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Presubmission enquiry

Please send an email directly to the Editorial Office about article suitability, or for any other journal matter. You may attach a draft of your article or the abstract if you wish. The Editor-in-Chief will respond, normally in 24 hours.


Please send your manuscript and other attachments by email to the Editor-in-Chief at:
Please use the Submission Checklist below and send a covering letter, the manuscript and additional information. Upon submission, the Editor-in-Chief will assess the suitability of the manuscript for the journal and send a response to you within 24 hours.

Submission checklist

Elements to send

Cover Letter guidelines

  • Address the letter to the ‘Editor-in-Chief’.
  • Include a full statement about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as redundant publication of the same or similar work. Any such work should be referred to specifically and referenced in the new paper. Copies of such material should be included with the submitted paper to help the Editor address the situation.
  • If the manuscript has been submitted previously to another journal, it is helpful to include the other editor and peer reviewers’ comments with the submitted manuscript, along with the authors’ responses to those comments. Submitting previous communications may expedite the peer review process.
  • A statement that the manuscript has been read and approved by all the authors and that each author believes that the manuscript represents honest work.
  • The letter should give any additional information that may be helpful to the Editor-in-Chief. 
  • If appropriate, include a statement that confirms that the article complies with GPP3.
  • Include the name of any Drugs in Context Editorial Board member who is referring this article to the journal (if applicable).

Manuscript preparation guidelines

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has done an excellent job of specifying how to prepare a manuscript for submission. Using the information at this ICMJE link alongside the information below, prepare a well-structured Word document (.doc, .docx) which is organised into the following sections:

  1. Title page
    1. Preferred spelling
    2. Article type
    3. Article title – this should be objective and non-promotional
    4. Running head/title – no more than 60 characters
    5. List of authors and contributors, and their affiliations. NB. Drugs in Context follows the guidelines of the ICMJE for authorship and contributorship, found here
    6. Corresponding author details including full name, affiliation and email address
    7. Trial registration number – if applicable
  2. Abstract – structured (Background, Scope, Findings, Conclusion) or unstructured. Include brief details of the literature search methodology (see also Introduction, below). Include study or review limitations (see also Discussion, below)
  3. At least 8 MeSH compliant keywords
  4. Abbreviations – this section is no longer required – please explain all abbreviations in the main text, figures and tables
  5. Introduction – include brief details of the literature search methodology, including selection of studies, databases searched, search terms, inclusive dates, selection criteria.
  6. Methods – Include the trial registration number. Also, include a statement that the research was approved or exempted by a review committee (state its name and location).  If no formal ethics committee was available, please include a statement to show that the research was conducted according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Details of patient consent must be included in the manuscript. Research studies using human or animal subjects: trial’s design, conduct, and reporting of results must conform to Good Clinical Practice guidelines (e.g. Good Clinical Practice in Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-Regulated Clinical Trials (USA), Medical Research Council Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice in Clinical Trials (UK)), World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Helsinki.
  7. Results
  8. Discussion – All study or review limitations must be addressed in this section. Include an abbreviated form of the limitations in your Abstract as well.
  9. Contributions – provide information about the contributions made by authors and contributors. It is the corresponding author’s responsibility to name each individual and to identify their function and contribution
  10. Potential conflicts of interest
  11. Funding declaration – please declare if the study was funded and by whom. Please also declare if any funds were provided for medical writing assistance.
  12. Acknowledgements – this section provides an opportunity for the authors to thank people who helped with the study or preparation of the paper including acknowledgment of any writing or editorial assistance (individuals and/or companies). This includes anyone who provided technical assistance or statistical analysis, took care of the animals, or provided reagents or equipment. The authors may want to thank anyone who had helpful discussions with them or contributed less tangible concepts. This is also where the authors may indicate that the results of this study were presented in another form, such as a poster or abstract or at a symposium.
  13. Study Group – edit the list of Study Group members to Name, Title, Affiliation, City (if not in affiliation), Country. Run on names, separating entries with semi-colons. 
  14. References – see additional information below
  15. Tables – see additional information below
  16. Figures – see additional information below


Drugs in Context imposes no restrictions on word count or numbers of figures or tables.

Use of drug names

Drugs in Context strives for a non-promotional tone and thus does not reproduce ® or ™ symbols. Replace ™ and ® symbols after proprietary drug names at point of first use in the introduction with asterisk, dagger † and double dagger ‡ marks and insert corresponding footnotes indicating that the drug is a registered trademark giving the manufacturer’s name, city and country. Omit further use of ™ and ® symbols. In the remainder of the manuscript, use generic names in preference to proprietary names. Where the use of proprietary names is necessary to distinguish between formulations, put the proprietary name in brackets after the generic name.


Research should be reported in the past tense, but conclusions and discussions should be in the present tense.

References – additional information

Please follow the guidelines below:

  1. Ensure that all references are cited sequentially within the text and that a complete numbered list is provided at the end of the manuscript. References should be cited in square brackets at the end of sentences before punctuation, like this [1]. 
  2. ****List all authors, please don’t use ‘et al’.****
  3. Use the information at this US National Library of Medicine link to format the references consistently:
  4. Use the NLM Title Abbreviation for journal titles. These can be found here:
  5. Abbreviate page ranges (e.g. 131–6 rather than 131–136) and use en rules for page ranges
  6. Include a complete DOI for each reference. DOIs are often part of an article’s PubMed record or you can interrogate the CrossRef database here: After a given reference, start a new line and add the DOI formatted like this:
  7. If necessary provide URLs for certain references and include a ‘last accessed’ date. Please note that providing a link and a ‘last accessed’ date means that you have checked that the link is live and functioning and that the material found there, at the hyperlink destination, relates to the reference. Referenced material at URLs is often found to be out of date. Please carefully check the material found at the links, especially checking for updates of clinical guidelines etc. Please format these references like this: Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of COPD, 2011. Available at: [Last accessed: 19 October 2012].
  8. Personal communications, papers in preparation, unpublished observations should be referred to in brackets in the text and not listed as references e.g. …at these conditions the core temperature of the reactor remains stable (A Einstein, personal communication).

Standard journal article – Drugs in Context lists all authors

Russell-Jones D, Vaag A, Schmitz O, Sethi BK, Lalic N, Antic S, Zdravkovic M, Ravn GM, Simó R; Liraglutide Effect and Action in Diabetes 5 (LEAD-5) met+SU Study Group. Liraglutide vs insulin glargine and placebo in combination with metformin and sulfonylurea therapy in type 2 diabetes mellitus (LEAD-5 met+SU): a randomised controlled trial. Diabetologia. 2009;52:2046–55.

Figures – additional information

Drugs in Context does not redraw figures to save time and reduce errors. Please submit figures in two file formats:

  1. Application format: for example, if the graphic was created in Illustrator, submit the Illustrator file.
  2. Jpeg format: export the graphic from the application that was used to create it to provide the graphic as a high-resolution jpeg. High resolution is 300dpi or more.

Figures should be cited within the text like this (Figure 1). Place all figures together at the end of the text and ensure a caption is provided for each one. Use alphabet letters for symbols. Please explain all non-standard abbreviations, placed below each table.

Tables – additional information

Please provide Tables as part of your Word document. Tables should be cited within the text like this (Table 1). Place all tables together at the end of the text and ensure a caption is provided for each one. Use alphabet letters for symbols. Please explain all non-standard abbreviations, placed below each table.

Supplementary files

Clearly label any extra files and specify what you are sending and why in the covering letter 

Further questions:

Please contact the Editorial Office if you have any other questions.

**Please note: If the DIC Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest form does not download or load easily, it means you need to update to the latest version of Acrobat Reader (which is the DC version), which is available for download here.


Change log
Updated: 29 November 2017; 12 September 2017; 19 July 2017; 02 February 2017; 30 November 2016; 
29 June 2016; 10 September 2015; 5 August 2015; 22 April 2015; 1 April 2015; 10 October 2014; 24 July 2014