To submit an article online, and to check the status of your submission, you need to have an account with Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka
Don't have an account? Register Here.Start Submission
The manuscript should be submitted in the form of 3 separate files:
(1) Title Page
a) Type of Manuscript:(original article, brief communication, case report, review article, concept paper, Education Forum, Letter to editor etc).
a. title of the manuscript:
b. running title (in 2-4 words):
c) Names of all authors: All information which can reveal your identity should be here (with their highest academic degree, designation and affiliations). Authors: Last name followed by initials. Number of contributors restricted as per the instructions. Identity not revealed in paper except title page (e.g. name of the institute in Methods, citing previous study as 'our study', names on figure labels, name of institute in photographs, etc.)
a. The total number of pages:
b. total number of photographs:
c. word counts separately for
b. the text (excluding the references, tables and abstract);
c. introduction + discussion in case of an original article:
e) Source(s) of support (in the form of grants, equipment, drugs, or all of these);
f) Acknowledgement, if any [One or more statements should specify (i) contributions that need acknowledging but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a departmental chair; (ii) acknowledgments of technical help; and (iii) acknowledgments of financial and material support, which should specify the nature of the support. This should be included in the title page of the manuscript and not in the article file].
g) If the manuscript was presented as part at a meeting, the organization, place, and exact date on which it was read. (A full statement to the editor about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as redundant publication of the same or very similar work. Any such work should be referred to specifically, and referenced in the new paper. Copies of such material should be included with the submitted paper, to help the editor decide how to handle the matter).
h) Registration number in case of a clinical trial and where it is registered (name of the registry and its URL)
i) Conflicts of Interest of each author/ contributor (A statement of financial or other relationships that might lead to a conflict of interest, if that information is not included in the manuscript itself or in an authors' form.
If there is any financial support for the work it should be mentioned on the title page. Authors should describe in the cover letter any financial interests that might affect the conduct or reporting of the work they have submitted. Information about potential conflict of interest may be made available to referees and will be published with the manuscript, at the discretion of the editors.
j) Criteria for inclusion in the authors list;
a. Criteria for authorship:
Only persons who contributed to the intellectual content of the paper should be listed as authors. Authors should meet all or some of the following criteria, and be able to take public responsibility for the content of the paper.
b. For original articles: (Design to the study, Supervision to the study, Analysis of the data, Interpretation of the results, Writing the manuscript, Revising the manuscript)
c. For case reports: (Performing the case, Opinion, Writing the manuscript, Revising the manuscript)
k.) Corresponding author: (The name, address, e-mail, and telephone number and the ORCID number of the corresponding author, who is responsible for communicating with the other authors about revisions and final approval of the proofs)
(2) Blinded Article file:
The manuscript must not contain any mention of the authors' names or initials or the institution at which the study was done or acknowledgements. Manuscripts not in compliance with The Journal's blinding policy will be returned to the corresponding author. The main text of the article, beginning from Abstract till References (including tables) should be in this file. Use rtf/doc files. Do not zip the files. In addition to that, the photographs and legends for the figures/images should be included in the text of the article file. The pages should be numbered consecutively, on the upper right corner, beginning with the first page of the blinded article file.
Preparation of Manuscripts: Manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with "Uniform requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals" developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (October 2006). The uniform requirements and specific requirement of Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka are summarized below. Before submitting a manuscript, contributors are requested to check for the latest instructions available. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka accepts manuscripts written in British English.
Types of Manuscripts
A) Original articles:
These include randomized controlled trials, intervention studies, studies of screening and diagnostic tests, outcome studies, cost effectiveness analyses, case-control series, and surveys with high response rate, phytochemical studies, analytical chemistry studies and any animal experimental studies. The text of original articles amounting to up to 3000 words (excluding Abstract, references and Tables). Article file should be divided into sections with the headings Abstract, Key-words, Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, conclusions, References.
Abstract: Structured (Introduction, methods, results, conclusion), maximum 250 words
Introduction: State the purpose and summarize the rationale for the study or observation.
Materials and Methods: It should include and describe the following aspects:
(i) Study design:
(ii) Selection and Description of Participants: Describe your selection of the observational or experimental participants (patients or laboratory animals, including controls) clearly, including eligibility and exclusion criteria and a description of the source population. Technical information: Identify the methods, apparatus (give the manufacturer's name and address in parentheses), and procedures in sufficient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods (see below); provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modified methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Identify precisely all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration. Reports of randomized clinical trials should present information on all major study elements, including the protocol, assignment of interventions (methods of randomization, concealment of allocation to treatment groups), and the method of masking (blinding), based on the CONSORT Statement (http://www.consort-statement.org).
Type of Study
Randomized controlled trials
Studies of diagnostic accuracy
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Observational studies in epidemiology
Meta-analyses of observational studies in epidemiology
(iii) Reporting Guidelines for Specific Study Designs
(iv) Statistics: Whenever possible quantify findings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confidence intervals). Authors should report losses to observation. When data are summarized in the Results section, specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Avoid non-technical uses of technical terms in statistics, such as 'random' (which implies a randomizing device), 'normal', 'significant', 'correlations', and 'sample'.
Define statistical terms, abbreviations, and most symbols. Specify the computer software used. Use upper italics (P 0.048). For all P values include the exact value (up to two decimal points) and not less than 0.05 (unless it is less than 0.001). Mean differences in continuous variables, proportions in categorical variables and relative risks including odds ratios and hazard ratios should be accompanied by their confidence intervals.
(v) Ethics: When reporting studies on human beings, indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (available at http://www.wma.net/e/policy/17-c_e.html). For prospective studies involving human participants, authors are expected to mention about approval of ethical committee (regional/ national/ institutional or independent Ethics Committee or Review Board) obtaining informed consent from adult research participants and obtaining assent for children aged over 7 years participating in the trial. The age beyond which assent would be required could vary as per regional and/ or national guidelines. Ensure confidentiality of subjects by abstaining from mentioning participants’ names, initials or hospital numbers, especially in illustrative material. Evidence for approval by a local Ethics Committee (for both human as well as animal studies) must be supplied by the authors on demand. The journal will not consider any paper which is ethically unacceptable. A statement on ethics committee permission and ethical practices must be included in all research articles under the ‘Materials and Methods’ section.
Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy: Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, sonograms, CT scans, etc., and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian, wherever applicable) gives written informed consent for publication. Authors should remove patients' names from figures unless they have obtained written informed consent from the patients. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the article and copy of the consent should be attached with the covering letter.
Results: Present your results in a logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations, giving the main or most important findings first. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations. Extra- or supplementary materials and technical detail can be placed in an appendix where it will be accessible but will not interrupt the flow of the text; alternatively, it can be published only in the electronic version of the journal. When data are summarized in the Results section, give numeric results not only as derivatives (for example, percentages) but also as the absolute numbers from which the derivatives were calculated (eg. 23%, n=146), and specify the statistical methods used to analyze them. Restrict tables and figures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Where scientifically appropriate, analyses of the data by variables such as age and sex should be included.
Discussion: Include summary of key findings (primary outcome measures, secondary outcome measures, results as they relate to a prior hypothesis); comparison with available studies, Strengths and limitations of the study (study question, study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation); Interpretation and implications in the context of the totality of evidence (is there a systematic review to refer to, if not, could one be reasonably done here and now?, what this study adds to the available evidence, effects on patient care and health policy, possible mechanisms); Controversies raised by this study; and Future research directions (for this particular research collaboration, underlying mechanisms, clinical research). New hypotheses may be stated if needed, however they should be clearly labeled as such. About 30 references and up-to five tables/figures can be included. These articles generally should not have more than six authors.
(B) Brief communication: An original article which is less than 1500 words or any preliminary report of original study which need immediate attention should be submitted as brief communication.
(C) Review Articles: It is expected that review articles would be written by individuals who have done substantial work on the subject or are considered experts in the field. A short summary of the work done by the contributor(s) in the field of review should accompany the manuscript. Those authors who do not have sufficient experience in a specified field, but still want to highlight new or interesting findings in that field may write for education forum. The prescribed word count is up to 4000 words excluding tables, references and abstract. The section titles would depend upon the topic reviewed. Authors submitting review article should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesizing data. These methods should also be summarized in the abstract. The journal expects the contributors to give post-publication updates on the subject of review or education forum. The update should be brief, covering the advances in the field after the publication of the article and should be sent as a letter to editor, as and when major development occurs in the field. These articles can be authored by up to four authors.
(D) Case reports: New, interesting and rare cases can be reported. They should be unique, describing a great diagnostic or therapeutic challenge and providing a learning point for the readers. Cases with clinical significance or implications will be given priority. These communications could be of up to 1000 words (excluding Abstract and references). Could be authored by up to four authors.
(E) Concept paper: Newly detected diagnostic method or indication, any new finding or anything still under research which is going to be available very shortly can be discussed here.
(F) Letter to the Editor: These should be short and decisive observations. They should preferably be related to articles previously published in the Journal or views expressed in the journal. They should not be preliminary observations that need a later paper for validation. The letter could have up to 500 words, one table/figure and 5 references. It could be generally authored by not more than four authors.
(G) Other: Editorial, Guest Editorial, and Commentary are solicited by the editorial board.
Specific requirements for various types of articles are:
(original article of 1500 words)
Structured, up-to 250 words
Unstructured, up- to 150 words
Structured, up- to 150 words
Unstructured, 250 words
Unstructured, 150 words
Up to 5
Up to 5
Up to 3
Up to 3
Up to 2
Article File headings
Introduction, Material &Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions,
Conflict of interest References.
Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions,
Conflict of interest References.
Abstract (unstructured), Key-words,
Introduction, Case report, Discussion, Conclusions, Reference.
Abstract (unstructured), Key words,
Introduction, Objectives, Discussion, Conclusions, References.
References: References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in superscript with square bracket after the punctuation marks (example.). References cited only in tables or figure legends should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure. Use the style of the examples below, which are based on the formats used by the NLM in Index Medicus. For indexed journals, the titles of journals should be abbreviated according to the style used in Index Medicus. Use complete name of the journal for non-indexed journals. Avoid using abstracts as references. Information from manuscripts submitted but not accepted should be cited in the text as "unpublished observations" with written permission from the source. Avoid citing a "personal communication" unless it provides essential information not available from a public source, in which case the name of the person and date of communication should be cited in parentheses in the text. The commonly cited types of references are shown here, for other types of references such as newspaper items please refer to ICMJE Guidelines (http://www.icmje.org or http://www.nlm.nih .gov/ bsd/ uniform _requirements.html).
(i) Articles in Journals
a. Standard journal article up to six authors: Shukla N, Husain N, Agarwal GG, Husain M. Utility of cysticercus fasciolaris antigen in Dot ELISA for the diagnosis of neurocysticercosis. Indian J Med Sci 2008;62(4):222-7.
b. Standard journal article with more than six authors: List the first six contributors followed by et al: Nozari Y, Hashemlu A, Hatmi ZN, Sheikhvatan M, Iravani A, Bazdar A, et al. Outcome of coronary artery bypass grafting in patients without major risk factors and patients with at least one major risk factor for coronary artery disease. Indian J Med Sci 2007;61:547-54
c. Volume with supplement:Shen HM, Zhang QF. Risk assessment of nickel carcinogenicity and occupational lung cancer. Environ Health Perspect 1994; 102 Suppl 1:275-82.
d. Issue with supplement: Payne DK, Sullivan MD, Massie MJ. Women's psychological reactions to breast cancer. SeminOncol 1996; 23(1, Suppl 2):89-97.
(ii) Books and Monographs
a. Personal author(s): Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd ed. Albany (NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.
b. Editor(s)as author: Norman IJ, Redfern SJ, editors. Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1996.
c. Chapter in a book: Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, editors. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995. pp. 465-78.
(iii) Electronic Sources as reference
a. Journal article on the Internet:Abood S. Quality improvement initiative in nursing homes: the ANA acts in an advisory role. Am J Nurs [serial on the Internet]. 2002 Jun [cited 2002 Aug 12];102(6):[about 3 p.]. Available from: http://www.nursingworld.org/AJN/2002/june/Wawatch.htm
b. Monograph on the Internet: Foley KM, Gelband H, editors. Improving palliative care for cancer [monograph on the Internet]. Washington: National Academy Press; 2001 [cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from: http://www.nap.edu/books/0309074029/html/.
c. Homepage/Web site: Cancer-Pain.org [homepage on the Internet]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc.; c2000-01 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from: http://www.cancer-pain.org/.
d. Part of a homepage/Web site: American Medical Association [homepage on the Internet]. Chicago: The Association; c1995-2002 [updated 2001 Aug 23; cited 2002 Aug 12]. AMA Office of Group Practice Liaison; [about 2 screens]. Available from: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/1736.html
a. Susan MK. Hospital acquired infections: Role of antibiotic resistance [dissertation]. St. Louis (MO): Washington Univ.; 2002.
Tables and figures: No repetition of data in tables and graphs and in text. Actual numbers from which graphs drawn, provided. Figures necessary and of good quality (colour). Table and figure numbers in Arabic letters (not Roman) eg. In the text, mention as Table 2: or Fig. 2: .Figure legends provided (not more than 40 words). Patients' privacy maintained (if not permission taken). Credit note for borrowed figures/tables provided. Write the full term for each abbreviation used in the table as a footnote.
How to include Tables: Use only horizontal rules for the tables; to separate the column headings. No vertical rules should be used in the tables. Make sure that all columns and rows are aligned. Tables should be self-explanatory and should not duplicate textual material. Tables with more than 10 columns and 25 rows are not acceptable. Number tables, in Arabic numerals, consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each (eg. Table 2:). Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. Explain in footnotes all non-standard abbreviations that are used in each table. Obtain permission for all fully borrowed, adapted, and modified tables and provide a credit line in the footnote. For footnotes use the following symbols, in this sequence: *, †, ‡, §, ||,¶ , **, ††, ‡‡. The tables along with their number should be cited at the relevant place in the text (eg. Table 2:).
An example follows for ready reference:
Table 1: Demographic data
Up to 5th grade*
6th to 11th grade
*: Data not available
Images: Images should also be submitted as jpeg files. Do not zip the files. in the text if should be presented as Fig. 1: ………
Illustrations (Figures): Upload the images in JPEG format (Figures should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they have been first cited in the text. Labels, numbers, and symbols should be clear and of uniform size. The lettering for figures should be large enough to be legible after reduction to fit the width of a printed column. Use only horizontal rules for the tables; to separate the column headings. No vertical rules should be used in the tables. Make sure that all columns and rows are aligned. When graphs, scatter-grams or histograms are submitted the numerical data on which they are based should also be supplied. Send digital X-rays, digital images of histopathology slides, where feasible. The photographs and figures should be trimmed to remove all the unwanted areas. If photographs of individuals are used, their pictures must be accompanied by written permission to use the photograph. If a figure has been published elsewhere, acknowledge the original source and submit written permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the material. A credit line should appear in the legend for such figures).
Legends for illustrations: maximum 40 words, excluding the credit line) for illustrations using single spacing, with Arabic numerals corresponding to the illustrations. When symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters are used to identify parts of the illustrations, identify and explain each one in the legend. In photomicrographs, explain the internal scale (magnification) and identify the method of staining. The Journal reserves the right to crop, rotate, reduce, or enlarge the photographs to an acceptable size.
Presentation and format: Times new roman, 12 font, single spacing, Margins 2.5 cm from all four sides, Page numbers included at right lower corner, Title page contains all the desired information, Abstract page contains the full title of the manuscript, Abstract provided (structured abstract of 250 words for original articles, unstructured abstracts of about 150 words for all other manuscripts excluding letters to the Editor), Key words provided (three or more), Introduction of 75-100 words, Headings and sub-headings in title case (not all capitals), The references cited in the text should be after punctuation marks, in superscript with square bracket. References according to the journal's instructions, punctuation marks checked, send the article file without ‘Track Changes’.
Language and grammar: Uniformly British English. Write the full term for each abbreviation at its first use in the title, abstract, keywords and text separately unless it is a standard unit of measure. Numerals from 1 to 10 spelt out. Numerals at the beginning of the sentence spelt out. Check the manuscript for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. If a brand name is cited, supply the manufacturer's name and address (city and state/country).Species names should be in italics.
Reprints and proofs: Journal provides no free printed reprints. Authors can purchase reprints, payment for which should be done at the time of submitting the proofs. Proofs will be sent to the corresponding authors by email approximately 2 weeks before the publication date. The issues are published in last week of the previous month.
Sending a revised manuscript: When submitting a revised manuscript, contributors are requested to include, the ‘reviewers’ remarks along with point to point clarification at the beginning in the revised file itself. In addition, authors are expected to mark the changes as underlined or colored text in the article. Do not make changes by keeping track changes on; this may reveal the identity of the author(s).
Manuscript submission, processing and publication charges: no charges.
The copyright transfer form (template provided below) has to be submitted in original with the signatures of all the contributors within two weeks of submission via email to an editor in chief. The template is shown below. (Email to editors as a pdf with the article submission/ within 2 weeks of submission) (to be modified as applicable)
(3) Copyright transfer form
Manuscript Title: _____________________________________________________________
I/we certify that I/we have participated sufficiently in contributing to the intellectual content, concept and design of this work or the analysis and interpretation of the data (when applicable), as well as writing of the manuscript, to take public responsibility for it and have agreed to have my/our name listed as a contributor. I/we believe that the manuscript represents valid work. Neither this manuscript nor one with substantially similar content under my/our authorship has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere, except as described in the covering letter. I/we certify that all the data collected during the study is presented in this manuscript and no data from the study has been or will be published separately. I/we attest that, if requested by the editors, I/we will provide the data/information or will cooperate fully in obtaining and providing the data/information on which the manuscript is based, for examination by the editors or their assignees. Financial interests, direct or indirect, that exist or may be perceived to exist for individual contributors in connection with the content of this paper have been disclosed in the cover letter. Sources of outside support of the project are named in the covering letter.
I/We hereby transfer(s), assign(s), or otherwise convey(s) all copyright ownership, including any and all rights incidental thereto, exclusively to the Medico-legal Journal of Sri Lanka, in the event that such work is published by the Medico-legal Journal of Sri Lanka. Medico-legal Journal of Sri Lanka, shall own the work, including; 1. Copyright, 2. The right to grant permission to republish the article in whole or in part, with or without fee, 3. The right to produce preprints or reprints and translate into languages other than English for sale or free distribution, and 4. The right to republish the work in a collection of articles in any other mechanical or electronic format.
I/We give the rights to the corresponding author to make necessary changes as per the request of the journal, do the rest of the correspondence on our behalf and he/she will act as the guarantor for the manuscript on our behalf.
All persons who have made substantial contributions to the work reported in the manuscript, but who are not contributors, are named in the Acknowledgment and have given me/us their written permission to be named. If I/we do not include an Acknowledgment that means I/we have not received substantial contributions from non-contributors and no contributor has been omitted.
Name Signature Date
1 -------------- --------------- -----------
2 --------------- --------------- -----------
3 --------------- --------------- -----------
4 --------------- --------------- -----------
(Up to 4 for case report/review)
5 --------------- --------------- -----------
6 --------------- --------------- -----------
(Up to 6 for original articles)
Previous publication of some content of a paper does not necessarily stop it being published in the MLJSL. Failure of a full disclosure by authors of possible prior publication as a breach of scientific ethics. If the work has been previously published, in the cover letter give full details such as;
i. Reworked data already reported.
ii. Patients in a study already described and published.
iii. Content already published or to be published in another format.
If the subjects (living or dead) are recognizable in illustrations, signed consent by the patients (or next of kin) must be submitted with the paper. The authors must ensure that ethical clearance has been obtained and ethical guidelines are followed for studies with ethical issues.
Selection for publication:
All articles received will be acknowledged to the corresponding author. Each manuscript will be read by the editors to decide whether it merits publication in the journal. Those selected will be sent anonymously to reviewers for peer review.
Members of the editorial board will assess articles on the basis of importance, scientific strength, clarity of presentation and appropriateness for readers of the journal. Editors reserve the right to modify style, shorten articles, make editorial corrections where necessary, and to determine priority and time of publication.
As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
The copyright ownership of the manuscripts have been exclusively transferred to the Medico-Legal journal of Sri Lanka by the author(s).
Hence, Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, shall own the work, including;
From June 2017, all articles in the Medico Legal Journal of Sri Lanka are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY-4.0). This license permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.