Instructions for authors: original articles only

Please contact the publications department for instructions for authors of commissioned articles.

Clinical Medicine is designed to keep more than 29,000 physicians worldwide updated on all aspects of the practice and science of medicine. The editor is assisted by members of the Editorial Board along with expert referees in the evaluation of submissions and accepted papers are scheduled for publication at the discretion of the editorial office.

Manuscripts should be accurate, clear and concise but with a style that retains the warmth, excitement and colour of clinical and medical sciences. Unfortunately, we do not normally publish case reports.

Authors will be prompted to state during the submission process if they have any competing interests.

Online submission

Manuscripts must be submitted via Clinical Medicine’s electronic submission system.
Once you have read the guidance below and are confident that your manuscript is in the correct format, please follow the link above to register as a new user, and then follow the on-screen instructions to submit your manuscript.

Text

Please write as concisely as possible. Articles should not normally exceed 2,500 words and 30 references. Due to the intense demands with regard to space, lengthy articles may require shortening and will inevitably take longer to publish. Subheadings should be used to divide the text.

SI units should be used in the text and figures; the author is responsible for their correct usage. Generic names should be used for drugs; if necessary, brand names may follow in brackets.

Abstract and keywords

During the submission process, you will be prompted to provide an abstract of no more than 150 words, and a list of up to five keywords relevant to the article's content.

References

References should appear in the text as superscript numbers, numbered in order of appearance. They should be listed at the end of the article and laid out according to the ‘Uniform Requirements' (New Engl J Med 1997;336:309-15). They should give the names of up to five authors, followed by initials, unless there are more than five authors, in which case the first three only should be given, followed by et al. The title of the article should be followed by the title of the journal (abbreviated to the style of Index Medicus), year of publication, volume number and first and last pages. References to books should give the names of authors (and/or editors), title, place of publication and publisher, followed by the year of publication.

Examples

  1. Health Select Committee. The influence of the pharmaceutical industry. Fourth Report. London: Stationery Office, 2005. www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmhealth/42/4202.htm
  2. Time to disentangle doctors from drug companies. BMJ 2003;326:(front cover).
  3. Abbasi K, Smith R. No more free lunches. BMJ 2003;326:1155–6.
  4. Hewitt P. Trust, assurance and safety – the regulation of health professionals in the 21st century. London: Stationery Office, 2007. www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm70/7013/7013.pdf

We recommend that no more than 30 such references accompany a paper; papers may, of course, be submitted with substantially fewer references should the authors feel this more appropriate. Accuracy of references is the responsibility of the author.

Figures and illustrations

Illustrations can be submitted in electronic format but they must be supplied in a separate file and not embedded in a Word file in the main text. The electronic submission system can accept figures supplied in the following formats:

  • TIFF
  • EPS
  • JPEG

Please note that the author will be responsible for obtaining written permission to reproduce figures or illustrations on loan or previously reproduced elsewhere. A paper cannot be published until our editorial office has received copies of permissions granted; where possible, this should be supplied upon acceptance.

Peer review

Submitted papers appropriate for Clinical Medicine are all subject to peer review. During the submission process, you will be requested to supply names, affiliations and contact details of two potential reviewers. Appeals or other complaints will always be carefully considered. If unresolved, matters can be referred to COPE (see below).

Open access

All articles in Clinical Medicine are open access after they have been published for one year. Other selected content is also made open access immediately after publication.

Authors of accepted original articles can opt for the online version of their article to be open access to all readers from first publication, in order to comply with their funders’ policy or for any other reason. This option is subject to a fee of £1,200.

‘Open access’ in this context means that readers have unrestricted rights to reuse open-access content for educational and research purposes but not for commercial use. ‘Commercial use’ includes the following:

  • reproduction, printing, linking (on websites or in emails) or other distribution for the purposes of financial gain by means of sale, resale, license, loan, transfer or the marketing or advertising of other products
  • the inclusion of article content (other than standard quotations with an appropriate citation) in other works that are distributed for the purposes of financial gain by means of sale, resale, license, loan, transfer or the marketing or advertising of other products.

All articles are subject to Clinical Medicine’s standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected on the basis of their own merit. Upon acceptance of their article, authors who wish to use the open access option should inform the editorial office (clinicalmedicine@rcplondon.ac.uk). They will then be contacted to arrange payment.

Copyright

Submission of an article to the journal is taken to imply that it represents original work and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors will be asked to transfer the copyright of their articles to the publisher. Copyright covers the distribution of the material in all forms including but not limited to figures and illustrations, reprints, photographic reproductions and photocopies.

Corrections and disagreements

Corrections to any printed errors or misleading statements are published in an appropriate position in Clinical Medicine . The views of readers who disagree with published statements can express their opinions in the correspondence column (see below).

Letters

Letters should be submitted by e-mail, and to be considered for publication must arrive within three weeks of receipt of the previous issue of the journal. Letters may be up to 350 words in length. Letters not directly related to articles in Clinical Medicine and/or presenting unpublished original data may be submitted, but should not exceed 500 words, one table and up to five references. Receipt of letters will be acknowledged but only published at the Editor's discretion; therefore no further acknowledgement of publication will be made.

Lesson of the month

Lesson of the month submissions should outline a particular clinical case, which should be unusual or interesting in some way, and follow this with a discussion section on the learning points the case raises. The editor is assisted by members of the editorial board and expert referees in their evaluation. Accepted papers are scheduled for publication at the editor's discretion. Manuscripts should be accurate, clear and concise but with a style that retains the warmth, excitement and colour of clinical and medical sciences.

Manuscripts must be submitted via Clinical Medicine’s online submission system.

Once you have read the guidance in the pdf below and are confident that your manuscript is in the correct format, please follow the link above to register as a new user, and then follow the on-screen instructions to submit your manuscript.

Image of the month

Readers are encouraged to submit images for this regular feature – as a high resolution, 8-bit, RGB/CMYK or grayscale tif, jpg or pdf – together with 60 words or less of explanatory text.

Confidentiality

Written consent must be obtained by the author from patients if there is any risk, however minimal, of identification from an illustration or article. We also require confirmation that any clinical research has the approval of the local research ethics committee.

Please refer to the downloadable patient consent form.

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Clinical Medicine subscribes to the standards published by the Committee on Publications Ethics.