Suggested format for different type of research paper

Found there is a good instruction for author from Journal of General Internal Medicine website about what standard format suggested for original research. 

  • Reports of randomized, controlled trials should follow the recommendations of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement. See for the current CONSORT guidelines and checklist.
  • Reports of studies of the accuracy and use of diagnostic tests should follow the recommendations of the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) statement. See the original article (Ann Intern Med 2003; 138:W1-12) or
  • Reports of non-randomized educational, behavioral, and public health interventions should follow the recommendations of the Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Non-randomized Designs (TREND) statement. See the original article (Am J Public Health 2004; 94:361-366) or Additional suggestions for reporting of educational research are contained in Cook DA, Bowen JL, Gerrity MS, et al.  Proposed standards for medical education submissions to the Journal of General Internal Medicine.  J Gen Intern Med. 2008 July; 23(7): 908–913.
  • Reports of observational studies should follow the STROBE guidelines (Elm E, Altman DG, Egger M, Pocock SJ, Gøtzsche PC, et al. (2007) The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Statement: Guidelines for Reporting Observational Studies. PLoS Med 4(10): e296. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040296
  • Reports of evaluations of quality improvement interventions or programs should follow the Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) guidelines (
  • Qualitative research should heed the suggestions of Inui and Frankel (J Gen Intern Med 1991;6:485-6)

JAMA also has a instructions for authors added few other categories,

  • Clinical Trial. In these studies, individuals are randomly allocated to receive or not receive a preventive, therapeutic, or diagnostic intervention and then followed up to determine the effect of the intervention. All randomized clinical trials should include a flow diagram (Figure), and authors should provide a completed randomized trial checklist (see CONSORT Flow Diagram and Checklist) and a trial protocol. All clinical trials must be registered at an appropriate online public registry before submission of a manuscript based on the trial. These and other requirements are detailed below. Each manuscript should clearly state an objective or hypothesis; the design and methods (including the study setting and dates, patients or participants with inclusion and exclusion criteria, or data sources, and how these were selected for the study); the essential features of any interventions; the main outcome measures; the main results of the study; a comment section placing the results in context with the published literature and addressing study limitations; and the conclusions. A structured abstract is required, and trial registration information (name, number, and URL) must be listed at the end of the abstract; for more information, see instructions for preparing structured Abstracts. Maximum length: 3000 words of text (not including abstract, tables, figures, references, and online-only material) with no more than a total of 5 tables and/or figures.
  • Trial Registration: As a member of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), JAMA requires, as a condition of consideration for publication, registration of all trials in a public trials registry that is acceptable to the ICMJE (ie, the registry must be owned by a not-for-profit entity, be publicly accessible, and require the minimum registration data set as described by the ICMJE).4,14,15 Acceptable trial registries include the following and others listed at
  • Reports of Cost-effectiveness Analyses and Decision Analyses. These manuscripts may be classified as Original Contributions, Brief Reports, or Research Letters. Authors of reports of cost-effectiveness analyses and decision analyses must submit a copy of the decision tree comprising their model. This is for editorial evaluation and review, not necessarily for publication, unless it is included in the body of the manuscript.
  • Systematic Review (Including Meta-analysis). These manuscripts are systematic, critical assessments of literature and data sources pertaining to clinical topics, emphasizing factors such as cause, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy, or prevention. All articles or data sources should be searched for and selected systematically for inclusion and critically evaluated, and the search and selection process should be described in the manuscript. The specific type of study or analysis, population, intervention, exposure, and tests or outcomes should be described for each article or data source. The data sources should be as current as possible, ideally with the search having been conducted within several months of manuscript submission. A structured abstract is required; for more information, see instructions for preparing structured Abstracts. Maximum length: 3500 words of text (not including abstract, tables, figures, references, and online-only material), with no more than a total of 4 tables and/or figures and no more than 50-75 references.
  • Reports of Meta-analyses: Meta-analyses also will be considered as reviews as long as they follow the instructions for systematic reviews.3(pp528-529) Authors of reports of meta-analyses of randomized trials are encouraged to submit the PRISMA flow diagram and checklist. Authors of meta-analyses of observational studies are encouraged to submit the MOOSE checklist.

BMJ version of suggested original research paper format is also listed.


Journal of General Internal Medicine


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