International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors.

 2.Issues to consider before
submitting a manuscript.

 3. Requirements for submission
of manuscripts.

 4. Separate statements.


Please note: These guidelines have been reproduced for your quick reference, but all material belongs to the International Committe of Medical Journal Editors.

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors

A small group of editors of general medical journals met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the National Library of Medicine, were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually; gradually it has broadened its concerns.

The committee has produced five editions of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Over the years, issues have arisen that go beyond manuscript preparation. Some of these issues are now covered in the Uniform Requirements; others are addressed in separate statements. Each statement has been published in a scientific journal.

The fifth edition (1997) is an effort to reorganize and reword the fourth edition to increase clarity and address concerns about rights, privacy, descriptions of methods, and other matters. The total content of Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals may be reproduced for educational, not-for-profit purposes without regard for copyright; the committee encourages distribution of the material.

Journals that agree to use the Uniform Requirements (over 500 do so) are asked to cite the 1997 document in their instructions to authors.

It is important to emphasize what these requirements do and do not imply.

First, the Uniform Requirements are instructions to authors on how to prepare manuscripts, not to editors on publication style. (But many journals have drawn on them for elements of their publication styles.)

Second, if authors prepare their manuscripts in the style specified in these requirements, editors of the participating journals will not return the manuscripts for changes in style before considering them for publication. In the publishing process, however, the journals may alter accepted manuscripts to conform with details of their publication style.

Third, authors sending manuscripts to a participating journal should not try to prepare them in accordance with the publication style of that journal but should follow the Uniform Requirements.

Authors must also follow the instructions to authors in the journal as to what topics are suitable for that journal and the types of papers that may be submitted-for example, original articles, reviews, or case reports. In addition, the journal's instructions are likely to contain other requirements unique to that journal, such as the number of copies of a manuscript that are required, acceptable languages, length of articles, and approved abbreviations.

Participating journals are expected to state in their instructions to authors that their requirements are in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals and to cite a published version.

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