Medical Writing Instructions for Authors

Instructions for Authors


Medical Writing , the official journal of EMWA (the European Medical Writers Association), is a quarterly journal that aims to educate, inform, and entertain medical writers. Medical Writing publishes themed issues containing research and opinion pieces on topics relevant to medical writing and related professions, as well as information about medical writing guidelines and best practices. Proposals for special issues are welcome.


Manuscripts for consideration should be submitted electronically as an email attachment to Feature articles should be submitted as .doc (Microsoft Word) files and should be produced using the feature article template, which is available at Figures should be submitted in the format in which they were originally created.

Authors may optionally provide a photo and Google Scholar profile link to be included on the Medical Writing website.


All articles should adhere to the following:

  • Written in British (UK) English
  • Pages numbered consecutively
  • Preferred locations of tables and figures indicated (e.g. [Insert Table 1 near here])
  • References formatted correctly (see References below)
  • Maximum of two levels of headings
  • Oxford (serial) commas for lists (e.g. apples, pears, and oranges)
  • Numbers one to nine written out
  • Digits used for numbers before units (e.g. 5 min, 10 m2)
  • Figures submitted as separate files (i.e. not inserted in the text)
  • Keep abbreviations to a minimum and use them only for items appearing at least three times. Abbreviations in the abstract should be considered separate from those in the main text. Write out in full the first time the abbreviation appears, followed by the abbreviation in brackets, e.g. United Nations (UN). Thereafter, use only the abbreviation. The following abbreviations do not need to be defined: AIDS, DNA, EMA, EMWA, EU, FDA, RNA, UK, UN, US, USA, and WHO. SI units can be used without definition.

Feature articles

Feature articles should adhere to the following:

  • Organised in the following order: title page; abstract; main text; acknowledgements (optional); conflicts of interest (optional); references; author information; figure legends; tables
  • Main text approx. 1500-2500 words
  • Prepared using the feature article template

Articles for regular sections

Articles for regular sections (e.g. Out on Our Own) should adhere to the following:

  • Organised in the following order: title (no title page need); text; references; figure legends; tables
  • No maximum or minimum length
  • Prepared using the regular section template to generate the article

Title page (feature articles only)

The title page should include the following information:

  • Title
  • Full first and last names of authors
  • Affiliation, city, and country for each author
  • The corresponding author’s name, affiliation, street address, city, country, post code, phone number, and email address

Abstract (feature articles only)

The abstract (50-150 words) should summarise the article and its key conclusions. It should not include references. Keep abbreviations to a minimum and use them only for items that appear at least three times in the abstract itself.

Main text

Headings are recommended. Use only two levels of headings. Do not insert tables or figures directly in the text.

Acknowledgements and disclaimers

Acknowledgments and disclaimers are optional.

Conflicts of interest

A conflicts of interest statement is required for feature articles. If potential conflicts of interest exist, place them on the same page as and immediately following any acknowledgments or disclaimers.

Conflicts of interest are any relationships that may influence the judgement of the author or editors. They may be personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial. Any affiliation with an organisation with a direct or indirect financial interest in the subject matter of the paper should be explicitly stated.

If there are no conflicts of interest to declare, state “The author [or authors] declares no conflicts of interest.”


References are recommended. If included, they should appear in the text as superscript Arabic numerals, numbered in the order of their appearance. Numbers should follow punctuation marks (e.g. Smith et al.6). The full citations should be listed in numerical order starting on a separate page after the acknowledgments. For articles without references but where a list of further reading is given, include it as an unnumbered bibliography.

Journal articles:

Rathore FA, Mansoor SN. How to conduct a workshop on medical writing: Tips, advice and experience sharing. J Pak Med Assoc. 2015;65(6):665-8.

For more than six authors, list the first three authors followed by "et al." When no authors are listed, write “No authors listed”.

Books without editors listed:

Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.

Books published under editors’ names:

Gilstrap LC, Cunningham FG, VanDorsten JP, editors. Operative obstetrics. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002.

Chapters from edited books:

Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.

Web sites:

The Baby Center. Gestational Diabetes. 2012 [cited 2012 Dec 12]. Available from:

Reports and other technical documents:

Kuczmarski RJ, Ogden CL, Grammer-Strawn LM. CDC growth charts: United States. Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000.

Newspaper articles:

Tynan T. Medical improvements lower homicide rate: study sees drop in assault rate. The Washington Post. 2002 Aug 12;Sect A:2 (col. 4).

Conference proceedings:

Harnden P, Joffe JK, Jones WG, editors. Germ cell tumours V. Proceedings of the 5th Germ Cell Tumour Conference; 2001 Sep 13-15; Leeds, UK. New York: Springer; 2002.Conference paper

Sterling TR, Benson CA, Scott N, et al. Three months of weekly rifapentine + INH for M. tuberculosis infection in HIV-infected persons. Presented at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014), Boston, March 3–6, 2014 (poster).

Author information (feature articles only)

Include up to 50 words about each author, including credentials and experience that establish the person as an expert in the subject of the article.

Figure legends

Figures should be numbered sequentially using Arabic numerals. Provide a title for each figure followed by any additional description. Define any abbreviations not defined in the text. For further details about formatting figures, see Figures below.


Tables should be numbered sequentially using Arabic numerals. Each table should appear on a separate page and should include a title (e.g. Table 1. Tropical fruits and their origins) followed by any additional description or footnotes. For table footnotes, use letters. Within the text, tables should be referred to by number (e.g. Table 1).


Figures should be submitted as separate files in the format in which they were originally created. Sub-figures should be lettered in capitals, e.g. A, B. Within the text, figures should be referred to by number (e.g. Figure 1).

TIFF, EPS, and JPEG images should be submitted at a minimum input scanning resolution of 300 dpi for full colour, 350–400 dpi for half tones, 800 dpi for simple line art, and 1200 dpi for fine line illustrations.


Copyright remains with the authors , although by publishing in Medical Writing the authors give EMWA the right to reproduce their article. If the authors wish to reproduce the article elsewhere, they should indicate that the article was first published in Medical Writing and provide the volume, issue, and page numbers.


For questions about the journal, please contact



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Medical Writing is a quarterly publication that aims to educate and inform medical writers in Europe and beyond. Each issue focuses on a specific theme, and all issues include feature articles and regular columns on topics relevant to the practice of medical writing. We welcome articles providing practical advice to medical writers; guidelines and reviews/summaries/updates of guidelines published elsewhere; original research; opinion pieces; interviews; and review articles.

Medical Writing is listed in the following indexes:

Editoral Board



Managing Editor

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Associate Editors:

Section Editors:

Ad-hoc Editors:

  • Amy Whereat (SpeaktheSpeech Consulting, Asnieres sur Seine, France)

Editor Emeritus: