JAMA Guide For Authors: What It Is and How It Works

JAMA, or the Journal of the American Medical Association, is a renowned and highly respected publication in the medical field. Since its inception in 1883, JAMA has played a significant role in advancing medical knowledge and serving as a platform for medical professionals to disseminate their research to a wide audience.

The journal covers a broad range of topics, including clinical research, public health, and health policy, making it a vital resource for healthcare professionals and researchers worldwide.

If you’re looking to get your work published in JAMA, take a look at the following guide.

1. Understanding JAMA’s Submission Process

The first step is to determine the type of article that aligns with your research findings. JAMA accepts various types of articles, including original research, systematic reviews, clinical reviews, and viewpoint articles. It is crucial to choose the appropriate article type that effectively communicates the significance of your research.

Once the article type is decided, attention must be paid to the formatting guidelines provided by JAMA. These guidelines outline the required structure, word count, and referencing style. Authors need to familiarize themselves with these guidelines to ensure their manuscript meets the necessary standards. Additionally, JAMA requires that the text, figures, and tables be separate files to facilitate the peer-review process.

Ethical considerations play a significant role in JAMA’s submission process. Authors are expected to adhere to ethical standards, which include obtaining proper informed consent, addressing conflicts of interest, and ensuring patient confidentiality. JAMA emphasizes the importance of conducting research with integrity and maintaining transparency throughout the submission process.

2. Writing an Impactful Abstract

To write an impactful abstract, authors should begin by stating the research objectives concisely and indicating the study’s context or background. Next, the methods used in the study should be briefly described, highlighting the research design and any relevant statistical analyses.

The abstract should then highlight the key findings and their significance. Finally, authors should summarize the implications of their research and its potential impact on clinical practice or future research directions.

Effectively summarizing research findings in a limited word count can be challenging. Authors should focus on presenting the most crucial aspects of their study without including unnecessary details. It is essential to strike a balance between being informative and concise to capture the attention of readers and potential reviewers.

3. Structuring the Manuscript

One of the key elements in creating a well-structured scientific manuscript is to follow the preferred structure outlined by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). This structure ensures a logical flow of ideas and enhances readability for both reviewers and readers.

The preferred structure for JAMA articles includes the introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. The introduction sets the stage for the study by providing background information and clearly stating the objectives. It should also highlight the significance and context of the research. The methods section then describes the study design, population, and data collection and analysis methods in a clear and concise manner. This section should allow others to replicate the study if necessary.

Next, the results section presents the findings of the study in a systematic and organized manner. Authors should use appropriate tables, figures, and graphs to support their results. It is important to only include data that is relevant and directly supports the research objectives.

5. Ethical Considerations and Authorship Guidelines

Ethical conduct in research and publication is of paramount importance, and JAMA has specific policies in place to ensure ethical practices. Understanding and adhering to these policies is essential for maintaining the integrity of the manuscript.

One crucial aspect of ethical conduct is authorship. JAMA has clear guidelines on who should be listed as an author and how contributions should be acknowledged. It is important to accurately attribute the contributions of each author and ensure that all authors have made a substantial intellectual contribution to the study.

Another ethical consideration is the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest, such as financial relationships or affiliations that may bias the research findings. JAMA requires authors to disclose any potential conflicts of interest, as this is critical for transparency and credibility.

Additionally, JAMA expects authors to comply with ethical research practices, such as ensuring informed consent, protecting patient privacy, and obtaining necessary approvals from ethical review boards. Authors should also properly cite and give credit to previous works and avoid plagiarism.

To handle these ethical considerations effectively, authors can refer to resources provided by JAMA, such as their guidelines on authorship and conflict of interest disclosure here.

6. Tips for Optimizing Your Chances of Acceptance

Here are some tips that can aid in optimizing your likelihood of having your manuscript accepted by JAMA.

Firstly, selecting the right topic plays a vital role in gaining acceptance. It is important to choose a topic that is novel, relevant, and aligns with the journal’s scope. Consider what gaps in the existing literature your research aims to fill and whether your findings have the potential to make a significant impact in the medical field.

Conducting rigorous research is another crucial aspect of optimizing your chances of acceptance. Ensure that your study design is robust, with appropriate sample size, controls, and statistical analysis. Use reliable and validated research methods to generate trustworthy and meaningful results. High-quality data is more likely to catch the attention of reviewers and increase the chances of manuscript acceptance.

Equally important is the need for clear and concise writing. Communicate your research effectively by presenting the information in a logical and organized manner. Craft a well-structured manuscript that highlights the key points and engages the readers. Avoid excessive jargon and use simple language to convey complex ideas, making it easier for reviewers to comprehend and appreciate your work.

Addressing peer review feedback effectively is crucial during the revision process. Reviewers may provide key suggestions or point out potential weaknesses in your manuscript. It is important to carefully analyze and understand their comments, and then make necessary revisions. Respond to each comment in a professional manner, providing clear explanations or further evidence when needed. Demonstrating your willingness to address concerns and improve the quality of your manuscript can significantly enhance its chances of acceptance.

Unlocking Success: A Conclusion to Your JAMA Guide for Authors

By upholding high standards in scientific writing, authors can contribute to the ongoing advancement of medical knowledge and improve their odds of getting published in JAMA. As you move forward in the submission process, it’s essential to give due attention to JAMA’s guidelines and follow them.

Even if you’re work isn’t accepted the first time around, have patience. You may also want to consider outlets that allow you to self-publish your work or print your own book. Learn more here.


What is the JAMA Guide for Authors?

The JAMA Guide for Authors is a comprehensive set of guidelines provided by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) to assist researchers and authors in submitting high-quality manuscripts for publication. It outlines the specific requirements, formatting guidelines, and ethical considerations to ensure that submissions meet the journal’s standards.

How can I access the JAMA Guide for Authors? 

The JAMA Guide for Authors can be accessed online on the official JAMA website. Simply navigate to the “Instructions for Authors” section, where you will find detailed information about manuscript preparation, submission instructions, and other relevant guidelines specific to your field of study.

What are the key components of the JAMA Guide for Authors?

The JAMA Guide for Authors covers a wide range of topics, including manuscript types, structure, and formatting guidelines, ethical considerations, authorship criteria, conflict of interest disclosures, statistical reporting requirements, and the process of manuscript submission. It also provides detailed instructions on the usage of references, figures, tables, and supplementary materials.