Guidelines for Authors

Perspectives on Medical Education welcomes the submission of manuscripts that meet the following criteria.

Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (see http://www.icmje.org/). Perspectives in Medical Education is committed to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Code of Conduct (http://publicationethics.org/). Authors should familiarize themselves with issues of publication ethics noted by COPE, which include:

  • The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
  • The manuscript has not been published previously (partly or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work (please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the hint of text-recycling ('self-plagiarism')).
  • A single study is not split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (e.g. 'salami-publishing').
  • No data have been fabricated or manipulated (including images) to support your conclusions
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own ('plagiarism'). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given (this includes material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks are used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions are secured for material that is copyrighted.

Important note: the journal uses software to screen for plagiarism.

  • Consent to submit has been received explicitly from all co-authors, as well as from the responsible authorities - tacitly or explicitly - at the institute/organization where the work has been carried out, before the work is submitted.
  • Authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results.

In addition:

  • Changes of authorship or in the order of authors are not accepted after acceptance of a manuscript.
  • Requesting to add or delete authors at revision stage, proof stage, or after publication is a serious matter and may be considered when justifiably warranted. Justification for changes in authorship must be compelling and may be considered only after receipt of written approval from all authors and a convincing, detailed explanation about the role/deletion of the new/deleted author. In case of changes at revision stage, a letter must accompany the revised manuscript. In case of changes after acceptance or publication, the request and documentation must be sent via the Publisher to the Editor-in-Chief. In all cases, further documentation may be required to support your request. The decision on accepting the change rests with the Editor-in-Chief of the journal and may be turned down. Therefore authors are strongly advised to ensure the correct author group, corresponding author, and order of authors at submission.
  • Upon request authors should be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc.


We expect a statement in the article indicating how ethical approval was sought for the research described, i.e. how an appropriate body, such as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or an Independent Ethics Committee (IEC), was consulted and whether approval was obtained.  Dutch and Belgian researchers are expected to have sought approval with the NVMO-Ethical Review Board (NMVO-ERB). The article should also include details concerning ethical approval if an appropriate body decided that no such approval was required Where no formal framework for ethical approval is currently available, please provide a statement confirming if ethical considerations were made by a qualified person outside the group directly involved in work reported in this article.

If there is a suspicion of misconduct, the journal will carry out an investigation following the COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, the allegation seems to raise valid concerns, the accused author will be contacted and given an opportunity to address the issue. If misconduct has been established beyond reasonable doubt, this may result in the Editor-in-Chief’s implementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:

  • If the article is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction, either an erratum will be placed with the article or in severe cases complete retraction of the article will occur. The reason must be given in the published erratum or retraction note.
  • The author’s institution may be informed.


Authors are reminded to read the COPE guidelines in their entirety.

All manuscripts are considered on the understanding that they have not been published previously, either in print or in electronic format, and that they are not under consideration by another publication or medium. The only exception are preprints.

There should also be a statement confirming that the work was carried out in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki (http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3), including, but not limited to, there being no potential harm to participants, that the anonymity of participants was guaranteed, and that informed consent of participants was obtained.

Preprints

Perspectives on Medical Education preprint policy: Perspectives on Medical Education encourages authors to deposit a preprint of their manuscript prior to submission for peer review on non-commercial servers such as bioRxiv, Open Science Framework Preprints, and SocARxiv. When submitting, authors must disclose in their cover letter that a version of the manuscript has been deposited as a preprint and  on reprints an Perspectives policy can be found here
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40037-018-0451-8

Manuscript categories

Perspectives on Medical Education invites the following types of submissions:

Original Articles
Review Articles
Eye Openers
Replication Studies
Show and Tell
Health Care and the Arts
Debate in Medical Education
A Qualitative Space
Letters

Original Articles report research in health sciences education. Generally, the text is limited to 3500 words, with no more than a total of 5 tables and/or figures and generally no more than 50 references. Some manuscripts take more words and/or references (e.g. multiple studies, complicated methodology), others less. Please try to make your manuscript as concise as possible.

Original articles should be structured following the IMRaD style: introduction, methods, results and discussion.

  • Introduction: Introduces the problem, discusses relevant research and literature, and includes arguments as to how the research could contribute to the scholarship of medical education. The introduction should include a coherent conceptual orientation for the work, and enough background to give readers the sense of a thoughtful identification of a core topic, an analysis of what is and is not known about it, and proposals to fill a clearly identified gap in the literature. Authors are advised to read the following publication on writing an introduction: Lingard, 2015, 4 (5): 252-253. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40037-015-0211-y
  • Methods: Includes justification for the methods used in the study, with a description which is clear enough to be replicated by other researchers or with clear indication of the rigor of the research process for qualitative work.
  • Results: Principal findings presented clearly and succinctly, with appropriate use of tables and figures.
  • Discussion: Includes a statement of the principal findings; description of what this paper adds to extant literature; strengths and weaknesses of the study; strengths and weaknesses in relation to other studies, discussing important differences in results; meaning of the study, both theoretical and practical, with possible explanations and implications for clinicians and policymakers; unanswered questions and future research. Authors are advised to read the following publication on writing a limitation section: Lingard, 2015, 4 (3): 136-137. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40037-015-0181-0 


The manuscript must include:

  • A structured abstract of no more than 250 words. For abstracts of original articles please provide the following headings: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion. The abstract should be complete and accurate, but not unnecessarily long. The abstract should be written in the past tense.
  • A ‘what this paper adds’ box of no more than 100 words; concise description of the paper’s original key contribution to the literature. Answering the questions: What is the problem? What was the gap in the literature? What are the theoretical and/or practical implications of this study?
  • A brief biographical note on each contributing author to a maximum of 50 words per contributor.
    Examples of biographical notes:
    - Francois Cilliers, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences Education and Director of the Education Development Unit in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town. His interests include the learning effects of assessment; faculty development; and helping faculty undertake meaningful educational research.
    - Lorelei Lingard, PhD is director of the Centre for Education Research & Innovation at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and Professor for the Department of Medicine at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.
  • 3-4 keywords for indexing purposes


Review Articles
synthesise the literature on a topic of importance for health care education.  The text is limited to 3500 words, a maximum of 6 figures and 5 tables. Some manuscripts may take more words, others less. Please try to make your manuscript as concise as possible.

Review articles should be structured in the same manner as original research articles. The manuscript must include a structured abstract,  a “what this paper adds” box, biographical note(s) and keywords. See Original Articles for further instructions.

Eye Openers can have different formats. They can present a particular perspective on an educational topic,  including a critical review of the topic. Eye openers can also introduce a new idea of relevance for health science education, such as a new research methodology that is not wideley used in our domain. Only papers that are relevant for a larger readership and that offer a critical and/or innovative perspective on a topic will be considered for publication. Generally, the text is limited to 3500 words, with no more than a total of 5 tables and/or figures and generally no more than 50 references. Some manuscripts take more words and/or references (e.g. multiple studies, complicated methodology), others less. Please try to make your manuscript as concise as possible.

The manuscript must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original Articles for further instructions.

Replication Studies report the replication of a previously published study. It should include why the study was replicated, any deviations from the original methods,  and what the outcomes were. Furthermore, the authors should critically reflect on any differences (e.g. context, methods, outcomes) between the original study and the replication study. Use the format of an Original Article. The methods and results may be shorter than in the original article, but the discussion needs to carefully compare the replication study with the original one. Generally, the text is limited to 3500 words, with no more than a total of 5 tables and/or figures and generally no more than 50 references. Some manuscripts take more words and/or references (e.g. multiple studies, complicated methodology), others less. Please try to make your manuscript as concise as possible.

The manuscript must include a structured abstract of no more than 250 words, a what this paper adds box, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for further instructions.

Show and Tell introduces a novel innovation in healthcare education. Papers must describe an innovative approach for a challenge within healthcare education, but must do so by acknowledging and building upon work that has come before. The manuscript should contain a background section that outlines the need for and goal of the innovation. Next, the manuscript should clarify the steps taken to develop and implement the innovation. The article should provide information to help readers appraise the innovation (e.g. evaluation data, outcomes data), so that they can determine if they would attempt to adapt the innovation to their own contexts. Finally, there should be a section where authors reflect on their innovation and engage in a critical review of their process and/or innovation. The text is limited to 2000 words with a maximum of 20 references and 2 figures/tables.

The manuscript must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original Articles for further instructions.

Health Care and the Arts: This type of manuscript covers issues and examples from the artes liberales (humanities) in medical education and practice that are of broad interest to health care professionals. The text is limited to 1500 words with a maximum of 30 references.

The manuscript must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for further instructions.

Debate in Medical Education: Authors are invited to discuss topics either in a pro and contra format (with a pro and a contra author). Authors who have the intention to submit a Debate in Medical Education should first contact the editorial office lieda.meester@bsl.nl. The text is limited to 1500 words with a maximum of 30 references.

The manuscript must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for further instructions.

A Qualitative Space articles offer intermediate- to advanced-level qualitative scholars a venue for advancing new ideas about qualitative methodologies, methods, and/or techniques; debating current and historical trends in qualitative research; crafting and sharing nuanced reflections on how data collection methods should be revised or modified; reflecting on the epistemological bases of qualitative research; or arguing that some qualitative practices should end. Given the broad scope of topics that can be addressed in these submissions, authors do not need to adhere to the IMRaD style. Instead, these manuscripts should be organized to maximize clarity while also comprehensively discussing the paper’s topic. Generally, the text is limited to 3500 words, with no more than a total of 5 tables and/or figures and generally no more than 50 references. Some manuscripts take more words and/or references, others less. Please try to make your manuscript as concise as possible. 

The manuscript must include an abstract of no more than 250 words, 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for further instructions.
Authors who have the intention to submit a Qualitative Space article should first contact the editorial office lieda.meester@bsl.nl

Failures surprises report insights gained from surprising outcomes, mistakes or failures, and the lessons the community can take away from it; be it in educational practice or research. The manuscripts should share the intention of the original effort (i. e., we tried ‘a’ because ‘b’), what went wrong (i. e., it didn’t work because of reason ‘c’), and what was learned from the experience (i. e., the lesson learned was ‘d’ that helped us move forward in ‘e’ ways). These are not manuscripts for complaints or lamentations.

Authors who intend to submit for this section, should start by sending a brief synopsis of their proposed manuscript to the associate editor for this section, Dr. Alisa Nagler (anagler@facs.org), to ensure it meets expectations and for any feedback before proceeding. 

The text is limited to 2500 words with a maximum of 15 references and one figure. An Abstract will NOT be included. Please include 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s) of a maximum of 50 words per contributor.
See under Original articles for further instructions. 

The following headings should be used in your manuscript:

  • The story: Describe what you tried and why you tried it.
  • Surprising outcomes: Describe the unexpected or unplanned consequences of that effort, or the ‘negative’ results. Clarify what went wrong.
  • Lessons learned: Explain why the surprise, mistake or failure occurred. Describe the insights you gained and why they are important and relevant to others.
  • Moral of the story: Share what you learned from this experience that may be helpful to others. (We recognize it may have little to do with your initial rational for the effort and/or research question). This should be limited to 3-5 sentences. 


Letters
can briefly discuss a topic of importance for health science education, or be a reaction to articles/letters published in the journal. Letters should not summarize a study, review the literature or describe an innovation, all of which are already covered by other paper categories. The text is limited to 400 words with a maximum of 3 references.

The manuscript must include 3-4 keywords and biographical note(s). See under Original articles for keywords and biographical note instructions.

If your manuscript does not meet the above instructions your manuscript will be returned.


Manuscript preparation

All manuscripts should be written in correct English. For authors who are not native English speakers we recommend having manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. Please use British-English spelling with –ise rather than –ize.

Do not use abbreviations in the title or abstract and limit their use in the text. Abbreviations make a text more difficult to read. When using abbreviations, only use standard abbreviations as nonstandard abbreviations can be confusing to readers.

Manuscripts should be typed using double-spacing (except tables which are single-spaced), with margins of at least 2.5 cm (1 inch). Authors should number all the pages of the manuscript consecutively, beginning with the title page.

Do not include author details in your manuscript. Use the title page for this information.

Title page: The Title page (page containing all authors contact details) should be submitted as a separate file. It should contain the following information:

  1. Article title. Concise titles are easier to read than long, convoluted ones. Titles that are too short may, however, lack important information, such as study design (which is particularly important in finding articles for literature reviews). Authors should include all information in the title that will make electronic retrieval of the article both sensitive and specific.
  2. Authors’ names and institutional affiliations.
  3. The name of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work should be attributed.
  4. Contact information for the corresponding author. The full name, mailing address, telephone, and e-mail address of the author responsible for all correspondence about the manuscript. The corresponding author should be aware of the fact that his or her e-mail address can be published or state that no such permission will be granted.
  5. Source(s) of support in the form of grants.
  6. A short title not exceeding 45 characters for use as a running head.
  7. 3-4 keywords for indexing purposes. 
  8. Word counts of the text only (excluding abstract, acknowledgments, tables, figure legends, and references), and of the abstract.
  9. The number of figures and tables.
  10. A brief biographical note on each contributing author to a maximum of 50 words per contributor (see examples under Original articles).

References: References should be in Vancouver style (and not in APA). Number the references consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Place the reference, in square brackets, inside the punctuation. Provide a reference list at the end of the article. The names of all authors should be given, up to a total of six authors. In case of more than 6 authors, provide the first three, followed by et al. You can find an Endnote file with the correct settings at the bottom of these instructions.

Examples of references are:
1. Ekkelenkamp VE, Koch AD, Haringsma J, Kuipers EJ, De Man RA. Endoscopist-related factors contributing to high-quality colonoscopy: results of a Delphi survey. Perspect Med Educ. 2014;3:31-40.
2. The CanMEDS framework. Retrieved 7 June 2011. http://www.collaborativecurriculum.ca/en/modules/CanMEDS/CanMEDS-intro-background-01.jsp
3. Cruess RL, Cruess SR, Steinert Y. Teaching Medical Professionalism. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

If your manuscript does not meet the format requirements for references, your manuscript will be returned.

Figures: Figures (photographs, graphs and diagrams) should be submitted as separate files. Figures should be saved in a jpeg or tiff format and should have a resolution of at least 300 pixels per inch. We do not accept figures in PowerPoint format or as PDF files. Figures should be numbered consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text (separate numbering for figures), and their desired position in the text should be indicated. Figures in black and white and full colour are accepted. Only black and white photographs are permitted.

Tables: Tables should be submitted as separate files. Tables must be created in Word using the table function. Tables created in Excel or using tabs and spacing will not be accepted. Tables should be typed using single-spacing. Tables should be numbered consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text (separate numbering for tables) and their desired position in the text should be indicated. With respect to tables, authors should place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading, using the following symbols, in sequence: *, †, ‡, §, **, ††, ‡‡, §§, etc. Please provide tables in portrait (not landscape) format and upright on the page, not sideways. The table should fit on a single page. We cannot accept tables in the form of PDF files.

Acknowledgment section
: This section details special thanks, personal assistance, and dedications. Any acknowledgments authors wish to make should be included in this separate headed section at the end of the manuscript, preceding any appendices, and before the references section.

Ethical approval: We expect a statement indicating how ethical approval was sought for the research described, i.e. how an appropriate body, such as an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or an Independent Ethics Committee (IEC), was consulted and whether approval was obtained.  Dutch and Belgian researchers are required to have sought approval with the NVMO-Ethical Review Board (NMVO-ERB). The manuscript should also include details concerning ethical approval if an appropriate body decided that no such approval was required Where no formal framework for ethical approval is currently available, please provide a statement confirming if ethical considerations were made by a qualified person outside the group directly involved in work reported in this paper.

There should also be a statement confirming that the work was carried out in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki (http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3), including, but not limited to, there being no potential harm to participants, that the anonymity of participants was guaranteed, and that informed consent of participants was obtained.

Declaration of interest section: Declarations of interest refer to statements of financial support and/or statements of potential conflict of interest, disclosure of scientific writing assistance (use of an agency or agency/ freelance writer), grant support, and statements of employment, if applicable.
All declarations of interest must be outlined under the subheading ‘Declaration of interest’. If authors have no declarations of interest to report, this must be explicitly stated. The suggested, but not mandatory, wording in such an instance is: ‘The authors declare no conflicts of interest.’ When submitting a paper via the Editorial Manager System, the ‘Declaration of interest’ field is compulsory (Authors must either state the disclosures or report that there are none). If this section is left empty authors will not be able to progress with the submission.

Manuscript submission

All submissions should be made online at www.editorialmanager.com/pmed. New users must first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site, submissions should be made via the Author Centre. For assistance with any aspect of the site, please refer to the User Guide which is accessed via the ‘Get Help Now’ button at the top right of every screen.

A covering letter or email should be included indicating that the submission is made on behalf of all authors. On receipt, the manuscript will be immediately acknowledged by email.

Additional information upon acceptance

Electronic proofs: When the proofs are ready, corresponding authors will receive email notification that proofs need to be checked and accepted. Information on the procedure will be given in that email; the corresponding author will be asked to log on to the editorial manager. To avoid delays in publication, corrections to proofs must be returned within 72 hours, on-line.

Offprints and reprints: As there is free (electronic) access to Perspectives on Medical Education, there will be no reprints available of articles published in the Journal.

Copyright: All manuscripts are the property (copyright) of the submitting author(s). The Editorial Board and the Publisher will not be held legally responsible should there be any claims for compensation. Copyright will be transferred to the journal Perspectives on Medical Education and Springer if the paper is accepted. Perspectives on Medical Education considers all manuscripts at the Editors’ decision is final.

Contacting the Editorial Office
For further clarification on any of the above, please contact the journal editor Lieda Meester: lieda.meester@bsl.nl

 

September 18, 2018