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MJA instructions for authors - Submitting an article to the MJA

Manuscripts and letters submitted to the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) must conform with the “Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals” (ICMJE Recommendations).

Manuscripts and letters must be offered exclusively to the Journal. This means that all submissions should not be submitted simultaneously to other journals nor made available to others, including news reporters, while they are being considered for publication in the MJA. This embargo continues up to 12.01 am on the day of publication in print or, for online first articles, the time the article is posted online for all submissions that are accepted.

Submission process

On Friday 1 November 2013 the MJA moved to a online submission system, ScholarOne. Staff at the MJA have worked to develop a system tailored towards being simpler, more accessible and easy to use.

New submissions should be submitted here: www.mja.com.au/submissions

  • First-time users should select "Create An Account" from the login box on the ScholarOne web page and enter the requested information. Once successfully registered, you will be sent an email containing your username and password. You need these to log in.
  • Registered users can log in on the home page of ScholarOne by providing their username and password. Once logged in, please select “Author” tab. This will enable you to submit your manuscript and track its progress through the system.

For further information on the ScholarOne system, please head to the help section of ScholarOnehttp://mchelp.manuscriptcentral.com/gethelpnow/training/author/.

Authors who cannot access the ScholarOne system should contact the Editorial office (mja@mja.com.au, or by phone +61 2 9562 6666).

Submission requirements

We have streamlined many of the submission processes with the launch of ScholarOne. The Submission process is now a 7-step process. Before you begin this process please have ready to upload:

  • Your covering letter (see below)
  • Your manuscript, set out on our manuscript template (download the manuscript template) or a de-identified Microsoft Word Document
  • Consent for publication of personal material (All manuscript submissions, in which living or deceased patients are described, if any patients are potentially identifiable in the text or images, are required to submit a signed patient permission form.) Please note we do not accept institution patient permission forms.

Note: The manuscript you submit online may (if appropriate) be forwarded to peer reviewers. The MJA uses "double blind" peer review, in which reviewers are not told the identity of the authors, nor are the authors told the identity of the reviewers. To preserve blinding, your manuscript should not contain author-identifying information.

Step 1 – Type, Title, and Abstract

Please select your Manuscript Type (see Types of articles published by the MJA), enter your Title and copy and paste in your Abstract (or dot-point summary) to the text boxes provided (NOTE: do not remove the abstract or dot point summary from your manuscript document).

Step 2 – File Upload

Please submit your manuscript, set out on our manuscript template (download the manuscript template) or as a de-identified Microsoft Word Document and any supplemental files associated with your manuscript including images, tables etc.

To preserve blinding, your manuscript should not contain author-identifying information. This includes acknowledgements, conflict of interest statement, and any information which may identify you as an author. This information should be added to Step #6 of the submission process.

You can upload 5 files at a time.

Step 3 – Attributes

Please select keywords associated with your manuscript. You may conduct a wildcard search by adding an asterisk (*) to the end of the search string. For example, to view a list of all of the manuscripts whose titles begin with the words “neuroscience” or “neurology” simply type “neuro*” in the Title field and click “Search”.

Step 4 – Authors and Institutions

As corresponding author your information will be pre-populated into this section. Please enter all other co-author information required and add them to your authors. Note that if a co-author is already on our system you can pre-populate their information by searching for their email address. Please note we allow a maximum of 2 affiliations per author.

The MJA will be using this information should the manuscript proceed to publication. An email will be sent to your co-authors to update their information later on in the manuscript review process.

Step 5 – Reviewers & Editors

Please name two people from outside your institution and not in the same state as the authors, include their institution and email addresses, who might be approached by the MJA Editors as potential reviewers for your manuscript or for manuscripts similar to yours.

Step 6 – Details and Comments

This section includes covering letter, manuscript information, acknowledgements and declarations.

Covering letter

Your covering letter should be submitted online with your manuscript. It can contain author-identifying information as it will not be shown to peer reviewers. It should include:

  • a brief outline of the context of your work, including what your manuscript adds to current knowledge on the topic, to assist MJA editors in their initial assessment of your manuscript
  • why the manuscript should be published in the MJA
  • confirmation that the manuscript content (in part or in full) has not been concurrently submitted or previously published elsewhere.

Manuscript Information

Please enter number of words, references, tables, figures and boxes.

Declarations

At the time you submit your manuscript, we require:

  • Competing interests statement for your article, as you would like it to appear in print if your article is accepted. You should include all relevant potential conflicts for all authors – please see our Editorial policy on Competing interests. If there are no conflicts, please write "Competing interests: No relevant disclosures".

  • Acknowledgements (OPTIONAL). Please acknowledge:

  1. any funding sources and describe their role (see our Editorial policy on Acknowledgements); and
  2. people who have contributed to the study but who do not qualify as authors (see Authorship), ensuring you have obtained and forwarded permission from anyone named in your Acknowledgements (emails are acceptable). Do not include secretarial staff.
  • Personal communications (if used). Any person named as the source of a “personal communication” must indicate that he or she has approved being quoted in your article. If permission is not obtained, the material may not be able to be quoted.

  • Patient permission. All case reports, including letters, in which living patients are described and there is any possibility of identification in the text or images, even if this is just by the patient(s) themselves, must include a signed statement from the patient(s) giving approval for the publication of the personal or identifying material, including photographs (download a consent for publication of personal material form).

  • Authorship Confirmation (upon request from the Editor only). Each author must decide which of the following two statements applies to them:

    A.   I have met conditions 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the MJA’s definition of authorship and qualify as an author (see authorship).

    OR

    B.   I contributed to this study/article but do not meet all four conditions of authorship and wish to be thanked in the Acknowledgements.

    To respond to these instructions: Each contributor should copy into an email whichever one of the two statements above applies to them — either A or B — and forward that email from their personal email address to the corresponding author. This constitutes their digital signature. The corresponding author should collate these emails, including the headers containing each person’s email address and the date each email was sent, into one document, and upload that document to ScholarOne, along with their revised article.

Step 7 – Review and Submit

Please review all information that you have entered, including viewing either the HTML or PDF version of the manuscript as it will be sent to the reviewer. You may then formally submit your manuscript to the MJA.

English language support

The MJA welcomes manuscript submissions from all countries. If you need help preparing your manuscript for submission in English, support is available from Wiley for a fee. We will not reject a manuscript because of minor grammatical errors; however, if there are major problems with language, we are unable to address these via our usual editorial processes and your manuscript may be returned to you for these to be fixed. Please note that the use of Wiley Editing Services (or equivalent) is at authors' expense and we can not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted if you make use of these services.