Guidelines for Authors (Revised, 2012)
Aim and Scope of the Journal
The aim of the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine is to publish original scientific contributions in psychiatry, psychological medicine (including surgery and obstetrics), and related basic sciences (neurosciences, biological, psychological, and social sciences).
The scope of the Journal includes any subspecialties of the above, including, but not limited to, behavioural pharmacology, biological psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, intellectual disability, forensic psychiatry, psychotherapies, psychiatry of old age, epidemiology, rehabilitation, psychometrics, substance misuse, sexual studies, linguistics, and the history, philosophy and economics of psychiatry.
The Journal is dedicated to providing reliable, valid clinical and scientific information to inform mental health care decisions and improve the quality of mental health care.
The Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine complies with the “Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors” of the Committee on Publication Ethics (2011) and the “Editorial Policy Statements” of the Council of Science Editors (2009).
The Journal will accept for consideration original papers, brief research reports, audits, clinical case reports, review articles, historical papers, perspective articles, editorials, letters to the editor and book reviews. Original data papers receive top priority for speedy publication.
Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM) Submitted to Biomedical Journals” of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2010). www.icmje.org
The title page should include the paper title, author name(s), author qualifications, author job title(s), author affiliation(s) and full address (es). The name, address, email address and telephone number of the corresponding author should be clearly and separately indicted.
- The manuscript should be typed, double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font.
- Pages should be numbered but do not use any other automated features (such as endnotes, headers or footers), any form of automated referencing software, or any mechanism to track changes to various drafts of a manuscript.
- Numbers one to ten should be written as words in the text, unless used as a unit of measurement; all numbers should be written in digits in tables and figures.
- All numbers which start sentences should be written in words, not digits.
- Bold type-face should be used for headings of sections and sub-sections within the paper.
- Do not use tabs or indents within the text of the paper.
- SI units are required for all measurements.
- Means should be accompanied by standard deviations.
- Exact p values should be provided, unless p<0.0001.
- Recommended non-proprietary drug names should be used.
- Writing should be clear, simple and direct.
- Short sentences are preferred.
Abstract and Key-Words
The page following the title page should carry an abstract followed by a list of three to ten key-words drawn, if possible, from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of the United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mesh). The title and key-words should be chosen to help future literature searchers.
The abstract, up to 150 words for an unstructured or 250 words for a structured abstract (Haynes et al, 1991), should state specifically the main purposes, procedures, findings and conclusions of the study, emphasising what is new or important. For original papers, brief research reports, audits and review articles, a structured abstract is required, using the headings Objectives, Methods, Results and Conclusions.
Under the Abstract heading of Method, include, wherever applicable the study design, setting, patients/participants (selection criteria, description), interventions, observational and analytical methods and main outcome measures. (For review articles specify the methods of literature search and selection). Under the Abstract heading of Results, give the most important specific data together with their statistical significance.
Original papers should be divided into sections as follows: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. A Conclusions section is not mandatory but may be included in the original submission if the author wishes, or may be requested at a later stage by peer-reviewers or editors. The Results section should present a summary of main results and should not simply refer to tables. Reports of randomised trials must conform to CONSORT 2010 guidelines.
It is preferable that audit papers present the full cycle of clinical audit, including audit, intervention and re-audit. In exceptional circumstances, papers presenting one element of the audit cycle may be published, but priority will be given to papers presenting full audit cycles. The format for audit papers may differ from that outlined for original papers, and may include, for example, Introduction, Audit, Intervention, Re-Audit, Discussion and Conclusions.
Clinical Case Reports
All clinical case reports must have the patient’s written, informed consent before the paper is submitted.
Timely references should highlight the paper’s relevance to current research or clinical practice. For references to journal articles (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, 2006; 2010; Haynes et al, 1991; Bailar & Mosteller, 1998) and to books (Daly et al, 1991; Gardner & Altman, 1989; American Psychiatric Association, 1987) use the ‘Vancouver’ style, i.e. number references in the order they appear in the text, do not alphabetise. Journal titles should be abbreviated as outlined on PubMed by the United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/journals). Please see the sample paper on the website of the College of Psychiatry of Ireland for further details http://www.irishpsychiatry.ie/Members/MembersInformationTools/irishjournalofpsychologicalmedicine.aspx
Tables and Figures
Figures and graphs should be clear and of good quality, and should be accompanied by relevant data to facilitate redrawing where necessary. Clear and informative headings and captions should be provided.
Manuscripts may be submitted electronically via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Full postal address, telephone and fax numbers should be included. Where possible, tables, figures and text should be included in the same document. There is no need to also submit by post or fax.
All submitted material will become the property of the Journal until, and if, publication is refused. Material so referred should not be sent elsewhere for publication.
Conflict of Interest
In the interest of accountability all financial and material support for the research and the work should be clearly stated (DeAngelis et al, 2001). Authors of original data must take responsibility for the integrity of the data and accuracy of the data analysis. All authors must have full access to all the data in the study (Davidoff et al, 1986). Authors must declare any conflict of interest clearly, in accordance with the guidance of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2006):
“Public trust in the peer review process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how well conflict of interest is handled during writing, peer review, and editorial decision making. Conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author's institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence (bias) his or her actions (such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties). These relationships vary from those with negligible potential to those with great potential to influence judgment, and not all relationships represent true conflict of interest. The potential for conflict of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion.”
Statement of Informed Consent
Where relevant, papers must include a statement regarding informed consent, in accordance with the guidance of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2006):
“Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published. Authors should identify Individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. The requirement for informed consent should be included in the journal's instructions for authors. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the published article.”
Statement of Human and Animal Rights
Where relevant, papers must include a statement regarding human and animal rights, in accordance with the guidance of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2006):
“When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.”
Authors should obtain permission to acknowledge individuals named in any Acknowledgments section, since readers may infer endorsement.
Each submission must be accompanied by the names, professional titles, professional addresses and email addresses of three suggested peer-reviewers. Authors should select these suggested peer-reviewers to include individuals, in any part of the world, who are recognized experts in the area to which the submission refers, and whom the author believes would provide useful, objective peer-reviews of the manuscript. The editors will give consideration to sending the manuscript to some or all of these peer-reviewers, but are not under any obligation to do so.
Description of the Peer-Review Process
All submissions are acknowledged by email. Submissions are initially considered by the Editor-In-Chief or Deputy Editor for suitability for peer-review. Submissions selected for peer-review are sent to three anonymous outside peer-reviewers. Where one or more peer-reviewers recommend acceptance or acceptance after revision, all peer-reviews are sent to the corresponding author, with an invitation to revise the paper.
If the author chooses to revise the paper, the revised paper should be accompanied by a detailed cover letter responding to each comment made by each peer-reviewer, indicating precisely how the revision deals with each comment, or why the author disagrees with or cannot incorporate specific comments.
Each peer-reviewer will then receive the revised paper, cover letter and comments of the other peer-reviewers. After the peer-reviewers’ further comments have been received, a final decision about publication will be made.
The editorial process may vary from the above under certain circumstances, at the discretion of the Editor-In-Chief or Deputy Editor.
Other Modes of Review
Some guidance on statistical matters for authors is provided by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2006; 2010) and Bailar & Mosteller (1998). Notwithstanding this guidance, statistical review may be required for certain papers, and this will be arranged by the Journal editors where indicated. Other, more specialist forms of peer-review may also be required on occasion, and these, too, will be arranged by the Journal editors where indicated.
Papers which the editors feel warrant fast-track publication will be expedited through the publication process. The decision to “fast-track” papers lies with the editors.
Plagiarism and Duplicate Publication
Manuscripts are considered with the understanding that they have not been published previously, either in print or electronic format. In the event that plagiarism or duplicate publication is suspected, the author will be invited to comment on the matter and a decision will be taken by the editors.
In the event that an author wishes to appeal an editorial decision, the author can send a letter of appeal to the Editor-In-Chief. The Editor-In-Chief will pass the relevant materials to the Consulting Editor who may seek external opinion. The Consulting Editor will advise the Editor-In-Chief in relation to the appeal but the final decision on the matter rests with the Editor-In-Chief.
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1987.
Bailar JC, Mosteller F. Guidelines for statistical reporting in articles for medical journals. Ann Intern Med 1988; 108: 266-273.
Committee on Publication Ethics. Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors. London: Committee on Publication Ethics, 2011.
Council of Science Editors. Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications. Wheat Ridge, CO: Council of Science Editors, 2009.http://www.councilscienceeditors.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3286.
Daly LE, Bourke GJ, McGilvray J. Interpretation and Uses of Medical Statistics (4th Edition). Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1991.
DeAngelis CD, Fontanarosa PB, Flanagin A. Reporting financial conflicts of interest and relationships between investigators and research sponsors. JAMA 2001; 286: 89-91.
Davidoff F, DeAngelis CD, Drazen JM, Hoey J, Højgaard L, Horton R, Kotzin S, Nicholls MG, Nylenna M, Overbeke AJ, Sox HC, Van Der Weyden MB, Wilkes MS. Sponsorship, authorship, and accountability. JAMA 2001; 286: 1232-1234.
Gardner MJ, Altman DG (editors). Statistics with Confidence: Confidence Intervals and Statistical Guidelines. London: British Medical Journal, 1989.
Haynes RB, Mulrow CD, Huth EJ, Altman DG, Gardner MJ. More information abstracts revisited. Ann Intern Med 1990; 113: 69-76.
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Vancouver: International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, 2006.
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Vancouver: International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, 2010.