Dear students,

The RCSIsmj is dedicated to furthering your medical education while at university through providing a publishing experience similar to that which you will experience in the future. It is our aim to provide you with as realistic a writing process as we can, and our hope that this experience will stand to you in the future as you face the peer review processes at leading indexed medical journals as your career progresses. The number of submissions to your journal is growing every year, and thus it is becoming ever more competitive to secure a publication. With this in mind, please consider the following tips from our peer review team if you consider submitting an article to the journal this year.

  • Word Count – Due to space constraints, all articles to be considered for publication must adhere to the designated word count. If your article currently exceeds this word count, you must re-edit it prior to submission to comply. Any articles breaching the designated word count limit will not be considered for publication. For a list of designated word counts for each submission type, please see here.
  • Figures & axes – ALL figures must be given an appropriate descriptive title. ALL axes must be labelled correctly and scaled appropriately so as to maximise the clarity of your results. Study figures and tables carefully and make sure you are satisfied that they show what you are telling the reader they show. The reader should not have to study a figure or table intensely for a few minutes in order to figure out what it is showing. Any mislabelled figures or inappropriately labelled axes will be automatically sent back and not considered for publication by the journal until they are corrected.
  • Abstract & Title – The abstract & title are possibly the most important parts of your article. Take some time to write them and think carefully about what should and should not be included. An abstract’s purpose is to provide the reader with a synopsis of the main points of your article, so they can decide whether a full read of the article is worth their precious and valuable time. Abstracts that do not adhere to the set word count limit will not be considered for publication.
  • References – The purpose of referencing previous work in a scientific study is two-fold. First, since a lot of research is specific, niche and complicated, the reader has to be able to verify any statement or point an author makes, rather than just taking the authors word for it. The second is to give credit to the person or group of people who first discovered and published something. The journal has a set format that all references should be adhere to which is widely known as the Vancouver style. See here. Again, any submissions that do not follow this citation style will not be considered for publication.
  • Plagiarism – in any form will not be tolerated. Unfortunately, we encounter this in submissions almost every year in one form or another. DO NOT lift paragraphs or sentences from published work for use in your articles just because you like the way the author has expressed something. We are always on the lookout for plagiarism and we will check your work for it. Do not do yourself the disservice of having your work rejected for publication in this way. We want you to develop your own writing skills, not simply copy someone else’s!