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Instructions for authors

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Medical History

Medical History is a refereed journal devoted to all aspects of the history of medicine, health and related sciences, with the goal of broadening and deepening the understanding of the field, in the widest sense, by historical studies of the highest quality. It is associated with the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, the Asian Society for the History of Medicine, and the World Health Organization's Global Health Histories initiative. The membership of the Editorial Board reflects the commitment to the finest international standards in refereeing of submitted papers and the reviewing of books. The journal publishes in English, but welcomes submissions from scholars for whom English is not a first language.

Authors, particularly those whose first language is not English, may wish to have their English-language manuscripts checked by a native speaker before submission. This is optional, but may help to ensure that the academic content of the paper is fully understood by the editor and any reviewers. Please visit this page to find out more about our third-party language editing service:

Please note that the use of any of these services is voluntary, and at the author's own expense. Use of these services does not guarantee that the manuscript will be accepted for publication, nor does it restrict the author to submitting to a Cambridge published journal.

Medical History offers authors the possibility to publish their work open access. Please visit for more information on our open access policies, compliance with major funding bodies, and guidelines on depositing your manuscript in an institutional repository.

Books for review should be sent to the Reviews Editor Dr Tara Alberts, Vanbrugh College, V/A/220 Department of History, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD. Email: Please note that the journal does not accept unsolicited reviews.

Contributions should be sent by email attachment to the Editor, Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya Contributions are considered on the understanding that they are the original work of the author(s), not under consideration for publication elsewhere, and have not been published before, whole or in part, including in another language. Contributions should be submitted in electronic form as an email attachment, preferably in MS Word format.

Submission of articles

• Articles should preferably not exceed 12,000 words including notes.

• An abstract of up to 250 words should be included.

• A list of up to 6 keywords is required.

• The article should be submitted by email to the Editor

• Files to be in Microsoft Word Doc or RTF.

Style of presentation

• Give your name, address, and competing interest declaration on a separate cover sheet, as reviews are double blind.

Competing interest declaration: All authors must include a competing interest declaration in their separate cover sheet. This declaration will be subject to editorial review and may be published in the article. Competing interests are situations that could be perceived to exert an undue influence on the content or publication of an author’s work. They may include, but are not limited to, financial, professional, contractual or personal relationships or situations. If the manuscript has multiple authors, the author submitting must include competing interest declarations relevant to all contributing authors. Example wording for a declaration is as follows: “Competing interests: Author A is employed at company B. Author C owns shares in company D, is on the Board of company E and is a member of organisation F. Author G has received grants from company H.” If no competing interests exist, the declaration should state “Competing interests: The author(s) declare none”.

• Main text: Times, 12pt. Notes: Times, 11pt.

• Divide the text with sub-headings, centred and in bold.

Do not use ALL CAPS.

Typographical Conventions

• Paragraphs should be denoted using an indent; do not leave a line space between paragraphs.

• Reference works, names of biological organisms, Latin words, etc. should be italicised.

• Use superscript for notes (automatic in Word), following punctuation. Do not use brackets or any other separators around endnote/footnote numbers, e.g. ...and had them killed.(12) as to find and replace these [brackets] would remove all legitimate brackets elsewhere.

• See References section for model notes.


• Use UK English spellings – colour, flavour, defence, recognise, etc.

• Use -ise not -ize; ie. analyse.

Set your spellchecker to UK English to help with this – Tools > Language > UK English.

• Use capitals for First World War, Second World War.

• Use per cent in text, % with digits (see numbers below).


• 15 May 1840; May 1840; 1840–1903; 1843/4 (use for a term or period overlapping the years). Do not abbreviate months.

• mid-1940s; late 1960s, mid-sixth century; mid-sixth-century Bible; mid-century; AD; BC; May 1940; inter-war.

• Times: 7.30 or 8.00; 10pm.

• Sixth century, sixth-century Bible; late sixth-century Bible.


• One to a hundred in words, 101 onwards in figures, except for round numbers, e.g. a thousand, a million, etc. There are exceptions to this, namely statistics – such as when the text is making a series of comparisons (e.g. ‘the numbers were 42, 58 and 64 respectively’) , ages (‘80-year-old’, but not ‘aged eighty’), and decimal places (8.25).

• Use hyphens – forty-four, sixty-five, eighty-nine.

• For statistics, use figures when an abbreviated quantity is used: 5cl, 98mg, 45mph, etc.

• If the statistic is a one-off (or at the beginning of a sentence), then use written number and the do not abbreviate quantity. Example: ‘Five centilitres of alcohol would be enough to make the man drunk.’

• Use as few figures as possible: 1252–4, 113–24, 24–5, 20–1, 500–1, 1850–1903 (but do not interrupt 11–19 as eleven to nineteen are whole words).

• Always write the number out in full at the start of the sentence.

Hyphens and dashes

• Use where grammatically appropriate. Examples: ‘30-year-old man’ but do not use hyphens for ‘male, 30 years old’, ‘good-looking’ but not in ‘good looks’, etc.

• Use to breaking up vowels in compound words, e.g. anti-alcoholism; micro-organism; co-ordination.

See also Dates above.

• For a parenthesis, use two en-dashes to separate the clause – like this – rather than a normal hyphen.

• Use closed up en-dash between words of equal weight, e.g. doctor–patient relationship, and in dates e.g. 1721–35.


• Use single apostrophes for quotes, double apostrophes for quotes within quotes.

Examples: She said ‘yes’ and ‘We know that she said “yes”.’

• If quote runs to more than three lines, set out as separate paragraph. Quote marks to be removed later in final version.

• The full stop at the end of the quote falls either in or out of the quotation marks depending upon the emphasis of the quote in the sentence. For example, if the quote is a full sentence, punctuate within. If just a word or phrase is used, then punctuate outside.

• Use an ellipsis (three dots only, no spaces immediately following last letter of word) for missing portions of quote (...). However, if the missing portion is at the end, add a full stop. (....) For example, like this for an unfinished sentence...

...or like this for one missing its beginning.

If the missing component starts the quote as a new sentence, omit the ellipsis and place the first letter in a capital in square brackets, like this: [F]or example...


• Capitalise proper words: ie. Galina Kichigina, The Imperial Laboratory (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009).

• Books, journals, TV series in italics; individual articles, chapters, episodes in single apostrophes.

• Do not abbreviate journal titles and periodicals – with the exception of the BMJ as that is its branding – full titles please.

• Please check whether the definite article is included in the title. Use definite article where grammatically correct but do not italicise if not part of title. Example: The Times, The Lancet, etc.

Foreign Titles

• Same as English titles, but only capitalise according to the conventions of the corresponding language.

• In text, please add English translation in square brackets afterward first use.

Illustrations, photos and graphs

• Please note that the maximum printable area on a page is 120(w) x 180(h)mm. This does impose a limitation on the information content in tables/graphs, etc. as the font size must be sufficiently large enough to be readable.

• Images should be supplied with captions detailing their origin and date, with a clear indication of the text to which they refer. Copyright/permission details should be provided.

• Line artwork (graphs) should be saved at 1200dpi and ideally saved as TIFF or EPS files.

Halftones (photographs) should be saved at 300dpi and ideally saved as TIFF files.

• Charges apply for all colour figures that appear in the print version of the journal. At the time of submission, contributors should clearly state whether their figures should appear in colour in the online version only, or whether they should appear in colour online and in the print version. There is no charge for including colour figures in the online version of the Journal but it must be clear that colour is needed to enhance the meaning of the figure, rather than simply being for aesthetic purposes. If you request colour figures in the printed version, you will be contacted by CCC-Rightslink who are acting on our behalf to collect Author Charges. Please follow their instructions in order to avoid any delay in the publication of your article.

• Data for tables and graphs must be supplied separately in simple columns without table outlines or hyphens. Notes for tables must be separate from the main text of an article.

Do not supply your images embedded in a Word Document.

See also Naming Files below.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

• Contractions do not require full stops but omissions do. For example, ‘eds’ for editors, ‘ed.’ for editor and ‘Dr’ for Doctor.

• Acronyms should be capitalised but should not be separated by full stops.

• Use of abbreviated measurements: no space, no full stop, such as 5cl, 25mg, 50cm, etc.

• Abbreviations: ch.; chs; Dr; BL; BN; DNB; ed.; eds; edn; eg.; US; USA; cf.; col.; cols; fo.; ff.; ie.; idem; ibid.; et al.; MD; etc., St; ms (but MS III); no.; nos; op. cit.; passim; pt 3; D.Phil.; IQ; t. 3; vol.; vols; (but Vol. 3); Mr; Mrs; Mme; NJ; NY; b.; d.; r.; s.v.; n.p.; n.d.; BMJ; fl; AD; BC; BSc; BA; (n.p., n.d); Suppl.; viz.; PhD.

• Never use an abbreviation (e.g.) at the start of a sentence.

• Use especially/university/dissertation/professor in full.


• The following style should be used for references:

1 James Johnston Abraham, Lettsom: His life, Times, Friends, and Descendants (London: Heinemann, 1933), 33.

[Full author name if available. Title in italics. Capitalise proper words for English titles, otherwise follow rule appropriate to language for foreign titles. Publication details in brackets in following order Location: Publisher, Year. Omit pp. and see numbers section for page ranges. References to multiple articles/books must be separated by a semi-colon.]

2. Ilina Singh, ‘Bad Boys, Good Mothers, and the “Miracle” of Ritalin’, Science in Context, 15, 4 (2002), 577-603.

[If initials only available, use no spaces in between. Article title in single quotes, journal title in italics. Do not abbreviate journal title, full titles please. Volume before issue number (where applicable). Please note the style when referring to specific pages within an article. No need to bold volume number.]

3. W.F. Bynum and R. Porter (eds), Medicine and the Five Senses (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 37–43.

4. Smith, op. cit. (note 4), 235–67.

[When cross-referencing to an earlier note, op. cit. and the note number in brackets must be used. Additionally, use only the author’s surname, omitting initials – do not use idem to avoid confusion. If there are multiple references to the same author in the earlier note, add an abbreviated version of the article’s title to which you are referring - Smith, Previous Book, op. cit. (note 4)...]

5. L. Granshaw, ‘The rise of the modern hospital in Britain’, in A. Wear (ed.), Medicine in Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 197-218.

6. Ibid., 25.

[Use idem for cross-referencing within a note; ibid. for the previous note and op. cit. for notes further away - always put full details in the first instance and refer to an earlier note (rather than ‘below’).]

7. W. Wundt, Principles of Physiological Psychology, E. Titchener (trans.), 5th edn (London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1910), 11.

[If necessary additional details after the title.]

8. ‘Title of Thesis’ (unpublished PhD thesis: University of London, 2005).

[For unpublished theses, titles in apostrophes, not italicised, with details of university and date above.]

• More than three authors/eds – use the first name followed by et al.

• Omit p. and pp.

Naming Files

• Name files with your surname.

• For images, surname and by order of appearance within an article:



Quick Reminder List

Times 12 pt text; Times 11pt references.

Single quotation marks – double apostrophes only for quotes within quotes.

UK English.

Superscript reference numbers as opposed to putting them in brackets (although this is automatic in Word).

Supply copyright permission for images alongside versions in separate file (300dpi for photographs/halftones and 1200dpi for line drawings.

Supply tables and graphs separately.

Follow the guidelines for references.


First proofs in PDF format only will be sent to the author who will be expected to return them to the Editor within three days. Authors should note that no substantive alterations or additions can be made to first proofs, and should, therefore, thoroughly check their final submission for accuracy.

Each author will receive a PDF file of his or her published article.

Last updated 10 August 2017