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Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines

Criteria

Contributors are encouraged to follow the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals http://www.icmje.org. The document provides useful information for authors, reviewers, editors and general readers, in many aspects of ethical, technical and formatting principles which should be applied to manuscripts prior to submission and publication in any medical related journal.

Manuscript types outlined above will be considered for publication if they meet the requirements of the journal, editorial review and review process.

Submission Process

The manuscript should be submitted by the corresponding author who will be the author the journal will send all correspondence to.

To ensure rapid processing all manuscripts should be submitted electronically by going to http://ajp.paramedics.org/index.php/ajp/author/submit.  You will need to be a registered author to submit a manuscript.

The journal will accept the following manuscript file formats: doc, docx and rtf. 

The submission process requires a cover letter outlining briefly why the manuscript should be published by the journal, declare any author conflicts of interest, declare any funding for the research. The cover letter should be copied into the “Comments for the Editor” box under Step 1 of the submission process.

The manuscript file is uploaded in Step 2 of the submission process..

Manuscript Layout

The manuscript should contain the following components:

  • Abstract: with Manuscript Title, Abstract & Keywords
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgements
  • Competing Interests
  • References

Abstract

The abstract page should have the manuscript title at the top.

For quantitative research the abstract should have the following sub-headings:

  • Introduction (the last sentence should be study objective, same as in the main introduction)
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusion

 and be a maximum of 250 words, including headings. The abstract should not contain references.

For qualitative research the abstract should be a summary and cover the purpose and setting of the research, the processes involved in the study, the principal findings and major conclusions and be a maximum of 250 words. The abstract should not contain references.

After the Abstract should be the Keywords. There should be no more than six keywords, using MeSH headings where possible. These should be in lower case separated by a semi-colon (;).

Introduction

  • An overview of the current literature which demonstrates a gap and how this leads to the current study.
  • Provides an overview of the problem being studied and the reasons for the study.
  • Background information may be presented => historical developments leading to the study.
  • The study objective, most important part => the last sentence in the last paragraph.

Methods

  • Should describe exactly how the study was conducted.
  • Designed to answer the research question
  • The most important section of the article, it must be described with sufficient detail and clarity so that another researcher could replicate the study using a different group of participants.
  • Used to assess the validity and reliability of the study.

Study Design

  • State the study design, eg. a retrospective cohort study.


Setting

  • The department/university/ambulance service – number of staff/state and population, reference state population.
  • Delete if not applicable.


Participants/Population

  • Describe who participated in the study.
  • Should include the calculation or method for determining the sample size (if required).
  • Inclusion criteria.
  • Exclusion criteria.
  • Delete if not applicable.


 Instrumentation

  • Used when using measurement scales, eg. pre-existing surveys.
  • Psychometric information is required, e.g. external/internal consistency, dimensionality, construct validity, plus a reference to an articles reporting this information.
  • Delete if not applicable.


Procedures

  • Exactly how the study was conducted, eg. the processes used to administer a survey.
  • Treatment allocation process (if used):
  • Sample types => paired samples, eg. use of matching (case-control study), independent sample, eg. no matching.
  • Randomisation => the process of how the participants are randomised to their respective groups should be described.
  • Control groups => should describe what type, eg. historical, concurrent, or placebo.
  • Blinding => should state who is blinded to the intervention in the study, eg. patient, statistician, investigator, etc.


Outcome Measures

  • Should include the outcomes that will be measured during the study, eg. death, length of hospital stay.
  • Delete if not applicable.


Data Analysis

  • Describe what data will be analysed using which stats, tests and statistical program.
  • Delete if not applicable.


Ethics

  • List all ethics committees that approved the study.
  • Delete if not applicable.


Results

  • Demographic results first.
  • A description of the study groups and how similar they are or are not.
  • For a literature review, include all articles located, then number that met the inclusion criteria.
  • The magnitude of the analysis and statistical significance of the results should be reported => point estimate, confidence interval, and p values should be reported.
  • Potential or actual confounder(s) should be reported.
  • Missing participants should be accounted for and a statement about how these were handled.
  • The outcomes stated in the methods section should be reported.
  • All the numbers need to add up.
  • Is variability in the results reported?
  • Graphical summaries must be accurately presented.
  • Adverse effects reported.

Discussion

  • Approximately eight to ten paragraphs.
  • First paragraph should be an overarching statement about the study.
  • The results may be interpreted.
  • Each paragraph consists of approximately four to six sentences, the first highlighting a point of interest from the study. The remaining sentences support the first sentence or a comparison of results from similar studies, highlighting similarities or differences.
  • The second last paragraph can be one that recommends further research, or changes to current practice.
  • The last paragraph should be the study limitations.

Conclusion

  • Should summarise the study, no additional information should be added.
  • Two to three sentences is normally sufficient to summarise the study.
  • The conclusion should not contain references.

Acknowledgements

  • Participants who participated in the study, eg. staff who completed a survey.
  • Delete if not applicable.

Conflict of Interest

  • Each author of the article is requested to complete and return an ICMJE Form for disclosure for potential conflicts of interest. Available at: http://www.icmje.org/downloads/coi_disclosure.pdf
  • This form will need to be completed by all authors prior to the article being published.

 References

  • Use the Vancouver style with in text parenthesis “()” and numbering in the reference list.
  • Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all references and in text citations.
  • An EndNote file is available for download to ensure the correct referencing style

 Figures

  • These should be inserted into the text, either high quality jpeg or preferably tiff, and of 300dpi minimum quality.
  • Figures must be labelled sequentially and made reference to in the text.
  • Delete if not applicable.

Tables

  • Can be used to provide a large amount of information instead of writing it in the results section.
  • Tables should be created within the word processor and not inserted from another program.
  • Tables should be inserted into the text.
  • Tables must be labelled sequentially and made reference to in the text.
  • Delete if not applicable.

Manuscript Style and Language

  • Manuscripts must be submitted in English, using the Macquarie dictionary as a spelling reference and/or the Australian English language setting in word processing programs.
  • Standard international (SI) units should be used throughout the manuscript.
  • Font selection should be sized at 12 point in Times New Roman or Arial and line spacing should be double and left justified.
  • Pages should be numbered consecutively on the bottom centre commencing with the title page to include all references, tables, acknowledgements and legends.
  • In the title capitals should be used for the first word and proper nouns
  • Footnotes and endnotes created by word processors are not allowed.
  • All manuscripts should be submitted in document (doc, docx) or rich text format (.rtf) and should be submitted electronically online.
  • A manuscript template is available for downloading to assist with the layout of the manuscript. An EndNote file is also available for downloading to ensure the correct journal referencing style.

Manuscript Handling

Initial evaluation of all manuscripts will be undertaken by one of the assistant editors to determine suitability for publication in the AJP. A process of peer review by appropriately qualified researchers will follow to determine quality and changes required of submitted articles, prior to publication.

Acceptance of a manuscript for publication is possible only after completion of the editing process. Every author whose name appears on the manuscript is responsible for all content published in the article, including any changes made in the editing process. As the AJP is an open access journal each author will be able to download a copy of the article after it is published.

Article Types

Each issue will contain the following component, depending on accepted material:

  • Editorial
    • By the editor
    • Invited by the editor
  • Original research
    • Any study type
    • No limit of size, references, tables, or figures
    • Figures may be in colour or black and white
  • Reviews
    • Systematic review +/- meta-analysis
    • Narrative literature reviews
    • Scoping reviews
  • Case study
    • About an interesting patient presentation/management issue
    • You will need to download and complete the Patient Consent Form if you are using patient information or images.
    • See the Editorial PoliciesConsent for Publication of Individual Patient Data for further information
  • Management/Policy/Education
    • Aticles covering policy/management issues
    • Current
    • Technical aspects
    • Articles covering various aspects of education, in line with the journal aims.
  • Commentary
    • Invited to comment on a submitted manuscript
    • Submitted, covering a current important prehospital issue
  • Clinician’s Corner
    • Cover up-to-date information on conditions/management/etc
  • Letter to the editor
    • Will also permit a reply by the authors to whom the letter pertains
  • Special topics
    • An article on points of interest, eg. how to interpret a forest plot
  • Other components
    • Conference reports
    • Book reviews
    • Media reviews
    • Website reviews

The following word limit is given as a guide and is not absolute:

  • Editorials – 600 to 800 words
  • Original research – 2,500 – 3,000 words excluding tables and references
  • Systematic Literature reviews +/- meta-analysis – 3,500 – 5,000 words excluding tables and references
  • Narrative literature reviews – 2,500 – 3,000 words excluding tables and references
  • Scoping reviews – 2,500 – 3,000 words excluding tables and references
  • Management/Policy/Education – 2,000 words excluding tables and references
  • Commentary – 600 to 800 words
  • Case Study - 1,000 words
  • Clinician’s Corner – 1,200 to 1,500 words
  • Letter to the Editor – up to 500 words
  • Special Topics – 1,500 words
  • Other components – up to 800 words

Supplementary/Special Issues

These will contain specific content that cannot wait until the normal publication time or it contains articles of a similar type, for example, a compilation of student articles. Supplementary/special issues may also contain conference abstracts due to the various times conferences are held and the time to obtain and format the abstracts.

Manuscript Resubmission

Following review of the manuscript changes recommended by the reviewers should be undertaken in the following way.

  • In a fresh version of the submitted manuscript, changes made should be done using track changes so the reviewer and/or editorial team can see what changes have been made to the manuscript.
  • A document with each point raised by the reviewer and the author’s response to the comment.

Both these documents should then be uploaded for re-review.

 

 

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  3. Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  4. The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  5. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  6. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  7. Conflict of Interest

    • Each author of the article is requested to complete and return an ICMJE Form for disclosure for potential conflicts of interest. Available at: http://www.icmje.org/downloads/coi_disclosure.pdf
    • This form will need to be completed by all authors prior to the article being published.
  8. Patient Data

    • You will need to download and complete the Patient Consent Form if you are using patient information or images.
    • See the Editorial Policies – Consent for Publication of Individual Patient Data for further information.
 

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