Leading the debate in clinical medicine The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (JRSM) is a leading voice in the UK and internationally for medicine and healthcare. Published continuously since 1809, JRSM features scholarly comment and clinical research. JRSM is editorially independent from the Royal Society of Medicine, and its editor is Dr Kamran Abbasi. JRSM has a fast-track decision service for high quality research articles with peer review comments from other top journals. Members of the Royal Society of Medicine receive JRSM online as one of the benefits of membership. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
JRSM offers many attractive features for authors, including free online access to all research articles, online publication ahead of print, and online responses to articles published as Quick Comments. In addition, as befitting a publication of the Royal Society of Medicine, JRSM implements best practice in scientific publishing with an open peer review process, declarations of competing interests and funding, full requirements for patient consent and ethical review, and statements of guarantorship, contributorship, and provenance.
Reasons to Submit
Leading the debate in clinical medicine
The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (JRSM) is a leading voice in the UK and internationally for medicine and healthcare. Published continuously since 1809, JRSM features scholarly comment and clinical research. JRSM is editorially independent from the Royal Society of Medicine, and its editor is Dr Kamran Abbasi.
JRSM has a fast-track decision service for high quality research articles with peer review comments from other top journals.
Members of the Royal Society of Medicine receive JRSM online as one of the benefits of membership.
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine is the leading UK multispecialty medical journal for peer reviewed clinical research, reviews, opinion, and continuing professional development. JRSM also has an international outlook and by leading the debate in the specialties of medicine and surgery, JRSM sets the agenda for clinical practice and health policy making across the medical world. Contributions to the JRSM reflect its international and multispecialty readership, as well as its tradition of being an enjoyable and entertaining medical journal.
The journal has full editorial independence from the Royal Society of Medicine.
Members of the Royal Society of Medicine receive JRSM online as one of the benefits of membership.
|Professor Kamran Abbasi||Royal Society of Medicine, UK|
|Julie Morris||The University of Manchester, UK|
|John Ashton||Independent Public Health Consultant, UK|
|Lucy Chappell||King's College London, UK|
|Chang-Qing Gao||Xiang-Ya Hospital, China|
|Azeem Majeed||Imperial College London, UK|
|Martin Marshall||UCL, UK|
|Christopher Martyn||Southampton, UK|
|Julie Morris||The University of Manchester, UK|
|Samiran Nundy||Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, India|
|William Phillips||University of Washington, USA|
|Gretchen Purcell Jackson||USA|
|John Scadding||National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UK|
|Saad Shafqat||Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan|
|Aziz Sheikh||The University of Edinburgh, UK|
|Jan Vandenbroucke||Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum, Netherlands|
|Elizabeth Wager||Sideview, UK|
This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics
This Journal recommends that authors follow the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals formulated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jrsm to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine will be reviewed.
There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.
As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication.
- What do we publish?
1.1 Aims & Scope
1.2 Article types
1.3 Writing your paper
- Editorial policies
2.1 Peer review policy
2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
2.6 Research ethics and patient consent
2.7 Clinical trials
2.8 Reporting guidelines
2.9 Research Data
- Publishing policies
3.1 Publication ethics
3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
3.3 Open access and author archiving
- Preparing your manuscript
4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
4.3 Supplemental material
4.4 Reference style
4.5 English language editing services
- Submitting your manuscript
5.2 Information required for completing your submission
- On acceptance and publication
6.1 Sage Production
6.2 Online First publication
6.3 Access to your published article
6.4 Promoting your article
- Further information
Before submitting your manuscript to Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.
Think pieces on clinical medicine or health policy, written in an essay style. 1500 words for the main body of the text plus up to two tables or figures. Usually few references but up to 15 references can be allowed. Ideas for illustrations are welcome.
Linked articles on a given topic published in sequential issues of JRSM. Frequently guest-edited. Generally 2000 words for the main body of the text plus up to two tables or figures and up to 15 references. Proposals for series should be discussed with the Editor.
Communication in response to articles previously published in JRSM. 300 words for the main body of the text and up to 3 references.
Authoritative updates of management and/or recent advances on major clinical topics to update JRSM’s multispecialty readership. We require a clear account of the methods by which the evidence for the review was gathered. Reviews are up to 3500 words for the main body of the text, up to five tables or figures, and up to 30 references.
Original research on important clinical and professional topics. 3500 words for the main body of the text, up to five tables or figures, and up to 30 references.
- Grand Round
Case reports. Should be either be first observation or useful reminder on an important clinical topic. 1000 words, two tables or figures, and up to 10 references.
Short articles on medicine in culture, including visual arts and literature. For discussion with editor, but generally 1000 words for the main body of the text, and up to 10 references.
- From the James Lind Library
Commentary articles on the history of evidence-based medicine, reproduced with the permission of the James Lind Library. Unsolicited articles will not be considered for publication.
Personal views on clinical and professional topics. 1000 words for the main body of the text, generally no references.
The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.
1.3.1 Make your article discoverable
When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
Sage does not permit the use of author-suggested (recommended) reviewers at any stage of the submission process, be that through the web-based submission system or other communication. Reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Our policy is that reviewers should not be assigned to a paper if:
• The reviewer is based at the same institution as any of the co-authors
• The reviewer is based at the funding body of the paper
• The author has recommended the reviewer
• The reviewer has provided a personal (e.g. Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail) email account and an institutional email account cannot be found after performing a basic Google search (name, department and institution).
Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.
The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:
- Made a substantial contribution to the concept or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data,
- Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
- Approved the version to be published,
- Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.
Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.
Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section. Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.
Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.
Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.
Contributors: JRSM also requires contributors to be listed in a contributorship statement. Contributors will include the people who meet the ICMJE authorship criteria but will also include people who do not qualify for ICMJE authorship. JRSM understands that traditional authorship is a flawed concept and seeks to credit all those involved with publication.
Guarantor: JRSM requires the authors to designate a guarantor. This is usually one of the authors. The guarantor takes responsibility for the integrity of the work and confirms that he or she controlled the decision to publish.
Other people and organisations may recognised in an Acknowledgements section.
2.3.1 Third Party Submissions
Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:
- Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
- Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
- Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.
Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.
2.3.2 Writing assistance
Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance”).
It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
It is the policy of Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine to require a declaration of competing interests (also known as conflicts of interest) from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.
Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Competing Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here.
Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki
Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all papers reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.
For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.
Information on informed consent to report individual cases or case series should be included in the manuscript text. A statement is required regarding whether written informed consent for patient information and images to be published was provided by the patient(s) or a legally authorized representative. Please do not submit the patient’s actual written informed consent with your article, as this in itself breaches the patient’s confidentiality. The Journal requests that you confirm to us, in writing, that you have obtained written informed consent but the written consent itself should be held by the authors/investigators themselves, for example in a patient’s hospital record. The confirmatory letter may be uploaded with your submission as a separate file.
Please also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine conforms to the ICMJE requirement that clinical trials are registered in a WHO-approved public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. The trial registry name and URL, and registration number must be included at the end of the abstract.
The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. For example, all randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed CONSORT flow chart as a cited figure and the completed CONSORT checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses should include the completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure and the completed PRISMA checklist should be uploaded with your submission as a supplementary file. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline.
Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives.
The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the Sage Research Data policy pages.
Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:
- share your research data in a relevant public data repository
- include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
- cite this data in your research
Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
3.1.2 Prior publication
If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.
Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.
The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.
For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.
Figures: Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.
All figures should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text. All figures must be accompanied by a figure legend. If figures are supplied in separate files, the figure legends must all be listed at the end of the main text file.
Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.
Line drawings should be produced electronically and clearly labelled using a sans serif font such as Arial. Graphs may be supplied as Excel spreadsheets (one per sheet). Other line drawings should be supplied in a suitable vector graphic file format (e.g. .eps).
Photographic illustrations should be rendered with at least 300 dpi; please use CMYK color conversion if possible. Graphs made with Office software such as Microsoft Excel, can be provided in their original format to facilitate conversion into printable format with preserved quality. Any other line graphs/illustrations should preferably be provided in EPS format with a resolution of at least 600 dpi to prevent ragged lines when printed. A figure image should be at least 160 mm in width at the appropriate resolution. For further guidance on how to prepare your digital image see http://art.cadmus.com/da/index.jsp.
Abbreviations should be avoided. Authors should not create new abbreviations and acronyms. Only widely accepted abbreviations, for example, NHS, WHO, and ECG are permitted.
All measurements should be expressed in SI units.
4.2.1 Statistical Guidelines
These guidelines are designed to help authors prepare statistical data for publication and are not a substitute for the detailed guidance required to design a study or perform a statistical analysis. Each section of a scientific paper is addressed separately.
The number and source of data must be stated and conclusions which have a statistical basis must be substantiated by inclusion of pertinent descriptive statistics (mean or median, standard deviation [SD] or interquartile range, percentage coefficient of variation [%CV], 95% confidence limits, regression equations, etc.).
Experimental design, subject selection and randomization procedures should be described and analytical precision quoted when appropriate. The hypotheses to be tested by a statistical procedure must be stated and where appropriate power calculations for the sample size used should be given (it is recommended that the power is X80%). In case-control studies clearly define how cases and controls were selected and what matching has taken place.
We would advise authors to consider the STARD,1 CONSORT2 and STROBE3 statements for studies reporting diagnostic or clinical trials. They offer guidance on writing reports with complete clarity.
Unnecessary precision, particularly in tables, should be avoided. Rounded figures are easier to compare and extra decimal places are rarely important. Descriptive statistics require an additional digit to those used for the raw data. Percentages should not be expressed to more than one decimal place and not be used at all for small samples.
Graphs showing data of comparable magnitude should be of a similar size and design. All individual points should be displayed where possible by displacing overlapping points. Error bars showing the standard error of the mean (SEM) or interquartile range, as appropriate, can be used to aid interpretation of the data.
Statistical significance should not be equated to importance and P values should not be compared between different data sets or different statistical tests. Association should not be interpreted as causation without additional evidence.
This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine adheres to the Sage Vancouver reference style. View the Sage Vancouver guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
5. Submitting your manuscript
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jrsm to login and submit your article online.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
Each manuscript should contain a title page and abstract.
The first page should contain the full title of the manuscript, a short title, the author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s), and the name, postal and email addresses of the author for correspondence, as well as a full list of declarations:
The title should be concise and informative, accurately indicating the content of the article. The short title should be no more than six words long.
The correct order for declarations is: competing interests, funding, ethical approval, guarantor, contributorship, acknowledgements.
An abstract of no more than 300 words must accompany all Review, Research and Grand Round articles. For Reviews and Grand Round this abstract should be a single, unstructured paragraph. Research articles require structured abstracts with the following subheadings: Objectives, Design, Setting, Participants, Main outcome measures, Results, Conclusions.
ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.
The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.
You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).
Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.
Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.
Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.
Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.
Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.
Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine editorial office as follows:
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Editor