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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 rigorous peer review. There is no charge for submitting a manuscript for consideration. If the manuscript is accepted for inclusion in the journal, subject to any revision requirements etc., an article processing charge (APC) is payable prior to publication (see under ‘Publication Charges’ below).

Presubmission 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 24 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

Elements to send – you will need to submit all of these to 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 doesn’t download, please contact the Editorial office
  4. DIC Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest form** – one copy for each author

Cover Letter guidelines

  • Address the letter to the Editorial Office.
  • 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.
  • 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.

You should submit a well-structured Word document (.doc, .docx) in UK English organised 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 if you prefer. 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 for original research: include clear methodology. Include clear statements about the following: Ethics/Review board approval (name, location, date), signed patient consent, compliance with relevant Equator Network Guidelines, trial registration number must be included if it is a clinical intervention trial (ICJME requirements).
    For retrospective studies, review board approval may not be needed but you should include a statement that you have checked this with your review board and they exempted it.
    Case reports do not need to be approved by a review board. Signed patient consent is not required if you have de-identified the details such that the identity of the patient may not be ascertained in any way. You should state this in your manuscript. If complete de-identification is not feasible, you must obtain signed consent and state this in your 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 FDA-Regulated Clinical Trials (USA), Medical Research Council Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice in Clinical Trials (UK)), World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Helsinki. Include a clear description about the choice of statistical methods. Randomised trials: report these according to the Consort Statement.
  6. Methods for all review articles: include the scope and methodology of your literature search. For systematic reviews: you should follow the PRISMA Equator Network Guidelines. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are published as ‘Original Research’.
  7. Results please be concise. Use tables and figures if needed for clarification. Clear presentation of statistics.
  8. Discussion/Conclusions – make sure the conclusions you make are backed up by your 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.)
  9. Contributions describe how the listed authors contributed towards the final manuscript.
  10. Disclosure and potential conflicts of interest this section should contain the same information as your completed Conflicts of Interest form.
  11. 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.
  12. Funding declaration please declare if the study was funded and by whom. Please also declare if any funds were provided for medical writing assistance.
  13. References – we use AMA style with the addition of DOI numbers – see additional information below.
  14. Tables – see additional information below.
  15. 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 Context plug-in to add to your Endnote library. You will then be able to format your references in our style.
  3. 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, 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.  You must 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 you to confirm 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 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 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).

You may make small adjustments to overall brightness, contrast, or colour balance 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 you to supply original data upon request. Failure to do this may result in your manuscript being rejected for publication.

Supplementary files

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


Standard track: Article Processing Charge (APC) for an unsolicited manuscript is US$1900 / £1500 / €1750 + VAT (where applicable). This applies to Reviews, Original Research, Case Series and Meeting Reports. Case reports and Editorials qualify for a 50% APC discount. There are no additional charges. Submitting a manuscript costs nothing. If your manuscript is rejected after peer review, you have nothing to pay. Charges are reviewed annually.

Fast track: We can prioritise a manuscript through peer review and production. The manuscript still receives our usual peer review and checks, and we do not pay peer reviewers to do this work. An additional fee applies in the case of fast-track publication (Fast Track APC €3500 + VAT, where applicable) in view of the resources required in the expedited administration of peer review and production procedures. Please contact the Editorial Office if you wish to discuss this option. See timings below.


Standard track:
This option is eminently suitable for most manuscripts and consists of robust and efficient peer review and production processes, as follows:

  • Initial peer review and first decision = aim for <4 weeks
  • Author prepares and submits revision = 2–4 weeks
  • Check/approve revision and make final decision = 1–2 weeks
  • Production and online publication = 3–4 weeks
  • Total = 9–14 weeks

Fast track:

  • Initial peer review and first decision = aim for <3 weeks
  • Author prepares and submits revision = 1–2 weeks
  • Check/approve revision and make final decision = <3 days
  • Production and online publication = 2–3 weeks
  • Total = 6–9 weeks

Any delays are usually to make sure we have the right peer reviewers on board and for our Editorial team to make the right decisions. Our aim is to ensure that your article receives high-quality peer review and that all accepted articles are of the highest standard and published without delay.

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.