Authors' Guidelines

About SSMJ

Terms

Tips for authors

Preparing your manuscript

References

Useful publications

Submission and Publishing

Submission Checklist

About SSMJ

SSMJ is a free open access journal published quarterly online. It is listed on the African Journals Online (AJOL) and Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).  SSMJ does not charge article processing or submission fees. See our aims and vision here

Terms

  • SSMJ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial Works License (please read this). This means that you, the author, keep the copyright but give SSMJ a license to publish your article in the journal.
  • SSMJ is an Open Access Journal. This means that materials can be freely downloaded and shared for educational and non-commercial purposes without asking permission from the publisher or author.  If republished, text and pictures should be fully credited and cited and hyperlinked to the SSMJ website. Materials of copyright holders who are not the author cannot be republished without their permission.
  • The opinions, information and figures given in signed articles are the responsibility of the author/s and do not necessarily represent the views of the South Sudan Medical Journal. The author, not SSMJ, is responsible for any clinical guidance or statements published.
  • For clinical research articles you must get ethical permission to publish. For research carried out in South Sudan, see Guidance for undertaking research in the Republic of South Sudan. You may need the patient’s/client’s permission.
  • Original articles must not be submitted simultaneously to other publications and must not have been accepted for publication elsewhere.

Tips for Authors before preparing your manuscript

  • SSMJ welcomes articles (e.g. Clinical guidelines, Case studies (see Guidelines on writing case reports), primary research, audits) and letters, book reviews and news items from health professionals working in South Sudan, or those with an interest in the country.
  • Your manuscript is more likely to be accepted if you follow our guidelines exactly; keep within the word and number of reference limits; prepare references in exactly the prescribed way; and have a clear message.  Remember short easy-to-read articles are most likely to be opened and cited. This video may help you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vky9PDKx5KU.
  • It is a good idea for authors to get an ORCID ID which distinguishes you from other researchers and makes your publications easy to find.

Preparing your manuscript

Please pay particular attention to guidelines written like this. Look at articles recently published in SSMJ for guidance.

  • Articles must be no longer than a total of 1500-2000 words – this includes references, tables, etc. Items of this length are more likely, than longer ones, to be accepted for publication, partly owing to space constraints, and partly because short items are more likely to be read.
  • We like boxes, tables and images to break up the text. Note: If you are unable, for word count reasons, to include all your useful data in your manuscript give a contact/link from which a reader can access it.
  • The journal is for all levels of health professionals. So, make your article ‘reader-friendly’ by using short sentences, avoiding passive verbs, and explaining technical terms or acronyms that some readers may not know.  Use ‘UK-English’ (e.g. 'formalise' not 'formalize', 'programme' not 'program', anaemia not anemia).  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_spelling_differences. To set your language to UK-English: Click Review, Language, Set proofing language, select English (United Kingdom).
  • ·       The Editorial team can help you prepare articles and reserves the right to copyedit and shorten them. We add the citation.
  • Formatting: The manuscript must be in Microsoft Word, Times New Roman font, size 11 (for the main text) and contain no unnecessary formatting. Do not: number your pages, or use Endnotes, or insert Headers or Footers or put text in boxes. Do use SI units. The editorial team will put your article into SSMJ’s own format style.
  • Title: this should be short, attract readers’ interest and contain key words that will identify your paper when people are searching databases.
  • Authors: Give the names (given and family) of all authors but not titles/qualifications or degrees; include affiliations for all authors (e.g. institution/location), and email address for the author to whom correspondence should be sent. All named authors must consent to publication, and we need evidence of this before the article can be published. 
  • ·               Abstract: For full length articles include a short abstract of no more than 300 words. Use the headings: Introduction, Objective, Method, Results, Conclusion.  Abstracts are often indexed by search engines.
  • ·               Keywords: Give up to 5 keywords to describe the content to aid online searches. A keyword should be one word although two- and three- word specialist terms/acronyms are acceptable. Each keyword should appear in your abstract and main text.
  • Abbreviations/Acronyms: Use sparingly. Insert after the full term is used for the first time in the abstract and main article; e.g. World Health Organization (WHO). Then use only the acronym throughout the article.
  • Main article. Most should include: Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, Conclusion.
  • Tables: Each table must have a number and title, and be mentioned in the text. Do not use shading and keep formatting simple. Use ‘n’ not ‘N’, and ‘%’ not ‘percentage’ and put ‘n’ and ‘%’ in the same column – i.e. ‘n (%)’. See Tables for more help. If the table has been published elsewhere you must obtain the consent of the copyright holder to republish it.
  • ·       Images/Charts: We like to include a limited number of photographs, graphs and other images. Please send these as separate files in uncompressed .jpg format (not Word or ppt). Photos should be of as high resolution as possible (so they reproduce nicely in hard copy). Each image must have a number and caption and be mentioned in the text.  The caption must say to whom the image should be credited or copyrighted. If the image is not your property make sure that you have written/email permission from the copyright holder to use it. We may ask to see this. If the image shows an identifiable person, that person, or guardian, must give permission (preferably in writing/email) for publication.
  • Hyperlinks/Websites: Make sure these open correctly.
  • Include as necessary: Declarations of conflict of interest from all authors; sources of funding; ethical permission to publish clinical research (send us a copy of the ethical approval for research on human subjects); acknowledgements.

References

  • References must be kept to a maximum of 15, and cannot be changed after the manuscript is submitted. When possible, give references that are easy to access/in the public domain. Cited manuscripts that have been accepted but not yet published can be included as references followed by '(in press)' instead of the year.
  • Reference lists must be generated manually and not with reference manager software. Do not use ‘endnotes’.
  • Insert citations in the text as numbers in superscript between square brackets, e.g. [1] or [3,5-8]. If the reference number is at the end of a sentence insert it after the full stop, e.g. ‘…….end of sentence.[1] Next sentence…..’
  • List all references at the end of the article in numerical order of appearance (i.e. in the Vancouver style - not alphabetical order).
  • When writing a reference follow our style exactly.
  • Do not use italics or bold; use upper case (capital) letters only when essential.
  • Authors: give the family name and initials of each author, e.g. Taye A, Mariam DH.; if there are more than six authors, give the first three names followed by et al. If the author is an organization give the full name (e.g. World Health Organization) not the acronym (e.g. WHO).
  • You can use approved abbreviations of journal titles (where they exist) – see Vancouver Referencing Guide. List: Journal name Year;volume(issue):first page-last page of the article cited. If the journal uses article numbers instead of page numbers, use the article number instead of the page numbers
  • When possible, include the website and/or a digital object identifier (DOI) link and/or PubMed ID (PMID)/PubMed Central ID (PMCID). You do not need to say the date you accessed the article (in order to minimise the word count). Make sure the link/s open.

Examples of how to write references

Journals: 

Web-only journals:

  • Berhe G, Wasihun AG, Kassaye E, Gebreselasie K. Milk-borne bacterial health hazards in milk produced for commercial purpose in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. BMC Public Health 2020;20:894 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09016-6

Books: 

Chapter/section in a book:

  • Timmermann C. A matter of degree: the normalisation of hypertension, c. 1940–2000 in: W Ernst (Ed.) Histories of the normal and the abnormal: social and cultural histories of norm and normativity. Routledge, London; 2006:245–261. 

Internet: 

Other (e.g. reports): Follow the same format: Author(s). Title. Publisher, publisher location; year: pages.

Useful publications

Submission and Publishing

  • Send the manuscript you want considered for publication to [email protected].  We acknowledge all submissions. SSMJ does not use Submission software.
  • When replying to our emails keep the same ‘subject line’.
  • When revising a document keep the same document name, just change the date or give your initials at the end of the name.
  • Note that it takes about 4 months or more between the date of submission and the date of publication – depending partly on how much editing is needed, how long it takes to get the article peer reviewed and how quickly authors respond to the comments of reviewers and editors. 
  • All articles are double-blind peer-reviewed by at least one independent reviewer/ health professional. SSMJ helps you to prepare your manuscript for peer review.
  • When both editors and all authors have agreed the content of the Word version, the article is converted to a pdf. This is sent to the corresponding author to check and ensure that all co-authors read and sign off the pdf. Only mistakes /typos can be changed at this stage.
  • The Editorial team reserves the right to decide in which issue of the journal your article is published – although we try to publish as soon as possible after articles have been peer reviewed and finalized.

 


 

Checklist: Please copy and paste into a Word doc, then complete and send with your manuscript to [email protected]   

Item

Yes

Not relevant

Original article not submitted to another journal.

 

 

The Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial Works License has been read

 

 

Agree that African Journals Online (AJOL) can display the article on its website, and that SSMJ can supply the pdf or URL to AJOL if requested.

 

 

Author accepts responsibility for the contents of the article including clinical guidance/drug dosages, and for obtaining permissions for images, quotes, etc.

 

 

Co-authors agree the contents of the manuscript and will check the final pdf

 

 

Ethical permission obtained for clinical research; willing to send to SSMJ if requested.

 

 

Patient consent obtained if relevant, including for recognisable photographs; willing to send to SSMJ if requested.

 

 

Total word count does not exceed 1500-2000 (unless more has been previously agreed).

 

 

For each author: given and family names, affiliations/address; email of corresponding author.

 

 

Abstract no longer than 300 words – not needed for short items.

 

 

Keywords – up to 5.

 

 

Each table numbered, titled and mentioned in text.

 

 

Each image numbered and mentioned in text, captioned, and credited. Permission obtained if not your property. Permission obtained from recognisable people.

Sent as uncompressed jpgs. Photos should be high resolution.

 

 

All hyperlinks open correctly.

 

 

No more than 15 references are cited.

 

 

References written in the correct style (and not formatted as ‘endnotes’ or generated using reference software).