Biomedical journals - Instructions for authors
Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has established Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM) submitted to biomedical journals. They were first published in 1979 by a small group of editors of general medical journals (the Vancouver group). Since then, multiple editions have been produced; the last revision has been approved in April 2010.
The URM consist of different statements covering following issues:
- Ethical considerations
- Publishing & editorial issues
- Manuscript preparation
You can find the list of journals that have requested inclusion on the list of publications that follow the URM in ICMJE: Journals Following Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts.
Instructions for authors provided by biomedical journals
The Mulford Health Science Library of the University of Toledo has a website providing links to instructions for authors of over 6,000 journals in the health and life sciences.
Most journals published by BioMed Central offer a Microsoft Word template to be used to generate a standard style and format for the journal article. To find and download the template, open BioMed Central | journals A-Z, click on the link of the journal title you are looking for (e.g., BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth), click Instructions for authors, find Microsoft Word template Download the template.
The Uniform Requirements style for references (also known as Vancouver style) is based on an American National Standards Institute style adapted by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) provides a National Library of Medicine style guide (Citing medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers). Sample references are listed on ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Sample References. Note that journal article citations using Vancouver style list the first six authors followed by et al.; NLM lists all authors:
- Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002 May 10;935(1-2):40-6. (Vancouver style)
- Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, Kochanek PM, Graham SH. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002 May 10;935(1-2):40-6. (NLM style)
According to ICMJE, references should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Journals titles should be abbreviated according to the style used in the list of journals indexed for MEDLINE.
The American Medical Association (AMA) style is another reference style adopted by many biomedical journals. A quick reference citation format for AMA manual of style is provided by the Samford University. You will find on our website a comparison of AMA and NLM citation styles.
- BioMed Central | journals A-Z
- Citing biomedical documents - National Library of Medicine (NLM) style
- Citing medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers
- Comparison of AMA and NLM citation styles
- ICMJE: Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals
- International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Sample References
- Mulford Library: Instructions to Authors
- Quick reference citation format for AMA Manual of Style, 10th ed, 2007