Editorial policies

The Michigan Journal of Medicine (MJM) is a peer-reviewed, student-led journal designed to publish and promote scientific and clinical research generated by the members of the University of Michigan to the scientific community at large. Students occupy all editorial leadership roles for the journal and supply all content. The journal’s editorial work is conducted under the guidance of faculty at the University of Michigan Medical School, and the issues are produced in collaboration with Michigan Publishing, a division of the University of Michigan Library.

  • To adopt editorial policies that encourage maximum transparency and complete, honest reporting.

  • To be accountable for everything the Michigan Journal of Medicine publishes.

  • To be objective, fair, and unbiased to ensure a fair and appropriate peer-review process.

  • To treat manuscripts received for review as confidential documents.

  • To disclose any personal, professional, or commercial conflicts of interest with and when they arise and to recuse oneself from decisions involving the related article under review for publication.

  • To investigate any reviewer and editorial misconduct and, as necessary, remediate it.

  • To identify relevant published work that has not been cited or instances where proper attribution was not provided.

  • To guard the integrity of the Michigan Journal of Medicine and its published record by investigating any suspected or alleged research and publication misconduct and issuing corrections and retractions as needed.

  • To notify the editor-in-chiefs promptly if at any point they realize the double-blind, peer-reviewed process has been compromised.

  • To critically assess the ethical conduct of research studies.

  • To clearly communicate expectations for peer reviewers and authors.

  • To consult with the editor-in-chiefs if any of their duties is unclear.


Peer Review Policy

The peer review process of the Michigan Journal of Medicine is double-blinded, with both the reviewers and authors blinded to the identities of each other. The blinding will be performed by the Managing Editor of the journal, who will not otherwise weigh in on the decision of manuscript's acceptance or rejection. By agreeing to serve as a peer reviewer, reviewers shall agree:

  • To treat manuscripts for review as confidential documents.

  • To be objective and formulate reviews clearly with supporting arguments.

  • To decline an assignment if they feel unqualified to review it or cannot meet the deadline.

  • To accept or decline assignments within one week and submit reviews within three weeks of accepting a manuscript assignment.

  • To disclose any potential conflicts of interest in performing the review.

  • To identify relevant published work that has not been cited or instances where proper attribution was not provided.

  • To notify the editors promptly if at any point they realize the double-blind, peer-review process has been compromised.

  • To consult with the editors if anything about their duties is unclear.

The journal may not send submitted manuscripts to reviewers for review if deemed unsuitable for the journal’s content or inappropriate for publication. The editors will be responsible for the selection of the MJM’s content. An article can be rejected at any time before publication, including after acceptance if concerns about the integrity of the work arise. The review comments will be shared among the reviewers of the same paper only after the final decision by the editors-in-chief has been communicated to the corresponding author.


Advertising policy

  • Advertisements shall not influence editorial decisions in any way.

  • Advertisements will be clearly identifiable as advertisements. The sponsored articles with the intent of advertisement will be clearly identified as such and will not be labelled as an original research article.

  • Advertisements will never be juxtaposed with the editorial content of the journal.

  • The journal will not carry advertisements of products that may be harmful to health.

  • Editors will consider all criticisms of advertisements on both print and electronic versions.

  • Editors will have the full and final authority for approving advertisements and are responsible for enforcing the above advertising policy.


Data sharing policy

Authors submitting a manuscript are encouraged to share relevant dataset(s) along with the manuscript as part of the review process. Authors who decide not to share data may be asked to provide a statement on why they cannot share their data during the review process. Data files may be submitted on the submission portal. The editorial team shall ensure that sharing of the data does not violate the double-blind peer review process. Authors are responsible for appropriately abiding by all relevant laws and regulations including, but not limited to, HIPAA, IRB, and other federal, local and institutional regulations when sharing their data. Examples include removal of all identifiable patient information and using HIPAA-compliant data sharing platforms wherever appropriate (e.g., Dropbox).

Once the manuscript is accepted, all authors are required to deposit relevant, deidentified data in Deep Blue Data to promote open access to research. Authors will receive a DOI at the time of deposit, which the authors must submit to the journal while the manuscript is in press. Deep Blue Data accepts submissions by faculty, students and staff of the University of Michigan. For more information about Deep Blue Data, including answers to frequently asked questions, click here

Research Ethics Policy

The Michigan Journal of Medicine is committed to ensuring ethical conduct in the publication of all its content. Our ethical guidelines are based on the Committee on Publication Ethics’s (COPE) guidelines and clarify expectations for authors, reviewers, and editors.

By submitting to the Michigan Journal of Medicine, authors agree: 

  • To conduct research in an ethical and responsible manner and comply with all relevant laws.

  • To present their results clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification, or inappropriate data manipulation. 

  • To describe their methods clearly and unambiguously so that their findings can be confirmed by others.

  • That submitted work is original, is not plagiarised, and has not been published or simultaneously submitted for consideration elsewhere.

  • To disclose relevant conflicts of interest.

  • That authorship accurately reflects individuals’ contributions to the work and its reporting. The contribution statement describing each author’s contribution is required along with each submission of the article.

  • To notify and cooperate with the editors for the Michigan Journal of Medicine if a significant error or inaccuracy is discovered.

  • To consult with the editors if anything about their duties is unclear.


Protection of the Human Subjects & Informed Consent Policy

Studies on patients or volunteers require ethics committee approval and informed consent, which should be documented in the paper. Authors should observe high standards with respect to publication ethics as set out by the Committee on Publication Ethics’s (COPE) guidelines and ICMJE recommendations for reporting about patients. 

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without prior informed consent. Identifying information, including names, initials, dates of birth, identity numbers, biometrical characteristics (such as facial features, fingerprints, writing style, voice pattern, DNA or other distinguishing characteristics) or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent/guardian if the participant is a minor) gives written informed consent for publication. Nonessential identifying details should be omitted. Informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt that anonymity can be maintained. Informed consent for this purpose requires the patient be shown the research protocols and manuscript to be published. When informed consent has been obtained, it should be indicated in the published article. The consent should be archived with the journal, authors, or both.

In rare cases, complete anonymity may be difficult to achieve. In these cases, detailed descriptions of individual participants, whether of their whole bodies or of body sections, may lead to disclosure of their identity. Under certain circumstances consent is not required as long as information is anonymized and the submission does not include images that may identify the person. Informed consent for publication should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of participants is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic profiles, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort meaning. Photographs of subjects showing any recognizable features must be accompanied by their signed release authorizing publication, as must case reports that provide enough unique identification of a person (other than name) to make recognition possible. Failure to obtain informed consent of the patient prior to submission would result in manuscript rejection.

Authors should disclose to these patients whether any potential identifiable material might be available via the internet as well as in print after publication. Patient consent should be written and archived with the authors. Completed consent forms are not to be submitted to the journal; patient confidentiality is better guarded by having the author archive the consent and instead providing the journal with a written statement that attests that they have received and archived written patient consent. Completed forms should be held by the treating institution according to locally approved procedures. The consent form should be made available to the journal’s editors if specifically requested. The editorial board of the Michigan Journal of Medicine reserves the right to reject papers for which the ethical aspects are, in the board’s opinion, open to doubt. 

Exceptions where it is not necessary to obtain consent:  

  • Images such as x-rays, laparoscopic images, ultrasound images, brain scans, or pathology slides unless there is a concern about identifying information, in which case authors should ensure that consent is obtained.

  • Reuse of images: If images are being reused from prior publications, the publisher will assume that the prior publication obtained the relevant information regarding consent. Authors should provide the appropriate attribution for republished images.

Consent for available data and/or biologic material:

  • Regardless of whether material is collected from living or dead patients, they (family or guardian if the deceased has not made a pre-mortem decision) must have given prior written consent. The aspect of confidentiality, as well as any wishes from the deceased, should be respected. 

Data protection, confidentiality and privacy:

  • When biological material is donated for or data is generated as part of a research project, authors should ensure, as part of the informed consent procedure, that the participants are made aware what kind of (personal) data will be processed, how it will be used, and for what purpose. In case of data acquired via a biobank/biorepository, it is possible they apply a broad consent which allows research participants to consent to a wide range of uses of their data and samples, which is regarded by research ethics committees as specific enough to be considered “informed.” However, authors should always check the specific biobank/biorepository policies or any other type of data provider policies (in case of non-bio research) to be sure that this is the case.

Consent to participate:

  • For all research involving human subjects, freely-given, informed consent to participate in the study must be obtained from participants (or their parent or legal guardian in the case of children under 16). A statement to this effect should appear in the manuscript. 

Animal Research

Authors should indicate that institutional, national and/or international standards for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed. We recommend authors follow and comply with the ARRIVE guidelines. Authors must obtain approval prior to research from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or an equivalent committee of their institution. The name of the committee and experimental details must be submitted at the time of initial manuscript submission. The journal reserves rights to request further information regarding the use of animals in the context of appropriate animal welfare.

Corrections, Retractions, and Editorial Expressions of Concern

The Michigan Journal of Medicine will issue corrections, retraction statements, and other post-publication updates on published content.  

The following are categories of corrections and post-publication updates to peer-reviewed, primary research, review-type articles, certain kinds of non-peer reviewed article types, editor’s notes, and editorial expressions of concern.  

Author Correction: An author correction may be published to correct (an) important error(s) made by the author(s) that affects the scientific integrity of the published article, the publication record, or the reputation of the authors or the journal.  

Publisher Correction: A publisher correction may be published to correct (an) important error(s) made by the journal that affects the scientific integrity of the published article, the publication record, or the reputation of the authors or of the journal.

Addendum: An addendum is generally published when significant additional information crucial to the reader’s understanding of the article has come to light following publication of the article.

Editor's Note: An editor's note is a notification alerting readers if the journal has initiated an inquiry in response to concerns raised about a published article. It is an online-only update, made only to the HTML version of record of the published article. It is not indexed.

Editorial Expression of Concern (EEoC): An editorial expression of concern is a statement from the editors alerting readers to serious concerns affecting the integrity of the published paper. EEoCs are published online and are bidirectionally linked to the published paper. 

Publishing an editor’s note or EEoC is recommended by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) as a means of keeping readers updated while a research integrity investigation is underway. Editor’s notes and EEoCs are typically superseded by publishing another amendment―such as a correction or retraction―once the investigation is complete.


Retraction: An article may be retracted when the integrity of the published work is substantially undermined owing to errors in the conduct, analysis, and/or reporting of the study. Violation of publication or research ethics may also result in a study’s retraction. The original article is marked as retracted, but a PDF version remains available to readers. The retraction statement is bidirectionally linked to the original, published paper. Retraction statements will typically include a statement of assent or dissent from the authors.


When making corrections to articles, in the majority of cases the original article (PDF and HTML) is corrected and is bidirectionally linked to and from the published amendment notice, which details the original error. For the sake of transparency, when changes made to the original article affect data in figures, tables or text, the amendment notice will reproduce the original data. When it is not possible to correct the original article in both HTML and PDF versions, the article will remain unchanged but will contain bidirectional links to and from the published amendment notice.

Removal of published content: In exceptional circumstances, the Michigan Journal of Medicine reserves the right to remove an article or other content from the online platform for the Michigan Journal of Medicine. Such action may be taken when (i) the Michigan Journal of Medicine has been advised that content is defamatory, infringes a third party’s intellectual property right, right to privacy, or other legal right, or is otherwise unlawful; (ii) a court or government order has been issued, or is likely to be issued, requiring removal of such content; (iii) content, if acted upon, would pose an immediate and serious risk to health. Removal may be temporary or permanent. Bibliographic metadata (e.g., title and authors) will be retained and will be accompanied by a statement explaining why the content has been removed.

Matters Arising

The Michigan Journal of Medicine recognizes the importance of post-publication commentary on published research as necessary to advancing scientific discourse. Formal post-publication commentary on published papers can involve challenges, clarifications or, in some cases, replication of the published work.


Addressing Post-Publication Issues

The Michigan Journal of Medicine is committed to maintaining the integrity of the scientific record and thoroughly investigating concerns that are directly raised with us by authors and readers. Authors are always given an opportunity to respond to the concerns raised. The Michigan Journal of Medicine may request original unprocessed data and consult with experts in the course of an investigation. Depending on the seriousness of the issues, the following outcomes may ensue:

  •  If the manuscript is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.

  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the issues:

    • a correction or Addendum may be issued.

    • an editor’s note or editorial expression of concern may be issued; these are typically interim notifications that are followed by a second notification once the investigation concludes.

    • the article may be retracted.

  • The author’s institution may be informed if potentially serious issues are identified.

The Michigan Journal of Medicine aims to ensure the integrity of the published record rather than to sanction individuals and, as such, these statements to attribute responsibility to specific named individuals will not be used. The journal may refer readers to the reports of institutional investigations if these reports are publicly available and will issue editor’s notes and/or editor’s expression of concern as interim notifications to alert readership when the journal becomes aware of concerns with published material.


Disclosure of Conflicts of Interests

Authors: All authors are responsible for disclosing all relationships and activities that might bias or be seen to bias their work. The authors will be required to fill out the ICMJE Disclosure Form at the time of initial submission and update the form at the time of publication if there are any changes. Examples of COI include, but are not limited to: employment, consultancies, stock ownership or options, honoraria, patents, and paid expert testimony. Failure to report these relationships or activities on the disclosure form is a form of misconduct. All reported COI will be published with the article.

Reviewers: All reviewers must disclose any relationships or activities that could bias their opinions of the manuscript, and should recuse themselves from reviewing manuscripts if the potential for bias exists. Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work they’re reviewing before its publication to enhance their own interests.

Journal and its Editors: Editors should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have relationships or activities that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration. All editorial staff members who participate in editorial decisions must provide editors with the disclosure of COI by, for example, filling out the ICMJE Disclosure form. Editorial staff must not use the information gained through working with submitted manuscripts for private gain. Editors should regularly publish their own disclosure statements.


Copyright Notice and Open Access Statement

The Michigan Journal of Medicine is an open-access publication. Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain intellectual copyright and grant the Michigan Journal of Medicine right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that permits others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work, with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online, including institutional repositories or preprint servers like ArXiv, prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and increased citation of published work.

  4. After publication, authors may freely post their article, with a full citation and/or link to the journal, on their personal or institutional websites and deposit in institutional repositories.


Publication Fees

Article processing charges are paid for by the Michigan Journal of Medicine via an endowed fund. Additionally, there are no submission fees required. Funders are not involved with the journal's decision making or publishing.


Publication Cycle

The journal publishes one issue a year with an occasional supplemental issue if funding permits. Articles are made available as soon as they are ready to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays in getting content publicly available.