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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA March 2012
35 Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 42 Number 1 March 2012 INFORMATION FOR AUTHORS CJA Abstract and Index Terms Abstracts of original research reports, literature reviews and case reports should be structured (see Appendix 1). The abstract should state the purposes of the study or investigation, basic procedures (selection of study subjects or experimental animals; observational and analytical methods), main fndings (give specifc data and their statistical signifcance, if possible), and the principal conclusions. Emphasise new and important aspects of the study or observations. Abstracts should be relatively short, in general up to 250 words. Below the abstract provide 3-10 index terms that will assist indexers in cross indexing the article and may be published with the abstract. Use terms from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus; if suitable MeSH terms are not available for some main subjects covered in the paper, other terms may be used, but must be identifed as such. Introduction Provide a context or background for the study (i.e., the nature of the problem and its signifcance). State the specifc purpose or research objective, which may be more sharply focused when stated as a question. Give only strictly pertinent references and do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported. Methods This section should include only information available at the time the plan or protocol for the study was written; all information obtained during the conduct of the study belongs in the Results section. Selection and description of participants. Describe your selection of the observational or experimental subjects (patients or laboratory animals, including controls) clearly, including eligibility and exclusion criteria and a description of the source population. Because the relevance of such variables as age and sex to the object of research is not always clear, explain their use when they are included in the report; e.g., why only subjects of certain ages were included or why women were excluded. When using variables such as race or ethnicity, defne how the variables were measured and justify their relevance. Ethics. When reporting experiments on human subjects, indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional or regional) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Do not use patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, especially in illustrative material. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate whether the institution’s or a national research council’s guide for, or any national law on, the care and use of laboratory animals was followed. Technical information. Identify the methods, apparatus (give manufacturer ’s name and address in parentheses), and procedures in suffcient detail to allow other workers to reproduce the results. Give references to established methods, including statistical methods (see below); provide references and brief descriptions for methods that have been published but are not well known; describe new or substantially modifed methods, give reasons for using them, and evaluate their limitations. Precisely identify all drugs and chemicals used, including generic name(s), dose(s), and route(s) of administration. Authors submitting review manuscripts should include a section describing the methods used for locating, selecting, extracting, and synthesising data. These methods should also be summarised in the abstract. Statistics. Describe statistical methods with enough detail to enable a knowledgeable reader with access to the original data to verify the reported results. When possible, quantify fndings and present them with appropriate indicators of measurement error or uncertainty (such as confdence intervals). Avoid relying solely on statistical hypothesis testing, such as the use of P values, which fails to convey important information about effect size. References for the design of the study and statistical methods should be to standard works when possible (with pages stated). Defne statistical terms, abbreviations, and most symbols. Specify the computer software used. Results Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations, giving the main or most important fndings frst. Do not repeat in the text all the data in the tables or illustrations; emphasise or summarise only important observations. Extra or supplementary materials and technical detail can be placed in an appendix where it will be accessible but will not interrupt the fow of the text. When data are summarised in the Results section, give numeric results not only as derivatives (e.g. percentages) but also as the absolute numbers from which the derivatives were calculated, and specify the statistical methods used to analyse them. Restrict tables and fgures to those needed to explain the argument of the paper and to assess its support. Use graphs as an alternative to tables with many entries; do not duplicate data in graphs and tables. Avoid non- technical uses of technical terms such as “random” (which implies a randomising device), “normal,” “signifcant,” “correlations,” and “sample.” Where scientifcally appropriate, analyses of the data by variables such as age and sex should be included. Discussion Emphasise the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail data or other material given in the Introduction or the Results section. For experimental studies it is useful to begin the discussion by summarising briefly the main findings, then explore possible mechanisms or explanations for these fndings, compare and contrast the results with other relevant studies, state the limitations of the study, and explore the implications of the fndings for future research and for clinical practice. Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid unqualifed statements and conclusions not adequately supported by the data. In particular, authors should avoid making statements on economic benefts and costs unless their manuscript includes economic data and analyses. Avoid claiming priority and alluding to work that has not been completed. State new hypotheses when warranted, but clearly label them as such. Acknowledgments At the end of the article, one or more statements should specify (1) contributions that need acknowledging but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a departmental chair, scientifc adviser, critical review of the study, data collection; (2) acknowledgments of technical help; (3) acknowledgments of fnancial and material support. Persons who have contributed intellectually to the paper but do not meet the criteria for authorship must have given their written permission to be named (Form C), because readers may infer their endorsement of the data and conclusions. Technical help should be acknowledged in a paragraph separate from those acknowledging other contributions. References Although references to review articles can be an effcient way of guiding readers to a body of literature, they do not always refect original work accurately. Readers should therefore be provided with direct references to original research sources whenever possible. On the other hand, extensive lists of references to original work on a
CJA June 2012