Editorial Policies


Section Policies

Table of Contents

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer-reviewed


Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer-reviewed

Original Article, Short communication, Case report, and Review

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer-reviewed

Interviews, Experiences, and Letters to the Editor

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer-reviewed

Supplements: Abstract books of medical students conferences

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer-reviewed

Errata, Retraction

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer-reviewed

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Peer Review Process

All papers submitted to the International Journal of Medical Students will undergo a two steps peer-reviewers process. The first step of revisions is based on an internal peer-reviews process carried by two Student Editors who will work together with one Associate Editor or a member of the Executive Committee. In the second step, the manuscript will be reviewed by two anonymous peer-reviewers (experts in the subject matter external to the Journal. In some rare cases, Editorial Team members can be invited to review). The authors will remain anonymous to all the referees. The typical time taken to conduct the reviews is one to two months. Read more about the Editorial and Peer-Review process.

Reviewers are given two weeks to complete their tasks.

Reviewers and editors are obliged to retain the contents as privileged and confidential until publication. The Editor in Chief and Editorial Board will have final authority over an article's suitability for publication.

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Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content. Our publisher, the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh, abides by the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of Open Access:

“By “open access” to [peer-reviewed research literature], we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”

Researchers engage in discovery for the public good, yet because of cost barriers or use restrictions imposed by other publishers, research results are not available to the full community of potential users. It is our mission to support a greater global exchange of knowledge by making the research published in this journal open to the public and reusable under the terms of a Creative Commons CC-BY license.

Furthermore, we encourage authors to post their pre-publication manuscript in institutional repositories or on their Web sites prior to and during the submission process, in-press versions, and to post the Publisher’s final formatted PDF version after publication. These practices benefit authors with productive exchanges as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.

There are no article processing charges, submissions fees, or any other costs required of authors to submit, review, or publish articles in the IJMS.

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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.

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Editorial Team Structure

Student Editors

They are medical students enrolled in medical training from all around the globe. They are selected every year after a public call for applicants. The Executive Committee is in charge of reviewing the applications. They need to have scientific publications indexed in the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and complete the Web of Science Academy courses of introduction to Peer-Review, Reviewing in the Sciences, Good citation behavior, and Co-reviewing with a Mentor, to be considered for the position. They are in charge of reviewing articles in the first round of revisions under the supervision of an Associate Editor or a member of the Executive Committee.

Associate Editors

They are medical students and recently graduated physicians selected every year after a public call for applicants. The Executive Committee is in charge of reviewing the applications. Associate Editors must have an h-index of 5 or above or publications in the NLM and demonstrated experience reviewing articles as Student Editors of IJMS. They are in charge of the editorial process with the Executive Committee, supervising the Student Editors' work, selecting external peer-reviewers, and making recommendations for decisions based on the results of the rounds of reviews.

Senior Editors - Editorial Board

They are senior researchers with a recognized trajectory supporting, mentoring, and training novel researchers, willing to participate in the Journal, providing advice or support, and recommend reviewers. They, together with the Executive Committee have the final decision over an article publication. Their approval is required for the publication of each issue in the IJMS.

Executive Committee

They are medical students, physicians in training, or recently graduated physicians responsible for the leadership, training, and supervision of the Journal and its activities. Together with the Associate Editors, they make a decision about each submission and discuss them with the Editorial Board. Selected among members of the Editorial Team once there is an opening in a position.

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Statement on Publishing Ethics

Adherence to ethical standards for the dissemination of research results is critical to the research process. The International Journal of Medical Students adheres to the Code of conduct and best practice guidelines of the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE), the Code of Conduct of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

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Data Sharing Policy

Data sharing is a fundamental aspect of contemporary medical research. It enhances the reproducibility, transparency, and integrity of research findings. The International Journal of Medical Students (IJMS) encourages authors to share the data and other materials that support their research publication wherever possible.

What is Research Data?

Research data encompasses the results from experiments, observations, or simulations that validate research findings. This includes raw data, processed data, software, algorithms, protocols, methods, and other materials that are crucial for replicating the study’s results and conclusions.

NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy

IJMS adheres to the principles outlined in the NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy, which applies to all NIH-funded research projects. This policy encourages researchers to share their data efficiently and effectively, making it accessible no later than the publication date of the related research or by the end of the funding period, whichever comes first.

Data Statement Requirements

Data Availability Statement

Authors must include a statement regarding the availability of their data when submitting manuscripts:

  • Clearly disclose whether data is available, and if so, where it can be accessed.
  • If data cannot be shared (e.g., due to ethical concerns, privacy issues, or confidentiality), provide a valid reason.
  • This statement will appear alongside the published article to inform readers about the status of the data.

Data Linking

If you have deposited your research data in a recognized repository, you can link your article directly to this dataset. IJMS facilitates the linking of articles on its platform with relevant repositories to enhance the accessibility and usability of shared data.

Recommended Data Repositories

Authors are encouraged to use established, domain-specific or generic public archives such as ClinicalTrials.gov, GenBank, Dryad, or institutional repositories to ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of research data.

Data Citation

Authors should cite all datasets and material related to their research in the manuscript and include them in the reference list. Proper citation increases the visibility and credit to those who generate data while ensuring traceability and acknowledgement.

Additional Guidance

For additional information on best practices for data sharing and management, authors can refer to the "Sharing Clinical Trial Data" proposal by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which offers detailed guidelines on the expectations and processes for sharing clinical trial data.

Contact Information

By promoting a robust data sharing policy, IJMS aims to foster a culture of openness and collaboration in medical research, facilitating further research and enhancing the educational value of published work. We strongly encourage all researchers to participate in these practices to advance medical science and education globally.

For queries related to data sharing policies, manuscript submission, or other publication processes, please contact editorial.assistant@ijms.info

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement

Published: May 30th, 2022

At the International Journal of Medical Students (IJMS) we strive to institute a platform that supports, promotes, and practices a non-discriminatory policy of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to facilitate the communication and dissemination of scientific literature at the hands of early-career scientists. We promote a culture of impartiality where all individuals are treated with respect and a safe environment of global mutual coordination is maintained among the authors, editorial board members, editorial team members, regional ambassadors, and country ambassadors. Our resolution to encourage and promote diversity is pivotal to strengthening the vision of our journal. Therefore, we aim to reduce geographical bias, and celebrate fairness in our perspectives by advocating diversity in our local policies. Over the years, IJMS has developed actionable policies to promote diversity and gender equality by,

  • Developing an editorial team with impartial representation of people from a variety of cultural, regional, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Ensuring and encouraging balanced representation of women on the editorial team as well as on the executive committee.
  • Encouraging researchers from diverse geographical regions to apply for various leadership and managerial posts.
  • Maintaining equal representation of historically underrepresented World Bank regions such as 'Latin America and the Caribbean'.
  • Following the principles of DEI when inviting reviewers and maintaining diversity in terms of gender, geographical region, and career stage during the review process.

We recognize that there are several dimensions of diversity in numerous domains such as in gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, geography, career stage, religious beliefs, socioeconomic level, national origin, language, marital status, and political ideology. This multidimensional commitment to uphold a strong value system of diversity, equity, and inclusion is applied to all areas of our editorial activities i.e., content, manuscript processing, internal reviewing, external reviewing, and manuscript decision. IJMS further aims to develop; opportunities for equitable participation, and a sustainable environment for impartial distribution of scientific literature. We expect everyone involved in the editorial process to resonate with similar values of zero tolerance for academic bias and publication inequity. Therefore, to support and materialize these goals, we have established a committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion which aims to meet regularly and ensure maintenance of equitable opportunities, as well as provide a biannual report containing; current measures of diversity, and suggestions to improve overall DEI status of the journal.

Related publications in IJMS:

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Policy on AI and AI-Assisted Technology for Writing

The policy aims to provide greater transparency and guidance to authors, readers, reviewers, editors and contributors. The IJMS will monitor this development and will adjust or refine this policy when appropriate. Please note the policy only refers to the writing process, and not to the use of AI tools to analyze and draw insights from data as part of the research process.

Where authors use generative AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process, these technologies should only be used to improve readability and language of the work. Applying the technology should be done with human oversight and control and authors should carefully review and edit the result, because AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete or biased. The authors are ultimately responsible and accountable for the contents of the work.

Authors should disclose in their manuscript the use of AI and AI-assisted technologies and a statement will appear in the published work. Declaring the use of these technologies supports transparency and trust between authors, readers, reviewers, editors and contributors and facilitates compliance with the terms of use of the relevant tool or technology.

Authors should not list AI and AI-assisted technologies as an author or co-author, nor cite AI as an author. Authorship implies responsibilities and tasks that can only be attributed to and performed by humans. Each (co-) author is accountable for ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved and authorship requires the ability to approve the final version of the work and agree to its submission. Authors are also responsible for ensuring that the work is original, that the stated authors qualify for authorship, and the work does not infringe third party rights, and should familiarize themselves with our Ethics in Publishing policy before they submit.


Frequently asked questions

Why has the IJMS decided that AI and AI-assisted tools cannot be credited as an author on published work?

Authorship implies responsibilities and tasks that can only be attributed to and performed by humans. Each (co-) author is accountable for ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved and authorship requires the ability to approve the final version of the work and agree to its submission. Authors are also responsible for ensuring that the work is original, that the stated authors qualify for authorship, and the work does not infringe third party rights.

The IJMS will monitor developments around generative AI and AI-assisted technologies and will adjust or refine this policy should it be appropriate. More information about our authorship policy can be viewed here:  https://ijms.info/IJMS/about/submissions#authorship.


Does this policy cover tools that are used to check grammar and spelling, and reference managers that enable authors to collect and organize references to scholarly articles?

No, this policy does not cover tools such as spelling or grammar checkers. In addition, the policy does not cover reference managers that enable authors to collect, organize, annotate and use references to scholarly articles. These tools can be used by authors without disclosure. This policy is specific to AI and AI-assisted tools, such as Large Language Models, which can generate output that may be used to create a scientific work.


Does this policy refer to AI and AI-assisted tools that are used in the research process, for example to process data?

No, this policy refers to generative AI and AI-assisted technologies, such as Large Language Models, when they are used during the scientific writing process. This policy does not prevent the use of AI and AI-assisted tools in formal research design or research methods. We recognize that this is common in many fields. Where AI or AI-assisted tools are used in this context, they should be described as part of the methodology of the work, with details provided in the Methods section.


In which section of the manuscript should authors disclose the use of AI-assisted technologies, and where will this statement appear in the article if it is accepted for publication?

We ask authors who have used AI or AI-assisted tools to insert a statement in the first page of the submission around the Disclosures, entitled ‘Declaration of AI and AI-assisted technologies in the writing process’. In that statement, we ask authors to specify the tool that was used and the reason for using the tool. We suggest that authors follow this format when preparing their statement:

During the preparation of this work the author(s) used [NAME TOOL / SERVICE] in order to [REASON]. After using this tool/service, the author(s) reviewed and edited the content as needed and take(s) full responsibility for the content of the publication.


Can authors use AI-assisted tools to create or alter images that they publish in their work?

It is not acceptable to enhance, obscure, move, remove, or introduce a specific feature within an image. Adjustments of brightness, contrast, or color balance are acceptable if and as long as they do not obscure or eliminate any information present in the original. Manipulating images for improved clarity is accepted, but manipulation for other purposes could be seen as scientific ethical abuse and will be dealt with accordingly. In consideration of this, we do not permit the use of AI or AI-assisted tools to create or alter images in submitted manuscripts. The only exception is if the use of AI or AI-assisted tools in the creation or alteration of images is part of the research design or research methods. If this is done, we require a clear description of the content that was created or altered, an explanation of how the AI or AI-assisted tools were used in the creation or alteration process, and the name of the model or tool, version and extension numbers, and manufacturer.


How does the IJMS handle copyright if the authors credit an AI or AI-assisted tool in their article?

AI and AI-assisted tools do not qualify for authorship under IJMS's authorship policy. Authors who use AI or AI-assisted tools during the manuscript writing process are asked to disclose their use in a separate section of the manuscript. The publishing agreement process works as usual, with the authors keeping the copyright to their own work.

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Advertising Policy

The International Journal of Medical Students (IJMS) is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of integrity and academic independence. As part of this commitment, IJMS has established a strict advertising policy that reflects our ethical stance and editorial independence.

Scope of Policy

This policy applies to all forms of advertising and promotional content submitted for publication within the IJMS’s various platforms, including but not limited to online, print, and digital publications.

Prohibited Content

  • Commercial Products: IJMS does not accept advertising from commercial entities, including pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, or any other businesses whose primary aim is profit. This ensures our content remains free from commercial bias.
  • Pharmaceutical Products: No advertisements for pharmaceutical products or services will be accepted. This includes over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, and any health-related products.
  • Conflicts of Interest: Advertisements that pose a potential conflict of interest with the content or mission of IJMS are strictly prohibited.

Permissible Advertising

While IJMS primarily restricts advertising from commercial and pharmaceutical entities, the following types of content may be considered for advertising if they align with our educational and ethical values:

  • Educational Programs: Advertisements from accredited educational institutions offering courses, training programs, and seminars relevant to medical students and professionals.
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Promotional content from non-profit organizations that align with the goals of medical education and public health advocacy.
  • Governmental and Public Health Campaigns: Informational campaigns from government bodies and recognized international health organizations aimed at promoting public health and safety.

Review and Approval Process

  • Submission: All advertising submissions must be forwarded to the IJMS advertising team via the designated contact channels.
  • Review: Each advertisement will undergo a rigorous review process to ensure it complies with our policy standards. This review will assess the educational value, ethical alignment, and relevance to our audience.
  • Approval: Advertisements approved by the review committee will be clearly marked as promotional content to distinguish them from editorial content.

Transparency and Disclosure

IJMS maintains transparency in all advertising practices. All advertisements will be clearly labeled as such, ensuring readers can easily distinguish between editorial and promotional content.

Right to Refuse Advertising

IJMS reserves the right to refuse any advertising that does not meet our standards or that is deemed detrimental to our ethical guidelines or editorial independence. This decision is final and not subject to appeal.

Modifications to the Policy

IJMS may revise this advertising policy periodically to reflect new ethical guidelines, changes in legislation, or in response to feedback from our community. Any modifications will be communicated through our official channels.

Contact Information

For inquiries related to advertising, please contact editorial.assistant@ijms.info

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