gms | German Medical Science

GMS Journal for Medical Education

Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA)

ISSN 2366-5017

Information for authors

GMS Journal for Medical Education – Authors' Guidelines
[version: 01.01.2016]

1. General information
GMS Journal for Medical Education (GMS J Med Educ) – formerly GMS Zeitschrift für Medizinische Ausbildung – is an open access, interdisciplinary e-journal which publishes a wide range of papers, in both German and English, on the entire field of medical education and continuing medical education. Before publication all articles go through a peer review process. The guidelines for authors follow the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals.
The processing fee for manuscript submission amounts to 200 € for non-GMA-members and to € 75 for GMA-members as of 01/01/2015 (The discount applies only for natural persons). Relevant is the corresponding author. Students publish at no charge. There are no further publication fees (APCs) for the author.
All authors may upload their submissions into the Manuscript Operating System (MOPS) of German Medical Science (GMS). This option is available via "Login & Submit" on the GMS Web site (
Alternatively manuscripts may be sent via e-mail to the editorial office of GMS J Med Educ, Beate Herrmannsdörfer, c/o Corscience GmbH & Co. KG, Hartmannstraße 65, 91052 Erlangen,
The Editorial Office will confirm the receipt of the manuscript and inform you of the manuscript's acceptance or rejection. No liability shall be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts. Recourse to legal action is excluded for all procedures concerning the submission and publication of manuscripts.
2. Publication requirements
2.1 Goals and target groups
GMS J Med Educ accepts submissions on issues and problems within the medical education and continuing medical education, medicine didactics, adult education, quality management in teaching, pedagogical psychology (insofar as it is relevant to medical education), educational policies and higher education. The journal's goal is to provide information and communications on medical education and continuing medical education, including relevant research. The target audience includes all persons involved in higher education as well as the interested public.
Submissions can include the formats given in 3.2.
Manuscripts can be submitted in the categories given in 3.3.
2.2 Authorship and copyright
All authors ensure that they have each made a substantial contribution to the article and that they are in agreement with regards to the form and content of the manuscript. The author conducting the negotiations confirms in the Author's Contract that he holds the rights to both the work and the text and illustrations therein. If material (e.g., illustrations or tables) is used from other sources, the author must submit a written statement from the holder of the copyrights indicating agreement with publication in GMS J Med Educ. The exact source is to be cited in the text or in the corresponding legend or caption. In case of publication, the author shall grant GMS J Med Educ the right to store the article for an unlimited amount of time in databases, the right of distribution and reproduction of the article in electronic form, as well as the right to provide individualized prints for users of the print-on-demand service. All remaining usage rights of the author are not restricted; however, any further publication of the article must carry a notice of where it was published first ("originally published in: GMS J Med Educ. 2016;33…").
2.3 Conflicts of interest/support
Financial or other kinds of support received from institutes or companies, as well as public funding, are to be listed in the acknowledgments or conflict of interests section. The author should disclose in an attached form any financial or other ties he or she has to a company whose products or whose competitor's products are central to the facts contained in the article. This information will be treated confidentially. If the manuscript is accepted for publication, the Editorial Office will discuss with the author how this information will be communicated.
An important aspect in scientific publication is information about funding. The correct full name of the sponsor and the corresponding grant number must be indicated. The information on funding can be formulated as follows: This article was funded by [sponsors name] under grant number [xxx].
2.4 Protection of subjects and patients
When using photographs of patients or subjects, the author must ensure that the person is rendered unidentifiable. Otherwise, the author must seek explicit consent from the person concerned (or their representative) that he or she agrees to the publication in the present form. The author shall confirm in writing that this consent has been given.
2.5 Ethical standard/information and consent
Studies on persons must comply with the ethical standards of the Declaration of Helsinki (2008 Seoul version) and those of the Declaration of Geneva. Clinical studies and educational interventions require the opinion, and if necessary, the approval of an ethics committee. If applicable the author must state that the informed consent of patients and subjects as well as the approval of an ethics committee has been granted.
2.6 VG Wort royalties “texts in the internet”
In case of publication the text can be marked by a counter of the VG Wort on the author’s request (for further information:
3. Composition of the manuscripts
Only submissions can be considered for publication which have been prepared with careful consideration of this information.
3.1 General information
The manuscripts can be submitted in German or English. Manuscripts may also contain tables, figures and pictures as well as audio and video sequences. Following acceptance for publication, the text must be translated either into English or German (by a translation agency or a native speaker) as the Z Med Ausbild publishes bilingually. The author has to provide a declaration that the translation was examined and the content conforms to the original.
3.1.1 Cover letter
All manuscripts require a cover letter which should contain the following points:
  • A declaration containing a possible overlap of the submission to GMS J Med Educ and other already published or submitted manuscripts
  • A declaration that each author has contributed to the research project and the preparation of the manuscript, and explanation how each one has done so
  • A statement by the author submitting the manuscript that all co-authors have read the finished manuscript and approve of its publication in the present form
  • A declaration relative to the claims listened in 2.5 on the ethical standard
  • Finally, any conflicts of interest must be disclosed.
3.1.2 Length of the manuscript
Manuscripts should not exceed the following length. Manuscripts that are short and concise have better chances for publication:
  • Articles – Research papers, reviews, project reports: up to 21,000 characters
  • Short commmunications– Research papers, project reports: up to 6,000 characters
  • Other publications: up to 6,000 characters
  • Letters to the editor: up to 2,500 characters
  • Additionally to all research papers, reviews and project reports an abstract must be submitted, which should not exceed 400 words.
Number of characters = only the text without title, authors, abstract, figuren/tables and references. Blanks and headings are included in the number of characters. Please construct your manuscript obligatorily by following the technical requirements given in 3.4.
3.1.3 Information on the structure of the manuscript
The main sections of the submission should be clearly separated by short subheadings and a decimal numbering up to 3 figures (e.g., 1. Introduction 1.1 Problem 1.1.1 Historical background … 1.1.4 Objective of the paper ... 1.2 Question, etc.).
3.1.4 Title page
The first page of the manuscript should state the title of the article in German and in English, followed by the authors' full names, their e-mail addresses and institutional affiliations in which they work. Below this, the name, postal and e-mail addresses of the corresponding author should be listed separately.
3.1.5 Abstract and keywords
All reviews, research and project works must be preceded by an abstract. The abstract is to be drawn up in such a way that it represents a condensed extract of the work (max. 1,800 characters). It should be divided in bold-faced headings objectives, methods, results, and conclusion. At the bottom the author should list appropriate keywords, which should be selected from Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) as far as is possible. In addition, the author should specify any trade names or manufacturer names of pharmaceuticals and medical products used, as well as chemical substances and their CAS numbers, in order for this information to be indexed in appropriate databases. See "Article Types" for further information on manuscript guidelines.
3.1.6 References
The literature cited in the text is listed at the end of the article in the reference list and in accordance with the Vancouver Style of References, which is also used in MEDLINE. References should be numbered in the order in which they were listed in the reference list. The reference list can be arranged according to the citation in the text or alphabetically according to the surnames of the first author. The references list is to be numbered consecutively in any case. The numbers from the references list are used for the citations in text, tables and legends, whereby the Arabic numerals are placed within square brackets. Please do not use footnotes!
Some examples:
Standard journal article:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347(4):284-7.
Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.
Chapter/Contribution in a monograph:
Meltzer PS, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p. 93-113.
Anderson SC, Poulsen KB. Anderson's electronic atlas of hematology [CD-ROM]. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002.
Online journal article:
Eysenbach G. SARS and population health technology. J Med Internet Res. 2003;5(2):e14. Available from:
Web site: [homepage on the Internet]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc.; c2000-01 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from:
For further detailed sample references, see
Personal messages and unpublished works should not be located in the reference list. 
3.1.7 Figures and tables
Figures and graphic illustrations serve to present facts in a condensed form. They may be used to visualize structures or interactions. They should help to clarify the text. Figures and/or tables should not be used to repeat what has been presented in the text, nor should the text repeat the information in the figures/tables; numerical data in particular should only be presented once, either in the text or, preferably, in a table or figure. Please draw up your figures and tables according to the requirements of the American Psychological Association (APA). 
3.1.8 Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements, e.g. to collaborators, who collected material, but were not involved in the process of creating the manuscript should be located at the end of the text. Furthermore the acknowledgements should be short but include a justification for the mention.
3.2 Article types
3.2.1. Articles (up to 21,000 characters)
a) Articles – Research papers
These address current scientific questions regarding education, advanced professional training and continuing education in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and the health professions (referred to in the following as medical education and advanced training). These papers have an adequate theoretical basis, apply appropriate methods and lead to relevant results. A paper of this type should take a clear step toward clarifying its main issue (research question). Particularly in respect to papers involving quantitative methods, we recommend drawing on the expertise of methodologists or statisticians. Research papers need to follow this sequence: abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion and conclusions.
b) Articles – Reviews
Overviews should present the current state of research concerning a relevant issue or topic in medical education and advanced training. They should summarize and outline unanswered research questions for better understanding in the future. Overviews should contain an abstract and introduction, but may be structured as determined by the topic or issue. Meta-analyses or structured overviews are welcome.
c) Articles – Project reports
These present a project with relevance to medical education and advanced training (e.g. curricular changes, courses, continuing education programs). The need or issue giving rise to the project’s development and how it was implemented should be clearly communicated. Particular value should be placed on scientific aspects (e.g. consideration of pertinent preliminary studies, reference to pedagogical concepts and constructs, multi-dimensional evaluation). If possible, evaluation data should be reported, with which it is possible to assess the extent to which the project goals have been realized. In general, project papers should follow this sequence: abstract, introduction, project description, results, discussion, conclusion.
3.2.2. Short commmunications (research paper/project report; up to 6,000 characters)
These can either report on research data from an research paper or present a project. The structure should reflect the content (see the different article subtypes).
3.2.3. Letters to the editor (up to 2,500 characters)
These contain comments on and discussions of published articles.
3.2.4. Editorials
These are brief texts that express opinions on a journal issue’s focal topic, individual articles, or topics of general importance to medical education and advanced training. Editorials are commissioned by the chief editors and can contain figures and/or short literature lists.
3.2.5. Commentaries (up to 6,000 characters)
Commentaries are well-founded statements of opinion and assumptions of a hypothetical nature that address current problems or issues in medical education and advanced training. These should contain an abstract and introduction, but may otherwise be structured as required by the content.
3.2.6  Recommendations and Position papers
These are recommendations regarding medical education that are based on evidence and consensus and that have been drafted in a clearly presented manner. As a general rule, these must be approved by the GMA board prior to publication.
3.2.7. Book reviews and Conference reports
These are brief commentaries on books or events.
3.2.8. Obituaries
These are brief tributes to deceased persons who have contributed significantly to the field of medical education.
3.3 Categories
Particular topics can be summarized in the following categories:
Human medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, healthcare professions, students, public health, and health policies, student contributions.
The last category covers contributions from students on medical education and advanced training and is meant to increase the visibility of precisely those who profit most from successful improvements to education. Position papers, opinions, reports on personal experience, and research projects in the field of education are welcome. The type of article as described under numbers 3.2.1 through 3.2.8 must be indicated on the manuscript.
3.4 Technical requirements
3.4.1 Typography and technical terms
  • Enter your text as running text (i.e., only use hard line breaks at the end of a paragraph); do not use block style or end-of-line hyphenation.
  • To indent a paragraph, use a tab stop or the indent function instead of spaces.
  • Enable the automatic page numbering feature of your application.
  • Use no more than one form of emphasis in your manuscript (e.g., only italic).
  • Use the ASCII code for special characters.
  • Citations are to be numbered consecutively in the text as explained in 3.1.6 and listed as text in the references section at the end of the document. Do not use the automatic footnote function. The GMS publication system does not allow for comments in the form of footnotes and endnotes. Textual explanations have to be integrated into the continuous text (in brackets, in italics, etc.).
  • All figures and tables are to be placed on an extra paper and provided with legends and numbered consecutively. Please indicate clearly in the manuscript where figures and/or tables are to be inserted.
  • The basic units of the International System of Units (SI) and the units derived from them are to be used for all units of measurement. The unit "mmHg" is permissible for blood pressure values; the unit "°C" may be used for temperature. If other units of measure are used in figures and tables, please indicate the conversion factors in the legend.
  • For the designation of chemical substances, use the nomenclature of the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) or the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB). We recommend indicating the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number in addition.
  • Generic names should be used for pharmaceuticals in most cases.
  • If commercial products were used during the research, then their trade names and the names of their manufacturers should be mentioned in the Methods section. In addition, this information will be indexable by recording it in special data fields. For articles written in German, the orthography of "Rote Liste" applies.
  • Common acronyms such as DNA and WHO may be used without further explanation. The complete term for all other acronyms should be given when they are first used. A list of acronyms and abbreviations may be added to the manuscript if necessary.
3.4.2 Submission and text formats
Authors may upload their submissions into the Manuscript Operating System (MOPS) of German Medical Science (GMS). This option is available via "Login & Submit" on the GMS Web site ( Alternatively, manuscripts may be submitted as an e-mail attachment to the editorial office of the GMS J Med Educ. Electronic submissions may be sent as Microsoft Word (*.doc) or Rich Text Format (*.rtf) files. The processing fee for manuscript submission amounts to 200 € for non-GMA-members as of 01/01/2012. Relevant is the corresponding author.
3.4.3 Graphic formats
The following graphic formats can be used: TIFF and BMP (bitmap formats with no data loss), GIF and PNG (compressed bitmap formats) for charts, JPG (compressible bitmap format) for photos. Even if the graphics are integrated in the text, please provide them additionally as separate files with clear file names.
3.4.4 Research Data / Primary Data (Supplementary Material)
We expect our authors to submit relevant underlying data in addition to the manuscripts for peer review and publication. This complies with demands of funding organizations like Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and European Research Council in terms of "Good scientific practice". By co-operation with the Dryad repository, German Medical Science offers an easy way to achieve that. Dryad is both an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature, and a membership organization, governed by journals, publishers, scientific societies, and other stakeholders. Benefits of publishing research data / primary data include:
For authors:
  • Citeability: via persistent identifiers (DOI)
  • Long-term archiving
  • Independent quality assurance through peer review
  • Legal security: Like the article, data are published under a Creative commons licence. Dryad is using the Creative Commons Zero.
For the scientific community:
  • Subsequent use: enables further interpretation of data, utilization for follow-up research projects, creation of interconnections between data sets, data/text mining
  • Transparency: through traceability and reproducibility (if applicable) of research results
  • Efficiency: through limitation of work and financial expenses
Please submit a descriptive caption together with your data. Use of platform-independent file formats is required, such as:
  • For additional documentation (e.g. detailed case reports): PDF
  • For image data: GIF, TIFF, PNG, JPG
  • For audio-visual material: MPG
  • For text or tabular data: TXT, CSV
If you have further questions about the data submission, please send an e-mail to For general questions concerning the manuscript submission, please address the Editorial Office of GMS J Med Educ.
3.5 Proofs
The proofs should be checked carefully and the corrected proofs are to be returned to the editorial office. Corrections must be made by the specified deadline; proofs returned after this deadline cannot be considered. The publisher reserves the right to seek reimbursement from the author for proofs returned late or which contain exceptionally extensive corrections or corrections for which the author is responsible. The proofs must be returned by the deadline in order to ensure that the journal can be published on time.
4. Review process
The Editorial Office of GMS J Med Educ confirms the receipt of every manuscript. All submissions go through a review process which assesses the originality and scientific quality of the presented material. The review is conducted by at least two experts chosen by the editorial advisory board. In case of a positive review (where necessary, after a revision), the editorial advisory board sends its recommendation to the editor-in-chief. The editor-in-chief makes the final decision on whether the manuscript will be accepted or not. The Editorial Office communicates this decision to the authors as soon as possible (precise description, see “about ZMA”).