Author Instructions


The AJTMH publishes a broad range of papers covering topics in tropical medicine. Authors uncertain about the appropriateness of a manuscript for the Journal are encouraged to review recent issues of the Journal and to contact editorial staff with any questions. Manuscripts and correspondence should be submitted at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ajtmh. Questions about the submission process can be directed to the AJTMH editorial office and technical support questions should be sent to support@scholarone.com.

Cover letter and signatures

All manuscripts should be accompanied by a cover letter with the following information:
  1. The title of the paper.
  2. A brief description of the significance of the paper to the readers of the AJTMH.
  3. A statement confirming that the material is original, has not already been published, and has not and will not be submitted for publication elsewhere as long as it is under consideration by the AJTMH.
  4. Written disclosure of any relationships or support which might be perceived as constituting a conflict of interest
  5. A completed Copyright and Disclosure form from each author. Ideally, the corresponding author will collect this form from all authors and submit them to the journal at the time of initial submission. The ICMJE Copyright and Disclosure form can be found here.


There is no limit to the number of authors that may be listed (except for Images in Clinical Tropical Medicine articles; see below). Only two individuals may be listed as first authors. 

All authors must meet the standards described in the ICMJE authorship guidelines:  1) Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work;  2) Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; 3) Final approval of the version to be published; and 4) 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 read Section II.A.2 of the ICMJE recommendations for more information on authorship guidelines.

In some cases, for papers with a large number of authors participating in a working group, the group may be cited as author, and all individual authors listed in a footnote.

Manuscript types

Original research reports. These form the large majority of papers published by the AJTMH and consist of reports of novel research. There is no word limit or limit to the number of references, but efforts should be made to keep manuscripts as succinct as possible. Full reports should include separate sections entitled Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion; the last two sections can be combined. The abstract should not include sub-headings and should contain no more than 250 words. The following sections should be included after the text: Acknowledgments, Financial Support, and Disclosures regarding real or perceived conflicts of interest. Manuscripts should end with a listing of all authors’ current addresses, including affiliation, city, country, and email address, followed by References (see Reference section below).

Short reports. This format can be used for submission of important preliminary observations, technique modifications, or data that do not warrant publication as a full paper. Short reports should contain no sub-headings, and be no more than 1500 words in length, with no more than 150 words in the abstract, 3 tables and/or figures, and 20 references.

Reviews. The AJTMH will consider reviews on relevant topics in tropical medicine, global health, and related areas. Typically reviews will be submitted by leading authorities in a field. We encourage mini-reviews, providing concise reviews of focused topics in no more than 2000 words, but larger reviews will also be considered. Mini-reviews are an opportunity to examine a specific aspect of a disease in great depth to shed light on new perspectives or highlight key areas of interest. They may also be about diseases or fields that are poorly understood. Reviews may be solicited by the editors, but for unsolicited reviews, prospective authors are asked to send a presubmission letter to the Journal. Reviews require a short abstract.

Perspectives. These are short articles (up to 1500 words) on timely topics that offer both a focused review of the subject and a balanced presentation of issues that may include key recent changes or areas of controversy. A short abstract is required. Perspectives may offer the opinions of authoritative experts on timely topics or personal accounts from those with compelling tropical medicine experiences. As with reviews, some Perspectives may be solicited, and for unsolicited manuscripts a presubmission letter should be sent to the managing editor for consideration of the proposed topic before submission.

Case reports. Short reports of no more than 1500 words can describe a single case or small case series. These must present novel information about a tropical medicine problem of broad interest. Case reports should include an abstract offering a succinct description of the area, a Case Report section including only clinical information that is relevant to the manuscript, and a brief Discussion.

Images in Clinical Tropical Medicine. Short reports (typically up to 200 words, but up to 400 words if complex descriptions are needed, with 5 references and no abstract) including images that demonstrate particularly informative, striking, or unusual presentations of tropical disease are welcome. Manuscripts that offer visual immediacy and clinical relevance will be prioritized. Images will be published in black and white in the print version of the Journal (author will have the option to pay for color) and in color online. Images articles should have no more than 3 authors.

Book Reviews. These are occasionally solicited by the editors. They should have no sub-headings and be no more than 1000 words in length.

Letters to the Editor. Letters are uncommonly published and should only be responses to recently published articles in the AJTMH. If letters are deemed worthy of publication, they will typically be sent to the authors of the published paper for a response.

Submission process

Prepare your manuscript using a word processing program and save it as a .doc file using Microsoft Word. For items that accompany the text (letters, figures, copyright forms, etc.), you may upload the following file types: .xls, .ppt, .gif, .pdf, .jpg, .eps, .png, and .tif. However, for the manuscript text, do NOT upload .pdf files, but rather use the Word "Save As" option to save your text as a .doc file. Reviewers will see a PDF containing all files you uploaded except for those files you have marked as “Not for Review.” Other file types such as LaTeX files and QuickTime movies can be uploaded. Videos are best uploaded in mp4 format.

Click here to submit your manuscript online.

Manuscript formatting

Spacing. The text should be in 11 or 12 point type, fully double-spaced, leaving a margin of 1 inch on all sides. Continuous line numbers (NOT restarting with each page) should be included throughout the manuscript and pages should be numbered consecutively.

Title page. This should include, in the following sequence, the title, a list of all authors, and author institutions, identified by superscripts in Arabic numerals. The corresponding author should be denoted by an asterisk, with address, e-mail, and phone number in a footnote. Also include a list of up to 5 key words and the word counts for the abstract and for the text (not including the abstract, figures, or references). The title page should also list the number of figures, tables, and other pertinent information such as supplementary materials.

Title. The manuscript title should be as succinct as possible. Titles should generally not include abbreviations. A running head, for use as a header, should also be provided; the running head should be not longer than 60 characters (including spaces).

Style. American spelling should be used. Indent the first sentence of each paragraph. Use only one space between sentences. For presentation of a series of terms, a serial comma (e.g. “red, white, and blue”) should be used. For italics, italicize the words and phrases in your text, but do not underline. Italicize genus and species. For words that were originally foreign, but are now standard English (e.g. i.e., e.g., in vitro, in vivo), italics are not necessary. For complex sentences, parentheses should enclose brackets. Punctuation should follow the parentheses. Superscripts, including reference numbers, should directly follow punctuation marks. Numbers in text should be in Arabic format, except for one. Insert a space between a number and a unit of measure and both before and after the < symbol, > symbol, and = symbol; no space is needed between a number and the % sign.

Abbreviations. Abbreviations are commonly overused, compromising the clarity of manuscripts. Authors are advised to keep abbreviations to a minimum, using them when they are clearer than long terms (e.g. PCR, DNA), but avoiding them when possible when they are non-standard and idiosyncratic. Abbreviations should conform to the AMA Style Manual. Terms should be spelled out with first usage in both the abstract and text, with the abbreviation following in parentheses. After this first usage, the abbreviation must be used consistently. Plurals of abbreviations do not require apostrophes.

Drug names. Proprietary names of drugs may not appear in the title but may be used in conjunction with the generic name when the drug is first mentioned in the abstract, and again when first mentioned in the text. Thereafter, use only the generic name.

Names of organisms. Genus and species should be italicized. After the first usage the genus should be abbreviated with a single letter (e.g. E. coli). For different species within a genus, the genus should be spelled out with the first usage of each. Adjectives referring to organisms (e.g. plasmodial, falciparum malaria) are not italicized. Viral nomenclature should be based on the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV; see the AMA Style Manual.  A complete listing of ICTV recognized viral species can be found here.

Figures. Figures should be numbered in Arabic numerals and cited in the text. It should be noted that a fee is required for color illustrations in print, but authors can choose black & white in print, but color online at no charge. All figures should contain a brief legend.

Figure specifications. Monochrome (1-bit) images/ line art: The preferred resolution for this type of image is between 1000 and 1200 ppi. Examples include charts and graphs made of solid black and white, with no gray values. Combination halftones: The preferred resolution for this type of image is between 600 and 900 ppi. Examples include color or grayscale figures containing halftone and line art elements. Halftones: The suggested minimum resolution for this type of image is 300 ppi. Examples include color or grayscale figures containing pictures only, with no text or thin lines.

Tables. Tables should be serially numbered in Arabic numerals and cited in the text. Each table should be placed on a separate page at the appropriate point in the text or at the end of the manuscript.

References. References must use standard AJTMH formatting; please refer to prior issues of the Journal and the information below to assure correct formatting. References should be cited by consecutive numbers in the text. The numbers should appear in superscripts that appear after closing punctuation. All authors should be listed. Abbreviate journal names as in PubMed, with journal name and volume number in italics. References should be from peer-reviewed publications. Unpublished sources, including abstracts, conference proceedings, dissertations, and manuscripts not yet accepted for publication, should be cited in parentheses in the text as unpublished data or a personal communication (e.g. Kazura, J., personal communication).

Examples of references:

Durbin AP, Whitehead SS, 2013. The dengue human challenge model: has the time come to accept this challenge? J Infect Dis 207: 697–699.

Muirhead-Thomson RC, 1953. Mosquito Behavior in Relation to Malaria Transmission and Control in the Tropics. London, UK: Edward Arnold and Company.

White GW, 2007. Terminology of insect repellents. Debboun M, Frances SP, Strickman D, eds. Insect Repellents. Boca Rotan, FL: CRC Press, 31–46.

GAVI, 2013. Cholera Vaccine Investment Strategy. Available at: http://www.gavialliance.org/about/strategy/vaccine-investment-strategy/. Accessed March 11, 2014.

Additional information

Review process. After submission, manuscripts are first reviewed by editorial staff. Manuscripts with incorrect formatting or unacceptable language or style will be returned to authors for correction before transmission to the Editor-in-Chief. A common reason for return at this point is unacceptable quality of English, and so authors who are not fluent in English are encouraged to seek help with writing prior to submission.  Resources for this include The Charlesworth Group Author Services, LetPub Language Editing Services, Editage English language editing services, and Oxford Language Editing Services.  Acceptable manuscripts will be examined by the Editor-in-Chief and either accepted without review, rejected without review, or assigned to a Section Editor. Section Editors elicit reviews from qualified experts. Reviews are considered by Section Editors and the Editor-in-Chief, a decision is made, and authors are notified of review decisions as promptly as possible.

Requested and excluded reviewers. Authors must list at least 4 potential reviewers, including name and contact information. The careful selection of relevant experts as reviewers will facilitate and speed up the review process. Please do not list reviewers from within an author’s institution, and, especially for international authors, avoid only local reviewers. Authors may exclude up to 4 individuals as reviewers, although such exclusions should be uncommon.

Revision of manuscripts. Articles typically require revision before final acceptance. Authors are asked to respond by letter to all concerns raised by editors and reviewers. For each concern the authors should explain exactly how they have modified their manuscript based on the concern, or if they feel that no change is needed, they must justify this decision. Changes to the manuscript must be clearly described, with identification of the site of the change. With resubmission, authors should provide both a marked up version of the earlier submission, with all changes indicated (using Track Changes or highlighting), and a final version. Both the marked up version and the clean version should be designated as the main document so reviewers can see where changes have been made. In response to revised manuscripts, editors may seek additional reviews and/or request a second revision, or they may reach a conclusion as to acceptability for publication. Final decisions are confirmed by the Editor-in-Chief. 

Sharing of information. Newly determined nucleotide and/or amino acid sequence data must be deposited, and GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ accession numbers must be included in the Materials and Methods section. It is expected that the sequence data will be released to the public no later than the publication date of the paper. New information on arboviruses should be deposited into the CDC arbovirus catalog.

Ethical guidelines. For all human research, the Material and Methods section must declare that informed consent was obtained from adult participants and from parents or legal guardians of minors and it must include the names of appropriate institutional review boards that approved the project. Clinical trials must have been registered with clinicaltrials.gov or an equivalent body, and the trial number should be provided. For studies involving experimental animals, the Materials and Methods section must declare that the experiments complied with guidelines for the humane use of laboratory animals from the National Institutes of Health or an equivalent organization, and it must include the names of appropriate institutional review boards that approved the project. The journal recommends adhering to the guidelines stated in the Belmont Report or those set forth by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences.

AJTMH open access policy. Manuscripts may be made freely available online immediately upon publication for a flat fee of $2,500, paid instead of the usual page charges. This fee does not include additional charges for print color figures. For articles for which the open access fee is not paid, authors must honor a 12-month embargo on current content and not deposit their paper in a public repository without permission from the AJTMH. Email the managing editor to obtain permission. Authors may elect the open access option on the page charge form when they receive their galley proofs, or they may notify the editorial office of their decision. Published papers will be deposited in PubMedCentral (PMC) by the journal office. Open access articles will be made freely available on PMC at the time of publication. All other articles will be deposited in PMC but will not be available until the 12-month embargo period has expired. Wellcome Trust/Research Council UK authors can self-archive their manuscripts and make these available from PMC and Europe PMC 6 months after the publication date.

Page charges. These are $125 per page for manuscripts submitted by a Corresponding Author who is a member of the ASTMH and $150 per page for non-members. Charges for printed color figures are $1,395 per color plate (one page including one or more color figures). There is no charge for figures that are in color only online. Supplemental data such as additional tables and figures can be included in the online version of a paper and referenced in the print version. Page charges are due upon receipt of galley proofs. The corresponding author will receive an email with a link to galley proofs a few weeks after manuscript acceptance. A separate email with a link to an invoice will be sent; at that time authors can choose if they want to pay the regular page charge fees listed above or the open access fee of $2,500. There are no page charges for Letters to the Editor, book reviews, Images in Clinical Tropical Medicine, or manuscripts that are recruited by the editors.

Page charge waivers. Manuscripts with only authors from developing countries and with no sources of support for page charges may qualify for a partial or full waiver of charges. Please appreciate that funds for waivers are limited. We do not grant waivers until a paper is accepted.

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