SAGP Author Guidelines

Submitted manuscripts that are not in the correct format and without the required supporting documentation specified in these guidelines will be returned to the author(s) for correction and will delay publication. 

AUTHORSHIP 

All named authors must consent to publication by signing a covering letter which should be submitted as a supplementary file. Authorship should be based on substantial contribution to:

  1. conception, design, analysis and interpretation of data;
  2. drafting or critical revision for important intellectual content; and
  3. approval of the version to be published. These conditions must all be met (uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals; refer to icmje.org); and
  4. exact contribution of each author must be stated.

MANUSCRIPT PREPARATION

Refer to articles in recent issues for the presentation of headings and subheadings. If in doubt, refer to 'uniform requirements' - www.icmje.org. Manuscripts must be provided in UK English. The manuscript and supporting documentation should be submitted as follows:

Manuscript

The manuscript must contain the title, abstract, keywords (5), body text and references as specified below:

Categories of submissions

Shorter items are more likely to be accepted for publication, owing to space constraints and reader preferences. 

Original articles

Original articles on research relevant to general practitioners should not exceed 3 200 words, no more than 30 references, with up to 6 tables or figures. A structured abstract under the following headings, Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusion is a requirement and should not exceed 300 words. References must be checked and include DOIs, where available.

Clinical review articles

Review articles relevant to general practitioners should not exceed 2 800 words, with a maximum of 20 references and no more than 6 tables or figures. A summary of 300 words or less is required. References must be checked and include DOIs, where available.

Case reports

Case reports should not exceed 1 800 words with no more than 10 references. Figures are limited to 2 figures and may include images or photographs. The case report should have three headings: Summary (not exceeding 100 words), Case report (with no introduction) and Discussion.

Scientific letters

Scientific Letters should not exceed 2 400 words with a maximum of 10 references. Only one table or illustration is permissible. A structured abstract under the following headings, Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions, is a requirement and should not exceed 250 words.

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be 800 words or less with only one image or table.

Title page:

The title page should include:

Article title

Authors Details:  Qualification and affiliation (department and place of work), email addresses of all authors, ORCID number of ALL authors must be provided – if authors do not have ORCID, please register at https://orcid.org/

Corresponding author’s information.

The following declarations must be included on the title page:

Conflict of interest:

Authors must declare all sources of support for the research and any association with a product or subject that may constitute a conflict of interest. If there is no conflict of interest to declare please include the following statement: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

A conflicting interest exists when professional judgement concerning a primary interest (such as patient’s welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). It represents a situation in which financial or other personal considerations from authors, reviewers or editors have the potential to compromise or bias professional judgment and objectivity. It may arise for the authors when they have financial interest that may influence their interpretation of their results or those of others. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. All potential conflicts of interest need to be declared. The conflict of interest statement should list each author separately by name, i.e.

̎John Smith declares that he has no conflict of interest. Paula Taylor has received research grants from Drug Company A. Mike Schultz has received a speaker honorarium from Drug Company B and owns stock in Drug Company C. ̎

Funding source

All sources of funding should be declared. Also define the involvement of study sponsors in the study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data; the writing of the manuscript; the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. If the study sponsors had no such involvement, this should be stated as follows: No funding source to be declared.

Ethical approval

The submitting author must provide written confirmation of Research Ethics Committee approval for all studies including case reports. The ethics committee as well as the approval number should be included.

Compliance with ethical guidelines

For all publications:

̎The author/s declare that this submission is in accordance with the principles laid down by the Responsible Research Publication Position Statements as developed at the 2nd World Conference on Research Integrity in Singapore, 2010. ̎

Available from:  http://publicationethics.org/resources/international-standards-for-editors-and-authors

Institutional Review Board (IRB) ethical approval must have been given if the study involves human subjects or animals. Please provide the approval number. IRB documentation should be available upon request.

"Prior to commencement of the study ethical approval was obtained from the following ethical review board: Provide name and reference number"

For studies with human subjects include the following:

"All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008."

"Informed written consent was or was not obtained from all patients for being included in the study."

For studies with animals include the following sentence:

"All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed."

For articles that do not contain studies with human or animal subjects:

"This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects."

If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. If any identifying information about patients is included in the article, the following sentence should also be included: Additional informed consent was obtained from all patients for which identifying information is included in this article. The Helsinki Declaration 2008 can be found at http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/

The submitting author must provide written confirmation of Research Ethics Committee approval for all studies including case reports. The ethics committee as well as the approval number should be included.

Authorship

The authors confirm that all authors have made substantial contributions to all of the following:

  • The conception and design of the study, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data.
  • Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content.
  • Final approval of the version to be submitted.
  • Sound scientific research practice

The authors further confirm that:

  • The manuscript, including related data, figures and tables has not been previously published and is not under consideration elsewhere
  • No data have been fabricated or manipulated (including images) to support your conclusions
  • This submission does not represent a part of single study that has been split up into several parts to increase the quantity of submissions and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time (e.g. "salami-publishing").

Plagiarism

  • The authors confirm that the work submitted is original and does not transgress the plagiarism policy of the journal.
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the author’s own.
  • Proper acknowledgements of other’s work has been given (this includes material that is closely copied, summarized and/or paraphrased), quotation marks are used for verbatim copying of material.
  • Permissions have been secured for material that is copyrighted.

Acknowledgements

 

General Information

Abbreviations

All abbreviations should be spelt out when first used and thereafter used consistently, e.g. "intravenous (IV)" or "Department of Health (DoH)". 

Scientific measurements

Scientific measurements must be expressed in SI units except:

  • blood pressure (mmHg) and
  • haemoglobin (g/dl).

Litres is denoted with a lowercase "l" e.g. "ml" for millilitres).
Spacing must be placed between numbers and indicators e.g. 20 mg, = 20, > 20
Except for % - 20%
n, p italic (-value) and lowercase
Use an en-dash between numbers that refer to a range – e.g. 25–30 – no spaces
No spacebar + enter spacing unless absolutely necessary

Numbers should be written as grouped per thousand-units, i.e. 4 000, 22 160. 

Quotes should be placed in single quotation marks: i.e. The respondent stated: '...' Round brackets (parentheses) should be used, as opposed to square brackets, which are reserved for denoting concentrations or insertions in direct quotes. 

Formatting

The manuscript must be in Microsoft Word document format. Text must be 1.5-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, and contain no unnecessary formatting (such as text in boxes, except for Tables). The manuscript must be free of track changes. 

ILLUSTRATIONS AND TABLES

If tables or illustrations submitted have been published elsewhere, the author(s) should provide consent to republication obtained from the copyright holder. 

Tables may be embedded in the manuscript file and must be provided as supplementary files. They must be numbered in Roman numerals (I, II, III, etc.) and referred to consecutively in the text (e.g. 'Table I'). Tables should be constructed carefully and simply for intelligible data representation. Unnecessarily complicated tables are strongly discouraged. Tables must be cell-based (i.e. not constructed with text boxes, tabs or enters, and NOT supplied as an image) and accompanied by a concise title and column headings. Footnotes must be indicated with consecutive use of the following symbols: * † ‡ § ¶ || then ** †† ‡‡ etc. 

Figures must be numbered in Arabic numerals and referred to in the text e.g. "(Figure 1)". Figure legends: Figure 1: "Title...". All illustrations/figures/graphs must be of high resolution/quality: 300 dpi or more is preferable, but images must not be resized to increase resolution. Unformatted and uncompressed images must be attached as supplementary files upon submission (not embedded in the accompanying manuscript). TIFF and PNG formats are preferable; JPEG and PDF formats are accepted, but authors must be wary of image compression. Illustrations and graphs prepared in Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel must be accompanied by the original workbook. 

Graphs may be embedded in the manuscript but the original (open) file must be provided as a supplementary file.

REFERENCES

Sample references can be found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/uniform_requirements.html.

Authors must verify references from the original sources. Only complete, correctly formatted reference lists will be accepted. Reference lists may be generated with the use of reference manager software, but the final document must be delinked from the reference database or otherwise generated manually. Citations should be inserted in the text as superscript, e.g. These regulations are endorsed by the World Health Organization,2 and others.3,4-6 The superscript reference number should come after the punctuation mark and should not be in brackets.

All references should be listed at the end of the article in numerical order of appearance in the Vancouver style (not alphabetical order). Approved abbreviations of journal titles must be used; see the List of Journals in Index Medicus. Names and initials of all authors should be given; if there are more than six authors, the first four names should be given followed by et al. First and last page, volume and issue numbers should be given. Wherever possible, references must be accompanied by a digital object identifier (DOI) link and PubMed ID (PMID)/PubMed Central ID (PMCID). Authors are encouraged to use the DOI lookup service offered by CrossRef. Crossref DOIs should always be displayed as a full URL link in the form https://doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxx

Journal references:

      1. Jun BC, Song SW, Park CS, Lee DH. The analysis of maxillary sinus aeration according to aging process: volume assessment by 3-dimensional reconstruction by high-resolutional CT scanning. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005 Mar;132(3):429-34.
      2. Polgreen PM, Diekema DJ, Vandeberg J, Wiblin RT, et al. Risk factors for groin wound infection after femoral artery catheterization: a case-control study. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol [Internet]. 2006 Jan;27(1):34-7. Available from: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/ICHE/journal/issues/v27n1/2004069/2004069.web.pdf. Accessed 5 Jan 2007.

Book references: Jeffcoate N. Principles of Gynaecology. 4th ed. London: Butterworth; 1975. p.96-101. Chapter/section in a book: Weinstein L, Swartz MN. Pathogenic Properties of Invading Microorganisms. In: Sodeman WA jun, Sodeman WA, eds. Pathologic Physiology: Mechanisms of Disease. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 1974. p. 457-72. 

Internet references: World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2002 - Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2002. Available from: http://www.who.int/whr/2002. Accessed 16 January 2010. 

Other references (e.g. reports) should follow the same format: Author(s). Title. Publisher place: publisher name; year. pages. Cited manuscripts that have been accepted but not yet published can be included as references followed by '(in press)'. Unpublished observations and personal communications in the text must not appear in the reference list. The full name of the source person must be provided for personal communications e.g. '... (Prof. Michael Jones, personal communication)'. 

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

Authors are advised to involve medical statisticians at the protocol stage of their research project: to plan sample size, and the selection of appropriate statistical tests for analysis and presentation.    

PROTECTION OF PATIENT'S RIGHTS TO PRIVACY 

Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives informed written consent for publication. The patient should be shown the manuscript to be published. Refer to www.icmje.org

ETHNIC CLASSIFICATION

The rationale for analysis based on racio-ethnic-cultural categorisation should be indicated.

COVERING LETTER

A covering letter to the editor is mandatory and must include statements that the manuscript has not been published previously and is not under review elsewhere. It should state details of any prior publication of the research in abstract form or in Congress proceedings. The letter must declare if any of the authors have a conflict of interest and that the requirements for submission, including ethics approval and patient permission for case reports have been fulfilled. All authors must sign the covering letter.

REVIEW PROCESS

Manuscripts, after vetting by the editorial team, are assigned for peer-review to 2 reviewers, conversant with the particular field of research. The reviewers and the authors are blinded to each other’s identity. The turn-around time for review and initial editorial decision notification aims to be within 6 weeks of submission.  

PROOFS

A PDF proof of an article may be sent to the corresponding author before publication to resolve remaining queries. At that stage, only typographical changes are permitted; the corresponding author is required, having conferred with his/her co-authors, to reply within 2 working days in order for the article to be published in the issue for which it has been scheduled. 

CHANGES OF ADDRESS

Please notify the editorial department of any contact detail changes, including email, to facilitate communication. 

CHARGES

There is no charge for the publication of manuscripts.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

The South African General Practitioner (SAGP) reserves copyright of the material published. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial Works 4.0 South Africa License. Material submitted for publication in the SAGP is accepted provided it has not been published elsewhere. SAGP does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.

PRIVACY STATEMENT

SAGP is committed to protecting the privacy of the users of this journal website. The names, personal particulars and email addresses entered in this website will be used only for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available to third parties without the user’s permission or due process. Users consent to receive communication from SAGP for the stated purposes of the journal. Queries with regard to privacy may be directed to robyn@jesser-point.co.za.