Author Guidelines

The nature of IJME is to attract submissions from medical educators across the world. Research papers, review articles, short communications, perspectives and letter to the editor will be accepted. In addition, we would welcome medical educational research carried out for the purposes of Masters or PhD degrees. There is no restriction on the number of words that can be used.

IJME is a primary source for academics and professionals in the expanding fields of medical and clinical education across the world. The nature of IJME is to attract submissions from medical educators across the world.

The journal is published by the IJME publishing team on behalf the International Journal of Medical Education (IJME). The aims of IJME are very flexible and cover the whole range of education and training in medical and clinical education and allied health education and medical sciences, including dentistry, nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Curriculum planning; Development and evaluation (Basic Medical Education; Graduate Medical Education); Curriculum Themes; Continuing Professional Development
  • Pedagogic Practice; Learning Situations; Simulation-Based Medical Education
  • Communication Skills, Student Selection
  • Assessment in Clinical and Medical Education
  • Development of Medical Education Research
  • Design and Production of Learning Materials
  • Web-Based and computer based learning
  • Information and Communication Technologies in Medical and Clinical Education
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Clinical Reasoning
  • Internationalization of Medical Education
  • Medical Education and Leadership
  • Evaluation and Monitoring Research
  • Measurement and Evaluation in Medical Education
  • Post-Examination Analysis of Objective Tests
  • Psychometric Properties of the Designed Scales
  • Patient Education and Counselling

Ethical guidelines

The editorial office of the IJME should have a clear understanding of the list of authors in order of contribution to the paper. All authors are responsible for the content and writing of the paper. Authors submitting a paper must have confirmed that the manuscript has been read and approved by all authors and that all authors agree to the submission of the manuscript to the IJME. ALL named authors must have made an active contribution to the conception and design and/or analysis and interpretation of the data and/or the drafting of the paper. ALL must have critically reviewed its content and have approved the final version submitted for publication. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not merit authorship status. General supervision of the research group is not adequate for authorship. Except in the case of complex large-scale or multi-centre research. Those who have had a marginal contribution to the paper (e.g. colleagues who have just reviewed the manuscript) should be named in the Acknowledgments section. This section should be addressed after the conclusions (see below).

It should be noted that IJME follows the Uniform Guidelines for Biomedical Journals Requirements of the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) for determining authorship (Vancouver Group Guidelines 2001). According to the ICMJE, authorship criteria should be based on: (a) substantial contributions to conception and design of, or acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data, (b) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and (c) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should fulfil conditions a, b and c. It is a requirement that all authors have appropriate accreditation upon submission of the manuscript. Contributors who do not qualify as authors should be mentioned under acknowledgements.

Permissions

Before using material created by someone, it is indispensable to obtain permission. It is the author's responsibility to obtain any required permission in writing and provide copies to the journal.

Ethical approval

The institutional review board (IRB) approval must be clearly stated in the manuscript. A statement must appear in the methods section of the manuscript, including the name of the body which gave approval. If the ethical approval was not required, please explain why you did not seek to obtain it. Please make sure that you provide us with acceptable reasons.

Submission of manuscript

All submissions will undergo a rigorous, fair and prompt editorial peer review. All manuscripts will be reviewed anonymously. Our initial editorial review process (assessing scope and suitability for external review) takes less than 48 hours and you will be notified as such if the editors do not find your paper suitable so you can submit your manuscript elsewhere as quickly as possible. The external peer review process takes approximately 4-6 weeks.

As soon as your paper is accepted for publication, it will be published on the IJME website quickly. You can easily link to your paper from your personal or institutional website. We will inform a large number of medical educators across the world of the publication of your article in the IJME.

Manuscripts, figures and the covering letter must be submitted online at http://www.ijme.net/manuscript/. New users to the IJME must register by clicking 'submit manuscript' button. Manuscripts should be uploaded in Word format (.doc or .docx). Authors who require assistance should contact the Editorial Assistant; email: editor@ijme.net. Keep a copy of the original article for reference. An email acknowledgement of receipt will be forwarded by the journal. Any material sent to the journal will not be returned.

Covering letter

Before you submit your manuscript to IJME, you must make sure your work is original and it is not being considered for potential publication elsewhere. In addition your work must not have been published previously. The corresponding author should state this in the cover letter. A cover letter should be submitted with the manuscript. The cover letter must confirm that all authors have contributed significantly, and that all authors are in agreement with the content of the manuscript. All investigations on human subjects must include a statement that the subject gave informed consent and patient anonymity should be preserved. Authors should declare any financial support or relationships that may pose conflict of interest.

Language

The language of the journal is English. Manuscripts should be consistent in presentation and style. Spelling should follow British, American or Australian standards, but must be consistent throughout the manuscript. To increase the probability that your paper is published we suggest you ask a colleague to critically review your manuscript before submitting it to IJME. If English is not your first language, we would strongly suggest you have your manuscript edited by a native English colleague in terms of flow, correct English grammar and to make sure idioms are properly used. If this is impossible, the editorial office of IJME may help you. The editorial team may edit and improve the legibility of your manuscript if it is accepted by two referees. An English editing charge may be applied to manuscripts that require English language editing. Based on our experiences we do not recommend the use of commercial companies for proofreading. It is of note that the use of our services does not guarantee acceptance for publication.

The manuscript

The first page and the title

The first page should include the title of your manuscript. This should be a maximum of 120 characters (including spaces). Please refrain from using abbreviations and acronyms in the title. A running head (shortened title) must also be supplied along with your title. Also, make sure the first page contains an author by-line, listing all qualified in terms of authorship along with their affiliations and institutional department. The full details of the corresponding author (full postal address, email and fax) must be provided. Please refer to section 1 regarding criteria required for authorship. Finally, include a set of keywords associated with your manuscript in your first page. You can enter up to 5 keywords each spanning up to 5 words.

Abstract

This should be up to 250 words. Try to use short sentences. Do not use abbreviations and acronyms in the abstract section. These must be spelled out in full at their first use in the introduction. Do not cite references in the abstract. The abstract should comprise of five sections to include: objectives, methods, results, conclusions and keywords as follows:

Objectives: A clear statement of the aims of the research should be addressed.

Methods: Study design (research design approach), study setting, participants, sampling methods, sample size, data collection and analysis methods should be briefly described.

Results: The results of the study should comprise the bulk of the abstract. Pick out the most important pieces of data and use them. If you give percentages, ensure you also give the sample size, e.g. 30% (n = 560). You need to give actual data, e.g. (F(2,759) = 9.66; p = 0.000). If a qualitative approach has been used, you need to address a clear statement of the findings with an emphasis on identifying themes coming from the meaning units.

Conclusions: Briefly state the main conclusion (answer the question posed in the introduction). Leave a final impression on the reader. The conclusions should logically follow from the results. Use a different form of words from the discussion to make it more interesting for the reader.

Keywords: Please include up to five keywords which describe your study. Each ‘keyword’ can be constituted of five words.

Section headings

The heading should be clearly distinguished from the text. Do not number headings. Use the present tense for generalisation findings in your study. Begin your introduction with what is known and move on to what is not known. At the conclusion of your introduction, state research question (s) or research objective(s). An introduction should flow logically and be easy to follow. Indeed, the introduction should move from the general to the specific. Use 'we' instead of researchers/authors. Use 'participants' or 'informants' instead of 'subjects'. In the method section, you should state compliance with ethical regulations. In the method section, clearly elaborate how the question was approached. The result section should follow the method section. If there were no significant difference, there is no need to give p values. Do not cite references in the results section. Write all of the results in the past tense. In the method section, do not discuss data but present. In the discussion section, author(s) should answer the question posed in the introduction. The author should discuss her/his results honestly and openly. Discussion must be easy to follow. Explain any limitation of your methods or study design.

Acknowledgments and conflict of interest

Please include a section at the end of your manuscript to point out contributors to the paper other than the writers that have been mentioned as authors. The source of financial grants and the contribution of colleagues or institutions should be acknowledged. The written permission of each person acknowledged should be gained. Please also include details of the source of funding for the study and any potential conflict of interests if appropriate. Suppliers of materials should be named and their location (town, state/county and country) included.

In a separate section, you must declare that there is no conflict of interest that might bias the outcomes of your paper. If it is not the case, you must state the potential conflict of interest.

Appendices

Additional material should be placed in the Appendix section before Notes and References sections.

Tables and figures

Each table should be numbered and has self-explanatory titles. Collectively, up to 5 tables and figures are permitted. Table titles should usually include: type of data, number of respondents, place and year of study. Titles should be indicated above the table. Columns should be clearly specified including unit of measure. All tables should be referred to the text. All tables should be placed before the figure legends in the article.

Each figure legend should be numbered and has self-explanatory titles. Titles should be indicated above the figure. All figures should be referred to in the text. Each figure should be specified on a separate page and placed on the last page in the article. You must obtain written permission for copyright material. You may choose to upload any images which cannot be placed at the last page.

References and in-text citations

Authors are responsible for the correctness of their references and must ensure all references have been cited in the text as well as listed in the references section. References should be presented in the Vancouver style. The references cited should assist the readers to explore the topic further. We suggest the use of a tool such as EndNote or Reference Manager for formatting and managing references. If you cannot find the 'Output Style' of the IJME (Intl J Medical Education) in EndNote you can download it here and subsequently place it in the default location of the styles manager: C:\Program Files\EndNote\Styles.

When citing a website includes the following information: The name of authors, publication year, the name of the website article, the date the website was developed or when the particular online source was published (if known), date the website was accessed and the website URL. Please ensure that the link provided has not been closed. Make sure the names of journals are consistent throughout the reference list, either spell out the full name of the journals or write the acronyms of the journals using PubMed (if the journal has been indexed in PubMed). Please do not make up the acronyms for journals. Int J Med Educ is the acronym for International Journal of Medical Education.

Additional information

Writing up

Our readers are international so write as simply as you can, do not use jargon or make excessive use of technical terms and this will help them to better understand your paper. They may use and cite your papers in their manuscripts. Avoid excessive use of acronyms. When an acronym is used for the first time it should be clearly defined. Do not use an acronym just once. Do not report quantitative experimental works purely descriptively; appropriate statistical analysis should be included. Studies should be supported by in-depth discussion and argument using appropriate forms of evidence and analysis. Literature reviews should include critical and analytical elements and should not be entirely descriptive.

Key components of manuscripts

The Iintroductionsection is very important and you need to tell readers why they should know about your study. Why is your study so important? What has been the question that you have been interested in investigating?  To achieve this, the Introduction should familiarise the reader with the background to the issue under investigation. In the Introduction, previous knowledge from the literature should be addressed with references. Missing knowledge provides the focus for the research question, which leads to hypotheses for testing. Conducting a good literature review on the issue under study creates a robust knowledge base on which to conduct research and allows the generation of useful research objectives, questions and hypotheses.

The editorial board carefully reviews the study methodologies in submitted manuscripts. Serious methodological flaws result in rejection. The Methods section should fully explain research design (approach to study), study participants, the process of sampling, data collection methods, reliability and validity of tools, data analysis methods and legal-ethical issues. If the study approach is quantitative, please make sure you report the response rate. It would also be helpful if you could provide demographic information of the total population of the study, for example, gender or medical year.

The Results section should just focus on the findings of the study without any interpretation. The Discussion should answer the research questions or hypotheses that have been posed in the Introduction. In addition, the answers should be supported by the study results and then should be interpreted in relation to previous studies. Unexpected results should be also discussed, even if they are not supported by the majority of earlier studies. Even quantitative studies should have their outcomes explained qualitatively. Explain the implications of the study, for example in education, practice, research and management and leadership. The limitations of the study should also be reported in the Discussion section, such as the use of self-report tools, single institutions, low response rates and the lack of generalisation owing to non-random sampling methods. If you have conducted qualitative research, it could be possible that your study results have been influenced by your values and beliefs. The use of bracketing and reflexivity techniques may minimise the possible influence of the researcher on the study results.

Style of writing

It would be very helpful if you follow the following points in your manuscript:

  1. Please take a look at the published papers of the IJME as a guide for laying out the manuscript.
  2. Please check your manuscript in terms of typographical errors. Make sure the numbers are correct in the text, tables and graphs. This helps readers to follow easily your manuscript without any distraction.
  3. Graphs should be clearly labelled and formatted.
  4. Each table should be numbered and have a self-explanatory title. Up to 5 tables and figures are permitted. Table titles should usually include: type of data, number of respondents, place and year of study. Titles should be indicated above the tables. Columns should be clearly specified including units of measure. All tables should be referred to in the text. You need to report statistical procedures under tables. For example, F(2,27) = 20.03, p = 0.001. We suggest you report confidence intervals for the difference between two population means.
  5. You can use footnotes in your tables by denoting them with an asterisk (*), dagger (†), double dagger (‡) or the pilcrow (¶).
  6. Figures and tables should be placed at the end of the manuscript, after the reference list.
  7. Please report all statistical procedures based on the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.

Layout the manuscript

  1. Do not provide a long study title. This should be a maximum of 120 characters (including spaces).
  2. Provide a shorter running head for the study described.
  3. Make sure the first page contains an author by-line, listing all qualified in terms of authorship along with their affiliations and institutional department. The full details of the corresponding author (full postal address, email and fax) must be provided. Please refer to criteria required for authorship (see above). Finally, include a set of keywords associated with your manuscript on your first page. You can enter up to 5 keywords each spanning up to 5 words.
  4. Either UK or USA spelling is acceptable, but make sure you are consistent throughout the manuscript.
  5. Use % rather than per cent, e.g. 10 % (not 10 per cent).
  6. Do not beginning sentences with numerals, spell out in full, e.g. twenty students ( not 20 students)
  7. Do not use footnotes in the manuscript. Please address them in the main text.

We hope that by reading these notes, authors will gain a clearer picture of the IJME review process and the factors which influence success. Should you require further information, please contact the editorial team.