be something that can be published in a digital format because submissions do not appear in print. The types of submissions welcomed include stories of encounters with patients during clinical rotation, personal illness narratives, reflective essays, poems, visual works (photographs, drawings, paintings, graphic narratives, etc.), videos, and music. Length is flexible but submissions should not be overly long. Please note: Unlike non-humanities submissions to JAAPA from student authors, submissions to Becoming a PA do NOT require a faculty or clinician coauthor. 

Diagnostic Imaging Review (800 to 1,600 words): Manuscripts for this department provide a very brief case description leading up to the ordering of imaging studies. Readers are then asked, "What do the imaging studies show?" This is followed by a discussion of how the imaging studies obtained revealed the diagnosis. Although a brief review of the disease diagnosed is usually included, along with 2 or 3 references, note that the focus of this department is to educate readers about how to order and interpret diagnostic imaging. Authors should take care to remove any information from the case description that could identify the patient. If this is not possible, authors should obtain the patient's permission to publish the details of the case.

Authors must provide high-resolution digital image files of the imaging studies discussed in the article. Please send two copies of each image; one should be unmarked, and the other should be labeled with arrows or other marks that point clearly to the pathology revealed by the study. Provide caption material for each image as well.

A Difficult Diagnosis (700 words): This department highlights focused patient cases that demonstrate a common presentation of an uncommon diagnosis or an uncommon presentation of a common diagnosis.  The manuscript should follow this format:

  • CASE: history of present illness similar to the subjective portion of a SOAP note
  • Physical examination: as in the objective portion of a SOAP note, including pertinent positive and negative findings.
  • Differential diagnosis: a list of a maximum of 4 possible differential diagnoses that were considered for the patient case where one is the correct diagnosis.
  • Medical decision making: describe how the incorrect diagnoses were ruled out and the correct diagnosis was determined.
  • DISCUSSION: discussion of the correct diagnosis including the prevalence of the disease and standards of care.  Authors must include citations from 3-5 current (within the last 5 years)  peer-reviewed sources in this section
  • Conclusion: summarize important aspects of the case and highlight why this topic is important to PAs

Authors are encouraged to provide an image such as an ECG tracing, radiograph, CT scan, or clinical photograph, if it contributes to the diagnostic process. Authors should take care to remove any information from the case description that could identify the patient.​​

Mindful Practice: This department is JAAPA's online-only medical humanities section. Submissions do not appear in print. Authors may submit stories from practice, personal illness narratives, reflective essays, poems, photographs, drawings, and other creative works that are about how PAs experience, explore, and make sense of the human side of medicine. Length is flexible but submissions should not be overly long.

Potential authors are invited to browse previously published Mindful Practice pieces and also the essays from JAAPA's Art of Medicine section to see how the authors use writing to sit, reflect, and listen not only to their patients but also to themselves. The pieces published in these departments illustrate how the medical humanities can help clinicians find meaning in what they do and encourage respectful, empathetic, professional, nourishing medical care.

Pharmacology Consult (700 words): This department is for authors interested in writing about new pharmaceuticals, pharmacology/pharmacokinetic principles, or prescribing pearls. The author may wish to pose a question and provide an evidence-based response. (Examples of questions: What is this new drug? Where does a new drug fit into existing treatment? Which patient counseling points are important to enhance outcomes? How do new guidelines affect prescribing practice?) Longer submissions will be considered if the topic warrants a more detailed explanation. Take this opportunity to improve prescribing, monitoring, and patient outcomes.

Quick Recertification Series (650 words maximum): If you have an idea for a QRS topic, please write to [email protected]. All topics should come from the NCCPA content blueprint for the certification and recertification exams, and all QRS manuscripts are prepared under the direction of the department editors. QRS is written in an outline format using the following headings: General features, clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment. Information under each heading should be concise and bulleted. Also include two board-style questions with answers and explanations for the correct answer. Two or three references may be included but are not required because the information in the department is general medical knowledge and standards of care.

What's New in .... (1,600 words): This department describes recent advances that have significantly changed practice standards in various medical specialties, based on review of mportant new studies, guidelines, or models of care. The authorexplains the significance of these advances to all PAs, particularly those practicing outside the author's specialty. The name of the department changes according to the specialty being featured: What's New in Cardiology, What's New in Dermatology, What's New in Oncology, etc. A What's New manuscript should have five sections, organized under the following subheadings: (1) WHAT is the new development? (Describe briefly.); (2) WHY is it considered to be an advance or an improvement? (Explain.); (3) WHAT do primary care PAs (and others outside the discipline) most need to know about this new development? (The focus here should be the patient-oriented evidence.); (4) WHAT ELSE (if anything) is important to convey about this topic? (Discuss any issue of importance not covered in an earlier section.); (5) What are the 4 or 5 KEY POINTS for readers? (summary). Each of the five sections should answer the question directly; subheads are edited to highlight key points. Limit the reference list to no more than 10 to 12 items.

5. Letters to the Editor

  • Letters to the Editor must be written in response to articles published in JAAPA. Letters on other subjects cannot be considered. If you are requesting that we publish a correction, please state this specifically.
  • Authors of the published article will be given the opportunity to respond to the letter.
  • Letters should be timely and, ideally, should be received within 3 months of the JAAPA article's publication.
  • Letters submitted to JAAPA become copyrighted material when they are published. Thus, writers should not submit duplicate letters to any other print or online publication.
  • Letters should follow the same scholarly standards required of other content in JAAPA. They should be referenced if appropriate, using evidence-based sources.
  • Limit letters to 300 words (including references) and no more than 5 references. Letters will be edited for clarity, style, and length as appropriate.
  • All letters must include the writer's full name and degrees, work affiliations, city, state, and e-mail address. Anonymous letters or those in which the writer incompletely identifies himself or herself cannot be considered. In certain cases we will agree to publish a letter with the writer's name withheld, but contact information must be provided when the letter is submitted.
  • Submit all letters via e-mail to [email protected]. Letters are published online only.

6. Problem areas (citing references, submitting images, and borrowing material from another source)

Citing references: Reference lists should not be overly long. Keep in mind that JAAPA content should review the literature selectively and should emphasize what is practical, current, and evidence-based. Consult recent issues of the journal to get an idea of what constitutes an appropriate reference list. When compiling references for your article, keep the following guidelines in mind:

Cite recent sources. If you are citing a paper that was published more than 5 years ago, the paper should be either one of a kind (a seminal study) or the only source for the data you are citing. If neither of these is the case, you probably either do not need to cite a source at all, or you need to find a more recent one.

Epidemiologic data should be absolutely current. Please look for the most recent information available.

Cite primary sources whenever possible since these carry the most weight. The primary source is the place where the information was first published. For example, the study where the data on the effectiveness of a certain treatment were first reported is the primary source; a review article that cites this study is a secondary source and is less desirable. Check the paper you are citing carefully to make sure that the authors have not in fact taken their information from another source. If they have, that other source is probably primary.

Cite peer-reviewed journals. Peer-reviewed primary source information appears in such journals, giving them more credibility than textbooks and medical Web sites that provide generic reviews (such as eMedicine, ).

All direct quotes—including those from government sources, online publications, and publications that are in the public domain—must be presented as such, with quotation marks and appropriate citations. Treating direct quotes otherwise will be considered plagiarism. In addition, manuscripts that contain plagiarism or have extensive poor paraphrasing may be rejected, even after acceptance.

Multiple references are not required in most cases. Usually, you can cite the most recent reference, the most respected reference, or the primary reference and let it go at that. (If you can't decide which reference is most respected, there probably isn't one. Sometimes this is obvious, however. For instance, if you are citing epidemiology figures for sexually transmitted diseases, probably the best source is MMWR from the CDC.)

Do not reference statements that most clinicians would consider common knowledge. Many citations from textbooks fall into this category.

Do reference all statements that cite data or studies. If your sentence has numbers, the source of the numbers must be referenced.

Do reference statements that your readers may find controversial.

Do reference anything that is someone else's thoughts, data, or conclusions.

Number references sequentially in the text using superscript Arabic numbers. If a reference is cited more than once, it should always have the number assigned to it at its first occurrence. Key in references at the end of the text in numeric sequence using the form prescribed in the AMA Manual of Style or the Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Use the abbreviations for journal titles provided on PubMed. Note that submissions using APA style will not be accepted.

References. Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references and for correct text citation (see Sourcing, above). For editing purposes, manuscripts with references must be formatted using the form prescribed in the AMA Manual of Style or the Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Use the abbreviations for journal titles provided on PubMed. Note that submissions using APA style will not be accepted.

Any online citations must include the URL and latest date the author accessed the page to verify its currency.

Do not use word processing options that automatically number references or embed information in a footnote or endnote. When you key in references at the end of the text, please number them manually. (The easiest way to do this is to use your automatic program up until the point where the manuscript is complete and you are ready to submit. Then go back and manually renumber.)

Save the hard copies of your references after submission. If your article is accepted, we will ask you to send the hard copies to us for use during editing and fact-checking.

A special note on hard copies of references: The standards of scholarship require (1) that authors obtain and read primary source material during the research phase of manuscript preparation and (2) that they not cite anything in a scholarly paper that they haven't read and evaluated themselves. Authors must provide a hard copy of the primary source reference of all material cited when their manuscript is accepted. Abstracts from MEDLINE are not sufficient, nor is it sufficient to cite references that have been cited by another author without first reading the primary source. When we edit and fact-check your article, we must be able to consult the primary source to determine whether the information you have cited is actually in that article and that you have represented it accurately.

Note also that the hard copy of the reference must contain the complete publication information: authors, titles, year of publication, volume and issue number, inclusive page numbers, city/state of publication and publisher (in the case of books), etc.

Tables, Figures, Illustrations, and Photos. Legends must accompany all tables and figures. Authors should indicate whether illustrations are original works or copies. Authors must obtain copyright releases for reprinting any previously published material. Copyright permission may also be necessary for any adaptations of previously published material, including tables which have been adapted from other sources. For more information on copyright visit www.copyright.gov/help/faq.

Photographs must be accompanied by written permission of any individuals pictured in the photo, unless the image is historic or considered a public photo. Photograph releases from individuals in the photo should include permission to use the photo in print and online versions of the journal and all media forms. Do not embed photos or figures in word processing documents; they must be attached as separate files (JPGS or TIFFs) to your submission through Editorial Manager.


A) Creating Digital Artwork
  • Learn about the publication requirements for Digital Artwork: http://links.lww.com/ES/A42
  • Create, scan, and save your artwork and compare your final figure to the Digital Artwork Guideline Checklist (below).
  • Upload each figure to Editorial Manager in conjunction with your manuscript text and tables.

B) Digital Artwork Guideline Checklist
Here are the basics to have in place before submitting your digital artwork:

  • Artwork should be saved as TIFF, EPS, or MS Office (DOC, PPT, XLS) files. High resolution PDF files are also acceptable.
  • Crop out any white or black space surrounding the image.
  • Diagrams, drawings, graphs, and other line art 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.

Video Submissions. Authors may submit video as their primary submission, and write an accompanying description for publication in JAAPA.

Authors may also submit videos to enhance their written manuscript. The manuscript must contain references to the video that are clearly labeled as "Supplemental Digital Content," with a brief description of the video and its intended function as a supplement to the manuscript, the videographer's name, participants, length (minutes), and size (MB). Authors must obtain written consent from anyone appearing in the video. Consent should be emailed as a scanned attachment to Jan Corwin Enger.

Video files should be submitted with the following file extensions: .wmv, .mov, .qt, .mpg, .mpeg, or .mp4, and formatted with a 320 X 240 pixel minimum screen size. Video documents are attached the same way as the manuscript and cover letter in the online submission process.

For more information, please e-mail Jan Corwin Enger.


  • Cite figures consecutively in your manuscript.
  • Number figures in the figure legend in the order in which they are discussed.
  • Upload figures consecutively to the Editorial Manager web site and enter figure numbers consecutively in the Description field when uploading the files.

Note that high-resolution files cannot be created from low-resolution image files. The original image has to be large enough to qualify as high-resolution. Images can be sized down, but they cannot be sized up.

Note also that images scanned from a previously printed source, such as a textbook or journal article, cannot be used because they are low resolution and will not reproduce well. We must have original images, either as digital files or hard copies.

Borrowing material from another source: Authors should clarify the copyright status for every item in their manuscript that is not part of the main text. ("Every item" means all tables, graphs, algorithms, photos, imaging studies, ECGs, etc.) Authors must obtain copyright releases for reprinting any previously published material.

For each item, specify one of the following:

  • The accessory material is original to you (and hence requires no permission to use)
  • The material was created by you from material in another source (and hence requires a source or reference line, but does not require permission). In this case, provide the complete publication information for the source.
  • The material was borrowed in its current form from another source, and that status of your permission request to the original publisher.

7. How to prepare and submit the manuscript

Specific requirements for the type of manuscript you are submitting are given in the sections on types of articles published. In addition, authors should adhere to the following guidelines:

On-line manuscript submission: All manuscripts must be submitted online via Editorial Manager, at http://www.editorialmanager.com/jaapa.

First-time users: Please click the Register button on the Editorial Manager home page (http://www.editorialmanager.com/jaapa). Enter the requested information to complete your registration. Upon successful registration, an email containing your user name and password will be sent to you. Please be sure to enter your email address correctly; if an error has been made or an incorrect email address has been provided, you will not receive this notification.

Note: If you have already received an email containing your User ID and password, or if you are already registered, do not register again. You may log in to the site using the information previously provided to you. You may access your Author, Reviewer, and/or Editor accounts with the same log-in information.

Authors: Click the log-in button on the Editorial Manager home page, enter your username and password, and click on Author Login. Click on the Submit Manuscript link to begin the submission process. Be sure to prepare your manuscript according to the requirements laid out in these author instructions. Following submission to the journal office, you will be able to track the progress of your manuscript through the system.

If you experience any problems with Editorial Manager or have any questions, please contact the Editorial Office: Andrei Greska, Senior Publishing Assistant, 215-521-8816.

  • Use a plain, readable typeface, such as 12-point Arial or Times New Roman. Do not use decorative or italic fonts that make the manuscript difficult to read. Do not place borders or section breaks in the manuscript or use other types of formatting or stationery that may be difficult to remove or may otherwise make editing difficult.
  • Create all text—the article body, tables, figure captions, etc.—in Microsoft Word so that it can be edited. Do not submit any text in PDF format. Do not use Excel or any other spreadsheet application to create tables, and do not create tables using tabs or spaces to form columns; create tables using the Microsoft Word table function. PowerPoint may be used if you are providing a graphic illustration, such as a bar graph, that we can recreate; in this instance, supply the numerical data used to create the graphic.
  • Provide appropriate headings and subheadings throughout the text that will clarify the organization of information for the reader. Consult recent issues of JAAPA for examples of how to use headings and subheadings.
  • Expand all acronyms on first mention. Example: white blood cells (WBCs).
  • Provide units of measure for all laboratory values or other clinical measures that are expressed in number form. Example: when giving a blood glucose level, please write 90 mg/dL, not 90.
  • Refer to drugs using their generic names. Provide the salt if this helps to clarify which drug you are talking about. Example: use cefuroxime axetil for the oral form and cefuroxime sodium for the IM or IV form.
  • Cite every table, figure, or other accessory item at an appropriate place in the text. Example: "A radiograph of this fracture is shown in Figure 1." Number tables and figures sequentially in the order in which they are to appear.
  • Place figures, tables, algorithms, and other accessory material at the end of the file (or in a separate file), and number them consecutively in order of their appearance in the text. Do not embed this material in the body of the text.
  • For guidelines regarding images, please see Problem areas above.
  • For guidelines regarding the types of references to cite and when to cite them, see Problem areas above.
  • ​The author byline lists all authors' full names and academic degrees at the master's level and above. Authors who are physician assistants should include this designation, with certification if held, in their submission. Authors who are officially recognized as distinguished fellows of the AAPA may add this designation in their submission. JAAPA generally does not publish other certifications, added qualifications, honorary degrees, or other professional designations in the author byline. If an author believes an additional qualification or designation is highly relevant to identifying unique expertise in the subject matter of a submitted manuscript, this information may be shared and will be considered by the editorial board.     

8. What happens after manuscript submission

After an article has been submitted to JAAPA, it is screened by editorial staff members, members of the JAAPA editorial board, and/or the department editor (for department manuscripts).

In most cases, articles that pass the preliminary screening are sent to at least two peer reviewers, who determine whether the manuscript will be accepted, rejected, or recommended for revision. Author names are not removed from the manuscript before peer review. Preliminary screening and peer review can take 8 to 10 weeks.

Some clinical departments do not undergo outside peer review; instead, the department editor works with the author to revise the manuscript. In these cases, the time required to achieve a final manuscript can be shorter than 8 to 10 weeks.

After peer review is complete, JAAPA will notify the corresponding author of the manuscript's status. If revision is recommended, we will send revision instructions to the author. Authors are given access to each individual review, but the reviewers' identities are masked. Authors are asked to provide a revised manuscript for re-evaluation within 4 weeks.

Articles are scheduled for publication after acceptance. They are edited about 2 months before publication.

All manuscripts accepted for publication become the property of the Journal and may not be published elsewhere without the written permission of the publisher. Authors must sign copyright release and conflict of interest disclosure forms at the time of manuscript acceptance.

Authors should be aware that JAAPA receives a high volume of submissions and that, as a result, many articles must wait to be published. Case Reports and Review articles that are not appropriate for CME take the longest time to be published. CME articles are typically published within a year of acceptance. Department pieces usually appear within a few months.

All articles that have been accepted and scheduled for publication are subject to editing. Authors should be aware that editing can be extensive and that further revision may be required at the editing stage.

Edited manuscripts are emailed to the author for review before printing. Authors are asked to respond with corrections and comments within 1 week of receipt. Authors can make no further changes after this point.

9. Copyright and conflicts of interest

Copyright: All authors must complete and sign the journal's copyright transfer form, which can be found at http://edmgr.ovid.com/jaapa/accounts/copyrightTransfer.pdf. Include the signed forms in Editorial Manager when submitting the manuscript. Submissions that do not meet this requirement will be returned to the author for correction before review.

Conflicts of interest: Authors must state all possible conflicts of interest on the title page of the manuscript, including financial, consultant, institutional and other relationships that might lead to bias or a conflict of interest. If there is no conflict of interest, this should also be explicitly stated as none declared. All sources of funding should be acknowledged in the manuscript. All relevant conflicts of interest and sources of funding should be included on the title page of the manuscript with the heading “Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding.” For example:

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: A has received honoraria from Company Z. B is receiving a grant (#12345) from Organization Y, and is on the speaker’s bureau for Organization X – the CME organizers for Company A. For the remaining authors none were declared.

10. Hybrid open access

WK|LWW’s hybrid open access option is offered to authors whose articles have been accepted for publication. With this choice, articles are made freely available online immediately upon publication. Authors may take advantage of the open access option at the point of revision. These articles are subject to the journal’s standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.

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. The publication fee is charged on acceptance of the article and should be paid within 30 days by credit card by the author, funding agency or institution. Payment must be received in full for the article to be published open access. More information.

Manuscript submission guidelines updated 1/7/2019