GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS
Contributions to the Ghana Medical Journal should be in English and addressed to:
The Editor-in-Chief, Ghana Medical Journal, P. O. Box 1596, Accra, Ghana
1.0 CATEGORIES OF ARTICLES
The journal will consider articles of the following categories for publication.
Works publishable under this section include original work of suitable standard. Such work must be innovative or contribute further to well-established knowledge in a particular field. Articles on all the medical specialties including the basic sciences, paraclinical and clinical sciences will be accepted. Short or preliminary report on original works will be published under this section.
1.2 Special Articles
Review articles, articles on special medical events, clinical notes and clinical investigation will be accepted for publication under this section. Review articles should cite original works that lead to formulation of a concept, theory or hypothesis. Review articles that seek to draw attention to current medical practice must have ample support in the form of published observations by other authors as well as the author’s own findings.
Extremely rare clinical syndromes or presentations will be accepted for publication under this section. Also a collection of cases highlighting particular trends or problems in clinical practice are acceptable. In both cases, contributors are advised to give ample evidence in support of their claims.
This section which is an innovation is reserved exclusively for articles by general practitioners. The idea is to encourage contributors who are in general practice to share their knowledge in general practice with the general readership. They are given a chance here to share their experiences in general medical practice especially in areas where one has improvised due to shortage of facilities such as in rural areas or where a particular approach to the management of clinical problems is quite different from the normal practice but gives satisfactory results. Occasional new trends in general medical practice will be published under this section.
Correspondence on articles published in the journal or letter to the editor shall be entertained. Such correspondence must reach the editor not more than 3 months after publication of an article. The correspondence may seek further clarification on a published article. In both cases the author(s) whose article has attracted correspondence from readers will be contacted for their comments and both comments and correspondence on published articles will be published together. Letters to the editor are welcome at all times.
Apart from correspondence and invited editorials, all submissions will be subjected to pee review.
2.0 LENGTH OF ARTICLES
The high cost of printing requires that articles are not unduly lengthy. They must be concise.
2.1 Original Articles
Including text, figures, tables and references should occupy not more than the space for maximum of 6000 words including tables and illustrations. Short or preliminary reports should not exceed 1500 words.
2.2 Special Articles
Review articles should not exceed 7000 words including tables and illustrations. Articles on special medical events should not exceed 1500 words or total space equivalent to 3 A4 pages, including figures, tables and references.
2.3 Case Report
Case reports should not exceed 2700 words including figures tables and references.
2.4 General Practice
Articles under this section should not exceed 2000 words. No figures or tables will be published under this section. Articles meant to be published under general practice that have figures and tables will be published under case reports or original articles in which case they must include references.
3.0 PREPARATION OF MANUSCRIPT
All papers should be typewritten on A4 paper, on one side only, in double spacing, with a left hand margin of 3.5cm and a right hand margin of at least 2cm.
Original articles, including short reports, must have the following parts: Title, name(s) of author(s), address of author(s), running title, summary, keywords, introduction, materials/subjects and methods, data analysis/calculations, results, discussion, acknowledgements and references.
The title, name(s) of author(s), address (es) of author(s), address for correspondence and running title should be on a separate sheet.
Case reports and review articles or special articles on medical events need not comply with this format.
The title of each article should not have more than 20 words, or 100 characters, and should express clearly, the aims of the articles.
3.3 Names of Authors, Academic Qualifications, Title.
The name of the principal author should appear first, followed by other authors. The name and address of the author for correspondence must be indicated on the page for author name(s) and address (es). The name(s) and signature(s) of author(s) and co-author(s) should appear on the covering letter to the Editor-in-chief. The first 3 academic degrees and titles of all authors and co-authors must be indicated on the same page as for names and addresses.
3.4 Conflict of Interest Notification Page
Authors and guest editors must disclose specific information relating to any financial relationship they may have with a sponsoring organization and any interest that organisation presents, as well as with any for-profit product discussed or implied in the text of the article. Helpful guidelines related to disclosure statements have been published by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
(see http://www.icmje.org/#conflicts ).
(Effective January 2008)
The summary should contain not more than 250 words and must be structured (see December 2004 issue of the journal). The Summary should state:
Objectives – This should provide a clear statement of the main aim of the study and the major hypothesis or research question asked;
Design – Describe the study design (observational or analytical) indicting such features as pre-post, retrospective, randomization, placebo controlled, case control, criterion etc;
Setting - include the level of health of care, clinical department, community or groups; number of participating centres;
Participants - who, how selected, what entry and exclusion criteria, how many entering and completing the study;
Interventions - what, how, for how long;
Main outcome measures - those planned in protocol, those finally measured (if different, explain why);
Results - main results with levels of significance and 95% confidence intervals as appropriate; and
Conclusions - primary conclusions and their implications, suggest areas for further research if appropriate.
These should include words that emphasis the theme or central point of the research. For instance in a paper on the seasonality of human reproduction in Ghana, the following keywords may be used if it is felt that they emphasis the objectives and significance of the research: delivery frequencies, conception, fertility behaviour, conception probability. However, keywords should as far as possible be selected from the Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) list of Index Medicus.
3.7 Running Title
Where the title of the article is lengthy, the running title may take a shortened form to reflect the main objectives of the paper. However no running title is required if the title is short, for instance, not exceeding four words. Example: Salt activities of Rat Brain Choline Acetyltransferase maybe shortened to Rat Brain Acetyltransferase, as the running title. The running title should not have more 5 words or 30 characters arranged one after the other. A hyphen is counted as one character.
3.8 Papers should be prepared in accordance with the current edition of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals at http://www.acponline.org .
Guidelines on tables and figures, units and abbreviations, are also to be seen in the above references. Two figures will be published free of charge. Subsequent figures will be published at a cost of 12 US dollars or equivalent for each extra figure.
The number of references should be kept to a minimum. They should be numbered consecutively as they occur in the text. Identify references in the text, tables and legends by Arabic numerals placed in superscript.
The title of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Medline.
The title of journals and books in listed references should be in italics. The references should be listed in the order in which they appear in the text
Reference should be based on the Uniform Requirements style (the Vancouver style).
4.0 ETHICS OF INVESTIGATIONS
Clinical studies are expected to conform to the Proposed International Guidelines for Biomedical Research involving Human Subjects issued by CIOMS, (Geneva 1982). Statements about ethical clearance, (if appropriate) and the obtaining of participants’ informed consent should be included in the paper. Experimental animals must be properly anaesthetized to avoid suffering and anaesthetic procedure fully explained in the text. Authors who do not comply with the said code of ethics both for humans and animals will have their articles rejected.
4.1 Originality of Articles
Articles submitted to the Ghana Medical Journal must not have been submitted for publication in another journal. The laboratory or institute of origin of research and the role of each author in the case of multiple authorship, must be indicated. Original articles must be accompanied by a written declaration that the articles have not been submitted for publication either in part or in full, in another journal.
Articles published in the Ghana Medical Journal may not be published elsewhere without the consent of the publishers. Request for consent for reproduction of material published in the Ghana Medical Journal should be addressed to the Editor-in-chief. The publisher of this Journal reserves the right of copyright of all articles published in the Journal.
5.0 GENERAL INFORMATION
Two copies of papers should be submitted. Authors are also encouraged to include a 3.5” IBM compatible diskette containing the text and tables in MS Word format, stating clearly which version of the software has been used. Electronic submissions by e-mail or CD-ROM are acceptable provided signed author(s) page is included.
5.2 Articles are subject to peer and editorial revision to clarify them. Articles that do not conform to the requirements of this journal shall be returned to the author(s) after a median period not exceeding 12 weeks from the date of receipt of the articles. Returned articles may be accepted for publication if they are modified to an acceptable form.
5.3 Authors shall receive one copy of the Journal in which their articles is published. Reprints will be sent upon request in which case authors must pay for the cost of production and postage of the reprints in advance. Each reprint including postage fee will cost 15US dollars or equivalent per page.
5.4 All payments must be made by crossed cheque or bankers transfer to the Ghana Medical Association.
5.5 Frequency of Publishing
The Ghana Medical Journal is published quarterly. Subscription price: GH¢20.00 per annum for Ghanaian subscribers and 50US dollars per annum for other subscribers.