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Instructions to Authors

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The American Journal of Disaster Medicine (AJDM) is designed to provide physicians and other medical professionals with the essential informational tools they need as they seek to combine emergency medical and trauma skills with crisis management and new forms of triage.

American Journal of Disaster Medicine publishes original research articles, clinical reports, brief communications, articles related to new ideas or innovations, letters to the editor, editorials, invited book reviews, and meeting announcements.

Contact Information

Susan M. Briggs, MD

Editorial Office:

American Journal of Disaster Medicine
470 Boston Post Road
Weston, MA 02493
Phone (781) 899 - 2702
Fax (781) 899 - 4900

Office Hours:

Monday through Friday 8:30 am - 5 pm (EST)

Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts submitted for consideration must not have been previously published (except as an abstract) and must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

AJDM encourages the online submission of materials to be considered for publication. Online submission (with instructions) is available at

Those without access to online submission may submit manuscripts to the Editor. Manuscripts submitted by mail must include one hard copy and a copy on computer disk. Each mailed submission must include one full set of original figures as well as figures on diskette or CD if possible. Manuscripts submitted by mail will be uploaded to the online system in the AJDM editorial office.


Submission of a manuscript to AJDM is taken as evidence that no portion of the text or figures has been published or submitted for publication elsewhere unless information regarding previous publication is explicitly cited and copyright permission obtained (fax or mail to AJDM editorial office - see above) at the time of manuscript submission. Permission should be obtained for both print and online publication.

Peer Review

Two independent peer reviews are typically solicited. At the discretion of the Section Editor, a third review may also be solicited. The Editor is responsible for all final decisions regarding acceptance or rejection, recommendations for revision, and final editing.

Manuscript Publication

Publication of material in AJDM should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the material contained therein. The publisher will send galley proofs of accepted manuscripts (pdf file) to the corresponding author via e-mail. Corrections and revisions should be returned to the publisher via e-mail as instructed. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of references and statistical computations. The author(s) acknowledge that the publisher reserves the right to charge authors for excessive revisions made to their galley proofs. Authors are responsible for all excessive revision charges associated with their article. Publication may be withheld if authors fail to fulfill these financial obligations.


Single reprints may be purchased online at; click on the "Abstracts" link and select year of publication to view all abstracts and purchase your selection. Reprints in quantities of 100 or more may be ordered from AJDM, 470 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA 02493; telephone: (781) 899-2702; fax: (781) 899-4900.

Copyright Transfer

All authors must sign the AJDM copyright transfer form. This form will be sent to you when the article has been accepted . The signed form must be received by mail or fax at the AJDM editorial office before an accepted manuscript can be forwarded for publication.

Author Responsibility

The corresponding author is responsible for ensuring that all individuals named as co-authors have made a major contribution to the manuscript. Authorship credit should be based on significant contributions to all of the following: 1) conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting of the manuscript or critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of submitted manuscript. Each author must declare his or her contribution to the manuscript on the copyright transfer form from the AJDM editorial office.

Financial Disclosure/Conflict of Interest

Authors are required to disclose, in a cover letter accompanying their manuscript, any relevant conflict of interest, including direct or indirect financial interests they may have in the materials or subject matter dealt with in the manuscript. This information will be held in confidence by the Editor during the review process but, at the discretion of the Editor, may be included in publication of an accepted manuscript.

Group Authorship

AJDM allows research groups to be recognized in submitted manuscripts. Two options are available.
1. The names of individuals appear in the byline designated as writing for the research group (e.g., Smith A, Johnson R, Williams T; for the CleftCran Research Group). The named individuals must meet the full criteria and requirements for authorship as described in the previous section. Other group members who do not qualify for authorship may be listed in an Acknowledgment.
2. Only the name of the research group appears in the byline, with an asterisk indicating that the list of authors qualifying for authorship appears at the end of the article (e.g., The CleftCran Research Group*). Again, other group members who do not qualify for authorship may be listed in the Acknowledgment.

Patient Anonymity

The author is responsible for ensuring the protection of a patient's anonymity. A signed consent form must accompany any figure including recognizable individuals. Shading of the eyes is not an acceptable means of rendering an individual unrecognizable. If an author chooses to use his/her own institutional patient permission form, it must include permission to use photographs for all types of publication including but not limited to print, visual, electronic, or broadcast media. Consent forms should be mailed or faxed to the AJDM editorial office.

Humans and Animals in Research

For manuscripts describing the results of experimental studies on humans, the authors must provide a statement in the Methods section of the manuscript that an institutional review board (IRB) approved the study and that informed consent was obtained. If a formal IRB is not available, the authors must include a statement in the manuscript that principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki were followed. Information regarding the Declaration of Helsinki may be found at


Submission Categories

Original Articles: Reports of original clinical or basic science data pertaining to prevalence, causes, mechanisms, diagnosis, course, treatment, and prevention, including systematic reviews and meta-analysis that represent a new contribution to the field.
Clinical Reports: Case reports presenting new or novel clinical information.
Ideas and Innovations: Short communications related to novel ideas, techniques, methods of assessment, etc.
Brief Communications: Preliminary or limited results (fewer than 1500 words, up to three figures or tables) of original research pertaining to prevalence, causes, mechanisms, diagnosis, course, treatment, and prevention.
Letters to the Editor: Comments in the form of letters that express differences of opinion or supporting views of recently published AJDM content.
Editorials: Brief substantiated commentaries (fewer than 1000 words) on subjects of interest to the AJDM readership. Editorials should be narrative in form.


The American Medical Association Manual of Style is the standard reference for manuscript style. Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced with 1" margins, and left justified. Use a standard 12-point font. Pages should be numbered consecutively in the upper right-hand corner. Do not print a running title. Turn off your word processing program's hyphenation feature and "smart quotes" feature before typing. Headings must be used to designate the major divisions of the manuscript. Up to three levels of headings may be used.

Title Page

Page one must include:

  • Title (maximum 20 words)
  • Author names with degrees, in the order that they will appear in print
  • Academic rank or position and institutional affiliation for each author
  • Name, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the corresponding author who will receive editorial correspondence and reprint requests
  • If applicable, statement that paper was presented orally at a professional meeting, including the name, date, and location of the meeting
  • Credits and appropriate grant numbers if the study was supported by an agency
  • Running title (eight words or less)


Original articles and ideas and innovations articles should include a structured abstract of no longer than 250 words with the following headings and information, as applicable. Clinical reports should include an unstructured abstract of no longer than 100 words describing the objective, essential features and uniqueness of the case being presented, and conclusions. Structured abstracts of no longer than 150 words should be used for data-based Brief Communications articles. Non-data-based Brief Communications should include an unstructured abstract of no longer than 100 words.

Structured Abstract

Objective: State the main question or objective of the study and the major hypothesis tested, if any.
Design: Describe the design of the study indicating, as appropriate, use of randomization, blinding, criterion standards for diagnostic tests, temporal direction (retrospective or prospective), etc.
Setting: Indicate the study setting, including the level of clinical care (for example, primary or tertiary, private practice or institutional).
Patients, Participants: State selection procedures, entry criteria, and numbers of participants entering and finishing the study.
Interventions: Describe the essential features of any intervention, including the methods and duration of administration.
Main Outcome Measure(s): The primary study outcome measures should be indicated as planned before data collection began. If the hypothesis being reported was formulated during or after data collection, this fact should be clearly stated.
Results: Describe measurements that are not evident from the nature of the main results and indicate any blinding. If possible, the results should be accompanied by confidence intervals (most often the 95 percent interval) and the exact level of statistical significance. For comparative studies, confidence intervals should relate to the differences between groups. Absolute values should be indicated when risk changes or effect sizes are given.
Conclusions: State only those conclusions of the study that are directly supported by data, along with their clinical application (avoiding overgeneralization) and/or whether additional study is required before the information should be used in clinical settings. Equal emphasis must be given to positive and negative findings of equal scientific merit.
Key Words: A short list of the key words that reflects the article's content should follow the abstract.

(Reproduced with permission from: Haynes RB et al.: More informative abstracts revisited. Ann Intern Med. 1990; 113: 69-76).


If a statistical analysis is conducted, explanation of the methods used must precede the Results section in the manuscript. Unusual or complex analysis methods should be referenced.


Tables should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals. Each table should have an appropriate title and explanation at its head. Tables may be submitted as part of the manuscript document file, with each table placed on a separate page following the references. Alternatively, tables may be submitted electronically as separate files, with one table per file, in either .doc (text) or .xls (spreadsheet) format.


All figures and illustrations must be original photographs or artwork. Figures should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they appear in the manuscript, using Arabic numerals. A list of figure legends must be included on a separate page following the body of the manuscript. The legend should explain each figure in detail. A figure may include multiple images (a, b, c, etc.) but all must appear on the same page.

Figures should be submitted in one of the following formats: tif, eps, jpg, pdf. Each figure should be submitted as a separate file. Composite figures made up of more than one image should be submitted as separate files (e.g., Fig 1A, Fig 1B).

Color (CMYK) or grayscale images containing only pictures (no text or thin lines) should be scanned at a resolution of 300 dpi and an image width of at least 3.25". Color (CMYK) or grayscale images containing a combination of pictures and text or thin lines should be scanned at 600 dpi and an image width of at least 3.25". Monochrome (black and white) images such as line art or line graphs should be scanned at a resolution of 1200 dpi. For symbols that must be explained, please use a key that can be shot with the figures. Do not explain them using symbols in the figure legend. Authors may be charged if artwork has to be generated to incorporate figure symbols into the figure legend.

Figures submitted at lower than the required resolutions stated above will be allowed for review purposes. However, the publication process for accepted manuscripts will be delayed until acceptable images have been submitted.

Units of Measure/Abbreviations

The metric system is preferred for expressing units of measure. Abbreviations may be used for terms. Write out the full term for each abbreviation at its first use in the text, unless the abbreviation is a standard unit of measure. Abbreviations used in a table must be explained in a footnote below the table. For a list of standard abbreviations, consult the Council of Biology Editors Style Guide (available from the Council of Science Editors, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814) or other standard sources.


Acknowledge all forms of financial support on the title page. List all other acknowledgments in a paragraph at the end of the manuscript.


References are organized in AMA format; that is, they are to be cited numerically in the text and in consecutive order, including the first three authors followed by et al., and listed at the end of the article in the following format:

Journal articles— 1. Mudd P, Smith JG, Allen AZ, et al.: High ideals and hard cases: The evolution of opioid therapy for cancer pain. Hastings Cent Rep. 1982; 12(2): 11-14.

Books— 1. Bayles SP (ed.): Nutritional Supplements and Interactions with Analgesics. Boston: GK Hall & Co., 1978.

Book chapters— 1. Martin RJ, Post SG: Introducing alternative prescribing strategies. In Smith J, Howard RP, Donaldson P (eds.): The Oncology Management Handbook. Madison, WI: Clearwater Press, 1998, pp. 310-334.

Web sites— Health Care Financing Administration: HCFA Statistics at a glance. Available at: www.hcfa/gov/stats/stahili.htm. Accessed December 27, 2002.


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