General Principles

General Principles

Submission Process

Archiving
Copyright Notice
Privacy Statement

General Principles

The International Journal of Medical Students (IJMS) is a peer-reviewed open-access scientific journal, created to give a voice to the thousands of medical students worldwide, who actively participate in research and who contribute with their actions to the development of better science and medical progress.

The IJMS follows the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals, issued by the International Committee for Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) code of conduct for editors.

Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with the following items:

  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • The text is submitted using an IJMS Template; uses a 11-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed at the end of the text.
  • At least one author of the manuscript is a current medical student in any University in the world, or a physician up to two years after graduation.
  • The submission supplementary files include: Conflict of Interest Disclosure, Authors' Signatures Form, and Informed Consent (only for case report).
  • The lead author affirms that this manuscript is an honest, accurate, and transparent account of the study being reported; that no important aspects of the study have been omitted; and that any discrepancies from the study as planned (and, if relevant, registered) have been explained.

Publishing Criteria

The criteria that a manuscript needs to meet to be published in the IJMS include: originality, transparency, readability, factual accuracy, clear authorship roles and involvement, and conflict of interest disclosure.

Authorship

At least one author of the manuscript must be:

  • A current medical student in any University in the world. or
  • A physician up to two years after graduation.

Additionally, at least one of the authors of any original article, short communication or review article submitted for consideration for publication needs to be a senior researcher, someone who has experience in the area of research and who preferably has formal research training (i.e. graduate degree).

All authors must be in the Authors Signature Form. In addition, authors are required to identify their contributions to the work in the manuscript. The IJMS has adopted the CRediT Taxonomy to describe each author’s individual contributions to the work.

The corresponding author takes primary responsibility for communication with the journal during the manuscript submission, peer review, and pre-post publication process.

Acknowledgements

Those whose contributions do not justify authorship may be acknowledged individually or together as a group under a single heading (e.g. “Clinical Investigators” or “Participating Investigators”), and their contributions should be specified (e.g., “served as scientific advisors,” “critically reviewed the study proposal,” “collected data,” “provided and cared for study patients”, “participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript”).

Because acknowledgment may imply endorsement by acknowledged individuals of a study’s data and conclusions, the corresponding author must obtain a written permission to be acknowledged from all acknowledged individuals.

Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest may exist when an author (or the author’s institution or employer) has financial or personal relationships or affiliations that could influence or bias the author’s decisions, work, or manuscript. All authors are required to complete and submit the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Each author must submit this form.

Cover Letter

The authors should state in the Cover Letter that the material submitted to IJMS has not been submitted to any other journal and is not under review, accepted or published in another journal. The cover letter should explain why the manuscript is suitable for publication in the IJMS.

 

Ethical Approval of Studies and Informed Consent

For all manuscripts reporting data from studies involving human participants or animals, formal review and approval, or formal review and waiver, by an appropriate institutional review board or ethics committee is required and should be described in the Methods section. For those investigators who do not have formal ethics review committees, the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki as revised in 2008 should be followed. For investigations of humans, state in the Methods section the manner in which informed consent was obtained from the study participants (i.e., oral or written).

IJMS is adherent to the Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare for Editors of the International Association of Veterinary Editors (IAVE). All material published in IJMS must adhere to high ethical standards concerning animal welfare.

 

Plagiarism

There is a zero-tolerance policy towards plagiarism (including self-plagiarism) in the IJMS. Manuscripts are screened for plagiarism before, during, and after publication, and if found they will be rejected at any stage of processing. In case that a paper is already published in the Journal, but plagiarism is still detected, it will be retracted and the authors' institutions and department heads will be notified to take actions.

If you take notice of any unethical irregularities in IJMS content, please let us know.

 

Research Studies Accepted for Publication

The IJMS accepts clinical trials, survey research, reports of diagnostic tests, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, and observational and analytical studies. These studies must be adherent to their specific guidelines posted in the EQUATOR Network and must be registered in their specific platforms (i.e., clinicaltrials.gov, PROSPERO, etc.)

 

Article types

Five types of manuscripts may be submitted:

  1. Original Articles.
  2. Short Communications.
  3. Case reports.
  4. Reviews
  5. Special Section: Letters, Experiences, and Interviews.

 

General Instructions for All Types of Articles

Authors must submit the manuscript using the Articles Template, available at their corresponding type below. The editorial process of a submitted manuscript will not start if the manuscript is not in this format.

Authors must submit these documents, in addition to the manuscript:

If the manuscript is a Case Report, a third document must be included:

These documents must be sent in PDF format, however, if you have problems in exporting PDF files, you can embed images in a Microsoft Office Word© file.

General instructions for articles:

  • The manuscript must be typed with Arial 11 and double spaced. No spaces before the lines of the paragraphs.
  • All names of bacteria or other names in Latin should be in italic.
  • All abbreviations are first described and then expressed in parenthesis: World Health Organization (WHO).
  • The Title should be brief and descriptive of the data presented, without overrepresentation of the results and conclusion. Each word should be capitalized except connectors, no period at the end of the title.
  • For Abstract: It must be written in complete sentences, using past tense, active verbs, and third person. Abbreviations should be avoided. No literature should be cited in this section. The Aim of the study should be clearly stated in the Background section. Following the abstract, provide five Keywords obtained from MeSH/MEDLINE for indexing purposes.
  • The use of instrument of evaluation should be stated clearly depending on the type of study, preferably in the Methods For example: a systematic review (and meta-analysis) with PRISMA, a clinical trial with CONSORT, an observational study with STROBE, a case report with CARE, a clinical practice guideline with AGREE and for diagnostic tests, STARD.
  • For animal studies, authors must make it clear that the procedures they used were as humane as possible and complied with the guidelines for animal care of their institutions or with national/international guidelines.
  • Only published articles or accepted manuscripts (in press) should be included in the References. Conference abstracts and articles which have been submitted but not yet accepted for publication and personal communications should not be cited in the reference list.
  • Simple website addresses are included in the text and not in the numbered references following the text. This should include only websites of international authorities (such as the World Health Organization, WHO) and these may be listed only once or twice and only if this information cannot be cited from a published article. It should read: ([Organization]. Available from: [URL], updated [2002 May 16]; cited [2002 Jul 9]). Where updated is the date the website was updated and cited the date the authors accessed the website to cite it.
  • The references in the text should be shown with Arabic numerals indicated as superscript after the punctuation mark, at the end of the sentence (e.g. “... sample text.1”, “... sample text two.2-4,7”). We strongly recommend the use of such software (e.g. EndNote©, Reference Manager©, etc.). The IJMS uses the numbered citation method. Click here to download IJMS style for EndNote and follow the tips for installing the referencing style of IJMS described below. If using another reference manager software, please select the output style as Vancouver style (See Appendix A in the printed version of these instructions). The references shall not cite retracted articles except in the context of referring to the retraction.

Tips for Installing Referencing Style of IJMS:

  1. Download style file “Int J Med Students.ens” EndNote® by clicking here. Open the file location, it is usually in the downloads folder in C:\Users\User\Downloads.
  2. Cut and paste the file “Int J Med Students.ens” in the "Styles" Folder of EndNote®, usually the folder "Styles" is located in: C:\ProgramFiles\EndNote X\Styles.
  3. Following this, open the manuscript in Word® and click in EndNote® tab and click in Style section on the box and "Select Another Style…". After this a new window will appear, please select style "Int J Med Students" and automatically the format of your references in the document will change to the Journal regulation.

Note: If the title of the article is in a language different than English, please include it translated into English in brackets [], and in EndNote® in the "Language" section, please include the name of the original language of the article.

For Tables and Figures (See Appendix B):

  • The use of Tables and Figures should be adequate. They should effectively support and convey the information on the manuscript.
  • The Tables and Figures should be put in their corresponding sections, after the Discussion and before the References sections. Check the Articles Templates below for clarification.
  • The Tables should be designed to be as simple as possible without colors. Tables are to be typed single-spaced throughout, including headings and footnotes.
  • There are two ways of presenting Figures: photos or graphics. Photos should be sent in JPG or PNG format in the best possible resolution at least 300 dots per inch (DPI), and size at least 1024 x 768 pixels. However, overall size of a figure should be less than 1 megabyte. Tip: use Photoshop and export the image as “very high” or “maximum” resolution). Graphs such as charts, bars, lines, diagrams, Box-Plots, schemes, etc; must be prepared necessarily in Microsoft Office Excel©, SPSS© or Stata© and then inserted in the manuscript file.
  • Each Table/Figure should be on a separate page, within the same manuscript, numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals (Table 1, Table 2, ..., Figure 1, Figure 2, …) and supplied with a heading and a legend.
  • Tables/Figures should be self-explanatory without reference to the text (i.e. the reader can completely understand the table or figure while reading it without having to read the text of the manuscript). All abbreviations included must be explained in the legend along with any other necessary details that correspond to the Table/Figure.
  • The details of the methods used in the experiments should preferably be described in the legend instead of in the text. The same data should not be presented in both table and graph form or repeated in the text.
  • Each word in the title should be capitalized except connectors, no period at the end of the title. The title should include sufficient description so that the Table is understandable without reading the text of the manuscript.
  • The Tables/Figures should be appropriately referenced to within the text (i.e. when describing the information of them in the text, they should state the Table/Figure number at the end of the sentence as: (Table 1) or (Figure 1) (PREFERRED!); or commented: as shown in Table 1 or Figure 1).
  • If the Table/Figure was not originally prepared by the author: (1) the source should be cited in the legend. It should read: “From [cite reference according to ICMJE guidelines]. Copyright© (Year of Publication being used) [Rightsholder]. Reprinted with permission from [rightsholder].” or as stated by the rightsholder in their terms and conditions. (2) the author also should attach the permissions from the entity with copyright for them (usually the editorial and not the author themselves) for use in the IJMS. It should be clear that they obtained permission to reproduce the table/figure from the applicable Rightsholder to use in a Journal or specifically in IJMS.
  • If the original table/figure is not in English, it should include permission rights for translation to English and the translation should be provided by the authors. The license has to be directly granted to one of the authors, it cannot be sublicensed, assigned, or transferred by the author to any other person or entity without permission from the rightsholder.

The IJMS encourages the submission of separate supporting information files, all appendices, detailed protocols, or details of the algorithms pertaining to new protocols or less well-established methods. These are published as online appendices but will be linked to the main article in a fully searchable format. Generic drug names should generally be used and in cases where proprietary brands have been used, the brand names must be included in parenthesis. Where available, the accession numbers of any nucleic acid sequences and protein sequences cited in the manuscript and the corresponding database name should be provided.

 

Specific Criteria

Original Articles

The IJMS prioritizes manuscripts of original research in which there was active participation of at least one medical student or a young physician. This includes papers of clinical, translational and basic science research. The document should be about 3500 words with around 30 references.

The Abstract should be structured into four sections (Background, Methods, Results, Conclusion), not exceeding 250 words (See Original Article Template).

Introduction

The Introduction should provide a clear statement of the problem, the relevant literature on the subject, and the proposed approach or solution. It should also include the study’s objective and hypothesis

Methods

Include the design of the study, setting, type of participants or materials involved as well as a description of all interventions and comparisons.

The authors should also provide a description of the type of statistical analysis used, including a power calculation when appropriate. Well-established methodologies should simply be mentioned and referenced. For new methods, the protocols should be included.

The authors should provide enough detail to enable reproduction of the findings.

Results

The results should be presented with clarity and precision. The results should be written in the past tense. Results should be explained, but largely without referring to the literature. Discussion, speculation and detailed interpretation of data should not be included in the Results but should be put into the Discussion section. The data should be presented in a logical order and according to the sequence of tables and figures (e.g., first description of the population, then following a logical order according to the study).

Discussion

The discussion should interpret the findings in view of the results obtained in this and in past studies. Do not repeat the results in the Discussion section. The first paragraph is usually a summary of the Results section. Then the discussion is presented in a logical order. Limitations of the presented study should be included in this section.

State the conclusions in a few sentences at the end of the Discussion section, typically as the final paragraph of this section.

References

The references should be around 30 references. Authors are encouraged to keep the number of references limited to those that are important for the understanding of the manuscript and of scientific relevance.

 

Short Communications

Short Communications should present a complete study that is more limited in scope than a full-length paper. This indicates that all the requirements specific for Original Articles mentioned above are also required upon submitting a Short Communication to the IJMS, with the following exceptions:

  1. Abstract should be structured into four sections (Background, Methods, Results, Conclusion), not exceeding 250 words.
  2. The manuscript should contain 2000 words (without including Abstract and citations) and maximum 25 references (See Short Communication Template).
  3. A maximum of two Figures and one Table.

 

Case report

Case reports are intended to inform, entertain, and inspire. Present a diagnostic conundrum, and explain how it was solved. The main aspects that should be presented are: presentation, history, examination, investigations, management, and outcome. In the Discussion, educate the reader about the reported case. Case reports should enlighten readers about a condition or presentation that they find interesting. Rarity and overspecialization are not necessary (See Case Report Template).

Consent for electronic publication must be obtained from the patient or, if this is not possible, the next of kin, as well as for any pictures included in the manuscript (See a sample Patient Consent Form).

The following specific criteria should be considered for Case Report Manuscripts:

  1. Abstract should be structured into three sections (Background, Case, Conclusion), not exceeding 250 words.
  2. The manuscript should contain 1500 words (without including the Abstract and References), with up to 10 references.
  3. Figures (up to a maximum of two) can be helpful.

 

Reviews

The suggested outline of the Discussion of reviews of medical disorders includes an Introduction, Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management and Prevention (See Review Template).

The IJMS encourages authors to adhere to the PRISMA Statement Checklist before submission. All Reviews should include a brief section entitled “Search strategy and selection criteria” stating the sources (including databases, keywords and free text search terms and filters, and reference lists from journals or books) of the material covered, and the criteria used to include or exclude studies. Citations to papers published in non-peer-reviewed supplements are discouraged.

The following specific criteria should be considered for Review Manuscripts:

  1. Abstract should be unstructured (just a paragraph), not exceeding 250 words.
  2. The manuscript should contain around 4500 words (without including the Abstract and References), with up to 100 references.
  3. Figures and tables (up to a maximum of five) can be helpful to aid the reader.

 

Special section

This section includes Letters, Experiences, Interviews and other type of publications of interest to IJMS readers. We welcome correspondence on content published in the International Journal of Medical Students or on other topics of interest to our readers, through a Letter to the Editor. Letters of general interest, unlinked to items published in the journal, are also accepted. These can be up to 1000 words long and include up to 10 references.

Letter to the Editor

Correspondence letters are not usually peer reviewed (we rarely publish original research or Case Reports in this section), but the journal might invite replies from the authors of the original publication, or pass on letters to these authors. Only one table or figure is permitted, and there should be no more than five references and five authors. All accepted letters are edited, and proofs will be sent out to authors before publication (See Letter Template).

 

Experiences

In Experiences, medical students can send their medical experiences in the areas of academic, social outreach, student exchanges, research and others. This manuscript should have a maximum of 800 words and up to 5 pictures (See Experience Template).

Interviews

Interviews and others sections will be called for by the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Medical Students. This section will also include short communications from our Partners about their national or international meetings and outcomes (See Interview Template). We do not publish elective experiences, unless they represent particular interest to the readership.

 

Further information about tables, figures and references can be found in the print version of the norms for authors.

 

Submission Process

Submission

Submission to the IJMS is through our website. At least the Corresponding Author should be registered in the website as Author. From User Home, choose “New Submission” to start the five-step submission process. Here are some notes on each step:

  1. There is a space dedicated for notes for the editor, the IJMS encourages authors to provide contact details (including e-mail addresses) and area of expertise of a maximum of three potential peer reviewers in this space. These suggested reviewers should be experts in the field of study relevant to the manuscript and should not be members of the same research or academic institution as the authors.
  2. Note that the manuscript must be submitted as ‘Submission file’.
  3. The Submission Metadata includes the authors’ information. Choose “Add Author” to add the information of co-authors. The authors’ and co-authors’ metadata must be filled out completely and clearly. The Bio Statement of the Corresponding Author must be written for publication purposes. The title, abstract, keywords, and References should be entered in the metadata.
  4. The documents mentioned in Table 1 must be uploaded as supplementary files. Delays in uploading all the required documents result in delaying the editorial process.
  5. Confirm the submission. Upon completing the 5 steps, an acknowledgment will be sent to the Corresponding Author’s email address.

Table 1. Documents, Formats and File Extensions to be Submitted as Supplementary Files.

Document

Format

Extensions

1

Cover Letter.

PDF

.pdf

2

Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest, for each author.

PDF

.pdf

3

Author’s Signature Form.

PDF

.pdf

4

Patient Consent Form, if applicable.

PDF

.pdf

5

Photos, if any.

JPG or PNG format

.jpg or .npg

6

Graphs: charts, histograms, diagrams, Box-Plots, schemes, etc; if any.

Excel©, SPSS© Output Navigator or Stata© Graph

.xls/x, .spo

or .gph

 

 

 

 

 

 

After submission, the Corresponding Author can keep track of the progress of the editorial process by logging into the IJMS website and choosing the manuscript submitted.

 

Editorial and Peer Review Process

The IJMS aims to provide all authors with an efficient, unbiased, fair and consistent editorial process. Submitted manuscripts will be evaluated by the Scientific Editor for fulfilling the IJMS requirements. Then they will be assigned to a member of the Editorial Board (usually an Associate Editor). The Associate Editor with his team of Student Editors will assess the manuscript to determine whether it is within the scope of the Journal, the quality of the data presented, and the standard of presentation before sending it for peer review. If the article is suitable for the Journal, Two Student Editors will carry an independent review of the manuscript based on standardized forms specifically designed to assess each type of article based on international guideliness for the preparation of manunscripts (i.e., STROBE, CONSORT, AGREE, etc.). The Associate Editor will review the Student Editors responses and send a response by email to the author with the required editions standarizing the responses and checking their accuracy. After this first step and receiving the response from the authors, the manuscript is sent to Peer-Reviewers.

The author could suggest or be ask to suggest reviewers and they will be considered alongside other potential reviewers identified by their publication record or recommended by Editorial Board members. However, the final decision on the choice of reviewers rests with the Editorial Board without any obligation to contact any of the authors recommended peer reviewers.

Manuscripts will be sent to at least two Peer-Reviewers who will independently assess if the manuscript is technically and scientifically sound and coherent. The final editorial decision is made based on the recommendations of the Peer-Reviewers provided these observations are in accord without any strong dissenting opinions. Once all reviews have been received and considered by the Editors, a final decision is made and a letter is drafted to the corresponding author. The final decision on acceptance, revisions required, or rejection of manuscripts is under the discretion of the Executive and Editorial Board.

The review process takes eight weeks on average and the decision is notified by email

Possible final decisions include:

  • Accept Submission.
  • Revision required.
  • Resubmit for review.
  • Decline submission.

Where there are issues with the standard of presentation or clarity of language, the authors will be informed accordingly and provided with suggestions or assistance for rectification.

 

Copyediting and Layout

After a manuscript is accepted, a copyeditor communicates the final style and language corrections to the author as an Initial Copyedit. The author should be able to comply with the requested edits accordingly and upload a new version of the manuscript with the suggested changes promptly. The Final Copyedit is then moved to the next step: Layout. In the Layout step, the Design Editor diagrams the final copy of the to-be-published article.

 

Proofs and Reprints

Electronic proofs will be available on the website to the corresponding author as a PDF file.

Page proofs are considered to be the final version of the manuscript prior to its publication. With the exception of typographical or minor errors, no significant changes will be made to the manuscript at the proof stage. The corresponding author is expected to approve the final PDF copy promptly to avoid unnecessary delays in publication.

Because IJMS will be published freely online, authors will have free electronic access to the full text (in PDF) of the article. Authors can freely download the PDF file from which they can print unlimited copies of their articles.

 

Archiving

The IJMS utilizes the LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) and CLOCKSS (Controlled LOCKSS) systems to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration.

 

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. The Author retains copyright in the Work, where the term “Work” shall include all digital objects that may result in subsequent electronic publication or distribution.
  2. Upon acceptance of the Work, the author shall grant to the Publisher the right of first publication of the Work.
  3. The Author shall grant to the Publisher and its agents the nonexclusive perpetual right and license to publish, archive, and make accessible the Work in whole or in part in all forms of media now or hereafter known under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License or its equivalent, which, for the avoidance of doubt, allows others to copy, distribute, and transmit the Work under the following conditions:
    1. Attribution—other users must attribute the Work in the manner specified by the author as indicated on the journal Web site;

with the understanding that the above condition can be waived with permission from the Author and that where the Work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.

  1. The Author is able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the nonexclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the Work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as long as there is provided in the document an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post online a prepublication manuscript (but not the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version of the Work) in institutional repositories or on their Websites prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work. Any such posting made before acceptance and publication of the Work shall be updated upon publication to include a reference to the Publisher-assigned DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and a link to the online abstract for the final published Work in the Journal.
  3. Upon Publisher’s request, the Author agrees to furnish promptly to Publisher, at the Author’s own expense, written evidence of the permissions, licenses, and consents for use of third-party material included within the Work, except as determined by Publisher to be covered by the principles of Fair Use.
  4. The Author represents and warrants that:
    1. the Work is the Author’s original work;
    2. the Author has not transferred, and will not transfer, exclusive rights in the Work to any third party;
    3. the Work is not pending review or under consideration by another publisher;
    4. the Work has not previously been published;
    5. the Work contains no misrepresentation or infringement of the Work or property of other authors or third parties; and
    6. the Work contains no libel, invasion of privacy, or other unlawful matter.
  5. The Author agrees to indemnify and hold Publisher harmless from Author’s breach of the representations and warranties contained in Paragraph 6 above, as well as any claim or proceeding relating to Publisher’s use and publication of any content contained in the Work, including third-party content.

 

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

The information published in the International Journal of Medical Students are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Journal nor its Executive Board. Neither the IJMS and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.