Notice to contributors

The Ulster Medical Journal is an international general medical journal with contributions from all areas of medical and surgical specialties relevant to a general medical readership. It retains a prime focus on material relevant to the health of the Northern Ireland population. The Journal is indexed on PubMed Central and Index Medicus.

The Journal's links with the Ulster Medical Society and Queens University Belfast are reflected in regular publication of Medical History and Medical Education articles.

Papers, case reports and letters should be sent to the Editor by e-mail at ><. The subject heading of the email should have "UMJ" at the very start. The preferred format is Microsoft Word. The file name should include the working title of the paper, case report, or letter.

Manuscripts should be accompanied by a covering letter signed by all the authors agreeing to publication and stating: 1) that the work has not been published elsewhere; 2) that each author has been actively involved in the preparation of the paper; and 3), in outline, what contribution each author made to the paper. Any conflict of interest should be declared.

If there is any risk, however minimal, that a patient may be identified from a case report, illustration, or paper, we would ask for the patient's signed consent for publication.

PDF copies of the printed and signed covering letter and the patient's signed consent form may be submitted electronically but you should take steps to carefully preserve the paper originals.

A Consultant or GP Principal (or equivalent) is required to act as guarantor of the manuscript (usually as a co-author) in case of any issues that may arise after publication.

If e-mail submission is not possible, a CD or memory stick containing the manuscript, tables, images and covering letter can be sent to the Editor: David Armstrong, Honorary Editor, The Ulster Medical Society, Whitla Medical Building, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK

Articles submitted for consideration should be typewritten in single spacing, with wide margins, preferably in Times (New) Roman 12pt font. They should be fully corrected and alterations in proof may be disallowed or charged to the authors.

Colour images and tables are encouraged and there is currently no charge for colour reproduction.

Images and tables should be included as separate high resolution .jpg or .tif files and NOT embedded in the Word manuscript file. Images should be appropriately annotated and labelled.

The Editor will be pleased to advise on the preparation of manuscripts on request.

After editorial checks, all manuscripts are independently refereed. The editor may request revision to a manuscript before it goes to the referee, e.g., embedded images, annotation of unlabelled images or poor quality of English.

After peer review by the referee, a manuscript may either be accepted for publication, accepted with minor or major revisions requested within a deadline or rejected. The Referee's and Editor's decisions are final and not open to negotiation. A manuscript may not be re-submitted after rejection.

  1. For full or short papers, the text should indicate the purpose of the paper, and should include an introduction, sections on materials and methods, results, and a discussion relevant to the findings. A brief factual summary/abstract should be provided at the beginning of the paper along with up to six key words. For case reports, these should be novel or particularly important cases and not just good teaching points, with a maximum of 10 references and appropriate patient consent for publication of photographs.
  2. Letters to the editor should be less than 500 words with up to 5 references and 1 table and/or figure.
  3. Audits are eligible for publication as letters to the editor but will not be considered as original papers.
  4. Scientific measurements should be in SI units (DN Baron. Units, Symbols and Abbreviations. A Guide for Medical and Scientific Authors. 5th ed. London: Royal Society of Medicine, 1994). Blood pressure may be expressed in mmHg and haemoglobin concentration as g/dl.
  5. Contributors should use the "Vancouver" style in their submissions (see Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals for full details and advice), but are specifically requested to use SUPERSCRIPT for reference numbers in the text (not brackets). References should be restricted to those really necessary and useful. Text references are numerical and each article reference should include:
    1. a list of all authors when six or less (when seven or more only the first six should be listed followed by et al).
    2. the title of the article.
    3. the title of the journal in italics (abbreviated to the form published by the National Library of Medicine).
    4. the year.
    5. volume number and issue number (in brackets) in bold.
    6. first and last pages.
  1. Fellows and Members of the Ulster Medical Society receive the journal free. Institutions and individuals may subscribe directly. These latter subscriptions are for a calender year. The journal has three issues per year and is published in January, May and September with a circulation of about 700 hard copies. The journal contents are covered by Current Contents/Clinical Practice, Index Medicus, Excerpta Medica, PubMed, PubMed Central, and Index Copernicus.

The journal attempts to conform to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and authors should consult the ICMJE website for details of policies not specifically outlined above and particularly for research on animals and other ethical considerations. In addition, the journal is a member of the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE).