Scottish Medical Journal is a unique international information source for the latest news and issues concerning the Scottish medical community. Contributions are drawn from Scotland and its medical institutions, through an array of international authors. In addition to original papers, Scottish Medical Journal publishes commissioned educational review articles, case reports, historical articles, and sponsoring society abstracts.
Papers are accepted for publication on condition that they are offered to this journal alone and that they become the property of the Scottish Medical Journal.
Associations and Societies:
Scottish Medical Journal is supported and sponsored by the following societies:
* The Royal Medico-Chirurgical Society of Glasgow
* The Scottish Paediatric Society
* The Scottish Radiological Society
* The Scottish Society for Rheumatology
* The Scottish Renal Association
* The Scottish Thoracic Society
* Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society
* Scottish Society of Physicians
* The Scottish Cardiac Society
* The Scottish Orthopaedic Club
* The Scottish Urological Society
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
The journal aims for the prompt publication of original investigations in all branches of medicine in Scotland. Scottish Medical Journal provides a unique international information source for the latest news and issues concerning the Scottish medical community. Contributions are drawn from Scotland and its medical institutions, through an array of international authors. In addition to original papers, Scottish Medical Journal publishes, often commissioned; educational review articles, case reports, historical articles, clinical memoranda and society abstracts.
|Ghulam Nabi||University of Dundee, UK|
|Dr Christina Halsey||University of Glasgow, UK (Haematology/Oncology)|
|James Lucocq||NHS Lothian, UK (Surgery)|
|Dr Howard McAlpine||NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, UK|
|Ian McLaughlin||NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, UK (Radiology)|
|Prof D Sharma||NSCB Government Medical College, India (Surgery)|
|Professor Matthew Walters||University of Glasgow, UK (Education)|
|Dr Jack Beattie||Stirling Royal Infirmary, UK|
|Professor Henry Burns||University of Strathclyde, UK|
|Dr Alan Cameron||Glasgow Royal Infirmary, UK|
|Dr David Finlayson||Raigmore Hospital, UK|
|Dr Craig Mowat||The University of Dundee, UK|
|Mr Ghulam Nabi||University of Dundee, UK (Urology)|
|Dr David Nicolls||NHS National Services Scotland, UK|
|Dr John Petrie||University of Glasgow, UK|
|Dr C John Scott||UK|
|Dr Malcolm Shepherd||University of Glasgow, UK|
|Dr Adrian Stanley||Glasgow Royal Infirmary, UK|
|Dr Tim Walsh||The University of Edinburgh, 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 https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/scotmj to submit your work. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Scottish Medical Journal 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, 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, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.
- 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 Randomized controlled trials
2.9 Reporting guidelines
- 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 Supplementary material
4.4 Reference style
4.5 English language editing services
- Submitting your manuscript
- 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 Scottish Medical Journal, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.
Scottish Medical Journal is a peer-reviewed journal publishing articles on all branches of medicine: review articles - usually commissioned; historical subjects of medical interest; and clinical case reports.
All manuscripts must be written in English. Manuscripts should be typed and double spaced (including title page, abstract, text, acknowledgements, references, figures, tables and legends). Number pages consecutively beginning with the title page. Contributors with a non-English native language are encouraged to seek the help of a competent linguist who is familiar with medical terminology prior to submission. It is the author's responsibility to have the language revised before submitting the work for publication. Only minor language revisions are provided after submission.
Title page, including manuscript title; author(s’) name(s) and surname(s); affiliation(s); corresponding author's name, address, fax and e-mail; must be uploaded, along with a word count. Total number of words must not exceed 2,500.
Structure your abstract under the headings: Background and Aims; Methods and Results; Conclusion. Abstracts should not exceed 200 words. Submit your abstract on the 2nd page.
Choose three to five key words and preferably expressions not already used in the title of your article. Please also include the keywords within your manuscript text file after the abstract.
Spell out non-standard abbreviations at their first mention in the text followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Avoid uncommon abbreviations and clinical jargon.
General advice notes
The description of methods and results should be in sufficient detail to allow repetition by others. Data should not be repeated unnecessarily in text, tables and figures. The discussion should not simply repeat the results, but should present the interpretation against the background of existing knowledge. Do not use footnotes, but instead incorporate the information in parentheses within the main text. Supply figure legends, tables and their headings on a separate page.
Units and Mathematics
Use the International System of Units (SI). Enter a zero preceding a decimal value below 1 (i.e. 0.123). Display mathematical expressions distinctly. In hand-written equations on scanned documents, distinguish e from c, u from n, and r from v, and capitals and lower case letters that are often indistinguishable when hand-written; also primes and apostrophes. Use the solidus (/) for fractions and exp (...) when the exponent is complicated. In displayed formulae, the horizontal fraction line is to be preferred.
Graphic elements and illustrations are accepted if providing unique data that cannot be described in the text, and should be clearly marked with Arabic numbers as they appear in the text. To ensure correct placement in the journal layout, note the figure reference (abbreviated) within parentheses when referring to the figure in text, e.g. (Fig. 1).
Figure files should be kept as separate files, in TIF, EPS, PDF or JPG format. Providing these formats will guarantee that the quality of the graphics is good throughout the publishing process, if provided with sufficient resolution.
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.
These will be summarised in the journal and full text will be available on the journal website. The authors should not include names, initials or hospital numbers of patients, which might lead to their recognition. A patient must not be recognisable in any photograph unless written consent has been obtained.
Authors of case reports are requested to include the following within their manuscripts (failure to do so could delay the peer review process):
Title which facilitates retrieval with electronic searching
Authors of case (corresponding author indicated by *)
Abstract (150 words): introduction, case presentation and conclusion
Keywords (up to 5)
Case presentation: medical history, clinical features
Investigations where relevant
Treatment including other therapeutic options
Outcome, prognosis and follow up
Discussion including review of similar published cases
Conclusion with learning points (3 to 5 bullet points)
Patient consent (to be included with submission)
References (Vancouver style)
Figures, tables, images
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.
Authors submitting a paper do so on the understanding that the work has not been published before, is not being considered for publication elsewhere, and has been read and approved by all the authors. Submission of the manuscript means that the authors automatically agree to assign exclusive copyright to RSM Press. Articles published in this journal are protected by copyright, which covers translation rights and the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute all articles printed in the journal. No material published in the journal may be stored on microfilm or videocassettes or in electronic databases and the like, or reproduced photographically, without the prior written permission of RSM Press.
Decisions on publication are based on the opinions of the editorial board.
Manuscripts are subject to editorial revision. The right is reserved to introduce such changes as may be necessary to make contributions conform to editorial standards. The journal cannot be held responsible for the opinions or statements expressed by its authors.
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 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.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.
Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.
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, do not qualify as authors and so 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.
Scottish Medical Journal 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 Scottish Medical Journal to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.
Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting 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 also refer to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Protection of Research Participants.
All research involving animals submitted for publication must be approved by an ethics committee with oversight of the facility in which the studies were conducted. The Journal has adopted the ARRIVE guidelines.
Scottish Medical Journal 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.
All randomized controlled trials submitted for publication in Scottish Medical Journal should include a completed Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) flow chart. Please refer to the CONSORT statement website at http://www.consort-statement.org for more information.
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.
Where statistical analyses have been carried out please ensure that the methodology has been accurately described. In comparative studies power calculations are usually required. In research papers requiring complex statistics the advice of an expert statistician should be sought at the design/implementation stage of the study.
Sage acknowledges the importance of research data availability as an integral part of the research and verification process for academic journal articles.
Scottish Medical Journal requests all authors submitting any primary data used in their research articles alongside their article submissions to be published in the online version of the journal, or provide detailed information in their articles on how the data can be obtained. This information should include links to third-party data repositories or detailed contact information for third-party data sources. Data available only on an author-maintained website will need to be loaded onto either the journal’s platform or a third-party platform to ensure continuing accessibility. Examples of data types include but are not limited to: statistical data files, replication code, text files, audio files, images, videos, appendices, and additional charts and graphs necessary to understand the original research. The editor(s) may consider limited embargoes on proprietary data. The editor(s) can also grant exceptions for data that cannot legally or ethically be released. All data submitted should comply with Institutional or Ethical Review Board requirements and applicable government regulations. For further information, please contact the editorial office at GNabi@dundee.ac.uk.
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
Scottish Medical Journal 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.
Scottish Medical Journal 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 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.
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.
Scottish Medical Journal 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.
Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.
Please submit your paper via the online submission site: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/scotmj
All authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest when submitting papers for publication. Declarations of funding sources, a guarantor and a statement of contributorship are also required.
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. 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.
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 sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned 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 Scottish Medical Journal editorial office as follows: