Journal of Medical Biography Guidelines for Authors

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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 scope
The Journal of Medical Biography is an international quarterly concerned with topics of interest shared between the medical sciences and arts. The journal publishes papers focused on the lives of those in and associated with medicine and their significance in various contexts, and on other facets of biographical interest.

The journal maintains high academic standards in both research and scholarship. All approaches to the art and science of biography are recognized, with the emphasis on marshalling new material and on creative thinking.

It is intended the journal should serve a wide readership in both medical and non-medical communities.

2. Editorial policy
Covering letter

The covering letter is important. To help the Editor in his preliminary evaluation, please indicate why you think the paper suitable for publication. If your paper should be considered for fast-track publication, please explain why.

Peer review

Papers are peer reviewed and the final decision on acceptance or rejection remains with the Editor.

Ethical approval

All research submitted for publication must be approved by an ethics committee.

Competing interests and other declarations

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.


All previously published material must be accompanied by the written consent to reproduction of the copyright holder. An acknowledgement of permission should be included at the relevant point in the paper, and a full reference to the original place of publication should be included in the reference list.


Authors of accepted manuscripts will be required to allocate copyright to the publishers prior to publication.


Only the help of those who have made substantial contributions to the study and/or the preparation of the paper should be acknowledged.

3. Types of articles
Categories of paper include: Psychiatrists, Physicians, Surgeons, Paediatricians, Anatomists, Ophthalmologists, Geologists, Midwives, Disorders, Patients, Places, Bibliographies, Eponyms and Historical Vignettes. In addition to original papers, the journal publishes letters to the Editor, book reviews and other features.

4. How to submit a manuscript

Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the guidelines below and should be sent by post: one copy on CD-ROM (together with digital images of any figures) and two printed copies. A maximum of four figures will be accepted per article. The manuscript should be sent to:

Dr Christopher Gardner-Thorpe, 1a College Road, Exeter EX1 1TE, UK.

Manuscripts may also be submitted via e-mail to the Editor at: [email protected].

All submissions must be in English and must be accompanied by a covering letter from the principal author. The author is advised to retain a copy of the manuscript for reference

File formats

Text files must be saved in .doc or .rtf format. Other suitable formats include .tif for photographic images, .xls for graphs produced in Excel, and .eps for other line drawings.

5. How to prepare a manuscript

Manuscripts must be submitted using double line-spaced, unjustified text throughout, with headings and subheadings in bold case. Press ‘Enter’ only at the end of a paragraph, list entry or heading.

Title page

The first page should contain the full title of the manuscript, a short title, the author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s), and the name, postal and email addresses of the author for correspondence, as well as a full list of declarations.

The title should be concise and informative, accurately indicating the content of the article. The short title should be no more than six words long.


A summary of no more than 200 words must accompany all articles. Letters to the Editor, Book Reviews and Historical Vignettes do no require an abstract.


Tables must be prepared using the Table feature of the word processor. Tables should not duplicate information given in the text, should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text,
and should be given a brief title.


All figures should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text. All figures must be accompanied by a figure legend. If figures are supplied in separate files, the figure legends must all be listed at the end of the main text file.

Line drawings should be produced electronically and clearly labelled using a sans serif font such as Arial. Graphs may be supplied as Excel spreadsheets (one per sheet). Other line drawings should be supplied in a suitable vector graphic file format (e.g. .eps)

All photographic images should be submitted in camera-ready form (i.e. with all extraneous areas removed), and where necessary, magnification should be shown using a scale marker. Photographic images must be supplied at high resolution, preferably 600 dpi. Images supplied at less than 300 dpi are unsuitable for print and will delay publication. The preferred file format is .tif.


A limited number of explanatory footnotes are permissible, but should be kept to a minimum. They should be designated by superscript letters (a, b, c, etc.) within the text. The notes themselves should be typed on a separate sheet or sheets. Footnotes should not be used for reference citations.


Only essential references should be included. Authors are responsible for verifying them against the original source material. RSM Press uses the Vancouver referencing system: references should be identified in the text by superscript Arabic numerals after any punctuation, and numbered and listed at the end of the paper in the order in which they are first cited in the text. Automatic numbering should be avoided. References should include the names and initials of up to six authors. If there are more than six authors, only the first three should be named, followed by et al. Publications for which no author is apparent may be attributed to the organization from which they originate. Simply omit the name of the author for anonymous journal articles – avoid using ’Anonymous’. Punctuation in references should be kept to a minimum, as shown in the following examples:

  1. Bloy M. In spite of medical help: the puzzle of an eighteenth-century prime minister’s illness. Med Hist 1990;34:178-84
  2. Sewell JE. Thomas Spencer Wells (1818-1897). In: New Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004:58-73


Symbols and abbreviations should be those currently in use. Authors should not create new abbreviations and acronyms. The RSM’s book Units, Symbols and Abbreviations provides lists of approved abbreviations.


All measurements should be expressed in SI units.


If preparing statistical data for publication, please read the statistical guidelines.

6. Proofs and eprints
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.

A PDF eprint of each published article will be supplied free of charge to the author for correspondence; hardcopy offprints may be ordered from the publisher when the proofs are returned.