Guide for Author
(updated 24 July 2017)
(1) General Information about HKMJ
HKMJ is the official peer-reviewed publication of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (HKAM) and the Hong Kong Medical Association (HKMA). It is indexed in MEDLINE / Index Medicus, Science Citation Index Expanded, Current Contents – Clinical Medicine, BIOSIS Previews, Embase / Excerpta Medica, Biological Abstracts, SCOPUS, and Index Copernicus, and is published bimonthly by the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Press.
HKMJ aims to publish high-quality articles on a wide range of topics pertaining to the art and science of medicine. It is distributed to members of the HKAM and the HKMA as part of their membership. It is also available to non-members on a subscription basis.
The opinions expressed in HKMJ are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the HKAM, HKMA, the institutions to which the authors are affiliated, or those of the publisher.
Copyright © Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the editor or the publisher.
For enquiries, please contact HKMJ Editorial Office:

Managing Editor
Hong Kong Medical Journal
10/F, HKAM Jockey Club Building
99 Wong Chuk Hang Road
Aberdeen, Hong Kong, China
Phone: (852) 2871 8823
Fax: (852) 2515 9061
(2) Manuscript Categories with Templates
HKMJ publishes a variety of manuscripts as listed below. Please click on the respective link to read the requirements of each category:
Templates are available to help authors format their submission. Save the templates on your computer by clicking the appropriate links below. Click the files to open and save (in .docx format) on your computer.
These include controlled trials, interventional studies, studies of screening and diagnostic tests, outcome studies, cost-effectiveness analyses, and large-scale epidemiological studies.
≤ 250 words
Structured : Introduction (including objectives), Methods, Results, Conclusion
One to three points of each of the following should be provided: (a) New knowledge added by the study, and (b) Implications for clinical practice or policy.
Text (excludes abstract and references) :
≤ 3000 words
Structure (Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion):
Introduction—The rationale for the study should be summarised and pertinent background material outlined. The Introduction should not include findings or conclusions.
Methods—These should be described in sufficient detail to leave the reader in no doubt as to how the results are derived.
Results—These should be presented in a logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations; repetitive presentation of the same data in different forms should be avoided. This section should not include material appropriate to the Discussion. Results must be statistically analysed where appropriate, and the statistical guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors should be followed.
Discussion—Data given in the Results section should not be repeated here. This section should consider the results in relation to any hypothesis advanced in the Introduction. This may include an evaluation of methodology and of the relationship of new information to the existing body of knowledge in that field. Strengths and limitations of the study should be mentioned. Conclusions could be stated in a separate section or incorporated into the final paragraph and should be commensurate with—and completely supported by—data in the text.
Research Reporting Guidelines:
Reporting guidelines help improve accuracy, transparency, and completeness of health research publications. Different reporting guidelines (checklists / flow diagrams) have been developed for different study designs, which can be found on the EQUATOR Network website ( Authors who submit Original Articles are required to confirm adherence to one of these guidelines by indicating the page number where the required information is provided in the manuscript. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that their paper adheres to the appropriate reporting guideline and is properly formatted as such. Authors should also include in the Methods section a phrase indicating which reporting guideline has been implemented in their manuscript.
The completed reporting guideline (checklist / flow diagram) with an indication of page number of each item can be uploaded on the page of Attach Files at a later stage in the submission process.
Maximum No. of Tables and Figures:
Tables plus figures: ≤ 6
Maximum No. of References:
≤ 40
This is usually an invited paper, but unsolicited review of good quality may be considered. A Review is systematic critical assessment of literature and data sources pertaining to a particular clinical topic, and emphasise factors such as cause, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy, or prevention.
All articles and data sources reviewed should include information about the specific type of study or analysis, population, intervention, exposure, and test or outcomes. All articles and data sources should be selected systematically for inclusion in the review and critically evaluated. The selection process should also be described in the paper.
≤ 250 words
Abstract format depends on the content of the article.
For structured abstract, it should be divided into: Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusion
Text (excludes abstract and references) :
≤ 4000 words
Maximum No. of Tables and Figures:
Tables plus figures: ≤ 6
Maximum No. of References:
≤ 60
This should target a single therapeutic or diagnostic intervention for a reasonably common clinical problem; it can be regarded as an advance on earlier / past practice.
These papers should be supported by compelling and robust evidence, and clearly and concisely indicate in what way practice needs to change / advance. Such advocated change should be both feasible and beneficial.
Position statements, consensus statements, and clinical practice guidelines are published under Medical Practice category. In the first instance, authors should submit a pre-submission enquiry to the Editorial Office ( and include contact information of the authors along with an abstract or summary of the article.
≤ 250 words
Unstructured abstract
Text (excludes abstract and references) :
≤ 3000 words
Maximum No. of Tables and Figures:
Tables plus figures: ≤ 6
Maximum No. of References:
≤ 40
This will be accepted only if they deal with a clinical problem that is of sufficient interest.
Appropriate clinical information should include year, month, and place of presentation.
Not required
Text (excludes references) :
≤ 1000 words
Text should be formatted under two headings only: Case report and Discussion.
Maximum No. of Tables and Figures:
Tables plus figures: ≤ 2
Maximum No. of References:
≤ 5
These present unique clinical encounters that are best illustrated by photographs, radiographs, or other figures. These papers are not intended as vehicles for case reports.
An abridged version with one to two images and a brief description will be published in the print copy of the Journal.
The full version of the paper will only be available on the Journal website. The full online version of the Pictorial Medicine paper will also be submitted for listing in the National Library of Medicine.
Not required
Text (excludes references), two versions should be prepared:
Abridged version: ≤ 150 words
Full version: ≤ 500 words
Maximum No. of Tables and Figures:
Abridged version: Select 1-2 figure(s) from the full version (authors need to be selective when choosing the figure(s), as the abridged version of each paper occupies half a printed page only).
Full version: Tables plus figures: ≤ 4
Maximum No. of References:
≤ 5 (for Full version only)
Editorials are invited contributions that complement papers published elsewhere in the journal.
Not required
Text (excludes references):
≤ 1200 words
Maximum No. of Tables and Figures:
Allowed only exceptionally
Maximum No. of References:
≤ 20
Commentaries relate to issues of current concern. These should focus on an area of controversy or difficulty, whether in diagnosis, treatment, broader aspects of management or conceptualisation.
Commentaries are usually solicited by the editors, but unsolicited material will also be considered, provided the authors first send a pre-submission enquiry to the Editorial Office. Pre-submission enquiry should include contact information of the authors and a summary of the article.
Not required
Text (excludes references):
≤ 1200 words
Maximum No. of Tables and Figures:
Allowed only exceptionally
Maximum No. of References:
≤ 20
Letters discussing a recent article in the HKMJ should be sent within 6 weeks of the article’s publication.
Letters that do not refer to a HKMJ article may also be considered.
Not required
Text (excludes references):
≤ 250 words
Maximum No. of Tables and Figures:
≤ 1
Maximum No. of References:
≤ 5
HKMJ invites authors to submit video clips for publication on the Journal’s website, along with a manuscript. All video clips will be subject to peer review. The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine will hold the copyright for all video clips published on the Journal’s website, unless otherwise indicated.
Required format of video(s)
(1) mp4 file;
(2) maximum size of 50 MB;
(3) audio (voice over) with video transcript submitted as Supplementary File in .doc or .docx format;
(4) maximum duration of 3 minutes.
Up to three videos per manuscript submission will be accepted. Generally, the video clip should support the description of a technique. Additional data regarding the results of the procedure described should be included in the manuscript.
(3) Preparing Manuscripts for Submission
(a) Manuscript Preparation
Authors should refer to a current issue of the HKMJ and to the uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals for guidance on style.
Manuscripts submitted to the HKMJ should meet the following criteria: the content is original; the writing is clear; the study methods are appropriate; the data are valid; the conclusions are reasonable and supported by the data; the information is important; and the topic has general medical interest. Manuscripts will be accepted only if both their contents and style meet the standards required by the HKMJ. Authors are advised to keep papers as brief as possible.
Authors should not submit companion papers. They should make every effort to submit a single, independent manuscript that does not depend on any other study for acceptance.
(b) Authorship Information
Authors are responsible for all statements made in their papers. All accepted papers become the permanent property of the HKAM and may not be published elsewhere without written permission from the HKAM.
Designate one corresponding author and provide a complete address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address. The number of authors of each paper should not be more than eight; a greater number requires justification. Authors may add a publishable footnote explaining order of authorship.
Group Authorship
If authorship is attributed to a group (either solely or in addition to one or more individual authors), all members of the group must meet the full criteria and requirements for authorship described in the following paragraphs. One or more authors may take responsibility ‘for’ a group, in which case the other group members are not authors, but may be listed in an acknowledgement.
Authorship Requirements
When the HKMJ accepts a paper for publication, authors will be asked to sign statements on (1) authorship responsibility, (2) financial disclosure, and (3) copyright transfer. Each of the statements must be read and signed by all authors (Disclaimer Form).
Authorship Criteria and Responsibility
All authors must meet the following criteria: to have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content; to have made substantial contributions to the conception and design, and the analysis and interpretation of the data (where applicable); to have made substantial contributions to the writing or revision of the manuscript; and to have reviewed the final version of the submitted manuscript and approved it for publication. Authors will be asked to certify that the manuscript represents valid work and that neither the manuscript nor one with substantially similar content under their authorship has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere, except as described in an attachment. If requested, authors shall provide the data on which the manuscript is based for examination by the editors or their assignees.
Financial Disclosure
Any affiliation with or involvement in any organisation or entity with a direct financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript should be disclosed in an attachment. Any financial or material support should be identified in the manuscript.
Copyright Transfer
In consideration of the action of the HKMJ in reviewing and editing a submission, the author/s will transfer, assign, or otherwise convey all copyright ownership to the HKAM in the event that such work is published by the HKMJ.
(c) Acknowledgements
Research or project support should be stated here. Only persons who have made substantial contributions but who do not fulfil the authorship criteria should be acknowledged. The corresponding author is responsible for obtaining written permission to use any copyrighted text or illustrations. Permission is required irrespective of authorship or publisher, except for documents in the public domain. Conflicts of interest should be stated.
(d) Tables and Figures
Do not submit tables as photographs. Number tables consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text and supply a brief title for each. Give each column a short or abbreviated heading. Place explanatory matter in footnotes, not in the heading. All non-standard abbreviations used in each table should be defined in the footnotes, in alphabetical order. For footnotes, use the following symbols, in this sequence: *, †, ‡, §, ?, ¶, II, **, ††, ‡‡,...Statistical measures of variations such as standard deviation, standard error of the mean, or confidence interval should be identified in headings. Vertical rules and horizontal rules should be omitted. Ensure that each table is cited in the text.
Resolution of all figures should be at least 350 dpi. Illustrations should be numbered consecutively in the order of their first citation in the text. Titles and detailed explanations should be confined to legends and not included in illustrations. Photomicrographs must have internal scale markers and include magnification and stain used. Photographs of persons must be retouched to make the subject unidentifiable, and be accompanied by written permission from the subject to use the photograph (patient consent forms for Adults and for Minors are available).
When symbols, arrows, numbers, or letters are used to identify parts of the illustrations, each one should be identified and clearly explained in the legend. Explain the internal scale and identify the method of staining in photomicrographs.
(e) References
References should follow the Vancouver style and should be numbered in the order they appear. Abbreviate journal names according to Index Medicus. List all authors up to 6; if more than 6, list the first 3 and then ‘et al.’
Examples of reference style:
Articles in journals
(i) Standard journal article—
(If a journal carries continuous pagination throughout a volume, the month and issue number are omitted.)
Vega KJ, Pina I, Krevsky B. Heart transplantation is associated with an increased risk for pancreatobiliary disease. Ann Intern Med 1996;124:980-3.
Parkin DM, Clayton D, Black RJ, et al. Childhood leukaemia in Europe after Chernobyl: 5 year follow-up. Br J Cancer 1996;73:1006-12.
(ii) Organisation as author—
The Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Clinical exercise stress testing. Safety and performance guidelines. Med J Aust 1996;164:282-4.
(iii) No author given—
Cancer in South Africa [editorial]. S Afr Med J 1994;84:15.
(iv) Article not in English—
Kojima M. Studies on the pathomechanism of solar urticaria [in Japanese]. Areugi 1984;33:224-30.
(v) Issue with supplement—
Payne DK, Sullivan MD, Massie MJ. Women’s psychological reactions to breast cancer. Semin Oncol 1996;23(1 Suppl 2):S89-S97.
(vi) Type of article indicated as needed—
(eg letter to the Editor, abstract, editorial, commentary)
Enzensberger W, Fischer PA. Metronome in Parkinson’s disease [letter]. Lancet 1996;347:1337.
Clement J, De Bock R. Hematological complications of hantavirus nephropathy (HVN) [abstract]. Kidney Int 1992;42:1285.
Books and other monographs
(vii) Personal author—
Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd ed. Albany (NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.
(viii) Editor, compiler as author—
Norman IJ, Redfern SJ, editors. Mental health care for elderly people. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1996.
(ix) 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: 465-78.
(x) Conference proceedings—
Kimura J, Shibasaki H, editors. Recent advances in clinical neurophysiology. Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of EMG and Clinical Neurophysiology; 1995 Oct 15-19; Kyoto, Japan. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1996.
(xi) Conference paper—
Bengtsson S, Solheim BG. Enforcement of data protection, privacy and security in medical informatics. In: Lun KC, Degoulet P, Piemme TE, Rienhoff O, editors. MEDINFO 92. Proceedings of the 7th World Congress on Medical Informatics; 1992 Sep 6-10; Geneva, Switzerland. Amsterdam: North-Holland; 1992: 1561-5.
(xii) Dissertation—
Kaplan SJ. Post-hospital home health care: the elderly’s access and utilization [dissertation]. St Louis (MO): Washington University; 1995.
(xiii) Scientific or technical report—
Smith P, Golladay K. Payment for durable medical equipment billed during skilled nursing facility stays. Final report. Dallas (TX): Department of Health and Human Services (US), Office of Evaluation and Inspections; 1994 Oct. Report No.: HHSIGOEI69200860.
Other published material
(xiv) Newspaper article—
Lee G. Hospitalizations tied to ozone pollution: study estimates 50,000 admissions annually. The Washington Post 1996 Jun 21; Sect. A:3 (col. 5).
(xv) Magazine article—
Roueche B. Annals of medicine: the Santa Claus culture. The New Yorker 1971 Sep 4: 66-81.
(xvi) Legal material—
Increased Drug Abuse: the Impact on the Nation’s Emergency Rooms: Hearings Before the Subcomm. on Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations of the House Comm. on Government Operations, 103rd Cong., 1st Sess. (May 26, 1993).
Personal communications and unpublished data/material
(xvii) Personal communications—
The majority of the victims are children (personal communication).
Note: This may only be used in exceptional circumstances, and if written consent from the person being quoted is provided.
(xviii) In press—
Leshner AI. Molecular mechanisms of cocaine addiction. N Engl J Med. In press.
Note: A reference to unpublished work that has not yet been accepted for publication should not appear in the reference list but should be cited in the text as unpublished data or written communication and dated. Work that has been accepted, but has not yet been published, may be cited in the references as above (please enclose a copy of the acceptance letter).
Electronic material
(xix) Websites and webpages—
The Western Governors’ Association Telemedicine Action Report 1996. Available from: Accessed 5 May 2002.
Note: Only websites or webpages containing specific references should be cited in the references as above. Websites and homepages of organisations should be cited in the text.
(f) Journal Style
• Do not use abbreviations in the title or abstract and limit their use in the text. Abbreviations should not be used at the beginning of a sentence. Standard abbreviations may be used and should be defined on first mention in the text unless they are the standard units of measurement. In general, terms should not be abbreviated unless they are used repeatedly and the abbreviation is helpful to the reader.
• Use Arabic numerals for numbers above nine, for designators (eg case 5, day 2, etc) and for units of measure; numbers lower than 10 should be spelled out, at the beginning of sentences, and for fractions below one. All papers should be written in English, and the spelling should be in British (eg anaemia, physiological) and conform to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English Usage.
• Use Système International (SI) measurements only, except when ‘Dual report’ is indicated in the SI unit conversion table.
• Use generic names of drugs, unless the specific trade name of a drug used is directly relevant to the discussion. When generic names are not available, brand names can be used and should have an initial capital, with manufacturer's name and city/country of the manufacture shown.
(4) Editorial Policies
(a) Duplicate Submission and Redundant Publication
Manuscripts are considered on the understanding that they are submitted solely to the HKMJ and have not been published elsewhere previously either in print or electronic format, and are not under consideration by another publication or electronic medium.
Redundant publication is publication of a paper that overlaps substantially with one already published. When submitting a paper, authors should make a full statement to the Editor-in-Chief about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as a redundant publication of the same or similar work. In case of doubt, submit copies of material that have been previously published or are currently being considered elsewhere at the time of manuscript submission. If redundant publication is attempted without such notification, authors should expect editorial action to be taken; at the least, rejection of the manuscript.
(b) Copyright / Permissions
Submission of an article for publication implies the transfer of the copyright from the authors to the HKAM upon acceptance.
Material published in the Hong Kong Medical Journal and on its website ( is covered by copyright. Readers may reproduce or store copies of HKMJ articles provided that the articles are used only for their personal, non-commercial use. Any uses and or copies of this Journal in whole or in part must include the customary bibliographic citation, including author attribution, date, article title, Hong Kong Medical Journal, and the URL and MUST include a copy of the copyright notice. User may only use the copyrighted material in the form presented by HKMJ and HKMJ’s copyrighted material may not be altered or varied, nor may any derivative works be produced based on the copyrighted materials.
Authors who reuse their material as described above do not need to contact HKMJ for permission. For other uses, authors must request permission from Managing Editor as detailed below.
Copyright release is required if individuals wish to photocopy articles, in whole or in part, for non-study purposes, or if a large quantity of copies is needed (eg for a lecture or tutorial). Copyright release is also required if any part of an article (including figures and tables) is reproduced in an academic publication, with or without alteration, even if the individual reproducing the material is the original author. A licence for reproduction can be issued for full-text reproduction of articles. Permission enquiries should be addressed to the Managing Editor directly. The request forms for Copyright Release and Reproduction Licence are available for download.
HKMJ encourages and permits links to for educational purposes only. The linking should not suggest that HKMJ promotes or endorses any causes, ideas, web sites, products or services and no use of content from for commercial purposes is permitted nor use that is in any way unlawful or harmful to any other person or entity. We reserve the right to withdraw permission for any link.
(c) Ethics
Ethical considerations will be taken into account in the assessment of papers that have experimental investigations of human or animal subjects. Authors should state in the Methods section of the manuscript that an appropriate institutional review board approved the project. Those investigators without such review boards should ensure that the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki have been followed.
(d) Embargo
Authors should refrain from contacting the mass media about papers that are being peer reviewed or in press. Authors should discuss any possible prepublication disclosure with the Editors in advance and obtain their agreement.
Providing copies of manuscripts or detailed information to media, manufacturers, or other parties of information described in a manuscript that has been accepted but not yet published violates the embargo policy of HKMJ. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to withdraw an article from publication if it is given media coverage at any stage of the review/publication process.
(5) Submit a Paper
All articles must be submitted through our online submission system. Authors must register before submitting a manuscript. An author may login for submission if he/she already has an account in our system.
(6) Editorial Review and Processing Peer Review
All submitted manuscripts are initially reviewed internally. Those manuscripts that do not comply with the Guide for Authors, or those that are of insufficient priority for publication, are rejected. The remaining manuscripts are sent for external peer review (except editorials and letters to the Editor which are reviewed internally). Peer review and author identities are kept confidential; reviewers are required to disclose any conflicts of interest. Reviewers are invited by emails and they can conduct online review via the HKAMedTrack system. Most papers are reviewed by two independent reviewers; two to three weeks are usually given. Authors should not recommend the names of any reviewers, but may give the names of people whom they wish not to act as reviewers at the beginning of the manuscript file.
Reviewers are asked to make comments on the scientific content and style of the paper, to make statistical and methodological appraisals, and to comment on the appropriateness of the discussion and conclusions. Manuscripts that require revision are returned to authors, and two to three weeks are usually given for re-submissions; a request for a revision does not indicate that the manuscript will be accepted. When preparing a revision, authors should indicate an explanation of how each point raised by each reviewer was answered, indicating where the appropriate changes were made.
When appropriate, a manuscript will be reviewed by the journal's statistical advisor to specifically appraise the statistical content. The HKMJ reserves the right to send a paper for a further round of peer review if necessary; the HKMJ uses a tie-breaker referee system. The final decision rests with the Editor-in-Chief. The HKMJ actively checks for plagiarism with VeriGuide.
(7) Rejected Manuscripts
Authors of rejected manuscripts will be notified by emails or authors can check the updated status of their manuscripts via the HKAMedTrack system.
Manuscripts requiring revisions must be returned to the Editorial Office by the deadline. If manuscripts are not returned after repeated reminders, they will be treated as being withdrawn by the authors and subsequent return may be rejected or treated as new submissions, at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.
(8) Appeals
If authors wish to appeal a decision, they can click “Appeal” button for their respective papers. Authors will then be prompted to provide the reasons for appeal, and state how the manuscript could be revised or clarified to address key problems mentioned by editors / reviewers. Authors can also upload the amended file at the time of rebuttal, or they can make the revision later after getting Editorial Board’s reply.
If the Editorial Board, on reading the rebuttal letter, considers that the appeal is warranted, authors will be invited to submit a revised manuscript (if they did not do so before) that will be entered into the peer review process again.
Please note that invitation to submit a revised version after appealing is not a guarantee of acceptance. The article will enter the peer review process again.
(9) Editing
Accepted manuscripts undergo technical and copy-editing according to HKMJ style and are sent to the authors for checking and approval prior to publication as a galley proof and page proof. A few days are usually given to authors to proofread their papers, answer any queries, and make any changes. Only minimal changes will be allowed; substantial changes will be charged for, and the addition of new material may require another round of peer review. Authors are responsible for all statements made in their work, including changes made by the copy editor and authorised by the corresponding author.
(10) Reprints
Reprints may be purchased in lots of 50. Order forms and price quotations are sent with the page proofs. Orders submitted after the issue is printed are subject to considerably higher prices.
(11) Costs to Authors
There are no submission or page charges, and the charges listed below are optional::
(1) cost of colour printing; HK$1500/colour photo or figure,
(2) cost of excess figure/table added after acceptance of the manuscripts; the rate is HK$500/figure or table, with an additional cost of HK$100/page.
(3) alterations except production error; HK$200/page.
(4) cost of reprints (a quotation is sent with page proofs to the corresponding author).