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Instructions for Authors

The West Indian Medical Journal will resume the acceptance of new manuscripts on November 7, 2022. The Revised Instructions for Authors will be available on November 7, 2022.

 

Thank you for your patience and continued support.

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West Indian Medical Journal is international in scope, with author and editorial contributions from across the globe. The focus is on clinical and epidemiological aspects of chronic non-communicable diseases, new and re-emerging tropical and infectious diseases, and medical conditions prevalent in the Latin America-Caribbean region, which are of significance to global health, especially in developing countries. The Journal covers all health disciplines, as well as basic and translational research elucidating the pathophysiologic basis of diseases or focusing on new therapeutic and policy approaches. The Journal publishes original scientific research, reviews, brief communications (including technical tips and descriptions of original surgical/procedural technique), commentaries, viewpoints, proceedings of clinicopathological conferences, continuing medical education sections, dental forum, case reports, letters and editorials (commissioned by the Journal). Unless expressly stated, the Editorial Board does not accept responsibility for authors’ opinions.

All papers on submission are reviewed by a subcommittee. Those deemed worthy for peer review are sent to two or three reviewers (if necessary one of the three might be a statistician). The returned papers with reviewer comments are reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief. Papers may be rejected, accepted or returned to authors for revision. Resubmitted papers from authors are reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and may be sent back to reviewers or a final decision made by Editor-in-Chief. The decision of the Editorial Board is final with regards to rejected articles. Rejected articles will not be returned to the authors. The editorial subcommittee has the right to return unacceptable manuscripts to the authors, rather than passing them on to the peer reviewers. This implies outright rejection of the manuscript.

In 2013, the Journal transitioned to online only and hard copies are no longer printed.

Open Access

West Indian Medical Journal is now an open access journal. Please visit our About page for more information. 

Procedures of submitting a manuscript 

  1. Ensure that your manuscript complies with the formatting requirements and instructions below.

  2. Submit your manuscript directly to wimj@uwimona.edu.jm; (online upload of manuscripts is not yet an option). Please note that any manuscripts that are not in compliance will be returned for correction.

  3. Authors are asked to provide the names of a maximum of three reviewers. When submitting your manuscript, please send their names, email addresses, affiliations, and area(s) of specialty. The Journal reserves the sole and final right to decide whether the suggested reviewers will review your manuscript.

An article processing charge (APC) of US$500.00 is due for payment on acceptance of manuscripts for publication. There is no submission fee, but the corresponding author must agree, on submission of the manuscript, to pay the APC if it is accepted for publication. Payments may be made online by credit card (click here), bank transfer or wire transfer (click here for banking information) at the appropriate time and proof-of-payment sent to WIMJ at wimj@uwimona.edu.jm.

Authors' professional and ethical responsibilities

West Indian Medical Journal affirms and is guided by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (https://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf); prospective authors are advised to familiarize themselves with the contents of this document. Authors should also adhere to recommendations in the relevant section (“Author responsibilities”) of the guidelines for publication ethics of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Authorship

Only those persons who contributed directly to the intellectual content of the paper should be cited as authors. They should meet all of the following criteria:

(a) conceived and planned the work that led to the paper or interpreted the evidence it presents, or both;

(b) wrote the paper or reviewed successive versions and took part in the revision process;

(c) approved the final version.

Authors submitting papers for publication must confirm and disclose which of the authors meet each or all the above criteria.

Conflict of interest

Disclosure must be made of any financial or personal interests or other dual commitments or competing interests that represent, or are perceived to represent, actual or potential conflicts of interest for any of the authors that might bias or be seen to bias their work. The Journal reserves the right not to publish (or if published, withdraw) an article on the grounds of any actual or potential conflict of interest. 

Informed consent

Actual or potentially identifying information or facial/body features should not be included in the manuscript, whether in the form of text, images, figures or photographs, unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and unless the patient (or parent or legal guardian) has provided written informed consent for publication. In case of doubt, informed consent should be obtained. The Journal reserves the right not to publish (or if published, withdraw) an article on the grounds that informed consent has not been obtained.

Ethical responsibilities

The Methods section in the manuscript must include a statement confirming review of the study by the appropriate local Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board and indicating that material relating to human investigations and animal experiments conforms to standards currently applied in the country where the study is based. (If no formal ethics committee is available, indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the WMA Declaration of Helsinki – Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects). Where appropriate, this statement should also indicate the procedure used to ensure adherence to ethical guidelines on informed consent and should affirm that such consent was obtained. (See above on Informed Consent.) Evidence of such consent must be submitted with the manuscript. The Journal reserves the right not to publish (or if published, withdraw) an article on the grounds that ethical or experimental standards have not been reached and/or informed consent has not been obtained.

Corrections, retractions and editorial expressions of concern

Cases requiring corrections, retractions or editorial expressions of concern will be brought to the attention of the editorial sub-committee chaired by the Editor-in-Chief and communicated with the authors. Further changes are reviewed by members of the editorial sub-committee or the respective peer reviewers before a final decision is made.

Cover letter

Each manuscript must be accompanied by a cover letter which includes: 

  • a brief description of the research and an explanation as to why the findings are important

  • name of the Ethics Committee/IRB that approved the research and the number ascribed to the proposal (WIMJ reserves the right to request a copy of the letter of approval)

  • confirmation that the contents of the manuscript have not been published or are not being submitted for publication elsewhere; manuscripts made available to the public as pre-prints only are not considered published and are eligible for submission. Pre-prints should be declared and cited.

  • confirmation that the contents of the manuscript are original and that there is no plagiarism;

  • statements concerning authorship and informed consents (see above);

  • disclosure of interest (see above);the full name (surname in capital letters), full mailing address, telephone number, fax number and email address of the author responsible for correspondence on the paper (unless otherwise requested by the corresponding author, his or her fax number and/or email address will be published); and

  • the full names (surnames in capital letters) and signatures of all authors;

  • the corresponding author must agree on submission of the manuscript, to pay the APC if it is accepted for publication.

Acceptance 

All manuscripts reaching the office of the Editor will be acknowledged, and at the conclusion of the review procedure, the author(s) will be notified of acceptance, rejection or the need for revision of the paper. The decision of the editorial board is final with regards to rejected articles. Rejected articles will not be returned to the authors. The editorial-subcommittee has the right to return unacceptable manuscripts to the authors, including those not meeting minimum standards of English language usage and grammar, rather than passing them on to the reviewers. This implies outright rejection of the manuscript.

Copyright 

Authors of papers accepted for publication in West Indian Medical Journal retain copyright for their work. On submission of a manuscript to West Indian Medical Journal, authors implicitly grant exclusive publication rights for accepted articles to the Journal. For manuscripts that contain third party copyright material, authors are responsible for acquiring permission from the copyright holder for their work to be made available in an open access publication.  

Assembling and submitting the manuscript

Manuscript format and style
 
  • Manuscripts should be arranged as follows: title page, abstract, text, declarations (data availability, competing interests, funding, authors’ contributions), acknowledgements, list of references. Each component should begin on a separate page and all pages should be numbered sequentially starting with the title page. Figures and tables, if included, should be inserted into the manuscript wherever they are first mentioned. Authors are urged to seek guidance on grammar, punctuation and scientific writing.

  • Text should be typed, using Times New Roman at 12 font, and be double spaced throughout with left and right margins of 2.5 cm. The manuscript must be submitted in Microsoft Word via e-mail to the following address: wimj@uwimona.edu.jm

  • Guidance for the length of articles is as follows: book reviews, 450 words; letters, 450 words; short communication (including technical tips or descriptions of original surgical/procedural technique), 800 words; editorials (excluding references), 1000 words; case reports, 1500 words; special articles, 2000 words; viewpoint, 2000 words; original articles and reviews (excluding abstract and references), 2500–3000 words.

  • Manuscript title should be centred at the top of the page and in title case (nouns, verbs, adjectives capitalized). Headings should be short, positioned flush with the left margin and in sentence case. First-level headings are boldface; second-level headings, italics and third-level headings, regular type.

  • Use SI units throughout, generic names for all drugs and limit abbreviations to those that are absolutely necessary. The proprietary name for a drug is included if it is better known than the generic name, to differentiate among drug forms or if a specific trade preparation was used in a study or involved in an adverse effect. Abbreviations should be written in full when they are first mentioned in the text and when they begin a sentence but are not necessary for units of measurements or standard scientific symbols.

  • The name and location of manufacturers of equipment and instruments must be given in parentheses in the text.

All spelling should conform to that in the recent edition of the Oxford Concise English Dictionary.

Title page

The title page should include

- the main title (and subtitle, if any) which should be as brief as possible while conveying the essential features of the article’s contents, including study design

- the authors should be listed (without their qualifications) on a separate line in the order in which they will appear in the published article with the institutional affiliation of each author. Authors' names should be listed as first initial(s) then surname;

- a short title (to be used on the continuing pages of the published article);

- three or four keywords or phrases for indexing purposes;

- a brief synopsis (limit: 40 words) for original articles, reviews, viewpoints, commentaries and special articles, to be used in the contents as an overview of the manuscript.

Abstract

This should not be more than 300 words and should be structured: objective, methods, results, conclusion. The registry name and URL (eg, clinicaltrials.gov, socialscienceregistry.org) and registration number for intervention studies should be stated at the end of the abstract. 

Text

West Indian Medical Journal recommends that authors be guided by the reporting guidelines for main study types advocated by the EQUATOR network; submission of a completed checklist is only mandatory for clinical trials, but reviewers will be advised to assess the extent to which all submitted manuscripts conform to EQUATOR checklists. Papers reporting original specific scientific evidence would usually be divided into the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Declarations, Acknowledgements, References. All studies that include numerical data and use statistical inference must include, in the Methods section, detailed descriptions of methods used for statistical analysis, including the statistical software. It is suggested that the Discussion include a brief synopsis of the key findings; consideration of possible mechanisms and explanations, comparison with relevant findings from other published studies and limitations of the present study and methods used to minimize or compensate for these limitations. The paper should conclude with a brief summary of the implications of the work.

Case Report

A Case Report need not be structured with the same formality as a scientific paper. It is advised that case reports should, however, conform to the following format:

Introduction: The introductory paragraph should not exceed 80 words; 

Case Report: this should include a short relevant history of the patient(s), examination, investigations, differential diagnosis and treatment;

Discussion: lessons to be learnt from the case report on the progress of the case. The discussion must be on the reported case.

Viewpoint

Authors are encouraged to submit commentaries and viewpoints on issues of topical interest, or in response to published articles. Viewpoints are also not structured with the same formality as a scientific paper; however, they should conform to the following format:

Abstract: a general overview of the paper; it needs not be structured; 

Introduction: varies in length but it introduces the topic, provides background information and states the point of the paper. Authors can insert their additional sub-headings before the Conclusion.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor are short papers that are a response to a published article, highlight a case report, or a review. An abstract or structure is not necessary, but letters should include keywords. Photographs and/or figures are also accepted. 

References

Responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of references rests entirely with the authors. References will not be checked in detail by the Editors but reviewers are encouraged to do so and papers in which errors are detected are unlikely to be accepted. References should be numbered in the order in which they are first cited in the text, tables, figures and legend using Arabic numerals in brackets on the line. The list of references should be typed in double spacing and in numerical order on a separate page. The Vancouver/NLM reference style must be used (see examples below), including the abbreviations of Journal titles (Index Medicus style). References to personal communications and to papers in preparation are included in parentheses in the text and are accompanied by letters of permission from the cited persons. List all authors when six or fewer; when seven or more, list only the first six and add 'et al'. You are encouraged to use a citation manager software to compile your references. The order and the punctuation are important and should conform to the following examples:

Journals

1. Standard article

Barton EN, Sargeant LA, Samuels D, Smith R, James J, Wilson R et al. A survey of chronic renal failure in Jamaica. West Indian Med J. 2004; 53: 81–4.

2. E-pub ahead of print article with DOI

Conliffe C, Frankson M, Smith F, Hanna-Mahase C, Oriakhi M. The prevalence of elevated blood pressure in adolescents in Nassau, The Bahamas. West Indian Med J 2015 Apr 28. doi: 10.7727/wimj.2015.114. [Epub ahead of print]

3. Editorials, abstracts, letters

Harding S, Maynard M, Cruickshank JK, Gray L. Blood pressure and its determinant in Black Caribbean, Black African, South Asian and Caucasian adolescents in the MRC DASH study in Britain [abstract]. West Indian Med J. 2005; 45 (Suppl 2): 24.

-La Hee F. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [Editorial]. West Indian Med J 2002; 51: 137–8. 

Books

1. Author

Lowe HIC, Morrison EY St A. Marijuana, cannabis, ganja – the Jamaican connection. Kingston, Jamaica: Pelican Publishers Limited; 2001.

2. Editors

Bond GC, Kreniske J, Susser I, Vincent J, editors. AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. Boulder, CO: Westview Press; 1997.

3. Chapter in a book

Reid SD. Substance abuse. In: Hickling FW, Sorel E, editors. Images of psychiatry: the Caribbean. Kingston: University of the West Indies Press; 2005. p. 198–231.

Electronic sources

1. Online article

Hooper JF. Psychiatry and the Law: Forensic Psychiatric Resources Page [Internet]. Tuscaloosa (AL): University of Alabama, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology; 1999 Jan 1 [updated 2006 Jul 8; cited 2007 Feb 23]. Available from: http://bama.ua.edu/~jhooper/

2. Webpage

Medical Library Association. MLANET [Internet]. Chicago, IL: The Association; 1996 [rev. 1 Jan 2008; cited 24 Jan 2008]. Available from: http://www.mlanet.org

Newspapers

1. Thaffe N. Diabetes Week to focus on women. Jamaica Gleaner. 2011 Nov 14: News: 5.

More information on the different reference sources can be found at the link below, taking care to adhere to the Journal's format: 

Patrias K. Citing medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers [Internet]. 2nd ed. Wendling DL, technical editor. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2007 [cited 2022 August 11]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7256/

Tables

Tables should be labelled and numbered in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3 etc.) followed by a short title giving an overview of the table and placed in the manuscript in the order in which they are first mentioned. If there is only one table, no numeral is necessary. Tables should be ruled as follows: necessary lines at the top for headings, no vertical or horizontal lines in the body except a line above and below the totals. All tables should be submitted in an editable format using either Microsoft Word or Excel.

Legends should be placed beneath the respective tables if needed. Explain all abbreviations and symbols used in the table, even if they are explained in the text. 

Figures

Figures should be clearly labelled, have a minimum DPI of 300 and in the acceptable format of TIF or JPG. If there is only one figure, it does not carry numeracy. Arrows on the figure must point to the relevant details.

1. Legends should be placed beneath the respective figures. Begin each legend with a short title. Explain all abbreviations and symbols used in the figure, even if they are explained in the text.

2. Figures do not carry a title and all text should be legible.

3. There is no additional cost for reproduction of colour figures and prints.

Declarations

There are four subheadings under this item, as follows:

Data availability: Research records should be kept for at least 5 years and a declaration to this effect should be made. A further statement should be made indicating how readers may access the data on which the analysis and conclusions of the study are based - is all the data generated in the study available in the article OR available upon justified request from the corresponding author OR available from a public data repository? Competing interests: All interests which are potentially conflicting or competing should be declared in this subsection; the corresponding author is responsible for the declarations of all coauthors. If there are no potential conflicts of interest, the following declaration should be made: “The authors declare that they have no competing interests relevant to this study and the publication thereof”; Funding: All sources of funding for the research and publication thereof should be declared, including the name of the granting agency and grant number (if any). If there was no specific funding but the research was performed under the auspices of an employer or organization of which the authors are members, the name of the employer or organization should be stated; Authors’ contributions: The contribution of each author to the research and manuscript should be detailed in this subsection, using criteria of the Journal for authorship as a guide. All authors must have read and approved the final manuscript and a statement made to this effect. 

Acknowledgements

Persons who have provided technical support and those who have contributed to the scientific content, but who do not qualify as authors, should be included in this section.

Proofs

Proofs will be sent to all corresponding authors for minor corrections and approval before the manuscript is published in its final form.

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