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Instructions for authors

Editorial Policy:

Prehospital and Disaster Medicine is a hybrid journal, meaning that it publishes on a subscription basis but provides authors with options to make their article open access in two different ways.

Under the Green Open Access policy for Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) journals authors can archive certain versions of their articles six months after publication – the submitted version under review or the accepted (peer reviewed) version, but not the final version of record – in an institutional or non-commercial subject repository, or on their personal or departmental websites. This allows authors to comply with the open access mandates of many funders and institutions. For more details, see the Green Open Access policy page.

Under Gold Open Access the author can publish under a Creative Commons license, enabling anyone to access and redistribute the content and, depending upon the license, re-use the content in new or derivative works with attribution. The terms of re-use for Gold Open Access content are stated in the copyright line of the article.

Gold Open Access is supported by an article processing charge (APC) typically paid for by the author’s funding body or institution.

Find the APC for this journal in our full list of APC charges. WADEM members have the benefit of a discounted APC rate when they publish in Prehospital and Disaster Medicine.

Visit our Hybrid Open Access FAQs for more information. For any questions which are not answered by our policy pages and resources, please contact


Sharing your article with colleagues and the wider community is a vital part of research. But please share it responsibly, and follow the journal’s policy for posting the article in institutional repositories or websites such as social sharing sites. Responsible sharing will help safeguard the future of this journal.

If you choose to publish your article as Gold OA, you are free to post the final published PDF (the version of record) on your own website or elsewhere, as long as this is in keeping with the terms of the Creative Commons license you choose.

For publication of human or animal related research in Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, it is required that study protocols be submitted to a Research Ethics Committee that is properly registered with local government authorities.  Study protocols that require Ethics Committee submission include (but are not limited to) those in which an intervention is taken with humans or animals, observational studies, survey projects, and individual or database medical record review studies, including field and case reports.  Studies may obtain Ethics Committee review approval, waiver of need for informed consent, or exemption for need of informed consent.

Manuscript Review Process:

Manuscripts submitted are first reviewed by Editorial Staff for proper format and possible plagiarism.  Section Editors and the Editor-in-Chief may return manuscripts that are written on topics that are not within the scope of PDM.  Manuscripts with political bias or that are critical in a malicious manner are returned to the Author.

Expert review of manuscripts is one of the means of selecting manuscripts for publication in PDM.  Manuscripts are also selected for timeliness of the research topic, quality of study design, validity of scientific methods, and uniqueness of the research.  Manuscripts that are submitted without adherence to the proper format and style described in the PDM "Instructions for Contributors" cannot be selected for publication (available on the PDM website and at the time of manuscript submission).

PDM adheres to the international publishing standards of the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).  Peer review is the objective assessment of manuscripts submitted to journals by experts without connection to the research under review or preparation of the manuscript.  Peer review of manuscripts submitted to PDM is done in a blinded manner in which the reviewers and authors are unknown to each other.  Reviewers who may have a conflict of interest with review of a manuscript must withdraw from the review.  Including other factors, blinded reviews are used by PDM Editors to determine the priority for publishing each manuscript in the Journal.  Because PDM receives more submissions than there are pages available for publication of manuscripts received, only a fraction of manuscripts submitted to the Journal can be selected for publication.

The PDM peer review process occurs in two stages.  The first stage includes review by a Format Reviewer that is based on the publishing requirements provided in the Author Checklist that Authors must attest to having reviewed at the time of submission of a manuscript.  The first stage also includes a Methods Review that is specific to study design and methods.  If a manuscript is acceptable following Format and Methods Reviews, it is submitted for final review to at least one (usually two or more) content reviewers who are experts in the field of the research topic.  

Manuscript Submission Guidelines:

All manuscripts must be submitted through the Journal’s online submission platform, ScholarOne Manuscripts, at The following must be included with the submitted manuscript:

Cover Letter — each manuscript should be accompanied by a cover letter addressing the following:

· The primary author attests to the original nature of the material, that the paper has not been published elsewhere, and is not under consideration by any other publication

· If the paper has been, or is to be presented in a forum orally or as a poster, indicate the title of the forum, sponsoring institution, and the date of presentation.    

· The authors retain copyright of their articles accepted for publication, while granting WADEM either an exclusive license to publish, or a non-exclusive license to publish (in the case of the Gold OA option). 

· The institution(s) in which the work was performed, the sponsoring institution(s), and the respective departments are noted.

· The name of the author to whom any correspondence should be directed, along with correspondence street address and email address.

· Three to five keywords or phrases in alphabetical order separated by semicolons to facilitate indexing or electronic searches. Use the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings database ( to develop these keywords or phrases.

Title Page — includes the title of the paper, first names, middle initials, last names, and highest academic degrees of all authors (abbreviated as MD, MPH, etc.), along with institutions each author is affiliated with. Reiterate from the cover letter the name of the author to whom any correspondence should be directed, and the street address and email address. Do not indicate author names or institutions anywhere in the manuscript other than on the title page.

General Formatting Guidelines:

Manuscripts should be formatted using the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors style with exceptions as described below for specific submission categories.  This format style is available at: (Click on “Recommendations” and “Preparing for Submission”)

File Format—please submit manuscripts as WORD or Rich Text Format files. DO NOT SUBMIT AS PDFs.

Language—all manuscripts must be submitted in standard English. Do not use “I”, “We”, or “Our” within the manuscript when referring to the authors. The fact that the research was conducted by the authors is implicit.  For example, rather than “We found a significant change” the preferred language style is “The study showed a significant change”.

Type Style—use Times New Roman 12 point font. Double space all text, including references. Left-justify the text; leave right margins unjustified.

Abbreviations—provide a list of abbreviations used more than once and what they stand for at the beginning of the manuscript (example: WHO: World Health Organization). When abbreviations are first used, they must be noted within the abstract and main manuscript with the abbreviated term fully spelled with the abbreviation following in parentheses.  For example, World Health Organization (WHO).

Generic Names—whenever possible, use generic names. Brand names may be indicated parenthetically and the name and location of the manufacturer must be provided in parentheses followed by a generic description of the medication, drug, product, or equipment.

Software and Equipment Descriptions—specify version number, name, manufacturer or developer of all software and equipment used for the research or to which referred in the manuscript. Include the city, state or province and country in which the manufacturer or developer is headquartered. Example: the data were entered into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet Version 7.0.25 (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, Washington, USA).

DATA - Numbers and Percentages—both numbers and percentages should be presented in the text, in the “n (%)” format.

Mean and Standard Deviation—when presenting means and standard deviations in the text, the mean (SD) format should be used, rather than the ± format.

Statistical test, when used, must be identified and the specific data to which each test is applied must be noted (in the Methods section).  Means, percentages, and proportions must be reported with accompanied 95% Confidence Intervals and ordinal data must be accompanied with 25%, 75% Inter-Quartile ranges.

REFERENCES—references must be cited in the References section at the end of the manuscript in the order in which they appear in the text. Do not use automatic numbering, and remove any formatting (such as that from EndNote) linking the reference to citations in the text. References should not be formatted as footnotes. All references must be cited by superscript Arabic numbers in the text, tables, and legends for illustrations. Citations in the text should be placed after punctuation such as periods or commas. Titles of journals referenced must be annotated using US National Library of Medicine abbreviations ( and must be italicized. If there is no US National Library of Medicine abbreviation, please do not abbreviate the journal title. Include volume and issue numbers when possible, and do not omit digits from inclusive page numbers. The following is the format for references:

Journal Articles—White SJ, Hamilton WA, Veronesi JF. Comparison of field techniques used to pressure infuse intravenous fluids. Prehosp Disaster Med. 1991;6(4):429-434.

Books—Schwartz GR, Safar P, Stone JH, et al, eds. Principles and Practice of Emergency Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA, USA: WB Saunders Co.; 1985:1198-1202.

Chapters—Lindberg R. Pathology of head injuries. In: Cowley RA, Trump BF, eds, Pathophysiology of Shock. Baltimore, MD, USA: Williams and Wilkins; 1982:588-592. 

Presentations at meetings (published)—Jones M. Lessons learned during the Haiti earthquake. Paper presented at: 17th Annual Meeting of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Management; May 31-June 3, 2011; Beijing, China.

Presentations at meetings (unpublished)—Jones M. Lessons learned during the Haiti earthquake. Paper presented at: 17th Annual Meeting of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Management; May 31-June 3, 2011; Beijing, China.

Web sites—The importance of behavior in cancer prevention and early detection. American Cancer Society Web site. BehaviorinCancerPreventionandEarlyDetection/the-importance-of-behavior-in-cancer-prevention-and-early-detection. Accessed January 1, 2012.

Online government or organization reports—World Health Organization. World Health Statistics 2011. Published 2011. Accessed February 6, 2012.

Tables and Figures

Only essential figures and tables should be included. Further tables, figures, photographs and appendices may be published as supplementary material with the online version of the manuscript. All tables and figures must be referred to in the manuscript text.

Tables—submit tables either at the end of the manuscript or as separate WORD or rich text format files. DO NOT SUBMIT AS PDFs. Tables should be numbered in the order in which they appear in the text, using Arabic numerals. Include table title above each table. Tables should be black and white, with text in Times New Roman 12 point font. Do not use shading, and do not include spaces, tabs, or hard returns. Table footnotes should be indicated with superscript lowercase letters in alphabetical order. Tables should be no more than nine columns wide, and should fit on one printed page (portrait orientation).Tables longer or wider than a page should be split into two or more tables.

Data presented as numbers and/or percentages must add up to totals; any discrepancies must be explained in table footnotes. Numbers and corresponding percentages should be presented in the same cell, using the n (%) format. Mean and standard deviation should also be presented in the same cell, using the mean (SD) format rather than the ± format.

Figures—number all figures in the order they will appear in the text using Arabic numerals. Do not include place markers for figures in the text. Titles for figures should be included as text at the end of the manuscript, and should not be included in the figure itself. Legends should be included in the figure. Graphs, line art, diagrams, charts, and other figures should be submitted as black and white high resolution (300 dpi/120 pix per cm or higher) tiff files. Do Not Submit in Word Document. Color photographs and graphs may be submitted as supplemental material for online publication.

Converting images to high resolution tiff files generally requires graphics software such as PhotoShop, InDesign, or Adobe Illustrator. In some cases, it is possible to convert Word or Excel files to PDF files, then PDF files to tiff files. To convert PowerPoint files to high resolution files, see instructions at;.... Do not submit figures as WORD, PowerPoint, Excel, JPEG, or similar files. Photographs should be black and white tiff files with at least 600 dpi resolution. Please ensure that your figures are saved at final publication size (see the latest issue of the journal for column widths).

Even when your figure is saved as a 300 dpi tiff file, it may not be of sufficient resolution for print publication. If your original figure was lower resolution, simply saving it as a higher resolution file may not be helpful. Try sizing your figure to 1/4 or 1/3 of a page, and printing it. Is all the text clear? Is there enough contrast between bar graphs or lines and the background? White or no background is usually best.

Permissions—illustrations or tables from other publications must be accompanied by written permission from the copyright holder (author or publisher) of the document.  Illustrations previously published without copyright must be accompanied by written permission from the original author.

Specific Format for Manuscript Categories:

1. Original Research — structured research that uses quantitative and/or qualitative data collection methods and analyses to establish a hypothesis, association(s), or prove a cause and effect relationship is included in this category. For detailed instructions to prepare and submit a manuscript describing original research, please refer to

For Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, formal Delphi method studies are appropriate for submission as Original Research.  Survey and focus group based research should be submitted in the Special Report category.  Use of convenience samples and other non-probability sampling methods to generate data is strongly discouraged.

Randomized trials should adhere to the CONSORT Statement available at: (Click checklist and flow diagram).  Diagnostic studies should follow the STARD Guidelines available at: .

The Abstract must be limited to 375 words.  Abstract format should follow the sequence of  Introduction/Study Objective/Methods/Results/Conclusion.

The main manuscript text cannot exceed 4,000 words (not including title, abstract, references, acknowledgments, or listed abbreviations). Important is a concise statement of the study hypothesis or objective in the last paragraph of the Introduction section of the main manuscript.  Limitations of the study must be discussed, preferably as a separate section, following the end of the Discussion section.  The Conclusion statement must be concise and without editorialization or further discussion and can be placed in the final paragraph of the Discussion section or is preferred as a final stand alone section at the end of the main text.

Preferred Original Research manuscript format is as follows:

             1. Title page

             2. List of abbreviations and symbols used

             3. Abstract

             4. Introduction with statement of study objective at end

             5. Methods

             6. Results

             7. Discussion

             8. Limitations

             9. Conclusion(s)

            10. References

            11. Tables / Charts / Figures in order referenced in main text

            12. Units of measure list or statement (when applicable)

2. Systematic Review (Comprehensive Review) and Meta-Analyses — a structured, rigorous review of published and “grey” literature to be used to clarify areas in which there seems to be lack of consensus. The format for submission should be the same as that described above for Original Research.  Systematic Review or Meta-Analyses main text should not exceed 4,000 words (Abstract 375 words).  Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses must adhere to the PRISMA method, available at: .

Reviews that are designed as scoping reviews should be submitted as Special Reports and not Systematic Reviews or Meta-Analyses.  Unstructured reviews are discouraged for submission to PDM.

3. Special Report — a structured report that thoroughly describes activities or aspects of science that provide information necessary for the progression of areas of focus for the Journal.   Conference reports should follow the STROBE format, available at: . Special Report main text should not exceed 2,000 words (Abstract 375 words). 

Survey/Focus Group based research is published in the Special Report category.  When population sampling is used for data acquisition, probability methods are preferred.  Research based on non-probability sampling (purposeful, quota, theoretical, snowball, and convenience sampling) are not accepted as valid for making inferences or for conclusions regarding a general target population.

Special Report Format:

Abstract—concise summary (not to exceed 375 words)

Introduction— highlight the problem or issue of interest being addressed and the reasons that it needs to be addressed.

Report or Methods—describes design for information gathering, setting, review literature or population of interest, study participants (provide detailed information if using survey methods), variables measured, statistical or observational methods, and findings or results. Any stand alone subsections should be subtitled ( example: Methods, Results). Include citations for sources of factual or authoritative material.

Discussion—describes the significance of the report in terms of the science. Includes a review of literature pertinent to the report.  Limitations of the report should be discussed at the end of the Discussion section.

Conclusion—the findings in terms of implications for the practice of prehospital, emergency, nursing, and/or disaster (humanitarian) medicine should be summarized in a few sentences.

References—a numbered list of references in the order in which they appear in the text. References should not be formatted as footnotes.

4. Case Report — uses one or more cases of specific patients or events/responses to highlight a current aspect of medical care or a phenomenon. This type of report must have value in the development of research or furthering knowledge in the areas of focus for PDM. The submission format for a Case Report is the same as that for a Special Report as described above. Case Report main text should not exceed 1,800 words (Abstract 250 words).  Case Reports should follow the CARE Guidelines, available at: 

5. Field Report — Provides a analysis and provides direct observations of prehospital and disaster events. The main text of a field report submitted to PDM should be no more than 1,800 words in length (Abstract 250 words). Supporting maps, graphs, and tables are encouraged.

Field Report Format:

Include the following specific event identifiers list at the beginning of the report:

a. Event type (example: tropical storm, bombing, train crash, mass-gathering event);

b. Event onset date;

c. Location of event (geographic area from which report is being made);

d. Geographic coordinates in latitude, longitude, elevation;

e. Dates (or times) of observations reported; and

f. Response type (example: medical relief, humanitarian, public health surveillance).

Abstract—Summary of report with important findings.

Introduction—summary of event with specific data available, such as population density; detailed event description; and general damage that occurred. Include description of author response responsibilities and mission objectives.

Source(s) —for information and data used for the report.


Analysis—of Observations with any recommendations.

References—a numbered list of references (if any used in analysis of observations) in the order in which they appear in the text. References should not be formatted as footnotes.

Proofs and Offprints

Page proofs will be sent to the author designated to receive correspondence. Corrections other than to printer's errors may be charged to the author. A final PDF version of the article will be supplied to the corresponding author when the article is published. Please note that no changes can be made after a paper is published online.


Prehospital and Disaster Medicine is a member of the Committee of Publication Ethics (COPE). Please visit the COPE website for detailed information.  PDM is also a signatory of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).


Sharing one’s article with colleagues and the wider community is a vital part of research. But sharing must be responsible and follow international copyright and intellectual property law, including following the journal’s policy for posting the article in institutional repositories or websites such as social sharing sites.

If you choose to publish your article as Gold OA, you are free to post the final published PDF (the version of record) on your own website or elsewhere, as long as this is in keeping with the terms of the Creative Commons license you choose.


The policy of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine is that authors (or in some cases their employers) retain copyright and grant WADEM a licence to publish their work. In the case of gold open access articles this is a non-exclusive licence. Authors must complete and return an author publishing agreement form as soon as their article has been accepted for publication; the journal is unable to publish without this. Please download the appropriate publishing agreement here.

For open access articles, the form also sets out the Creative Commons licence under which the article is made available to end users: a fundamental principle of open access is that content should not simply be accessible but should also be freely re-usable. Articles will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC-BY) by default. This means that the article is freely available to read, copy and redistribute, and can also be adapted (users can “remix, transform, and build upon” the work) for any commercial or non-commercial purpose, as long as proper attribution is given. Authors can, in the publishing agreement form, choose a different kind of Creative Commons license (including those prohibiting non-commercial and derivative use) if they prefer.


Prehospital and Disaster Medicine now requires that all corresponding authors identify themselves using their ORCID iD when submitting a manuscript to the journal. ORCID provides a unique identifier for researchers and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript submission and grant applications, provides the following benefits:

  • Discoverability: ORCID increases the discoverability of your publications, by enabling smarter publisher systems and by helping readers to reliably find work that you’ve authored.
  • Convenience: As more organisations use ORCID, providing your iD or using it to register for services will automatically link activities to your ORCID record, and will enable you to share this information with other systems and platforms you use, saving you re-keying information multiple times.
  • Keeping track: Your ORCID record is a neat place to store and (if you choose) share validated information about your research activities and affiliations.

If you don’t already have an iD, you’ll need to create one if you decide to submit a manuscript to Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. You can register for one directly from your user account on Scholar One or via If you already have an iD, please use this when submitting, either by linking it to your Scholar One account or supplying it during submission by using the “Associate your existing ORCID ID” button.

Last updated 12th June 2019