Instructions for Authors

Aims and Scope

The Portuguese Journal of Internal Medicine (PJIM) is the official body of the Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM).

The journal is dedicated to promote science and the practice of Internal Medicine, covering all aspects of Internal Medicine. To this end, it publishes peer-reviewed works, according to the following categories: Originals, Reviews, Viewpoints, History of Medicine, Short Communications, Letters to the Editor, Medicine in Images and Case Reports. The journal also publishes news and articles on the activities and policies of the Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine.

The PJIM adopts the editorial freedom definition of the ICMJE described by the World Association of Medical Editors, which states that the editor-in-chief assumes full authority over the journal's editorial content. The PSIM, as the owner of PJIM, does not interfere in the process of evaluation, selection, planning or edition of any manuscript, having Editor-in-Chief total editorial independence.

The Journal is governed according to the biomedical edition standards of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), available at and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

The editorial policy of the Journal follows the Editorial Policy Statements issued by the Council of Science Editors, available at which covers the responsibilities and rights of the editors of journals with scientific arbitration.

These instructions are in accordance with the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations), available at

General information

The PJIM does not consider material that has already been published (except abstracts presented in conferences) or that is awaiting publication in other journals.

The opinions expressed in the articles are the sole and exclusive responsibility of the authors. When submitting the work, authors should indicate the type of article (Original, Review, Viewpoints, History of Medicine, Short Communications, Letters to the Director, Medicine in Images or Clinical Cases). The PJIM publishes 4 times per year (on a quarterly basis).
The journal reserves the right to use plagiarism software detection in any submitted manuscript.


Published articles will remain the entire property of the journal, which becomes the copyright holder, and may not be reproduced, in part or in whole, without the editor-in-chiefís authorization.


The PJIM is available for free at
Access to the printed version is only available upon annual subscription.

Article Processing Charge (APC)

There is no Article Processing Charge (APC).


It is permited to authors of Open Access articles to post the final, published version of their article in Open Access repositories or on other websites, in accordance with the Creative Commons license.


The articles can be submitted either in Portuguese or English language.
The titles, abstracts and keywords must always be submitted in both languages.

Editorial Policies for Authors

1. Authorship Criteria and Form

As stated in the ICMJE Requirements, authorship requires a substantial contribution to the manuscript and it is necessary to specify, in a cover letter, the contribution of each author to the work; author declaration signed by each author (Declaration of Consent).

All those designated as authors must meet the four criteria for authorship and all those who meet the four criteria must be identified as authors. Collaborators who do not meet the four criteria for authorship but have contributed to the study or manuscript must be recognized in the Acknowledgments section, specifying the contribution.

Each manuscript must have a "Corresponding Author". However, all authors must have significantly participated in the work to take public responsibility for the content and credit of authorship.

Authorship is 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
2)Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
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.

In addition to being accountable for the parts of the work, an author should be able to identify which co-authors are responsible for other specific parts of the work.

The acquisition of funding, data collecting or general supervision of the working group alone does not qualify a contributor for authorship.

Any changes to authorship after submission must have written approval from all authors. Changes to authorship or authors' order are not received after the manuscript has been accepted.

If a medical writer has been involved in the conception of the manuscript, it is mandatory a signed declaration by the corresponding author declaring the funding. This information must be added to the Acknowledgments section.

We require the medical writer to provide a signed statement allowing to be named in the Acknowledgments section.

2. Role of the Corresponding Author

The corresponding author will act on behalf of all co-authors as the primary correspondent with the editorial team during the submission and review process.

The corresponding author is responsible for the communication with the journal during submission, peer-review and publication process. It is also responsible for ensuring all the journal's administrative requirements (providing authorship details, ethics committee approval, conflict of interest forms, informed consent).

3. Informed Consent

The authors are responsible for obtaining informed consent from each individual presented in photographs, videos, detailed descriptions or in radiographs or ultrasound, even after an attempt to conceal their identity. The names, initials or other forms of identification must be removed from photographs or other images. Personal data, such as profession or residence, must be omitted except when they are epidemiologically relevant to the work. The authors must ensure that they do not provide data that allow explicit identification or, if not possible, must obtain the informed consent of the stakeholders ( provide a template ).

4. Ethical Conduct and Human and Animal Rights

The authors must ensure that the study they are submitting follows the ethical and legal principles during research and publication, mainly the recommendations of the Helsinki Declaration revised in 2013 from the World Medical Association (, the ICMJE ( and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) ( In appropriate cases, the authors must demonstrate that the research was approved by the ethics committee of the involved institutions and that recommendations were followed. This information must be included in the text of the article. Any suspected misconduct will be investigated and reported.

5. Awards and Previous Presentations

The prizes and presentations of the study, before submission of the manuscript, must be mentioned.

6. Conflict of Interest and Funding Sources

All funding sources must be mentioned as well as their influence on the design of the manuscript or the submission decision for publication.

The accuracy and exactness of the contents, as well as the opinions expressed, are the sole responsibility of the authors.

The authors are responsible for disclosing all financial and personal relationships that might bias their work.

To prevent ambiguity, the authors must explicitly mention any conflicts of interest.

All authors must complete and submit the Declaration of Conflicts of Interest, in Minutes of Consent (according to ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest) available at:

This information will be kept confidential during the review by the reviewers and will not influence the editorial decision but will be published if the article is accepted.


The electronic submission substantially reduces both editorial and review time and total publication time. The authors need to submit the manuscripts online at

All contacts between the authors and the journal will be held by e-mail.

Before submitting the manuscript, the authors must ensure all necessary authorizations for the publication of the submitted material.

Cover letter for submission

Before submitting an article, the authors must prepare a cover letter, drafted and signed by the corresponding author, where he/she must explain why the manuscript is of interest to the journal and why it should be published. It also must include that the article it is an original, that it was only submitted to the journal, that has not previously been published and that complies with the instructions to the authors still, must declare that the work is in accordance with the ethical and legal principles (complied with the recommendations of the Helsinki Declaration of the World Medical Association/was evaluated and approved by the ethics committee, if original study); and the funding sources. A declaration of responsibility (Consent Form) written and signed individually by each of the authors of the work, and in which each one must declare that it fulfills the authorship criteria and specifies its contribution to the work, as well as the Declaration of Conflict of Interest, are required.

Before starting the study

The texts must be prepared according to the standards of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (
The PJIM recommends the publication guidelines of the EQUATOR network (, namely the CONSORT statements and extensions (randomized studies,, STROBE (observational studies such as cohort studies, case-control, cross-sectional,, STARD (diagnostic accuracy studies,, PRISMA (systematic reviews and meta-analyzes,, SQUIRE (quality improvement studies,, CARE (clinical cases, and the statistical report of studies must be according to the Statistical Analyses and Methods in the Published Literature (SAMPL Guidelines),

Article Type

The PJIM accepts the following types of submissions:


Editorials are the responsible of the editorial group or requested by invitation of the editor-in-chief and will comment on current topics or articles published in the journal. They should not exceed 1200 words, a maximum of 15 references and may contain a table/figure. No abstract is required.

Original Articles

Developing research work, case studies or, in case of clinical cases, those which developed research on causes, mechanisms, diagnosis, evolution, prognosis, treatment or disease prevention. The text must not exceed 3000 words and must be structured as follows: Introduction, Material and Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion, Acknowledgments (if applicable), References, Tables and Figures. They should have a maximum of 6 tables/figures and 40 references. The number of authors should not be over eight. The abstract of these articles must not exceed 250 words and must be structured in the same way as the main text.

Review Articles

Monographs on theoretical topics, systematic reviews and meta-analysis. The text cannot exceed 5000 words. It must have a maximum of 6 tables/figures and 120 references.

About systematic reviews and meta-analysis, the abstract must not exceed 250 words and must be structured in the same way as the main text. Monographs on theoretical topics must include an unstructured abstract that does not exceed 150 words including the objective, main points and conclusions of the article.

Recent Advances

Review articles oriented to current, innovative topics, fast evolving concepts, within restricted areas. The text cannot exceed 1500 words, does not have a limit of authors, 45 references. It can include up to 2 black and white tables/figures.

Viewpoints/History of Medicine

Essay type articles about clinical topics, expressing opinions, presenting hypothesis or controversial solutions; future perspectives are included in this chapter. The text must not exceed 3500 words, including references. It cannot include more than 2 tables/figures.

Clinical cases

These are small research papers, case studies or clinical cases in which we want to highlight some specific elements, such as clinical associations, preliminary results pointing out important trends, reports of adverse effects or other relevant associations.
The text cannot exceed 1500 words and may not exceed 6 tables/figures and 15 references. There cannot be more than six authors.
It must include an unstructured abstract that does not exceed 150 words.

Case series

Article containing the description of case series, reflection about a diagnosis, treatment or prognosis experience. The text must be structured by Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion. It must not exceed 3000 words, six tables/figures and 30 references. The abstract must not exceed 250 words and must be structured in the same way as the main text.

Medicine in Images

Images (up to two) will be used with identifiers of any type, e.g. endoscopic, radiological, microbiological, anatomopathological, if they are demonstrative and have useful visual information to clinicians. It will be accompanied by a text of up to 300 words (including clinical case presentation, diagnosis, evolution and a brief discussion of the observed findings) and a maximum of 6 references. There cannot be more than four authors. It does not need an abstract.

Letters to the Director

Comments about journal published articles or other topics of current interest. In the first case they must be received up to one month after the date of publication. The text cannot exceed 600 words, four authors and five references. It may include a table/figure. It does not need an abstract. It must follow the general structure: to identify the article (becomes reference 1); to justify editing; to provide evidence (from literature or personal experience); to provide a summary; citing references. Authors' responses must respect the same characteristics. The practicality of the Letters to the Editor is related with the probability of being accepted (submission up to four weeks after the publication of the article).


Interview articles should focus on relevant personalities of different areas of health, medicine and clinical research. Interviewees should be inspiring or extraordinary individuals in their area of expertise. The author must confirm whether the Journal of Internal Medicine has previously published a similar interview with the same individual and confirm with the editor-in-chief whether there are any specific questions that need to be asked. The parts must be written in the "question"/"answer" style. The questions must be short and simple and the author/interviewer is responsible for sending a photograph of the interviewee to the Journal in .jpeg format, along with the text, by e-mail. The authors must include a short biography of the interviewed personality (maximum of 50 words). Interview articles must not exceed 2000 words.


As recommendations for clinical practice, they should not exceed 4000 words, up to 6 tables or figures and up to 100 references. Abstract up to 350 words. This type of article can be submitted to working groups organized within the scope of scientific meetings or research, or groups of authors with specialized works on the topic in question.

Manuscript Structure and Formatting

The authors must strictly follow the structure and style standards referred below. Their disrespect is sufficient reason for the immediate rejection of the manuscript.

Manuscripts must be saved in Word (.doc or .docx). Please do not submit text in .pdf format.

The manuscripts must be as short as possible. Information or data repetition in different manuscript sections must be carefully avoided.

1. Organization of the Manuscript

All manuscripts must be organized as follows:

First page:

a) Title in Portuguese and English, concise and objective, preferably with less than 10 words;
b) The author(s) must be identified by the clinical name or the first name initials, followed by the surname and must also include the designation of the center where the work was performed, the academic degree or position of the author, the body, department or hospital services in which the author carries out his/her activity;
c) All conflicts of interest must be described;
d) Funding sources that contributed to the accomplishment of the work must be mentioned;
e) The address and e-mail of the corresponding author;
f) Short title heading (no more than 40 characters);
g) Type of article.

Second page:

a) Abstract in Portuguese (maximum of words according to the type of article). In the abstracts, references mustnít be used and abbreviations must be limited to the essential;
b) Three to seven keywords. Keywords should be easily searchable in index bases, using the Health Sciences Descriptors (DeCS) and the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). It is recommended to search the lists of words used in search engines: Portuguese at and English at In manuscripts that donít include abstracts, keywords must be presented at the end.

Third page: It must include a similar content to the second page in English.

Following pages: The following pages must include the text of the article according to specific sections of each article. The text may be presented in Portuguese or English. The Acknowledgments and funding sources, eventual prizes or previous presentations must be mentioned after the text and before the bibliographical sources. After presenting the bibliographical references, illustrations must be individually presented in a new page, by the following order: tables and figures.

2. Abbreviations

The use of abbreviations or acronyms in the title and in the abstract must be avoided; they should only appear in the text.
The spelled-out abbreviation followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis, must be used on first mention unless the abbreviation is a standard unit of measurement. The excessive and unnecessary use of acronyms and abbreviations must be avoided.

3. Medication Names

The use of trade names of drugs (trademark) is not recommended, however when its use is mandatory, the name of the product must follow the generic name, in parentheses, in lowercase letters, followed by the trademark symbol in superscript (®).

4. Units of Measurement

The International System of Units must be used.
The length, height, weight and volume measurements must be expressed in units of the metric system (meter, kilogram or liter) or their decimal multiples.
The temperatures must be given in degrees Celsius (įC) and blood pressure in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or hemoglobin in gdL.
All hematological or biochemical measurements will be reported in the metric system according to the International System of Units (SI).
For more details consult the AMA Manual Style

5. Tabelas, Figuras, Fotografias

The inclusion of figures and/or tables already published implies the authorization of the copyright holder (author or editor). Submission must be done separately from the text accordingly to the platform instructions.
The illustrations must be provided in high resolution, 800dpi minimum for graphics and 300dpi minimum for photographs.
The publication of color illustrations is free.
Graphic material must be provided in one of the following formats:
JPEG (. Jpg)
Portable Document Format (. Pdf)
PowerPoint (.ppt)
TIFF (. Tif)

Tables/Figures must be numbered by citation order in the text and marked by Arabic numerals and identified, figure/table.

Each Figure and Table included in the work must be referenced in the text: An abnormal immune response may be at the origin of the disease symptoms (Fig. 2). This is associated with two other lesions (Table 1).

Figure: when referenced in the text itís abbreviated to Fig., while Table is not abbreviated. In the legends are both written in full.

Each Table and Figure must be concise and clear and accompanied by the respective legend.
The legends should be self-explanatory (without need to use text).
About the graphics, it must be explicit whether the information includes individual, medium or median values if there is a representation of the standard deviation and confidence intervals and the sample size (n).

The photographs must include identifiers (arrows and asterisks). Color photographs may be published if necessary.

Each table should be used to display results, presenting lists of individual and summarized data. However they mustnít duplicate the results described in the text. It must be followed by a short but clear and lucid title. The used units of measurement must be indicated (in parentheses below the name that heads each category of values) and the numbers must be reduced to the decimal places with clinical significance.

For the explanatory notes in the Tables must be used the following symbols and sequence *, †, ‡, §, ||, ¶, **, ††, ‡‡ .

If patient photographs are used, they should not be identifiable or photographs must be accompanied by written permission to use it.

Permission to publish. In case of tables of books or journals, the authors are responsible for obtaining permission from the authors of the works that are being reproduced, for that publication, and must present it in the submission.

6. Acknowledgments (optional)

They must come after the text and before the references, they aim to thank all of those who have contributed to the study but do not have sufficient weight to the authorship. In this section, itís possible to thank all sources of support, whether financial, technological or consulting, as well as individual contributions.

7. References

Authors are responsible for the exactness and accuracy of the references and for its correct citations in the text. Whenever possible the, original sources must be mentioned.

Only published documents should be cited. The references to unpublished works, conference abstracts, presentations or personal observations must be inserted in the text (in parentheses) and not as conventional references.

Articles accepted for publication can be cited, designating the authors, title and journal, followed by the designation "In press".

The Vancouver style must be used, as indicated in the ICMJE Recommendations. The abbreviations used in journals naming should be those used by the NLM Catalog: Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases, available at

References must be numbered consecutively by the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. Identify references in text, tables and legends by Arabic numerals in parentheses.

Example: "Although there is controversy over whether homecare or a similar institution means a higher mortality risk in the current literature and guidelines6-9, this is considered a worse prognostic factor, and pneumonia in such patients should be treated such as nosocomial pneumonia.11 "

Do not indicate the month of publication.

If a reference has six or less authors, display all the author names in the citation. If a reference has 7 or more authors, display the first name followed by 'et al' in the citation.
Here are some examples of several types of references.


The journal references (a), book chapters edited by other authors (b), written and edited books by the same authors (c), electronic references (d) or (e) Academic Thesis/Dissertation must include:

a) Articles: list of all authors (except for more than six, and then the first six must be cited, followed by Ďet alí). Title of the article. Name of abbreviated journal. Year; Volume: first-last pages. DOI
Decoster L, Van Puyvelde K, Mohile S, Wedding U, Basso U, Colloca G, et al. Screening tools for multidimensional health problems warranting a geriatric assessment in older cancer patients: an update on SIOG recommendations. Ann Oncol. 2015; 26:288-300. doi:10.1093/annonc/mdu210

b) Chapters in books: Name(s) and initials of the author(s) of the cited chapter or contribution. Title and chapter number or contribution. Name and initials of medical editors. Book title. City: Name of publisher; Year of publication. First and last pages of the chapter.
Meltzer P, Kallioniemi A, Trent JM. Chromosome alterations in human solid tumors. In: Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW, editors. The genetic basis of human cancer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2002. p.93-113.

c) Books: Name(s) and initials of the author(s). Book title. Edition. City: Publisherís name; Year of publication.
Murray PR, Rosenthal KS, Kobayashi GS, Pfaller MY. Medical microbiology. 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2002.

d) Electronic References

Internet Monograph
Van Belle G, Fisher LD, Heagerty PJ, Lumley TS. Biostatistics: a methodology for the health sciences [e-book]. 2nd ed. Somerset: Wiley InterScience; 2003 [consulted 2005 Jun 30]. Available at:

Homepage/Website [Internet homepage]. New York: Association of Cancer Online Resources; 2002 [consulted 9 Jul 2012]. Available at:

e) Thesis/Academic Dissertation
Borkowski MM. Infant sleep and feeding: a telephone survey of Hispanic Americans [dissertation]. Mount Pleasant: Central Michigan University; 2002.

Peer-review process

The PJIM follows a strict single-blind peer-review process.

All manuscripts are initially evaluated by the members of the Editorial Team and if they donít comply with the instructions they can be immediately rejected.

All manuscripts are evaluated by the editor-in-chief. They can be rejected at this stage, without being sent to the reviewers.

The editor-in-chief is responsible for the final acceptance.

In the evaluation, articles can be:
a) Accepted without changes;
b) Accepted after proposed modifications by the reviewers;
c) Refused

Only the manuscripts containing original material that was not yet published, in whole or in part, and that was not submitted for publication elsewhere will be accepted.

After submitting the article on the platform of the PJIM website, the status of the article is changed to "Submitted by the Author".
This information can be found in the list of articles under review.
After validation of the Cover letter submission and the Consent Form along with the Statement on authorship signed by the authors and the Conflict of Interest Form, all articles will be analyzed by the Editorial Board and sent to two reviewers, if they are in accordance with the instructions and follow the editorial policy.

Reviewers must keep confidentiality and will appreciate the content of the article and as well as the importance of its publication.
Within a maximum period of four weeks, the reviewer shall respond to the editor-in-chief indicating his/her comments regarding the manuscript and his/her suggestion as to accept, review or reject the manuscript. Within ten days the editorial board will make a decision that may be: acceptance without modifications; sending to the author the reviewers' comments to proceed as indicated; rejection.

When changes are proposed, the authors have fifteen days (a term that can be extended by authorsí request) to submit the new revised version of the manuscript, including comments from the reviewers and editorial board. The changes should be highlighted with a different color.

The editor-in-chief has 10 days to make the decision on the new version: to reject or accept the new version, or to send it to one or more reviewers.

In case of acceptance, in any of the previous phases, the decision will be communicated to the corresponding author.

In the review phase of typographical proofs, substantial changes to the articles will not be accepted and it may imply subsequent rejection by decision of the editor-in-chief. In all cases the reviewers' opinion will be fully communicated to the authors within six to eight weeks from the date of reception of the manuscript.

In the fourth edition of each year, the names of the reviewers who have collaborated with PJIM will be published, being awarded one star for every 3 years of consecutive activity in the journal.
Although the editors and reviewers are making efforts to ensure the technical and scientific quality of the manuscripts, the sole responsibility for the content lies within the authors (including accuracy and precision of the comments, as well as the opinions expressed).

How to respond to peer-review?

  1. All reviewers' comments should be answered point by point;
  2. Copy the reviewers' comments to a Word document and respond to each comment;
  3. List each comment entirely, followed by the answers;
  4. We suggest the format:
    Reviewer 1 comment 1:
  5. Also submit 2 copies of the manuscript:
  1. With flagged changes (track changes/record changes)
  2. Clean, with all included revisions

Typographical proofs

The typographical proofs will be sent to the authors, indicating the period of revision according to PJIM's publication needs. The review must be approved by the corresponding author. The authors have five days to review the text and report any typos. At this stage, authors cannot make any substantial changes to the article, in addition to corrections of typographical errors and/or minor spelling errors.

Failure to respect the proposed deadline releases PJIM from accepting the authorsí review and may be carried out exclusively by the PJIM services.

Errata and Retractions

The PJIM publishes changes, amendments or retractions to a previously published article if, after publication, errors or omissions that may influence the interpretation of data or information are identified. Amendments after publication shall take the form of errata.

Manuscript Checklist

1. Cover Letter submission, drafted and signed by the corresponding author, stating why the work is suitable for publication at PJIM; that all authors fulfilled the authorship criteria; that itís an original and only submitted for publication at PJIM; that the manuscript complies with the structure and style standards adopted by the journal (complies with the recommendations of the Declaration of Helsinki of the World Medical Association/has been evaluated and approved by the ethics committee, if original study); and indicate the funding sources.

2. It must include potential conflicts of interest of all authors. Completed Consent Form (Authorship form and Conflict of Interest declaration).

3. It must include all funding sources, along with detailed information on the roles of each sponsor or funder in each of the following: "designing and conducting the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of data; and preparation, revision or approval of the manuscript.

4. On the title page, it must designate a corresponding author and provides contacts: full address, telephone, fax and e-mail address.

5. It must include signed statement by the authors.

6. For clinical studies, the record must be added, as well as CONSORT checklist and flow chart for randomized studies.

7. For systematic reviews, it must be included the PRISMA flow chart and checklist.

8. An abstract according to the requested format (see specific types of articles) must be provided.

9. Double-space manuscript (text and references).

10. In the Acknowledgments section, must be included specific names, affiliations and contributions of all persons who contributed to the manuscript but who did not meet the authorship criteria. Written permission must be obtained for all persons named in the Acknowledgments section and the corresponding author must confirm that written permission has been obtained.

11. It must include informed consent forms for photographs, identifiable patient descriptions.

12. It must include information under the ethics committee approval.

13. The reproduction of material (including tables and figures) previously published is discouraged. Original material must be provided, except under extraordinary circumstances.

14. It must include written permission of the publishers (or other copyright owner) to reproduce or adapt previously published content (e.g. tables, figures, substantial parts of the text).

15. Figures/Tables send in separate file.

16. Check all references for accuracy and completeness. Put the references in appropriate format in numerical order, making sure each is quoted in the text. Itís advisable to use reference management software.

17. For each Table and Figure it must be included a brief title (a short sentence, preferably no more than 10-15 words) and an explanatory caption if needed.

© Sociedade Portuguesa de Medicina Interna. Todos os direitos reservados.