Guidelines for Authors

Perspectives on Medical Education welcomes the submission of manuscripts that meet the following criteria. Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (see http://www.icmje.org/). All manuscripts are considered on the understanding that they have not been published previously, either in print or in electronic format, and that they are not under consideration by another publication or medium. Perspectives in Medical Education is committed to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct (http://publicationethics.org/). Authors should familiarize themselves with issues of publication ethics noted by COPE, including duplicate publication/submission and ‘salami slicing’ as these behaviours will not be accepted. Authors are reminded to read these guidelines in their entirety.

All manuscripts are the property (copyright) of the submitting author(s). The Editorial Board and the Publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation. Copyright will be transferred to the journal Perspectives on Medical Education and Springer if the paper is accepted. Perspectives on Medical Education considers all manuscripts at the Editors' discretion; the Editors' decision is final.

Manuscript categories

Perspectives on Medical Education invites the following types of submissions:

Original Articles
Review Articles
Eye Openers
Replication Studies
Show and Tell
PhD Reports
Health Care and the Arts
Debate in Medical Education
A Quantative Space
Letters

Original Articles report research in health sciences education. Generally, the text is limited to 3500 words, with no more than a total of 5 tables and/or figures and generally no more than 50 references. Some manuscripts take more words and/or references (e.g. multiple studies, complicated methodology), others less. Please try to make your manuscript as concise as possible.

Original articles should be structured following the IMRaD style: introduction, methods, results and discussion.

  • Introduction: Introduces the problem, discusses relevant research and literature, and includes arguments as to how the research could contribute to the scholarship of medical education. The introduction should include a coherent conceptual orientation for the work, and enough background to give readers the sense of a thoughtful identification of a core topic, an analysis of what is and is not known about it, and proposals to fill a clearly identified gap in the literature. Authors are advised to read the following publication on writing an introduction: Lingard, 2015, 4 (5): 252-253. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40037-015-0211-y
  • Methods: Includes justification for the methods used in the study, with a description which is clear enough to be replicated by other researchers or with clear indication of the rigor of the research process for qualitative work.
  • Results: Principal findings presented clearly and succinctly, with appropriate use of tables and figures.
  • Discussion: Includes a statement of the principal findings; description of what this paper adds to extant literature; strengths and weaknesses of the study; strengths and weaknesses in relation to other studies, discussing important differences in results; meaning of the study, both theoretical and practical, with possible explanations and implications for clinicians and policymakers; unanswered questions and future research. Authors are advised to read the following publication on writing a limitation section: Lingard, 2015, 4 (3): 136-137. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40037-015-0181-0 

The manuscript must include:

  • A structured abstract of no more than 250 words. For abstracts of original articles please provide the following headings: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. The abstract should be complete and accurate, but not unnecessarily long. The abstract should be written in the past tense.
  • A ‘what this paper adds’ box of no more than 100 words; concise description of the paper’s original key contribution to the literature. Answering the questions: What is the problem? What was the gap in the literature? What are the theoretical and/or practical implications of this study?
  • A brief biographical note on each contributing author to a maximum of 50 words per contributor.
    Examples of biographical notes:
    - Francois Cilliers, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences Education and Director of the Education Development Unit in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town. His interests include the learning effects of assessment; faculty development; and helping faculty undertake meaningful educational research.
    - Lorelei Lingard, PhD is director of the Centre for Education Research & Innovation at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and Professor for the Department of Medicine at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.
  • 3-4 keywords for indexing purposes


Review Articles
synthesise the literature on a topic of importance for health care education.  The text is limited to 3500 words, a maximum of 6 figures and 5 tables. Some manuscripts may take more words, others less. Please try to make your manuscript as concise as possible.

Review articles should be structured in the same manner as original research articles. The manuscript must include a structured abstract,  a “what this paper adds” box, biographical note(s) and keywords. See Original Articles for further instructions.

Eye Openers can have different formats. They can present a particular perspective on an educational topic,  including a critical review of the topic. Eye openers can also introduce a new idea of relevance for health science education, such as a new research methodology that is not wideley used in our domain. Only papers that are relevant for a larger readership and that offer a critical and/or innovative perspective on a topic will be considered for publication. Generally, the text is limited to 3500 words, with no more than a total of 5 tables and/or figures and generally no more than 50 references. Some manuscripts take more words and/or references (e.g. multiple studies, complicated methodology), others less. Please try to make your manuscript as concise as possible.

The manuscript must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original Articles for further instructions.

Replication Studies report the replication of a previously published study. It should include why the study was replicated, any deviations from the original methods,  and what the outcomes were. Furthermore, the authors should critically reflect on any differences (e.g. context, methods, outcomes) between the original study and the replication study. Use the format of an Original Article. The methods and results may be shorter than in the original article, but the discussion needs to carefully compare the replication study with the original one. Generally, the text is limited to 3500 words, with no more than a total of 5 tables and/or figures and generally no more than 50 references. Some manuscripts take more words and/or references (e.g. multiple studies, complicated methodology), others less. Please try to make your manuscript as concise as possible.

The manuscript must include a structured abstract of no more than 250 words, a what this paper adds box, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for further instructions.

Show and Tell introduces an innovation in health care education. Only papers that describe an innovative approach for a challenge of importance in health care education will be considered for publication. The manuscript must contain detailed information on the innovation and the context. This information should help readers to appraise the innovation for use in their own contexts. The text is limited to 1500 words with a maximum of 15 references and one figure.

The manuscript must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original Articles for further instructions.

PhD Report: Authors who have recently and successfully defended their PhD thesis are invited to submit a summary of the content of their thesis. Authors who have the intention to submit such a summary should first contact the editorial office L.meester@bsl.nl The text is limited to a maximum of 1500 words. The summary consists of the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, a Piece of advice for (future) PhD students on how to successfully complete a PhD project, biographical note, information on the University, date of PhD defence and name(s) of the supervisors. A maximum of 15 references are allowed.

The manuscript must include a structured abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for further instructions.

Health Care and the Arts: This type of manuscript covers issues and examples from the artes liberales (humanities) in medical education and practice that are of broad interest to health care professionals. The text is limited to 1500 words with a maximum of 30 references.

The manuscript must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for further instructions.

Debate in Medical Education: Authors are invited to discuss topics either in a pro and contra format (with a pro and a contra author). Authors who have the intention to submit a Debate in Medical Education should first contact the editorial office L.meester@bsl.nl. The text is limited to 1500 words with a maximum of 30 references.

The manuscript must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for further instructions.

A Qualitative Space articles offer intermediate- to advanced-level qualitative scholars a venue for advancing new ideas about qualitative methodologies, methods, and/or techniques; debating current and historical trends in qualitative research; crafting and sharing nuanced reflections on how data collection methods should be revised or modified; reflecting on the epistemological bases of qualitative research; or arguing that some qualitative practices should end. Given the broad scope of topics that can be addressed in these submissions, authors do not need to adhere to the IMRaD style. Instead, these manuscripts should be organized to maximize clarity while also comprehensively discussing the paper’s topic. Generally, the text is limited to 3500 words, with no more than a total of 5 tables and/or figures and generally no more than 50 references. Some manuscripts take more words and/or references, others less. Please try to make your manuscript as concise as possible.

Authors who have the intention to submit a Qualitative Space article should first contact the editorial office L.meester@bsl.nl

The manuscript must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for further instructions.

Letters can briefly discuss a topic of importance for health science education, or be a reaction to articles/letters published in the journal. Letters should not summarize a study, review the literature or describe an innovation, all of which are already covered by other paper categories. The text is limited to 400 words with a maximum of 3 references.

The manuscript must include 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for keywords and biographical note instructions.

If your manuscript does not meet the above instructions your manuscript will be returned.

Manuscript preparation

Manuscripts should be prepared according to Perspectives on Medical Education’s specific requirements and the Uniform Requirements for Articles Submitted to Biomedical Journals (http://www.icmje.org).

All manuscripts should be written in correct English. For authors who are not native English speakers we recommend having manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. Please use British-English spelling with –ize rather than –ise.

Do not use abbreviations in the title or abstract and limit their use in the text. Abbreviations make a text more difficult to read. When using abbreviations, only use standard abbreviations as nonstandard abbreviations can be confusing to readers.

Manuscripts should be typed using double-spacing (except tables which are single-spaced), with margins of at least 2.5 cm (1 inch). Authors should number all the pages of the manuscript consecutively, beginning with the title page.

Do not include author details in your manuscript. Use the title page for this information.

Title page: The Title page (page containing all authors contact details) should be submitted as a separate file. It should contain the following information:

  1. Article title. Concise titles are easier to read than long, convoluted ones. Titles that are too short may, however, lack important information, such as study design (which is particularly important in finding articles for literature reviews). Authors should include all information in the title that will make electronic retrieval of the article both sensitive and specific.
  2. Authors’ names and institutional affiliations.
  3. The name of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed.
  4. Contact information for the corresponding author. The full name, mailing address, telephone, and e-mail address of the author responsible for all correspondence about the manuscript. The corresponding author should be aware of the fact that his or her e-mail address can be published or state that no such permission will be granted.
  5. Source(s) of support in the form of grants.
  6. A short title not exceeding 45 characters for use as a running head.
  7. 3-4 keywords for indexing purposes. 
  8. Word counts of the text only (excluding abstract, acknowledgments, tables, figure legends, and references), and of the abstract.
  9. The number of figures and tables.
  10. A brief biographical note on each contributing author to a maximum of 50 words per contributor (see examples under Original articles).

References: References should be in Vancouver style (and not in APA). Number the references consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Place the reference, in square brackets, inside the punctuation. Provide a reference list at the end of the article. The names of all authors should be given, up to a total of six authors. In case of more than 6 authors, provide the first three, followed by et al. You can find an Endnote file with the correct settings at the bottom of these instructions.

Examples of references are:
1. Ekkelenkamp VE, Koch AD, Haringsma J, Kuipers EJ, De Man RA. Endoscopist-related factors contributing to high-quality colonoscopy: results of a Delphi survey. Perspect Med Educ. 2014;3:31-40.
2. The CanMEDS framework. Retrieved 7 June 2011. http://www.collaborativecurriculum.ca/en/modules/CanMEDS/CanMEDS-intro-background-01.jsp
3. Cruess RL, Cruess SR, Steinert Y. Teaching Medical Professionalism. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

If your manuscript does not meet the format requirements for references, your manuscript will be returned.

Figures: Figures (photographs, graphs and diagrams) should be submitted as separate files. Figures should be saved in a jpeg or tiff format and should have a resolution of at least 300 pixels per inch. We do not accept figures in PowerPoint format or as PDF files. Figures should be numbered consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text (separate numbering for figures), and their desired position in the text should be indicated. Figures in black and white and full colour are accepted. Only black and white photographs are permitted.

Tables: Tables should be submitted as separate files. Tables must be created in Word using the table function. Tables created in Excel or using tabs and spacing will not be accepted. Tables should be typed using single-spacing. Tables should be numbered consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text (separate numbering for tables) and their desired position in the text should be indicated. With respect to tables, authors should place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading, using the following symbols, in sequence: *, †, ‡, §, **, ††, ‡‡, §§, etc. Please provide tables in portrait (not landscape) format and upright on the page, not sideways. The table should fit on a single page. We cannot accept tables in the form of PDF files.
As space is very valuable in the journal, the chief editor reserves the right to place tables and other material online, rather than in the article itself.

Acknowledgment section: This section details special thanks, personal assistance, and dedications. Any acknowledgments authors wish to make should be included in this separate headed section at the end of the manuscript, preceding any appendices, and before the references section.

Ethical approval: If human subjects are involved (patients, students, other individuals), we expect a statement indicating how ethical approval was sought for the research described, i.e. how an appropriate body, such as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or an Independent Ethics Committee (IEC), was consulted and whether approval was obtained. The manuscript should also include details concerning ethical approval if an appropriate body decided that no such approval was required. There should also be a statement confirming that the work was carried out in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki (http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3), including, but not limited to, there being no potential harm to participants, that the anonymity of participants was guaranteed, and that informed consent of participants was obtained.

Declaration of interest section: Declarations of interest refer to statements of financial support and/or statements of potential conflict of interest, disclosure of scientific writing assistance (use of an agency or agency/ freelance writer), grant support, and statements of employment, if applicable.
All declarations of interest must be outlined under the subheading ‘Declaration of interest’. If authors have no declarations of interest to report, this must be explicitly stated. The suggested, but not mandatory, wording in such an instance is: ‘The authors declare no conflicts of interest.’ When submitting a paper via the Editorial Manager System, the ‘Declaration of interest’ field is compulsory (Authors must either state the disclosures or report that there are none). If this section is left empty authors will not be able to progress with the submission.

Manuscript submission

All submissions should be made online at www.editorialmanager.com/pmed. New users must first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site, submissions should be made via the Author Centre. For assistance with any aspect of the site, please refer to the User Guide which is accessed via the ‘Get Help Now’ button at the top right of every screen.

A covering letter or email should be included indicating that the submission is made on behalf of all authors. On receipt, the manuscript will be immediately acknowledged by email.

Additional information upon acceptance

Electronic proofs: When the proofs are ready, corresponding authors will receive email notification that proofs need to be checked and accepted. Information on the procedure will be given in that email; the corresponding author will be asked to log on to the editorial manager. To avoid delays in publication, corrections to proofs must be returned within 72 hours, on-line.

Offprints and reprints: As there is free (electronic) access to Perspectives on Medical Education, there will be no reprints available of articles published in the Journal.

Contacting the Editorial Office
For further clarification on any of the above, please contact the journal editor Lieda Meester: l.meester@bsl.nl

October 2017