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Information for Authors

Guidelines for Authors: PACEsetterS

PACEsetterS has specific instructions and guidelines for submitting articles. Please read and review them carefully. Articles that are not submitted in accordance with our instructions and guidelines are more likely to be rejected.

Article submissions should by email to:
Dr. Zoe Jordan
[email protected]


General Guidelines. The style of a submission depends on the type of article being written. For example, manuscripts reporting original research should follow the format described below and in more detail in the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals” (www.icmje.org). Authors are encouraged to write in active voice, and first and second person are permitted as appropriate.

Presentation. Type the manuscript with margins of 1½" on all sides, left justified only. Type must be a minimum of 12-point font size. Double-space throughout, and arrange the text in the following sequence: acknowledgments page; abstract with key words for indexing; main text; references; and figures, tables, and illustrations when appropriate. Number the pages consecutively, in the upper right-hand corner. Use headings and subheadings throughout the manuscript and diagrams, tables, charts, illustrations where appropriate. Use generic drug names instead of proprietary names whenever possible. If it’s necessary to use trade names, they should be capitalized and inserted within parentheses after the generic name on first mention. Thereafter, the generic name should be used, if possible. Product names should be treated likewise, with the manufacturer’s full name and the city in which the product is manufactured in parentheses.

Length. PACEsetterS does not have a limit on page length however, papers over 20 pages in length are discouraged. Do not cut the details of a paper or reduce font size in order to get the manuscript to under 20 pages. We prefer to advise authors on reducing length after their papers are peer reviewed.

Sourcing. Authors must provide proper sourcing throughout their papers. Primary sources should be used. A published literature review can serve as a primary source for discussions of the conclusions of the review but should not be cited as the source of the specific details of one study included in the review. In such cases, the author must cite the original publication of the study as the source. Textbooks, dictionaries, and encyclopedias (including Wikipedia) are seldom appropriate references.

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.

References. Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references and for correct text citation (see Sourcing, above). Authors may submit manuscripts that adhere to the Vancouver style described in the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.” For editing purposes, however, we prefer manuscripts with references formatted in scientific notation, as defined by the American Psychological Association (APA; www.apastyle.org).

For all manuscripts accepted for publication, the accuracy of the content and references is checked. Authors may be required to submit copies of source materials for fact-checking during the editing phase. Any online citations must include the URL and latest date the author accessed the page to verify its currency.

Tables, Figures and Illustrations. These should be included when pertinent. 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. If you are uncertain about whether you need copyright permission for an adapted table, figure, illustration, or other material, please note it in your cover letter.

Anonymity and Patient Confidentiality. We encourage authors to include clinical scenarios or case studies in their manuscripts. It is imperative to protect the anonymity of people described in these scenarios or to obtain the written consent of all such people, even if individuals’ names are not used, whenever the identity of such a person could accidentally be determined.

TYPES OF SUBMISSIONS
Clinical Application Papers. PACEsettersS welcomes papers that synthesize research and other evidence to describe best practices and the implementation of evidence into action. Such papers can take a variety of forms. We encourage authors to focus the paper on an area in which there is new knowledge or advances in evidence implementation, practice change or practice improvement. Papers that include discussion of the findings of a systematic review should include the review’s grading of the evidence in parentheses for each practice recommendation, a statement about the organization that conducted the review, and references and Internet links to the original review and the grading system. Evidence tables should be included with systematic reviews.

Clinical papers should clearly define the paper’s focus, which should be broad enough to be of interest to PACEsetterS broad-based audience but sufficiently narrow to present the topic with depth and specificity. Authors should describe in detail how the ideas and information presented can be directly applied in clinical practice. Clinical papers on health problems should include a discussion of the relevant epidemiology; assessments and diagnostics; interventions (including pharmacological therapies) and their advantages, disadvantages, and implications; the physical, psychosocial, and educational issues confronted by patients, families, and those caring for them; and sufficient detail on interventions.

Quality Improvement Studies. PACEsetterS welcomes papers on evidence-informed practice innovations and quality improvement (QI) that include detailed descriptions of the innovation or intervention and outcome data. Authors should refer to the SQUIRE guidelines for a description of what should be included in QI papers (see www.SQUIRE-statement.org). Not all of the areas included in the SQUIRE guidelines must be addressed in detail in a QI manuscript, but the author should ensure that the major themes in the guidelines are adequately addressed.

Original Research. For original research, authors should refer to the guidelines set forth by the ICMJE (www.icmje.org), although we prefer that references be submitted in APA format.

All interventional studies should be registered in an approved, publicly accessible clinical trial registry such as www.clinicaltrials.gov (see http://jama.ama-assn.org/misc/authors.dtl for a list of approved research registries). Authors must include the registration number in the cover letter. Authors of interventional research not registered should contact the editor-in-chief for a waiver before submitting the manuscript.

Original research manuscripts should follow reporting guidelines endorsed by the ICMJE; the CONSORT Group (www.CONSORT-statement.org) for randomized clinical trials, including the checklist for authors (which can be found at www.CONSORT-statement.org); and the TREND Group’s statement on Transparent Reporting of Evaluations of Nonrandomized Designs (www.TREND-statement.org) for studies with nonrandomized.

Reports on quantitative studies should include the following sections:

  • An abstract that includes a statement of the problem and its significance, the study design, the sampling method, the variables examined, the most important finding(s), and most important conclusion(s)
  • Introduction stating the problem and its significance
  • Background or literature review
  • Statement of the study aims, research questions, and/or hypotheses
  • Methods, including study design; a statement showing institutional review board approval and procedures for obtaining informed consent from or for subjects; details of the sampling plan and instruments; and protocols or procedures (please include as an attachment a copy of the protocol if the research is an interventional study)
  • Findings or Results, including flow of participants throughout the study using the CONSORT Group guidelines (the flow diagram of the CONSORT Group is available at www.CONSORT-statement.org); descriptive statistics with absolute numbers as well as summary statistics (for example, mean, SD, and percentages, as appropriate); inferential statistics (for example, t test = 3.41; df = 10; P = 0.002) for all relationships tested.
  • Discussion, including examination of the findings within the context of other research; limitations of the study; and recommendations for practice, policy, and future research.
  • All data display charts must include actual data points; for example, bar graphs must include the actual end point datum for the bar. (See “Tables, Figures and Illustrations” above.)

Reports on qualitative studies should follow the same format as above but with appropriate detail on and referencing of study approach, including design, sampling determinations, methods of data analysis, findings that include sample demographic data and qualitative data, and discussion of the findings within the context of prior research and theory.

Authors of all study reports should also be mindful of the rules on the ethical conduct of research. During the peer-review or editing processes, questions about the accuracy of the reported data may lead to a request by PACEsetterS to have the data independently evaluated by a statistician whose selection is mutually agreed upon by the author and editor-in-chief.