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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 Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals.

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 for all submissions that are accepted.

Abstract assessment

This is an option to help authors gauge suitability of their manuscript for the MJA, and thus to minimise time wastage in the full submission process if the manuscript falls outside the remit or requirements of the MJA.

Abstracts may be submitted for rapid assessment of potential suitability for the general medical readership of the MJA by email to submissions@mja.com.au. For research manuscripts or systematic reviews, please submit a structured research abstract in MJA style. For Perspectives and Clinical Focus articles, please submit a brief bullet point abstract. Please send your abstract using our template (download the abstract template).

Abstracts should be accompanied by a brief outline of the context of your work, including what your manuscript adds to current knowledge on the topic, to assist MJA editors to assess the abstract.

Please note that abstracts are only assessed on Mondays and Wednesdays. Abstracts must be received before noon on Friday for assessment on Monday, and before noon on Tuesday for assessment on Wednesday. Abstracts received after this time will be assessed the following week.

Submission process

On Friday 1 November 2013 the MJA moved to a new online submission system, ScholarOne. Over the past 12 months, staff at the MJA have been working 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 Account” from the menu at the top of the ,em>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 Centre”. 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 ScholarOne: http://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 6-step process. Before you begin this process please have ready to upload:

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 in your Abstract (or dot-point summary) to the text boxes provided (do not remove the abstract or dot point summary from your manuscript document).

Step 2 - 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 3 – 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.

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 4 – 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 submitted or published elsewhere.

Manuscript Information

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

Declarations

At the time you submit your manuscript, we require:

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

    Note that the intended audience for your competing interest statement is MJA readers. Your statement should alert readers to any personal interests, pecuniary or non-pecuniary, which could be perceived as a potential influence on the findings and/or opinions in your article.

    Please consider the following when composing your competing interests statement:

    • Did you or your institution receive, or will you be receiving, financial support or other compensation from a government agency, a commercial or charitable sponsor, or other third party (such as foundations, academic institutions) for work regarding this submission. If you answer yes, please provide details.
    • Have you received, or will you be receiving, any financial support or other compensation from commercial or charitable sponsors, government agencies, or other third party (such as foundations, academic institutions) for activities that, although outside the submitted work, could be considered relevant or related to this work? If you answer yes, please provide details.
    • Do you have any patents, issued or pending, relevant to this work? Do you have any patents, issued or pending, in a similar discipline to this work? If you answer yes, please provide details.
    • Have you received speaker fees and/or educational grants related to this work? If you answer yes, please provide details
    • Have you received travel assistance to attend meetings related to this work? If you answer yes, please provide details.
    • Do you have any non-pecuniary interests in or related to, this work (such as, positions on committees, boards, related to the work or membership/director/executive of an advocacy group or a community group) If you answer yes, please provide details.

    If there are potential conflicts, please provide a detailed statement. This statement should be entered into the text box provided and should include all relevant potential conflicts for all authors

    Examples of conflict of interests statements are:

    • John Brown receives financial support from the ABC Heart Association, Melbourne Health, the University of Sydney and Queensland Health.
    • Mary Mild has received consultancy fees from Pharma company A and speaker's fees for meetings organised by Pharma company B.
    • Tim Smith has served on the board of Pharma company C and is a member of the Rights for Advocacy Group D.
    • Tony Citizen has undertaken clinical trials with anti-inflammatory drugs for Pharma company E and other companies.
    • John Brown has received honoraria for educational lectures from Pharma company F.
    • Mary Mild holds shares in Device company G.
  • Acknowledgements (THESE ARE OPTIONAL). Acknowledgements must be brief. Acknowledge funding sources and people who have contributed to the study but who do not qualify as authors (see Authorship). Do not include secretarial staff.  Note:
    Permission to be acknowledged. Any person named in your acknowledgements must indicate that he or she has approved being acknowledged in your article. The corresponding author should collate and forward such permissions. Emails are acceptable. It is the responsibility of the principal author to obtain permission to acknowledge individuals; if permission is not obtained, the names cannot be published.

  • 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 5 – File Upload

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

To preserve blinding, your manuscript should not contain author-identifying information.

You can upload 5 files at a time.

Note: Please do not complete or upload the ICMJE form when you submit your manuscript. A digital copy will be sent to each author to complete:

  • when you complete your submission of an Editorial or Letter to the Editor;
  • when you submit a revised manuscript to the MJA.

Step 6 – 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.