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Author Guidelines

Updated 20th July, 2016

Author Agreement

All authors must sign the Author Agreement before their work will be published. The Author Agreement document will be attached to the confirmation of submission email. Authors can sign either by printing out, signing and then scanning the hardcopy, or by pasting an image of their signature onto the document. Simply typing their name is not sufficient for legal purposes.

Publication Ethics

By submitting your article for review you are confirming that it has not been submitted simultaneously to any another journal, has not been accepted for publication nor has already been published elsewhere, in English or in any other language. Any attempt at dual publication will lead to automatic rejection, may prejudice acceptance of future submissions, and may be highlighted within the pages of the Journal.

Author rights

Articles will be published under a “Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial” (CC-BY-NC) licence. The article can be copied and shared freely, without the author’s (or the Editor’s or MUP’s) permission. Any reuse must credit the author, and cannot be for commercial purposes.

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The Manchester Medical Journal seeks to reduce the risk of gratuitous authorship by limiting the number of authors listed in an article. For guidelines on how multiple authorship should be handled please use the following link:

For research papers, authorship should be decided at the launch of the study. The authorship credit should be based on 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2 and 3.

Individuals who have contributed to the article but do not qualify as an author should be listed and their particular contribution described in the acknowledgements section. When submitting an article, the corresponding author will be asked to confirm that all individuals listed as authors meet the appropriate authorship criteria, that no-one who qualifies for authorship has been omitted from the list, that authorisation has been received from all co-authors, that contributors and all funding sources (for authors and contributors) have been properly acknowledged and that authors and contributors have approved the acknowledgement of their contribution.

The author submitting the article is responsible for ensuring that all authors have reviewed and approved the contents of the manuscript. All named authors are responsible for the accuracy of the manuscript, including all statistical calculations and drug doses.

Group Authorship

Results of multicentre studies or collaborative may be reported under the name of the organising group. The group should identify an individual to accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. This individual should meet the criteria for authorship described above and should be the submitting author. A list of individuals to be credited with authorship may be included. Please add an asterisk (*) after the name of the group in the by-line along with an indication that the members of the group are collaborators of the study. The names of group members should then be written under the heading of Collaborators.


Conflict of interest statements

All authors must provide details of financial interests (including employment, significant share ownership, patent rights, consultancy, research funding, speaker’s fees etc.) in a company or institution that might benefit from the publication of the submitted article. In addition, authors must provide details of any other potential competing interests that readers or editors might consider relevant to their publication (for example, political, intellectual, or religious interests).


  1. Structure and format for all articles

1.1.        Title Page

The title page should include the following information, in the following order:

  • Article Title (including the category in which the manuscript is being submitted e.g. treatment x helps reduce symptom y: case report).
  • Name and initials of each author, if there is more than one author, a superscript number should be placed after each name that matches the author’s institution.
  • Department(s) (e.g. Medical School) and institution(s) (e.g. University of Manchester) to which the work should be attributed to. E.g. John Smith1Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester.
  • The name and e-mail addresses corresponding author.
  • Any sources of funding for research and/or publication.
  • Whether the paper is based on a previous communication to a society, meeting or conference including any details.
  • Word count.

If for whatever reason the articles cannot be formatted as they are to appear, information will need to be provided in a cover/title page submitted to us alongside the article

1.2.         Abstract and Body of Text

Follow the guidelines that are appropriate for your article type (see below under case report and series, literature review, audit and research) and adhere to the guidelines regarding formatting and figures.

1.3.        Figures and multimedia

  • Figures should not be included in the main text files.
  • Figures/tables should be submitted as separate files for each figure/table in the 'Supporting files' section of the submission. These should be in their original format, e.g. graphs that are made in Excel should be submitted as an Excel file and figures made in PowerPoint should be submitted as a PowerPoint file.
  • A list of figures/tables and captions should be included at the end of the main text file.
  • Captions should contain a title for the figure, followed by a description of the figure on a separate line. The description of the figure should allow the reader to understand the figure without consulting the main body of the text.
  • Where authors have obtained permission to reproduce items in their article from other copyright owners, it is important that permission has been granted to allow it to be published under the article license (i.e. CC-BY-NC). If such permission has not been explicitly granted this must be made clear on the item. Authors are solely responsible for obtaining permission to use a copyright image in a published article, if this has not been fulfilled the article may be retracted. For example, a figure caption should state:

This figure ©<name>. <full citation>. All rights reserved and permission to use the figure must be obtained from the copyright holder. 

1.4.      Format

  • Use UK spelling throughout, unless in American proper names or quotes.
  • Single spacing only after all punctuation; initials should be spaced: A. J. Smith not A.J. Smith (NB different conventions regarding initials apply in the references. See the referencing section for more details).
  • Insert a space after p., no., vol., fos (p. 67, not p.67) and include a space between numbers and units of measurement such as kg, mm, p.m. (5 kg, not 5kg).
  • Use Arial font size 14 for titles, Arial font size 12 for headings, subheadings and the body of text. Underline titles, headings and subheadings. Title and headings should be in bold.
  • Page numbers are elided: 4–7, 8–13, 16–18 (not 16–8), 20–7, 34–76, 104–6, 136–42.
  • Dates are written in full: 31 January 1678; BC years must be given in full: 536–514, not 536–14; spell out nineteenth century, but 1800s (NB hyphenate when adjectival – e.g. ‘in the seventeenth century’ but ‘seventeenth-century furniture’; use 1930s, not thirties, 30s or ‘30s).
  • Years are elided to two digits: 1974–89, 1974–77; but 1999–2001, 2001–3.
  • Spell out numbers below 10, except when using exact figures (e.g. 3.45) or measurements (e.g. 5 cm).
  • Numbers greater than 999 should show a comma after the thousands digit (3,500, 11,650, etc.).
  • Do not use ‘s’ to make units of measurement plural (e.g use 5 kg not 5 kgs).
  • Always put a number either side of a decimal point (e.g. 0.6 not .6)
  • Use single quote marks for quotations integrated within the text, and double quote marks for quotes within these quotes. 
  • When quotation marks enclose less than a complete sentence, the closing quote mark should precede the final punctuation. When quotation marks enclose a complete sentence or more, the closing quote should follow the final punctuation.
  • Quotations that are longer than five lines should become indented extracts, with one line space above and below, with no quotation marks unless it’s direct speech. Place the source citation immediately after the closing full point with no further punctuation after it.
  • Use three dots with a space either side … to indicate material missing within a quote (but NOT at the beginning of a quote). Use four dots to indicate material missing at the end of a sentence ….
  • Uncommon abbreviations should be avoided, or explained at their first occurrence.
  • Use full points after abbreviations (e.g., i.e., etc., ibid., v., Ph.D., vol., p.m., Prof., Rev., ed.).
  • Do not use a full point after units of measurement (kg, mm, cm) or contractions (vols, eds, Dr, Mrs, Mr, Ltd: i.e. where first and last letters are given).
  • Use % after numbers (e.g. 5% not 5 percent) and in tables, but use the word percent when it does not follow a number in the text (e.g. we calculated the percentage).
  • Avoid using terms and phrases which express gender, racial or other bias.

1.7.      Acknowledgements

Acknowledge all the contributors to the article who do not meet the authorship criteria. Authors must acknowledge any assistance they received (e.g. provision of writing assistance, literature searching, data analysis, administrative support, supply of materials). If/how this assistance was funded should be described and included with other funding information. Written approval should be obtained from anybody listed in acknowledgements, as readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions.

1.7.      Referencing

  • Vancouver style:
  • References numbered consecutively and inserted into text as superscript, enclosed in brackets and should appear outside punctuation. (e.g. ’All grass is green,(1,2) but not everything that is green is grass’.(1,3-5)).
  • Authors are encouraged to use reference management software to organise references.

Literature reviews

Literature reviews aim to give an overview of the current knowledge of a particular issue, and critique of the literature included. When writing systematic reviews the author should adhere to the PRISMA guidelines.

  • Abstract of up to 150 words, with no headings.
  • Total word count should be no more than 4000 words excluding the title page, abstract, references, and figures page.
  • Subheadings are advised, but systematic reviews must contain a methods section that outlines the search and selection criteria.

Case reports and case series

Case reports aim to briefly describe a clinical case with aspects that were interesting or rare, with the aim of adding to the body of knowledge about a condition and its treatment. Authors must have patient (or next of kin if not possible) consent to submit a case report, which should be sent to the journal editors.

  • Abstract of up to 200 words, either with or without subheadings.
  • Maximum of 800 words for a case report, or 1200 words for a case series, excluding the title page, abstract, references, and figures page.
  • Maximum of 10 references.
  • Up to two figures (including images, tables or diagrams) for a case report or 3 figures for a case series.


Audits aim to measure current clinical practice to standards such as international, national, regional or institutional guidelines. For an audit to be suitable for publication it should have completed the full audit cycle and be nationally applicable. 

  • Abstract of up to 200 words with the following headings: introduction, methods, results and conclusions.
  • The total word count of up to 1500 words excluding the title page, abstract, references, and figures page.
  • Main body of text should include an introduction, standard used, methods, results, discussion, conclusions and recommendations.

Original research

Original research includes clinical trials (observational or interventional). Any research requiring ethical approval must include reference to the studies approval in the methods section. Studies must comply with the appropriate checklist: Randomised control trials – CONSORT; observational studies – STROBE; systematic reviews – PRISMA; case reports – CARE.

  • Abstract of up to 250 words with the following headings: Introduction, aims, methods, results and conclusions.
  • Total word count of up to 2000 words excluding the title page, abstract, references and figures page.
  • Main body of text should include introduction, methods, results, discussion and conclusions.
Editorials are usually commissioned but we do welcome new ideas and suggestions. Editorials provide a novel perspective on contemporary issues in medicine and academia. Please see examples of previous editorials in the MMJ.
  • Total word count of up to 800 words excluding the title page, references and figure page.
  • Maximum of 10 references


Plagiarism can be described as using others ideas without proper acknowledgement of where the ideas originated from. Plagiarism will not be tolerated by MMJ, and any suspicion of academic malpractice will be investigated, and may lead to the manuscripts being removed from the journal review process or removal of online publication. For more guidance on how to avoid plagiarism please look here:


Publication timeline

The student editors will endeavour to guide articles through the review process as quickly as possible. This requires prompt response from three levels of reviewers and authors, thus the speed at which submissions progress through the process will vary. Deadlines are in place to limit delays as much as possible and it is asked that authors keep to these. The expected time from submission to publication is 28 weeks.



Accepted manuscripts are passed on for copyediting, where typographical, capitalisation, punctuation, referencing and language errors are corrected. It should be noted that in the unlikely instance that the manuscript is deemed grossly unfit for publication by the copyeditor, the Editor will return it to the author for correction before copyediting and typesetting. The author will be sent a proof of their typeset manuscript to be checked prior to publication.


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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The article is being submitted with full permission from all named co-authors and supervisor(s).
  3. The submission file is in Microsoft Word document file format, with figures submitted as separate files in their original format, as per instructions found in the Author Guidelines.
  4. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  7. Where appropriate, patient confidentiality is maintained with consent acquired and documented in the submission.

Copyright Notice

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a “Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial” (CC-BY-NC) licence. The article can be copied and shared freely, without the author’s (or the Editor’s or MUP’s) permission. Any reuse must credit the author, and cannot be for commercial purposes.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

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Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses submitted to the Manchester Medical Journal will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.