Medical Writing Instructions for Authors

Instructions for Authors


Medical Writing, the official journal of EMWA (the European Medical Writers Association), is a quarterly journal that aims to educate, inform, and entertain medical writers. Medical Writing publishes themed issues containing research and opinion pieces on topics relevant to medical writing and related professions, as well as information about medical writing guidelines and best practices. Proposals for special issues are welcome.


Manuscripts for consideration should be submitted electronically as an email attachment to Feature articles should be submitted as .docx (Microsoft Word) files and should be produced using the feature article template, which is available at Figures should be submitted in the format in which they were originally created.


All articles should adhere to the following:

  • Written in British (UK) English
  • Pages numbered consecutively
  • Preferred locations of tables and figures indicated (e.g. [Insert Table 1 near here])
  • References formatted correctly (see References below)
  • References cited in the text as superscripts following punctuation (e.g. apples,1 oranges,2 and bananas.3)
  • Maximum of two levels of headings
  • Oxford (serial) commas for lists (e.g. apples, pears, and oranges)
  • Numbers one to nine written out
  • Digits used for numbers before units (e.g. 5 min, 10 m2)
  • Figures submitted as separate files (i.e. not inserted in the text)
  • Keep abbreviations to a minimum and use them only for items appearing at least three times. Abbreviations in the abstract should be considered separate from those in the main text. Write out in full the first time the abbreviation appears, followed by the abbreviation in brackets, e.g. United Nations (UN). Thereafter, use only the abbreviation. The following abbreviations do not need to be defined: AIDS, DNA, EMA, EMWA, EU, FDA, RNA, UK, UN, US, USA, and WHO. SI units can be used without definition.
  • Use “double quotes”
  • No promotional content

Feature articles

Feature articles should adhere to the following:

  • Organised in the following order: title page; abstract; main text; acknowledgements; disclosures and conflicts of interest; disclaimers (optional); data availability statement; references; author information; figure legends; tables
  • Main text approx. 1500-2500 words
  • Prepared using the article template

Articles for regular sections

Articles for regular sections (e.g. Out on Our Own) should adhere to the following:

  • Organised in the following order: title (no title page need); text; references; figure legends; tables
  • No maximum or minimum length
  • Prepared using the article template

Title page (feature articles only)

The title page should include the following information:

  • Title
  • Full first and last names of authors
  • Affiliation, city, and country for each author
  • Corresponding author’s name and email address

Abstract (feature articles only)

The abstract (50-150 words) should summarise the article and its key conclusions. It should not include references. Keep abbreviations to a minimum and use them only for items that appear at least three times in the abstract itself.

Main text

Headings are recommended. Use only two levels of headings. Do not insert tables or figures directly in the text.

Acknowledgements and disclaimers

Acknowledgments and disclaimers are optional.

DISCLOSURES AND Conflicts of interest

A conflicts of interest statement is required for feature articles. If potential conflicts of interest exist, place them on the same page as and immediately following any acknowledgments or disclaimers.

Conflicts of interest are any relationships that may influence the judgement of the author or editors. They may be personal, commercial, political, academic, or financial. Any affiliation with an organisation with a direct or indirect financial interest in the subject matter of the paper should be explicitly stated.


A statement is required for articles that are data-driven such as surveys, systematic reviews, etc. with respect to availability and sharing of data.


References are recommended. If included, they should appear in the text as superscript Arabic numerals, numbered in the order of their appearance. Numbers should follow punctuation marks (e.g. Smith et al.6). The full citations should be listed in numerical order starting on a separate page after the acknowledgments. For articles without references but where a list of further reading is given, include it as an unnumbered bibliography.

References should be numbered in the order in which they appear in the text. Except for online documents, format references using Vancouver style as indicated in the examples. See

Journal articles:

Rathore FA, Mansoor SN. How to conduct a workshop on medical writing: Tips, advice and experience sharing. J Pak Med Assoc. 2015;65(6):665-8.

Dunlevy F. Transparency – left to its own devices until now. Med Writ. 2017. 26:29-31.

For more than six authors, list the first three authors followed by "et al." When no authors are listed, write “No authors listed”.

Books without editors listed:

Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MA. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.

Books published under editors’ names:

Gilstrap LC, Cunningham FG, VanDorsten JP, editors. Operative obstetrics. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002.

Chapters from edited books:

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.

Legislations and regulatory guidelines:

(Abbreviation/Number, Full Title. Date.)

EU MDR 2017/745. Regulation (EU) 2017/745 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2017 on medical devices. 5 May 2017.

EMA Policy 0070. External guidance on the implementation of the European Medicines Agency policy on the publication of clinical data for medicinal products for human use, ver 1.4. 15 Oct 2018.

ICH E6 (R2). Guideline for Good Clinical Practice. 9 Nov 2016.


The Baby Center. Gestational Diabetes. 2012 [cited 2012 Dec 12]. Available from:

Reports and other technical documents:

Kuczmarski RJ, Ogden CL, Grammer-Strawn LM. CDC growth charts: United States. Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000.

Newspaper articles:

Tynan T. Medical improvements lower homicide rate: study sees drop in assault rate. The Washington Post. 2002 Aug 12;Sect A:2 (col. 4).

Conference proceedings:

Harnden P, Joffe JK, Jones WG, editors. Germ cell tumours V. Proceedings of the 5th Germ Cell Tumour Conference; 2001 Sep 13-15; Leeds, UK. New York: Springer; 2002.

Conference paper:

Sterling TR, Benson CA, Scott N, et al. Three months of weekly rifapentine + INH for M. tuberculosis infection in HIV-infected persons. Presented at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014), Boston, March 3–6, 2014 (poster).

Author information (feature articles only)

Include up to 50 words about each author, including credentials and experience that establish the person as an expert in the subject of the article. Authors may optionally provide a photo and links to profiles on professional platforms such LinkedIn, Google Scholar, ORCID, etc. However, EMWA discourages promotional content.

Figure legends

Figures should be numbered sequentially using Arabic numerals. Provide a title for each figure followed by any additional description. Define any abbreviations not defined in the text. For further details about formatting figures, see Figures below.


Tables should be numbered sequentially using Arabic numerals. Each table should appear on a separate page and should include a title (e.g. Table 1. Tropical fruits and their origins) followed by any additional description or footnotes. For table footnotes, use superscript letters. Within the text, tables should be referred to by number (e.g. Table 1).


Figures should be submitted as separate files in the format in which they were originally created. Sub-figures should be lettered in capitals, e.g. A, B. Within the text, figures should be referred to by number (e.g. Figure 1).

TIFF, EPS, and JPEG images should be submitted at a minimum input scanning resolution of 300 dpi for full colour, 350–400 dpi for half tones, 800 dpi for simple line art, and 1200 dpi for fine line illustrations.


Copyright remains with the authors, although by publishing in Medical Writing the authors give EMWA the right to reproduce their article. If the authors wish to reproduce the article elsewhere, they should indicate that the article was first published in Medical Writing and provide the volume, issue, and page numbers.


For questions about the journal, please contact or



The Write Stuff Archive Contact Instructions for Authors Article Template (Word) Journal Policies


Medical Writing is a quarterly publication that aims to educate and inform medical writers in Europe and beyond. Each issue focuses on a specific theme, and all issues include feature articles and regular columns on topics relevant to the practice of medical writing. We welcome articles providing practical advice to medical writers; guidelines and reviews/summaries/updates of guidelines published elsewhere; original research; opinion pieces; interviews; and review articles.

Medical Writing is listed in the following indexes:

Editoral Board


Raquel Billiones


Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Deputy Managing Editor

Alicia Brooks Waltman

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Nicole Bezuidenhout

Claire Chang

Barbara Grossman

Sarah Milner

John Plant

Sampoorna Rappaz

Amy Whereat

Section Editors

Daniela Kamir


Jennifer Bell


Nicole Bezuidenhout 

Digital Communication

Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News 

Ana Sofia Correia 

Gained in Translation

Ivana Turek

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Wendy Kingdom / Amy Whereat

Good Writing Practice

Alison McIntosh 

In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

Maddy Dyer


Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Payal Bhatia

Medical Devices

Evguenia Alechine

My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Adriana Rocha


Tiziana von Bruchhausen


Clare ChangZuo Yen Lee 

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Louisa Ludwig-Begall / Sarah Kabani

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

Editors Emeritus

Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Layout Designer

Chris Monk