Strides in Development of Medical Education

Before Submission

Requirements for Different Types of Articles

Original articles: There should be a structured abstract, 3-5 keywords, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgement (if applicable), conflict of interest,  references and a maximum of 4 tables and 4 figures. The maximum number of words is 4000, not including the references, abstract, figures, and tables. The range of references is 15-50.

Review articles:

-Narrative reviews: This section should have at least 40-60 references. The abstract should be non-structured. The word count should not exceed 5000 words. Narrative reviews should critically assess the current knowledge of the field.

-Systematic reviews:We accept systematic reviews of RCTs or observational studies. The PRISMA guideline must be followed for systematic reviews. The maximum number of references is 40-60. Abstracts should be structured.

Short communication/brief report: Should contain a non-structured abstract, 3-5 keywords, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, acknowledgement (if applicable), and references sections and maximum 2 tables and figures. Nevertheless, the maximum number of words is 2500. Also, 10-15 references should be stated.

Letters to the Editor: The maximum word count of letters is 750 words. Letters that provided a discussion on previously published in the SDME must be submitted in 4 months after the publication of the main article. There is a peer-review process for all articles, including the edition. The maximum number of references is 5.

In addition, SDME strongly encourage the use of the following checklists and reporting guidelines:
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses* (PRISMA) and protocols (PRISMA-P)
Observational studies (STROBE)
Qualitative research (COREQ)

These items must be provided

Announcing a corresponding author, with contact details (academic email address and postal address).

Ensuring uploading the necessary items

  • Keywords
  • Figures: with captions
  • Tables: with titles, description, and footnotes
  • Ensure the match between all figure and table citations in the text
  • Graphical abstracts / highlights files (From Vol 19 of 2022)
  • Supplemental files (where applicable)

Further considerations

  • 'Spell and grammar checked' are necessary
  • All references should be cited in the text, and vice versa
  • Obtaining permission for copyrighted materials
  • Providing a statement on competing interests is necessary, even in the case of no competing interests to declare
  • Journal policies described in this text should be followed
  • Suggesting a number of referees, including their contact details
  • Include abstract and title page within their manuscript file

Ethical Considerations

The SDME is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE); hence, the journal uses flowcharts and guidelines published by the COPE in case of violation of ethical codes. The SDME also is a member of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and follows the guidelines. Please refer to the page Publication Ethics for more information.

Financial support

All received financial supports should be described, including the respective organization/institute and the code.

Informed consent

The approval of the ethics committee, as well as informed consent, are necessary for all research conducted on human cases, either patients or volunteers. Documentation of these items is essential and should be provided in the second paragraph of the methodology. In cases that the author intends to provide details or other personal information or images of patients, appropriate consents, permissions, and releases are necessary. The author must retain written consent, but copies should not be provided to the journal. Providing consent or evidence that such clearances are obtained is essential in particular circumstances (e.g., a legal issue).

Submission declaration and verification

Submitted manuscripts must respect the following issues:

  • Not being published previously, except in the form of an abstract, a published lecture, or academic thesis;
  • Not being under review process of other journals;
  • All manuscripts must have the approval of all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the research was performed;
  • The written consent of the copyright holder is necessary for publishing manuscripts that have been previously published; it is also true for electronically published manuscripts.

All uploaded manuscripts must not have been published elsewhere or undergoing review process in any other journal; this issue must be noted in the cover letter. Violation of this statement results in the automatic withdrawal. Our team uses iThenticate plagiarism checker software to confirm originality of the manuscript.

Inclusive language

All manuscripts must respect diversity,  all people and differences, and promote equal opportunities. The manuscripts must respect these issues:

  • No assumption regarding the beliefs or commitments of any reader;
  • No part of the manuscript should imply superiority to another based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition; and use inclusive language throughout;
  • The manuscript should contain no bias, stereotype, slang, reference to the dominant culture and/or cultural assumptions, which must be ensured by the author(s)

All manuscripts must respect gender neutrality using plural nouns ("clinicians, patients/clients") wherever possible; rather than using "he, she," or "s/he." We suggest not using descriptors that refer to personal characteristics like age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability or health condition unless they are relevant and valid. Such guidelines are supposed to be a point of reference to better follow a language that is more appropriate; however, they are not exhaustive or definitive.

Role of the funding source

Any financial support to perform the study, including data collection, analysis, and interpretation, or for preparation of the article should be declared in the study design. Even if no financial support is received, it should be noted.

How to do

The final version of the manuscript should be provided in the native format of the administered word processor, and the content should follow a single-column design. The manuscript’s layout must be as simple as possible. You should be aware that most of the formatting codes would be either deleted or replaced during the review process. Noteworthy, avoid using any word processor's options to justify the text or to hyphenate words. Nevertheless, you are free to use boldface, italics, subscripts, superscripts, and so on. Each individual table should contain only one grid. For tables with no grid, you should use tabs, not spaces, to align columns. The electronic version of the manuscript should be developed in a manner highly similar to conventional articles. You can download the template here: the template of the original manuscript. Providing the source files of figures, tables, and text graphics is necessary, whether or not you embed in the text. Also,  To prevent avoidable errors, we strongly recommend using your word processor's 'spell-check' and 'grammar-check' functions.

The manuscript should be structured as follow: Title page; a structured Abstract; Keywords; Background;  Objectives; Methods; Results; Discussion, Conclusions; Acknowledgement; Conflict of interest; Ethical approval; Funding/Support; References. A maximum number of  words (including the text, reference, and tables) should be according with follow table:               

 Article type    IMRAD   Structured   article  Abstract.   (IMRAD   Structured)   Suggested   word limit  Suggested   # of   references   Key words    Figures and/ or tables*
 Research Article  Yes  Yes (yes)  4000   15-50  3-5  maximum of 4 tables and 4   figures
 Review   Article/Systematic   and Review/Meta-   Analysis Yes  Yes (yes)  5000 40-60  3-5  maximum of 3 tables and   figures
 Short   Communication/Brief   Report Yes   Yes (yes)  2500   10-15   3-5   maximum 2 tables and figures
 Letters to the Editor No No 750   5   3-4  No tables or figures

*  The journal reserves the right to move figures and tables to online supplemental material as necessary. Please see below for additional information about figures. 

Essential title page information

Title:  Information-retrieval systems use titles. It is better not to use abbreviations and formulae. The running title should have less than 40 characters (including spaces).

Author names and affiliations: Name(s) and family name(s) of all authors should be provided clearly and please check that they are spelled accurately.  Feel free to add your name between parentheses in your own script behind the English transliteration. The affiliation of all authors should be provided below the names. It should include a higher academic degree and affiliation of the author(s) and the contact information of the corresponding author, including address, email, phone, and fax numbers. The affiliations should be written with a lower-case superscript letter immediately after the author's name and in front of the appropriate address. Also, you should provide the full postal address of each affiliation, including the country name and, if available, the email address of each author.  Noteworthy; that will be notified the manuscript submitted by the corresponding author and status of acceptance or rejection of the article all authors.

Corresponding author: It should be clear who is responsible for correspondence at all stages of refereeing and publication, post-publication, and answering future queries.

The corresponding author should ensure providing up to date details of all authors, including email.

Present/permanent address: If one of the authors has moved since the work described in the article is performed or was visiting at the time, the 'current address' (or 'Permanent address') should be provided as a footnote; meaning that, the initial address must be retained. In such cases, superscript English numerals should be used.

Abstract: Every manuscript should contain a structured abstract. Original articles, Review Articles, and Short Communications must have a structured abstract with 150-250 words containing, Background, Objectives, Methods, Results, and Conclusion. 

Keywords: Three to five keywords should be selected, which would help indexers in cross-indexing the article as they are published with abstract. The keywords can be selected using the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus. Noteworthy, ensure that the abstract reflects the content of the article accurately.

Background and Objectives: This section should indicate the goal and the rationale of the research. Avoid providing any data or conclusions of the study; also, you should not provide an extensive discussion about the subject.

Methods: It must describe the administered method. In cases that apparatus is employed, the name of the manufacturer name and its address should be provided in parenthesis. You should provide sufficient information to perform a similar study for novel methods; otherwise, just reference to previous studies. The employed statistical method should be described carefully and the computer program should also be mentioned.

Results: This section may contain text, tables, and figures. Avoid repeating the content of tables in the text; you can refer to the table number. We recommend providing sub-headings, if the manuscript is long.

Discussion: It must be focused on presenting the findings, including differences/similarities with the literature. You should avoid presenting detailed data in the discussion section again. You can focus on new and essential dimensions of your research and the conclusions that follow them.

Acknowledgement: All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be covered in the acknowledgment section, including those who assisted with technical and writing issues and departmental heads who only provided general support. The acknowledgment section should cover those who also provided financial and material support.

Conflict of interest: Declaring any funding source and potential conflicting interest, like receiving funds or fees by, or holding stocks and shares in an institution that may profit or lose through publication is necessary. Noteworthy, declaring a competing interest does not result in the manuscript's automatic rejection, but we would like to be made aware of it.

Tables and figures: The maximum number of tables and figures is 6 for the original article and review article and 2 for short communication. Avoid submitting tables as photographs. Captions should be placed at the top of tables and explanatory matters in footnotes. The quality of all figures should be high and should be placed on separate pages. The caption of figures should be placed below. Avoid simultaneous presentation of data in tables, figures, and text. Both tables and figures should be numbered consecutively.

References: Your manuscript must contain relevant references. The accuracy of references is the sole responsibility of the authors. Verifying references against the original documents assists in preventing such errors. References should be based on the Vancouver styleReferences must be listed at the end of the manuscript, and their numbering should be consecutive. Please print the surnames and initials of the first six authors followed by et al. An example of reference style is as follow:

  • Journal articles: Surnames and initials of the first, three authors followed by et al., Title of manuscript, Name of journal (abbreviated according to PubMed) Year; Vol (no): Pages.

Example: Seeff LB, Buskell-Bales Z, Wright EC, Durako SJ, Alter HJ, Iber FL, et al. Long-term mortality after transfusion-associated non-A, non-B hepatitis. New England Journal of Medicine. 1992 ;327(27):1906-11.

  • Book: Surname and initials of the author(s). Name of the book. Edition no. Place of publication: Publisher; Year: Pages.

Example:  Kates M. Techniques of Lipidology. 2nded. New York: Elsevier; 1992: 172-5.

  • Chapter of a book: Surname and initials of the author(s) of the chapter. Title of the chapter. In: surname and initials of the author(s). Name of the book. Edition no. Place of publication: Publisher; Year: Pages.

Example: Phillips SJ, Whisnant JP. Hypertension and stroke. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, eds. Hypertension: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. 2nd ed. New York: Raven Press; 1995: 465-78.

  • Conference presentations:

Example: Bengtsson S, Solheim BG. Enforcement of data protection, privacy, and security in medical informatics. In: Lun KC, Degoulet P, Piemme TE, et al. Eds. MEDINFO 92. Proceedings of the 7th world congress on Medical Informatics; 1992 Sep 6-10; Geneva, Switzerland. 1992: 1561-5.

  • Reports: Surname and initials of the author(s) of the report. Title of the report. The name of the organization to which the report is written: country, city. Year: Pages

Example:  Author (s). Title of the report. A report to x: Country, City. Year: pages.

  • Citing materials on the Internet:

Example:   Author (s). Title. [cited 2001 Mar 8]. Available from: URL: http://....

  • Thesis: Surname and initials of the author(s) of the thesis. (Dissertation). Title of the Thesis. City: University; Year: pages.

Example: Author(s). Title of the thesis. (Dissertation). City: University; Year: pages.

Note: If any of the references are in other languages rather than English, it should be written in parenthesis after the reference. The example of the original article is as below:

Example: Nedjat S, Majdzadeh R, Rashidian A, et al. Admission of medical students from bachelor’s degree: why? Hakim Research Journal 2007; 10(2): 1-7. (Article in Persian)

Proof Reading

Before publication, we send you a computer printout for proofreading to avoid any mistakes. You should mention any corrections clearly and send them as soon as possible to the Journal office.

Abbreviations and symbols

 While you can only use standard abbreviations, you should not use them in the title and abstract. The full term for which an abbreviation stands should precede its first use in the text unless it is a standard unit of measurement.

Math formulae: math equations should be provided as editable text (not images). You should provide simple formulae in line with normal text where possible. Also, you should use the solidus (/), rather than horizontal lines, for small fractional terms, e.g., X/Y. In addition, variables should be provided in italic. In most cases, providing powers of e using exp. is more convenient. All equations must be numbered consequently and should be separated from the text.

Footnotes: You should present footnotes sparingly and should be numbered consecutively. Several word processors allow you to build footnotes. If not possible, please indicate the position of footnotes in the text and list the footnotes separately at the end of the article. Avoid including footnotes in the Reference list.

Figure captions: All illustrations must have a caption, which should be provided separately, not as an attachment to the figure. Captions should have a brief title (not on the figure itself) and a description. Text provided on illustrations must be as minimum as possible; however, you should describe all symbols and abbreviations.

Tables: All tables should be provided as editable text (not as images). You can place tables either next to the relevant text in the article or on separate page(s) at the end. You should number tables consecutively based on their appearance in the text. All notes should be placed in the table body. Be sparing in the use of tables and ensure preventing their results in the main text. You should avoid using vertical rules and shading in table cells.

Journal abbreviations source

Use the List of Title Word Abbreviations for abbreviation of journal’s names.


All appendixes should be identified following an alphabetical order. There should be a separate numbering for formulae and equations in appendices: Eq. (A.1), Eq. (A.2), etc.; in a subsequent appendix, Eq. (B.1) and so on. A similar pattern should be used for tables and figures: Table A.1; Fig. A.1, etc.    

The Final Checklist

 The following issues should be met before submitting the manuscript:

  • These items should be mentioned on the title page: full title, running title, name of the author/co-authors, the highest academic degree and affiliation of authors and their mailing address, email, and phone & fax number for future correspondence.
  • The maximum word count of the abstract is 250. 
  • The rules on references are mentioned in the authors section.
  • Each table must be placed on a separate page.
  • You should carefully check the headings of tables, their numbers, and captions of illustrations. avoid repetition of information in tables if it is covered in the text.
  • All photographs/illustrations must have a caption.
  • All authors must sign the declaration letter.
  • Disclosure regarding source of funding and conflict of interest, if any besides approval of the study from respective ethics committee/institution review board.

When submitting

Cover Letter

We have an online submission system that assists you through entering your article details and uploading your files. The manuscript should be typed with Microsoft Word 2007-2019 in a single space with clear margins on both sides. All figures must have JPEG or PNG format. You should provide a cover letter, signed by all authors. The editor sends an email to you about all correspondence, including requests for revision. 

Submit your article

Please submit your article via It should be noted that when registering, accepting or rejecting an article, an email will be sent to all authors of the article. There is a step-by-step guide to help you with Author tasks (here: link).


You can suggest a number of potential referees, by providing their names and institutional email addresses. However, the journal has the right to select the referees.

Assignment of Authorship Responsibilities

The submitted paper should not have been published or considered for publication in other journals, and you should state this issue in the cover letter. Any contradiction to the above statement results in the automatic withdrawal of your paper. 

Article charges

Publication in our journal contains no charge.

Scientific and Initial Screening

SDME staff would check the structure and content of manuscripts to ensure compliance with standard structures (based on the type of study), the journal’s scope, standard guidelines, quality, novelty, and adherence to ethical issues. Therefore, there is a screening and triage step, which helps editor to make a fair final decision, leading to improved quality of published articles.

Peer review process

All manuscripts are confidential for us. An epidemiologist and biostatistics specialist would evaluate all submitted manuscripts, with an emphasis on methodology. You will receive a submission code for further communications. At least 2 anonymous reviewers will review each manuscript, who will be selected by the Editorial Board. We will inform the corresponding author in the shortest time. If the article should be modified according to the reviewers, the comments will be passed to the corresponding author; the corresponding author responses along with the comments will then be evaluated by the Editor-in-Chief, who will decide which articles should be published.

Criteria for Authorship

According to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) published by the SDME, an “Author” is someone who simultaneously has the following conditions:

  • 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.

Conflict of Interest

Both authors and reviewers must inform us about any kinds of “Conflict of Interest” (e.g., financial, personal, political, or academic) that may affect their judgment. Therefore, there is a form (i.e., the uniform disclosure form) in our website that must be filled: ….


The manuscript should not contain the verbatim text of previously published papers or manuscripts submitted elsewhere. Hence, we evaluate all submitted manuscripts by the iThenticate plagiarism checker, which based on the detected plagiarism of the submitted manuscripts, we will ask the authors to rephrase the manuscript. COPE's flowcharts and guidelines would be used to handle plagiarism. Plagiarisms will be reported to the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Technology of relevant universities and organizations through official correspondence.

 Data Fabrication/Falsification

It is defined as removing or changing research materials, data, or processes that result in the inaccuracy of the findings. Fabrication contains inventing data or conclusions. Both of these misconducts are fraudulent and seriously alter the integrity of the research. Hence, manuscripts must be based on original data, i.e., falsification is strongly prohibited. COPE's flowcharts and guidelines would be used to handle fabricated or falsified data.

Image Manipulation

We encourage all authors to send original images. We will check all digital images for inappropriate manipulation. No specific feature within an image may be enhanced, obscured, moved, removed, or introduced. Only when changes (i.e., brightness, contrast, or color balance) are administered to the whole image, would be accepted. Avoid misrepresentation of information presented in the original, including the background. In cases suspected of inappropriate manipulation, we may request the original data to compare the manipulated figures.

Open Access Policy

All journal contents are open access, as such principle encourages global knowledge exchange. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Retraction Policy

Deciding on retraction of manuscripts would be based on the COPE flowchart for retraction of a published article.

Complaints and appeals

The "Strides in Development of Medical Education Journal" responds promptly to complaints while ensuring the availability of a way for dissatisfied complainants to take complaints further by sending an email to the editor-in-chief of the journal. All complaints against the journal, its staff, editorial board, or publisher will be managed using the COPE's guidelines.


After Submission



A link will be provided to the corresponding author to assist the authors in downloading the files, as PDF. Please send the proof corrections in five days to ensure a fast publication process and mention your corrections quoting line number. In addition, you can highlight the changes (including replies to the Query Form) on a printout of the proof and return it via email. Please use this proof only for checking the typesetting, editing, completeness, and correctness of the text, tables, and figures. At this stage, major changes would only be accepted after confirmation of the editor. We do our best to publish manuscripts swiftly and accurately. Ensuring receiving your corrections in one communication is of vital importance: be careful about replying because further amendments are not guaranteed. Proofreading is solely your responsibility.

Correction of Errata

Only when a factual error in a published item has been documented, we will publish an erratum.