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Author Guidelines

Download the author guidelines as a PDF (v2.0, updated 03/08/2018)

The Irish Journal of Paramedicine

IJP is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal dedicated to advancing and promoting the science of prehospital clinical care, research, education, policy, management and operational delivery, with a focus on Irish research.

IJP welcomes articles on all aspects of pre-hospital, emergency, urgent and unscheduled care, professional development, as well as articles discussing aspects of theory and practice of paramedicine. The journal publishes literature reviews, case studies and original research articles. The journal also welcomes letters commenting on previously published articles, or any subject relating to paramedic practice, education, service delivery or professionalism.

If you would like to discuss your ideas or propose an article, please email the editor, Alan Batt.

IJP does not accept for publication material that has been published in an identical form elsewhere. If in doubt, please contact the editor. All original articles submitted to IJP are subject to double-blind peer review.

 

General advice

  • IJP aims to present all articles, including original research, in an easy-to-read informative style, so please avoid jargon wherever possible, or define the terms or abbreviations you use on first use.
  • Consider the key take home message from your article. It may be helpful to distil the essence of your article into key points before you start and use these to guide your writing.
  • Be very clear about what your article adds to the literature. If this is obvious, your article is more likely to be accepted.
  • A key aim of IJP is to be of practical use to its readers, so take care to outline the implications for practice.
  • Organise your article in a logical manner; Subheadings, images, and tables all help break up the text for readers and help maintain interest in the article.
  • Please highlight the word count on the cover page.
  • While it is very important that all articles are fully referenced, the total number of references should not exceed 70, without prior discussion with the Editor.
  • If you have not written for publication before, it can be helpful to take advice from colleagues. Always proof read and check spellings carefully.

Contributors are encouraged to follow the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: http://www.icmje.org. The document provides useful information for authors, reviewers, editors and general readers, in many aspects of ethical, technical and formatting principles which should be applied to manuscripts prior to submission and publication in any medical related journal.

Manuscript types outlined above will be considered for publication if they meet the requirements of the journal, editorial review and review process.

 

Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement

View our Publication Ethics and Publication Malpractice Statement here.

 

Article Processing Charges

We do not charge any fees of any kind, including article processing fees or article publishing fees. It is free to read, and free to publish in the IJP.

 

Advice on submitting original research

  • Reviewers will be looking at the originality of your research, whether the methods are appropriate, and the overall strength and rigour of the work.
  • Your introduction should include relevant, up-to-date literature and support the need for the study. The aims of the study should be clearly stated.
  • It is important to describe the theoretical underpinning of the methods used and explain why they are appropriate to answer the research question.
  • Data analysis steps should be clearly described, with supporting references if appropriate.
  • Give a full description of the sample, including how it was obtained and how the appropriate sample size was determined. Give the context of the research so that readers can judge its applicability to their work.
  • The discussion should provide critical analysis of the relevant literature and relate this to the findings of your study.
  • The limitations section is a key part of the article and should be considered carefully.
  • A typical layout for a research piece would be: introduction, background, methods, results, discussion, limitations and conclusion – although this may not be appropriate for all types of research.
  • The abstract should not give detailed background information but instead: give the aim of the article; provide details of the study design, sample and setting; describe the methods, including interventions, measures and analysis; briefly give the findings; and outline the main conclusions.
  • If submitting a literature review please give details of the search strategy as an Appendix or supplementary file (databases searched with dates, search terms used, exclusion and inclusion criteria and reasons for choices) and explain the nature of the review you have undertaken.

 

Submission Process

  1. All articles are to be submitted ONLINE at www.irishparamedicine.com. Articles submitted via other means will not be accepted.
  2. You will need to be a registered author on the website in order to submit a manuscript.
  3. The manuscript should be submitted by the corresponding author who will be the author the journal will send all correspondence to.
  4. The procedure is quite clear, but there are specific requirements that should be followed as closely as possible. If you have any difficulty, email the Editor.
  5. Articles should be typed double-spaced (including references), in a doc, docx or rtf file only. Please ensure all pages are clearly numbered.
  6. For purposes of confidentiality author identification should appear only on the title page.
  7. After you submit your article you will receive an acknowledgement. All articles submitted for publication in IJP are reviewed before publication. The review process will take approximately 4–8 weeks, but could take up to 12 weeks in some cases. The corresponding author will be kept updated as to the progress and any delays encountered.
  8. When the review is complete, you will receive an email regarding the suitability of your article for publication in the journal and any suggestions for revisions if applicable.
  9. A final copy of the article, including any changes recommended by the editor and/or the reviewers, should then be submitted online or via email to the appropriate Editor.
  10. You will receive proofs for correction at a later date before the article is published.

 

Cover page

The submission process requires a cover page outlining briefly why the manuscript should be published by the journal. In this cover page you should outline:

  • Manuscript title
  • Running title (shortened title)
  • Authors names (first name, middle initial, last name), followed by any postnominals in the following order: highest academic degree (e.g. PhD, MSc), certifications/credentials (e.g. CCP, RGN), awards/honours/fellowships (e.g. ASM, FCPara)
  • Author affiliations
  • Email address, phone number and postal address for corresponding author
  • Declare any author conflicts of interest
  • Declare any funding or support in-kind for the research
  • Declare any previous presentation or publication of results/manuscript
  • Acknowledgements
  • Outline each authors contribution to the manuscript in detail (e.g. concept, study design, data collection, data analysis, manuscript draft, editing and review etc.)
  • A brief note to the Editor on why the manuscript should be published, and its contribution to the literature.

 

The cover letter must be uploaded as a supplementary file, but should not be visible to reviewers. This document is the only place where any identifying information should be contained - your manuscript (including abstract) should not contain author names, institution names or other identifying information.

The manuscript file is uploaded in Step 2 of the submission process.

 

Manuscript Layout

The manuscript should contain the following general components:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgements
  • References

 

Abstract

The abstract page should have the manuscript title at the top. In the title capitals should be used for the first word and proper nouns only. Do not capitalise every word.

For quantitative research the abstract should have the following sub-headings:

  • Introduction (the last sentence should be study objective, same as in the main introduction)
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusion

and be a maximum of 350 words, including headings. The abstract should not contain references.

For qualitative research the abstract should be a summary and cover the purpose and setting of the research, the processes involved in the study, the principal findings and major conclusions and be a maximum of 350 words. The abstract should not contain references.

After the Abstract list keywords. There should be no more than six keywords, using MeSH headings where possible. These should be in lower case separated by a semi-colon (;).

Introduction

  • An overview of the current literature which demonstrates a gap and how this leads to the current study.
  • Provides an overview of the problem being studied and the reasons for the study.
  • Background information may be presented, outlining historical developments leading to the study.
  • The study objective/aim is the most important part, and should ideally be the last sentence in the last paragraph.

Methods

  • Should describe exactly how the study was conducted.
  • Designed to answer the research question
  • The most important section of the article, it must be described with sufficient detail and clarity so that another researcher could replicate the study using a different group of participants.
  • Used to assess the validity and reliability of the study.

Ethics

  • List all ethics committees that approved the study.
  • Delete if not applicable (a statement on ethics approval or exemption must be present for all original research articles)

Informed consent

Where there is an unavoidable risk of breach of privacy (e.g. in a clinical photograph or in case details) the patient's written consent, or that of the next of kin, to publication must be obtained. We will ask you to send a signed consent form before consideration for review or publication. This should be uploaded as a supplementary file during the article submission process.

Study Design

  • State the study design, e.g. a retrospective cohort study.


Setting

  • The department/university/ambulance service – number of staff/state and population, reference state population.
  • Delete if not applicable.


Participants/Population

  • Describe who participated in the study.
  • Should include the calculation or method for determining the sample size (if required).
  • Inclusion criteria.
  • Exclusion criteria.
  • Delete if not applicable.


Instrumentation

  • Used when using measurement scales, e.g. pre-existing surveys.
  • Psychometric information is required, e.g. external/internal consistency, dimensionality, construct validity, plus a reference to an articles reporting this information.
  • Delete if not applicable.


Procedures

  • Exactly how the study was conducted, e.g. the processes used to administer a survey.
  • Treatment allocation process (if used):
  • Sample types: paired samples, e.g. use of matching (case-control study), independent sample etc.
  • Randomisation: the process of how the participants are randomised to their respective groups should be described.
  • Control groups: should describe what type, e.g. historical, concurrent, or placebo.
  • Blinding: should state who is blinded to the intervention in the study, e.g. patient, statistician, investigator, etc.


Outcome Measures

  • Should include the outcomes that will be measured during the study, e.g. mortality, length of hospital stay, etc.
  • Delete if not applicable.


Data Analysis

  • Describe which data will be analysed using which tests and statistical program.
  • Delete if not applicable.

Guidance on statistics

Statistical advice should be sought before data collection. Please provide full results of any tests used, giving complete test results (test statistic, degrees of freedom, P value). Appropriate indicators of error or uncertainty, such as confidence intervals, should also be given. Include power calculations if appropriate and give the name and version of any software used.

Results

  • Demographic results first.
  • A description of the study groups and how similar they are or are not.
  • For a literature review, include all articles located, then number that met the inclusion criteria.
  • The magnitude of the analysis and statistical significance of the results should be reported => point estimate, confidence interval, and p values should be reported.
  • Potential or actual confounder(s) should be reported.
  • Missing participants should be accounted for and a statement about how these were handled.
  • The outcomes stated in the methods section should be reported.
  • All the numbers need to add up.
  • Is variability in the results reported?
  • Graphical summaries must be accurately presented. Do not repeat ad nauseum information contained in figures or tables in the text body.
  • Adverse effects reported.

Discussion

  • Approximately eight to ten paragraphs.
  • First paragraph should be an overarching statement about the study results.
  • The results may be interpreted.
  • Each paragraph consists of approximately four to six sentences, the first highlighting a point of interest from the study. The remaining sentences support the first sentence or a comparison of results from similar studies, highlighting similarities or differences.
  • The second last paragraph can be one that recommends further research, or changes to current practice.
  • The last paragraph should be the study limitations.

Conclusion

  • Should summarise the study, no additional information should be added.
  • Two to three sentences is normally sufficient to summarise the study.
  • The conclusion should not contain references.

Acknowledgements

  • Participants who participated in the study, e.g. staff who completed a survey.
  • Delete if not applicable.

Conflict of Interest

  • Each author of the article is requested to complete an ICMJE Form for disclosure for potential conflicts of interest. Available at: http://www.icmje.org/downloads/coi_disclosure.pdf
  • This form will need to be completed by all authors on submission of the article.
  • The forms should be uploaded as supplementary files to the manuscript submission.

References

  • Use the Vancouver style with in text parenthesis “()” and numbering in the reference list.
  • Vancouver style dictates that this number should come after any periods or commas, and before any colon or semi-colon.
  • Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all references and in text citations.
  • DOIs MUST be provided for all references where available, and MUST be in the format https://doi.org/10.nnnn/xxxxx. They should be placed at the end of each reference.

Examples:

  1. Abalos E, Carroli G, Mackey ME. The tools and techniques of evidence-based medicine. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2005;19(1):15-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpogyn.2004.10.008.
  2. Palsson G, Hardardottir KE. For whom the cell tolls: debates about biomedicine (1). Curr Anthropol. 2002;43(2):271+. https://doi.org/10.1086/338302.

If no DOI is available, then the URL where the file can be accessed, or the database name where it was found should be provided. This should not be a library proxy address (the address available to you when logged into a library resource)

Example:

  1. Sillick TJ, Schutte NS. Emotional intelligence and self-esteem mediate between perceived early parental love and adult happiness. E-Jnl Appl Psych [serial on the Internet]. 2006 [cited 2010 Aug 6];2(2):38–48. Available from: http://ojs.lib.swin.edu.au/index.php/ejap/article/view/71/100.
Endnote and Mendeley files are available for download to ensure the correct referencing style.

Figures

  • These should be inserted into the text at the appropriate point as required, either as high quality jpeg or preferably tiff, and of 300dpi minimum quality.
  • Figures must be labelled sequentially and signposted in the text (e.g. see Figure 1., as outlined in Table 2. etc.)
  • Maximum 6 figures per article

Tables

  • Can be used to provide a large amount of information instead of writing it in the results section.
  • Tables should be created within the word processor and not inserted from another program.
  • Tables should be inserted into the text at the appropriate point as required.
  • Tables must be labelled sequentially and made reference to in the text. (e.g. see Figure 1., as outlined in Table 2. etc.)
  • Maximum 6 tables per article
  • Additional tables can be provided as an appendix or supplemental file to the manuscript.

Manuscript Style and Language

  • Manuscripts must be submitted in English, using the Oxford dictionary as a spelling reference and/or the Irish English language setting in word processing programs.
  • Standard international (SI) units should be used throughout the manuscript.
  • Font selection should be sized at 12 point in Times New Roman or Arial and line spacing should be double and left justified.
  • Pages should be numbered consecutively on the bottom centre commencing with the title page to include all references, tables, acknowledgements and legends.
  • Footnotes and endnotes created by word processors are not allowed.
  • Do not include line numbers in your document

Manuscript Handling

Initial evaluation of all manuscripts will be undertaken by one of the editors to determine suitability for publication in the IJP. A process of peer review by appropriately qualified researchers may follow to determine quality and changes required of submitted articles, prior to publication.

Acceptance of a manuscript for publication is possible only after completion of the editing process. Every author whose name appears on the manuscript is responsible for all content published in the article, including any changes made in the editing process. As the IJP is an open access journal each author will be able to download a copy of the article after it is published.

Manuscript Resubmission

Following review of the manuscript changes recommended by the reviewers should be undertaken in the following way.

  • In a fresh version of the submitted manuscript, changes made should be done using track changes so the reviewer and/or editorial team can see what changes have been made to the manuscript.
  • A document with each point raised by the reviewer and the author’s response to the comment.

Both of these documents should be uploaded during re-submission

 

Article Types

Each issue will contain the following component, depending on accepted material:

Editorial

  • By the editor
  • Invited by the editor

Original research

  • Any study type
  • Limits regarding size, references, tables and figures as outlined.
  • Figures may be in colour or black and white

Reviews

  • Systematic review +/- meta-analysis
  • Narrative literature reviews
  • Scoping studies

Case study

  • About an interesting patient presentation/management issue
  • You will need to download and complete the Patient Consent Form if you are using patient information or images.

Management/Policy/Education/Professional

  • Articles covering relevant issues
  • Current
  • Technical aspects
  • Articles covering various aspects of education or professional practice, in line with the journal aims.

Commentary

  • Invited by the editor to comment on a submitted manuscript
  • Unsolicited, covering a current important prehospital issue

Clinical Updates

  • Cover up-to-date information on conditions/management/etc
  • Normally in response to a change or update in guidelines, practice or policy.

Letter to the editor

  • Will also permit a reply by the authors to whom the letter pertains

Special topics

  • An article on points of interest

Other components

  • Conference abstracts
  • Book reviews

 

Word limits

The following word limits are given as a guide and are not absolute. As an online only publication we are not bound by traditional word counts, but appropriate brevity in an article can often times make the article easier to read.

  • Editorials (invitation only) – 800-1,000 words
  • Original research – 2,500 – 4,000 words excluding tables and references
  • Systematic Literature reviews +/- meta-analysis – 3,500 – 5,000 words excluding tables and references
  • Narrative literature reviews – 2,500 – 4,500 words excluding tables and references
  • Scoping studies – 2,500 – 4,500 words excluding tables and references
  • Management/Policy/Education – 2,000 words excluding tables and references
  • Commentary – 800-1,000 words
  • Case Study – 1,200-1,500 words
  • Clinical Update – 1,200 to 1,500 words
  • Letter to the Editor – up to 800 words
  • Special Topics – 1,500 words
  • Other components – as required

Supplementary/Special Issues

These will generally contain specific content of a similar type, for example, a compilation of student articles. Supplementary/special issues may also contain conference abstracts due to the various times conferences are held and the time to obtain and format the abstracts.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as the use or close imitation of another author's work, which has been claimed as your own. To avoid plagiarism, you should always reference correctly according to the journal requirements. The IJP performs a plagiarism check on all submissions.

 

Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. The submission file is in Microsoft Word (doc / docx), or rtf document file format. No other file formats will be accepted.
  3. DOIs in the format https://doi.org/10.nnnn/xxx have been provided for all references where available. Where no DOI is available, the URL for the reference items have been provided where possible.

  4. The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font (Times New Roman or Arial); employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses)
  5. All illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  6. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal. In particular, please pay attention to the requirements of Vancouver referencing style.
  7. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed. A separate cover page has been copied in for the editor or uploaded (will not be visible to reviewers).
  8. A statement regarding ethics approval or exemption is contained if required, and all authors have completed an ICMJE conflict of interest disclosure form - http://www.icmje.org/about-icmje/faqs/conflict-of-interest-disclosure-forms/
 

Copyright Notice

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant an unrestricted copyright license to the IJP to the work simultaneously. 
  2. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal for non-commercial purposes. DPLA Rights statement: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC-NC/1.0/?language=en
  3. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  4. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

 

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.