ICMJE recommendations

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The ICMJE recommendations (full title, "Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals") are a set of guidelines produced by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors for standardising the ethics, preparation and formatting of manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals for publication.[1] Compliance with the ICMJE recommendations is required by most leading biomedical journals. Levels of real compliance are subject to debate.[2] As of 9 January 2020, 5570 journals worldwide claim to follow the ICMJE recommendations.[3]

The recommendations were first issued in 1979 under the title "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" (abbreviated URMs and often shortened to "Uniform Requirements").[4] After a series of revisions, they were given their current name in 2013.[5]

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors[edit]

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) was originally known as the Vancouver Group, after the location of their first meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. As of 2017 members of the ICMJE are:[6]

Citation style[edit]

The citation style recommended by the ICMJE Recommendations, which is also known as the Vancouver system, is the style used by the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), codified in Citing Medicine.

References are numbered consecutively in order of appearance in the text – they are identified by Arabic numerals enclosed in parentheses.

Example of a journal citation:

  • Leurs R, Church MK, Taglialatela M. H1-antihistamines: inverse agonism, anti-inflammatory actions and cardiac effects. Clin Exp Allergy 2002 Apr;32(4):489–498.

Manuscripts describing human interventional clinical trials[edit]

URM includes a mandate for manuscripts describing human interventional trials to register a trial in a clinical trial registry (e.g., ClinicalTrials.gov) and to include the trial registration ID in the abstract of the article. The URM also requires that this registration is done prior enrolling the first participant. A study of five high impact factor journals (founders of ICMJE) showed that only 89% of published articles (articles published during 2010–2011; about trials that completed in 2008) were properly registered prior enrolling the first participant.[7]

Disclosure of Competing Interests[edit]

The ICMJE also developed a uniform format for disclosure of competing interests in journal articles.[8]

Grey literature[edit]

The Uniform Requirements were adapted by the Grey Literature International Steering Committee GLISC for the production of scientific and technical reports included in the wider category of grey literature. These GLISC Guidelines for the production of scientific and technical reports are translated to French, German, Italian and Spanish and are available on the GLISC website [1].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ICMJE (16 December 2014), Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (PDF).
  2. ^ Dal-Ré, Rafael; Caplan, Arthur L; Marusic, Ana (23 July 2019). "Editors' and authors' individual conflicts of interest disclosure and journal transparency. A cross-sectional study of high-impact medical specialty journals". BMJ Open. 9 (7): e029796. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029796. ISSN 2044-6055. PMC 6661703. PMID 31340971.
  3. ^ International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Journals that have Requested Inclusion on the List of Publications that follow the ICMJE's Uniform Requirements For Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals [homepage on the Internet]. Philadelphia: ICMJE; c2005 [updated 27 May 2006; cited 30 May 2006]. Available from: http://www.icmje.org/journals.html
  4. ^ "Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. International Steering Committee of Medical Editors" (PDF). BMJ. 1 (6162): 532–535. 1979. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.6162.532. PMC 1598112. PMID 444872. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Archives The ICMJE". Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  6. ^ "ICMJE Membership". International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  7. ^ Huser, V.; Cimino, J. J. (2013). "Evaluating adherence to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' policy of mandatory, timely clinical trial registration". Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 20 (e1): e169–174. doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001501. PMC 3715364. PMID 23396544.
  8. ^ Drazen JM, Van der Weyden MB, Sahni P, Rosenberg J, Marusic A, Laine C, Kotzin S, Horton R, Hébert PC, Haug C, Godlee F, Frizelle FA, de Leeuw PW, DeAngelis CD (November 2009). "Uniform format for disclosure of competing interests in ICMJE journals". The New England Journal of Medicine. 361 (19): 1896–1897. doi:10.1056/NEJMe0909052. PMID 19825973.

External links[edit]