Format of all articles

Manuscripts must:

  • Be in English
  • Be in Microsoft Word format
  • Be typed in 12-point font with double-spacing in an A4 size document
  • Have 1″ margins surrounding the document.

Images, Figures and Illustrations

Your article can contain no more than four figures. Each should contain sufficient information so that a figure is intelligible without reference to the text (i.e. it must stand alone). Figures and images should be:

  • In colour
  • In a common electronic format such as .jpg, .tif, .gif, etc.
  • Each in a separate file (named figure 1, figure 2 etc.)

Please supply each figure legend with figure title and number on a new page after your references (all the image/figure legends can be put on the same page, so long as it is a new one after your references and each legend must be clearly separated from the others. If you have table legends too, please put them on a separate page). Each figure/image should be sent as a separate file. Please list the filename of the associated file under the figure legend. In the body of your text, indicate where the image should appear by leaving two spaces, the figure number and filename, and then two more spaces:

The big brown cat made friends with the mouse.

Figure 1; bigbrowncat.jpg

The history of cats befriending mice dates back to…

NB: Images should be of sufficiently high resolution. This is very important as low resolution images will not look good in print. Minimum file size for photographic images is 500kb. We would strongly recommend providing images which are several Mb in size – we can always shrink images that are too big, but we cannot enlarge images that are too small.


Tables, no more than four, must be submitted typewritten. Each table must be constructed as simply as possible. Number tables consecutively with Arabic numerals in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each. Explain in footnotes all non-standard abbreviations. Footnote symbols should appear in lowercase superscript letters. Please include appropriate table legends with table number and title on a new page after your references. If you have image/figure legends too, please put the image and table legends on separate pages.

Media Files

If you would like to reference a video or other media file in your manuscript, the RCSIsmj is happy to host the file on our website so that our readers can view it. Please do not ask us to host copyrighted material, as we obviously cannot. If any video involves a real patient, you will have to demonstrate to us that you have received their express permission to use the material. Contact for more details.


Reference citations should appear as numerical superscript throughout the text and listed in their order of appearance. The RCSIsmj will follow the citation style of the British Medical Journal i.e. Vancouver style. If using a Bibliography manager like Endnote, use the British Medical Journal style. Papers accepted but not yet published may appear with the name of the journal followed by the words “In press”.

Journal citations should follow the following order. List all authors when six or less, otherwise list only first three and add et al.

  • First author’s last name, initials
  • Second author’s last name, initials, etc.
  • Title of article in italics
  • Name of Journal abbreviated according to the style of Index Medicus
  • The year of publication
  • The volume number in parenthesis ( )
  • First and last page numbers

Example: 1. Schwimmer JB, Burwinkle TM, Varni JW. Health-related quality of life of severely obese children and adolescents. Jama 2003;289(14):1813-9.
References to books should give the names of any editors, place of publication, editor, and year.
Example: 2. Whittaker R. Complement: mechanisms and functions. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1989.
Information from manuscripts not yet in press, papers reported at meetings, or personal communications should be cited only in the text, not as a formal reference.
Authors should get permission from the source to cite personal communications.


The student must be first author. Authors should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content. If in doubt, RCSIsmj editors may require contributors to justify the assignment of authorship. All manuscripts submitted to the RCSIsmj must contain original work not previously published elsewhere. All authors are required to provide their details with their submission in the author information document.

Double Publication
Articles submitted to the RCSIsmj cannot be subsequently re-published in a separate peer-reviewed journal. Students undertaking research must submit work that is significantly different from the final manuscript intended to be sent to a later journal. For example, a student may write an article based on subsets of data with different analyses or interpretations, similar to RCSI research day.
If a student has any doubt as to what constitutes double publication, he should contact either RCSIsmj or the principal investigator involved in the research. In all cases, students must ensure that their principal investigator is aware and approves of their submission to RCSIsmj.

Peer Review
Original articles and standard review submissions will undergo the RCSIsmj peer review process. Two to three peer reviewers will review a submission in addition to review by the editorial staff. Peer review involves editing for style and content, and fact-checking. This process ensures that the high standard of the RCSIsmj is maintained. In addition, authors of peer-reviewed articles will receive constructive feedback from the reviewers as an aid to perfecting their writing technique.

Back to Submission Guidelines.