Instructions for authors

We welcome unsolicited submissions for consideration, including original articles, reviews and commentaries pertaining to effective healthcare management and all issues relating to the use of pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices and diagnostics. All articles submitted for publication in Drugs in Context are subject to peer review. There is no charge for submitting a manuscript for consideration. If the manuscript is accepted for inclusion in the journal, an APC is payable prior to publication (see under ‘Publication Charges’ below).

Pre-submission enquiry

You may send an email directly to the Editorial Office about manuscript suitability or about any other journal matter. Attach a draft of your manuscript or the abstract, if possible. We will normally respond within 48 hours.


Submit your manuscript and all other attachments via Manuscript Manager:

Please use the Submission Checklist below and send a covering letter, the manuscript, and completed conflict of interest and terms and conditions forms. Upon submission, we will assess the suitability of the manuscript for the journal normally within 24 hours.

Submission checklist

Please submit ALL of these in Manuscript Manager at the same time for successful submission:

  1. Cover letter prepared – following our Covering Letter Guidelines (below)
  2. Manuscript including figures, tables and supplementary data – prepared following our Manuscript Preparation Guidelines (below)
  3. DIC Terms and Conditions of Publication – one copy only from corresponding author on behalf of all the authors (if the form does not download, please contact the Editorial office)
  4. DIC Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest form** – one copy for each author

Cover letter guidelines

  • 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 Editors 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 Editors.
  • If appropriate, include a statement that confirms that the article complies with GPP3 guidelines.
  • Include the name of any Drugs in Context Editorial Board member who is referring this article to the journal (if applicable).

Manuscript preparation guidelines

Please consult the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) document on how to prepare a manuscript for submission. Note that we use iThenticate to check for plagiarism and text recycling. Plagiarism is the representation of another author’s language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions as one’s own original work. Plagiarism is considered a violation of academic integrity and a breach of journalistic ethics. Any articles seen to plagiarize others work will be immediately rejected. Please note that we follow COPE guidelines to decide on plagiarism and text recycling.

You should submit a well-structured Word document (.doc, .docx) in UK English organized into the following sections:

1. Title page

  1. Article type
  2. Article title
  3. Running head/title – no more than 60 characters
  4. List of authors and contributors, and their affiliations. NB. Drugs in Context follows the guidelines of the ICMJE for authorship and contributorship, found here
  5. Corresponding author details, including full name, affiliation and email address
  6. Trial registration number – if applicable

2. Abstract

An abstract (up to 250 words) is required for Original Research and Review articles. For Original Research articles, use a structured abstract (Background, Methods, Results, Conclusion). You may use an unstructured abstract for a review article. An unstructured abstract up to 100 words is required for Editorial, Case Report/Series and Meeting Report articles.

3. Keywords

Up to 8 MeSH compliant words. Use the MeSH browser.

4. Introduction

Include essential background information and the objectives of your study or review.

5. Methods

Please ensure that the Methods section allows readers to follow exactly what was done in your research. For original articles, mention all steps, materials, methods, statistical analyses and ethics statements (see below for specific details). For case reports, make sure to include all ethics statements and informed consent information, see below. For review articles, please make sure to provide all information regarding the literature search, including search dates, databases searched and MeSH terms used/excluded.

Research studies using human participants: when reporting a study that involved human participants, their data or biological material, authors should include a statement that confirms that the study was approved (or granted exemption) by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee (including the name of the ethics committee) and certify that the study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards stipulated in the WMA Declaration of Helsinki – Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects. If a study was granted an exemption from requiring ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript (including the reasons for the exemption and the name of the ethics committee granting the exemption). Documentation to support ethics approval or the lack of need thereof should be provided upon submission of the manuscript.

Participant consent and anonymity: informed consent to participate in the study should be obtained from participants (or their parent(s) or legal guardian in the case of minors or people with disabilities) and stated in the manuscript. For manuscripts reporting studies involving vulnerable groups or where consent may not have been fully informed (for example, unconscious persons), manuscripts will be considered following further discussion with the Editorial Board. Consent must be obtained for all forms of personal data that may be identifiable, including biomedical, clinical and biometric data. For studies describing human transplantation studies, authors must include a statement declaring that no organs/tissues were obtained from prisoners or vulnerable people and must also name the institutions and departments through which organs/tissues were obtained. For all of the above, documents of consent must be supplied if requested. Authors must ensure that data submitted do not compromise the anonymity or confidentiality of participants for the manuscript to be considered for publication.

Original research: include clear methodology, clear statements about Ethics/Review board approval (name, location, date), signed patient consent, and compliance with relevant Equator Network Guidelines. A trial registration number must be included if it is a clinical intervention trial (ICJME requirements) and please state if the trial has been registered in an appropriate trial database. If unsure of whether a trial needs registering, please consult the ICMJE FAQs for further information.

Retrospective studies: review board approval may not be needed but a statement that this has been checked with the review board and they exempted it should be included.

Case reports: case reports do not need to be approved by a review board. Signed patient consent is not required if the details have been de-identified such that the identity of the patient may not be ascertained in any way. Please state this in the manuscript. If complete de-identification is not feasible, authors should secure informed consent from the individual (or parent or guardian if the participant is a minor or a person with disabilities) and this should be stated in the manuscript. Please state the use of and follow CARE guidelines for the preparation of Case Reports.

Animal studies: add a statement about adequate care of animals. Please follow appropriate guidelines (ARRIVE, PREPARE).

Randomized trials: report these according to the Consort Statement.

All review articles: include the scope and methodology of the literature search.

Systematic reviews: follow the PRISMA 2020 statement. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are published as ‘Original Research’. Drugs in Context supports the prospective registration of systematic reviews and encourages authors to register their systematic reviews in a suitable registry (such as PROSPERO). Authors who have registered their systematic review should include the registration number as the last line of the manuscript abstract.

6. Results

Please be concise. Use tables and figures if needed for clarification. Present statistics clearly.

7. Discussion/Conclusions

Make sure the conclusions are backed up by the research/review. All study or review limitations must be addressed in this section. (Include an abbreviated form of the limitations in your Abstract as well.)

8. Contributions

Describe how the listed authors contributed towards the final manuscript.

9. Disclosure and potential conflicts of interest

This section should contain the same information as in the completed Conflicts of Interest form.

10. Acknowledgments

Include any assistance from medical writers and/or companies here. Additionally, include anyone who provided technical assistance or statistical analysis, took care of the animals, or provided reagents or equipment. Please indicate here if the results of this study were presented in another form such as a poster or abstract or at a symposium.

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. References

We use AMA style with the addition of DOI numbers – see additional information below.

13. Tables

See additional information below.

14. Figures

See additional information below.

Use of drug names

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 – we use AMA reference style

  1. We use AMA reference style with the addition of DOI numbers if available. Please check the examples below or look at recent articles on this website or on PubMed Central.
  2. Endnote users: please use this Drugs in Contextplug-in to add to the Endnote library. References can then be formatted in our style.
  3. Include a complete DOI for each reference. DOIs are often part of an article’s PubMed record or the CrossRef database can be interrogated here: After a given reference, add the DOI formatted like this:
  4. 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.
  5. 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).


  1. Psotka MA, Teerlink JR. Direct myosin activation by omecamtiv mecarbil for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2017;243:465–490.
  2. Packer M, O’Connor C, McMurray JJV, et al. Effect of ularitide on cardiovascular mortality in acute heart failure. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(20):1956–1964.
  3. Martinod E, Chouahnia K, Radu DM, et al. Feasibility of bioengineered tracheal and bronchial reconstruction using stented aortic matrices.  JAMA. https://doi:10.1001/jama.2018.4653
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Data and statistics: occurrence of Down syndrome in the United States. Accessed April 2, 2018.

Figures, Tables and Photos/Images – permissions and additional information

Reuse of material

Authors must obtain permission to use any copyrighted material contained in their manuscript. Add an acknowledgment to any figure or table legend to say that it has been ‘adapted from’ or ‘reproduced with permission’ and cite the original source.

Drugs in Context is a signatory to the Scientific Technical and Medical (STM) Association Publishers’ Permissions Guidelines, which facilitates limited re-use of each other’s copyright material: Please check this site for guidance on usage limits and the most recent list of all publishers who are signatories, and whether or not they require formal permission to re-use their material.

Authors must keep electronic copies of all licenses obtained and any related correspondence. Drugs in Context does not require submission of this documentation; however, we ask for confirmation in section 5 of our Terms and Conditions form that any approvals documentation required has been obtained (it is your responsibility to retain this documentation if needed in the future).


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 300 dpi 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 in the legend (even if you have explained it in the text).


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 in a footnote (even if you have explained it in the text).


Small adjustments to overall brightness, contrast, or colour balance can be made to an image. Do not use photo editing software to enhance, obscure, move, remove or introduce anything in an image (apart from details that may identify a patient). We may ask for original data upon request. Failure to do this may result in the manuscript being rejected for publication.

Supplementary files

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

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