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Instructions for Authors |

Instructions for Authors FREE

Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(1):e1-e4. doi:.
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Published online


Send manuscripts by first-class mail to James E. Dalen, MD, MPH, Editor, Archives of Internal Medicine, 1840 E River Rd, Suite 207, Tucson, AZ 85718; phone: (520) 577-6737, fax: (520) 577-6747. Manuscripts received are not to be under simultaneous consideration by another publication. Accepted manuscripts become the permanent property of the Archives and may not be published elsewhere without permission from the publisher (AMA). Manuscripts submitted to the Archives will NOT BE RETURNED.

Embargo Policy. Information regarding the content and publication date of accepted manuscripts is confidential. Information contained in or about accepted articles cannot appear in print, radio, television, or in electronic form or be released to the media until 3 PM CST on the second and fourth Mondays of the month. (NOTE: For August and December, which each have only 1 issue, the embargo lifts on the second Monday of the month.)

Authorship Responsibility, Financial Disclosure, Assignment of Copyright, and Acknowledgment Forms. Authorship responsibility forms must be completed and signed by each author and accompany submitted manuscripts. Each author must submit a statement that specifies whether he or she has financial or proprietary interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript.

Group Authorship. If authorship is attributed to a group (either solely or in addition to 1 or more individual authors), all members of the group must meet the full criteria and requirements for authorship described in the form at the end of these instructions. A group must designate at least 1 or more individuals as authors or members of a writing group who meet full authorship criteria and requirements and who will take responsibility for the group, in which case the other group members are not authors, but may be listed in an acknowledgment (Iverson CL, Flanagin A, Fontanarosa PB, et al. The American Medical Association Manual of Style. 9th ed. Baltimore, Md: Williams & Wilkins; 1998; Flanagin A, Fontanarosa PB, DeAngelis CD. Authorship for research groups. JAMA. 2002;288:3166-3168).

Authorship Responsibility. All accepted manuscripts are copyedited and an edited typescript is sent for the author's approval. The author is responsible for all statements in the work, including the copy editor's changes.

Data Access and Responsibility. For reports containing original data, at least 1 author (eg, the principal investigator) should indicate that he or she "had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis" (DeAngelis CD, Fontanarosa PB, Flanagin A. Reporting financial conflicts of interest and relationships between investigators and research sponsors. JAMA. 2001;286:89-91).

Reference to Patients. Refer to patients by number (or, in anecdotal reports, by fictitious given names). Do not use real names or initials in the text, tables, or illustrations.

Informed Consent. For experimental investigation of human subjects, state in the "Methods" section of the manuscript that the appropriate institutional review board approved the project. For those investigators who do not have formal ethics review committees (institutional or regional), the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki should be followed (52nd WMA General Assembly. World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. JAMA. 2000;284:3043-3049). Specify in the "Methods" section the manner in which consent was obtained from all human subjects.

Style of Writing. The style of writing should conform to acceptable English usage and syntax. Slang, medical jargon, obscure abbreviations, and abbreviated phrasing are to be avoided.

Units of Measure. Conventional units of measure are preferred, with Système International (SI) units expressed secondarily (in parentheses). In tables and figures, a conversion factor to SI may be presented in the footnote or legend to economize space. Exceptions to this policy include calories, hematocrit, glycosylated hemoglobin, blood cell counts, and ejection fraction, for which conventional units alone should be expressed. The metric system is preferred for length, area, mass, and volume.

Informed Consent. For experimental investigations of human or animal subjects, state in the "Methods" section that an appropriate institutional review board approved the project. For those investigators who do not have formal ethics review committees (institutional or regional), the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki should be followed. For investigations of human subjects, state in the "Methods" section the manner in which informed consent was obtained from the subjects.

Clinical Observations. The Archives receives many more Clinical Observations than we can publish. Those we are most likely to publish are concise reports that provide potential new insights into pathophysiology, diagnosis, or treatment.

Manuscript Preparation. Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the American Medical Association Manual of Style and/or the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Submit 5 sets of the entire manuscript (title page, text, references, legends, tables) and a diskette. All copy must be typed double-spaced on standard-sized white bond paper, with 1-inch margins, numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page. If a word processor is used, do not justify lines.

Revisions, Editorials, and Editorial Correspondence. Follow the same procedure as in the paragraph above, including a word count, but submit only 3 complete sets.

Title Page. All submissions must include a title page. Titles should be concise, specific, and informative, and should contain the key points of the work. Include the full names, degrees, and academic affiliations of all authors, indication of the corresponding author, his or her address, phone, fax, and e-mail address, the address for reprint requests, and, if the abstract or any portion of the manuscript was presented at a meeting, the name of the organization, place, and date on which it was read. Include a word count for text only, exclusive of title, abstract, references, figure legends, and tables. Financial disclosure information should be included as a footnote.

Abstract. Original Investigations require an abstract of less than 250 words consisting of 4 paragraphs labeled Background, Methods, Results, Conclusions. Begin Review Articles, Special Articles, and Clinical Observations with an appropriate summary of less than 150 words. Editorials, Commentaries, and Comments, Opinions, and Brief Case Reports do not require an abstract.

Acknowledgment Section. List all persons who have made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript (including writing and editing assistance), but who are not authors; any financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript; any research or project support/funding; grant support. Manuscripts with statistical evaluations should include the name and affiliation of statistical reviewer(s).

References. List references in consecutive numerical order (not alphabetically). All subsequent reference citations should be to the original number. Cite all references in the text or tables. Unpublished data and personal communications should not be listed as references. References to journal articles should include (1) author(s) (list all authors and/or editors up to 6; if more than 6, list first 3 and "et al"), (2) title, (3) journal name (as abbreviated in Index Medicus), (4) year, (5) volume number, and (6) inclusive page numbers, in that order. References to books should include (1) author(s) (list all authors and/or editors up to 6; if more than 6, list first 3 and "et al"), (2) chapter title (if any), (3) editor (if any), (4) title of book, (5) city of publication, (6) publisher, and (7) year. Volume and edition numbers, specific pages, and name of translator should be included when appropriate. The reference numbers in the reference list (if any) should be keystroked. Do not let the word processing program generate the reference numbers, using such features as automatic footnotes or endnotes. The author is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the references and for their correct text citation.

Do not include "personal communications" in the list of references. Authors who name an individual as a source for information in a personal communication, be it through conversation, a letter, e-mail message, or telephone call, should obtain written permission from the named individual.

Web References. Please keep a print copy of any reference to Web-only information. If the URL changes or disappears, interested readers may contact the corresponding author for a copy of the information.

Tables, Illustrations, Legends. Number all tables and illustrations in the order of their citation in the text. Include a title for each table and figure—a brief, succinct phrase, preferably no longer than 10 to 15 words.

Tables. Title all tables and number them in order of their citation in the text. Double-space each table on separate sheets of standard-sized white paper. If a table must be continued, repeat the title on a second sheet, followed by "cont."

Illustrations. Submit 5 copies of all illustrations: (1) 5×7-inch matte-finish (or glossy) photographs for all graphs and black-and-white photographs (computer-generated graphs produced by laser printers are acceptable); (2) high-contrast prints for x-ray films; (3) color slides (and corresponding color prints) for color illustrations. Affix a label with figure number, title, name of first author, short form of the manuscript title, and an arrow indicating "top" to the back of the print. Do not mark on the print or the transparency. Original illustrations, photographs, and slides from rejected manuscripts will be returned to authors. Those from accepted manuscripts will not be returned unless specifically requested.

Digital Art Submissions. RGB color submissions are preferred. Calibrated color proofs should be submitted with color digital files, if possible. The canvas size of continuous-tone images should be at least 5 inches wide (depth not important) with an image resolution of at least 350 ppi. Line art images should have a minimum resolution of 1270 ppi. Formats accepted are EPS, TIFF, and JPG.

Legends. Include double-spaced legends (maximum length, 40 words) on separate pages. Indicate magnification and stain used for photomicrographs and method of enhancement for digitally enhanced images.

Photographic Consent. A letter of consent must accompany all photographs of patients in which a possibility of identification exists. It is not sufficient to cover the eyes to mask identity.

Acknowledgments. Acknowledge illustrations from other publications and, when applicable, include author(s), title of article, title of journal or book, volume number, page(s), month, and year. The publisher's permission to reproduce in print and online and in Archives licensed versions should be submitted to the Archives when the manuscript is submitted.


1. Include original manuscript and 4 photocopies.

2. On the title page, include a word count for text only, exclusive of title, abstract, references, tables, and figure legends.

3. Include statements signed by each author on (1) authorship criteria and responsibility, (2) financial disclosure, and (3) copyright transfer or federal employment.

4. Include statement signed by corresponding author that written permission has been obtained from all persons named in the acknowledgment.

5. Include research or project support/funding in an acknowledgment.

6. Double-space manuscript (text and references) and leave right margins unjustified (ragged).

7. Check all references for accuracy and completeness. Put references in proper format in numerical order, making sure each is cited in sequence in the text.

8. Include a title for each table and figure—a brief, succinct phrase, preferably no longer than 10 to 15 words.

9. Send 5 sets of all illustrations with titles and explanatory legends for each illustration.

10. For digitally enhanced images, indicate method of enhancement in legend; provide 5 copies of the enhanced and original images.

11. Provide an abstract that conforms with the required abstract format.

12. Include written permission from each individual identified as a source for personal communication.

13. Include informed consent forms for identifiable patient descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees.

14. Include written permission from publishers (or other copyright owner) to reproduce or adapt previously published illustrations and tables in the Archives (in print and online and in Archives licensed versions).

15. On the title page, designate a corresponding author and provide a complete address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address.


Updated January 2003





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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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