Tthe International Commitee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) produces the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations). These are a set of guidelines which ensure uniform and clear presentation of material being submitted to medical journals for possible publication.
Though the ICJME Recommendations are widely followed only those journals recognized as ICMJE members are required to follow them exactly; always check the journal website for exact submission requirements.
Palmer College of Chiropractic is not responsible for the content of the external websites contained in this research guide. The views and opinions of the authors expressed in these external websites do not necessarily state or reflect those of Palmer College of Chiropractic.
Reference Style & Format
The ICMJE Recommendations mandate use of the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) citation style. Below are some common citations. For further information, please reference the NLM's Citing Medicine (2nd Edition).
Author AB, Writer, CD. Article Title. Journal Title. Year Month Day of Publication;Volume(Issue):Page Range.
Winn NN, Jorgensen AM, Chen YS, Haneline MT. Effects of upper and lower spinal manipulative therapy on blood pressure and heart rate variability in volunteers and patients with neck pain: a randomized, controlled, cross-over, preliminary study. Journal of Chirop Med. 2015 March;14(1):1-9.
- Forthcoming "In Press" Journal Article
Research AB, Writer CD. Article Title. Journal Title. Forthcoming Publication Year.
Miguel CS, Martins PA, Moleda N, Klein M, Chain-Avancini T, Gobbo MA, et al. Cognition and impulsivity in adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with and without cocaine and/or crack dependence. Drug Alcohol Depend. Forthcoming 2016.
- Journal Article via Internet:
Writer AB, Researcher CD, Author EF. Article Title. Journal Title. [Internet]. Year Month Day Published[Year Month Day Accessed];Volume #(Issue #);Page Range. Available from: URL.
Kim SY. Endocrine and metabolic emergenicies in children: hypocalcemia, hypoglycemia, adrenal insufficiency, and metabolic acidosis including diabetic ketoacidosis. Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab [Internet]. 2015 Dec[cited 2016 Feb 9];20(4)179-186. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.6065/apem.2015.20.4.179.
- List up to 6 authors then use "et al."
- Clinical Registration number or other database identification number can be added to the end of the citation (ex. PubMed PMID: 26693212)
Authors. Title. Edition. Secondary Authors. Place of Publication: Publisher; Date of Publication. Page Range.
Ferrier, D. Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews: Biochemistry. 6th edition. Philidelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2014. 552 p.
- Section of Book
Author. Title of Book. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher; Date of Publication. Name of Section Number of Section, Title of Section; Page Range.
Souza TA. Differential diagnosis and management for the chiropractor: protocols and algorithms. 5th Edition. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2016. Chapter 5, Scoliosis; p. 135-161.
- List all authors
- A secondary author is someone who has modified the text (ex. translator, editor, etc)
Authorship is strictly defined in the ICMJE Recommendations to ensure that researchers accept the correct level of accountability associated with publishing medical research.
In order to be considered an author, a person must fulfill all of the following criteria:
- Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
- Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
- Final approval of the version to be published; AND
- Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
If these requirements are not met, a person should be considered a contributor.
Additionally, a single author should be chosen to communicate directly with the editor pre- and post-publication. This person is responsible for disseminating information from the editor to the other authors and contributors.
The ICMJE Recommendations require that a basic Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion (IMRAD) Structure is followed in biomedical research papers. Though many journals following ICMJE Recommendations will use this structure, they may use a specific reporting guidelines. Reporting guidelines are used by journals to assure that research is presented such that the studies may be easily analyzed and reproduced by peers. Be sure to check a journal's website to determine if and which reporting guideline should be used.
Clinical Trial Registration
ICMJE defines a clinical trial as "any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes." All clinical trials must be registered before they begin enrolling patients to be considered for publication. A study that is an analysis or review of one or multiple clinical trials does not need to be registered. The posting of results on the registration website is not necassary. The ICMJE Recommendations mandates registration at either ClinicalTrials.gov or through a registry approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Submitting Your Manuscript
When submitting your manuscript a journal often requires that a submission form be included, and if not, a cover lettter should be included. The submission form or cover letter should include the following information:
- list of redundant publications
- statement of authorship
- contact info for contact author
- any concerns about the conduct of the research
- edits from previous submissions (if applicable)
For more information see the ICMJE Recommendations "Sending the Submission." Many journals have submission checklists, so be sure to check the journal's website for specific recommendations.
Additional Tips and Guidelines
- Author names should always be formatted as "Surname Initials" with no spaces or periods separating initials.
- Capitalize only the first word of the work's title and any proper nouns.
- Do not italicize or underline titles.
- For periodicals, use the abbreviated title as found on the NLM Catalog of NCBI Journals.