Submissions

We recommend reviewing the Authors Guidelines below before submitting. If you'd like to proceed directly, click here.

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.
  • 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).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text is at space and a half and unjustified (irregular); uses a 10, 11 or 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.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

The Belize Journal of Medicine is a scientific publication sponsored by BIOMED Ltd. It is interested in all topics related to the medical and health sciences, including history and education.

It does not apply any type of charge for manuscript processing, and publishes its contents in Open Access immediately and without any type of restriction.

BJM operates through an online manuscript editorial management system. Authors will receive notifications of the receipt of manuscripts and editorial decisions by email. During the editorial process, authors can check the status of their submitted manuscript through the automated system.

It uses a predominantly double-blind peer review system for the evaluation of manuscripts, but is in favor of the principles of Open Science, therefore it also promotes open peer review methods.

Research reports in the form of original articles, reviews and any other type of document that complies with the IMRyD methodology (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion) are preferably published, although opinion articles in the form of Correspondence, Editorials and others with proper scientific basis can be also considered.

All published articles are covered by a Creative Commons 4.0 License (cc-by-nc), which allows the use of the work to share (copy and redistribute the material in any support or format) and adapt (transform and build from the material) as long as exclusive mention of the publication in the journal as the primary source is made. Under no circumstances the work can be commercialized.

Submission of manuscripts

The submission of manuscripts is exclusively through the online management system of the journal, in Microsoft Word format files.

Use a 10, 11 or 12 point font size, space and a half text, and leave the right margins unjustified (irregular).

Times until publication

Submitted manuscripts go through various editorial processes. BJM tries to publish the documents in the shortest possible time. However, each manuscript must go through a peer review process that can take up to 90 days, the same maximum time to receive notification of the Editorial Committee's decision. During the writing and correction process there will be necessary exchanges with the authors.

The maximum time until publication is 365 calendar days.

Common requirements for all types of articles

  • The title will not exceed 15 words and will essentially reflect the topic of the manuscript. It will not include abbreviations or acronyms unless they are universally recognized.
  • The authors must appear with their full names and surnames. Avoid initials. Include professional title, scientific degrees, academic degrees, teaching and/or research categories, as appropriate. Each author must go on a separate line.
  • The ORCID iD will be placed next to each author.
  • The abstract will not exceed 250 words.
  • The keywords are separated with semicolons (;) and the use of the Descriptors in Health Sciences is recommended.
  • The information summary forms such as tables, diagrams and graphs will be presented in an editable format, in order to allow working on them during the correction process.
  • The images will be sharp and with good resolution.
  • Avoid composite or multi-part figures unless it is necessary.
  • Restrict the tables and figures to those necessary to explain and support the argument of the article and to report all the results identified in the Methods section. Number each table and figure and provide a descriptive title. Each table and figure must have a citation in the text. Verify that data is consistently reported in text, tables, figures, and supplementary material.
  • The presentation of images created by artificial intelligence, machine learning tools or similar technologies is discouraged, unless they are part of the design or formal research methods. They are not allowed without a clear description of the content that was created and the name of the model or tool, the version and extension numbers, and the manufacturer. Authors must take responsibility for the integrity of the content generated by these models and tools.
  • In all forms of summary of the information, the data source will be included and they will be placed in the appropriate place according to their mention in the text.
  • The referencing style is that of the National Library of Medicine (Vancouver), which can be consulted through Citing Medicine. Citations are placed in order of appearance within the text, in superscript, after the punctuation mark and right in the place of the mention.
  • The annexes will be sent as complementary files within the online management system, also in editable formats. In the case of databases or any other research instrument, its prior placement on shared data servers is recommended, as part of compliance with the principles of Open Science, which guarantees the transparency of the research. For these purposes, the following are suggested: ZenodoDataCiteSciELO Data or any other with a scientific nature.
  • In each research document, a conflict of interest statement will be made. This will not affect the final decision on the article.

 Descriptive table on requirements for the articles

Article type

Abstract (Words)

Authors

Extension limit (Words)

Number of charts and figures

Number of references

Editorial

No

On request

800

No

5

Original article

250

CRediT

4500

5

 

Review

250

3

5000

5

50-75

Case report

250

CRediT

3500

5

Up to 30

Brief communications

150

CRediT

1000

2

Up to 30

Opinion article

250

3

4000

5

 

Correspondence

No

2

600

2

Up to 6

 

Specifications according to the type of article

1- Original research articles

Its length will not exceed 4,500 words. References are not included in this count.

To identify the authorship roles, the CRediT taxonomy will be used, where the authorship roles will be identified in the following order.

  • Conceptualization - Ideas; formulation or evolution of the general objectives and goals of the investigation.
  • Data curation - Management activities to write down (produce metadata), purify data and maintain research data (including the software code, when necessary to interpret the data) for its initial use and subsequent reuse.
  • Formal analysis - Application of statistical, mathematical, computational or other formal techniques to analyze or synthesize study data.
  • Acquisition of funds - Acquisition of financial support for the project that leads to this publication.
  • Research –Conducting research and research process, specifically carrying out experiments, or data collection/evidence.
  • Methodology - Development or design of the methodology; Creation of models.
  • Project management - Management and coordination responsibility for the planning and execution of the research activity.
  • Resources - Supply of study materials, reagents, materials, patients, laboratory samples, animals, instrumentation, computer resources or other analysis tools.
  • Software - programming, software development; design of computer programs; implementation of the computer code and support algorithms; proof of existing code components.
  • Supervision - Supervision and leadership responsibility in the planning and execution of research activities, including the external tutoring of the central team.
  • Validation - Verification, either as part of the activity or separately, of the replicability/general reproduction of the results/experiments and other research products.
  • Visualization - Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically the visualization/presentation of data.
  • Writing - Original draft - Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the published work, specifically the writing of the initial draft (including substantive translation).
  • Writing - Review and edition - Preparation, creation and/or presentation of the work published by the members of the original research group, specifically critical review, comment or review - including the previous or subsequent stages to the publication.

Abstract

Structured by sections: Introduction-Objectives-Methods-Results-Conclusions.

It has a maximum of 250 words. It offers an adequate idea of what the article is about. It is written in past tense. It must be sent in English and Spanish (Resumen).

Keywords

For the selection of keywords, the use of the Descriptors in Health Sciences (MeSH) is recommended, both in English and Spanish (DeCS). DeCS Finder tool (https://decsfinder.bvsalud.org/dmfs) can be used for this purpose.

Introduction

Present brief, clear and appropriate background information. Substantiate the scientific problem. Clearly describe the objective(s) of the work.

Methods

Define the type of research, period and place. Define the study population or group, as well as the inclusion, exclusion and elimination criteria. Describe the criteria and justification for sample selection if required.

The variables analyzed must be clearly described. Clearly state the methods of data collection, processing and analysis, as well as the statistical method used. It must comply with the principle of being able to be reproduced by other researchers. Declare the particular ethical issues for the study.

Results

Text is preferred over any other form of presentation. The statisticians will be used only when necessary and they should provide enough information for its proper identification. Figures and tables should highlight the relevant results without repeating information. A maximum of 5 tables, figures or statistical graphs can be used indistinctly, each one with its corresponding consecutive number and identification.

Discussion

A critical analysis of the results of the study will be carried out in light of the investigations published by other researchers in the national and international area. The scope and limitations of the results, and its potential applicability and generalization must be explained.

Conclusions

Conclusions should respond to the objectives of the study and will be in correspondence with the results and the discussion. Results should not be repeated. The conclusions will be written in paragraph form at the end of the discussion.

References

It is recommended to use at least 50% of investigations published in the last five years.

Additional recommendations

For longitudinal observational studies (cohort, case-control) the recommendations of the initiative STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) should be followed, available at: http://www.strobe-statement.org

For predictive models based studies it is recommended to follow the technique TRIPOD TRIPOD Statement (The Transparent Reporting of a multivariable prediction model for Individual Prognosis Or Diagnosis), available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25560730

For studies on the validity of diagnostic tests, the STARD methodology should be followed, available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5128957/pdf/bmjopen-2016-012799.pdf

For clinical trials, the CONSORT guideline should be used, available at: https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/consort/

For qualitative studies, the COREQ guideline is recommended, available at: https://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/coreq/

For meta-analysis, the PRISMA guideline should be used. Available at: http://www.prisma-statement.org/

2- Review

They are considered documentary research articles. Its length will not exceed 5,000 words, not including references. A maximum of 3 authors is accepted.

Abstract

Structured by sections: Introduction-Objectives-Methods-Conclusions.

It must be sent in English and Spanish (Resumen).

Keywords

For the selection of keywords, the use of the Descriptors in Health Sciences (MeSH) is recommended, both in English and Spanish (DeCS). DeCS Finder tool (https://decsfinder.bvsalud.org/dmfs) ca be used for this purpose.

Introduction

The topic must be important and relevant to science. A brief, clear and appropriate background will be presented with its bibliographical support. The scientific problem that motivates the review will be stated. The objectives of the study should be clearly described.

Methods

The sources of information and the criteria and justification for the selection of information will be identified. The terms used for the search will be included, and the criteria for excluding of sources and the period taken for the review will be indicated.

In the case of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, the use of the PRISMA guideline is recommended (https://es.cochrane.org/sites/es.cochrane.org/files/uploads/PRISMA_Spanish.pdf)

Results

The results found in the consulted literature will be interpreted. The differences and coincidences of the analyzed studies will be contrasted. A critical analysis of the study will be carried out in light of the works published by other researchers. The possible applicability and generalization of the research results will be described and new aspects to consider (if necessary) will be included. The figures and tables used should highlight relevant aspects without incurring in repetition of information. The limitations or contributions of the review will be pointed out.

Conclusions

Clear, concrete and pertinent conclusions will be presented, in concordance with the aim of the review.

References

It is recommended to use at least 70% of investigations published in the last five years.

3- Case reports

They are articles that expose the experience in the medical care of patients with infrequent conditions, difficulty management or those who required special diagnostic and/or therapeutic procedures. The case presented should make a significant contribution to medical care.

Abstract

A brief explanation of the reasons that motivates the case report, its frequency, relevant clinical manifestations, as well as the results of the investigations, therapeutic procedures and outcome will be performed. Up to three similar cases attended by the authors can be reported.

Introduction

A description of the condition, including aspects of its history, first reports, and clinical and epidemiological characteristics will be made. Other particular data or aspects that highlight the importance of its publication can be included.

Clinical case

The essentials of the patient's clinical history closely related to the condition that has motivated its publication will be exposed. The history, clinical manifestations and significant data from the physical examination, investigations, and the evolution of the disease will be highlighted. Reference will be made to the images or figures provided in the description of the investigations. Therapeutic measures and their results will be detailed, as well as the outcome of the patient(s).

Discussion

The criteria regarding the importance of the condition that has motivated its publication, critically compared to other reports, will be exposed. Critical analysis will be made on the importance of clinical data and research results, the therapeutic response and evolution of patients.

Additional recommendations

For the reporting of clinical cases, the CARE guideline will be followed, available at: https://www.care-statement.org/

4- Brief communications

Manuscripts that express important or relevant information with the necessary scientific basis are considered brief communications. They can be partial reports of investigations or points of view. Its length does not exceed 1000 words, not including the references.

4- Opinion article

Manuscripts that express an opinion or scientific position regarding certain fact or topic related to the journal's profile will be considered. They are usually commissioned by the Editorial Committee.

5- Correspondence

The letters discuss a recent article published by the journal, and should be sent within 4 weeks of the article being posted online.

Letters received after 4 weeks will be rarely considered. They should not exceed 600 words of text and 6 references, including the article in question. A maximum of 3 authors will be allowed.

Letters considered for publication will normally be sent to the authors of the original article, who will be given an opportunity to respond.

Letters will be published at the editor’s discretion and are subject to abbreviation and editing for style and content.

About the evaluation process

The initial evaluation of the manuscripts will be made according to the following criteria:

- The material is original and timely

- Writing is clear

- Study methods are appropriate

- The data is valid

- The conclusions are reasonable and supported by the data

- The information is important and the topic is of general interest to readers

Taking into account these basic criteria, editors assess the eligibility of an article for publication. Manuscripts that do not meet some of the initial evaluation criteria will be immediately rejected.

Manuscripts that meet the initial requirements may be sent for expert consultation or peer review to obtain a better assessment that helps to make a decision about its publication.

About previous publications

BJM will not consider any manuscript that has been published or is under consideration from another source. In this case it is the responsibility of the author to communicate it.

Theses or dissertations are not considered previous publications.

The publication of manuscripts on Preprints servers as the first communication is accepted. In this sense, the use of recognized servers for such purposes is recommended, such as: SciELO PreprintsSocArXivPreprints.orgmedRxiv.org and similar.

Distribution on the Internet in other ways may be considered prior publication and may compromise the originality of the article as a submission to a scientific journal. While the manuscripts are under the peer review process, they should not be published in any instance. If any press coverage is to be done in relation to the content of the manuscript, it is recommended that it is done after the document has been published.

About the research data

BJM can ask the authors for the databases or the instruments used for the development of the research. It also promotes the openness of research data, as long as the level of confidentiality allows it.

As part of compliance with the principles of Open Science, the author may submit their research data to any of the servers available internationally for such purposes, which guarantees compliance with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

The following are recommended: DataCiteThe Dataverse NetworkZenodoSciELO Data

 About solutions of ethical conflicts

See Journal policy

About errors after publication

See Journal policy

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