Information for Authors
Listen to authors describe the experience and advantages of publishing in Annals.
II. Preparing Manuscripts for Submission
III. Manuscript Submission and Review
IV. What to Expect after Acceptance
V. Research and Publication Ethics
I. General Information about Annals of Internal Medicine
A. Mission and Scope
Annals of Internal Medicine’s mission is to promote
excellence in medicine, enable physicians and other health care
professionals to be well-informed members of the medical community and
society, advance standards in the conduct and reporting of medical
research, and contribute to improving the health of people worldwide. To
achieve this mission, the journal publishes a wide variety of original
research, review articles, practice guidelines, and commentary relevant to
clinical practice, health care delivery, public health, health care policy,
medical education, ethics, and research methodology. In addition, the
journal publishes personal narratives that convey the art of medicine.
B. Readership and Reach
Annals of Internal Medicine has a large readership that includes the
members of the American College of Physicians (159,000 in 2019) and many more
physicians, health care professionals, and researchers worldwide.
Annals print issues are distributed to more than 100,000 readers
worldwide, and free online access is available to many articles at Annals.org as part of its commitment to
readers, authors, and society. Because Annals is a selective journal provided to members and subscribers, an article-level open-access option supported by article processing charges is not provided. However, our free, publicly accessible content includes:
Clinical Guidelines, ACP Position Papers, AHRQ Comparative Effectiveness Reviews,
NIH Conferences, Summaries for Patients, In the Clinic Patient Information Pages, and selected
other content. Abstracts, Tables of Contents, E-mail Alerts, and Podcasts are also free. In addition to the
access described above, Annals provides many countries in the developing
world with immediate free access through the HINARI program.
Annals of Internal Medicine is among the most highly cited and
influential journals in the world. The most recent (2018) Impact Factor for Annals of Internal Medicine is 19.315 (Clarivate Analytics). With 57,057 total cites in 2018, Annals is the most cited general internal medicine journal. Annals of Internal Medicine is indexed in BIOSIS
Previews, CAB Direct, Chemical Abstracts Service (CASSI), CINAHL, Current
Contents - Clinical Medicine, Current contents - Live Science, EMBASE,
Index Medicus, MEDLINE, PubMed, Science Citation Index, Science Citation
Index Expanded, and Scopus.
The American College of Physicians (ACPOnline.org), publisher of
Annals of Internal Medicine, is the largest medical specialty
organization and is the second largest physician member group in the United
States. ACP members include internal medicine physicians (internists),
related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the
care of adults. Statements expressed in Annals of Internal Medicine
reflect the views of the authors and not necessarily the policies of the
journal or of the American College of Physicians, unless so identified.
D. Copyright/Permissions for Author Reuse of Published
All authors, except U.S. government employees whose work was done as
part of their official duties, must transfer copyright to the American
College of Physicians, publisher of Annals. Transfer of copyright
signifies transfer of rights for print publication; electronic publication;
production of reprints, facsimiles, microfilm, or microfiche; or
publication in any language. Annals is a subscription-based journal provided to members and subscribers and does not provide an article-level open-access option supported by article processing charges.
Authors are granted the rights after
publication in Annals to reuse the published article or portions
thereof that they created as described here without requesting permission
from the ACP. These authors’ rights are to reuse figures and tables
as part of new publications; include the article, or portions thereof, in
their thesis, dissertation, or collection dedicated to their educational work; and provide copies to students in classes they teach. In all these
cases for reuse, authors will give proper credit to the original
publication in Annals as follows:
Reproduced with permission from Author(s). Title. Annals of
Internal Medicine. Year; vol: pp-pp. URL ©American College of
Authors reusing their material as described above do not need to contact
Annals for permission. For other uses, the author must request
permission directly from each individual journal article page. Just click
on the “Get Permissions” in the content toolbox, which is
located in the horizontal bar across the top of the article title when
viewing the article on Annals.org.
Authors reusing content in a submitted manuscript to Annals
should refer to Section III.E, below.
II. Preparing Manuscripts for Submission
A. Article Types
For submission, your manuscript does not need to conform to all of the formatting specifications used for publication that are noted here. These instructions, however, may serve as a guide to content that will be useful in the evaluation of your submitted manuscript.
Annals publishes a variety of article types, as listed below. The
links accompanying each article type provide details about the article type
and specific formatting requirements. General formatting guidelines are
presented in the sections following the article types, and Section II.C contains guidance on reporting statistical findings.
Note that Annals publishes some content that is produced
internally and does not represent material that is submitted for peer
review by external authors. This material includes special features, such
as In the Clinic, ACP Journal Club, Annals Consult Guys, and Annals Virtual
Reports of original analyses of data on prevalence, causes, mechanisms,
diagnosis, course, treatment, and prevention of disease. [Peer reviewed]
Reviews: Systematic and Meta-analyses
Reviews that systematically find, select, critique, and synthesize
evidence relevant to well-defined questions about diagnosis, prognosis, or
therapy. [Peer reviewed]
Clinical Guidelines, including synopses
Official recommendations from professional organizations on issues
related to clinical practice and health care delivery. [Peer reviewed]
Official statements from professional organizations on issues related to clinical practice, health care delivery, and public health.
Research and Reporting Methods
Articles related to research methods or reporting standards. [Peer
Review articles that use informal methods to collect and interpret
information, which is often summarized subjectively in narrative form.
Narrative reviews are especially suitable for describing cutting-edge and
evolving developments and underlying theory. [Peer reviewed]
Academia and the Profession
Descriptions and evaluations of innovations in medical education,
training, professionalism, and career development. [Peer reviewed]
Commentary on current topics or on papers published elsewhere in the
issue. [Typically solicited and reviewed by Editors]
Original graphic narratives, comics, animation/video, and other
creative forms addressing medically relevant topics. [Peer reviewed]
History of Medicine
Essays, reports, or biographical sketches related to the history or
evolution of medicine. [Peer reviewed]
Ideas and Opinions
Essays representing opinions, presenting hypotheses, or considering
controversial issues. [Usually peer reviewed; sometimes solicited by Editors]
In the Balance
Pairs of essays that take contrary views on unsettled questions
related to the practice of medicine. [Peer reviewed; typically solicited by
Brief Research Reports
Brief research reports. [Peer reviewed]
Case reports/series. [Peer reviewed]
Comments on articles published in Annals. [Not peer reviewed]
Medicine and Public Issues
Articles related to the economic, ethical, sociological, or political
environment in medicine [Peer reviewed]
On Being a Doctor
Short personal essays about the experience of being a physician. [Peer reviewed]
On Being a Patient
Short personal essays about the experience of being a patient. [Peer reviewed]
Personae (cover photograph)
Photographs that capture the personality of people in the context of
their daily lives. [reviewed by Editors]
B. Article Formatting
For submission, your manuscript does not need to conform to all of the formatting specifications used for publication that are noted here. These instructions, however, may serve as a guide to content that will be useful in the evaluation of your submitted manuscript.
Authors should write for a sophisticated general medical readership; follow
principles of clear scientific writing (Council of Science Editors.
Scientific Style and Format. 8th ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago
Press; 2014.) and statistical reporting (see Section II.C. General Statistical Guidance); and prepare manuscripts according to recommended reporting
guidelines and checklists whenever possible. Manuscripts that follow these
recommendations generally fare better than those that do not.
1. Title Page
Title: Give the title and subtitle (if any). Title should be concise (15
words or fewer), reflect the study design/article type (e.g., randomized
controlled trial, systematic review), and contain terms that will assist in
identifying the article in electronic searching. Also provide a short or
“running” title of 7 or fewer words.
Authors: List authors in the order in which they are to appear in the
byline of the published article. In the case of group authorship, identify
one or more authors who will have responsibility for the publication. Give
the institutional affiliation for each author, financial support
information, and contact information for the corresponding author. Annals
follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)
recommendations for defining authors and contributors.
Section V.A of Information for Authors provides
guidance regarding group authorship.
Word Count: List the word count for the text of the manuscript.
Don’t include the abstract, figure legends, titles of tables,
footnotes (for figures or tables), or the references in the manuscript word
Authors should follow the Abstract format guidelines provided for the
particular article type that they are submitting.
Annals strongly encourages authors to follow EQUATOR reporting
recommendations when presenting original data or the findings of a systematic
All submitted manuscripts should include page numbers.
Acknowledge only persons who have contributed to the scientific content
or provided technical support. Authors must obtain written permission from
anyone they list in the Acknowledgments section, including confirmation of
the nature of the contribution. The corresponding author must also affirm
that he or she has listed everyone who contributed significantly to the
work in the Acknowledgments.
References should follow the standards summarized in the National Library of
Medicine, 2nd edition. These resources are regularly updated as new media
develop, and currently include guidance for print documents; unpublished
material; audio and visual media; material on CD-ROM, DVD, or disk; and
material on the Internet. See www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html
for sample references that conform to the style specified by the National
Library of Medicine.
Number references, using Arabic numerals in parentheses, in the order
in which they first appear in the text. References cited in a table/figure
should appear in numeric order relative to the first citation of the
table/figure in the text. For example, if the last reference cited before
the table/figure in question is mentioned as reference 14, and that
table/figure contains 5 references that have not been cited, the references
in the table/figure would be numbered 15 through 19. Reference citations in
the text would then recommence with number 20.
Appendix material should not have separate reference sections.
References that appear in both the text and the appendix should be numbered
as they appear in the text. Any references that appear only in the appendix
should be added consecutively at the end of the appendix list.
Use the reference style of the National Library of Medicine, including
the abbreviations of journal titles.
List all authors when there are 3 or fewer; when there are more than 3
authors, list only the first 3 and add “et al.”
Do not use ibid. or op cit.
Include an “available from” note for documents that may not
be readily accessible.
Cite symposium papers only from published proceedings.
When citing an article or book accepted for publication but not yet
published, include the title of the journal (or name of the publisher) and
the year of expected publication.
Include references to unpublished material in the text, not in the
references (for example, papers presented orally at a meeting; unpublished
work [personal communications, papers in preparation]), and submit a letter
of permission from the cited persons to cite such communications (in
general, avoid citations to unpublished scientific results).
Ensure that URLs used as references are active and available (the
references should include the date on which the author accessed the URL).
Citations to Wikipedia are permitted only if they are used to support
statements about popular sentiment about an issue.
Use footnotes only on the title page and in tables. Do not use footnotes
in the text. Footnote symbols, in the order in which they should be used,
are *, †, ‡, §, ||, ¶, **, ††,
‡‡, and so on. Do not use numbers or letters.
Number tables with Arabic numerals in the order in which they appear in
the text. Tables that are meant as appendix material should be numbered as
Appendix Table 1, Appendix Table 2, and so on. Label tables with titles
that concisely describe the content of the table so that a reader can
understand the table without referring to the text. Tables may contain
abbreviations that we do not permit in the text but should contain a
footnote that explains the abbreviation. Give the units of measure for all
numerical data in a column or row. Place units of measure under a column
heading or at the end of a side heading only if those units apply to all
numerical data in the column or row.
Number figures with Arabic numerals in the order in which they appear in
the text. Figures that are meant as appendix material should be numbered as
Appendix Figure 1, Appendix Figure 2, and so on. Each figure should have a
figure legend that begins with a short title. Reduce the length of legends
by using phrases rather than sentences. Explain all abbreviations and
symbols on the figure, even if an explanation appears in the text. For
pictures of histologic slides, give stain and magnification data at the end
of the legend for each part of the figure. If no scale marker appears on
the figure, give the original magnification used during the observation,
not that of the photographic print.
C. General Statistical Guidance
This section provides details on Presentation, Multivariable
Analyses, Measurement Error, Measures of Effect and Risk, Missing Data,
Longitudinal Analyses, and Figures and Tables.
D. Special considerations for particular types of work
1. Clinical trial registration
Annals follows the trials registration policy of the International
Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). Annals only considers
trials that have been appropriately registered and will reject those that are
not appropriately registered. Authors should consult ICMJE.org for details of the policy,
which requires registration of required details in an ICMJE accepted
registry before the start of patient enrollment for clinical trials that
began enrollment on or after July 1, 2005.
As defined by the ICMJE, a clinical trial is any research project that prospectively assigns people (or a group of people within clustered trials) to an intervention, with or without concurrent comparison or control groups, to study the cause-and-effect relationship between a medical intervention and a health outcome. A medical intervention is any intervention used to modify a health outcome, and includes but is not limited to drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioral treatments, and process-of-care changes. Nonrandomized trials are not exempt from the registration requirement if they meet the above criteria.
Exemptions to this policy are infrequent. However, if you believe that
circumstances warrant an exception, we would be willing to consider your
request. The issues that contribute to our consideration of such situations
are listed below and should be addressed in your request.
A detailed explanation for why the trial was registered late.
The reason that prompted trial registration.
The precise date of trial registration and the date the first
participant was enrolled.
The number and percentage of patients, compared to the final sample
size, enrolled prior to registration.
Information from the protocol or IRB application indicating the primary
outcome; secondary outcome. The primary outcome/secondary outcome as stated
in the trial registration. An explanation for any discrepancies between the
primary/secondary outcome in any of the supporting documentation (trial
registration, SAP, etc) and as stated in the manuscript.
Your assurances that no interval analysis was conducted prior to the
registration of the trial.
Any other information you think relevant to the request.
2. Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Registration
Annals supports but does not require prospective registration of
systematic reviews and meta-analyses in an international registry, such as
3. Data Sharing and Reproducible Research
Authors should be prepared to provide original study data and statistical code if requested by the editors to assist in the editors' understanding of method used and to evaluate those methods. The editors may also request access to study data during the peer-review process, and if no other explanations or justification are provided, may cease consideration of a manuscript if the authors cannot or will not provide the data. These data will be treated confidentially and not shared beyond the editorial staff without specific permission from the authors. When statistical code is provided, it should be well-annotated for comprehension (Localio AR, Goodman SN, Meibohm A, et al. Statistical code to support the scientific story. Ann Intern Med. 2018. doi:10.7326/M17-3431).
Annals requires authors submitting
manuscripts reporting the results of a clinical trial to submit a copy of the
study protocol with all dated amendments. If the manuscript is accepted for
publication, the protocol will be published as a supplement to the article on Annals.org. If necessary, Annals
will consider publication of protocols that redact proprietary information from
introduction and background sections.
To encourage transparency and reproducible research (Laine C, Goodman SN,
Griswold ME, Sox HC. Reproducible research:
moving toward research the public can really trust. Ann Intern Med.
2007;146:450-453.) Annals publishes a statement with every original
research article, systematic review/meta-analysis, and brief research report indicating the authors'
willingness to share the following items with the public:
Study protocol (original and amendments)
Statistical code used to generate results
Dataset from which the results were derived
Annals strongly encourages but does not typically require the
sharing of these items unless the article is reporting the results of a
clinical trial in which case sharing of the protocol is required (see above).
However, we do require that authors state their willingness to share, and any
conditions for sharing. Access to these items may range from completely
unrestricted (e.g., free availability of all the items via posting on an
open-access Web site) to restricted (e.g., availability of certain portions of
the items to approved individuals through written agreements with the author or
Manuscripts submitted to Annals that report the results of clinical trials must contain a data sharing statement that meet the ICMJE recommendations as described below.
Clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after 1 January 2019 must include a data sharing plan in the trial's registration. If the data sharing plan changes after registration this should be reflected in the statement submitted and published with the manuscript, and updated in the registry record.
Data sharing statements must indicate the following: whether individual deidentified participant data (including data dictionaries) will be shared (“undecided” is not an acceptable answer); what data in particular will be shared; whether additional, related documents will be available (e.g., study protocol, statistical analysis plan); when the data will become available and for how long; by what access criteria data will be shared (including with whom, for what types of analyses, and by what mechanism).
Authors of secondary analyses using shared data must attest that their use was in accordance with the terms (if any) agreed to upon their receipt. They must also reference the source of the data using its unique, persistent identifier to provide appropriate credit to those who generated it and allow searching for the studies it has supported. Authors of secondary analyses must explain completely how theirs differ from previous analyses. In addition, those who generate and then share clinical trial data sets deserve substantial credit for their efforts. Those using data collected by others should seek collaboration with those who collected the data. As collaboration will not always be possible, practical, or desired, the efforts of those who generated the data must be recognized.
III. Manuscript Submission and Review
A. How to Submit a Manuscript
We accept submissions only through our online manuscript submission
system (click here to submit online). Please do not submit manuscripts as
electronic mail attachments or by regular mail. Annals does not
charge author submission or publication fees.
B. Correspondence between Authors and Annals
Electronic mail is the main form of correspondence between authors and
the journal and authors must provide accurate, active e-mail addresses for
each author at the time of manuscript submission and update these addresses
as necessary during the review process. Although the corresponding author
serves as the first contact for all communication about manuscripts
submitted to Annals, all authors receive copies of reviews and
editorial correspondence. It is the corresponding author’s
responsibility to coordinate responses to requests for revision and
questions about the work under review including but not limited to
questions regarding the integrity of the work, requests for study protocols
or trial registry information, study data, and documentation of
institutional review board approval. Further, all authors will receive a copy of the first proofs of the article to verify that they approve the final version. The coauthors should notify the corresponding author of verification within 48 hours. Any author, however, should contact
the editors if they perceive problems related to what is being communicated
by the corresponding author.
If the list of authors changes between submission and final acceptance
of an article, it is the corresponding author’s responsibility to
explain the changes to the editors in writing and to obtain written
documentation that all of the authors (including any deleted and added
authors) approve of the author changes.
C. Funding and Conflict of Interest Disclosures
At the time of manuscript submission, Annals of Internal Medicine
requires corresponding authors to summarize all authors’ conflict of
interest disclosures. We also require conflict-of-interest disclosures
from members of panels that help formulate consensus or guideline
recommendations, even if those contributors are not named authors on the
consensus or guideline statement. Failure to provide accurate information
about potential conflicts of interest at the time of submission will be
viewed as a breach of author responsibility and could negatively affect
publication decisions. We provide the summary information collated by the
corresponding author to editors and peer reviewers.
As part of the initial submission process, we also ask the corresponding
author to attest that the authors had access to all the study data, take
responsibility for the accuracy of the analysis, and had authority over
manuscript preparation and the decision to submit the manuscript for
publication. We do not consider an article unless the corresponding author
makes this attestation on behalf of the authors. We also ask the corresponding
author to confirm that all authors approve the manuscript and agree to adhere
to all terms outlined in Annals of Internal Medicine information for authors
including terms for copyright (see Section
In the Methods section of the text, authors must state the funding
source for the work and describe the role(s) of the funding organization in
the design of the study; the collection, analysis, and interpretation of
the data; and the decision to approve publication of the finished
manuscript. If the funding source had no such involvement, the authors
should state that.
D. Protocols and Other Materials
Authors of manuscripts that report clinical trial results must submit the
original preenrollment protocol (ideally prepared according to the 2013 SPIRIT
standards) with any amendments that were made. All such material must be
appropriately dated. For accepted articles reporting clinical trials,
Annals will publish the protocol as a supplement to the article.
We also encourage submission of a protocol or an active link to a curated
site where the protocol may be found if your manuscript reports a cohort,
case-control, cross-sectional or systematic review and meta-analysis study for
which there is a protocol. Annals strongly encourages authors of
accepted articles reporting cohort, case-control, cross-sectional or systematic
review and meta-analysis studies to post the protocol or provide an active link
If your submission describes the results from a survey or questionnaire,
please submit a copy of these materials as it will improve the speed and
quality of the review process. Other associated files that you may consider
submitting include but are not limited to the following:
Cover letter with specific points that you want to make to the editors
Studies related to the submission that have been accepted for publication or published
Reviews of this submission from other journals
E. Related Work, Duplicate Publication, and Use of Previously
Published Material in Submitted Manuscripts
Manuscripts are considered for publication with the understanding that
no part of their contents are under consideration for publication
elsewhere; have not been published or posted elsewhere; and will not be
posted or published elsewhere, except in abstract form or with the express
consent of the Editor and Publisher.
Authors should give full details on any possible previous or duplicate
publication of any content of the manuscript in the cover letter. They
should include copies of published papers and manuscripts of papers that
are in preparation, under review, or in press that contain data or other
content that appears in the submitted manuscript. Editors use these
materials when making judgments about duplicate publication.
Previous publication of a small fraction of the content of a manuscript
does not necessarily preclude its being published in Annals, but the
editors need information about previous or in process publications when
deciding how to use space in the journal efficiently. The editors regard
authors’ failure to disclose possible prior or concurrent publication
as a breach of scientific ethics. We usually do not consider abstracts,
posters, monographs, or detailed technology reports as duplicate prior
publications that preclude submission. However, we usually deem other
duplicative material (e.g., articles, reviews, perspectives) that is
submitted; in press; or published in another peer review, easily accessible
journal or source (e.g., The Cochrane Library) as prior work that precludes
publication in Annals. If at any time the author submits a
manuscript that is under review by Annals to another journal, the
author must inform the editors so that Annals can cease our
In rare cases Annals will permit authors to reuse previously
published content (e.g., tables, figures) from other sources. It is the
authors’ responsibility to obtain written permission to reuse the
content from the copyright owner, including the authors’ own work if
copyright had been transferred to a publisher or other entity. In these
situations, proper attribution to the original source must be provided
according to the requirements of the copyright owner; if instructions are
not provided, then the format outlined in the Copyright/Permissions Section
above should be used. The documentation granting permissions should be
submitted at the time of manuscript submission as an addendum to the cover
letter and, for accepted manuscripts, must be submitted to Annals
before publication. Failure to provide adequate permissions could result in
reversal of manuscript acceptance.
The staff at Annals keeps author correspondence confidential,
unless it is intended for publication (e.g., as a comment on a published
article). We also ask that authors and reviewers keep editorial
correspondence confidential, and that authors refrain from sharing either
the correspondence itself or the essence of its content with individuals
who are not their collaborators. Maintaining such confidentiality helps
ensure that editors can offer advice that is in the best interests of
authors’ papers without concern for how it might be considered or
used by others.
G. Acknowledgment of Receipt
We acknowledge all manuscripts and assign each a unique, confidential
manuscript number. We provide all authors with instructions for checking
the status of the manuscript online. To check the status of your manuscript
online, click here.
H. Internal Review by Editors and External Peer Review
At least 1 Editor and 1 Associate Editor read each manuscript. Together, they decide whether to send the paper to outside reviewers. If a paper is rejected without external review, authors are notified electronically within 1 to 2 weeks of receipt. We retain copies of rejected manuscripts for 60 days, after which we delete them from our system.
We send about 45% of submitted papers for external peer review, usually to at least 2 reviewers. The Editors select reviewers from an electronic database of approximately 18 000 reviewers. We ask reviewers to declare potential conflicts of interest and to decline the opportunity to review if they think that a close personal or professional relationship with any of the authors could lead to a biased review. If peer reviewers do not know whether a particular situation merits disqualification from the review process, they should contact the editors who will advise them about recusal on a case-by-case basis. Authors may list individuals who they do not want to be a reviewer, but must justify their request in the cover letter.
Annals of Internal Medicine expects reviewers to handle manuscripts in a confidential manner. Manuscripts sent for review are privileged communications and are the private property of the authors. Therefore, reviewers (like members of the editorial staff) must not publicly discuss the authors' work or appropriate their ideas before the manuscript is published. Reviewers should not keep copies of reviewed manuscripts in their personal files and are prohibited from sharing copies of the manuscript with others, except with the permission of the editor. Reviewers should destroy copies of manuscripts after submitting reviews. The reviewer will receive a copy of our decision letter to the author with the other reviewers' comments. These are also confidential. Annals will not disclose the identity of the reviewer to the authors or others outside of the journal staff without the explicit permission of the reviewer. However, if a reviewer wishes to disclose this or her identity to authors, they are welcome to sign the review. Reviewers should not share the reviews they complete for Annals with other entities without explicit permission from the Annals editorial office. Reviewers can disclose that they have served as a peer reviewer for Annals, but they should not reveal information that could be used to identify the confidential manuscript they reviewed and they should not post their reviews anywhere without explicit permission from the Annals editorial office. Annals may take disciplinary action against reviewers that do not handle manuscripts in a confidential manner. These actions may include publishing a notice about the breach, notifying the reviewer's institution, and banning the reviewer from further participation in journal activities.
Editors and associate editors discuss many of the papers that are peer reviewed at a weekly manuscript conference. Editors recuse themselves from discussing manuscripts and avoid participation in decisions about manuscripts if they have a close personal or professional relationship with any of the authors. Quantitative or methods-focused papers that pass initial review are usually also reviewed by our statistical editors at a weekly statistical conference.
I. Criteria for Editorial Decisions
Annals can publish only a fraction of all papers submitted each
year. In recent years, 8% of all unsolicited submissions and <5% of
original research articles were accepted. Editors judge the potential
importance and newness of material and consider scientific rigor using
established methodological criteria. They select manuscripts based on the
strength of the paper compared with other papers under review, the need for
Annals to represent a balanced picture of important advances in
internal medicine, and the number of accepted papers in the paper’s
category and topic area. Almost all papers that we accept require editorial
or statistical revision before publication. Editorial assistance includes,
but is not limited to, providing specific guidance regarding transparent
reporting of items mentioned in pertinent reporting standards (e.g.,
CONSORT, PRISMA). Of note, to check or clarify analyses and findings,
editors may ask researchers to provide the raw data for their studies
during review or if concerns about scientific integrity arise after
We send the reviewers’ comments to authors whether or not we
accept the article. On occasion, we reject an article but invite a
resubmission that addresses specific concerns of the editors. We aim to
accept a high percentage of reinvited articles and specify conditions that
the authors must meet before we will accept the manuscript. We determine
whether to send the reinvited manuscript for further external peer review
or internal editorial and statistical review on a case-by-case basis.
J. Fast-Track Review and Publication
Authors may request expedited review for manuscripts of very high quality
that report findings that are likely to immediately affect practice or policy.
We give priority for fast-tracking to large clinical trials and manuscripts
reporting results likely to have an immediate impact on patient safety. If
authors think that their manuscript warrants expedited review and publication,
they should contact the Senior Deputy Editor (email@example.com) with their
request and rationale. They should also include an electronic version of the
manuscript and, for trials, the protocol and registry identification
Within 2 business days, the editors judge whether a manuscript is suitable
for Annals’ expedited review, and advise authors regarding
electronic submission of their article. Editors send expedited papers for peer
review. They generally provide decisions and suggestions for any revision no
later than 1 month after manuscript submission. Editors request that authors of
expedited manuscript address initial suggestions for revisions very carefully
to help avoid the need for additional revisions, and that, if feasible, authors
return revised manuscripts within 2 weeks. Expedited material is usually
published electronically at Annals.org within 3
weeks of final acceptance, with print publication 8 weeks later.
Not all manuscripts reviewed via the fast track mechanism will be found
suitable for rapid publication. Some manuscripts reviewed through this
process may require substantial revision and cannot be published until a
satisfactory revision is available.
K. Submitting an Appeal
The editors expect appeals infrequently and seldom reverse their
original decisions. Many rejections involve editors’ judgments of
priority that authors usually cannot address through an appeal. However,
authors who think that their manuscripts were erroneously rejected may
e-mail an appeal letter to the editor who handled the manuscript. The
letter should detail the author’s concern and state how the
manuscript could be revised or clarified to address key problems mentioned
by editors and reviewers. Editors only consider appeals that are submitted
within 2 months of the manuscript’s rejection and consider appeals
only once. Upon receiving the appeal, editors may confirm their decision to
reject the manuscript, invite a revised manuscript, or seek additional peer
review or statistical review of the original manuscript.
IV. What to Expect after Acceptance
A. Post acceptance Copyediting and Proofs
All accepted manuscripts are copyedited to improve clarity and achieve
consistency of style and formatting of journal content. Authors will have
the opportunity to approve revisions made during the copyediting process.
Editors will work with authors to arrive at agreement when authors do not
find the revisions acceptable, but Annals reserves the right not to
publish a manuscript if discussion with the author fails to reach a
solution that satisfies the editors.
We notify authors when they can expect to receive proofs. Authors who
think they may not be able to examine proofs within 48 hours of receiving
them should call the Editorial Production Supervisor (215-351-2731) to
designate a colleague who will review proofs.
B. Author Forms and Conflict Disclosures
If editors invite the authors to revise a manuscript after peer review, we
ask each author, including the corresponding author, to complete his or her own
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) conflict-of-interest
disclosure statement. Information about this form, which all ICMJE member
journals have adopted, is available at ICMJE.org. At the time of manuscript acceptance, we
ask authors to confirm and update, if necessary, their online disclosure
statements. At the time of publication, the completed disclosure statements
become available for readers to view on Annals.org.
If editors invite the authors to revise a manuscript after peer review, we
require that authors provide written permission from the individuals they list
in the Acknowledgments section. We will also ask each author to confirm that he
or she meets authorship criteria as defined by the ICMJE (see Section V. A), document his or her contributions, and
transfer copyright to the American College of Physicians (ACP) (see Section I.D).
C. Scheduling of Accepted Papers and Proofs
We notify authors when they can expect to receive proofs. Authors who think
they may not be able to examine proofs within 48 hours of receiving them should
call the Editorial Production Supervisor (215-351-2633) to designate a
colleague who will review proofs.
D. Prepublication Embargo Policy
Annals publishes new material every Tuesday with an embargo that
lifts at 5 pm Eastern Standard Time on the Monday before. Print issues are
published on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Annals sends
advance copies of the journal to members of the news media the week before
publication. Reporters may not publish stories based on this information
until 5:00 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time) the day before the date of publication
of an issue. Authors are free to discuss their research with
representatives of the media but should not distribute copies of papers
accepted for publication in Annals. They should consent to be
interviewed only if the reporter agrees to abide by the embargo and will
not publish until after the embargo period.
Providing copies of manuscripts or detailed information to media,
manufacturers, or government agencies of scientific information described
in a manuscript that has been accepted but not yet published violates the
policies of Annals and many other journals. Annals may grant
an exception to this rule when the paper or letter describes major
therapeutic advances, public health hazards (such as serious adverse
effects of drugs, vaccines, other biological products, or medical devices),
or reportable diseases. Prepublication disclosure as part of sworn
testimony before legislative or judiciary bodies may also be acceptable.
Authors should discuss any possible prepublication disclosure with the
Editors in advance and obtain their agreement.
E. National Institutes of Health-Funded Research Articles
The American College of Physicians, publisher of Annals, supports
authors’ adherence to the NIH Public Access Policy. Authors of articles
reporting NIH-funded studies may submit to PubMedCentral (PMC) a document that
contains the “accepted manuscript.” “Accepted
manuscript” refers to the prepublication version for which Annals
has issued a notice of final acceptance. Authors should not submit copies of
the final published version (e.g., PDF or html versions copied from Annals.org) or redrawn and formatted figures and
tables to PMC. This action would violate the American College of Physicians
Neither the American College of Physicians nor Annals of Internal
Medicine can assume responsibility for prepublication versions of
articles. To limit confusion about multiple versions of article content,
the “accepted version” submitted to PMC should prominently
display the following disclaimer immediately following the title:
“This is the prepublication, author-produced version of a manuscript
accepted for publication in Annals of Internal Medicine. This version
does not include post-acceptance editing and formatting. The American College
of Physicians, the publisher of Annals of Internal Medicine, is not
responsible for the content or presentation of the author-produced
accepted version of the manuscript or any version that a third party
derives from it. Readers who wish to access the definitive published
version of this manuscript and any ancillary material related to this
manuscript (e.g., correspondence, corrections, editorials, linked
articles) should go to Annals.org or to
the print issue in which the article appears. Those who cite this
manuscript should cite the published version, as it is the official
version of record.”
Authors are responsible for informing PMC that it should not make the
accepted manuscript publicly available in the PMC repository until 6 months
after the date of publication in Annals of Internal Medicine.
V. Research and Publication Ethics
Annals follows the recommendations, policies, guidance, and processes
related to research and publication ethics developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal
Editors, the Council on
Publication Ethics, and the Council
of Science Editors. These sources provide information about issues such as
authorship criteria, duplicate publication, scientific misconduct, defining and
managing potential conflicts of interest, editorial independence, retraction of
publications, and the treatment of research participants.
Annals follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors
recommendations for defining authors and contributors (see: www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html).
The ICMJE recommends basing authorship on the following 4 criteria: Substantial
contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition,
analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND drafting the work or
revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND final approval
of the version to be published; AND agreement to be accountable for all aspects
of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of
any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work they have
done, authors should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible
for specific other parts of the work. In addition, authors should have
confidence in the integrity of the contributions of their co-authors.
When used, professional writing assistance must be acknowledged. If
those assisting with the writing do not meet criteria for authorship their
contributions should be noted in the acknowledgments.
The name of at least one specific author should be listed on the byline even
when the article is identified as coming from a group. When a multiauthor group
has conducted the work, it is prudent for the group to decide who will be an
author before the work is started and confirm who is an author before
submitting the manuscript for publication. All members of the group named as
authors should meet criteria for authorship, including approval of the final
manuscript, and they should be prepared to take public responsibility for the
work. They will also be expected as individuals to complete
conflict-of-interest disclosure and author forms. Information on how the
National Library of Medicine handles group authorship is available at www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/authorship.html.
In order to properly acknowledge and index the names of group members, there
should be a note accompanying the group name on the byline. This note should
list all group members and note whether they are authors or non-author
B. Human Subjects Research
Research that involves human participants also includes investigations that
use only human blood, tissue, or medical records. The authors must confirm
review of the study by the appropriate institutional review board or affirm
that the protocol is consistent with the principles of the Declaration of
If the authors did not obtain institutional review board approval before the
start of the study, they should so state and explain the circumstances. If the
study was exempt from review, the authors must state that such exemption
complied with the policy of their local institutional review board. They should
affirm that study participants gave their informed consent or state than an
institutional review board approved conduct of the research without explicit
consent from the participants.
If patients are identifiable from illustrations, photographs, pedigrees,
case reports, or other study data, the authors must attest in writing that
they have obtained signed release from each such individual (or copies of
the figures with the appropriate release statement) giving permission for
publication with the manuscript. To maintain confidentiality about the
identity of subjects, authors should not submit these permission forms to
the journal but must keep them on record.
C. Scientific Misconduct and Breaches of Journal Policy or Ethical
In addition to breaches in procedures related to human subjects,
research misconduct includes issues related to the fabrication or
falsification of data, and plagiarism. Violations of publication ethics
include duplicate publication, misrepresentation of author contributions,
and failure to disclose potential financial conflicts of interest. Should
the Editors suspect research misconduct or violations of publication ethics
related to manuscripts submitted for review, the journal reserves the right
to notify and forward the submitted manuscript to the chief executive
officer and/or dean of the sponsoring institution, the funding institution,
or other appropriate authority for investigation. Annals recognizes
the responsibility to notify the appropriate authorities but does not
undertake the actual investigation or make determinations of misconduct.
The editors will notify the authors of the journal’s intention to
report a suspicion of research misconduct or violation of publication
D. Reader Comments and Responsibility to Respond to Them
Readers can post comments at our Web site to published articles any time after publication. To do so, use the "Comment" tab that appears to the left of the html version of the relevant article. Readers wishing to comment must have access to the article. Access may be obtained if the article is free, the reader is a subscriber/member, the reader is accessing the article via an institutional subscription, or the person purchased pay per view access. For details regarding formatting requirements for Comments, see the table in Section II.A Article Types.
Only those comments posted within 4 weeks of the article’s appearance in a
print issue will be eligible to be considered for publication in the Annals
Letters section. Exceptions will be made if a late comment notes a factual
error that requires correction. Annals will ask authors of the article to draft
a response to comments selected for the Letters section. Authors have a
responsibility to review comments about their articles: They should consider
responding to any that they believe warrant response, and must promptly respond
to comments that raise questions about possible errors in the manuscript.
Authors’ responses to comments that raise questions about possible errors
should either acknowledge and correct the error or confirm that no error was