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Manuscript Preparation

The text of observational and experimental articles should be divided into sections with the headings: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, References, Tables, Figures, Figure legends, and Acknowledgment. Do not make subheadings in these sections. Send laser printout, on white thick paper, of A4 size (212 × 297 mm), with margins of 25 mm (1 inch) from all the four sides. Type or print on only one side of the paper. Use double spacing throughout. Number pages consecutively, beginning with the title page. The language can be British or American English.

Title Page
The title page should carry

  1. Type of manuscript (e.g. Original article, Case Report)
  2. The title of the article, which should be concise, but informative;
  3. Running title or short title not more than 50 characters;
  4. The name by which each contributor is known (Last name, First name and initials of middle name), with his or her highest academic degree(s) and institutional affiliation;
  5. The name of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed;
  6. The name, address, phone numbers, facsimile numbers and e-mail address of the contributor responsible for correspondence about the manuscript;
  7. The total number of pages, total number of photographs and word counts separately for abstract and for the text (excluding the references and abstract);
  8. Source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, drugs, or all of these;
  9. Acknowledgement, if any; and
  10. If the manuscript was presented as part at a meeting, the organization, place, and exact date on which it was read.

Abstract Page
The second page should carry the full title of the manuscript and an abstract (of no more than 150 words for case reports, brief reports and 250 words for original articles). The abstract should be structured and state the Context (Background), Aims, Settings and Design, Methods and Material, Statistical analysis used, Results and Conclusions. Below the abstract should be provided 3 to 10 keywords.

Introduction
State the purpose of the article and summarize the rationale for the study or observation.

Methods
The Methods section should include only information that was available at the time the plan or protocol for the study was written; all information obtained during the conduct of the study belongs in the Results section.

Selection and Description of Participants: Describe your selection of the observational or experimental participants (patients or laboratory animals, including controls) clearly, including eligibility and exclusion criteria and a description of the source population. Because the relevance of such variables as age and sex to the object of research is not always clear, authors should explain their use when they are included in a study report; for example, authors should explain why only subjects of certain ages were included or why women were excluded. The guiding principle should be clarity about how and why a study was done in a particular way. When authors use variables such as race or ethnicity, they should define how they measured the variables and justify their relevance.

Technical information: Identify the methods, apparatus (give the manufacturer's name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods (see below); provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well known; 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.

Authors submitting review manuscripts should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. These methods should also be summarized in the abstract.

Reports of randomized clinical trials should present information on all major study elements, including the protocol, assignment of interventions (methods of randomization, concealment of allocation to treatment groups), and the method of masking (blinding), based on the CONSORT Statement (Moher D, Schulz KF, Altman DG: The CONSORT Statement: Revised Recommendations for Improving the Quality of Reports of Parallel-Group Randomized Trials. Ann Intern Med. 2001;134:657-662, also available at http://www.consort-statement.org ).

Authors submitting review article should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. These methods should also be summarized in the abstract.

Ethics
When reporting experiments on human subjects, indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (available at http://www.wma.net/e/policy/17-c_e.html). Do not use patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, especially in illustrative material. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate whether the institution's or a national research council's guide for, or any national law on the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Statistics
When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Report losses to observation (such as dropouts from a clinical trial). Put a general description of methods in the Methods section. When data are summarized in the Results section, specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Avoid non-technical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as 'random' (which implies a randomizing device), 'normal', 'significant', 'correlations', and 'sample'. Define statistical terms, abbreviations, and most symbols. Use upper italics (P 0.048). For all P values include the exact value and not less than 0.05 or 0.001.


Results
Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations, giving the main or most important findings first. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations. Extra or supplementary materials and technical detail can be placed in an appendix where it will be accessible but will not interrupt the flow of the text; alternatively, it can be published only in the electronic version of the journal.

When data are summarized in the Results section, give numeric results not only as derivatives (for example, percentages) but also as the absolute numbers from which the derivatives were calculated, and specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Avoid non-technical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as "random" (which implies a randomizing device), "normal," "significant," "correlations," and "sample."

Where scientifically appropriate, analyses of the data by variables such as age and sex should be included.


Discussion
Include:
Summary of key findings (primary outcome measures, secondary outcome measures, results as they relate to a prior hypothesis);

Strengths and limitations of the study (study question, study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation); Interpretation and implications in the context of the totality of evidence (is there a systematic review to refer to, if not, could one be reasonably done here and now?, what this study adds to the available evidence, effects on patient care and health policy, possible mechanisms);

Controversies raised by this study; and
Future research directions (for this particular research collaboration, underlying mechanisms, clinical research). Do not repeat in detail data or other material given in the Introduction or the Results section.

In particular, contributors should avoid making statements on economic benefits and costs unless their manuscript includes economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. State new hypotheses when warranted, but clearly label them as such.


Acknowledgments
As an appendix to the text, one or more statements should specify 1) contributions that need acknowledging but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a departmental chair; 2) acknowledgments of technical help; and 3) acknowledgments of financial and material support, which should specify the nature of the support. This should be included in the title page of the manuscript.


References
References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text (not in alphabetic order). Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in square bracket (e.g. [10]). References cited only in tables or figure legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure. Use the style of the examples below, which are based on the formats used by the NLM in Index Medicus. The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus. Use complete name of the journal for non-indexed journals. Avoid using abstracts as references. Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted should be cited in the text as "unpublished observations" with written permission from the source. Avoid citing a "personal communication” unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person and date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text. For scientific articles, contributors should obtain written permission and confirmation of accuracy from the source of a personal communication.

The commonly cited types of references are shown here, for other types of references such as electronic media, newspaper items, etc. please refer to ICMJE Guidelines (http://www.icmje.org or http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html).

Download a PowerPoint presentation on common reference styles and using the reference checking facility on the manuscript submission site.

Articles in Journals

  1. Standard journal article: Kulkarni SB, Chitre RG, Satoskar RS. Serum proteins in tuberculosis. J Postgrad Med 1960;6:113-20.
    List the first six contributors followed by et al.
  2. Volume with supplement: Shen HM, Zhang QF. Risk assessment of nickel carcinogenicity and occupational lung cancer. Environ Health Perspect 1994; 102 Suppl 1:275-82.
  3. Issue with supplement : Payne DK, Sullivan MD, Massie MJ. Women's psychological reactions to breast cancer. Semin Oncol 1996; 23(1, Suppl 2):89-97.

Books and Other Monographs

  1. Personal author(s): Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd ed. Albany (NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.
  2. Editor(s), compiler(s) as author: Norman IJ, Redfern SJ, editors. Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1996.
  3. Chapter in a book: Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In : Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995. pp. 465-78.

Tables

  • Tables should be self-explanatory and should not duplicate textual material.
  • Tables with more than 10 columns and 25 rows are not acceptable.
  • Type or print out each table with double spacing on a separate sheet of paper. If the table must be continued, repeat the title on a second sheet followed by "(contd.)".
  • Number tables, in Arabic numerals, consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each.
  • Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading.
  • Explain in footnotes all non-standard abbreviations that are used in each table.
  • Obtain permission for all fully borrowed, adapted, and modified tables and provide a credit line in the footnote.
  • For footnotes use the following symbols, in this sequence: *, †, ‡, §, ||, , **, ††, ‡‡

Illustrations (Figures)

  • Submit three sets of figures. In case of online submission, one set is fine.
  • Send sharp, glossy, un-mounted, grey-scale (if the radiographs, etc. are in grey-scale) or color (for color Doppler, 3Ds etc) photographic prints, with a height of 4 inches and width of 6 inches.
  • Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text.
  • Each figure should have a label pasted (avoid use of liquid gum for pasting) on its back indicating the number of the figure, the running title, and the legends of the figure. Please mark the top of the image by an upward arrow. Do not write the contributor/s' name/s. Do not write on the back of figures, scratch, or mark them by using paper clips.
  • Labels, numbers, and symbols should be clear and of uniform size. The lettering for figures should be large enough to be legible after reduction to fit the width of a printed column.
  • Symbols, arrows, or letters used in photomicrographs should contrast with the background and should marked neatly with transfer type or by tissue overlay and not by pen.
  • Titles and detailed explanations belong in the legends for illustrations not on the illustrations themselves.
  • When graphs, scatter-grams or histograms are submitted the numerical data on which they are based should also be supplied.
  • The photographs and figures should be trimmed to remove all the unwanted areas.
  • If photographs of people are used, either the subjects must not be identifiable or their pictures must be accompanied by written permission to use the photograph.
  • If a figure has been published, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material. A credit line should appear in the legend for figures for such figures.
  • Print outs of digital photographs are not acceptable. For digital images send TIFF files of minimum 1200 x 1600 pixel size.
  • The Journal reserves the right to crop, rotate, reduce, or enlarge the photographs to an acceptable size.

Legends for Illustrations

  • Type or print out legends (maximum 40 words, excluding the credit line) for illustrations using double spacing, with Arabic numerals corresponding to the illustrations.
  • When symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters are used to identify parts of the illustrations, identify and explain each one in the legend.
  • Explain the internal scale and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs.

Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy
Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, sonograms, CT scans, etc., and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the article and copy of the consent should be attached with the covering letter.