Instructions for Authors of JMIR

For general information about the structure and content of a biomedical manuscript, authors should become familiar (skim through) the  ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts before reading the specific instructions for JMIR authors below.

The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) is an innovative, international, peer-reviewed medical journal that aims to publish articles relevant for medical professionals, system developers, and system users alike.

Instructions for authors are subject to frequent revision. Please look them over carefully before submitting your manuscript.

Manuscripts are considered with the understanding that they have not been published previously in print or electronic format and are not under consideration by another print or electronic publication. A complete report following a presentation at a meeting or the publication of preliminary findings elsewhere (eg, in an abstract) will be considered. Material that has been published on the Internet can also be considered, but any previous or simultaneous publication on the Internet must be disclosed in the cover letter. Include copies of potentially duplicative material that has been previously published or is currently being considered elsewhere, and provide links to duplicative material on the Internet. Point out possible overlaps with previously published or simultaneously submitted articles in your cover letter. Note that "duplicate publication or the submission of duplicate material is not necessarily unethical, but failure to disclose the existence of duplicate articles, manuscripts, or other material is unethical and may represent a violation of copyright material." (AMA Manual of Style, 9th ed, p. 98). A content overlap of just 10% may be considered duplicative.

JMIR reserves the right to bill authors for the peer-reviewing, copyediting, layout, and publishing costs of articles which need to be retracted during the production process or after publication on grounds of redundant publication, copyright infringements, or other forms of scientific misconduct.

 

Types of Papers That May Be Submitted

We accept the following:

  • original papers (see format below)
  • short papers (original article < 1500 words)
  • viewpoints (opinion and discussion papers) 
  • consensus papers
  • reviews
  • tutorials
  • case reports
  • policy papers, proposals
  • commentaries
  • book/software reviews
  • research protocols and grant proposals (now published in our new spin-off journal JMIR Research Protocols)
  • letter to the editor (ONLY in response to a previous publication in JMIR, which must be cited as first reference) [exempt from Article Processing Fee]

Please indicate the intended type of paper on your cover page.

We have no rigorous space restrictions for any of these papers, except for the short paper. However, we urge authors to be concise. A typical paper contains between 3000 and 6000 words.

In addition, all papers must contain the following sections: Abstract (see abstract format below), Keywords, Main article body (see below for original articles), Acknowledgements, Conflicts of Interest, References.

 

Acknowledgements, Conflicts of Interest

A description of sources of funding, financial disclosure, and the role of sponsors must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript. This description should include the involvement, if any, in review and approval of the manuscript for publication and the role of sponsors.

In addition, authors must disclose in a Conflicts of Interest section if they have personal financial interests related to the subject matters discussed in the manuscript. It is not unusual for JMIR authors to be, for example, owners or employees of Internet companies that market the services described in their manuscript. There is nothing wrong with this, but editors, reviewers, and readers should be made aware of such conflicts of interests; thus, these facts must be disclosed.

 

 

Format for Original Papers

Papers should be written in accordance with the American Medical Association Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. 9th ed. Baltimore, Md: Williams & Wilkins; 1998.

American Medical Association Manual of Style : A Guide for Authors and Editors (AMA)
Cheryl Iverson; Hardcover; $39.95

 

The following format ("IMRAD Format") must be used for the paper:

  • Abstract (not exceeding 450 words for structured abstracts, see abstract format below)
  • Keywords - see Keywords
  • Introduction (eg, theory, hypotheses, prior work)
  • Methods (eg with the subheadings "Recruitement", "Statistical Analysis", etc.)
  • Results (eg, user statistics, evaluation outcomes). If your study consists of different stages/parts, subheadings in this section should mirror subheadings in the methods section to describe these parts.
  • Discussion (eg, with the subheadings "Principal Results", "Limitations", "Comparison with Prior Work", "Conclusions")
  • Acknowledgements
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • [optional] Multimedia Appendix of supplementary files (eg, a PowerPoint presentation of a conference talk about the study, additional screenshots of a website, mpeg/Quicktime video or audio files, or Excel, Access, SAS, or SPSS files containing original data) - see Multimedia Appendix
  • References - see References
  • Abbreviations - see Abbreviations

Please use subheadings within the main "Introduction," "Methods," "Results," and "Discussion" sections. For example, if you describe three different methods, use three subheadings within the "Methods" section. Also, use matching subheadings in the "Results" section if you report the results from each of the described methods.

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are highly welcome and should be reported in accordance with the CONSORT statement. A diagram illustrating the flow of participants through the trial is required.

JMIR is now pilot-testing a CONSORT-EHEALTH checklist - please download the checklist from http://www.jmir.org/ojs/public/journals/1/CONSORT-EHEALTH-v1-6.pdf . Although this is primarily intended for randomized trials, the section of the checklist describing how an intervention should be reported is also relevant for manuscripts with other evaluation designs.

Before submission, authors of RCTs must fill in the electronic CONSORT-EHEALTH questionnaire at http://tinyurl.com/consort-ehealth-v1-6 with quotes from their manuscript (if you wish to comment on the importance of the items from the checklist for reporting, please also rate each item on a scale between 1-5). BEFORE you press submit, please generate a pdf of the form with your responses and upload this file as supplementary file entitled CONSORT-EHEALTH V1.6.

A CONSORT-flowdiagram and a attrition diagram are also strongly recommended (as figures).

In accordance with ICMJE recommendations, RCTs must have been registered in a WHO accredited trial registry. Please mention the ClinicalTrials.gov registration identifier, the  International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN), or a comparable trial identifier at the end of the abstract ("Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT123456"), as well as when you first mention the trial in the manuscript. When mentioning related trials (e.g. in the Introduction or Methods section) the trial registration number should also be added in brackets. ICMJE member journals require, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration in a public trials registry at or before the onset of patient enrollment. This policy applies to any trial which started enrollment after July 1, 2005. JMIR authors must add an explanation to the methods section of their manuscript if a RCT meeting these criteria has not been registered. The JMIR editor reserves the right to reject any paper without trial registration without any further consideration or peer-review.

Meta-analyses and systematic reviews are also highly welcome and should be reported in accordance with the QUORUM statement.

 

Sample Template

A Word-template of an article compatible with journals from JMIR Publications can be downloaded from http://jmir.org/ojs/public/journals/1/InstructionsForAuthorsOfJMIR.docx. Note that the references can be in any format, as long as the in-text citations are sequentially numbered in the manuscript with square brackets and as long as the reference at the end has a PMID in the format PMID:123456.

 

Abstract Format

The abstract for an original paper, systematic review, or consensus paper must not exceed 450 words and must be structured, using the following sections:

  • Background
  • Objective
  • Methods
  • Results (make sure to include relevant statistics here, such as sample sizes, response rates, P-values or Confidence Intervals. Do not just say "there were differences between the groups")
  • Conclusions
  • (Trial ID number, e.g. ISRCTN, for RCTs)

For further details on structured abstracts, see linkout.gif http://jama.ama-assn.org/info/auinst_abs.html.

Proposals, comments, tutorials, reviews, and other types of papers may contain an unstructured abstract (max. 500 words).

 

Keywords

Below the abstract, authors should provide 3 to 10 keywords or short phrases that will assist indexers in cross-indexing the article and that may be published with the abstract. Terms from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus should be used
(see linkout.gif http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/MBrowser.html). As well, keywords from linkout.gif ACM's Computing Classification System may be used if suitable MeSH terms are not available.

 

References

  • Include a reference list (numbered 1., 2., 3. etc.) at the end of the paper. While in-text references are in square brackets [1], the bibliography at the end of the text must be numbered 1., 2., 3. etc (no square brackets). 
  • Do not use the footnote or endnote tool of your word processor to generate the reference list. Articles which contain footnotes as references may be returned without peer review.
  • Cite only published or accepted ("in print") work as reference. Submitted papers (not yet accepted for publication), documents not widely available (personal emails, letters), or oral communications (unless they are published as abstract) should not be cited as reference, but instead must be cited in the main body of text as "personal communication by NAME, DATE". Obtain the permission of the communicator to quote his communication.
  • Remove OLE Elements from reference management software (e.g. Endnote, Reference Manager):
    Please remove any OLE elements from your manuscript before submission (keep the original file and create a copy with field codes removed).
    OLE elements typically appear if authors use refman or endnote to manage their bibliography. OLE elements can be recognized by e.g. clicking on a in-text citation and/or the bibliography - if they have a grey background, it is an OLE document (and if you insert a comment for a certain reference, the entire reference block appears commented). OLE elements may also appear if you number table labels automatically, cross-reference to objects in the documents etc.).
    In all these cases you must convert your manuscript to a plain text document before we can copyedit it.
    To convert references added by Reference Manager or Endnote to plain text, you can use the program itself to remove the OLE codes (for RefMan the menu point is Tools -> RefMan -> Remove Field Codes).
  • Make sure that your references are correct by using the linkout.gif PubMed Citation Matcher.
  • New (12/2010): For Medline indexed references, we now require that you append the PubMed Identifier (PMID) after each reference, e.g. "PMID:1234567" (where 1234567 is the pubmed identifier) at the end of a reference. Alternatively (as per our old instructions) you could append a [Medline] link after each reference, linking to the PubMed abstract of the article you are citing. Alternatively, just  Information on how to do this can be found in the document How to insert Medline Links [PDF document]. During copyediting, we now use a web-based reference checking software (OrangeX) which will match your references to references in Medline and automatically correct them. If you have a PMID or Medline link after each reference, this process will work smoothly and formatting errors of references will be automatically corrected.
  • If references are not listed in PubMed, please try to identify the DOI (digital object identifier) and add the DOI at the end of the reference (e.g. doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7529.1391). The DOI is a unique identifier which is published by most journals somewhere within the article. You may check whether a DOI is correct using the DOI resolver at http://dx.doi.org/.
  • For books, please add the ISBN, if known (no blanks). See e.g. http://isbndb.com/
  • Number references in the order they appear in the text; do not alphabetize.
  • Identify references within the body of the paper with Arabic numerals enclosed in square brackets (eg, [1,2]). Do not use superscripts.
  • References must comply with JMIR style (see examples below). 
  • Websites and Web articles (URLs) should be cited as "webcited®" references in the reference section at the end of the manuscript - do not include links to websites in the text. To webcite® a web reference means to take a snapshot of the cited document and to cite the archived copy (WebCite link) in addition to the original URL. JMIR now requires that authors use the WebCite ® technology (www.webcitation.org) to archive cited web references first before they cite them. Do not cite uncached "live" webpages and websites in the article or reference section, unless archiving with WebCite has failed. Provide the original URL, the WebCite link, and an access date, which should be the date you cached the web reference (see Web references archived with WebCite below).
  • Use Medline abbreviations for journal titles (see PubMed linkout.gif Journal Browser).

Journal Articles:

Westberg EE, Miller RA. The basis for using the Internet to support the information needs of primary care. J Am Med Inform Assoc 1999 Jan-Feb;6(1):6-25. [Medline]

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. JAMA 1997;277:927-934. [Medline]

- or (preferred format since 12/2010) -

 

Westberg EE, Miller RA. The basis for using the Internet to support the information needs of primary care. J Am Med Inform Assoc 1999 Jan-Feb;6(1):6-25. PMID:9925225

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. JAMA 1997;277:927-934. PMID:9062335

 

 

Books:

Iverson CL, Flanagin A, Fontanarosa PB, et al. American Medical Association Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors. 9th edition. Baltimore, Md: Williams & Wilkins; 1998. ISBN:0195176332

Conference proceedings:

Kimura J, Shibasaki H, editors. Recent advances in clinical neurophysiology. Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of EMG and Clinical Neurophysiology; 1995 Oct 15-19; Kyoto, Japan. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1996.

Note: If conference proceedings are available through Medline, please use the Medline citation rather than the style above - for example in case of AMIA proceedings or IMIA proceedings (=Medinfo) the citation is as follows:

Mandl KD, Kohane IS. Healthconnect: clinical grade patient-physician communication. Proc AMIA Symp 1999;(1-2):849-53. PMID: 10566480

Hachem F, Bellet J, Flory A, Leverve X. A generic model for Internet-accessed databases in epidemiology: a nutritional application. Medinfo 1998;9 Pt 2:1310-3. 

Chapter in a Book:

Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995. p. 465-78.

Web references (webpages, grey/government reports available on the web as PDFs, etc.)

See below: all webreferences (webpages, PDF reports) must be archived with WebCite. And both the original URL and the WebCite URL must be provided. If you cite reports (such as Pew Internet reports, government reports, etc.), try to locate a free PDF on the web and cite/webcite the PDF version.

Journal article in electronic format:

Morse SS. Factors in the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis 1995 Jan-Mar; 1(1):[24 screens]. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/eid.htm

[do NOT add WebCite links to journal articles] 

 

Web References archived with WebCite ®

As cited URLs tend to disappear months or years after citing online material, JMIR now requires that (instead of citing "live" webpages and websites in the article) authors use the WebCite ® technology (www.webcitation.org) to archive cited web references first before they cite them. Please go to www.webcitation.org and enter the URL you want to cite. The system will take a "snapshot" of the webpage or online document (e.g. pdf) so that it will remain available for future readers. WebCite will also give you detailed instructions on how to cite the web reference. Electronic journal articles SHOULD NOT be archived with WebCite if they can be expected to be "stable" e.g. available in libraries and/or carry a DOI, but all other material which might disappear in the future should be archived first by the citing author. For further information on WebCite see also the article Going, Going, Still There: Using the WebCite Service to Permanently Archive Cited Web Pages, J Med Internet Res 2005, 12, 30; 7(5):e60.

Example for Citing a Web Reference

Preferred format for submissions to JMIR (note that the access/archiving date does not need to be provided because it can be retrieved by the reader when clicking on the WebCite link:

Fox S, Fallows D. 2003. Internet Health Resources. http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Health_Report_July_2003.pdf . Archived at: http://www.webcitation.org/5I2STSU61

The access date will be automatically added during copyediting. 

Abbreviations

All acronyms/abbreviations (including common ones such as WWW and HTML) must be explained in parenthesis after their first occurrence. If many unfamiliar acronyms/abbreviations are used, please compile them in an "Abbreviations" section at the end of the paper.

Multimedia Appendix

We strongly encourage to append multimedia appendices, for example research instruments (questionnaires), movie files including screencasts, a Powerpoint file containing additional screenshots or slides from a talk about the study, a Word, RTF, or PDF document showing the original instrument(s) used, a video, or the original data (SAS/SPSS files, Excel files, Access Db files etc.). Do not include copyrighted material unless you obtained writte permission from the copyright holder, which should be faxed to the editorial office in case of acceptance together with your Publication Agreement form.

Multimedia Appendices intended for publication must be numbered and referred to in the manuscript. Provide in-text citations (for example "see Multimedia Appendix 1") as well as a section with the heading "Multimedia Appendix" before the "References" section. Here, list all Multimedia Appendices and include a brief caption line for each Mutlimedia Appendix describing its contents.

Multimedia Appendices must be uploaded as "supplementary files" during the submission process. In the submission form, carefully enter the caption of the Appendix in a publishable format (using the correct case and avoiding typos and abbreviations), as this will be used in the final publication.

Supplementary files for editor/reviewer eyes only (e.g. related publications) can also be uploaded as "other supplementary file") - these are NOT referred to as "Mutlimedia Appendix".

Figures and Tables

Include all figures and tables in the manuscript at the location where they should appear in the final manuscript.

Screenshots of the intervention/website as a figure or a movie file of the intervention (as Multimedia Appendix, see above) are highly encouraged.

Figures and captions remain in the manuscript during peer-review, but will be removed during production, using the files and captions uploaded separately from the manuscript. Please also upload each of your final figure (and multimedia appendix) as supplementary file  (hi-resolution png or jpg files with minimal compression). DO NOT upload .doc files with lineart or other file formats as figure. Movie files (.m4v, .avi etc.), powerpoint files (.ppt), or documents (pdf/.doc) should be uploaded and referred to as Multimedia Appendix (see above), not figures. Please name your files so that it becomes clear what version/revision the figure refers to, e.g. fig1_rev20090130.png. Enter the caption (which will appear underneath the figure) online, omitting the figure label ("Figure 1"), as this will be added automatically. Remove figure label and captions from the image file, if present. Note that for the final publication, the caption will be pulled from the metadata, NOT the caption provided in the manuscript.

IMPORTANT (and new since Aug 2011): During production, FIGURE AND MULTIMEDIA APPENDIX CAPTIONS FOR THE FINAL PUBLICATION ARE NO LONGER PULLED FROM THE MANUSCRIPT, INSTEAD, THEY ARE GENERATED FROM OUR DATABASE (what you enter in the field "caption" when you upload a figure or appendix).

When preparing tables, please make sure that for each row you create a new table row, rather than writing multiple rows into one cell. Example:

Correct:

   n (%)

Age

30-40

23 (43%)

 

40-50

27 (23%)

Gender

Female

80 (40%)

 

Male

120 (60%)


 Wrong:

  n (%)

Age

30-40

40-50

23 (43%)

27 (23%)

Gender

Female

Male

80 (40%)

120 (60%)

 

It is technically not possible to generate different table headers for the same column in the course of the same table (e.g. switching from "%" to "mean") - the original table header will be automatically repeated on new pages. If the meaning of the column changes, then this constitutes a new table with a separate label and caption. If you report different metrics for different kinds of data (e.g. % for dichotomous outcomes, means and SD for continuous outcomes), write "(mean, SD)" or "(%)" after the category headings, or find alternative ways to present the information (e.g. footnotes). 

 

Use portrait format and 10-12 pt fonts for tables. Do not use landscape paper formats for tables or smaller fonts to squeeze more information (more columns) into a table. If you have too many columns and the table becomes too wide so that you would have to use a smaller font, consider breaking the table into multiple tables. We will always typeset tables in normal font and in portrait orientation. Tables with too many columns will have very narrow columns and look squeezed.
Footnotes for tables must always be a-z (superscript). Do not use symbols such as * or ** (AMA styleguide has recently been revised to that effect - older JMIR articles still use symbols).




Also, please do not submit tables as separate (supplementary) files - always include them in the manuscript file.

Important Notes on Reporting P values

The actual P value should be expressed (P = .04) rather than expressing a statement of inequality (P < .05), unless P < .001. The P value should be expressed to 2 digits whether or not it is significant. When rounding, 3 digits is acceptable if rounding would change the significance of a value (eg, P = .049 rounded to .05). If P < .01, it should be expressed to 3 digits.

P values less than .001 should be reported as P < .001. Expressing P to more than 3 significant digits does not add useful information since precise P values with extreme results are sensitive to biases or departures from the statistical model.

The traditional reporting of P values (indicating only that P < 0.05) simply indicated whether the results were "statistically significant" or not. But P values of 0.051 and 0.049 should be interpreted similarly despite the fact that the 0.051 is greater than 0.05 and is therefore not "significant" and that the 0.049 is less than 0.05 and thus is "significant." Reporting actual P values avoids this problem of interpretation. P values should not be listed as not significant (NS) since, for meta-analysis, the actual values are important and not providing exact P values is a form of incomplete reporting.

Do not use 0 before the decimal point for statistical values P, alpha, and beta because they cannot equal 1. For some statistical values (eg, kappa) even if they cannot ever equal 1, use 0 if they are used infrequently.

P is always italicized and capitalized.

Authors who are not sure how to report their quantitative results should consult the following book:

How to Report Statistics in Medicine: Annotated Guidelines for Authors, Editors, and Reviewers (Medical Writing and Communication)
Thomas A. Lang; Paperback; $39.95

 

Novel Paper Components: Original Data, Animations, HypER Papers

As a journal covering innovative methods to disseminate knowledge on the Internet, we want to be innovative in our style and format and take advantage of the possibilites available by publishing online. We do not want, as many online journals do, to reproduce an exact version of a traditional printed journal.

We therefore encourage you to experiment with novel methods of presentation whenever you feel it is appropriate and helps the reader, for example,

  • animated gifs
  • other media (movies)
  • attachment or link to a database (Access) or spreadsheet (Excel) file containing original or additional data
  • JAVA applets

 

 

Online Submission

Web-Based Manuscript Submission and Tracking System

  • JMIR uses an online submission and manuscript tracking system. To submit your paper, please register as an author (in your user profile) and go the author home page.
  • You will have to register as an author and will then be guided through the submission process. You may upload your manuscript as an .rtf (rich text) or .doc (WinWord) file, as well as supplementary files such as figures.
  • Email submissions are not accepted.
  • This system allows you to check the status of your manuscript at any time. Please refrain from sending emails to the editor or journal staff inquiring about the status of your manuscript.
  • Upon submission, you will receive an automatic email acknowledging receipt of your paper. If you do not receive a response within 24 hours, please verify that the paper has been submitted (using the manuscript tracking system).

 

Title Page

The first page of your manuscript should be a title page containing the type of paper; the title; all authors' names, degrees, and affiliations; and the corresponding author's contact address (including phone and fax numbers) and email address.

 

Acceptable Languages

Except for supplements covering special topics of regional interest or containing papers having been presented at non-English speaking meetings, manuscripts must be English.

Non-native speakers are advised to seek help from a native speaker or a professional copyeditor before submission. Although accepted JMIR manuscripts are also edited for language, a poorly written manuscript has lower chances to be accepted, and multiple typos and grammatical errors often reflect poorly on the author.

Final Checklist

Before you submit your manuscript to JMIR, make sure that you avoid the following common formatting / editorial problems:

 

A. ( ) all in-text references must be numbers in square brackets like this [1]. Do not use the author-year system. Do not use round brackets. Do not use superscript.

B. ( ) JMIR does not use footnotes or endnotes. If you have footnotes, please delete them or incorporate them into the text

C. ( ) URLs must be cited as references and should be archived using WebCite (www.webcitation.org)

D. ( ) in addition to the WebCite URL, please also mention the original URL in the references

E. ( ) please list only one corresponding author with full address, including phone, fax, and email address

F. ( ) Major headings for ALL original papers must be Introduction - Methods - Results - Discussion

G. ( ) Please add subheadings under Introduction/Methods/Results/Discussion (if you use WinWord, apply the style "Heading 2" to IMRD headings, and the styles "Heading 3"  to subsequent subheadings). DO NOT USE italics or bold keywords or sentences in paragraphs in lieu of subheadings / sub-subheadings.

H. ( ) You must have more than one subheadings in each section, otherwise please remove the subheading

I. ( ) Your subheadings in the methods section should usually mirror the subeadings in the results section (i.e. for each result type there must be an explanation in the methods on how these results were obtained)

J. ( ) please check our Instructions for Authors on how P-values should be reported

K. ( ) If you want to include a multimedia appendix, please insert a reference ("Multimedia Appendix 1: [caption]") with a caption in the manuscript (before "References"), but make sure to also upload the Appendix as supplementary file. Each appendix must be uploaded as separate file. 

L. ( ) End your introduction with a clear statement of what the aim of this paper or study is, or what the hypotheses are. 

M. ( ) Start your discussion with a short summary of what the main finding(s) of this study was/were

N. ( ) Shorten the paper, in particular the section: ...

O. ( ) Abstract must be structured (Background-Objectives-Methods-Results-Conclusions)

P. ( ) Please include more quantitative results in the abstract (sample size, P-values, odds ratios with confidence-intervals etc.)

Q. ( ) Please clean up your references, following our instructions for authors. Do not use et al. to abbreviate authors. Do not use "and" between author names. For each author, provide lastname and initial - in that order - without punctuation (e.g. Eysenbach G). Do not use quotation marks for the titles. If you can, provide Medline-links or PMIDs in the format PMID:1234567 

R. ( ) For all results for which you provide a relative result (percentage), you should also provide the absolute number, e.g. "132 out of 264 participants (50%) said that...". If n < 100, there is no decimal point in your percentages. If n is 100 to 999, 1 decimal point is reported. If n ≥ 1000, 2 decimal points are reported.

S. ( ) Do not number your headings

T. ( ) Tables should appear in the main manuscript file where they should appear in the final manuscript (rather than being at the end of the manuscript or in a separate file). Figures should remain (during the review process) in the main file but must also be uploaded under "supplementary files". Note that after acceptance, figures should be removed from the main manuscript and the figure/caption entered online (as metadata for the supplementary file) will be used, thus please fill in this section carefully.

U. ( ) Cite a reasonable and appropriate number of scholarly references. Make sure to include the most recent pertinent/related articles - a reference list where the last published reference is over 1-2 years old raises some red flags. Do a Pubmed search to cite previously published papers on the same topic immediately before submission to make sure the most recent related research is cited.

V. ( ) remove ALL field codes before submitting an electronic manuscript.  Field codes are used in Microsoft Word if you use bibliographic software to create your references. Before re-submitting your revised manuscript, open your document in Word, select Tools -- Endnote (or Reference Manager) -- Remove Field Codes, and save the manuscript under a new name. Then resubmit that version.

W. ( ) avoid author-invented abbreviations and acronyms

X. ( ) For RCTs only: Starting in 2008, JMIR will routinely publish trial identifiers in the abstract. Please add the trial registration number to the ABSTRACT, after the section "Conclusions: ..." (e.g. "Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00102401, http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00102401)

If for any reason the trial was not registered, please provide an explanation (e.g. in the methods section and/or a cover letter to the editor).

Y. ( ) Please report the trial in accordance with the CONSORT-EHEALTH checklist - for details see CONSORT-EHEALTH: Improving and Standardizing Evaluation Reports of Web-based and Mobile Health Interventions, J Med Internet Res 2011;13(4):e126. Please download the checklist from http://www.jmir.org/ojs/public/journals/1/CONSORT-EHEALTH-v1-6.pdf . We then need you to fill in the electronic version at http://tinyurl.com/consort-ehealth-v1-6 with quotes from your (revised) paper (if you wish to comment on the importance of the items from the checklist for reporting, please also rate each item on a scale between 1-5). BEFORE you press submit, please generate a pdf of the form with your responses and upload this file as supplementary file entitled CONSORT-EHEALTH V1.6. Mention in your article and/or cover letter that the trial is reported in accordance with CONSORT-EHEALTH.

A CONSORT-flowdiagram and a attrition diagram are also strongly recommended (as figures).

Z. ( ) For online surveys only: Please report the online survey in accordance with the CHERRIES checklist 

AA. ( ) Tables must be designed in line with Instructions for Authors (http://www.jmir.org/cms/view/Instructions_for_Authors:Instructions_for_Authors_of_JMIR#figures) - do NOT use a soft line break within a table cell to separate different categories/subcategories. For each category, create a new table row.

DO NOT USE LANDSCAPE FOR TABLES OR SMALLER FONTS. WE WILL TYPESET TABLES IN NORMAL FONT AND IN PORTRAIT ORIENTATION. TABLES WITH TOO MANY COLUMNS WILL HAVE VERY NARROW COLUMNS AND LOOK SQUEEZED.

FOOTNOTES FOR TABLES must always be a-z (superscript). Do not use symbols such as * or **

AB. ( ) Please also upload each of your final figure (e.g. 1-2 screenshots of the intervention) as supplementary file  (hi-resolution png or jpg files with minimal compression). DO NOT upload .doc files with lineart or other fileformats. Please name your files so that it becomes clear what revision the figure refers to, e.g. fig1_rev20090130.png. Enter the caption (which will appear underneath the figure) online, omitting the figure label ("Figure 1"), as this will be added automatically. Remove figure label and captions from the image file, if present. Note that for the final publication, the caption will be pulled from the metadata, NOT the caption provided in the manuscript.

 

 

Cover Letter

The online submission process allows you to enter a comment for the editor into a "comments field." Here you may briefly explain why you think your article is innovative and important. Please also mention if you opt-in into our Open Peer Review experiment. Finally, we ask that you mention that you either agree to pay the APF (Article Processing Fee, see below) in case of acceptance, or if you think that the APF should be waived due to institutional membership of the corresponding author.

Peer Reviewer Nominations

During the submission process, authors are asked to nominate 2 to 4 external referees to review their manuscript (please provide at least their name and email address). The best reviewers are authors of publications on which your research builds and which you cite. Peer reviewers must have a publishing track in the area the manuscript deals with, however, avoid nominating overly senior (and busy) individuals.

When suggesting peer reviewers, conflicts of interests should be avoided, that is, suggested referees should not

  • be from the same department or division as one of the authors (the same university should also be avoided);
  • have been a research supervisor or graduate student of one of the authors within the past six years;
  • have collaborated with one of the authors within the past six years or have plans to collaborate in the immediate future;
  • be employees of non-academic organizations with which one of the authors has collaborated within the past six years; or
  • be in any other kind of potential conflict of interest situation (eg, personal, financial).

We ask applicants not to contact suggested referees in advance. The editor reserves the right to send the manuscript to other referees.

You may request, in the cover letter, that some researchers not be involved in the review of your paper.

Important: Please note that JMIR is a non-profit open access journal by scientists for scientists supported solely by the grants of the contributing authors. Authors typically hold research grants which allow them to pay the JMIR submission and article procession charges (see Fee Schedule below).
In return, the author(s) retain(s) the copyright.
Authors not having any grants or financial support should encourage their department or university to become an JMIR institutional member (we brand member organizations who have successfully published in JMIR as member organizations of the Global Network of Centres of Excellence in eHealth and Internet Research), 

 

 

Fast-Track Review and Premium Publishing

Authors sometimes have to meet publication deadlines, e.g. for promotion & tenure or thesis defense, grant proposals, spending of research funds before a certain deadline, publication of follow-up papers, or because the findings are deemed important.

To facilitate a speedy turn-around when a rapid decision is required, JMIR offers a review model in which selected peer reviewers may be paid to deliver high-quality and speedy peer-review reports. This is entirely optional - if you do not wish to pay for a fast-track peer review and premium publishing process, just submit your paper normally as described above.

If you opt for fast-track review and premium publishing, you are guaranteed

  • a rapid editorial decision and peer-review comments within 3 weeks (plus any additional holidays within that period)* after submission and payment of the fee, and
  • if the final paper is accepted, publication of your paper within 4 weeks** after acceptance and payment of the fee.

In order to take advantage of this, authors must pay a non-refundable fast-track fee (FTF). This should be done within 24 hours after submission. The FTF can be paid immediately after submission using the manuscript submission system. For further information see Pay Fast-Track Fee. We now also allow authors to expedite the submission at any time during the peer-review process.

We reserve the right to refund the fast-track fee and process the manuscript in the regular submission track if we are unable to meet the deadline due to a delayed peer-review report or other issues beyond our control.

* Canadian, US and European bank holidays, and excluding the days in the period between Dec 23rd - Jan 1st (of each year).

** not including the period between Dec 23rd-Jan 1st. Days where we wait for a response of the author(s) to copyediting or proofreading requests are also not counted 

Editorial Processes

When JMIR receives a manuscript, the Editor and/or Assistant Editor will first decide whether the manuscript meets the formal criteria specified in the Instructions for Authors and whether it fits within the scope of the journal. When in doubt and before rejecting a manuscript on the basis of initial review, the editor will consult other members of the Editorial Board. The editor may assign a section editor to the manuscript, who will guide the manuscript through the peer-review process.

Manuscripts are then sent to an external expert for peer review. The number of peer-reviewers depends on the complexity of the manuscript, but we typically approach 4 peer-reviewers, expecting 1-2 peer-reviews back before we make a decision. Authors are required to suggest 2 peer reviewers during the submission process, but it is at the discretion of the editor whether or not these reviewers will be approached.

JMIR reviewers will not be anonymous (unless they explicitely request this). Names of reviewers will be stated below the article when it is published. Authors and reviewers should not directly contact each other to enter into disputes on manuscripts or reviews.

After peer review, the editor will contact the author. If the author is invited to submit a revised version, the revised version has to be submitted by the author within 3 months. Otherwise, the manuscript will be removed from the manuscript submission queue and will be considered rejected.  

 

Speed of Peer Review

Internet research is a fast-moving field, and we acknowledge the need of our authors to communicate their findings rapidly. We therefore aim to be extremely fast (but still thorough and rigorous) in our peer-review process. For example, the paper "Factors Associated with Intended Use of a Web Site Among Family Practice Patients" (J Med Internet Res 2001;3(2):e17) was reviewed, edited, typeset, and published within only 16 days. Including the two weeks' time authors needed for revision, less than 1 month passed from first submission to final publication. (Please note that actual times to review and edit papers vary and primarily depend on the quality of the paper upon first submission.)

We can not provide any guarantees on the speed of peer review or publication - except if a paper has been submitted under the fast-track option, in which case, we guarantee an initial editorial decision within a certain number of days and publication of the article within a certain number of weeks after acceptance.

 

Criteria for Selection of Manuscripts

Manuscripts should meet the following criteria: the study conducted is ethical (see below); the material is original; the writing is clear; the study methods are appropriate; the data are valid; the conclusions are reasonable and supported by the data; the information is important; and the topic is interesting to our readership.

It is recognized that many submissions will describe websites and other Internet-based services. The Editorial Board strongly recommends that authors of such submissions make efforts to evaluate and, if possible, quantify the impact of these services. Submissions containing evaluations are more likely to be accepted than those containing descriptions of services alone, unless the service includes significant innovation.

 

Ethical Issues

Internet-based research raises novel questions of ethics and human dignity. If human subjects are involved, informed consent, protection of privacy, and other human rights are further criteria against which the manuscript will be judged. Papers describing investigations on human subjects must include a statement that the study was approved by the institutional review board, in accordance with all applicable regulations, and that informed consent was obtained after the nature and possible consequences of the study were explained.

JMIR also encourages articles devoted to the ethics of Internet-based research. In addition, as mentioned above, we will ask authors to disclose any competing interests in relation to their work.

Recommended Reading:

 

Plagiarism

JMIR is dedicated to the fight against plagiarism and "cyberplagiarism," the stealing of paragraphs and ideas from articles and websites without appropriate references. We are the first scholarly journal which checks submitted manuscripts against the Web, using turnitin.com, to see whether significant portions of submissions have been taken from websites without appropriate credit.

It is perfectly acceptable to take direct quotes from websites, but the reference (URL) must be given and the citation must be included in quotation marks. If portions of the manuscript have already been published by the author on other websites, this does not necessarily exclude the material from publication in JMIR; however, the JMIR Editorial Board does need to know which portions of the manuscript have been previously published and where. The author should include a note in the cover letter indicating which portions have been published elsewhere.

Should possible scientific misconduct or dishonesty in research submitted for review be suspected or alleged, this journal reserves the right to forward any submitted manuscript to the sponsoring or funding institution or other appropriate authority for investigation. This journal recognizes the responsibility to ensure that the issue is appropriately pursued but does not undertake the actual investigation or make determinations of misconduct.


Open Access Model, Fee Schedule

"Open access" means that the content of JMIR is freely available. The definition, according to the Budapest Open Access Initiative, is as follows:

"By 'open access' to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited." (Budapest Open Access Initiative - Definition of Open Access)

JMIR is among the pioneers of a new generation of open access medical journals, supporting free and unrestricted access to research information on the Web. This publishing model is becoming increasingly popular among researchers, who have learned that open access articles are more visible and more frequently cited (see Eysenbach G. Citation Advantage of Open Access Articles, PLoS Biol 2006; 4(5): e157).

JMIR operates in line with the Budapest Open Access Initiative. The following excerpts from the Budapest Open Access Initiative explain the philosophy and business model behind this approach:

The new technology is the internet. The public good they make possible is the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds. Removing access barriers to this literature will accelerate research, enrich education, share the learning of the rich with the poor and the poor with the rich, make this literature as useful as it can be, and lay the foundation for uniting humanity in a common intellectual conversation and quest for knowledge....

While the peer-reviewed journal literature should be accessible online without cost to readers, it is not costless to produce.... Achieving open access will require new cost recovery models and financing mechanisms.... Because price is a barrier to access, these new journals will not charge subscription or access fees, and will turn to other methods for covering their expenses. There are many alternative sources of funds for this purpose, including the foundations and governments that fund research, the universities and laboratories that employ researchers, endowments set up by discipline or institution, friends of the cause of open access, profits from the sale of add-ons to the basic texts, funds freed up by the demise or cancellation of journals charging traditional subscription or access fees, or even contributions from the researchers themselves.

The publication of a high quality online journal service such as JMIR is an expensive business. In addition to all the fixed costs usually associated with print journal publishing (reviewing, editing, data processing, printing, and distribution), there are costs associated with online publication (including software development costs, hosting, and user support). The scientific research community considers author charges as a viable way of covering publication costs.

Authors should understand that JMIR is employing professional staff (technical, copyediting) and we have to pay our bills too. Our authors usually budget for JMIR membership or knowledge dissemination activities in their research grant proposals, and cover JMIR publication fees or membership fees through their research grants, CME funds, or other sources. Authors not holding such grants should contact their department or library, encouraging them to become an institutional member.

 

Fee Schedule (2012)

1) Submission Fee (JSF)

*The submission fee is non-refundable, even if the paper is rejected, with or without external peer-review.

Letters to the editor, invited articles................................. FREE

JSF for regular papers (original work, viewpoints etc.)........ US$ 90


2) Fast-track Fee (optional) (FTF)

Payment of the Fast Track Fee guarantees a speedy turnaround (initial decision within 15 working days, publication within 1 month after acceptance + APF payment). The fast-track fee is non-refundable, even if the paper is rejected, with or without peer-review.

Fast-Track Fee.................................................................... US$ 450

 

3) Article Processing Fee (APF) 

Only payable in case of acceptance of a manuscript.  

Letters to the editor**................................. FREE

Corresponding author from institutional member organization....................... FREE

Corresponding author not from institutional member organization................ US$ 1900 (submitted before 21-Apr-2010: US$ 1500)

Grant proposals and research protocols (now published in our new spin-off journal JMIR Research Protocols) which are already peer-reviewed (review reports must be submitted)................ US$ 950


** Letters to the editor should be a response or comment on a recently published paper in JMIR. Original research is not accepted as letter **

NOTE: All prices are stated and fixed in US$. Payments made via PayPal will be processed in US$. Payments made via PsiGate (credit card processing platform) will be processed in CAD$ (using the daily bank exchange rate to convert from US$ to CAD$). Purchasers using credit cards dominated in US$ are advised that due to the currency conversion process (US$ -> CAD$ -> US$, the final amount in their credit card statement may differ slightly from the amounts stated here. 

CHEQUE FEE: A 7% surcharge is added for non-credit card payments. 

 

Why do we charge fees? The fee will be paid to a research account at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, and will be used to pay the costs for administrative support for the peer-review process, copyediting, hosting of the journal, production of the XML/HTML versions of articles, membership in CrossRef, and for further development of the journal and website. In open access journals, authors retain the copyright for their work, and access to the published paper is provided free of charge for readers. Because of this, open access journals have limited possibilities to generate revenue and offset costs by licensing content. Therefore, processing and publication costs need to be carried by the authors' institution or research grants. The article processing fee, payable upon acceptance, is waived if the corresponding author is from a department or university that is a JMIR institutional member at the time of submission and acceptance. Authors should encourage their department or university to become an institutional JMIR member prior to submitting an article, as this actually costs less than the fee for a single article.

For authors not affiliated with institutional members at the time of the submission (login into your userhomepage and click on membership to see a list - in addition, there is a drop-down list in the submission form), articles accepted by JMIR are subject to the article processing fee, payable in the period between article acceptance and copyediting. This fee is usually paid by a grant of one of the authors (most if not all funding agencies allow payment of APFs from their grants) or by the academic department of the author (much as they already pay for reprints, page charges, or color plates in subscription-based journals). Authors who have no sources of support to pay for the processing fee should lobby their department to become an institutional member prior to submission.

Many institutions now provide financial help to cover publication fees. For example, for authors from the following institutions, institutional funding is available (usually only for authors who have no grant funding) to cover the APF (check http://www.oacompact.org/signatories/ for an updated list and details - do NOT contact us to inquire about details): 

Cornell University 

Dartmouth College 

Harvard University 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

University of California at Berkeley 

University of Ottawa 

Columbia University 

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center 

University of Michigan

Universitat de Barcelona

Duke University

University of Calgary

Simon Fraser University

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

University of Utah

The APF and possibly other fees do not apply to letters to the editor, editorials, or solicited material. No APF is charged for declined papers (however, the submission fee is non-refundable).

The full fee will also be charged (and is non-refundable) if the article has been accepted by the editor but cannot be published due to factors which are the responsibility of the author(s), for example, (a) the paper is, for any reason, withdrawn by the author after acceptance; (b) a copyright violation, case of plagiarism, undisclosed duplicate publication, or other form of scientific misconduct (eg, fabricating data) is discovered after acceptance, thereby preventing us from publishing the paper or requiring a retraction; (c) the paper cannot be published because the authors fail to provide the signed publication forms. In all these cases, the full fee will be charged, regardless of the stage the manuscript is at, as long as the manuscript has already been accepted by the editor before withdrawal.


We also reserve the right to charge the full or partial fee if a copyright violation, case of plagiarism, undisclosed duplicate publication, multiple journal submission, or other form of scientific misconduct is discovered during peer review, preventing us from processing the paper further.

 

How to Pay

The preferred option is to pay by credit card via a secure credit card processing gateway, or via PayPal, which accepts all major credit cards (you do not need to open a PayPal account). Payment may also be made by cheque; however, a 7% administrative surcharge applies for all memberships and fees which are not paid through PayPal.

To pay, log in and click on the author role on the user homepage. After acceptance of the manuscript, a payment link will appear underneath the the manuscript title. Please pay immediately after article acceptance. Copyediting and typesetting of accepted papers can only be initiated after payment, thus any delays in paying the APF will lead to delays in the publication process.

 

 


Open Publication License, Authorship Responsibility, Declaration of Competing Interests

JMIR papers are published under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution License.

The license grants others permission to use the content in whole or in part, and insures that the original authors and publisher / publication venue (the Journal of Medical Internet Research) will be properly credited/cited when content is used. It grants others permission to redistribute the content. Under this license, JMIR becomes the original publisher of the work, but the article may be redistributed by anyone (eg, on the Web, in books as book chapters, or on a CD-ROM) However, authors should not publish the same article again in the academic body of literature, as this constitutes duplicate publication and scientific misconduct. This ensures the widest possible distribution of research for the authors.

Can I republish, print, distribute, or resell JMIR content?
Yes, however, redistributors of JMIR content are required to adhere to the following:

  1. Acknowledge the original author and publisher/journal, that is, the original source must be exactly cited as indicated at the bottom of each published article, including the URL of the original article on the JMIR website.
  2. It must be clear that the material published has been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

If these two conditions are met (usually by including the entire "please cite as" and copyright statement which is at the end of each article), no written permission is required from the copyright holder to redistribute or reprint the material. 

While not required, it is considered good practice to inform the editor, author, and publisher if articles are redistributed. If books or CD-ROMs are produced, the author and publisher should receive a free copy.

We do not recommend mirroring the entire JMIR site, unless you can ensure that the content (including instructions for authors, editorial board, etc) is updated automatically. We want to avoid having multiple outdated copies of the same article or Web page on the Internet.

Publication agreement

If the paper is accepted, authors must sign and return by fax a publication agreement, an authorship responsibility form, and a declaration of competing interests form before the manuscript can be published. A preview of these forms is available here.