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Author GuidelinesThe Nigerian Medical Journal (Journal of the Nigerian Medical Association) publishes articles in Clinical, Laboratory and Community Medicine, Basic Medical Sciences, Medical Technology as well as the Economics and Management of Health Care Delivery, especially those relating to the African environment. The Editorial Board welcomes contributions in the form of original research reports, review articles, brief communications, case reports, commentaries, clinical practice materials, letters to the editor, medical memoranda or position papers. The Journal also publishes review of books and audiovisual materials, and other (medical) educational materials; socioeconomic, political and legal matters related to medical practice; conference and workshop reports and other categories including medical news. Manuscripts (three copies of manuscripts, tables, figures, etc.) as well as books for review, notices of conferences, and news of importance, should be sent with a covering letter to: The Editor, Nigerian Medical Journal, Nnamdi Asikiwe University Teaching Hospital PMB 5025 Nnewi Nigeria. Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals"(1). Manuscripts are considered with the understanding that they have neither been published previously nor are under consideration by another publisher. Publication of preliminary findings elsewhere (in an abstract form) does not exclude consideration by NMJ. All contributions, including those solicited, are subjected to peer review by editors of the Journal and/or invited assessors. The decision of the editors is final. Authors are responsible for all statements contained in their contributions. CATEGORIES OF CONTRIBUTIONS Original Articles Original research concerning any aspect (e.g. aetiopathogenesis, diagnosis, management and prevention) of disease. Animal research contributions of relevance to human health are also welcome. Text should be 8-20 double-spaced (A4) manuscript pages (maximum 4,000 words). Reviews including meta-analyses Detailed, systematic and critical evaluation of the literature on a specified clinical problem. Reviews should include information such as type of studies and the selection process. Reviewed papers should have a maximum of 5,000 words or 15-20 double-spaced A4 manuscript pages and should contain subheadings. Short Communications and Case Reports These may be unique case reports, clinical experiences and short reports of original research. Text should not exceed 1,500 words or 3 to 10 double-spaced A4 pages including tables and legends, a maximum of 15 references, two illustrations and two tables. Format should be the same as for original contributions. Workshop and Conference Reports These may be general or specific conferences like medical grand rounds. Text should have a maximum of 5,000 words or 15-20 double-spaced A4 pages. Medical Memoranda These are papers expressing personal or group opinion on political, socioeconomic, and other matters as they relate to the practice of medicine. Text should be 8-15 double-spaced A4 manuscript pages. Letters to the Editor These are editorially dealt with and not subject to peer review. Letters should contain a maximum of 1,000 words, two illustrations/tables and ten references. Contents of letters may be comments on materials published in the Journal, clinical observations or other matters of relevance to medicine and allied professions. Submit an original and a copy typed with double-spacing. MANUSCRIPT FORMAT AND PREPARATION Manuscripts should be typewritten in English with double spacing on one side only of 21.6 x 27.9cm (A4) white bond paper with 2.5cm margins. The manuscript should consist of (a) title page, (b) summary, (c) text, (d) acknowledgement, (e) references, (f) tables, (g) figures and (h) legends. Submit the original and two copies of the manuscript with three sets of glossy prints of figures. Number manuscript pages consecutively, beginning with the title page. Each manuscript component should begin on a new page in the sequence given above. Title Page should include the title of the manuscript, initials and surname (last name) and qualifications of each author; names of departments and institutions in which the work was done or affiliated; name and address of corresponding author; three to six keywords for indexing; and a running title of not more than forty characters. Avoid use of abbreviations in the title. Summary: This should contain 150-250 words and be structured under the specified headings for original articles, short communication, case reports and reviews as follows: Original contributions: (a) Objective, (b) Subjects, Materials and Methods (including design, setting, intervention and measurements); (c) Results and (d) Conclusions. Reviews: (a) Purpose, (b) Data Sources, (c) Study Selection; (d) Data Extraction; (e) Results and (f) Conclusions. An unstructured summary of 150 words or so should be provided for other types of articles. Editorials, letters, commentaries, medical memoranda and position papers need carry no summarises as specified herein. Avoid use of abbreviations in the summary. Keywords: Provide three to six keywords (preferably using Index Medicus Medical Subject Headings) below the summary. Text should consist of introduction including a brief review of the literature; details of Research design, Subjects, Materials and Methods, Ethics, Statistics; Results and Discussion. Long articles should provide sub-headings. Abbreviations and Nomenclature List in an alphabetical order non-standard abbreviations contained in the manuscript (excluding references) with definitions after the keywords. Use abbreviations sparingly and only when necessary to save space, and to avoid repeating long chemical names or therapeutic regimes. In a figure or table, define the abbreviations used in a footnote. Use generic names for all drugs except where there is a good reason to use proprietary (trade) names such as drugs showing adverse effects, comparison of different preparations of the same agent, etc. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS All manuscripts reporting experiments on human subjects should be accompanied by a statement in the methods section that the author/s have complied with the requirements of the Ethical Committee of the Institution in which the work was done. If investigators have no access to an ethics committee, the principles outlined in the Helsinki Declaration (2) should be followed. Avoid using patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers. If full-face photographs are to be used, such photographs must be accompanied by a signed or thumb printed informed consent of the subject. Animal experimentation must also follow institution's guidelines and/or National Laws in the use of Laboratory animals in research. ACKNOWLDGEMENT Acknowledgement of general support, financial and material support, technical help, etc. should be indicated at the end of the main text. It is the responsibility of authors to obtain consent of those being acknowledged. REFERENCES Number references in order of appearance in text. Identify a reference number in text, tables or legends by Arabic numerals in parentheses. EXAMPLES OF CORRECT FORMS OF REFERENCES Journal Articles Give (a) surname and initials of all authors (up to six) (when seven or more list the first six and add et al; (b) article title, (c) name of journal, (d) year, (e) volume number, and (f) first and last pages. Example: Solanke TF, Ayeni O, Osanyintaye SO: Effect of a mixture of red pepper (Capsicum frutescens) and amino acid on gastric acid secretion. Niger Med J 1976; 6: 23-25. Author(s) of Book Give (a) Surname and initials of ALL authors, (b) title of book (c) edition (except if first), (d) City, (e) Publisher, (f) Year and (g) Page. Example: Schram R. History of the Nigerian Health Services. 2nd ed. Ibadan: University Press; 1971: 70-75. Author(s) of a Chapter in a Book Give (a) Surname and initials of ALL authors of the particular chapter, (b) title of chapter, (c) editor(s) of the book, (d) title of book, (e) edition (except if first), (f) City, (g) Publisher, (h) Year and (g) pages. Example: Majekodunmi AA. Ocular Emergencies. In: Adeyemi-Doro HO (editor). Manual of Emergency Surgery. 2nd edition. Lagos, University of Lagos Press; 1991: 30-50. Authors should verify references cited against the original documents. Journal abbreviations should be as in the list of journals in Index Medicus. UNITS OF MEASUREMENTS Report length, height, weight and volume respectively in metre, kilograms and litres, or their decimal multiples. Temperature should be reported in degrees Celsius while blood pressure should be given in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). Haematological and clinical chemistry measurements should be reported in SI units with conventional equivalents in parentheses. In tables and figures, all measurements should be reported in SI units only but a conversion factor should be provided as a footnote. TABLES Tables should be typed double-spaced on separate sheets of paper numbered consecutively and referred to in the text in Arabic numerals. Their approximate positions in the text should be indicated. Supply a brief title describing the content at the top of the table. Give each column a short or abbreviated heading. Explanatory matters should be placed in footnotes (not in the heading). For footnotes use the following symbols in this sequence *, †, ‡, §, , **, †† …, etc. in order from left to right and from top to bottom in body of table. Avoid use of internal horizontal and vertical rules. FIGURES AND ILLUSTRATIONS Submit three complete sets of professionally drawn and photographed figures. Original drawings, x-rays, etc. are not acceptable. Rather send sharp, glossy black and white prints of figures of about the size 127 x 173mm (5 x 7 inches). Letters, numbers and symbols should be clear and even throughout and of sufficient size that when reduced for publication each item will still be legible. TITLES AND EXPLANATORY NOTES SHOULD BE IN THE LEGEND FOR THE ILLUSTRATIONS NOT ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS THEMSELVES. Photomicrographs should have internal scale markers and/or a statement of magnification. Symbols, arrows or letters used in photographs must contrast with the background. Figures should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text. Materials taken from other sources must be accompanied by a written permission for reproduction from their publisher and/or author. Paste a label on the back of each figure indicating the number of the figure, author's name, on top of the figure. Colour photographs will only be published at the expense of the authors. Submit figures as unmounted and untrimmed prints in a protective envelope. LEGENDS FOR ILLUSTRATIONS Type legends for illustrations (figures) double-spaced, starting on a separate sheet, with Arabic numerals corresponding to the figures. Identify and explain in the legend each symbol, number, letter, etc. used in the illustration. Explain the internal scale or any methods of staining in photogramicrographs in the legend. REPRINTS Reprints are at advertised rates. These must be paid for at the time of final acceptance of contributions. A minimum of 50 reprints must be paid for each published contribution before publication except where such contribution has been solicited. REVISED MANUSCRIPTS AND PROOFS Revised Manuscripts: Two copies of revised manuscripts should be sent to the editor. Proofs may be sent to the corresponding author for corrections if only specifically requested. If sent, such proofs must be returned to the Editor within seven days of posting by the Editor. COPYRIGHT On acceptance, the copyright of the paper will be vested in the Journal and Publisher. All authors should sign the copyright form (reproduced in each issue of the Journal) and should accompany the manuscript on submission. REFERENCES 1. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Br Med J 1991; 302: 338-41. 2. 41st World Medical Assembly. Declaration of Helsinki: recommendations guiding physicians in biomedical research, involving human subjects. Bull Pan Am Health Organ 1990; 24: 606-609.
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