Our approach to publishing at the MJA is that it should be a collaboration between the editorial and the author community. The MJA receives more than 1300 manuscripts per year and only publishes around 10–20% of these. We therefore cannot publish or peer review everything that is submitted to us, but we aim to give every manuscript a respectful process.
- Submission process
- Submission requirements
- Acknowledgement of submission
- Editorial team assessment
- Peer review
- Provisional acceptance
The MJA uses the ScholarOne manuscript tracking system.
New and revised submissions should be submitted here, not by email to editors or the Journal. 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, review the help section of ScholarOne: http://mchelp.manuscriptcentral.com/gethelpnow/training/author/.
Before you begin submission, please have the following ready:
Information about all your co-authors. Once an author has been registered and/or added to a manuscript they will receive an email when the manuscript has been formally submitted, asking them to update their registration. We strongly encourage all authors to add their ORCID id at this stage.
Your cover letter: This 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. State why the manuscript should be published in the MJA and confirmation that the manuscript content (in part or in full) has not been concurrently submitted or previously published elsewhere. Please include information about any related manuscripts.
Your manuscript and any related files: The manuscript should be a de-identified Microsoft Word document. Please include any supplemental files associated with your manuscript, such as images, tables etc. The MJA uses "double anonymous " 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 anonymity, the manuscript should not contain author-identifying information. This includes acknowledgements, competing interest statements, and any information which may identify you as an author. You must, however, ensure that competing interest and other required statements are entered into the appropriate place on the ScholarOne submission system.
MJA patient 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 obtain a signed patient permission form. Verbal consent is not permitted. Authors must keep this form with the patient records and will be required to declare on the submission system that consent has been obtained. The paper must include a statement that consent has been obtained. Do not submit the signed form to the journal, unless the MJA specifically requests it. We reserve the right to request this form at any time before or after publication. Failure to produce a form on request will lead to the retraction of the paper. Please note we do not accept patient consent forms from institutions or other medical journals. Download the MJA patient consent form here.
Acknowledgement of submission
Manuscripts submitted to the MJA are acknowledged by email. If manuscripts are submitted without all required items, they will be returned to authors and not processed until all items are received.
Editorial team assessment
All manuscripts are initially reviewed by the MJA's team, which includes the Editor-in-Chief and the Deputy Medical Editors. Authors will be notified of manuscripts that are not being considered for further review, usually within two weeks of submission Unfortunately, a high proportion of submitted manuscripts are rejected at this stage.
Manuscripts considered potentially suitable for the MJA by the editorial team are sent, anonymised, to two or more experts for their opinion on scientific validity, clinical impact and overall appropriateness for publication. Peer review at the MJA is a double-anonymous process — neither authors nor reviewers are made aware of each other’s identities. Manuscripts are then reassessed at an editorial team meeting, taking the reviewers’ opinions and the requirements of the Journal into account. At this stage, a decision will be made to accept, reject, or offer the opportunity to revise the manuscript. The editorial team's decision about whether a manuscript is appropriate for publication in the MJA takes precedence over any recommendations made by the reviewers. Reviewers are currently given two weeks to complete a full research manuscript review, but the overall process may take longer if difficulties are encountered in locating suitable reviewers, or if conflicting opinions necessitate soliciting an extra review. Corresponding authors can check the status of their submission at any time and should communicate this to their co-authors. Decisions are communicated by email to all authors registered on a submission. See also the MJA’s guidelines for reviewers.
An invitation to revise a manuscript does not mean that the manuscript has been accepted for publication, but is an opportunity for authors to revise in order to allow the editorial team to make a decision about suitability for publication. Authors are generally given three weeks to return the revised manuscript to the Journal, though extensions can be offered on request. Revisions must be prepared with the use of highlighting or tracked changes to enable the editors to easily see where changes have been made, and should be resubmitted together with a letter outlining the responses to the reviewers' comments and a clean version of the manuscript. Authors are not obliged to make revisions for all reviewer suggestions in the manuscript, but must respond to all reviewer and editorial comments in their covering letter.
Revisions must be resubmitted under the original manuscript number. Access to the submission can be found via the submitting authors registration. If the submission deadline has passed and the submission is closed, please contact the MJA office at email@example.com.
Articles deemed suitable for acceptance will usually be provisionally accepted prior to final acceptance, pending any outstanding minor alterations, or additional material requested by the editorial team. Articles will not be formally accepted or proceed any further towards publication until all required documents have been received.
The final decision about publication is made by the editorial team.
The MJA considers appeals against decisions to reject a manuscript only if the authors can indicate that an error or misunderstanding has been made by the reviewers or editors. If this is the case, authors should submit a detailed rebuttal letter in the first instance, not a revised manuscript. All appeals are considered carefully, and some manuscripts may be sent for further review. An offer may be made to submit a revised article for reassessment, but this does not guarantee acceptance, and the revised manuscript may have to enter, or re-enter, the peer review process. Authors are given 21 days to appeal after the date of rejection.
All accepted articles are edited for brevity and clarity and to conform with MJA style by our experienced team of scientific and structural editors. For some articles, editing can be extensive. Authors generally receive the edited version of their manuscript for checking of accuracy and to respond to queries that arise during the editing process; your comments and corrections will be saved as tracked changes. Galley proofs may not be sent for smaller items, such as Letters to the Editor, if no substantial changes have been made.
Please log into Scholar One, access the Author Centre, and click on “Manuscripts Accepted for First Look” under “My Manuscripts” to return the commented version of your edited manuscript. The scientific and structural editors will adjust your manuscript accordingly before sending it to publication. More complex manuscripts may require two or more rounds of editing, but your manuscript will not be sent for publication before you approve the final version.