These include randomized controlled trials, intervention studies, studies of screening and diagnostic test, outcome studies, cost effectiveness analyses, case-control series, and surveys with high response rate. The text of original articles amounting to up to 3000 words (excluding Abstract, references and Tables) should be divided into sections with the headings Abstract, Key-words, Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, References, Tables and Figure legends.
Introduction: State the purpose and summarize the rationale for the study or observation.
Materials and Methods: It should include and describe the following aspects:
When reporting studies on human beings, 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 2000 (available at http://www.wma.net/e/policy/17-c_e.html). 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 'Materials and Methods' section.
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 (http://www.consort-statement.org).
Reporting Guidelines for Specific Study Designs
Statistics: 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 (P 0.048). For all P values include the exact value and not less than 0.05 or 0.001. 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.
Results: 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 (for example, 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.
Discussion: 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. These articles generally should not have more than six authors.
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. A short summary of the work done by the contributor(s) in the field of review should accompany the manuscript.
The prescribed word count is up to 3000 words excluding tables, references and abstract. The manuscript may have about 90 references. The manuscript should have an unstructured Abstract (250 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 methods should also be summarized in the abstract.
The journal expects the contributors to give post-publication updates on the subject of review. The update should be brief, covering the advances in the field after the publication of the article and should be sent as a letter to editor, as and when major development occurs in the field.
New, interesting and rare cases can be reported. They should be unique, describing a great diagnostic or therapeutic challenge and providing a learning point for the readers. Cases with clinical significance or implications will be given priority. These communications could be of up to 1000 words (excluding Abstract and references) and should have the following headings: Abstract (unstructured), Key-words, Introduction, Case report, Discussion, Reference, Tables and Legends in that order.
The manuscript could be of up to 1000 words (excluding references and abstract) and could be supported with up to 10 references. Case Reports could be authored by up to four authors.
Letter to the Editor:
These should be short and decisive observations. They should preferably be related to articles previously published in the Journal or views expressed in the journal. They should not be preliminary observations that need a later paper for validation. The letter could have up to 500 words and 5 references. It could be generally authored by not more than four authors.
Editorial, Guest Editorial, and Commentary are solicited by the editorial board.
References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text (not in alphabetic order). Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in superscript with square bracket after the punctuation marks. References cited only in tables or figure legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure. Use the style of the examples below, which are based on the formats used by the NLM in Index Medicus. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus. Use complete name of the journal for non-indexed journals. Avoid using abstracts as references. Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted should be cited in the text as "unpublished observations" with written permission from the source. Avoid citing a "personal communication" unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person and date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text.
The commonly cited types of references are shown here, for other types of references such as newspaper items please refer to ICMJE Guidelines (http://www.icmje.org or http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html).
Download a PowerPoint presentation on common reference styles and using the reference checking facility on the manuscript submission site.
Articles in Journals
- Standard journal article (for up to six authors): Shukla N, Husain N, Agarwal GG, Husain M. Utility of cysticercus fasciolaris antigen in Dot ELISA for the diagnosis of neurocysticercosis. Indian J Med Sci 2008;62:222-7.
- Standard journal article (for more than six authors): List the first six contributors followed by et al.
Nozari Y, Hashemlu A, Hatmi ZN, Sheikhvatan M, Iravani A, Bazdar A, et al. Outcome of coronary artery bypass grafting in patients without major risk factors and patients with at least one major risk factor for coronary artery disease. Indian J Med Sci 2007;61:547-54
- Volume with supplement: Shen HM, Zhang QF. Risk assessment of nickel carcinogenicity and occupational lung cancer. Environ Health Perspect 1994; 102 Suppl 1:275-82.
- Issue with supplement: Payne DK, Sullivan MD, Massie MJ. Women's psychological reactions to breast cancer. Semin Oncol 1996; 23(1, Suppl 2):89-97.
Books and Other Monographs
- Personal author(s): Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd ed. Albany (NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.
- Editor(s), compiler(s) as author: Norman IJ, Redfern SJ, editors. Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1996.
- Chapter in a book: Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995. pp. 465-78.
Electronic Sources as reference
Journal article on the Internet
Abood S. Quality improvement initiative in nursing homes: the ANA acts in an advisory role. Am J Nurs [serial on the Internet]. 2002 Jun [cited 2002 Aug 12];102(6):[about 3 p.]. Available from: http://www.nursingworld.org/AJN/2002/june/Wawatch.htm
Monograph on the Internet
Foley KM, Gelband H, editors. Improving palliative care for cancer [monograph on the Internet]. Washington: National Academy Press; 2001 [cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from: http://www.nap.edu/books/0309074029/html/.
Cancer-Pain.org [homepage on the Internet]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc.; c2000-01 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from: http://www.cancer-pain.org/.
Part of a homepage/Web site
American Medical Association [homepage on the Internet]. Chicago: The Association; c1995-2002 [updated 2001 Aug 23; cited 2002 Aug 12]. AMA Office of Group Practice Liaison; [about 2 screens]. Available from: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/1736.html
- Tables should be self-explanatory and should not duplicate textual material.
- Tables with more than 10 columns and 25 rows are not acceptable.
- Number tables, in Arabic numerals, consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each.
- Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading.
- Explain in footnotes all non-standard abbreviations that are used in each table.
- Obtain permission for all fully borrowed, adapted, and modified tables and provide a credit line in the footnote.
- For footnotes use the following symbols, in this sequence: *, ', ', ', ||,' , **, ', '
- Tables with their legends should be provided at the end of the text after the references. The tables along with their number should be cited at the relevant place in the text
- Upload the images in JPEG format. The file size should be within 4 MB in size while uploading.
- Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text.
- Labels, numbers, and symbols should be clear and of uniform size. The lettering for figures should be large enough to be legible after reduction to fit the width of a printed column.
- Symbols, arrows, or letters used in photomicrographs should contrast with the background and should be marked neatly with transfer type or by tissue overlay and not by pen.
- Titles and detailed explanations belong in the legends for illustrations not on the illustrations themselves.
- When graphs, scatter-grams or histograms are submitted the numerical data on which they are based should also be supplied.
- The photographs and figures should be trimmed to remove all the unwanted areas.
- If photographs of individuals are used, their pictures must be accompanied by written permission to use the photograph.
- If a figure has been published elsewhere, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material. A credit line should appear in the legend for such figures.
- Legends for illustrations: Type or print out legends (maximum 40 words, excluding the credit line) for illustrations using double spacing, with Arabic numerals corresponding to the illustrations. When symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters are used to identify parts of the illustrations, identify and explain each one in the legend. Explain the internal scale (magnification) and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs.
- Final figures for print production: If the uploaded images are not printable quality, the publisher office may request for higher resolution images which can be sent at the time of acceptance of the manuscript. Send sharp, glossy, un-mounted, color photographic prints, with height of 4 inches and width of 6 inches at the time of submitting the revised manuscript. Print outs of digital photographs are not acceptable. If digital images are the only source of images, ensure that the image has minimum resolution of 300 dpi or 1800 x 1600 pixels in TIFF format. Send the images on a CD. Each figure should have a label pasted (avoid use of liquid gum for pasting) on its back indicating the number of the figure, the running title, top of the figure and the legends of the figure. Do not write the contributor/s' name/s. Do not write on the back of figures, scratch, or mark them by using paper clips.
- The Journal reserves the right to crop, rotate, reduce, or enlarge the photographs to an acceptable size.
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 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 obvious indication to the identity of the patient, a statement about obtaining informed patient consent should be indicated in the manuscript.