A small group of editors of general medical journals met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. This group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE has gradually broadened its concerns to include ethical principles related to publication in biomedical journals.
The ICJME has produced multiple editions of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Over the years, issues have arisen that go beyond manuscript preparation, resulting in development of a number of Separate Statements on editorial policy. The entire Uniform Requirements document was revised in 1997; sections were updated in May 1999 and May 2000. In May 2001, the ICMJE revised the sections related to potential conflict of interest. In 2003, the committee revised and reorganized the entire document and incorporated the Separate Statements into the text. The committee prepared this revision in 2010.
The total content of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals may be reproduced for educational, not-for-profit purposes without regard for copyright; the committee encourages distribution of the material.
Journals that agree to use the Uniform Requirements are encouraged to state in their Instructions to Authors that their requirements are in accordance with the Uniform Requirements and to cite this version. Journals that wish to be listed on www.ICMJE.org as a publication that follows the Uniform Requirements should contact the ICMJE secretariat office.
The ICMJE is a small working group of general medical journals, not an open-membership organization. Occasionally, the ICMJE will invite a new member or guest when the committee feels that the journal or organization will provide a new perspective. Open membership organizations for editors and others in biomedical publication include the World Association of Medical Editors www.WAME.org, the Council of Science Editors (www.councilscienceeditors.org/), and the European Association of Science Editors (www.ease.org.uk).
Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts (URM)
- Statement of Purpose
- Ethical Considerations
- Authorship and Contributorship
- Peer Review
- Conflicts of Interest
- Privacy and Confidentiality
- Protection of Human Subjects and Animals in Research
- Publishing and Editorial Issues
- Obligation to Publish Negative Studies
- Corrections, Retractions, and "Expressions of Concern"
- Overlapping Publications
- Supplements, Theme Issues, and Special Series
- Electronic Publishing
- Medical Journals and the General Media
- Obligation to Register Clinical Trials
- Manuscript Preparation