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Preparing your submission

For guidelines regarding word count, figure/table count and references for all DMFR article types see here.

Authors' names and affiliations should not appear anywhere on the manuscript pages or the images (to ensure blind peer-review).

Teeth should be designated in the text using the full English terminology. In tables and figures individual teeth can be identified using the FDI two-digit system, i.e. tooth 13 is the first permanent canine in the right maxilla region.

Author contribution statement

DMFR requires that an author contribution statement accompany each submission, outlining the contributions of each author towards the work. A template statement can be downloaded here.

DMFR requires that for all submitted papers:

  • All the authors have made substantive contributions to the article and assume full responsibility for its content; and
  • All those who have made substantive contributions to the article have been named as authors.

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors recommends the following definition for an author of a work, which we ask our authors to adhere to:

Authorship be based on the following 4 criteria [1]:

  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Please also see the CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) website for details of the 14 roles typically played by contributors to research outputs:

1 The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, Roles and Responsibilities of Authors, Contributors, Reviewers, Editors, Publishers, and Owners: Defining the Role of Authors and Contributors,

Title page

The title page is a separate submission item to the main manuscript and should provide the following information:
  • Title of the paper. Abbreviations other than CT or MRI should not be used in the title.
  • A shortened version of the title (no more than 70 characters in length, including spaces) should be provided for use as the running head. Abbreviations are permissible.
  • Type of Manuscript (see all types of manuscript)
  • Author names should appear in full (in the format: "first name, initial(s), last name), qualifications and affiliations.
  • Statement indicating any source of funding or financial interest where relevant should be included.
  • A cover letter or statement can be included into the title page, but please note this is not a compulsory item.

Blind title page

A blind title page should be included with the full manuscript, giving only the title (i.e. without the authors’ names and affiliations), for use in the peer-review process.


The abstract should be an accurate and succinct summary of the paper, not exceeding 250 words. For papers containing research: the abstract should be constructed under the following subheadings:

  • Objectives;
  • Methods;
  • Results;
  • Conclusions.

​These subheadings should appear in the text of the abstract and the abstract should not contain references. The abstract should: indicate the specific objective or purpose of the article; describe the methods used to achieve the objective, stating what was done and how it was done; present the findings of the methods described – key statistics should be included; present the conclusion of the study based solely on the data provided, and highlight the novelty of the work.

Beneath the abstract please select up to 5 keywords from the current Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).

Main text

Please organise your paper in a logical structure with clear subheadings to indicate relevant sections. It is up to the authors to decide the specific nature of any subheadings as they see fit. Research papers typically follow the structure:
  • Introductory section;
  • Methods and materials/patients;
  • Results;
  • Discussion;
  • Conclusion;
  • Acknowledgments (if relevant).

Present results in a clear logical sequence. The conclusions drawn should be supported by the results obtained and the discussion section should comment critically on the findings and conclusions as well as any limitations of the work.

Acknowledgments should be brief and should indicate any potential conflicts of interest and sources of financial support.

An appendix may be used for mathematical formulae or method details of interest to readers with specialist knowledge of the area.

In addition:

  • Avoid repetition between sections.
  • Avoid repetition of text featured in tables and the main body of the article.
  • Abbreviations and acronyms may be used where appropriate, but must always be defined where first used.
  • The names and locations (town, country) of manufacturers of all equipment and non-generic drugs must be given.
  • Avoid the use of footnotes.
  • Use SI units throughout the text (Grays, Sieverts not RADs and REMs).


  • Authors are responsible for the accuracy of the references. Only papers closely related to the work should be cited; exhaustive lists should be avoided. All references must appear both in the text and the reference list.
  • References should follow the Vancouver format.
  • In the text, references are cited in numerical order as superscript numbers starting at 1. The superscript numbers are placed AFTER the full point.
  • At the end of the paper they should be listed (double-spaced) in numerical order corresponding to the order of citation in the text.
  • A reference cited in a table or figure caption counts as being cited where the table or figure is first mentioned in the text.
  • Papers in press may be included in the list of references.
  • Do not include references to uncompleted work or work that has not yet been accepted for publication. Abstracts and/or papers presented at meetings not in the public domain should not be included as references.
  • References to private communications should be given only in the text (i.e. no number allocated). The author and year should be provided.
  • If there are 6 or fewer authors, list them all. If there are 7 or more, list the first 6 followed by et al.
  • Abbreviations for titles of medical periodicals should conform to those used in the latest edition of Index Medicus.
  • The first and last page numbers for each reference should be provided.
  • Abstracts and letters must be identified as such.

Examples of references:

Journal article:
Gardner DG, Kessler HP, Morency R, Schaffner DL. The glandular odontogenic cyst: an apparent entity. J Oral Pathol 1988; 17:359–366.

Journal article, in press:
Dufoo S, Maupome G, Diez-de-Bonilla J. Caries experience in a selected patient population in Mexico City. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol (in press).

Complete book:
Kramer IRH, Pindborg JJ, Shear M. Histological typing of odontogenic tumours (2nd edn). Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1992.

Chapter in book:
DelBalso AM, Ellis GE, Hartman KS, Langlais RP. Diagnostic imaging of the salivary glands and periglandular regions. In: DelBaso AM (ed). Maxillofacial imaging. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders, 1990, pp 409–510.

Mileman PA, Espelid I. Radiographic treatment decisions - a comparison between Dutch and Norwegian practitioners. J Dent Res 1986; 65: 609 (Abstr 32).

Letter to the Editor:
Gomez RS, de Oliveira JR, Castro WH. Spontaneous regression of a paradental cyst. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 2001; 30: 296 (letter).

Journal article on the internet:
Abood S. Quality improvement initiative in nursing homes: the ANA acts in an advisory role. Am J Nurs [serial on the Internet]. 2002 Jun [cited 2002 Aug 12];102(6):[about 3 p.]. Available from:

Homepage/Web site: [homepage on the Internet]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources, Inc.; c2000-01 [updated 2002 May 16; cited 2002 Jul 9]. Available from:


Tables should be referred to specifically in the text of the paper but provided as separate files.
  • Number tables consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.), in the order in which they appear in the text.
  • Give each table a short descriptive title.
  • Make tables self-explanatory and do not duplicate data given in the text or figures.
  • Aim for maximum clarity when arranging data in tables. Where practicable, confine entries in tables to one line (row) in the table, e.g. “value (±sd) (range)” on a single line is preferred to stacking each entry on three separate lines.
  • Ensure that all columns and rows are properly aligned.
  • Include horizontal rules at the top and bottom of a table and one below the column headings. If a column heading encompasses two or more subheadings, then the main headings and subheadings should be separated by a single short rule. No other rules should be included, neither horizontal nor vertical.
  • Appropriate space should be used to separate columns. Rows should be double-spaced.
  • A table may have footnotes if necessary. These should be referred to within the table by superscript letters, which will then also be given at the beginning of the relevant footnote. Begin each footnote on a new line. A general footnote referring to the whole table does not require a superscript letter.
  • Define abbreviations in tables in the footnotes even if defined in the text or a previous table.
  • Submit tables as editable text.


Figures should be referred to specifically in the text of the paper.
  • Number figures consecutively using Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) and any figure that has multiple parts should be labelled alphabetically (e.g. 2a, 2b).
  • Concise, numbered legend(s) should be listed on a separate sheet. Avoid repeating material from the text.
  • Abbreviations used in figures should be defined in the caption.
  • Labelling of artwork should be Arial 8 point font.
  • Ideally, figure sizes should be 84 mm wide, 175 mm wide or the intermediate width of 130 mm.


  • Supply image files in EPS, TIFF, PDF or JPEG format.
  • TIFF is preferred for halftones, i.e. medical images such as radiographs, MR scans etc.
  • EPS is preferred for drawn artwork (line drawings and graphs).
  • For JPEG files, it is essential to save at maximum quality, i.e. “10”, to ensure that quality is satisfactory when the files are eventually decompressed.
  • Files supplied in Word, PowerPoint or Excel may prove acceptable, but please supply in EPS, TIFF or JPEG if practicable. Other formats will not be usable.
  • Do not supply GIF files – GIF is a compressed format that can cause quality problems when printed.
  • Upload each figure separately and numbered.


  • Unless essential to the content of the article, all illustrations should be supplied in black and white with no colour (RGB, CMYK or Pantone references) contained within them.
  • The cost of reproduction of colour images will be charged to the author at the following rates: £300 for one colour image, £500 for two colour images and £100 for each subsequent additional colour image. All prices are exclusive of UK VAT.
  • Images that do need to be reproduced in colour should be saved in CMYK, with no RGB or Pantone references contained within them.


  • Files should be saved at the appropriate dpi (dots per inch) for the type of graphic (the typical screen value of 72 dpi will not yield satisfactory printed results). Lower resolutions will not be usable.
  • Line drawings – save at 800 dpi (or 1200 dpi for fine line work).
  • Halftone and colour work – save at 300 dpi.


  • The image should be cropped to show just the relevant area (i.e. no more than is necessary to illustrate the points made by the author whilst retaining sufficient anatomical landmarks). The amount of white space around the illustration should be kept to a minimum.
  • Supply illustrations at the size they are to be printed, usually 76 mm wide (single column of text) or for especially large figures 161 mm (two columns of text).
  • Annotations, e.g. arrows, should be used to indicate subtle but salient points. All annotations should be included within the images supplied.
  • Patient identification must be obscured.

Additional points to note:

  • Do not put a box around graphs, diagrams or other artwork.
  • Avoid background gridlines unless these are essential (e.g. confidence limits).
  • Fonts should be Adobe Type 1 standard – Helvetica or Times are preferred.
  • Ensure that lettering is appropriately sized – should correspond to 8 or 9 pt when printed.
  • Include all units of measurement on axes.
  • All lines (e.g. graph axes) should have a minimum width of ¼ pt (0.1 mm) otherwise they will not print; 1 pt weight is preferable.
  • Avoid using tints (solid black and white or variations of crosshatching are preferred), but any tints that are used must be at a minimum 5% level to print (but do not use too high a tint as it may print too dark).
  • Do not use three-dimensional histograms when the addition of a third dimension gives no further information.


Appendices should be used to include detailed background material that is essential for the understanding of the manuscript e.g. statistical analyses, very detailed preliminary studies, but which is too comprehensive to include as part of the main text.

Where possible, authors are encouraged to include all relevant material in the main body of the text, however, if an appendix is necessary it should be supplied as a separate file. If more than one appendix is included, these should be identified using different letters.

  • An appendix may contain references, but these should be listed separately and numbered A1, A2, etc.
  • Appendices must be referred to in the main text in the relevant section.

Supplementary material

Supplemental material is intended for material that would add value to your manuscript but is not essential to the understanding of the work. Supplementary material is typically used for including material that can not be accommodated in print form, for example multimedia files such as dynamic images, video/audio files etc.

There are no restrictions on supplementary file formats, though it is recommended that authors choose file types that the majority of readers will be able to open e.g.

  • Text/Data: PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, .txt
  • Graphics: TIF, PNG, JPEG, GIF
  • Video: AVI, MOV, MP4, MPEG, WMV
  • Audio: mp3, m4a

Units, symbols and statistics

Authors should use the International System of Units (SI) [1]. Units of radiation should be given in SI, e.g. 1 Sv, 1 Gy, 1 MBq. Exceptions are mmHg for blood pressure and g dl–1 for haemoglobin. For guidance, authors can refer to the publication Units, Symbols and Abbreviations. A guide for medical and scientific authors [2].
  • All radiation factors (dose/time/fractionation) must be listed.
  • Equations should be numbered (1), (2) etc. to the right of the equation. Do not use punctuation after equations.
  • Do not include dots to signify multiplication – parameters should simply be typed closed up, or with a multiplication sign if necessary to avoid ambiguity.

Statistical Guidelines

The aim of the study should be clearly described and a suitable design, incorporating an appropriate number of subjects, should be used to accomplish the aim. It is frequently beneficial to consult a professional statistician before undertaking a study to confirm it has adequate power, and presentation of a power calculation within the paper demonstrates the ability of the study to detect clinically or biologically meaningful effects.

Details should be provided on selection criteria, whether data were collected prospectively or retrospectively, and any exclusions or losses to follow-up that might affect the study population. Information on subject characteristics in groups being compared should be given for any factors that could potentially bias the comparison of the groups; such information is often best presented in a tabular format in which the groups are in adjacent columns. If the study was randomized, details of the randomization procedure should be included.

Measures of variation should be included for all important results. When means are presented, the standard deviation or the standard error of the mean should also be given, and it should be clear which of these two measures is being quoted. When medians are given, measures of variation such as the interquartile range or overall range should also be included. Estimates of differences, e.g. between two means being compared, should be provided with 95% confidence limits to aid the reader and author to interpret the results correctly. Note that estimation of the size of effects, e.g. treatment or prognostic factor effects, is as important as hypothesis testing.

Statistical procedures should be described and referenced for all p-values given, and the values from which they were derived should be included. The validity of statistical procedures should also be confirmed, e.g. the t-test requires normal distribution(s) in the basic data and the chi-squared test is not valid when the expected numbers in cells are less than 5. Data may sometimes be transformed, e.g. using a log or square root transformation, to achieve normality. Non-parametric tests should be used when the conditions for normality are not met. It should be noted, however, that the Wilcoxon signed rank test (the non-parametric equivalent of the paired t-test) is semi-quantitative. If more than two groups are being compared then an analysis of variance should be performed before undertaking comparisons of pairs of groups. You are advised to seek the help of a professional statistician if you are uncertain of the appropriateness or interpretation of statistical methods.

Analysis of repeated measurements on the same subject can give rise to spurious results if comparisons are made at a large number of different time points. It is frequently preferable to represent each subject’s outcome by a single summary measure chosen for its appropriateness. Examples of such measures are the area under the curve, the overall mean, the maximum or minimum, and the time to reach a given value. Simple statistics can then be applied to these summary measures.

The results of the evaluation of a test procedure should state clearly the criteria used to define positivity, and the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value should all be quoted together with their 95% confidence limits.

1. Goldman DT, Bell RJ, eds. The International System of Units (SI). 5th edn. London, UK: HMSO; 1987.

2. Baron DN, ed. Units, symbols and abbreviations. A guide for medical and scientific authors. 5th edn. London, UK: Royal Society of Medicine Press; 1994.