Guidelines for Authors
The Journal of Medical Regulation, a publication of the Federation of State Medical Boards, publishes scholarly articles supporting evidence-based regulation in the United States and international medical regulatory communities, with the goal of promoting best practices, critical thinking and collaboration among medical boards. We welcome all contributions that enhance the understanding and advancement of medical regulation.
JMR welcomes manuscripts on an ongoing basis in these categories: Original Research, State Medical Board Best Practices, General Scholarly Articles, Commentary, and Letters to the Editor.
Original Research and Data
These articles report the findings of original research on any aspect of medical regulation and generally run from 3,000 to 5,000 words. The following are general research parameters:
- The article is heavily data-driven to address an emerging trend or serious challenge facing the medical regulation community and sheds light upon or offer a solution to that trend or challenge.
- The article critically reviews the scholarly literature (i.e., a meta-analysis). While a systematic or chronological review may be considered, priority will be given to critical reviews that advance the understanding of a specific topic or problem. Comprehensive parameters are defined and followed in searching the literature, and findings are interpreted appropriately and put into context.
State Medical Board Best Practices
JMR welcomes articles that spotlight an innovative practice or approach by one or more medical boards to solve a specific issue or problem in their jurisdiction that advanced public protection. While these articles are usually specific to a specific medical board or topic and may be operational or administrative in focus, they should still be framed in an appropriately broad regional or national context. These articles generally run from 2,000 to 3,000 words.
General Scholarly Articles/Policy Perspectives
This category of article address topics directly and practically relevant to medical regulation, such as licensing, discipline, health policy, medical education, demographics, medico-legal issues, peer review, quality assurance, and patient safety. In all instances, it is imperative that the author make explicit the intersection of the topic with medical regulation. These articles generally run from 3,000 to 5,000 words. Examples include:
- Examining an issue and/or trend (e.g., telemedicine) impacting the medical regulatory community as a whole;
- Evaluating changes or new developments in clinical practice and how these intersect with medical regulation (e.g., opioid prescribing);
- Assessing issues impacting medical regulation across multiple health professions, e.g., medicine, physician assistants, nursing, pharmacy (e.g., prescription monitoring programs); or
- Describing health policy matters with systemic implications for medical regulation (e.g., recent Federal Trade Commission decisions relative to state-based licensure).
These are opinion pieces that comment on or set the context for an article or articles that have been accepted for publication. Commentaries have few references and rely heavily on the author’s perspective and experience to support the argument. They should be 2,000-3,000 words and generally have few tables and figures, if any.
Letters to the Editor
The Journal of Medical Regulation welcomes letters discussing recent JMR articles. Letters should reference previously published material in the JMR and should not exceed 400 words of text and 4 references, 1 of which should be to the recent JMR article. Letters being considered for publication will be shared with the author(s) of the published material that is referenced, and the author(s) will be given the opportunity to reply. Normally the letter and reply will be published in the same issue of the Journal. Replies by authors should not exceed 400 words of text and 4 references. Letters should include the writer’s address and phone number. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
The requirements for manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Medical Regulation are largely based on the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals” of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Authors are encouraged to refer to the copy published by the organization at www.ICMJE.org.
Conflict of Interest
When authors submit a manuscript of any type or format they are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias or be seen to bias their work. The JMR requires all authors to complete and submit the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICJME) form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.
Peer Review Process
All manuscripts submitted to Journal of Medical Regulation undergo an initial screening to ensure alignment with the JMR’s audience. Manuscripts passing initial screening are sent to the Editor-in-Chief for assignment to three-person peer-review panel for primary review. Reviewers are asked to disclose any conflicts of interest that could complicate their review and to recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. The JMR uses a double-blinded review process, i.e., both authors’ and reviewers’ identities are anonymous. Reviewers provide Editor-in-Chief with Accept/Reconsider with Revisions/Reject recommendation, as well as specific input on needed revisions. Final decision is made by Editor-in-Chief. The goal of the JMR is to complete peer review and reach a final editorial decision within eight weeks of submission, at which time the corresponding author will receive written notification.
Protection of Research Participants
When reporting research involving human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed have been assessed by the responsible review committee (institutional or national), or if no formal ethics committee is available, were in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration as revised in 2013). The methods section also should succinctly describe the process of obtaining informed consent or assent from subjects, and any other relevant information about the protection of research subjects. Authors are responsible for ensuring that their research was conducted in accordance with the principles of human subjects’ protection.
When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether institutional and national standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. (Further guidance on animal research ethics is available from the International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare.)
Manuscript Preparation Guidelines
The manuscript components should include a title page, abstract, text, references, and as appropriate legends, tables, and figures. Start each of these sections on a new page, numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page.
The title page should contain only the title of the manuscript and a word count (not including abstract, acknowledgements or references). A separate list of all authors should include full names, degrees, titles and affiliations.
Manuscripts with multiple authors, especially research pieces, should address author contributions in the following areas: study concept and design; acquisition of data; analysis and interpretation of data; drafting of the manuscript; and critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content.
The manuscript pages should be numbered. References should conform to the AMA Manual of Style. The manuscript should include an abstract of 200 words or less that describes the purpose of the article, the main finding(s) and conclusion. Footnotes or references should not be included in the abstract.
For submission and review, acceptable manuscript file formats include Word or Word Perfect. Do not submit your manuscript in PDF format. Use 11- or 12-point font size, double-spaced text, and leave right margins unjustified (ragged).
Any table or figure from another source must be referenced. Any photos should be submitted electronically in high-resolution JPEG format. If an electronic version is not possible, printed photos may be submitted, marked with a label on the reverse side that provides author contact information. Note that JMR rarely publishes photos but will consider their use based on the context of the manuscript. Tables and figures can be supplied in EPS, TIF, Illustrator, Photoshop (300 dpi or better) or Microsoft PowerPoint formats.
Authors can find helpful guidelines for presenting systematic review or meta-analysis (PRISMA), presentation of statistical data (SAMPL) and presentation of interviews and/or focus group qualitative data (COREQ)
Reference formatting guidelines:
The number of references should be appropriate to the length of the text, and references should appear as endnotes.
Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references and for correct text citation. Number references in the order they appear in the text; do not alphabetize. In text, tables, and legends, identify references with superscript Arabic numerals. When listing references, follow AMA style and abbreviate names of journals according to the listing in PubMed. List all authors and/or editors up to 6; if more than 6, list the first 3 followed by “et al.”
Examples of reference style:
- Henzel TR, Ciccone A, Cain F, Clothier CA, Hawkins RE. Implementing Assessment of Practicing Physicians: The Development and Benefits of a Collaborative Model. JMLD. 2007;99(4):16-24.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS proposals to implement certain disclosure provisions of the Affordable Care Act. http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press/. Accessed January 30, 2012.
- McPhee SJ, Winker MA, Rabow MW, Pantilat SZ, Markowitz AJ, eds. Care at the Close of Life: Evidence and Experience. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Medical; 2011.