Author Guidelines

The Editorial Process and policy: A manuscript will be reviewed for possible publication with the understanding that it is being submitted to Nigerian Medical Journal alone then and has not been published anywhere, simultaneously submitted, or already accepted for publication elsewhere. The journal expects that authors would authorize one of them to correspond with the Journal for all matters related to the manuscript. All manuscripts received are duly acknowledged. On submission, editors review all submitted manuscripts initially for suitability for formal review. Manuscripts with insufficient originality, serious scientific or technical flaws or lack of a significant message are rejected before proceeding for formal peer-review. Manuscripts that are unlikely to be of interest to the Nigerian Medical Journal readers are also liable to be rejected at this stage itself.

Clinical trial registry: Nigerian Medical Journal would publish clinical trials that have been registered following the ICMJE requirements and recommendations - http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/publishing-and-editorial-issues/clinical-trial-registration.html. Clinical trials should be registered in a public trials registry at or before the time of first patient enrolment as a condition of consideration for publication. Clinical trials that have commenced enrolment of subjects before June 2008 would be considered for publication in Nigerian Medical Journal only if they have been registered retrospectively with a clinical trial registry that allows unhindered online access to the public without charging any fees.

Authorship Criteria 

Eligibility as an Author: NMJ, follows the recommendation of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) for eligibility to be considered as an author for submitted papers. The ICMJE recommends that authorship be based on the following four (4) criteria:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Participation solely in the acquisition of funding or the collection of data does not justify authorship. General supervision of the research group is not sufficient for authorship. Each contributor should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content of the manuscript. The order of naming the contributors should be based on the relative contribution of the contributor towards the study and writing the manuscript. Once submitted the order cannot be changed without the written consent of all the contributors. Authors should ensure compliance with the above guidelines as manuscripts considered to have a gift or unjustified authorships will be rejected.

Contributors should describe contributions made by each of them towards the manuscript. The description should be divided into the following categories, as applicable: concept, design, the definition of intellectual content, literature search, clinical studies, experimental studies, data acquisition, data analysis, statistical analysis, manuscript preparation, manuscript editing and manuscript review. One or more authors should take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole from inception to published article and should be designated as 'guarantor'.

Conflicts of Interest/ Competing Interests: All authors must disclose 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 is important to the outcome of the study presented. Authors should also disclose conflicts of interest with products that compete with those mentioned in their manuscript.

 Submission of Manuscripts   

All manuscripts must be submitted online through the website https://nigerianmedjournal.org/. First-time users will have to register at this site. Registration is free but mandatory. The submitted manuscripts that are not as per the "Instructions to Authors" would be returned to the authors for technical correction, before they undergo editorial/ peer-review. Generally, the manuscript should be submitted in the form of three separate files and other supplementary materials (e.g. images, etc.):

[1] Title Page/First Page File/covering letter:

This file should provide

  1. The type of manuscript (original article, case report, review article, Letter to editor, Images, etc.) title of the manuscript, running title, names of all authors/ contributors (with their highest academic degrees, designation and affiliations) and name(s) of the department(s) and/ or institution(s) to which the work should be credited. All information that can reveal your identity should be here. Use text/RTF/doc files. Do not zip the files.
  2. The total number of pages, the total number of photographs and word counts separately for abstract and for the text (excluding the references, tables and abstract), word counts for introduction + discussion in case of an original article;
  3. Source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, drugs, or all of these;
  4. Acknowledgement, if any. One or more statements should specify 1) contributions that need acknowledging but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a departmental chair; 2) acknowledgements of technical help; and 3) acknowledgements of financial and material support, which should specify the nature of the support. This should be included in the title page of the manuscript and not in the main article file.
  5. If the manuscript was presented as part of a meeting, the organization, place, and exact date on which it was read. A full statement to the editor about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as redundant publication of the same or very similar work. Any such work should be referred to specifically, and referenced in the new paper. Copies of such material should be included with the submitted paper, to help the editor decide how to handle the matter.
  6. Registration number in case of a clinical trial and where it is registered (name of the registry and its URL). In the case of a systematic review the evidence of protocol registration stating the name of the registry, the URL and number where appropriate.
  7. Conflicts of Interest of each author/ contributor. A statement of financial or other relationships that might lead to a conflict of interest, if that information is not included in the manuscript itself or an authors' form
  8. Criteria for inclusion in the authors’/ contributors’ list
  9. A statement that the manuscript has been read and approved by all the authors, that the requirements for authorship as stated earlier in this document have been met, and that each author believes that the manuscript represents honest work if that information is not provided in another form (see below); and
  10. The name, address, e-mail, and telephone number of the corresponding author, who is responsible for communicating with the other authors about revisions and final approval of the proofs, if that information is not included on the manuscript itself.

[2] Blinded Article file: The main text of the article, beginning from Abstract till References (including tables) should be in this file. The file must not contain any mention of the authors' names or initials or the institution at which the study was done or acknowledgements. Page headers/running titles can include the title but not the authors' names. Manuscripts not in compliance with the Journal's blinding policy will be returned to the corresponding author. Use RTF/doc files. Do not zip the files. Limit the file size to 1 MB. The pages should be numbered consecutively, beginning with the first page of the blinded article file.

[3] Non blinded article file: with the full contents inclusive of names and institutions at which the study was done or acknowledgements.

[4] Images: Submit good quality colour images. Each image should be less than 4 MB in size. The size of the image can be reduced by decreasing the actual height and width of the images (keep up to 1800 x 1200 pixels or 5-6 inches). Images can be submitted as jpeg files. Do not zip the files. Legends for the figures/images should be included at the end of the article file.

Preparation of Manuscripts   

Type of Manuscripts: Manuscripts submitted to NMJ, maybe in the form of Review articles, Original research articles, case series and reports, Clinical practice materials, Editorial Letters, Short commentaries, Books reviews and Medical educational materials. All contributions are expected to be original works, and must not have been previously published in print or online or simultaneously submitted to another journal.  An abstract published before a full report will not be regarded as a duplicate publication. Authors should ensure any submission to NMJ conforms to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals - http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/manuscript-preparation/. To avoid delays in publication, authors are advised to also adhere closely to the specific requirement of the Nigerian Medical Journal. Before submitting a manuscript, contributors are requested to check for the latest instructions from the journal - https://nigerianmedjournal.org/.

Abstract and keywords: Abstracts for original research should be structured into a background stating the objective of the paper, methods, results and conclusion. Abstracts for other forms of manuscripts such as review articles, case reports and short commentaries/reports need not be structured. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words for all categories of articles. Abstracts are not required for correspondence, editorial letters and CME articles.  References should not be cited in the abstract.  Keywords should be placed below the abstract with (3) to 15 keywords or short phrases that will assist indexers in cross-indexing the article. The use of terms from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list from Index Medicus for the keywords is advised where possible.

Specific manuscript requirements

Original articles:

These include randomized controlled trials, intervention studies, studies of screening and diagnostic tests, outcome studies, cost-effectiveness analyses, case-control series, and surveys with high response rates. The text of original articles amounting to up to 5000 words (excluding Abstract, references and Tables) should be divided into sections with the headings Abstract, Key-words, Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, References, Tables and Figure legends.

Introduction: State the purpose and summarize the rationale for the study or observation.

Materials and Methods: It should include and describe the following aspects:

Ethics: When reporting studies on human beings, indicate whether the procedures followed were following the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (available at http://www.wma.net/e/policy/17-c_e.html). For prospective studies involving human participants, authors are expected to mention about approval of regional/ national/ institutional or independent Ethics Committee or Review Board, obtaining informed consent from adult research participants and obtaining assent for children aged over 7 years participating in the trial. The age beyond which assent would be required could vary as per regional and/ or national guidelines. Ensure confidentiality of subjects by desisting from mentioning participants' names, initials or hospital numbers, especially in illustrative material. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate whether the institutions or a national research council's guide for or any national law on the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

Evidence for approval by a local Ethics Committee (for both human as well as animal studies) must be supplied by the authors on demand. Animal experimental procedures should be as humane as possible and the details of anaesthetics and analgesics used should be clearly stated. The ethical standards of experiments must be per the guidelines provided by the CPCSEA and World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki on Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Humans for studies involving experimental animals and human beings, respectively). The journal will not consider any ethically unacceptable paper. A statement on ethics committee permission and ethical practices must be included in all research articles under the 'Materials and Methods section.

Study design:

Selection and Description of Participants: Describe your selection of the observational or experimental participants (patients or laboratory animals, including controls) clearly, including eligibility and exclusion criteria and a description of the source population. Technical information: Identify the methods, apparatus (give the manufacturer's name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods (see below); provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration.

Reports of randomized clinical trials should present information on all major study elements, including the protocol, assignment of interventions (methods of randomization, concealment of allocation to treatment groups), and the method of masking (blinding), based on the CONSORT Statement (http://www.consort-statement.org).

Reporting Guidelines for Specific Study Designs

Initiative                        Type of Study                                       Source

CONSORT       Randomized controlled trials                http://www.consort-statement.org

STARD                     Studies of diagnostic accuracy  http://www.consort-statement.org/stardstatement.htm

PRISMA  (Including Extensions)    Systematic reviews and meta-analyses    http://www.prisma-statement.org/

STROBE   Observational studies in epidemiology http://www.strobe-statement.org

MOOSE                 Meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology    http://www.consort- statement.org/Initiatives/MOOSE/moose.pdf

Statistics: Whenever possible quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Authors should report losses to observation (such as dropouts from a clinical trial). When data are summarized in the Results section, specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Avoid non-technical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as 'random' (which implies a randomizing device), 'normal', 'significant', 'correlations', and 'sample'. Define statistical terms, abbreviations, and most symbols. Specify the computer software used. Use upper italics (P 0.048). For all P values include the exact value and not less than 0.05 or 0.001. 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.

Results: Present your results in a logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations, giving the main or most important findings first. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations. Extra- or supplementary materials and technical detail can be placed in an appendix where they will be accessible but will not interrupt the flow of the text; alternatively, it can be published only in the electronic version of the journal.

When data are summarized in the Results section, give numeric results not only as derivatives (for example, percentages) but also as the absolute numbers from which the derivatives were calculated, and specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Where scientifically appropriate, analyses of the data by variables such as age and sex should be included.

Discussion: Include a summary of key findings (primary outcome measures, secondary outcome measures, results as they relate to a prior hypothesis); Strengths and limitations of the study (study question, study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation); Interpretation and implications in the context of the totality of evidence (is there a systematic review to refer to, if not, could one be reasonably done here and now?, what this study adds to the available evidence, effects on patient care and health policy, possible mechanisms); Controversies raised by this study; and Future research directions (for this particular research collaboration, underlying mechanisms, clinical research).

Do not repeat in detail data or other material given in the Introduction or the Results section. In particular, contributors should avoid making statements on economic benefits and costs unless their manuscript includes economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. New hypotheses may be stated if needed, however, they should be clearly labelled as such. About 30 references can be included.

Review Articles:

Include narrative and systematic reviews. Systematic reviews should be prepared in strict compliance with MOOSE or PRISMA guidelines, or other relevant guidelines for systematic reviews.

It is expected that these articles would be written by individuals who have done substantial work on the subject or are considered experts in the field. A summary of the work done by the contributor(s) in the field of review should accompany the manuscript.

The prescribed word count is up to 7500 words excluding tables, references and abstract. The manuscript may have about 90 references. The manuscript should have an unstructured Abstract (300 words) representing an accurate summary of the article. The section titles would depend upon the topic reviewed. Authors submitting review articles should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. These methods should also be summarized in the abstract.

The journal expects the contributors to give post-publication updates on the subject of review. The update should be brief, covering the advances in the field after the publication of the article and should be sent as a letter to the editor, as and when major development occurs in the field.

Case reports or Series:

New, interesting and rare cases can be reported. Cases should have a unique lesson for practice in the diagnosis, pathology or management of the case, beyond the mere finding of a rare entity and demonstrate good clinical practice. Reporting the outcome and length of survival of a rare problem will also be considered more valuable than merely describing what treatment was rendered at the time of diagnosis. These communications could be of up to 3000 words (excluding Abstract and references) and should have the following headings: Abstract (unstructured), Keywords, Introduction, and Case report, Discussion, Reference, Tables and Legends in that order. Pictures and tables should be limited to content with relevant information with a maximum of four (4) tables and four (4) photographs.

Short Communications and commentaries: Shorts communication are short research articles of important preliminary observations or findings that extends previously published research, data that does not warrant publication as a full paper, small-scale clinical studies, and clinical audits. Short communications shall consist of an abstract/summary and the Main Text. These communications could be of up to 2000 words with an abstract/summary should be limited to 300 words and provided immediately after the title page. The number of figures and tables should be limited to five (5) and the number of references to twenty (20).

Letter to the Editor:

These should be short and decisive observations. They should preferably be related to articles previously published in the Journal or views expressed in the journal or communicate a very important message (statements of statistics, facts, research, or theories) that is time-sensitive and cannot wait for the full process of peer review.  The letter could have up to 1000 words and not more than 5 references.

Editorial, Guest Editorial, Commentary and Opinion are solicited by the editorial board.

Editorials: These are articles written by the editor or editorial team about issues relevant to the journal and topical issues for the publication. Guest editorials may also be solicited by the Editors. Editorial may be up to 1000 words.

Commentaries: Commentaries will usually be articles that comment on articles published in the same or previous issue of the NMJ. However, commentaries on issues relevant to medicine globally are welcomed.  Commentaries should be concise and maybe up to 1000 words and when presenting a point of view, should be supported with the relevant references not exceeding (5).

Continuing Medical Education (CME) Articles: A CME article is a critical analysis of a topic of current medical interest. The article should include the clinical question or issue and its importance for general medical practice, speciality practice, or public health. The authors should provide five multiple-choice questions, [each with the best of five responses], based on the article. CME Articles should not exceed 1500 words inclusive of Multiple choice questions and any references not exceeding 5.

Copies of any permission(s)  

It is the responsibility of authors/ contributors to obtain permission for reproducing any copyrighted material. A copy of the permission obtained must accompany the manuscript. Copies of all published articles or other manuscripts in preparation or submitted elsewhere that are related to the manuscript must also accompany the manuscript. 

References

Referencing guide:  The NMedJ, follows the Vancouver style of referencing. It is a numbered referencing style commonly used in medicine and science, and consists of: citations to someone else's work in the text, indicated by the use of a number and a sequentially numbered reference list at the end of the document providing full details of the corresponding in-text reference. It follows the guidelines provided in the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text (not in alphabetic order). Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in superscript with square bracket after the punctuation marks. References cited only in tables or figure legends should be numbered following the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure.

Authors are responsible for the accuracy of cited references and these should be checked before the manuscript is submitted. The Journal names should be abbreviated according to the style used in the Index Medicus. Use the complete name of the journal for non-indexed journals.

Articles published as abstracts only should not be used as references; Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted should be cited in the text as "unpublished observations" with written permission from the source and should not be in the reference list. Avoid citing a "personal communication" unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person and date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text.

All references must be verified by the author(s) against the original documents. List all authors when six or less; when seven or more list only the first six and add et al.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is owned by the Nigerian Medical Association.

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2229-774X
print ISSN: 0300-1652