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The East African Medical Journal (EAMJ) aims to improve the practice of all aspects of medicine and health care in general. To achieve these objectives, the journal publishes original scientific articles, reviews, clinical case reports and letters dealing with any factor impacting on health. EAMJ in published monthly since 1923 and is quoted in many authoritative databases including Index Medicus (med-line), SCISEARCH, EMBASE, Current contents clin. med., Sci Cit. Index. Communications should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief, P.O. Box 41632, 00100, GPO Nairobi, Kenya, Email - firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: +254722275695.
The EAMJ peer review process: All the manuscripts submitted to the EAMJ are peer reviewed. About one fifth of such manuscripts are rejected after an in-house review by two editors. Primary reasons for rejection at this stage are lack of originality, lack of significant scientific message important to a general medical readership. Such a decision is normally reached within one month.
The remaining manuscripts are sent to one or more external referees selected from a database of many experts. Once returned, those with statistical component are reviewed by a statistician, after which all those considered suitable for publication are discussed at the monthly editorial panel meeting. This is the last stage of the peer review process.
We aim at reaching a final decision on publication within four months of manuscript submission. Original scientific articles and authoritative reviews should be published within four months of being finally accepted or after any necessary revisions.
General instructions: All materials submitted to be considered for publication must be submitted exclusively to EAMJ. It is a condition that all authors must give signed consent to publication. For original scientific articles and clinical case reports, written permission must be obtained from the Director/Superintendent of the hospital where the work was done or the case was managed. All manuscripts should be typed in double line spacing on numbered pages and conform to the uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals (1). Authors should provide their names, addresses and appointment/designation at the time they undertook the study. They should also provide a current address (including telephone, facsimile and E-mail) for purposes of correspondence. A non-refundable fee of Kshs. 5500/= or US$ 65 is levied on all submitted articles. No article will be processed without this fee. Material accepted for publication will be edited including the title. Where possible, proofs are sent to authors of the manuscripts except in the case of letters and obituaries.
Original articles and reviews: Please send three copies. You are advised to keep a further copy for your own reference. Articles should be between two and four thousand words with a maximum of eight tables or other illustrations. Original articles should report data from original research which is relevant to the practice of medicine especially in Kenya, the African continent and developing countries. The message carried in the article should be clear and having the potential of improving the practice of medicine upon implementation. Reviews must be critical analyses of the subjects reviewed, giving a state-of-the art and a balanced view of all the issues, for instance, controversies. Reviews should preferably be contributed by authorities and experts in the respective field. Similar to the case for original articles, the message of the review must be clear and of significance.
A structured abstract of no more than 250 words must be included. For original articles, the abstract should have the following headings: objective(s), design, setting, subjects or participants, interventions, main outcome measures, results and conclusion(2). For reviews the headings should be objectives(s), data sources, study selection, data extraction, data synthesis and conclusions.
Copies of related papers already published should be submitted. This requirement is important where details of study methods are published elsewhere or when the manuscript is part of a series, say, part II of a series where part I has been published elsewhere. Copies of any non-standard questionnaires should also be submitted for consideration of publication as indexes, if deemed necessary.
Statistical methods should be defined and the level of significance used stated.
Editorials: These are usually commissioned, however, unsolicited communications of up to 800 words are welcome. They will be peer reviewed.
Other submissions: (i) Case reports are welcome, however, the reason for presenting them must be clearly stated, particularly their critical significance in clinical practice. Case reports must be authentic, adequately and appropriately illustrated and the identity of any individual concealed according to ethical requirements. They must not be more than one thousand five hundred words which includes a succinct, informative prose summary of no more than one hundred words.
(ii) Letters to the Editor are welcome but must not be more than eight hundred words; contain only one illustration (table or figure) with less than five references. Priority will be accorded to letters responding to articles published in the journal within four months. Letters to the Editor will be edited and may be drastically shortened without losing the gist of the message, but proofs will not be sent to authors.
(iii) Short obituary announcement will be published as soon as possible but in accordance with the policy of the journal. We shall, in addition, be pleased to receive formal obituaries of up to four hundred words accompanied with a good quality pass port size photograph. Formal obituaries should contain, the following information among others: full names, date and place of birth, brief education history, year and place of qualification, all degrees and qualifications, highlights of appointments and achievements, hobbies, etc, mention of family (wife and children, if any), and date and cause of death. Only obituaries of interest to EAMJ readership may be submitted.
Authorship: Although the issue of authorship is currently under discussion, the EAMJ uses the criteria of the uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to medical journals which state that “authorship credit should be based only on substantial contribution to: (a) conception and design, or analysis and interpretation of data, (b) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and on (c) final approval of the version to be published. Conditions (a), (b) and (c) must all be met. Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship”. The EAMJ must be assured that all the authors included on an article do fulfil these criteria of authorship. We also must be assured that there is no one else who fulfils these criteria but has not been included as an author. All the authors, except in a posthumous situation, must sign the authors page.
Conflict of interest: Authors of original articles, reviews and letters to the editor should intimate a conflict of interest capable of influencing their judgments. Such conflicts may take many forms; the common ones are financial, personal, political or academic. Authors should disclose the potential conflicts even if they are satisfied that their judgments have not been influenced. The EAMJ deems it reasonable that the readers should know of such conflicts of interest so as to make up their own minds. In particular, sources of funding must be explicitly stated. Reviewers are also required to disclose any conflict of interest.
Ethical issues: Authors are responsible for the views, opinions and authenticity of the material published in the EAMJ. Where applicable, requirements of both international guidelines on research ethics as well as those of the local research ethics committee must be fulfilled, and authors are required to state that this is indeed the case. Attention must be drawn to consent, confidentiality and data ownership. If there is a possibility that a patient may be identified in an article, case report or illustration, the EAMJ advises that the written consent be obtained from the patient or guardian(s).
It is our policy not to print redundant or significantly overlapping publications. For various and valid reasons, the EAMJ does not wish to publish materials that has appeared beforehand in public media. We therefore draw the attention of authors to Ingelfinger rule(3).
Copyright: All authors (with very few specified exceptions) transfer copyright to the EAMJ in accordance with international copyright regulations and also in unison with copyright Act, Chapter 130, Laws of Kenya. Submission of a manuscript, therefore, implies: that the work described has not been previously published (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a thesis); that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; that its publication has been approved by all the authors and, in many cases, by the responsible authorities at the institution where the work has been carried out; that if and when the manuscript is accepted for publication, the authors agree to automatic transfer of the copyright to the journal, that the manuscript will not be published elsewhere in any language without consent of the copyright holder.
Format and style: Original articles should conform to the AIMRADAR format, that is, Abstract, Introduction, Materials and methods, Results, and Discussion, Acknowledgments (if any) and References.
Abbreviations, such as, etc., i.e., e.g. should not be used. Internationally recognised abbreviations may only be used after the long form has been written and explained. For instance, the World Health Organisation (WHO),United Nations (UN). Drugs should be referred to by approved and proprietary names. Scientific measurements should be given in SI units, except for blood pressure which should be presented in mm Hg. Three copies of each manuscripts should be submitted. The entire manuscript must be typed, double spaced throughout, on one side of the paper and with a wide margin. Contributors are also requested to send three copies of Tables and Figures. If the illustrations are photographs (such as, photomicrographs or electron micrographs),three complete sets of glossy prints should be sent. They should not be inserted in the text but should be numbered on the back with figure numbers, caption, title of the paper and name of the author(s). The photographs should be marked ‘TOP’ where necessary. Photographs, graphs and diagrams will be referred to as figures and should be numbered in Arabic numerals. The position of the illustrations in the text should be clearly indicated. The tables should be essential, numbered consecutively in the text in Arabic numerals and typed on separate pages. Manuscripts should be consistent in style and spelling. Slang, medial jargon and obscure abbreviations must not be used. A title page should be provided to contain: (i) the title of the paper, (ii) author(s) name(s) and signature(s), degrees, designation, name of institution where the work was carried out, present address, telephone and facsimile or telex numbers and e-mail address, if available, and (iii) name and address of the author to whom all communications should be addressed.
Only references which are clearly related to the authors work should be quoted. The EAMJ allows up to twenty references for original articles and editorials; up to forty for reviews and only ten or less for case reports. References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear in the text. At the end of the article, the full list of references should give the names and initials of all authors (except where there are more than six when only the first six should be given followed by et al). References made to a journal should include, title of the paper quoted, name of the journal, abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus, (see “list of journals indexed”, printed yearly in the January issue of Index Medicus); and arranged in Vancouver style, that is, year, volume, first and last page numbers. References made to books should bear the author’s or editor’s last name, initials, title, edition number, place of publication, publisher and year.
Information from manuscripts not yet in press, papers reported at meetings and conferences, or personal communications may be cited only in the text, not as a formal reference; and even for this an author should get permission from the source to cite personal communication. Authors must check the accuracy and completeness of the references before submitting the article. Only references actually read may be cited and consequently submitted in the list.
Page proofs, offprints and reprints: Page proofs will be submitted, whenever possible, to contributors for minor corrections and must be returned within ten days, as at this time, production is at advanced stages. Neither late nor major changes can be implemented.
Fifty offprints to each article are provided at a charge of US$130 payable in advance. Authors are advised to submit a cheque together with their order for both offprints and any additional reprints when returning the proofs. Rates are subject to change without notice.
1. Internal Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals, PA: ICMJE, 1963.
2. Haynes, R.B., Mulrow, C.D., Huth, E.J., Attman, D.G. and Gardner, M.J. More informative abstracts revisited. Ann. Intern. Med. 1990; 113:69-76.
3. Editorial. The Ingelfinger Rule revisited. N. Engl. J. Med. 1991; 235:1371-1373.
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