Title Page: The title page (page 1) should contain (1) a concise and informative title; (2) an identified short running head (short title); (3) the first name (spelled out), middle initial, and last name of each author with highest academic degree (s) and institutional affiliation; (4) the name of the department(s) and institution(s) to which the work is attributed; (5) any disclaimer; (6) contact information for the corresponding author; and (7) the source(s) of support in the form of grants, equipment, and/or drugs. If the work described in the manuscript has been formally presented at a scientific meeting, provide the name of the organization, date, and location of the meeting.
Abstract: All manuscripts that are reports of original research must be submitted with a structured abstract of no more than 250 words with the following headings: Background, Methods (include information on design, setting, participants, interventions, and main outcomes measured), Results, and Conclusions.
Introduction: Clearly state the purpose of the article. Summarize the rationale for the study, report, or observation. Give only strictly pertinent references, and do not review the subject extensively. Do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported. Table 1 from Preparing Manuscripts for Submission to Medical Journals: The Paper Trail has helpful guidance with sample introductions.
Methods: Describe the selection of subjects, including controls. Identify the methods, apparatus (manufacturer's name and address, i.e., city, state, province, and country in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including the statistical methods; provide references and brief descriptions of methods that have been published but are not well known; and describe new or substantially modified methods. Precisely identify all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s) and route(s) of administration. Proprietary names may be included, but should be capitalized, enclosed in parentheses, and should follow the generic names.
All studies involving human or animal research must indicate approval by an institution's human or animal subject review board IRB. Authors should confirm that written informed consent was obtained from all human subjects or that this requirement was waived by the review committee.
Results: Present the results in a logical sequence, using tables and illustrations where possible. Include numbers of observations and statistical significance of the findings when appropriate. Do not repeat in the text all of the data found in the tables or illustrations. Report measurements in the units in which they were made.
Statistics: All statistical techniques must be clearly identified and referenced where appropriate. Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. When possible, quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty. Discuss eligibility of experimental subjects, randomization, methods of blinding, treatment complications, numbers of observations, and losses to observation. Specify any computer programs used.
Put general descriptions of statistical methods in the Methods section. When data are summarized in the Results section, specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries: do not duplicate data in graphs and tables.
Discussion: Emphasize the new and important aspects of both the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail data given in the Introduction or the Results sections. Include in the Discussion the implications of the findings and their limitations, including implications for future research. Relate the observations to other relevant studies. Link the conclusions with the goals of the study, but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not completely supported by the data. Clearly label new hypotheses. Appropriate recommendations may be included.