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Cover letter

In your cover letter, please explain what was previously known, the conceptual advance provided by your work, and the significance to a broad readership. You may suggest appropriate reviewers and make up to three requests for reviewer exclusions. Please use the cover letter to notify us of information that is relevant to our handling and evaluation your paper (e.g., related work, time constraints, competition). The cover letter is confidential and will not be seen by reviewers.

File formats

The following word processor file formats are acceptable for the main manuscript document:

Microsoft word (DOC, DOCX)

TeX/LaTeX (use BioMed Central's TeX template)

Article types

The Editor-in-Chief and members of the Journal's Editorial Board and independent experts, will review most manuscripts submitted to JMCM. However, the Editor-in-Chief and the Editors reserve the right to reject a manuscript without conducting an in-depth review if they feel that the manuscript is "out of scope" or it does not meet the minimal acceptance criteria for publication in JMCM.

We accept 6 types of article as follows:

Research articles

Research Articles are comprehensive accounts of significant and original experimental and/or theoretical results that fit within the scope of JMCM. Research manuscripts should not exceed 6,000 words of text and a total of 10 figures and/or tables. Extra experimental and/or theoretical data in the form of figures and tables should be deposited as supplements.


Reviews should provide a comprehensive summary of broadly-based topics of general interest to medicine. Reviews are not limited as to the number of words, tables, figures and references that may be included.


Minireviews are well-focused, well-documented examinations of timely issues that fall within the scope of the journal. The issues may be of a controversial nature, or may address a more narrowly focused area than those typically covered in a Review.

Meeting reports

Meeting reports should focus on the key developments presented and discussed at the meeting and are intended to rely largely on the work described at the meeting, rather than being fully referenced accounts of a field. The main content of the Meeting report should focus on new research discoveries and the application of this knowledge. Meeting reports should be between 500-1500 words long with a maximum of 20 references.


A Letter is a brief report that is within the journal's scope and of particular interest to the community but not suitable as a standard research article.

Letters may be edited for clarity or length and may be subject to peer review at the editors' discretion. Letters should be a maximum of 800 words with up to 5 references.


Commentaries should draw attention to or present a criticism of a previously published article, book, or report, explain why it interested them and how it might be illuminating for readers. Commentaries should be around 1000-2000 words long.

General format

Times New Roman. Font size 12. Spacing 1.5. Alignment Justified.

The first line indents 2 characters of a new paragraph.

Sub-headings and general headings should be presented in lower case letters (not capitals).

Use British English or American English spellings throughout your manuscript, but not both.

Do not use page breaks in your manuscript

Divide your article into clearly defined and numbered sections. Subsections should be numbered 1.1 (then 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ...), 1.2, etc. (the abstract is not included in section numbering). Use this numbering also for internal cross-referencing: do not just refer to 'the text'. Any subsection may be given a brief heading.

Always use a leading zero (0) before decimal points: 0.5 NOT .5.

Decimal points should use a full stop/period (.) NOT a comma (,).

A space should be inserted before measurement units: 132 bp NOT 132bp, 5 mm NOT 5mm, 1 h NOT 1h

Measurements should be written as:

second(s): sec

minute(s): min

hour(s): h

day(s): day(s)

week(s): week(s)

month(s): month(s)

micro: μ (available in Times and Helvetica) NOT u

liter(s): L NOT l

Please note: editable files are required for processing in production. If your manuscript contains any non-editable files (such as PDFs) you will be required to re-submit an editable file when you submit your revised manuscript, or after editorial acceptance in case no revision is necessary.


· File format


TIFF without layers and preferably using Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) compression as it does not reduce image quality.

JPEG (only if originally saved at the highest quality).


Images imported or copy pasted into Word or PowerPoint.

BMP, GIF, PCT, PNG or low quality JPEG files originally saved at low quality

· Size

Image size is measured in centimeters or inches

Create your figures at the size (width) at which they will be printed:

8.00 cm (3.15 in) wide for a single-column figure

17.00 cm (6.70 in) maximum for a double-column (full page width) figure

Maximum height 20.00 cm (7.87 in)

Empty white space surrounding a figure should NOT be included when calculating image size.

Images should, therefore, be cropped (cut) as close to the outside edges of the figure as possible.

· Resolution

Minimum resolution for all figures is 300 dpi. For figures that contain both photographs and line art or text, 600 dpi is highly recommended. Figures containing only black and white elements (line art, no color, and no gray) should be 1,000 dpi. Maximum figure size is 7 in wide x 9 in high (17.5 x 22.8 cm) at the correct resolution.

Note: Resolution settings in many software programs (including vector programs such as Illustrator) default to low resolution (72 dpi) when placing images. Be certain to set resolution prior to beginning your figure layout.

· Color mode

Use RGB as this will offer the best reproduction of your data in the final PDF version of your article on screen. CMYK mode is also acceptable. Fluorescence images must be submitted for publication in color. Black and white figures and line art: grey scale mode or RGB mode.

Combination figures with color images and line art: RGB mode.

· Figure name

Figures are cited sequentially in the text using Arabic numerals (for example, Fig. 1).

Type appearing within figures (axis labels, for example) is in Arial or a similar typeface and is of sufficient size and contrast to retain clarity if reduced in size. Avoid use of bold type in figure labels.

· Figure labels

Labels should be sized in proportion to the image, sharp, and clearly legible.

Type appearing within figures (axis labels, for example) is in Arial or a similar typeface and is of sufficient size and contrast to retain clarity if reduced in size. Avoid use of bold type in figure labels.

Figures may be divided into separate sections. Each section may be saved as a separate file (clearly indicated in file name) or included together in one file (with parts clearly labeled). Separate parts of a figure should be labeled using just A, B, C, NOT a, b ,c 1A, 1B, 1C. Place A, B, C to the top left of each section of the figure. And each section of the figure should be well-arranged.

The labels should be of the same font and size in all figures. Also, the numbering should be of the same font and size in all figures.

Labels should be evenly spaced and aligned, easy to see (including exponential numbers around figure axes), and NOT faded, broken, or distorted by JPG compression artifact.

Scale bars are defined in the figure legends, not in the figures themselves.

Avoid gratuitous use of color for decorative effect, boxes around graphs and figures, and small type and symbols on large graphs; avoid pairing red and green in graphs to ensure legibility for color-blind readers. Whenever possible, do not place labels over any part of a color figure. Do not include tabular material within figures.

Avoid gratuitous use of color for decorative effect, boxes around graphs and figures, and small type and symbols on large graphs; avoid pairing red and green in graphs to ensure legibility for color-blind readers. Whenever possible, do not place labels over any part of a color figure. Do not include tabular material within figures

Do NOT use light grey color lines or labels.

There must be strong contrast between labels and their background (e.g., labels placed over shaded bar graphs should be in a color that stands out against the shading, NOT blend in with it). Whenever possible, labels should be placed in black font on a white background. Consider using a black label with a white stroke applied to create contrast.

The first letter of each phrase, NOT each word, should be capitalized [e.g., ‘Overall survival (months)’ not ‘Overall Survival (Months)’ and not ‘overall survival (months)]’.

· Figure Legends

Legends should be included in the submitted manuscript as a separate section. Each figure legend should have a brief title that describes the entire figure without citing specific panels, followed by a description of each panel.In writing the figure title, we encourage you to re-use the subheadings of the Results section to make the relationship clear. For any figures presenting pooled data, the measures should be defined in the figure legends (for example, "Data are represented as mean ± SEM."). Each legend should refer to any supporting items in the Supplemental Information (e.g., "See also Figure S1.").


Please submit tables as editable text and not as images. Tables can be placed either next to the relevant text in the article, or on separate page(s) at the end.

Tables with sections (for example, Table 1A, 1B, 1C) are not acceptable. Place any table notes below the table body. If bold or italic font is used within a table to indicate some feature of the data, please give an explanation of its usage in the legend. All abbreviations within a table must be defined in the table legend or footnotes. Footnotes should be listed with superscript lowercase letters, beginning with “a.” Footnotes may not be listed with numbers or symbols.



The title of the manuscript in sentence case. No abbreviations other than gene names or in common use.

Authors and affiliations

Please clearly indicate the given name(s) and family name(s) of each author and check that all names are accurately spelled. You can add your name between parentheses in your own script behind the English transliteration. Present the authors' affiliation addresses (where the actual work was done) below the names. Affiliations of the authors indicated by numbers (not symbols). Provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the e-mail address of each author.

Equal contribution indicated by #.

Corresponding author

Name, full postal address, including street number and name, and e-mail address of the corresponding author(s).


A concise and factual abstract is required. The abstract should state briefly the purpose of the research, the principal results and major conclusions. This section should have 150‐300 words, be continuous (not structured) and without reference numbers. Abbreviations that appear once only, should be defined in full, unless they correspond to a gene name. If abbreviations appear more than once, the definition should be provided once, and then subsequently used throughout the abstract.


Immediately after the abstract, provide 3-10 keywords, using avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, 'and', 'of').

List of abbreviations

If abbreviations are used in the text they should be defined in the text at first use, and a list of abbreviations should be provided.

1. Introduction

State the objectives of the work and provide an adequate background, avoiding a detailed literature survey or a summary of the results. The information in this section should always be referenced.

2. Materials and methods

The source of material used and relevant ethical framework for all experiments should be clearly identified (ethics approval and/or written informed consent). Methods already published should be indicated by a reference: only relevant modifications should be described. This implies that a full description of all the experiments described in Results and presented in the Figures/Tables is expected in this section. For each experiment, all steps need to be mentioned, along with instruments the analyses were performed on, reagents and methods.


Explain how these were collected, handled and stored, and where they were from.

Bacterial, strains or cells

Provide the name and supplier. Matching between controls and disease patients with regards to the above parameters.

Steps performed with commercialized kits

Provide the full name of the kit, along with the full name and location (city, province or state, and country) of the supplier, and state whether the protocol of the manufacturer was followed or explain any modifications made to the standard protocol.

Bioinformatics analyses

State the software used along with the relevant citation, unless the software is not published, in which case a website link can be provided. For microarray/RNA sequences, data downloaded from GEO or other databases, this needs to be clarified in the text, along with the corresponding accession number of the dataset.

Statistical analyses

When statistical analyses have been performed, the following information should be provided: the name of the statistical test used, the number for each analysis, the comparisons of interest, the alpha level and the actual P-value for each test. It should be clear which statistical test was used to generate every P-value. Error bars on graphs should be clearly labeled, and it should be stated whether the number following the ± sign is a standard deviation or a standard error. The word ‘significant’ should only be used when referring to statistically significant results and should be accompanied by the relevant P-value. Significance indicators should be used on graphs and tables, and should be described in the figure or table legend, clearly indicating which groups are being compared.

3. Results

Include a concise summary of the data presented in all display items (figures and tables). Excessive elaboration of data shown in display items should be avoided.

4. Discussion

This should explore the significance of the results of the work, not repeat them. A combined Results and Discussion section is often appropriate. Avoid extensive citations and discussion of published literature.

5. Conclusions

The main conclusions of the study may be presented in a short Conclusions section, which may stand alone or form a subsection of a Discussion or Results and Discussion section.


Use this section to acknowledge contributions from non-authors, list funding sources. As this section contains important information and many funding bodies require inclusion of grant numbers here, please check it carefully.

Authors’ Contributions

These should be presented as follows: GF, LH and PG designed the research study. LH performed the research. MM provided help and advice on the ELISA experiments. MH analyzed the data. LL, LC and PG wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to editorial changes in the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

This section is required for all papers. If there are no interests to declare, please use the following wording: "The authors declare no competing interests." The text in this section should match the text provided in the Declaration of Interests form.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Manuscripts reporting studies involving human participants, human data or human tissue must: include a statement on ethics approval and consent (even where the need for approval was waived) include the name of the ethics committee that approved the study and the committee’s reference number if appropriate.

Studies involving animals must include a statement on ethics approval.

Supplementary materials

Authors of accepted manuscripts may provide related supplemental data to be posted online along with the published manuscript. This may include figures, tables, or appendices but excludes large datasets. All Supplemental Data information (except videos) should be combined into a single PDF file. Before submission, carefully review all files; if you wish to make changes to supplementary material during any stage of the process, please make sure to provide an updated file. The journal is not responsible for any errors contained in data supplements.


Number the references in the order of their first mention in the text; cite only the number assigned to the reference. The reference list should be limited to only those citations essential to the presentation. Before submission of the manuscript, authors should verify the accuracy of all references and check that all references have been cited in the text. For manuscripts with more than 6 authors, the names of the first 6 authors must be listed, followed by "et al.," For manuscripts with 6 or fewer authors, all authors should be listed.

Reference examples:

Journal article

Rios-Luci C, Dominguez-Kelly R, Leon LG, Diaz-Rodriguez E, Freire R, Pandiella A, et al. A modular approach to trim cellular targets in anticancer drug discovery. Bioorg Med Chem Lett, 2011; 21(22): 6641-5.

Book chapter

Yuspa SH, Hennings H, Roop D, Strickland J, Greenhalgh DA. Genes and mechanisms involved in malignant conversion. In: Harris CC, Liotta LA, editors. Genetic mechanisms in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. New York: Wiley-Liss; 1990. p.115–26

Article in press

Articles in press may be listed among the references. The author must provide a DOI to the editor to verify that the article is in press at the indicated journal.