Scottish Medical Journal Guidelines for Authors


All manuscript submissions and queries to be directed to SMJ

For details of our policy on depositing articles in institutional or central repositories, please visit our archiving page.

These instructions comply with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals formulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (for further details, see the ICMJE site).

1. Aims and scopeScottish Medical Journal is published four times per year in February, May, August and November – under the editorial leadership of Professor Robert Carachi and a distinguished editorial board, the journal aims for the prompt publication of original investigations in all branches of medicine in Scotland. Scottish Medical Journal provides a unique international information source for the latest news and issues concerning the Scottish medical community. Contributions are all drawn from Scotland and its medical institutions, through an array of international authors. In addition to original papers, Scottish Medical Journal publishes, usually commissioned – educational review articles, case reports, historical articles, clinical memoranda and society abstracts. Papers are accepted for publication on condition that they are offered to this journal alone and that they become the property of the Scottish Medical Journal

2009 Impact Factor: 0.507

5-year Impact Factor: 0.520

The journal currently publishes case reports and research papers up to 2500 words in length with a maximum of 30 references.

Scottish Medical Journal is owned by the Royal Society of Medicine but it has full editorial independence.

2. Abstracting and indexing

Scottish Medical Journal is indexed in PubMed/MEDLINE and Science Citation Index among others. For a full list of Indexing services connected to the journal, please contact the Editor.

3. Guidelines for Authors

Scottish Medical Journal publishes articles on all branches of medicine, review articles-usually commissioned, historical subjects of medical interest, and clinical case reports.

Authors submitting a paper, do so on the understanding that the work has not been published before, is not being considered for publication elsewhere, and has been read and approved by all the authors. Submission of the manuscript means that the authors automatically agree to assign exclusive copyright to Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) Press. Articles published in this journal are protected by copyright, which covers translation rights and the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute all articles printed in the journal. No material published in the journal may be stored on microfilm or videocassettes or in electronic databases and the like, or reproduced photographically, without the prior written permission of RSM Press.

Decisions on publication are based on the opinions of the editorial board.Manuscripts are subject to editorial revision. The right is reserved to introduce such changes as may be necessary to make contributions conform to editorial standards. The journal cannot be held responsible for the opinions or statements expressed by its authors.



As an email attachment in Microsoft Word format only to [email protected].

All authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest when submitting papers for publication. Declarations of funding sources, a guarantor and a statement of contributorship are also required.

For all manuscripts:


All manuscripts must be written in English. Manuscripts should be typed, double spaced including title page, abstract, text, acknowledgements, references, figures, tables and legends. Number pages consecutively beginning with the title page. Contributors with a non-English native language are encouraged to seek the help of a competent linguist who is familiar with medical terminology prior to submission. It is the author’s responsibility to have the language revised before submitting the work for publication. Only minor language revisions are provided after submission.

Title page

Title page, including manuscript title, author(s)’s names and surnames, affiliation(s), corresponding author’s name, address, fax and e-mail; must be uploaded, along with a word count. Total number of words must not exceed 2500 words.


Structure your abstract under the headings: Background and Aims, Methods and Results, Conclusion. Abstracts should not exceed 200 words. Submit your abstract on the 2nd page.


Choose three to five key words and preferably expressions not already used in the title of your article. Please also include the keywords within your manuscript text file after the abstract.


Spell out non-standard abbreviations at their first mention in the text followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Avoid uncommon abbreviations and clinical jargon.

General advice notes

The description of methods and results should be in sufficient detail to allow repetition by others. Data should not be repeated unnecessarily in text, tables and figures. The discussion should simply repeat the results, but should present their interpretation against the background of existing knowledge.

Do not use footnotes, but instead incorporate the information in parentheses within the main text. Supply figure legends, tables and their headings on a separate page.

Units and Mathematics

Use the International System of Units (SI). Enter a zero preceding a decimal value below 1 (i.e. 0.123). Display mathematical expressions distinctly. In hand-written equations on scanned documents, distinguish e from c, u from n, and r from v, and capitals and lower case letters that are often indistinguishable when hand-written; also primes and apostrophes. Use the solidus (/) for fractions and exp (…) when the exponent is complicated. In displayed formulae, the horizontal fraction line is to be preferred.


Graphic elements and illustrations are accepted if providing unique data that can not be described in the text, and should be clearly marked with Arabic numbers as they appear in the text. To ensure correct placement in the journal layout, note the figure reference (abbreviated) within parentheses when referring to the figure in text, e.g. (Fig. 1).

Figure files should be kept as separate files, in TIF, EPS, PDF or JPG format. Providing these formats will guarantee that the quality of the graphics is good throughout the publishing process, if provided with sufficient resolution.

Photographic illustrations should be rendered with at least 300 dpi; please use CMYK color conversion if possible. Graphs made with Office software such as Microsoft Excel, can be provided in their original format to facilitate conversion into printable format with preserved quality. Any other line graphs/illustrations should preferably be provided in EPS format with a resolution of at least 600 dpi to prevent ragged lines when printed. A figure image should be at least 160 mm in width at the appropriate resolution.

Case ReportsThese will be summarised in the Journal and full text will be available on the Journal website. The authors should not include names, initials or hospital numbers of patients, which might lead to their recognition. A patient must not be recognisable in any photograph unless written consent has been obtained.

Authors of case reports are requested to include the following within their manuscripts. Failure to do so could delay the peer review process:

� Title which facilitates retrieval with electronic searching

� Authors of case (corresponding author indicated by *)

� Abstract: (150 words): introduction, case presentation and conclusion

� Keywords (up to 5)

� Introduction

� Case presentation: medical history, clinical features

� Investigations where relevant

� Differential diagnosis

� Treatment including other therapeutic options.

� Operative findings

� Outcome, prognosis and follow up

� Discussion including review of similar published cases

� Conclusion with learning points (3 to 5 bullet points)

� Competing interests

� Authors contributions

� Patient consent (to be included with submission)

� References (Vancouver style)

� Figures, tables, images


References should follow the Vancouver format. In the text they should appear as numbers starting at 1. At the end of the paper they should be listed (double-spaced) in numerical order corresponding to the order of citation in the text. All authors should be quoted for papers with up to three authors; for papers with more than three authors, list the first three followed by ‘et al.’. Abbreviations for titles of medical periodicals should conform to those used in the latest edition of Index Medicus. The first and last page numbers for each reference must be provided. Abstracts and letters must be identified as such. Articles that have been accepted for publication but not yet published should be listed as ‘in press’.


1.McLeod JA, Brabrand K, Smith TS, et al. Review Article. Doppler examination of the allografted kidney. Acta Radiol 2003;44:3-12

2.Avni EF, Hall M, Damry N, et al. Vesico-ureteric reflux. In: Fotter R, ed. Pediatric Uroradiology. Berlin: Springer, 2001:121

For further examples, please turn to the guidelines from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals

Author proofs

Proofs will be sent by email to the designated corresponding author as a PDF file attachment and should be corrected and returned promptly; corrections should be kept to a minimum. Authors are advised that they are responsible for proofreading of the text, references, tables and figures for absolute accuracy.

Additional material or major corrections cannot be accepted at this stage, nor is substantial rewriting of paragraphs permitted. Such extensive changes may result in a delay or withdrawal of the article from publication. Any costs arising from major additional changes may also be charged to the authors.


It is a condition of publication that authors assign copyright or license the publication rights of the contents of their articles, including abstracts, to RSM Press. This enables full copyright protection and dissemination of the article and the Journal, to the widest possible readership in electronic and print formats. A document to verify this will be sent with the proofs. This document should be signed by the corresponding author and returned to the publisher for archiving.


Neither journals nor reprints of articles are delivered free of charge, but can be purchased, provided the order is placed when the proofs are returned. Charges are higher if reprint requests are ordered after the issue has gone to press.

Ethics and consent

When reporting experiments on human subjects, indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 1983. Do not use patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, especially in illustrative material. Papers including animal experiments or clinical trials must be accompanied by an approval by the local ethics committee. Please give date of issue and registration number.

Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published.

All articles submitted to Scottish Medical Journal must comply with the instructions above. Failure to do so will result in return of the manuscript and possible delay in publication.