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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • Must ensure you have submitted an electronic copy of the manuscript.
  • Be sure you have used the referencing style of the journal.
  • Make sure every legend for illustrations are clearly written.
  • Illustrations must be of good quality, or attached as JPEG or PNG documents electronically.
  • Has a colleague assessed your paper before submitting it?
  • Take time to go through the instructions for authors and assess where your manuscript stands.

Author Guidelines


All manuscripts and queries regarding manuscripts should be sent to: The Editor-in-Chief, Medical Journal of Zambia.  All articles should be submitted in an electronic version with additional illustrations and photographs are to be attached as JPEG documents. Authors should submit their articles, using British (U.K) English language, through the electronic submission platform on the journal website, https://mjz.co.zm. Any correspondence with the Journal, other than manuscript submission, can utilise the e-mail address: info@mjz.co.zm.

Terms of submission for Manuscripts

Manuscripts should be clear, precise and logical. The journal welcomes submissions from the following categories: original articles, review articles, short reports, letters to the editor, and conference reports, as well as articles of medico-political nature (e.g. points of view). Manuscripts describing a particular event (e.g. an outbreak of infectious disease) should be submitted immediately after the event. It is mandatory that submissions are be made by at least one of the authors. Any submission outside authorship will not be accepted. Authors must not simultaneously submit an original copy of any manuscript submitted to this journal, to another journal, either in the equivalent or different language until a final response is given by the editor-in-chief.  It is the mandate of the submitting author to ensure all necessary approvals are made before manuscript submission. Original articles and review articles should not exceed 3000 words, not including the title page, abstract, references, tables, and figures. Short reports and articles submitted as points of view should not exceed 1500 words. Letters to the editors should be concise, not exceed 500 words and should not be accompanied by more than one table of figure. The paper must be written in Microsoft Word using a normal, plain 12 point font (e.g., Times New Roman or Arial) for text. Headings should not be underlined. Upon manuscript submission, the Editorial Office will review all manuscripts to confirm that guidelines and policies stated in this document are observed. Your manuscript will be rejected if it does not meet the proper submission requirements.

Peer review

All articles submitted to this journal are subject to peer review. The assigned Editor will assess if the manuscript meets minimum editorial standards and follows the journal guidelines before it is assigned to external peer reviewers. Medical Journal of Zambia runs a double-blind peer-review system, where the reviewers are unaware of the names and affiliations of the authors and the reviewer reports provided to authors are anonymous. However, the editor reserves the right to reject a submission not deemed fit for publication before a peer review process. In certain situations, the editor may make consultations with field experts for certain sensitive publications before a peer review process can be considered e.g. issues having implications on societal beliefs and traditions, politics etc.


It is condition of publication in the journal that the authors assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Zambia. To this effect all accompanying letters must contain the following statement.  The authors being the sole and legitimate holder of the copyright hereby transfer it to Medical Journal of Zambia.

Condition of Acceptance

Articles are accepted for publication on condition that they are contributed solely to Medical Journal of Zambia. The Editor-in-Chief cannot enter into correspondence about papers considered unsuitable for publication and his decision is final. Neither the Editor-in-Chief nor the publishers accept responsibility for the views.


The Journal advises potential authors to ensure that only individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the scientific (or otherwise) merit of the work are included on the authorship. Underserved or passive authorship is discouraged. The Journal will normally not accept more than six (6) authors per single paper. Papers not fulfilling this requirement may be returned for justification of authorship. Multiple submissions are allowed but should be limited to at least 3 papers for first authorship. The author can make subsequent submissions once the review and publication processes are completed for at least one of the papers.

Papers should be set out as follows:

  1. Manuscript title:
  • The title should be clear and describe what the manuscript is reporting.
  • Do not use abbreviations in the title unless they are standard abbreviations.
  1. Author information:
  • Full author names: Authors should be identified by one forename in addition to the surname. Academic degrees and honorific designations should not be included with author names.
  • Affiliations: The institution or institutions in which the author or authors carried out the reported research should be identified under the author statement.
  • Institutional (where applicable) and authors mailing addresses
  • Identified corresponding author: Affiliations, addresses and other information (such as telephone numbers and e-mail addresses) should be provided.
  1. Abstract:
  • This should briefly outline the content of the paper under the following headlines: objectives, materials & methods, results and conclusions.
  • The abstract should have a maximum limit of 400 words for research papers and 200 words for case reports/series.
  • All abstracts should be citation free and not contain any tabulated data.
  • Abbreviations should only be used for the first time if they are standard. 
  1. Keywords: There should be 3 to 10 keywords representing the main content of the manuscript. When selecting keywords authors are advised to use recognised vocabularies related to the discipline discussed.
  1. Introduction:
  • Main text should provide clear and concise information on the topic under study and clearly describe the state of knowledge that gave rise to the question examined.  
  • It should give information on the nature of the problem and significance.  
  • If the observation is from another study, the authors should clearly state this in the introduction.
  • A review of existing literature also may be found in the introduction.
  • The text in the introduction should be free of subtitles.
  1. Materials and Methods
  • Describe the research design, the materials and methods used in the research (subjects, their selection, equipment, laboratory or field procedures), and how the findings were analysed.
  • Ensure the methods used are in keeping with the set objectives.
  1. Results
  • All results must be presented in a logical sequence.
  • Narration of results and figures, were applicable, must be done before tables or figures
  • Tables and figures should be kept to a minimum.
  • All tables and figures must be comprehensible without reference to the text.
  • You must not repeat all the information displayed tables, figures etc but ensure you emphasize only on the pertinent observations.
  • Report the most important finding first.
  • All units of measurements should be presented according to the International Systems of Units (SI) format
  • Figures, graphs, drawings, should be presented separately from the main body of the paper (as separate attachments), numbered and given suitable legends.
  • Illustrations and tables should be kept separate from the text. The author should indicate their location in the manuscript
  1. Discussion:
  • The main findings should be documented in the order of importance according to authors’ objectives.
  • Examination of other evidence supporting or contradicting the tentative conclusions.
  • The final answer to the research question should be provided.
  • Consideration of generalizability of the answer.
  • Implications for further research.
  1. Declarations:
  • All submitted manuscripts must follow the following declarations:
  • Ethics approval:
  • A statement on ethics approval on research papers involving human participants/data or human biological tissues including consent must be stated.
  • In case of a waiver, this must be stated too.
  • Studies involving animals must also have a statement of ethical approval, including approval from client or owner of the animals in case of experimental studies
  • Include the Ethics body that approved the study and the reference if appropriate
  • If none of the above applies, indicate ‘not applicable’ on the ethics section.
  • Consent for publication (where applicable).
  • Availability of data and study materials:
  • This should include information on where data to support the study can be accessed (e.g. hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets) or upon reasonable request (e.g. to build upon or replicate findings).
  • If the information is of sensitive nature, where data accessibility can compromise privacy, it should also be stated likewise, along with any condition for accessing the data. All requests for datasets of sensitive nature must be done through the Editor-in Chief
  • If the manuscript does not have any dataset, state this too.
  • Conflict of interest: authors must state any conflict of interest and reasons for conflicts. If no conflict of interest exists, the authors must state this too.
  • Funding statement: if the paper was funded, it must be stated including the full names of the funder. Including the extent of involvement, of the funder. Authors contributions (optional).
  • Acknowledgements 
  1. References:
  • References should not be cited in the tables.
  • All references will be formatted in the journal specific style.
  • References should be in the order made in the text and numbered accordingly.
  • These numbers should be inserted at the end of the paper and should consist of the surnames and initials of all authors when there are 2 to 10 authors, list them all, including the 10th author; if there are more than 10 authors, list the first 10 followed by “et al,” title of article, full name of Journal, year, volume, first and last page numbers, as follows:
    • Ng’andu, N.H. and Watts, T.E. Child growth and breast feeding in urban Zambia. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 1992; 44:212-285.
    • For books, names and initials of all authors, the full title, place of publication, publishers, year of publication and page numbers should be given. Authors should personally verify the accuracy of every reference before submitting the paper for publication and should ensure that the listed references correspond exactly to those in the text.

Review articles and other contributions that may not easily comply with the above layout should have the same basic structure of critical argument as a research report. The subheadings should make clear the subtopics considered sequentially. Explicit description of the methods and standards applied in selecting the references cited should be outlined in a methods section.

Case reports should encompass the following five sections: an abstract, an introduction with a literature review, a description of the case report, a discussion that includes a detailed explanation of the literature review, and a brief summary of the case and a conclusion. The references listed at the end of the case report should be carefully chosen by virtue of their relevance and should provide additional information for readers interested in more detail than can be found in the case report, and they should support any specific points highlighted. These should not exceed fifteen in number.

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