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Guidelines for Authors 

The McMaster University Medical Journal (MUMJ) is an annual academic journal created to share advances in medicine and to augment our understanding of social issues which impact individual and population health. MUMJ welcomes original articles written by students and faculty of all disciplines and medical residents. The scope of the Journal is wide, encompassing both clinical medicine and non-clinical aspects of health and medicine, such as ethical and legal issues, health policy and history of medicine.

Submissions and inquiries should be emailed to:

Publication Frequency

MUMJ publishes one issue annually in May.

The deadline for submissions is:

January 31, 2017

Manuscripts are critically reviewed by two members of the MUMJ Editorial Board, as well as by a faculty member with expertise in the topic of the article. The results of this review process are then compiled and assessed by the MUMJ Executive Editor and Editor-in-Chief, who, on the basis of the reviewers’ comments and their own, will determine whether the article will be accepted for publication.

Authors will be informed of the disposition of their manuscripts by email. Articles may be accepted without revisions, conditionally accepted pending specified revisions, or rejected. Authors of articles rejected for publication will receive an email outlining reasons for rejection and suggestions for improvement. Rejected articles may be resubmitted after appropriate changes have been made according to the recommendations of the MUMJ editorial staff. Revised resubmitted articles will be considered new submissions and will be subjected to the standard MUMJ review process. Accepted manuscripts will be edited to conform with MUMJ style and for correctness of grammar, syntax and punctuation.


  • Case reports present real, and often unusual, cases and should contain the following components: case presentation, diagnosis, management, outcome of the case and a brief review of the relevant literature.
  • Clinical images are encouraged. Consent must be obtained from cases for publication of clinical images.
  • Maximum length: 1500 words


  • Clinical reviews must include a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the relevant literature.
  • Clinical reviews may contain the following components: introduction, etiology, pathogenesis, manifestations, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  • Systematic reviews may also be submitted for consideration, and must include a Methods section describing the search strategy, quality assessment and data extraction of retrieved articles.
  • Maximum length: 4000 words


  • Original research in clinical medicine, basic sciences, population health and medical education are welcome for consideration in MUMJ.
  • Introduction: This section should include the purpose of and rationale for the article. No data or conclusions of the work should be included.
  • Methods: The experimental design, methods and procedures must be described in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the study. Exclusion and inclusion criteria for study participants should be described clearly. References to established methods, including statistical methods, should be provided. Reasons for the selected methods should be outlined and any modifications to traditional methods should be explained clearly. If drugs have been used, provide the generic and brand names, and describe doses and route of administration clearly.
  • Results: Data should be presented in manner that is useful to the reader, using tables and figures to clearly organize results. Emphasize or summarize only important information. Do not repeat in the text all the information from a table or illustration.
    Discussion: This section should focus on the interpretation and significance of the findings, in the context of the existing body of literature. State the limitations of the findings and directions for future research.
  • Maximum length: 4000 words


  • Commentary submissions should be interesting and provocative. These manuscripts may touch on topics including, but not limited to, ethical and legal issues, history of medicine, health policy, careers in medicine, global health and literature and the arts.
  • Maximum length: 1500 words
Manuscripts should conform to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication (

Articles are to be written in clear and concise English. The manuscript should be typed in 11-point font, double-spaced in an 8.5”x11” format, with 1” margins throughout. Consecutive numbering of all pages is required, with the title page as page 1.

I. Title Page

 The title page should include:

  • The title of the article
  • The complete names of all authors, degrees, and appointments
  • A complete address to whom correspondences should be addressed including email, telephone and fax

II. Abstract

For Clinical Reviews and Original Research, an abstract capturing the purpose, main findings and principal conclusions of the manuscript must be included. Abbreviations and reference citations should be avoided. Abstracts should not exceed 250 words.

III. References

Authors will be held responsible for the accuracy of the references.

References should be cited in the text by an Arabic numerical superscript. The list of references should appear at the end of the manuscript, according to the order in which they appear in the text.

References with three or fewer authors should list all authors. References with four or more authors should include only the first three authors followed by “et al.” The titles of journals must be abbreviated according to the style used in the list of Journals Indexed for MEDLINE (

Example reference citations are included below:

  • Journal article: Stiell IG, Wells GA, Field B, et al. Advanced cardiac life support in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. New Engl J Med 2004; 351: 647-56.
  • Book: Holmes KK, Sparling PF, Mardh PA, et al. (eds). Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1999; p. 39-76.
  • Books chapter: Aral SO, Holmes KK. Social and behavioural determinants of the epidemiology of sexually transmitted diseases: Industrialized and developing countries. In: Holmes KK, Sparling PF, Mardh PA, et al. (eds). Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1999; p. 39-76.
  • Web document: Bioethics Committee, Canadian Paediatric Society. (2008). Advance care planning for paediatric patients. Reference No. B 2008-02. Retrieved May 29, 2009, from the World Wide Web:

IV. Tables and Illustrations

Figure and tables should have concise titles, and be numbered and referred to in the text. Figures may include a brief caption of up to three sentences highlighting key points of the figure. All symbols and abbreviations used in figures and tables should be defined. Illustrations and photographs must be of sufficiently high resolution for printing and web-publication.

V. Acknowledgements

Statements acknowledging contributions (e.g., editorial or technical assistance) that do not justify authorship and financial and material support may be included at the end of the manuscript.

VI. Authors Biographies

One to two lines should be included for all listed authors. These author biographies will be published with selected manuscripts in MUMJ.

Informed Consent

From "Ethical Considerations in the Conduct and Reporting of Research: Privacy and Confidentiality" by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be violated without informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or 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 an identifiable patient be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the Internet as well as in print after publication.

Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance, and editors should so note, that such alterations do not distort scientific meaning.

When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article.

Conflict of Interest

From "Ethical Considerations in the Conduct and Reporting of Research: Conflicts of Interest" by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors:

When authors submit a manuscript, whether an article or a letter, they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias their work. To prevent ambiguity, authors must state explicitly whether potential conflicts do or do not exist. Authors should do so in the manuscript on a conflict-of-interest notification page that follows the title page, providing additional detail, if necessary, in a cover letter that accompanies the manuscript.

Authors should identify Individuals who provide writing or other assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance.

Investigators must disclose potential conflicts to study participants and should state in the manuscript whether they have done so.

Human and Animal Testing

From "Ethical Considerations in the Conduct and Reporting of Research: Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research" by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors:

When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

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