Journal Submissions - EPC

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Contributing - Publication policy

The aim of Education for Primary Care is to publish general articles, original contributions, news and review articles in the general areas of undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational training, and continuing education of healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom and overseas.

We welcome articles from authors who have had teaching experience, and who have evaluated new and successful teaching methods which they would like to share with their colleagues. These can be one-to-one or group teaching skills.

Contributions should be sent online. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]


Leading articles

Leading articles should be a fully referenced personal view on a topic in the field of medical and healthcare education or an overview (summary of work done) in an important or topical educational area. A leading article is an opportunity to influence the community of practice. The length of a leading article should be 1500–2000 words.


Main papers

Main papers are intended to describe original research, which includes systematic reviews and analysis. The quality of the educational research and the quality of writing are the main determinants of acceptance for publication.

The length of a main paper should be 1500-3000 words.  The general format is left to the author, who should try to use two types of headings only in the main text and where possible include references, either in support of statements which have been made or as a guide to further reading. Research papers will generally contain scientific evaluation. Authors are encouraged to help the reader by using bullet points and summary tables. Lengthier tables and appendices may appear on our website.

Each paper should include a status box which positions the author's work under the headings: what is already known in this area; what this work adds; suggestions for future work or research. Authors are invites to suggest suitable keywords – preferably MESH terms. A 200 word (max) abstract should summarise the paper.



Leading articles may be commissioned (without remuneration) and may or may not be peer reviewed. Main articles will always be sent off for peer review.


Other articles

Many other types of submission are invited. Letters to the editor are welcome, and  can often be published quickly.  Articles describing practical educational interventions, even if not yet fully evaluated, may be published in ‘Teaching Exchange’. Where possible, authors should put their work in the context of current literature, and bear in mind that other educators will be interested in what worked and how. Articles for both sections should be no more than 2000 words. We have a special section ‘Innovations’  for papers which describe a genuine innovation in educational practice at either undergraduate or postgraduate level. Unlike ‘Teaching exchange’, ‘Innovations’ can include advances in educational management or leadership.  We also welcome Teaching tips – short ideas of up to 400 words. We are always interested in fillers – articles of  say 300, 600 or 900 words which can fill space in our journal. This is an ideal opportunity for you to write a piece about medical humanities or review a book of interest to medical educators.


Optional and Required Statements


Previous submissions  You are required to let us know if you have submitted your work for publication elsewhere - please be aware that this will not disadvantage you; we make our own decisions on publication in the light of what we think will interest our audience. We may ask you for previous reviews and editorial opinions, which are often helpful in showing where and how your work has evolved. If we accept your work we will not publish details of previous submissions;

• Previous publication  You are required to let us know if a substantial part of the work you are now submitting to us has been published elsewhere, and this includes being made available on a website. If we accept your work, we will make clear to our readers the extent of any previous publication;

Funding  You are required to declare funding sources for your work;

Conflicts of Interest – You are required to declare any conflict of interest connected with the publication of your paper. If you are unsure as to whether you have a conflict of interest, please consult the editor. Each paper will include a conflict of interest statement, which may be “none declared”;

Communicating author – We will always publish postal and e-mail addresses of the single author to whom communications should be addressed;

Ethical approvals – For all original work we require a statement about ethical approvals. If you want to state ‘none required’ you should explain why;

Acknowledgements – You may acknowledge the work of people (other than the authors) who have made a significant contribution to your work.


Ethical issues

Education for Primary Care upholds the ethical principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) which are available at

Authors are referred to the need to conform to the Declaration of Helsinki and to provide confirmation that the study has been approved by a named Research Ethics Committee.

Authors are also asked to declare, where relevant, that patient consent has been obtained and that all reasonable steps have been taken to maintain patient confidentiality.

Once submitted authors are assured that the material under consideration will be kept confidential.

Authors have the right to appeal against editorial decisions. Once an appeal is lodged, this will be dealt with by one or more editorial board members who have not been involved in the editorial progress of the paper in question.

Misconduct is investigated and acted on according to COPE guidance.



• These should be in the Vancouver style and their accuracy checked before submission.

• References should be numbered in the text and listed consecutively at the end of the article in the order that they appear in the text. They should be assigned superscript numbers, outside any punctuation.

• The list of references should include surnames and initials of all authors (unless there are more than six, in which case the first three should be mentioned followed by et al.). The format of references is as follows:


          o Example 1: author of whole book or other publication
             Fentem PH (1992) Allied Dunbar National Fitness Survey: main findings. Belmont Press: Northampton.

          o Example 2: chapter in a book
              Beaumont B and Janikiewicz S (1997) Working with other agencies. In: Beaumont B (ed) Care of Drug Users in General Practice – a harm minimisation approach. Radcliffe Medical Press: Oxford, pp. 1–12.

          o Example 3: journal article
             Bahrami J and Dwyer DM (1987) A method of selecting trainees. Journal of the Association of Course Organisers 1: 82–8.


• Authors should note that the journal titles should be written in full, and volume numbers and end page numbers are required.

• Information taken from unpublished papers, personal communications and observations should only be included in the text and not referred to as a formal reference.

• Authors are responsible for the accuracy of their references.



Figures should not be inserted in the main text but should be appended on the electronic submission with figure number, title of paper and name of author. All graphs and diagrams should be referred to as figures and should be numbered consecutively in the text in Arabic numerals (e.g. Figure 3).



Tables should be numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals. Their approximate position in the text should be indicated.



These will be sent to the author if there is sufficient time to do so. They are for making essential corrections and are not at this stage for general revision or alteration. Proofs should be corrected and returned within three days of receipt.



Offprints may be ordered when proofs are returned. A copy of the relevant issue of the journal will be sent free to the authors of each paper.