For Authors

Guidelines for Authors

The Ethiopian Medical Journal (EMJ) is the official Journal of the Ethiopian Medical Association (EMA) devoted to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge pertaining to the broad field of medicine in Ethiopia and other developing countries. Prospective contributors to the Journal should take note of the instructions of Manuscript preparation and submission to EMJ as outlined below.

  1. Article types acceptable by EMJ

Original Articles (vide infra) on experimental and observational studies with clinical relevance

Brief Communications

Case Series

Case Reports

Editorials, Review or Teaching Articles: by invitation of the Editorial Board.

Correspondences/Letters to the Editor

Monographs or set of articles on specific themes appearing in a Special Issues of the Journal

Book reviews



Hypothesis or discussion of an issue important to medical practice

Letter to the Editor



N.B. Articles are not acceptable if previously published or submitted elsewhere in print or electronic format, except in the form of abstracts in proceedings of conferences.

  1. Content and format of articles:

Title: The title should be on a separate page. It should not have acronyms or abbreviations. The title should be descriptive and should `not exceed 20 words or 120 characters including space. The title page should include the name(s) and qualification of the author(s); the department or Institution to which the study/research is attributed and address of the corresponding Author. If the author has multiple affiliations only use the most preferred one.

  1. Original Articles

Word count: 2,500 words, excluding Abstracts, References, Figures and Tables. The manuscript of the Article, should appear under the following headings:

  1. Abstract: The abstract of the Article is prepared on a separate paper, a maximum of 250 words; it should be structured under the titles: a) Background; b) Methods; c) Results; d) Conclusions. Briefly summarize the essential features of the article under above headings, respectively. Mention the problem being addressed in the study; how the study was conducted; the results and what the author(s) concluded from the results. Statistical method used can appear under Methods paragraph of the Abstract, but do not insert abbreviations or references in the Abstract section.

Keywords: Provide three to six key words, or short phrases at the end of abstract page. Use terms from medical subject heading of Index Medicus to assist in cross indexing the Article.

  1. Introduction: Should provide a short background and context of the study and provide the rationale for doing the study. It should not be a detailed review of the subject and should not include conclusions from the paper.
  2. Patients or (Materials) and Methods: should contain details to enable reproducibility of the study by others. This section must include a clear statement specifying that a free and informed consent of the subjects or their legal guardians was obtained. Corresponding author should submit a copy of institution review Board (IRB) clearance or letter of permission from the hospital or department (if IRB exempt) with the manuscript. For manuscripts on clinical trials, a copy of ethical approval letter from the concerned body should be submitted with the Manuscript. If confidential data is being used for publication (such as student grades, medical board data, or federal ethics board data), then appropriate support/agreement letter should be included. Photos of patients should disguise the identity or must have obtained their written consent. Reference number for ethical approval given by ethics committee should be stated. In general, the section should include only information that was available at the time the plan or protocol for the study was being written; all information obtained during the study belongs in the Results section.
  3. Results: This section should present the experimental or observational data in text, tables or figures. The data in Tables and Figures should not be described extensively in the text.
  4. Discussion: The first paragraph should provide a summary of key finding that will then be discussed one by one in the paragraphs to follow. The discussion should focus on the interpretation and significance of the results of the study with comments that compare and describe their relation to the work of others (with references) to the topic. Do not repeat information of Results in this section. Make sure the limitations of the study are clearly stated.
  5. Tables and Figures: These should not be more than six. Tables should be typed in triplicate on separate sheets and given serial Arabic numbers. Titles should be clearly place underneath Tables and above Figures. Unnecessary and lengthy tables and figures are discouraged. Same results should not be presented in more than one form (choose either figure or table). Units should appear in parentheses in captions but not in the body of the table. Statistical procedures, if not in common use, should be detailed in the METHODS section or supported by references. Legends for figures should be typed on separate sheets, not stapled to the figures. Three dimensional histograms are discouraged. Recognizable photographs of patients should be disguised. Authors should submit editable soft versions of the tables and figures.
  6. Acknowledgement: Appropriate recognition of contributors to the research, not included under Authors should be mentioned here; also add a note about source of the financial support or research funding, when applicable.
  7. References:
  • The titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used for MEDLINE (
  • References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text and identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in parentheses.
  • Type the References on a separate sheet, double spaced and keyed to the text.
  • Personal communications should be placed NOT in the list of references but in the text in parentheses, giving name, date and place where the information was gathered or the work carried out (e.g. personal communication, Alasebu Berhanu, MD, 1984, Gondar College of Medical Sciences). Unpublished data should also be referred to in the text.
  • References with six or less authors should all be listed. If more than six names, list the first three, followed by et al.
  • Listing of a reference to a journal should be according to the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ("Vancouver Style') and should include authors' name(s) and initial(s) separated by commas, full title of the article, correctly abbreviated name of the journal, year, volume number and first and last page numbers.
  • Reference to a book should contain author's or authors’ name(s) and initials, title of chapter, names of editors, title or book, city and name of publisher, year, first and last page numbers.

The following examples demonstrate the acceptable reference styles.


  • Gilbert C, Foster A. Childhood blindness in the context of Vision 2020: the right to sight. Bull World Health Org 2001;79:227-32
  • Teklu B. Disease patterns amongst civil servants in Addis Ababa: an analysis of outpatient visits to a Bank employee’s clinic. Ethiop Med J 1980;18:1-6
  • Tsega E, Mengesha B, Nordenfelt E, Hansen B-G; Lindberg J. Serological survey of human immunodeficiency virus infection in Ethiopia. Ethiop Med J 1988; 26(4): 179-84
  • Laird M, Deen M, Brooks S, et al. Telemedicine diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma by direct ophthalmoscopy (Abstract). Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1996; 37:104-5

Books and chapters from books:

  • Henderson JW. Orbital Tumors, 3rd ed. Raven Press New York, 1994. Pp 125-136.
  • Clipard JP. Dry Eye disorders. In Albert DM, Jakobiec FA (Eds). Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology. W.B Saunders: Philadelphia, PA 1994 pp257-76.


  1. Brief Communication

Short versions of Research and Applications articles, often describing focused approaches to solve a health problem, or preliminary evaluation of a novel system or methodology

  • Word count: up to 2000 words
  • Abstract up to 200 words; excluding: Abstract, Title, Tables/Figures and References
  • Tables and Figures up to 5
  • References (vide supra – Original Article)
  1. Case Series

Minimum of three and maximum of 20 cases

  • Up to 1,000 words; excluding: Abstract, Title, Tables/Figures and References
  • Abstract of up to 200 words; structured; (vide supra)
  • Statistical statements here are expressed as 5/8 (62.5%)
  • Tables and Figures: no more than three
  • References: maximum of 20
  1. Case Report

Report on a rare case or uncommon manifestation of a disease of academic or practical significance

  • Up to 750 words; excluding: Abstract, Title, Tables/Figures and References
  • Abstract of up to 100 words; unstructured;
  • Tables and Figures: no more than three
  • References: maximum of 10
  1. Systematic review

Review of the literature on topics of broad scientific interest and relevant to EMJ readers

  • Abstract structured with headings as for an Original Article (vide supra)
  • Text should follow the same format as what is required of an Original Article
  • Word count: up to 8,000 words, excluding abstract, tables/Figures and references
  • Structured abstract up to 250 words
  • Tables and Figures up to 8
  1. Teaching Article

A comprehensive treatise of a specific topic/subject, considered as relevant to clinical medicine and public health targeting EMJ readers

  • By invitation of the Editorial Board; but an outline of proposal can be submitted
  • Word limit of 8,000; excluding abstract, tables/Figures and references
  • Unstructured Abstract up to 250 words
  1. Editorial
  • By invitation of the Editorial Board, but an editorial topic can be proposed and submitted
  • Word limit of 1,000 words: excluding references and title; no Abstract
  • References up to 15.
  1. Perspectives
  • By invitation of the Editorial board, but a topic can be proposed and submitted
  • Word limit of 1,500
  • References up to six
  1. Obituaries
  • By invitation of the Editorial board, but readers are welcome to suggest individuals (members of the EMA) to be featured.
  • Preparation of manuscripts
  • Manuscripts must be prepared in English, the official language of the Journal.
  • On a single separate sheet, there must be the title of the paper, with key words for indexing if required, and each author's full name and professional degrees, department where work was done, present address of any author if different from that where work was done, the name and full mailing address of the corresponding author, including email, and word count of the manuscript (excluding title page, abstract, references, figures and tables). Each table/figures/boxes or other illustrations, complete with title and footnotes, should be on a separate page.
  • All pages should be numbered consecutively in the following order: Title page; Abstract and keywords page; main manuscript text pages; References pages; acknowledgment page; Figure-legends and Tables
  • The Metric system of weights and measures must be used; temperature is indicated in degrees Centigrade.
  • Generic names should be used for drugs, followed by propriety brand name; the manufacturer name in parenthesis, e.g. diazepam (Valium, Roche UK)
  • Statistical estimates e.g. mean, median proportions and percentages should be given to one decimal place; standard deviations, odds ratios or relative risks and confidence intervals to two decimal places.
  • Acronyms/Abbreviations should be used sparingly and must be given in full, at first mention in the text and at the head of Tables/foot of Figure, if used in tables/ Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN). Interstitial lung disease (ILD).
  • Use the binomial nomenclature, reference to a bacterium must be given in full and underlined - underlining in typescript becomes italics in print (e.g. Hemophilus influenzae), and later reference may show a capitalized initial for the genus (e.g. H. influenzae)
  • In the text of an article, the first reference to any medical phrase must be given in full, with the initials following in parentheses, e.g., blood urea nitrogen (BUN); in later references, the initials may be used.
  • Manuscripts for submission should be prepared in Microsoft Word document file format
  1. Submission of manuscripts
  • As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with journals requirements
  • All manuscripts must be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal with a statement signed by each author that the paper has not been published elsewhere in whole or in part and is not submitted elsewhere while offered to the Ethiopian Medical Journal. This does not refer to abstracts of oral communications at conferences/symposia or other proceedings.
  • It is the author's responsibility to proof-read the typescript or off-print before submitting or re-submitting it to the Journal, and to ensure that the spelling and numerals in the text and tables are accurate.
  • Authors should submit their work through the Ethiopian Medical Journal website; and use Make a new submission to submit a new manuscript or view your pending submissions to follow the submitted or complete the pending submission. Also read the journal editorial policy from for more.