Instruction to Authors

Instructions for Authors

CMJ is the official journal of the Trinidad & Tobago Medical Association and is published quarterly. It is national and regional in scope primarily; but in the process of expansion to publish international work. It is comprehensive in coverage and it publishes original, peer-reviewed articles on all branches of medicine, surgery, dentistry. We welcome submissions pertaining to both clinical sciences as well as basic sciences, provided their clinical relevance is well explained in the paper.

Editorial policy

CMJ strives to adhere to the highest standards on the ethics of research and publication which includes (but not limited to) informed consent, appropriate Institutional Review Board approval, authorship criteria (please see below) as well as criteria for peer review.
Any form of scientific misconduct is abhorred by the journal.
Every submission must include a statement regarding Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board approval, informed consent (for interventional research and case reports).
All submissions should accompany a covering letter which should include statements declaring the ‘conflicts of interest’ (if any) for all authors and also that all authors contributed to the article.
Articles are published to facilitate citation of the content, while authors retain copyright.


All authors submitting their work must meet the requirements of authorship as set out in the guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors:

a. Every author has made a substantial contribution to the conception and design of the study, and/or data acquisition, analysis and interpretation and/or
b. Involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for intellectual content
c. Final approval for submission was given by every author

No changes in the authorship will be entertained after submission, unless there is a request with a clear explanation to the satisfaction of the Editorial Board
Plagiarism of any type will not be permitted – by definition plagiarism is claiming someone else’s work as one’s own.
Duplication of submission to different journals, whether in total or in part, including ‘salami’ publications (previously published papers modified with a little new information to convert it into a new paper) are also not permitted.
Publications in the form of Abstracts, Conference Proceedings are acceptable (from the same study), but this must be notified during submission.

Submission guidelines

CMJ publishes the following types of articles:
1. Original Research Articles
2. Review Articles
3. Case Reports (not more than three in an issue)
4. Viewpoint
5. Editorials
6. Letters to the Editor

Please follow the required specifications given below, for the type of article you are submitting.
These specifications include lengths (word counts), illustrations, table limits and reference counts.
The word count excludes the title page, abstract, tables, acknowledgements, contributions and references.
Times New Roman font size-12 is the preferred font for all submissions.
Manuscripts should be as succinct as possible without unnecessary circumlocution.

Introduction should introduce the background subject of the study to the reader in clear language with supporting evidence.

must include a statement regarding approval from Institutional Review Board

should be presented in logical order and repetition of the same information in text as well as tables and figures must be avoided

should not just repeat the results, but compare the current findings with the existing literature

should be derived from the findings of the study and not overarching ones

Avoid recommendations such as ‘further study is required’ – further studies are always needed and will be invariably conducted in the subject!

Every subheading (Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, References, each table, each figure (with captions), Acknowledgements) must start in a fresh page.

Please strictly adhere to the following instructions for the type of submission in order to
avoid delays in review and publication:

Original Research Articles

An Original Research Article must be a report of an original research conducted after the necessary approval from the Institutional Review Board and must be presented in the following structure:
i. Title page with authors information
ii. Structured abstract [Objective, Methods, Results, Conclusion]: 250 words
iii. Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion (including limitations and conclusion)
iv. Word count: up to 4,000
v. Tables/figures: up to 5 each
vi. References: up to 40

Review Articles

Both narrative and systematic reviews are welcome in any branch of medicine and dentistry.

Narrative review should adhere to the following format:
o Thorough assessment of the existing literature
o A search strategy
o Description of how articles have been selected
o Analysis of the existing literature including comments on the strengths and weaknesses of the selected studies
o The overall conclusion that can be derived from the review

Systematic reviews should adhere to the following format:
o It should be ideally be presented according to the  PRISMA statement
o Ideally it should have a protocol and should have been registered
o It may be preferable to have a more inclusive review with a larger number of studies, when there are sufficient studies, standard analyses including subgroup analyses may be performed to explore group differences
o Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias tool or other tools such as AMSTAR may be used to score the methodological quality
o Heterogeneity should be explained in the discussion of individual studies
o Appropriate statistical analysis including sensitivity analysis may be presented

Review articles must be presented in the following structure:

i. Title page with authors information
ii. Structured abstract [Objective, methods (search), results, conclusion]: 250 words
iii. Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion (including limitations & conclusion)
iv. Tables: up to 8 / Figures: up to 6
v. Word Count: up to 5000
vi. References: up to 150

Case Reports

CMJ will be only interested in accepting case reports that fulfill criteria such as:

a) shedding light on a possible new parthenogenesis of a disease
b) medical errors and lessons learnt
c) unreported adverse effects of interventions and drugs
d) new diagnostic or treatment procedure
e) rare or new disease diagnosed and treated
f) unusual presentation and/or association of symptomatology
g) debunking myths and misconceptions

This can be a single case report or a case-series and must have the following structure:

i. Title page with authors information
ii. Non-structured abstract: 100 words
iii. Description of the Case(s)
iv. Discussion including conclusion
v. Word Count: 2000
vi. Figures: up to 2
vii. References: up to 10


‘Viewpoint’ articles are small essays describing a particular subject matter of current interest to the medical and dental fraternity. The author may put forward his or her own opinion on the subject of discussion; however, it must be substantiated by evidence from the published literature

The structure of the ‘viewpoint’ article will be as follows:

i. Title page with authors information
ii. Introductory paragraph with the background description of the subject
iii. Discussion including conclusion
iv. Word Count: 1500
v. Table or a figure (optional): 1
vi. References: up to 10


Editorials are usually commissioned by the editorial team.
Unsolicited editorials may be accepted based on their relevance and importance.
Editorials are primarily opinion essays; however, they should be backed up by available evidence.
Word count: 1000 words excluding references.
References: up to 5
Authorship MUST be restricted to one or a maximum of two.

Letters to the editor

Correspondence to the editor may be either a comment on a previous publication or regarding a subject of current interest. If it is a comment on a previous publication, it should be within a time-frame of 3 months after the original publication.

The structure is as follows:
i. Word Count: 500 words
ii. References: up to 5
iii. Authors: up to 3


The references must be in chronological order in the text, quoted in Arabic numerals within square brackets before the full-stop.
The list of references must be in the same order at the end of the main text (after conclusions in the ‘Discussion’ section, started in a new page).
1. Multi-author article published in print
Author GH, Author IJ. Title of paper. Journal Title in Full in Italics 2018; 12: 111-2.
2. Multi-author article published e-pub ahead of print
Author GH, Author IJ. Title of paper published as ‘ePub ahead of print’. Journal Title in Full in Italics 2018 Jan 31; doi: 01.2345/012.345678.
3. Chapter in a Book
Author GH, Author IJ, Author KL, et al. Chapter title. In: Editor MN, Editor OP, eds. Title of Book. Place: Publisher, 2018: 123-45.
4. Single-author book
Author GH. Book Title, 5th Ed. Place: Publisher, 2018.
5. Website
Author(s) of website. Title of document/page, 2018. (Accessed 31/01/2018).


Tables should be following the “References” section, included in the same file.
Each table must have a title above it, numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.
The caption should be as concise as possible and not too long, but providing adequate information regarding the contents of the table.
The legends explaining abbreviations, inferential statistical tests etc., should beprovided at the bottom of each table
Please provide the exactly p-value; please do not provide “p<0.000” or any such information directly extracted from the pivot table of the statistical software.
Each table must be presented on a separate page.
The table format shall be as follows (example):

Table 1. Comparison of patient variables


Images and graphs may be submitted as embedded components in the same file as the text, presented after the tables.
The figures should have a brief caption and presented consecutively numbered using Arabic numerals.
In graphs, unnecessary use of 3-D images (pie charts/histograms) should be avoided.
Photographic images must of JPEG format, of minimum 300 pixels per inch resolution.
The fonts used in the graphs should be the same as the text.
Each figure must have a caption above it, numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals.
The caption should be as concise as possible and not long, but providing adequate information regarding the contents of the table.
The legends explaining abbreviations should be provided at the bottom.

Peer review process

Manuscripts should be submitted with a covering letter, which should have a statement that all authors contributed to the article and there is no conflict of interest.
The Editorial Board will go through the submission and decide if it deserves to be sent for peer review. Then it will be sent to two reviewers who are blinded regarding the author information. They are required to undertake a structured review process and the feedback and comments will be sent to the authors.
If revision is sought, the revised manuscript must be submitted within two months, which will be sent back to the reviewers for further comments.
Once accepted, copy-editing will be done and the article will be published.