ISSN 1726-569X online version
ISSN 0717-5906 print version


Form and preparation of manuscripts

1. Presentation of articles

Manuscripts submitted to Acta Bioethica should be prepared in accordance with the fifth edition (1997) of the Uniform Requirements Submitted to Biomedical Journals (Vancouver Style).

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Annals of Internal Medicine 1997; 126:36-47.

2. Summary of technical requirements

Manuscripts should be sent following the link on the site:

Articles’ length should not exceed 6.000 words, including tables and illustrations.

Keep copies of everything submitted.

3. Structural scheme

3.1 Title page

  • The title page should carry;
  • The title of the article, which should be concise but informative;
  • The name by which each author is known, with his or her highest academic degree (s)and institutional affiliation;
  • The name of the department (s) and institution (s) to which the work should be attributed;
  • Disclaimers, if any;
  • The name and address of the author responsible for correspondence about the manuscripts and requests for reprints, together with his/her phone number and E-mail.

3.2 Abstracts and key words

The second page should carry an abstract not exceeding 200 words in length to state the purposes of the study or investigation, basic procedures, main findings and the principal conclusions.

Below the abstract authors should provide, and identify as such, 3 to 10 key words or short phrases that will assist indexers in cross-indexing the article. Terms from the medical subject headings (MeSH) list of Index Medicus should be used; if suitable MeSH terms are not yet available for recently introduced terms, present terms may be used. (URL:

3.3 Introduction

State the purpose of the article and summarize the rationale of the study or observation. Give only strict pertinent references and do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.

3.4 Methods

Provide detailed information about methods, techniques and procedures used for collecting and organizing data.

3.5 Results

Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and illustrations. Do not repeat in the text all data in the tables or illustrations; emphasize or summarize only important observations.

3.6 Discussion

Emphasize the new and important aspects of the study and the conclusions that follow from them. Do not repeat in detail data or other material given in the Introduction or the Results section. Include in the Discussion section the implications of the findings and their limitations.

Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not completely supported by the data. Recommendations, when appropriate, may be included.

3.7 Acknowledgements

As an appendix to the text, one or more statements should specify (a) contributions that need acknowledging but do not justify authorship, such as general support by a departmental chair; (b) acknowledgements of technical help; (c) acknowledgements of financial and material support, and (d) relationships that may pose a conflict of interest.

3.8 References

References should be numbered consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text. If a reference is cited more than once, its original number is used again in subsequent citations. No reference should be assigned more than one number.

If it is deemed necessary to call attention to a specific page within a reference, the page number may be added in roman type inside the parenthesis with the reference number. This practice is recommended when referencing direct quotations.

The resolution urged the Member Governments to “make special voluntary contributions for the carrying out of catalytic research” (17, p.240).

Identify references in text, tables, and legends by Arabic numerals in parenthesis. References cited only in tables or legends to figures should be numbered in accordance with the sequence established by the first identification in the text of the particular table or figure.

All references should be listed in numerical order at the end of the text.

Avoid using abstracts as references.

References to papers accepted but not yet published should be designated as “in press” or “forthcoming”; authors should obtain written permission to cite such papers as well as verification that they have been accepted for publication.

The references must be verified by the author (s) against the original documents

Use the style of the examples below, which are based on the formats used by the U.S National Library of Medicine (NLM) in Index Medicus. The titles of journals should be presented without abbreviations (consult: U.S. National Library of Medicine. List of journals indexed. Full title listing. Index Medicus 1998: 111-190.; URL:

The “Uniform Requirements” style (the Vancouver Style) is based largely on an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard style adapted by the NLM for its data bases.

Sample Reference Formats

3.8.1 Journal article

Individual author, article in a Series

Lessa I. Epidemiologia dos acidentes vasculares encefálicos na cidade do Salvador: II, Fatores de risco, complicaçoes e causas de morte. Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia 1985;44(4):255-260.

More than six authors

List the first six authors followed by “et al”. Parkin DM, Clayton D, Black RJ, Masuyer E, Friedl HP, Ivanov E, et al. Childhood leukaemia in Europe after Chernobyl: 5 year follow-up. British Journal of Cancer 1996; 73: 1006-12.

Corporate author

Pan American Health Organization, Expanded Program on Immunization. Strategies for the certification of the eradication of wild poliovirus transmission in the Americas. Bulletin of the Pan American Health Organization 1993;27(3):287-296.

3.8.2 Books and other monographs

Personal author(s)

Ringsven MK, Bond D. Gerontology and leadership skills for nurses. 2nd. ed. Albany(NY): Delmar Publishers; 1996.

Editor(s), compiler(s) as author
Norman IJ, Redfern SJ, (eds.). Mental health for elderly people. NewYork: Churchill Livingstone; 1996.

Chapter in a book

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

3.8.3 Electronic Material

Journal article in electronic format
Morse SS. Factors on the emergence of infectious diseases. Emerg Infect Dis [serial online] 1995 Jan-Mar [cited 1996 Jun 5]; 1 (1): [24 screens]. Available from: URL:

Further explanation and examples may be consulted at:
International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Annals of Internal Medicine 1997; 126: 36-47.

3.9 Tables and Illustrations

The number of tables and illustrations should be strictly limited, only those that are essential to the understanding of the text being included.

NOTE: The above-mentioned guidelines were prepared by the Publications and Dissemination Department of PAHO/WHO Regional Program on Bioethics taken as reference the following bibliographic sources:

  • Pan American Health Organization. PAHO Style Manual. Washington, DC:PAHO;1995.(PAHO-OPS STAND/ 95.1).
  • International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements submitted to biomedical journals. Annals of Internal Medicine 1997; 126: 36-47.
  • Day R. Cómo escribir y publicar trabajos científicos. Washington, DC: Organización Panamericana de la Salud; 1990. (Publicación Científica 526)
  • Sociedad Médica de Santiago. Revista Médica de Chile 1998; 126: 875-887.
  • National Library of Medicine. List of journals indexed. Full title listing. Index Medicus 1998: 111-190.


Requirements for Manuscripts

(From “Instructions to Authors”)

This form should be checked up by the responsible author, stating approval by ticking corresponding boxes and should be submitted together with the manuscript.

This manuscript (or important parts of it) have not already been published and if accepted for publication in Acta Bioethica it will not be submitted for publication elsewhere without the agreement of the PAHO/WHO Regional Program on Bioethics.
The paper has been printed out on A4 paper, one-sided, and in double spacing.
The paper does not exceed 6.000 words in length, including tables and illustrations.
An abstract not exceeding 200 words in length is provided.
Bibliographical references are cited in accordance with the “Uniform Requirements” style (Vancouver Style).
The paper was prepared according to “Instructions to Authors”.
Fax and phone numbers, together with the corresponding author’s E-mail are provided.
___________________________ _____________________________
Corresponding Author
Name and Signature

Phone: ________________________ Fax:________________________


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