For Authors

JMMC Author Instructions

Download a printable (PDF) copy or author's instructions here.


General Information

Click here for quick access to our Submission Checklist.

Most of JMMC’s policies for authors are summarized in these instructions. Citations and links to the AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors & Editors and other publications with additional information are also provided.

Authorship Criteria

  • Anyone may submit an original article to be considered for publication in Journal of Maine Medical Center provided he or she owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception in the non-academic world to this might exist if the authors have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer copyright to their employer).
  • Author(s) work should meet the Submission Requirements and align with the Aims and Scope of the JMMC.
  • Submissions are accepted in English language only.
  • JMMC follows the ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM) for determining authorship (Vancouver Group Guidelines, 2010).
  • Authorship is based on
    • 1. substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, and
    • 2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and
    • 3. final approval of the version to be published, and 
    • 4. 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.

    Authors must meet conditions 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Types of Submissions

Table 1: Types of Submissions and Requirements
Type of Submission Description Requirements
Original Research Presents original research that provides material advancing knowledge, and has implications for patient care.
  • Body word limit 3000
  • Structured abstract word limit 250
    • Include Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions
  • No reference limit
  • ≤ 6 tables and/or figures combined
  • Ref: EQUATOR reporting guidelines (e.g. CONSORT)
  • Intro, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions
  • Keywords
Application of Best Practices An authoritative approach to addressing a distinct health care delivery or educational topic. Authors should include pertinent content to make an informed case that the practice they propose is supported by evidence for its impact and effectiveness, including the author(s) own approach to or research on the topic.
  • Body word limit 2000
  • Structured abstract word limit 250
    • Include Problem Statement, Background, Application/Recommendations
  • No reference limit
  • ≤ 6 tables and/or figures combined
  • Problem statement, Background, Evidence, Application/Recommendations
  • Keywords
Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Exemplars Describes sufficiently powered PS/QI studies demonstrating significant impact on patient outcomes.
  • Body word limit 2000
  • Structured abstract word limit 250
    • Include Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions
  • ≤ 20 references
  • ≤ 2 tables and/or figures combined
  • Ref: EQUATOR reporting guidelines (e.g. SQUIRE)
  • Intro, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions
  • Keywords
Innovation Highlights Brief reports of innovative educational or clinical initiatives; pilot projects.
  • Body word limit 1500
  • Structured abstract word limit 200
    • Include Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions
  • ≤ 20 references
  • ≤ 2 tables and/or figures combined
  • Ref: our guidelines
  • Intro, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions
  • Keywords
Case Reports Brief case report unique and/or unusual clinical scenario.
  • Structured abstract word limit 250
    • Introduction
    • Clinical Findings
    • Main diagnoses, therapeutics interventions, and outcomes
    • Conclusions
  • Case presentation: 250 words
  • Discussion: 500-600 words
  • ≤20 references
  • ≤5 authors
  • Ref: EQUATOR reporting guidelines (e.g. CARE)
  • 1-2 small figures
  • Patient permission may be needed
Research and Quality Improvement Brief Research and Quality Improvement Briefs are concise, focused reports of original research, and must not duplicate material published elsewhere.
  • Body word limit 700
  • No abstract
  • ≤ 8 references
  • ≤ 2 tables and/or figures combined
  • Intro, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions
  • Keywords
Reflections in Medicine Personal stories or essays taken from professional experiences in healthcare; may express opinions relevant to patient care, education, professionalism, professional health and well-being, healthcare systems, healthcare disparities or other topics.
  • Body word limit 800
  • No abstract
  • ≤ 3 authors
  • ≤ 3 references
  • ≤ No tables
  • 1 Image
Reviews Comprehensive, scholarly, and balanced, presenting an expert curation of the literature on the topic of interest. Please consult the JMMC editorial office () before submitting a Review.
  • Body word limit 3000
  • Structured abstract word limit 250
    • Include Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions
  • ≤50 references
  • ≤5 tables and/or figures
  • Ref: EQUATOR reporting guidelines (e.g. PRISMA)
  • No Key Points
Commentaries Describe a considered view about one or more issues in clinical or academic medicine, proposing and supporting a new hypothesis, or theory. Commentaries, which are peer reviewed, must be scholarly and arguments must be well supported.
  • Body word limit 1000
  • No abstract required
  • ≤ 15 references
  • ≤ 2 tables and/or figures combined
  • ≤ 3 authors
Invited editorials Concurrent scholarly opinion piece in which the author discusses a specific topic or article in the journal. You must be invited to write this particular type of editorial.
We do not accept letters to the editor.
  • 400 words
  • No abstract required
  • ≤5 references (1 of which should be to the recent article)
  • ≤3 authors

Please contact the JMMC editorial office (jmmc@mmc.org) if you are unsure which submission type is appropriate.

Submission Requirements

During the submission process, you will be required to provide:

  • Authors' names, email, & institutional affiliation
  • Title
  • Short title: to be used on subsequent submission pages if title >65 characters
  • Keywords: 3-5 key words or phrases that capture the most important aspects of the submission. (See the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s collection of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) for suggestions)
  • Discipline selection: academic disciplines that best describe your submission (list for selection provided during submission process)
  • Submission type (See Table 1)
  • Abstract: (Where applicable, see Table 1 for formatting requirements). You will be asked to type or paste this into a text box.
  • Acknowledgements: optional. (See Authorship Criteria)
    • All other persons who have made substantial contributions to the submission (such as data collection, analysis or editing assistance) but who do not fulfill the authorship criteria should be named with their specific contributions.
  • Blinded submission body and References
    • See Table 1 for submission type descriptions and word limits.
    • See Table 2 for formatting descriptions.
    • See Table 3 for reference formatting specifications.
  • Cover Letter
    • Introduction of work to the journal
    • Abstract word count
    • Submission body word count (not including title, abstract, acknowledgment, references, tables and figures)
    • Conflict of interest statement. All authors should disclose in their submission any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their manuscript. All sources of financial support for the project must be disclosed at the time of submission. If applicable:
      • explanation of any prior presentations
      • clinical trial and/or IRB registration numbers
      • permission to use tables or figures previously published
      • permission to use images including human subjects
  • Health Research Reporting Guidelines - Authors are strongly encouraged to prepare manuscripts using the health research reporting guidelines provided by the EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network.
  • Formatting
      Table 2: Body Formatting
      Element Description
      File format Microsoft Word
      Font 12-point, Arial
      Line spacing Double-spaced throughout
      Margins One inch (2.5 cm)
      Page size Letter (8 ½ x 11) inches
      Page numbers No, system will add these after upload.
      Line numbers Not required
      Required layout See Table 1
      Heading style First level: all caps, bold
      Second level: Sentence case, bold
      Abbreviations Each abbreviation should be spelled out and introduced in parentheses () the first time it is used in the text.
  • Tables
    • Tables should be prepared in Microsoft Word or Excel.
    • The same data is not to be presented in both table and graph form or repeated in the text. Tables should include a brief title and be numbered in the order of their citation in the text with Arabic numerals.
    • Tables should be single-spaced and include headings, a legend, and footnotes in this order: *, †, ‡, §, ||, #, **, if applicable.
    • Tables should be self-explanatory without reference to the text. Abbreviations used in a table but not already defined in the main text should be defined in the table or table legend.
    • Units of measure should be included in the heading row rather than in the body of the table. All tables should be included at the end of the manuscript file on a separate page.
    • Refer to Table 1 for limits on table number according to submission type.
  • Figures
    • Number all figures with Arabic numerals in the order of their citation in the text.
    • Staff editors require figure files that can be opened and manipulated during editing. If such files are not provided, the author will be required to make all changes requested by the staff editor.
    • Figures should be submitted as TIFF, JPEG, GIF, EPS, PSD, or PowerPoint files. High resolution PDF files are also acceptable. Color figures created in applications other than PowerPoint must be at least 600-dpi resolution, and grayscale figures must be at least 300-dpi resolution. Color figures should be submitted in RGB mode. 
    • Data should not be added to nor removed from an image by digital manipulation. Figures assembled from multiple images should include visible dividing lines. Any linear adjustment of contrast, brightness or color must be applied to all parts of an image equally. Any nonlinear adjustments must be disclosed in the figure legend and should include a description of the adjustment and the software used. If in doubt about whether a digital manipulation is acceptable, disclose the manipulation in the figure legend and consult the editorial staff. Authors must be prepared to submit the original, unaltered source files from which the submitted figures were derived, upon request.
    • Each figure must be saved and submitted as a separate file. Figures should not be embedded in the manuscript text file. Axes of graphs should be clearly labeled and standardized throughout.
    • Multipanel figures should include panel labels in uppercase letters (A, B, C, etc.) in boldface Arial font. Figure font size should be 11 point or higher. All text within a figure should be the same style and size, or vary by no more than 2 points, with standardization between figures to the extent possible.
    • Descriptive legends should begin with a title and include sufficient description to ensure the figure is understandable without reading the text of the manuscript. Any symbols or abbreviations should be defined in the figure or its legend.
    • Photomicrographs should include a scale bar.
    • Permission should be provided for any figure reprinted or adapted from another source. Indication that permission was provided should be included in the figure legend along with the original citation and copyright date. Refer to Table 1 for limits on figure number according to submission type.
  • References
    • The corresponding author is responsible for providing accurate and complete references in accordance with AMA style, see Table 3.
    • References must be numbered serially in the order in which they appear in the text and typed double-spaced on a separate page.
    • Superscripts should always occur after punctuation and, when necessary, embedded in the sentence.
    • References appearing in tables/figures should be cited in succession in the text at the location of the table or figure notation.
    • Use MEDLINE (National Library of Medicine) abbreviations for journal titles.
    • List all authors when 6 or fewer; when 7 or more, list first 3 and add “et al.”
    • Do not use periods after the authors’ initials.
    • Do provide inclusive page numbers.
    • Endnote users should choose the Journal of Maine Medical Center output style.
    • Use the following style and punctuation:
  • Table 3: Reference Examples
    Reference Example
    Journal article Hu P, Reuben DB. Effects of managed care on the length of time that elderly patients spend with physicians during ambulatory visits. Med Care. 2002;40(7):606-613.
    Journal article, 6 or more authors Geller AC, Venna S, Prout M, et al. Should the skin cancer examination be taught in medical school? Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(9):1201-1203.
    Book McKenzie BC. Medicine and the Internet: Introducing Online Resources and Terminology. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1997.
    Chapter in a book Guyton JL, Crockarell JR. Fractures of acetabulum and pelvis. In: Canale ST, ed.Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby, Inc; 2003:2939-2984.
    Websites and online sources American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2003. http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2003PWSecured.pdf. Accessed March 3, 2003.
  • Supplements
    • Decisions about whether to include supplemental material files will be made by the relevant journal editor.
    • They will not be checked for accuracy, copyedited, typeset or proofread; that responsibility remains with the authors.
    • A disclaimer will be displayed to this effect with any supplemental material published.  
  • Submission Process

    • Assemble required submission elements; see JMMC Author Submission checklist.
    • From Home Page, select "Submit" button and follow instructions.
    • "Warranties & Ownership Overview"--review 'submission agreement' and indicate agreement by clicking Accept.
    • JMMC does not charge any article processing, submission, or publication fees.
    • To contact the JMMC editorial office, please email jmmc@mmc.org.

    What to expect

    • After submission
      • Authors will be sent notifications of the receipt of manuscripts and editorial decisions by email.
      • All submitted manuscripts are reviewed initially by the managing editor for completeness before forwarding to the editor-in-chief and action editors.
      • During the review process, authors can check the status of their submitted manuscript via the JMMC author submission portal.
      • The editors review the submissions based on criteria such as originality, contribution to the literature, importance, generalizability, and alignment with the journal's mission, study methods and clearness of writing.
      • Manuscripts that do not satisfy these criteria are rejected promptly. Other manuscripts are sent to expert consultants for peer review.
      • The journal uses a double-blind peer review process: peer reviewer and author identities are kept confidential.
      • Peer reviewers are required to maintain confidentiality about the manuscripts they review.
      • Final decisions regarding manuscript publication are made by an editor who does not have any relevant conflicts of interest.
      • Most decisions are made within 90 days of receipt of the manuscript.  Authors are notified of decisions via email. Manuscripts receive one of the following decisions:
      • Accept after minor (or no) revisions
      • Reconsider after major revisions
      • Reject
    • After acceptance
      • All authors are required to complete the authorship and copyright agreement forms provided upon acceptance.
      • Accepted manuscripts are copy-edited and returned to the corresponding author for approval by the action editor.
      • Authors are responsible for all statements made in their work, including changes made during copy-editing and production that are authorized by the corresponding author.
      • Once accepted, submissions will appear in the next issue of JMMC.
    • Rejected submissions
      • When a submitted manuscript is not accepted for publication, the editorial office will retain an electronic copy of it. The editor-in-chief reserves the right, however, to discuss the manuscript and its disposition with the editor of another journal if either editor has a reasonable concern that duplicate publication, simultaneous submission, or other inappropriate actions have been taken. Authors may request for the editor-in-chief to reconsider a rejected manuscript by submitting a formal appeal (see Appeals Policy). Previously rejected manuscripts should not be resubmitted for consideration without the editor-in-chief's approval.
    • After publication
      • Requests to publish corrections should be sent to the editorial office.

    Research Subject Protection Requirements

    • Original research or any report involving research using human or animal subjects must have appropriate Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approvals or determinations prior to submitting. Note this status clearly in the cover letter and manuscript’s Methods section. You may be required to provide proof of appropriate oversight.

      If the submitted work is not research based on a determination from an IRB (e.g., QI projects), please indicate this.

      Submission types that do not involve human subjects do not require IRB approval.

      If an IRB is not available at an author’s institution, review of the research by an institutional compliance or HIPAA-related committee may be sufficient. This must be described in the cover letter and manuscript’s Methods section. Use of a commercial IRB is also an option.

      Identifying information, including names, initials or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent must be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained.

      The Journal of Maine Medical Center does not charge authors article processing or publication fees of any kind.