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Research methodology - Course files

Biomedical journals - Instructions for authors

Recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing, and publication of scholarly work in medical journals

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has produced multiple editions of a document, previously known as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (URMs). The URM was first published in 1978 as a way of standardizing manuscript format and preparation across journals. The last version, renamed “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals” (ICMJE Recommendations), was released in 2013.

The recommendations cover following issues:

You can find the list of journals that have requested inclusion on the list of publications that follow the ICMJE's Recommendations in Journals Following the ICMJE Recommendations.

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.

Manuscript template

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.

Reference style

The ICMJE recommended style for references is based on the National Information Standards Organization NISO Z39.29-2005 (R2010) Bibliographic References as adapted by the National Library of Medicine for its databases. Details are in Citing Medicine. Sample references typically used by authors of journal articles are provided in International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals: Sample References.

The American Medical Association (AMA) style is another reference style adopted by many biomedical journals. You will find on our website a comparison of AMA and NLM citation styles.