gms | German Medical Science

GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine

Corporate journal of German scientific societies in psychosocial medicine

ISSN 1860-5214

Information for authors

Authors' Guidelines. Status: 20/02/13

1. General Information
GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine (p-s-m) is an open access e-journal, which publishes articles from the whole area of psychosocial research in medicine in English on an interdisciplinary level. All articles go through an investigation procedure before publication. The authors' guidelines principally follow the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals.
2. Publication Requirements
The submitted manuscripts or substantial parts of them should not have been previously published or submitted for publication somewhere else. The abbreviated version of the contents for presentation at a meeting is not regarded as a publication.
2.1 Authorship and Copyright
All authors insure that they have furnished a substantial contribution to the article and that they are in agreement with form and contents of the manuscript. The author conducting the negotiations confirms in the Author's Contract that he or she holds the copyrights on the works as well as on the text and illustrations attached 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 p-s-m. In cases of publication, the author grants p-s-m the right to store the work in databases for an unlimited period of time, to distribute and to reproduce the article in electronic form, as well as to provide individualized print-outs for users by means of a print-on-demand service. All remaining exploitation rights of the author are not restricted. However, all further publications should make reference to the original publication (originally published in: GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine 2004;1:...).
2.2 Conflict of Interests, Funding
Financial or other support of institutes or companies, as well as promotion funds, is to be stated in the acknowledgments or conflict of interests section. All financial or other connections, which the author has to a company, whose products or competition products play an important role in represented facts of the matter, should be described and enclosed in the cover letter. This notification is handled confidentially and only when the manuscript is accepted for publication it will be published together with the manuscript after due consultation with the author.
An important aspect of scientific publication is the indication of funding support. You must ensure that the full, correct details of your funder(s) and any relevant grant numbers are included. A funding statement may be worded as follows: 'This work was supported by [name of funder] grant number [xxx]'.
2.3 Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy
When using records of patients it must be guaranteed that the person is not identifiable on the basis of the portrayal. Otherwise, the author must seek explicit consent from the person concerned (or their representative) that he or she agrees with the publication in the present form. The existence of such a consent is to be confirmed by the author in writing.
2.4 Informed Consent
All manuscripts on clinical research performed in humans or with materials obtained from humans must include a section declaring that the research project has been approved by an institutional review board or ethics committee and that patients or probands have granted informed consent prior to inclusion.
2.5 Ethical treatment of animals
All manuscripts on animal research must report procedures by which ethical treatment of animals has been guaranteed.
3. Authors' fee
Editorial processing, the editing of the text for the online format, the online posting and permanent storage of manuscripts accrues costs that cannot be financed through the professional associations that carry p-s-m. Therefore, each manuscript published online ensues a fee of currently € 400.
This fee is charged for all manuscripts that are submitted on or after 1st of July 2012 for the first time and is due after the final acceptance of the manuscript. The manuscript will be published online only after receipt of the fee.
4. Manuscript Preparation
4.1 In General
The manuscripts should be submitted in English, but a German abstract and German title translation must be included. Non-German authors of accepted manuscripts may contact one of the editors for help with the German translation of their abstracts and titles. Authors may also submit German manuscripts with the understanding that once accepted the manuscripts have to be translated into English language by the authors themselves or at the authors' cost. The manuscripts may include tables, diagrams and pictures, as well as sound or video sequences.
4.1.1 Cover letter
All manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter. In this cover letter the authors must state any overlap of the manuscript submitted to p-s-m with manuscripts already published or submitted elsewhere. The authors should also declare that and how each coauthor contributed to the research project and the preparation of the manuscript. The submitting author also has to affirm that all coauthors have read the final manuscript and agree with its publication in the present form. Finally, any potential conflicts of interests must be disclosed in this letter.
4.1.2 Title Page
On the first page of the manuscript the English and German title of the article is stated, followed by the surnames and first names of all authors, their email addresses and the facilities where they are active. Then give separately the name, mail and email address of the author conducting the correspondence.
4.1.3 Abstract and Key Words
All original contributions, case descriptions and survey papers are to be preceded by an English and a German abstract (International authors may ask for help with the German abstract; see 4.1). The summary is to be drawn up in such a way that it represents a condensed extract of the work. All abstracts should be submitted in outline format, using the bolded headings of Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusions. The author should indicate adequate keywords which, as far as possible, are taken from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). With original papers and case descriptions you should also indicate the trade names and names of the producer of the drugs applied and medical devices, as well as the chemical substances and their CAS number in order to make this information indexable in appropriate databases. Further structural recommendations are given with the individual article types.
4.1.4 Literature References
The literature cited in the text must be listed at the end of the article according to the Vancouver Style of References also used in Medline. References should be numbered in the order in which they are listed in the reference list. The reference list may be sorted in the order in which references are first mentioned in the text or, alternatively, in alphabetical order by first authors' names. In any case, references in the reference list should be preceded by consecutive numbers. Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in 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.
Journal article on the Internet:
Eysenbach G. SARS and population health technology. J Med Internet Res. 2003;5(2):e14. Available from:
Homepage/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:
Further detailed sample references
4.2 Article Types
Research articles
deal with current problems, with adequate empirical or experimental methodology. It should be evident from the papers that they make a substantial contribution in clarifying the formulated problem. They are to be subdivided into: Abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion.
Case reports
represent a case relevant for the scientific interest. They are to be subdivided into: Abstract, introduction, case description, discussion, conclusion.
Review articles
are to show the state of research in detail, summarize and clarify open research questions. Review articles should include abstract and introduction, furthermore, they may be subdivided sectionwise according to the requirements of the topic. Book and software reviews refer to important monographs and electronic programs from the area of medicine.
Rapid publications/short communications and letters to the editor
contain comments or announcements and communications with news character and are principally welcome as a central element in the discussion of research results. They go through a peer review like the other articles. In comparison, rapid responses are commentaries that cannot be cited, are limited in length and linked directly to an article to make discussions possible. The editorial staff reserves the right at any time to select, as well as to abridge and revise them. This feature will be implemented shortly.
Announcements about awards, scientific prizes and personalities as well as consensus papers and other official statements
should be submitted by the respective expert association.
4.3 Technical Requirements
4.3.1 Typography and Technical Terms
Do not use block style or hyphenation when drawing up your manuscripts. Line breaks are only to be inserted in paragraphs.
Literature references are to be numbered in the text as described in 4.1.4 and the lists of literature are to be cited at the end of the document as text, under no circumstances by means of the automatic footnote function. All illustrations and tables are to be provided with legends and numbered consecutively.
The publication system of GMS does not allow for annotations in the form of footnotes or endnotes. Textual explications must be integrated in the plain text (e.g. in brackets, italic).
The basic units of the International System for Measures and Weights (SI) and the units derived from them are to be used for all units of measurement. For the indication of blood pressure values the unit "mmHg" is permissible, for the indication of temperatures the unit °C. When using other units in illustrations and tables the conversion factors are to be indicated in the legend.
The nomenclature of the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) resp. the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) is to be used for the designation of chemical substances. The additional indication of the register number of the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) is recommended.
Generally, the generic name is to be used when mentioning drugs. If certain commercial products were used in the research, then these trade names and the names of the producer should be quoted in the method part. In addition, this data will be indexable via the recording in special data fields (s. 4.1.3). The spelling in the "Red List" applies. Abbreviations without solutions should be only used, if they are generally common (DNA, WHO). All remaining abbreviations are to be identified when first used. If necessary, an abbreviation list should be added.
4.3.2 Text Formats
Each author has the possibility to submit research papers into the Manuscript Operating System (MOPS) of GMS. Acceptable text formats are MS-Word (*.doc) and Rich Text Format (*.rtf).
4.3.3 Graphic Formats
The following graphic formats may be used: the formats TIFF and BMP (loss-free bitmap-formats); GIF and PNG (bitmap-formats compressed) for charts, JPG (compressable bitmap-format) for photos. Even if the graphics are integrated in the text, they should be provided additionally as separate files with clear file names. You can upload your files in the Manuscript Operating System (MOPS).
5. Peer review process
The receipt of each manuscript will be acknowledged by p-s-m. p-s-m uses a peer review process, which is based on the novelty and scientific quality of the material submitted. Articles are reviewed by at least two reviewers in the field. Authors are encouraged to indicate an appropriate p-s-m association or suggest a reviewer together with their submission. If possible, one of the reviewers will be chosen according to the preferences of the author.
Based on the judgements, the Editor-in-Chief makes a final decision about the acceptance of a paper. Authors will be notified of this decision in due time.
Authors' Guidelines for GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine (PDF)

Author's Contract

§ 1 Subject Matter of the Contract
  1. The subject of this contract is the submitted work of the author under the title:
  2. The author insures that he or she alone is authorized to dispose over the rights of use on his work promoted by copyright and that hitherto he made no legal concessions that oppose to the provisions of this contract.
    This also applies to the standard texts or master illustrations supplied by the author and whose rights of use he or she holds. If he or she offers GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine (in the following: p-s-m) standard texts or master illustrations for which this does not apply, or where it is uncertain if this applies, then he or she has to inform p-s-m about it and about all recognizable legally relevant facts known to him or her. As soon as p-s-m assigns the author with the procurement of other standard texts or master illustrations, a special agreement is required.
  3. The author is obligated to point out to p-s-m in writing if the work includes interpretations from persons or incidents with which the risk of an infringement of personal rights is connected.
§ 2 Rights
  1. The author transfers to p-s-m the basic right of duplicaton and circulation of machine readable data media and their safeguard media.
  2. The author transfers to p-s-m the right to electronic storage in databases and web pages, to make available to the public for individual requests and display on the monitor.
  3. The author transfers to p-s-m the right for the translation into other languages.
  4. The author transfers to p-s-m the right of Print-on-Demand-Production.
  5. If p-s-m is entitled to process the work or to have it processed, then impairments which are suitable to endanger the intellectual and personal rights of the author on the work are to be avoided.
  6. p-s-m grants an online-access-right to the author pertaining to his or her work that is stored in the database.
§ 3 Contractual Obligation
  1. The work will first appear exclusively in electronic form, subsequent changes of the form of the first edition require the author's agreement.
  2. p-s-m is obligated to duplicate, circulate and adequately campaign for the work in the form specified in section 1, once it has been accepted for publication.
§ 4 Fee
  1. The author does not receive a fee for his or her work.
§ 5 Author Designation, Copyright-Note
  1. p-s-m is obligated to appropriately identify the author as originator of the work.
  2. p-s-m is obligated to attach the copyright note with the publication of the work in the sense of the Universal Copyright Convention.
§ 6 Change of Ownership and Program Structures of p-s-m
  1. p-s-m is obligated to indicate to the authors if a substantial change results in its ownership or distribution of property. A change is substantial, if
    a) p-s-m or relevant parts of p-s-m are sold;
    b) in the distribution of the property of a company operated by p-s-m, variances of at least 25 % of the capital or voting share arise as opposed to that at the time of the conclusion of the contract.
§ 7 Final Clause

If not regulated by this contract, the general legal provisions of law of the Federal Republic of Germany apply. The invalidity or inefficacy of individual regulations of this contract does not affect the validity of the remaining regulations. The parties are then obligated to replace the deficient regulation by such a regulation whose economic and legal sense comes closest to that of the regulation to be replaced.

Author's Contract for GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine (PDF)