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Additional instructions

Submissions such as original articles, advances in emergency medicine and continuing medical education should be limited to 2000-3000 words. Review articles including systemic review and meta-analysis should be no more than 3000-4000 words.



Editorials or commentaries

Although normally by invitation, authors may submit a focused discussion on major current problems of emergency physicians or on controversial matters with significant implications for emergency medicine. Article length should be 1000-1500 words.



Review articles including systematic reviews and meta-analysis

WJEM publishes reviews of the recent and past scientific literature. Review articles, especially systematic reviews, aim at the topic or research question addressed. Articles or data resources should be evaluated systematically for inclusion in the review, and the process of evaluation should be described in the paper. Authors of systematic reviews incorporating meta-analysis should refer to the QUOROM statement on the improvement of the quality of reports of meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (see table).  

Authors of systematic reviews are required to define a clear and clinically relevant research question; retrieve and describe relevant reviews published to date; document their limitations and justify the need for a more comprehensive review; define the search strategy used to identify primary articles; describe the methods used to select primary studies; specify inclusion and exclusion criteria (criteria for selecting primary studies should be based on population studied, intervention or exposure, study outcomes, and study methodology); perform a blinded assessment of the quality of the selected articles; assess the reliability of this process by measuring the agreement of 2 evaluators; account for all studies identified by the search and justify exclusions; describe the method of combining study results; discuss variation within and between studies; state their conclusions; compare their conclusions to the literature and current standard of care ; outline the limitations of the review; suggest areas for future research.

A structured abstract for a systematic review should include such headings as Background, Data resources, Results, and Conclusions.



Original articles

These articles present primary data arising from original research. Randomized clinical trials should conform to the criteria specified in the CONSORT statement (see table) ( All clinical trial reports submitted to WJEM must be registered with an internationally accepted clinical trials registry and the registration number should be included in the manuscript. Researchers initiating studies should register as soon as the approval of the ethics board has been obtained. Authors of retrospective medical record reviews should, where appropriate, incorporate the design elements. Authors reporting the performance of a diagnostic test should follow the STARD initiative (see table).

Original articles should be within the recommended word count, excluding tables, figures and references. The Introduction section should describe study background, objectives and hypotheses. The Methods section should include a description of the overall study design, the study setting, time period, patients studied (with eligibility criteria), a description of the intervention, the primary and secondary outcome measures, and the statistical analysis employed. The Results section should include primary and secondary results, with appropriate tables and figures. The Discussion section should highlight the important study findings and discuss these in the context of the published literature. In addition, this section should identify limitations of the research and future directions. Conclusions should be stated in one paragraph and should be supported by the data.  A structured abstract must also be included as mentioned above.



Pharmacotherapy and toxicology-related articles

Articles are usually evidence-based reviews of current trends in pharmacology and therapeutics, and of drug therapies in emergency medicine. Reviews may focus on new pharmaceutical modalities or new indications for older medications.

Reviews should describe the background of the agent(s) under review and their objectives. This description should be followed by comparisons to other drugs within the same class. These articles should have sufficient detail to allow the readers to understand the mechanism of the new agent and to appreciate some of the pharmacokinetic principles for dosing of the agent. The body of the review should be clinically evidenced and critically evaluate the current evidence, negative and positive. Efficacy, safety and cost on the use of this agent should be emphasized in addition to the limitations and unanswered questions that arise from the current literature. Articles about toxicology should be related to the nature, effects and detection of toxins and their treatment.



Emergency medicine related to pediatrics

Articles about pediatric emergency medicine are welcome if they are related to the clinical practice or orther aspects of this specialty.



Community emergency medicine

Topics on community emergency medicine should be related to clinical practice in specific settings. Authors are encouraged to submit original research articles about clinical or other topics specific to this practice.



Continuing education

Original research articles related to continuing education in emergency medicine are welcome. Topics include didactic teaching, clinical training methods and clinical and formal evaluation techniques.



Case reports

Case reports should illustrate an important error or practice point for emergency physicians, identify previously un-described findings or phenomena, or describe a therapy that could lead to future research or a change in practice.

Case reports should conform to the general guidelines set by the Uniform Requirements. They should include a brief introduction (1-2 paragraphs describing why the topic is important); a case report with a succinct summary of relevant historical, physical, laboratory and imaging findings, emergency department diagnosis, management, and disposition, and relevant follow-up information; a discussion summarizing what the case illustrates and what the teaching points are; and a 1-paragraph conclusion.



Clinical imaging and techniques

Articles report interesting, high quality clinical images with accompanying text that briefly reviews the important features of the related case, which will stimulate diagnostic discussion. Diagnosis and explanation should be distinct from the case presentation. Brief reports of clinical techniques or pearls are also welcome. Article length should be1000-1500 words.



Letters to the Editor

Letters should be addressed to the editor, should be submitted electronically at Letters will be considered for publication if they relate to topics of interest to emergency physicians in urban, rural, community or academic settings. Letters are generally not peer reviewed but may be edited for brevity and clarity. Letters will be limited to 400 words and 5 references. Letters responding to a previously published WJEM article should reach the WJEM editorial office within 6 weeks of the article's publication. Authors whose work is discussed will be given an opportunity to respond.




Submissions should reflect the challenges of working in medicine. Generally they should be humorous and/or provide some human interest and add to our understanding of the physician experience. Articles should be less than 1000 words in length.

Manuscript submission and editing

Manuscripts should be submitted via the submission system at All submissions should be accompanied by a covering letter. Within the letter, authors should identify potential conflicts of interest and financial disclosures, specify each author's contribution to the work, and indicate that all coauthors have agreed to publish the manuscript.

Figures should be separated from the text, each printed individually on a single sheet of paper. If figures, illustrations, tables or other materials have been taken or adapted from a previous publication, the authors should obtain written permission from the publishers or original authors to reproduce these items and send the said permission to WJEM. If patients could possibly be identified by photographs or descriptions in the manuscript, authors should provide the journal written consent from the patients to publish their photographs or descriptions. Enquries about manuscript submission can be sent to

Previous publication

Submitted manuscripts are considered with the understanding by WJEM that they have not been previously published nor are they under consideration for publication by other journals. Authors should consult the Uniform requirements for detailed guidelines on previous publication and exceptions.

Additional resources

Authors are encouraged to submit articles in many areas of research. The methodological guidelines for reporting different types of studies have been summarized and validated in a number of publications. Authors should check their manuscripts with these reporting guidelines to ensure that all important information for journal editors and readers is present. The most common reporting guidelines for different published study designs are summarized in Table 1.  This list is not comprehensive for all possible study designs, but does cover all major study types commonly published.

Table 1. Additional resource 

Study design Reporting guidelines

Randomized controlled trial (RCT)

superiority design

CONSORT Statement

(Begg et al, JAMA 1996, 276(8), 637-9)

RCT with non-inferiority/equivalence design

Modified CONSORT Statement

(Piaggio et al, JAMA 2006: 295, 1152-1160)

Systematic review of therapeutic interventions

QUOROM Statement

(Moher et al, Lancet 1999, 354: 1896-1900)

Diagnostic test performance study

STARD Statement

(Bossuyt et al, Clin Chem 2003, 49: 1-6)

Systematic review of diagnostic tests

QUADAS Statement

(BMC Med Res Method 2006, 6(9): doi: 0.1186/1471-2288-6-9

Systematic review of observational study

MOOSE Statement

(Stroup et al, JAMA 2000, 283: 2008-2012)

Economic evaluations

CHEC Criteria

(Evers et al, Int J Tech Assess Health Care 2005 21(2): 240-245)

Contacting WJEM editors

Prospective authors with questions regarding a submission, or those who wish to discuss a paper in the development stage are encouraged to contact the chief editor or other editorial staff at

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