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Article Types

Author Guidelines

All submissions must adhere to the specific guidelines that apply to each type of article being submitted and to general guidelines where applicable.

Articles Types and Guidelines

Article Type Article Template Word Count Abstract required, word count Maximum references allowed Figures/Tables (combined #) External Peer Review Description
Original Research Original Research Template 3500 Structured, 250 words 50 4 Yes Quality original work related to any primary medical research of interest to a broad audience.
Brief Reports Brief Reports Template 1000 Unstructured, 150 10 3 Yes Scientific communication that presents original data in an intermediate fashion between an abstract and an article.
Case Reports Case Reports Template 1500 Unstructured, 150 10 2 Yes Documents a single interesting case that would provide important learning points for students in healthcare fields.
An Approach to An Approach to Template 1500 N/A 20 2 Yes Provides readers with a short case and then summarizes the best approach to interpretations of labs or imaging; diagnosis; or treatment.
Full Article Guidelines & Example
Systematic Reviews & Meta-analysis Systematic Reviews & Meta-analysis Template 5000 Structured, 250 words 75 4 Yes Give a scientific synthesis of primary research addressing a specific question and using reproducible methodologies.
Narrative Reviews Narrative Reviews Template 5000 Structured, 250 words 75 4 Yes Provide an up-to-date synopsis on a given topic in basic sciences, clinical medicine, or humanities in medicine.
Commentaries Commentaries Template 3000 Unstructured, 250 50 2 Yes Provide an evidence backed viewpoint regarding an important issue in medicine, propose new hypotheses or explanatory models, or theorize on the implications of future technology and innovations.
Reflections Reflections Template No limit Unstructured, 150 No limit No limit No Reflections or pieces in narrative medicine or medical humanities involve healthcare providers or patients reflecting on illness, the patient-physician relationship, medical education, or the health care system as a whole.
Editorials Editorials Template 1500 Unstructured, 150 10 1 No Shorter articles commenting on controversial issues in medicine and the basic sciences.
Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor Template 400 N/A No limit No limit No We publish responses from all members of the public to articles published by the MJM and communications on other topics that are pertinent to health and medicine. Publication of letters will be at the discretion of editorial board.
Fine Arts N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Artwork relevant to health and medicine; can include illustrations, paintings, photography or other fine arts mediums.
Conference Proceedings N/A Standardized according to conference N/A N/A N/A No Selected conference proceedings can be considered for publication with MJM. Please e-mail mjm.med@mcgill.ca for more details.
Clinical Vignettes N/A 600 N/A 5 4 N/A Clinical Vignettes aim to present interesting cases in the form of a clinical question. They include the vignette itself and an explanation.
Full Article Guidelines

Article Types and Guidelines

Original Research Articles

Quality original research related to medicine and health, basic science, clinical and epidemiological studies, economic analyses in health, medical education, medical arts or any other primary medical research of interest to a broad audience. Students are encouraged to submit undergraduate theses, summer projects, or honours research projects. The manuscript (excluding references) should not exceed 3500 words, and should be divided into its appropriate components: abstract and keywords; introduction; methods; results; discussion; acknowledgements; references. References should not exceed 50 in number. Maximum of 4 figures and tables which should be submitted separately as supplementary files. All original research articles are sent for external peer review.

Structured Abstract: The abstract should be no more than 250 words and should contain the following: the purpose of the study, methods, main findings, and principal conclusions. The abstract must be self-contained.

Keywords: Provide 3 to 5 keywords that describe the content of the article. If possible, use medical subject headings (MeSH) of Index Medicus, National Library of Medicine, USA.

Introduction: State clearly the purpose of the article, summarize the rationale for the study or observation, and give pertinent references. Do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.

Methods: Describe your selection of the observational or experimental subjects clearly (patients or experimental animals, including controls). Describe the experimental design, the methods, the apparatus (manufacturer's name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the study. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods; describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration. Studies using human subjects must be conducted in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki of 1975. In all experiments, it should be documented that informed consent was obtained from the subjects. Do not use patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers. All studies involving the use of animals must be conducted in accordance with the highest standards of humane animal care, and in accordance with the institution's internal regulations.

Results: Present your results in a logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations.

Discussion: The discussion should focus on the interpretation and significance of the findings. State the implications of the findings and their limitations, including possibilities for future research. Relate the observations to other relevant studies.

Brief Reports

Brief Reports are scientific communication that presents original data in an intermediate fashion between an abstract and an article. A reported is an appropriate, self-sufficient format to present concise research data in cases where the amount of data or discussion and conclusions driven from the results are not sufficient to fulfill an article. Brief reports should be formatted as detailed in the original research article section.

Manuscripts should be a maximum of 1000 words (not including references), with a maximum three tables or figures and maximum 10 references. An unstructured abstract of maximum 150 words should accompany brief reports. All brief reports are externally peer-reviewed.

 

Case Reports

Case reports should document a single interesting case that would provide important learning points for students in healthcare fields. Maximum 1,500 words, 10 references, 3-5 learning points, and 2 tables/figures. All case reports are sent for external peer review Please use the following specific format:

Unstructured Abstract (maximum 150 words): This should include a brief summary of the case including its outcome and the key learning points drawn from the case. Please also separately include 3-5 learning points in the appropriate section in the template (does not count towards abstract word limit).

The Case: This section should follow the format of a typical case report. This includes the chief/presenting complaint, pertinent history (including if relevant medications; habits; allergies; family history; and social history), the history of present illness including pertinent positives and negatives, physical exam, laboratory investigations, and other diagnostic tests or studies performed (e.g. radiology, biopsy, etc.), chief differential diagnosis and treatment plan. Whenever possible please include the outcome of the case. The differential diagnosis and treatment plan are the most important parts of this section and should be emphasized.

Discussion: This section should be used to highlight unique pathophysiology, relevant guidelines how well they might apply, as well as key approaches and learning points from this case. Other similar cases reported in the literature should also be briefly reviewed.

Ethics: Please use generic drug names wherever possible. Consent for publication of a case report in print or electronically must be obtained from the patient or, if this is not possible, the next of kin before submission. An MJM disclaimer form should be uploaded as a Supplementary file. We highly recommend that the authors document patient consent and adhere to their institution’s guidelines. The MJM Patient Consent Form (found below) can be used to document patient consent, but another consent form can be used. The consent form itself should not be sent to the McGill Journal of Medicine, but we recommend that the authors keep the form.

MJM Patient Consent Form English

MJM Patient Consent Form French

 

An Approach To

This article type provides readers with a short case and then summarizes the best approach to interpretations of labs or imaging; diagnosis; or treatment. Summaries should be backed by up-to-date articles and guidelines. These submissions are to be primarily didactic and would serve as a concise “knowledge update” for situations healthcare professionals may run in to in day to day practice. The target audiences for these articles are pre-clinical students and students preparing for their clerkship rotations, especially (but not exclusively) McGill students. The goal of these articles are not to be as comprehensive and exhaustive as other resources like textbooks, but rather to help students in their thinking process and the development of their clinical algorithms. They can also serve as a basis for students and can be then be complemented with more in-depth resources.

Only Canadian and American medical students having completed at least 1 year of medical training may submit this type of article. Please fill out the following form to apply for a topic before writing your article: Application Form

Full Guidelines & Example

Maximum of 400 words for case, question stem, and answer, 1,500 words for the main text, 20 references, 1 flow chart, and 2 additional tables and/or figures. All submissions will be externally peer-reviewed. Submissions should be formatted as such:

Case and Question (maximum 400 words): The article should start with a case followed by a question that is relevant to the approach. The case may be fictional or real and serve as a jumping point to further discussion. It should include a realistic, relatively complete scenario. Second order questions are encouraged (eg, the reader has to read the question to determine the diagnosis but the question ask for the next best step in management). At least 5 multiple choices should be given. The incorrect answer choices should be realistic and ideally include common mistakes that students might commit. The correct answer should be explained and, if relevant, the reasons why alternative answers are wrong should be clarified.

Flow Chart & Other Visual Supports The flowchart should outline the key features of the approach. The flowchart can be focused on diagnosis or management, depending on the case. The inclusion of a flowchart is strongly encouraged but can be replaced with another visual support, as not all approaches are amenable to a flowchart. Please refer to the article “Approach to Anemia” for a flowchart example.

Initial Approach This section is a description of the flowchart, including the reasoning behind the different steps (eg, understanding what haptoglobin is, why it is low in hemolysis, and what is the next step after identification of low haptoglobin), the limitations of these steps (eg, early iron deficiency anemia can be normocytic) and additional details that would otherwise make the flowchart too heavy (eg, “medications” can be included as a cause of anemia in the flowchart and the most important medications or classes of medication can be in the text). After going through this section, readers should be able understand the rationale and meaning of the steps in the flowchart, and should be able to determine what is the next best step depending on the situation.

Beyond the Initial Approach This section is meant to describe the “endpoints” of the approach. For instance, causes of non-immune hemolytic anemia include enzyme defects, structural defects, and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia. The description of these endpoints will vary depending on the approach but can notably include the most important etiologies, further investigation, and management considerations.

Other Guidelines:

  • Do not make an exact copy of an existing flowchart. Any form of plagiarism is not tolerated. If you based your flowchart on an existing flowchart, please acknowledge it in the figure legend.
  • The approach should be standard and correspond to what is used by most physicians who are not sub-specialists in the field.
  • Keep neutral language (do not use “I” or “you”).
  • Use of mnemonics is acceptable, but only if they are relevant and relatively easy to remember.
  • Use generic medication names, if applicable.
  • Limit use of non-standard acronyms, or state the full name at least once if necessary.
  • Use the most current nomenclature. If this is confusing, more than one name can be included once in the text (eg, granulomatosis with polyangiitis and not Wegener’s granulomatosis).
  • Do not include doses for medications. This is beyond the expected level of these articles.
  • Use units from the metric system (eg, hemoglobin in g/L and not g/dL).
  • Avoid generalizations and premature conclusions (eg, Greek patients = thalassemia). Associations can be made but should be nuanced.

 

Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis

Systematic reviews and meta-analysis generate evidence by giving a scientific synthesis of primary research addressing a specific question and using reproducible methodologies. Authors should adhere to PRISMA guidelines

The manuscript (excluding references) should not exceed 5000 words, and should be divided into its appropriate components: abstract and keywords; introduction; methods; results; discussion; acknowledgements; references. References should not exceed 75 in number. Maximum of 4 figures and tables which must be submitted as supplementary files. Manuscripts should be formatted as detailed in the ‘Original Research Article’ section. All systematic reviews and meta-analyses articles are sent for external peer review

 

Narrative Reviews

Narrative reviews provide an up-to-date synopsis on a given topic in the basic sciences or clinical medicine. Articles concerning other areas of medicine such as the humanities may be appropriate if they are of a scientific and/or experimental nature. Narrative reviews should address a specific question or questions in the literature. The word count should not exceed 5000 words. References should not exceed 75. There may be up to a maximum of 4 figures or tables. All narrative reviews are sent for external peer review

Narrative reviews must include the following sections:

Structured Abstract: The abstract should be no more than 250 words and should contain the following sections: Introduction; discussion; and conclusions and relevance.

Keywords: Please provide 3 to 5 keywords that describe the content of the article. If possible, use medical subject headings (MeSH) of Index Medicus, National Library of Medicine, USA.

Introduction: State clearly the purpose of this review. Summarize why this review is important in the context of the current literature. Describe the questions or topics this review will focus on.

Methods (non-mandatory): If a literature search was conducted for the narrative review briefly describe the search used including key terms, types of articles includes, databases searched, date of search and any restrictions on date of publication or language.

Discussion: This should constitute the majority of the narrative review. Please answer the identified questions from the introduction section. The strength of any evidence being cited should be classified as strong (e.g. multiple large randomized controlled trials or meta-analysis), or weak (e.g. small observation studies) whenever possible. Whenever possible divide this section into sub-headings addressing specific questions or topics.

Conclusion: Summarize the key findings of this review, why it is important and emphasize areas of future research.

Acknowledgements: One or more statements should acknowledge (i) contributions that do not justify authorship; (ii) technical help; (iii) financial and material support.

 

Commentaries

Commentaries provide an evidence backed viewpoint regarding an important issue in medicine, propose new hypotheses or explanatory models, or theorize on the implications of future technology and innovations. Maximum 3,000 words, 50 references and 2 tables/figures. All perspectives are sent for external peer review.

Perspectives should be organized as follows:

Unstructured Abstract: The abstract should be no more than 250 words.

Manuscript: Authors may choose how they wish to format perspective pieces. Use of headings and sub-headings is encouraged and is beneficial for reader comprehension.

Acknowledgements: One or more statements should acknowledge (i) contributions that do not justify authorship; (ii) technical help; (iii) financial and material support.

 

Reflections

Reflections or pieces in narrative medicine or medical humanities involve healthcare providers or patients reflecting on illness, the patient-physician relationship, medical education, or the health care system as a whole. These pieces should explore difficult, challenging or uplifting clinical encounters. These articles are intended to provide new viewpoints beyond the traditional biomedical research model. Essays, poetry or other formats are acceptable.

 

Editorials

Editorials are shorter articles commenting on controversial issues in medicine and the basic sciences. Maximum 1,500 words, 10 references, and 1 table or figure. An unstructured abstract of maximum 150 words should accompany editorials. All editorials will undergo internal peer review by the McGill Journal of Medicine editorial board.

 

Letters to the Editor

We publish responses from all members of the public to articles published by the MJM and communications on other topics that are pertinent to health and medicine. Communications do not require citations, but must be concise, and contained in 400 words or less. Letters must not violate the rights of any member of the public, nor contain abusive language. Publication of letters will be at the discretion of editorial board. Letters will be published without editing of content, but correction for typological errors.

 

Fine Arts

All materials submitted to us must be original work and relevant to health and medicine. All submissions must be in high resolution digital format and adhering to the general guidelines. Artwork can include illustrations, paintings, photography or other fine arts mediums. For photography that features individuals, submitter must certify that verbal or written consent was obtained from subjects, and their dignity and right to privacy was respected. For photography that features copyrighted artworks, authors must certify that they have permission to submit a reproduction. Exceptions apply to works reproduced under fair use or under creative commons licensing, copyrighted works in displayed in public.

 

Conference Proceedings

Selected conference proceedings can be considered for publication with MJM. Please e-mail mjm.med@mcgill.ca for more details.

 

Clinical Vignettes

The Clinical Vignettes is a format by the McGill Journal of Medicine that aims to present interesting cases in the form of a clinical question. The medical scenario presented does not need to be exceedingly rare or atypical; all interesting cases with an educational value are welcomed. We encouraged the submission of cases with “classic” presentations or clinical signs (eg, Kayser-Fleischer rings, Gottron’s papules, hairy cells, Aschoff bodies), and evocative clinical images are highly encouraged. The Clinical Vignettes include the vignette itself, which will be published on social media, and the explanation, which is a quick overview of the most important details related to the case presented.

Full article guidelines can be found here: Full Guidelines

Authors should submit the MJM Disclaimer Form alongside their manuscript, which certifies that they have obtained patient consent.

We highly recommend that the authors document patient consent and adhere to their institution’s guidelines. The MJM Patient Consent Form (found below) can be used to document patient consent, but another consent form can be used. The consent form itself should not be sent to the McGill Journal of Medicine, but we recommend that the authors keep the form.

MJM Patient Consent Form English

MJM Patient Consent Form French