The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine
welcomes original manuscripts covering practical clinical and practice management topics for our readers―the world’s urgent care clinicians and leaders. Clinical manuscripts submitted for publication in JUCM should report the results of original research, explore clinical or practice management topics from a uniquely urgent care perspective, or describe interesting and relevant cases dealing with clinical problems encountered in the day-to-day practice of urgent care.
JUCM articles should support the clinical practice of urgent care medicine by focusing on the assessment and management of conditions frequently encountered in urgent care. Our aim is to provide practice-changing evidence-based content in a concise and accessible format.
Urgent care practitioners have a variety of clinical backgrounds. Materials and data presented should support this diverse group of clinicians in their practice at the bedside. Manuscript submitted for consideration must take this perspective into account and address the key issues in urgent care practice including:
It is important to review these guidelines when preparing a manuscript for submission. Once submitted, the editorial staff at JUCM will offer support and feedback based on the comments received through peer review to help facilitate the revisions necessary to publish a high quality, highly relevant journal article. Manuscripts on clinical or practice-management topics should be no longer than 2600–3200 words in length (not including tables, figures, pictures, and references). Articles that are longer than this will, in most cases, need to be shortened during editing. Authors will have the opportunity to review proposed edits to their manuscript before its publication.
Our readers appreciate well-chosen graphics that add practical value to an article. Supplemental visual materials can also drastically facilitate the transmission of data. Please include tables, graphs, sidebars, and digital or film images whenever possible. Digital images should be a minimum of 300 dpi. We prefer original images be submitted (e.g. x-rays, clinical photos, EKGs, etc.), which have been obtained from real world urgent care clinical practice. Patient consent must be obtained for any images that could be in any way identifying.
If graphics are included which have previously appeared elsewhere (in print or on the internet), written permission from the publisher or copyright holder is required with the submission. As there is no guarantee such permission would be granted or permission may be delayed, original graphics are much preferred.
The scope of JUCM encompasses a broad spectrum of clinical and practice management topics. The following are some examples of topics to consider as guidance for prospective authors.
Potential Clinical Topics:
Potential Practice Management Topics:
Guidelines for Manuscripts
JUCM welcomes manuscript submissions of various types. Manuscripts must be formatted appropriately based on the category of the submission. Inappropriately formatted submissions will be returned to the authors for corrections and not be considered for publication until formatting is corrected to the standards outlined below. Cited references should generally come from peer-reviewed scholarly publications and journals and not from reference materials (e.g. UpToDate, medical textbooks).
Example of appropriately formatted articles of each type that have previously been published in JUCM are included for guidance below.
- Original Research
Original research articles should follow the format of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). A guideline to this format can be found here: https://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/manuscript-preparation/preparing-for-submission.html#b
Specifically, attention should be paid to ensure that the abstract is formatted according to the ICMJE guidelines. Rationale for the study design should be detailed in the “Methods” section. Any limitations in the conclusions that can be drawn from the data based on scope and study design should be outlined in detail in the “Discussion.”
- Case Reports
Case reports are an important format for discussing relatively uncommon diagnoses and/or presentations. Formatting for case reports should adhere closely to the CARE Checklist guidelines, which can be accessed:
Specific areas to attend to include ensuring that there is a brief abstract outlining the presentation, diagnosis, and take-aways from the case.
The most impactful case reports are those that highlight an unusual presentation or diagnosis by working through bedside data gathering (history and physical exam), differential diagnosis, testing performed and rationale for the chosen work-up, and the patient’s outcome. The discussion should focus on the background for the underlying diagnosis including epidemiology, clinical evaluation, and, management. Appropriate disposition should also be reviewed (e.g. home, outpatient primary care or specialist follow-up, or Emergency Department referral).
JUCM adheres to ethical standards outlined in the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki. Specifically, as it applies to case reports, patient consent for publication should be obtained. An “Ethics Statement” must be included at the end of the case report indicating that the patient consented to the case being published.
- Editorial & Opinion
Opinion articles offer an opportunity to communicate an author’s unique perspective about Urgent Care practice with readers. This can involve relating personal experiences and/or unique interpretations of the literature. Editorial submissions should give appropriate citations to any factual references.
- Topic Reviews
For broader subjects within Urgent Care practice, the topic review format is preferred. Topic reviews should be generally 2,000-3,600 words in length. Original tables, graphics, and clinical images are preferred. Previously published images should not be submitted without written permission of the copyright holder. Examples of topic reviews include: Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT), Odontogenic Infections, Pediatric Otalgia.
Topic reviews should cite relevant scholarly literature where appropriate. References should come from peer reviewed journals and not medical reference materials (e.g. textbooks).
- Practice Management
Practice management deals with the myriad non-clinical aspects of urgent care operations. As such, such submissions may be read by UC clinicians and administrative staff alike. Practice management submissions may be opinion/perspective pieces or topic reviews. Regardless of format, citations are necessary for any factual reference.
Publication Ethics & Standards
The JUCM adheres to the best practices and procedures in medical journal publishing as set forth by the major ethical standards organizations in the industry. It undertakes a rigorous peer review process, has strict advertising guidelines, and supports the future preservation and access of its contents.
Of special concern is patient privacy. Throughout the JUCM content, no patient’s name is ever included. If the need arises to identify a patient for some reason, a pseudonym replaces the patient’s real name. It is stated in the article that the name is a pseudonym. If an image reflecting an actual patient is published only the relevant body part (such as in an x-ray or electrocardiogram) is shown. Should it be necessary to show a patient’s face in any image the patient is not identified by name and the author must provide documentation that the patient gave permission for the image to be published.
As a member of the American Society of Health Care Publications, the Editor in Chief, Executive Editor, and editorial staff of JUCM adhere to its statement of ethical standards, as stated on the ASHCP website as follows:
The JUCM adheres to industry standards for academic medical journals regarding ethical behavior on the part of its authors, editors, reviewers, and staff and has zero-tolerance toward any misconduct whether identified before or after publication. Authors should review and understand these guidelines to avoid any of the various types of misconduct in manuscript preparation and submission. The following definitions are provided to guide all individuals involved with the Journal in adhering to these declarations of ethical behavior.
Study Design and Ethics of Research Involving Human Subjects
High quality research begins with conscientious study design and is conducted to appropriately address the research question while strictly adhering to ethical standards for investigations involving human subjects. The JUCM affirms the standards for research ethics outlined by the World Medical Association (WMA) in the Declaration of Helsinki, 1964 and its subsequent amendments (last updated 2018). Prospective authors are encouraged to review the Declaration prior to undertaking research, with special consideration for conducting appropriate informed consent and whether intended subjects are considered a vulnerable population. Submissions to the JUCM are expected to comply with the principles outlined within the Declaration.
All research involving human subjects submitted for consideration in the JUCM must comply with their respective Institutional Review Board’s (IRB) standards. For authors considering submission of research planned within an organization without an IRB, the use of an independent IRB is acceptable. To determine if planned investigations fall within the definition of “human subjects research,” the National Institutes of Health (NIH) decision tool can be used for clarification. Manuscripts describing research involving human subjects must include a statement of approval or exemption for the study from an appropriate IRB or other research ethics committee.
JUCM upholds the WMA Declaration of Helsinki and the ethical principles of research involving vulnerable populations summarized in this statement: “Medical research with a vulnerable group is only justified if the research is responsive to the health needs or priorities of this group and the research cannot be carried out in a non-vulnerable group. In addition, this group should stand to benefit from the knowledge, practices or interventions that result from the research.”
Submissions concerning prospective human subjects research that involves any population defined as vulnerable must be accompanied by documentation of ethics and/or IRB committee approval. Such manuscripts submitted without ethics/IRB approval will be rejected.
The JUCM strongly encourages that the data generated by your research which supports your article be made available as soon as possible, wherever legally and ethically possible. With respect to articles on clinical trials, any data should be made available upon reasonable request. Additionally, a data sharing plan must be included with trial registration for clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after 1st January 2019. Changes to the plan must be noted in the Data Availability Statement and updated in the registry record (to comply with ICMJE recommendations)
The JUCM also conforms to standards for research misconduct laid forth by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The ORI specifies the following as instances of misconduct in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results with the definitions cited on its website:
Duplicate and Multiple Submissions
Duplicate (multiple) publication is sometimes referred to as redundant or overlapping publication. At issue is the potential for unnecessary peer review, editing, and publication by two or more separate journals. In addition, duplicate publications can result in increased attention and credit (i.e. citations) for authors. Thus, authors should not submit the same manuscript, in the same or different languages, simultaneously to more than one journal. Simultaneous submissions by author(s) will be considered as acts of misconduct and may result in suspending an author for a certain period or indefinitely from the JUCM as well as informing the author’s institution. ICMJE “overlapping publications,” accessed June 29, 2020.
Authors should submit only original work that has not been previously published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors must note any use of a preprint server, patents, and dissertations in the Author Checklist. The following does not constitute prior publication: theses in print or online; patents; and preprint servers.
Authors who choose to post their work on a preprint server should choose one that clearly identifies preprints as not peer-reviewed work and includes disclosures of authors’ relationships and activities. It is the author’s responsibility to inform a journal if the work has been previously posted on a preprint server. In addition, it is the author’s (and not journal editors’) responsibility to ensure that preprints are amended to point readers to subsequent versions, including the final published article. ICMJE “overlapping publications,” accessed June 29, 2020.
The ICMJE recommends, and the JUCM concurs, that authorship be based on the following 4 criteria:
Contributors who do not meet all four criteria should be acknowledged for their specific participation with phrases such as the following, which can be found on the ICMJE website, accessed June 30, 2020: ‘served as scientific advisor,’ ‘critically reviewed the study proposal,’ ‘collected data,’ ‘provided and cared for study patients,’ and ‘participated in writing or technical editing of the manuscript’
Process in the advent of publication misconduct
The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine (JUCM) has a zero-tolerance policy towards papers associated with any of the forms of publication misconduct cited above. Should a paper be identified as being an instance of one (or more) definitions of research and/or publication misconduct, the Journal will undertake an unbiased process for handling allegations, however they are brought to the Journal’s or publisher’s attention.
The process stages are:
- Receipt of an allegation either pre- or post-publication
- Preliminary assessment of the allegation
- Conduct of the inquiry and investigation
- Results which confirm the allegation trigger a decision on the part of the Journal to reject the manuscript or withdraw the published article not accept manuscripts submitted by the same author, authors, or research team for an appropriate time period (i.e. the next two-three years) determine whether the infraction is serious enough to inform the institution(s) which the corresponding author(s) is affiliated with and the research funder(s) about such misconduct, and post all penalty documents on the Journal site.
Should an author or collaborating authors be identified to have a second instance of misconduct, pending ameliorating circumstances, that author or group of authors will be banned from any future submission to the Journal. To report any allegations of editorial misconduct or complaints, or to appeal any article, email the Publisher, Stuart Williams, directly at [email protected].
Peer Review Policies
JUCM Peer Review is Double-Blinded
JUCM employs a double-blinded peer review process wherein reviewers do not know the identity or affiliations of the authors, and the authors do not know who has reviewed their work. Journal staff compile feedback from peer reviewers directly and pass along queries as needed directly to the authors.
Obligations of JUCM Peer Reviewers
Reviewers receive instructions on the rating sheet which accompanies the manuscript to be reviewed. It is important that reviewers understand six important guidelines:
The aim of the JUCM is to publish original manuscripts relevant to Urgent Care practice. Decisions regarding publication are made by multi-level editorial review with consideration for the manuscript’s clarity, originality, and value for the audience. Publication decisions must subsequently be corroborated through the process of peer review (see the peer review flow chart below). All finalized manuscripts are reviewed by the JUCM’s Executive Editor and Editor-in-Chief. Authors may appeal the manuscript rejections by re-submitting a revised manuscript with a detailed description of the changes made and their grounds for appealing the editorial decision. Appeals will be reviewed by the appropriate section editor and editor-in-chief.
Before submitting your manuscript, please make sure to follow these guidelines:
- Declare That Your Manuscript Is Not Published Elsewhere. A manuscript submitted to JUCM must not have appeared previously in any publication, including other print journals or technical magazines, preprint servers, blogs, websites, or repositories.
- Declare Any Conflicts Of Interest (COI) Conflict of interest (COI) as defined by the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) “exists when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests.” For additional information, including examples, please go to: http://wame.org/conflict-of-interest-in-peer-reviewed-medical-journals.
- Check That All Coauthors Meet Criteria For Authorship & Ensure Appropriate Acknowledgements Made In The Manuscript. An individual should be cited as an author of an article only if that person has made substantial intellectual contributions to the submitted manuscript. Supporting activities after the work has been completed are not considered substantial intellectual contributions. If you (and/or your coauthors) still have questions about authorship you can find an extensive resource at the COPE website: https://publicationethics.org/files/u7141/Authorship_DiscussionDocument_0_0.pdf
- Include Appropriate Funding Statements In The Manuscript. If during the conduct of the work or preparation of the manuscript any author received financial compensation from any individual or institution outside his or her principal employer such funding should be stated in order to determine any potential COI.
- Be Alert To Bias And Follow Guidelines For Accurate And Complete Reporting. “A case report is a narrative that describes, for medical, scientific or educational purposes, a medical problem experienced by one or more patients” as stated by the CARE (CAse REport) guidelines. A 2013 BMJ Case Report explained that: “The primary items of the checklist are title, key words, abstract, introduction, patient information, clinical findings, timeline, diagnostic assessment, therapeutic interventions, follow-up and outcomes, discussion, patient perspective and informed consent. We believe the implementation of the CARE (CAse REport) guidelines by medical journals will improve the completeness and transparency of published case reports and that the systematic aggregation of information from case reports will inform clinical study design, provide early signals of effectiveness and harms, and improve healthcare delivery.” For additional information regarding the CARE guidelines go to: http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/care/
- Inform The Journal If You Subsequently Find Errors In Your Article. There is no time limit on an author’s responsibility to inform the journal in which his or her article was published that errors have been identified. Depending on the consequences of the error the Editor may decide to include a short Errata in the next print version and/or a permanent comment appended to the digital version of the journal. Only extreme cases will create the need for a full retraction of an article.
- Sign A Copyright Agreement. Failure for all authors of an accepted manuscript to sign a copyright agreement will result in their manuscript not going forward to production and ultimate publication. The copyright agreement protects both the author and the publisher from a third-party stealing the intellectual property submitted for publication.
- Continuing Medical Education (CME)Primary clinical and practice management articles, as well as key case reports, published in JUCM articles are the basis of Continuing Medical Education (CME) opportunities in each issue. If the editors determine that your accepted manuscript will be one of these articles, you will be asked to complete an additional disclosure form, which JUCM will submit to its CME accreditor on your behalf.
What to Expect After Submission
Corrections, Errata, and Retractions Policies
Corrections (also cited as corrigenda) are changes requested by authors to their articles at any point after acceptance. Requests for these changes should be sent directly to the Editor in Chief who will evaluate the impact of the change and what consequent action should be taken. Should the correction request be received prior to posting online or printing and be deemed appropriate, the correction(s) will be made at that time to the article. If corrections are requested after online and print publication, they will be made to the online version of the article with a mention at the end of the article. Corrections to the print article will be included in a notice labeled “Author Corrections” in the next issue subsequent to the correction being accepted by the Editor in Chief. If the Editor in Chief thinks that the requested corrections do not clarify, enhance, or otherwise improve the article, that decision will be communicated to the author(s) and no indication of the request or its contents will be included in either the print or online version of the Journal.
Corrections may be requested by the author(s) or initiated by the Editor to address important issues or correct errors and omissions of consequence that arise after publication of an article. All corrections and retractions are subject to approval by the Editor and should bring new and directly relevant information and corrections that fix scientific facts. Minor corrections and additions will not be published. Readers who detect errors of consequence in the work of others should contact the corresponding author of that work.
Corrections must be submitted as new manuscripts by the Corresponding Author for publication in the “Addition/Correction” section of the Journal. The corresponding author should obtain approval from all coauthors prior to submitting or provide evidence that such approval has been solicited. The manuscript should include the original article title and author list, citation including DOI, and details of the correction. Concerns regarding errors in published articles can be submitted to [email protected].
Errata are the identification and correction of errors in an article made by the publisher at any stage in the editorial process. Most of these are highlighted to the author when found during the copy editing and/or proofing stages of publication. Ideally the author identifies and corrects these errors before final publication so that an accurate article is published online and in print. If publisher errors are found by the author post-publication they should be sent to the Editor in Chief who will ensure that a notice of Errata be immediately posted online and included in the very next print issue following receipt of the author’s notification.
Retractions of an accepted article which has been published in both the online and print versions of the Journal are made based on requests by the author, the publisher, or a third party but are ultimately published at the discretion of the Editor in Chief. The retraction of an article signifies that the contents should not be considered valid or used as the basis for future research or adopted for clinical practice. Retraction requests are based on a variety of reasons from errors in conclusions to gross misconduct (such as falsification of data) to plagiarism (or self-plagiarism).
Upon identification of the need for a retraction, the article is immediately removed from the online version of the journal and a Notice of Retraction will be published containing information about the reason for the retraction in the very next issue of the print journal following the determination. If a third party identified the need for a retraction the Editor in Chief may decide to acknowledge that person’s contribution to maintaining a high standard of accuracy in the JUCM.
All manuscripts submitted to the JUCM are considered for publication on the condition that they have not been submitted to or published in another publication (in print or online). All manuscripts and reviews are submitted via the online content management system, Scholastica. The JUCM does not accept submissions through any other method.
For a manuscript to be considered for publication, the author warrants that:
Braveheart Group, LLC holds the copyright for all articles and artwork published in the JUCM and thus requires all authors to transfer copyright prior to publication either online or in print. Each author must sign the Copyright Transfer Agreement which allows the JUCM to publish the manuscript with exclusive world rights in print, online, or in any format to be based on a technology yet to be developed. Go to https://www.jucm.com/about-us/to review the JUCM Copyright Agreement.
Neither the editorial staff, the Editor-In-Chief, or the Publisher, Stuart Williams, are responsible for any expression of opinion or statement of fact, all of which are published solely on reliability and integrity of the author (or authors) whose name is attached to the published article.
Advertising submitted to the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine is reviewed by the Publisher prior to publication. JUCM has the right to reject any advertisement for any reason. Advertising should clearly identify the advertiser and the product or service being offered.
Advertising should be clearly distinct from editorial content. Advertisements must not be deceptive or misleading or make false claims. Any advertisements that include indecent copy or contain negative content of a personal, racial, ethnic, medical, sexual orientation, or religious character will not be accepted. Advertising of any product or service deemed detrimental to the public health will be rejected upon receipt.
Products and services and their indicated uses must conform to the principles of acceptable medical practice. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco or cigarette-related products of any kind are not eligible for advertising in the JUCM. Acceptance of advertising should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation of any kind of the products or services being advertised. In addition, acceptance does not imply that JUCM has conducted an independent scientific review to validate any product’s safety, efficacy, or other claims.
JUCM is dedicated to supporting perpetual access to the Journal’s contents to the extent that innovations in information technology allow. The Journal’s archive of all past issues can be accessed by all subscribers. Subscriptions are complimentary to all health care professionals working in urgent care settings. Readers of the JUCM have the option of entering a specific term in the SEARCH box on the JUCM’s homepage in order to go directly to a specific subject of interest in specific articles. This allows readers to search the entire archive without being subscribers. JUCM allows authors to deposit the official published version of their articles in an institutional repository or on their own websites immediately upon publication of the article online.
Questions about any of the policies mentioned above should be directed to the JUCM publication office to the attention of Stuart Williams via email at: [email protected]