Presentation and Formatting

Family Medicine and Community Health(FMCH) 

Presentation and Format

  • Double spacing
  • Margins 2.5 cm from all four sides
  • Page numbers included at bottom
  • Title page contains all the required information
  • Running title (not more than 50 characters)
  • Abstract page contains the full title of the manuscript
  • English Abstracts (structured abstracts of 250 words for original articles, unstructured abstracts of about 150 words for all other manuscripts excluding letters to the Editor)
  • Key words in English (three to eight)
  • Introduction (of 75–100 words)
  • Headings in title case (not ALL CAPITALS)
  • References cited in the text should be before punctuation marks, within square brackets
  • References listed according to the journal’s instructions, punctuation marks checked
  • Send the article file without ‘Track Changes’
  • Uniformly American English
  • Write the full term for each abbreviation at its first use in the title, abstract, keywords and text separately unless it is a standard unit of measure
  • Spell out numerals from 1 to 10, unless used in conjunction with an SI unit.
  • Spell out numerals at the beginning of the sentence
  • Check the manuscript for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors
  • If a brand name is cited, supply the manufacturer’s name and address (city and state/country)
  • Species names should be in italics

Main Text

Certain types of articles should be structured using the IMRAD format.

Language and Grammar

  • Uniformly American English
  • Write the full term for each abbreviation at its first use in the title, abstract, keywords and text separately unless it is a standard unit of measure
  • Spell out numerals from 1 to 10, unless used in conjunction with an SI unit.
  • Spell out numerals at the beginning of the sentence
  • Check the manuscript for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors
  • If a brand name is cited, supply the manufacturer’s name and address (city and state/country)
  • Species names should be in italics


The title page should include a clear and concise title (please avoid abbreviations), author names and affiliations, as well as corresponding author information (email address must be included).


A researcher should make substantive intellectual contributions to each of the following aspects to qualify for authorship:

  1.  Concept and design of the study, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data.
  2.  Critically drafting or revising of the manuscript for important intellectual content.
  3.  Final approval of the version to be published. Each author should participate sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not justify authorship.


A structured abstract includes four sections:

  1.  Objective, the purpose of the study;
  2.  Methods, the study process and statistical methods;
  3.  Results, the main findings of the study;
  4.  Conclusion, the significance and implications of the findings.

Please minimize use of abbreviations and avoid using references in the abstract.
The abstract should not exceed 250 words.

Significance Statement (120 words maximum)

We ask authors of research papers to prepare a short, 120-word-maximum, statement about the significance of their article written at a level understandable to an undergraduate-educated scientist outside their field of speciality.

The primary goal of the Significance Statement is to explain the relevance of the work in broad context to a broad readership. The Significance Statement will appear within the paper below the abstract and is required for all research papers.

By highlighting the scientific merit of your research, these statements will help make your work more visible to our readership. We will then be in a position to use these statements to further promote your article and potentially enhance the overall impact of your research.

Data and Materials Sharing

FMCH is committed to improving scholarly communications and as part of this commitment, authors may make materials, data and associated protocols available to readers. The preferred way to do this is to publicly deposit the data as noted below. Supplemental material can mean anything from tables to datasets, filesets to presentations, video to audio files. Including supplemental material with your article makes it more discoverable, and FMCH will ensure it is effectively linked to, within your article abstract.

Why include supplemental material with your journal article?

  1. It makes your article more discoverable, giving people another route to find your research.
  2. Other researchers can cite your supplemental material, increasing the impact of your work.
  3. Funders are able to identify clear links to data, ensuring you meet your funding requirements.
  4. Your supplemental data is effectively preserved.
  5. Research shows that articles with supplemental material are downloaded and cited more often.

To support this, if you wish, FMCH can include links on your article abstract to the associated data.

How do I link my article to its data?

If you are considering publishing an article with us, and wish to link to supplemental material hosted in a particular data bank, please follow these steps:

  1. Submit your datasets to an appropriate public data repository. Data should be submitted to discipline-specific, community-recognized repositories where possible, or to generalist repositories if no suitable community resource is available.
  2. Where suitable domain-specific repositories do not exist, authors may deposit in, for example, Dryad, Dataverse, the Open Science Framework, or an institutional repository and provide the correct access information with the manuscript. Alternatively, authors may choose to deposit non-standard data (including figures, posters, rich media) on Figshare for example. In all cases, the correct data DOI reference (where applicable) should be provided when submitting the final version of your article.
  3. In all cases, the correct accession/deposition reference numbers/data DOIs must be provided in the manuscript.
  4. Remember to check that the licensing policies of the data repository that you choose are suitable for your purposes. The DataCite organisation has a growing list of repositories for research data.
  5. Please remember to update your chosen data bank with the article DOI on publication.

Are my data files subject to peer/editorial review?

No, we don’t expect that the data files will be subject to any special data review or scrutiny.

Key words

Please list three to eight key words representing the main content of the paper.


The author should provide background knowledge in the related field and important literature on the issue under discussion. The section should end with a brief statement on what is being reported in the article and the expected contribution to the study.


The author should clearly state the study design, the setting, any materials and/or subjects involved, any sampling and/or grouping methods, any interventions, and methods for statistical analysis. The author should generally use generic names instead of trade names. However, if there are critical differences among proprietary products, trade names should be used followed by generic descriptions, both in parentheses.

If human subjects are involved in the study, an ethical approval by the appropriate committee should be noted and an “informed consent” statement should be included in the manuscript.


The author should state only the main findings of the study in a clear and simple way, always remembering to avoid repetitive presentation of the data through text and tables.

Results of statistical analyses should include, where appropriate, relative and absolute risks or risk reductions, and confidence intervals.

Mean differences in continuous variables, proportions in categorical variables and relative risks including odds ratios and hazard ratios should be accompanied by their confidence intervals.

Specify the computer software used. For all P values include the exact value, not < 0.05 or  0.001.


The author should give an interpretation of the results, and point out the relevance and significance of the implications.

You may also modestly admit the limitations of the study and point out a direction for further research in the related field.


Major contributors to the study who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be given thanks in the Acknowledgements section.

Make sure to obtain permissions prior to citing any names/organizations here. Please also include the sources of funding for the study.

Conflicts of Interest

All authors must disclose any and all conflicts of interest they may have with the publication of the manuscript or an institution or product that is mentioned in the manuscript and/or the outcome of the study presented.

Authors should also disclose conflicts of interest with products that compete with those mentioned in their manuscript.


All references should be numbered consecutively in the order that the citations appear in the text.

Up to six of the author names can be listed and followed by “et al.”.

The journal titles should be abbreviated according to the style used in the list of Journals Indexed for MEDLINE.

Examples of References

Standard journal article

List the first six authors followed by et al. (Note: NLM now lists all authors.)

Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jul 25;347(4):284-7.

As an option, if a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume (as many medical journals do) the month and issue number may be omitted.

Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

More than six authors

Rose ME, Huerbin MB, Melick J, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Regulation of interstitial excitatory amino acid concentrations after cortical contusion injury. Brain Res. 2002;935(1-2):40-6

No author given

21st century heart solution may have a sting in the tail. BMJ. 2002;325(7357):184.

Volume with supplement

Geraud G, Spierings EL, Keywood C. Tolerability and safety of frovatriptan with short- and long-term use for treatment of migraine and in comparison with sumatriptan. Headache. 2002;42(Suppl 2):S93-9.

Article with published erratum

Malinowski JM, Bolesta S. Rosiglitazone in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a critical review. Clin Ther. 2000;22(10):1151-68; discussion 1149-50. Erratum in: Clin Ther. 2001;23(2):309.

Article published electronically ahead of the print version

Yu WM, Hawley TS, Hawley RG, Qu CK. Immortalization of yolk sac-derived precursor cells. Blood. 2002 Nov 15;100(10):3828-31. Epub 2002 Jul 5.

Books and Other Monographs

Personal author(s)

Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.

Editor(s), compiler(s) as author

Gilstrap LC 3rd, Cunningham FG, VanDorsten JP, editors. Operative obstetrics. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002.

Chapter in a book

Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.

Conference proceedings

Harnden P, Joffe JK, Jones WG, editors. Germ cell tumours V. Proceedings of the 5th Germ Cell Tumour Conference; 2001 Sep 13-15; Leeds, UK. New York: Springer; 2002.

Conference paper

Christensen S, Oppacher F. An analysis of Koza’s computational effort statistic for genetic programming. In: Foster JA, Lutton E, Miller J, Ryan C, Tettamanzi AG, editors. Genetic programming. EuroGP 2002: Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Genetic Programming; 2002 Apr 3-5; Kinsdale, Ireland. Berlin: Springer; 2002. p. 182-91.


Borkowski MM. Infant sleep and feeding: a telephone survey of Hispanic Americans [dissertation]. Mount Pleasant (MI): Central Michigan University; 2002.

Other Published Material

Newspaper article

Tynan T. Medical improvements lower homicide rate: study sees drop in assault rate. The Washington Post. 2002 Aug 12;Sect. A:2 (col. 4).

Dictionary and similar references

Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary. 29th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; 2000. Filamin; p. 675.

Unpublished Material

In press or Forthcoming

(Note: NLM prefers “Forthcoming” rather than “In press” because not all items will be printed.)

Tian D, Araki H, Stahl E, Bergelson J, Kreitman M. Signature of balancing selection in Arabidopsis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Forthcoming 2002.

Electronic Sources

Journal article on the Internet

Abood S. Quality improvement initiative in nursing homes: the ANA acts in an advisory role. Am J Nurs [Internet]. 2002 Jun [accessed 2002 Aug 12];102(6):[about 1 p.]. Available from:

Article with unique publisher item identifier (pii) in place of traditional pagination or DOI

Tegnell A, Dillner J, Andrae B. Introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in Sweden. Euro Surveill. 2009 Feb 12;14(6). pii: 19119. PubMed PMID: 19215721.


Holt M. The Health Care Blog [Internet]. San Francisco: Matthew Holt. 2003 Oct –   [accessed 2009 Feb 13]. Available from:

 For further examples not given above please see attached

Figures and Tables

  • Please number tables consecutively in the order of their appearance in the text.
  • Provide a clear and concise title above the table and use footnotes for explanatory matters below the table.
  • Please use double-spacing and do not use internal horizontal or vertical lines.
  • Make sure each column has a short heading.
  • Use the following symbols in footnotes in sequence: *, †, ‡, §, ‖, ¶, **, ††, ‡‡, §§, ‖‖, ¶¶, etc.
  • Please also number the figures consecutively in the order of their appearance in the text.
  • The figures should be of high quality and be self-explanatory with symbols, arrows or letters indicating the important areas in the figure.
  • Provide titles and detailed explanations in the legends below the figures.

Units of Measurement

  • Measurements of length, height, weight, and volume should be in metric units (meter, kilogram, or liter).
  • Temperatures should be in degrees Celsius. Blood pressures should be in millimetres of mercury.
  • Please refer to International System of Units (SI) for more information.

Abbreviations and Symbols

Use standard abbreviations. In the case of non-standard abbreviations, on first mention please write out the term in full, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses.