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Brief Author Instructions

PRiMER accepts manuscript submissions in the following categories:

Original Brief Reports 
Original Brief Reports are scholarly manuscripts describing original research, rigorous analyses, or brief systematic reviews germane to the broad disciplines of family medicine and primary care education in the US and other nations.

The editorial team will consider non-educational research, including clinical research, if (and only if) the first author is a medical student or family medicine resident AND the research has a family medicine focus. The instructions for "Original Brief Reports" should be followed for these manuscripts as well. Non-educational, student/resident-led manuscripts should be submitted using the "Research Article by a Student or Resident" category in the manuscript submission system.

Letters to the Editor:
Letters to the editor must be brief (500 words or less), written in professionally appropriate parlance, and referenced appropriately (maximum 5 references). Letters to the Editor may not include tables or figures, unless requested by the editor.

Special Articles: 
Occasionally, the editor may request, invite, or call for review articles, commentaries, or editorials. These will, in all cases, be invited by the editor, and will in all cases be submitted for editorial or peer review as appropriate.

Manuscript Preparation

All submissions to PRiMER should be composed in Microsoft Word in a manner consistent with the uniform instructions for authors as published in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals:

Please consult the full AUTHOR INSTRUCTIONS as you prepare your manuscript submission. However, as you plan the basic outline, the following brief guide and summary may be helpful: All manuscripts should be formatted with the following sections:

All submissions should be written in a journal-style format, adhering to all author guidelines.
Each Original Brief Reports submission should include: 

 a.Title page with

           i.  authors’ names, titles, and institutions
          ii.  word count
         iii.  financial support
         iv.  prior presentations of manuscript content
          v.  date submitted, and 
         vi.  conflicts of interest 
b. Abstract page using the headings Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusions.  Abstract word limit is 250 words.
c. Introduction, supported by references 
d. Methods section, including a statement regarding IRB approval or exemption status if required and appropriate.
e. Results section
f.  Conclusion section with discussion 
g. References 

  1. Maximum of 5 tables or figures (combined)
  2. Maximum of 25 references (except for systematic review articles)
  3. Any items, such as tools, surveys, instruments, curricula, etc. that are discussed in the manuscript, should be
    a. uploaded as resources to share in the STFM Resource Library, and
    b. cited as electronic references in the manuscript’s reference list 
  4. Authorship: Authors should be able to meet the 4 criteria for authorship listed by the ICMJE.
Abstract (Original Brief Reports, Special Articles):
All research and review articles require an abstract of no more than 250 words. The abstract should have four sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Conclusion.

MainText (All Manuscripts):


The introduction section of manuscripts reporting research or educational interventions should generally include a brief review of relevant literature to establish the need for the research project and/or the educational intervention being reported. The Introduction section should always address the following questions:

1. What issue is being addressed?

2. Why is the issue important?

3. How will the discipline of family medicine and/or medical education benefit from having addressed the issue?

4. What have others done to address the issue?

5. What were your objectives for the research or educational intervention?


For both qualitative and quantitative research, the methods should be described in sufficient detail to permit readers to fully understand how the research was performed. This should include a complete description of sampling methods, instruments used, methods of data collection and data analysis, and steps taken to avoid or adjust for bias and confounding.

All manuscripts reporting research that involves human subjects (both educational research and clinical research) should include a statement indicating that the research has been reviewed and approved, or granted an exemption from formal review, by an appropriate human subjects protection committee (institutional review board).


Manuscripts reporting educational methods, curricula, or interventions should include a description of the educational method, curricula, or intervention, in sufficient detail to permit readers to understand how the activity might be reproduced at their own institutions.

Research on educational methods, curricula, or other interventions must include an evaluation of the effect of the intervention. A description of the techniques used for evaluation should be described in the methods section of the manuscript.


For manuscripts reporting non-interventional work, it is important that authors carefully describe methods, curricula, and other aspects of their work to provide a full sense of the scope and nature of the project.


Results should be presented in coherent fashion and should be specifically tied to the objectives and methods presented earlier in the manuscript. Tables and Figures should follow the AMA Manual of Style guidelines for the Visual Presentation of Data.


The discussion section should:

1. State the principal findings of the research or educational intervention.

2. Explain why those findings are important.

3. Comment on methodological weaknesses of the study.

4. Provide an overall conclusion.

5. Discuss potential next steps for further research or educational intervention.

Authors should not draw conclusions or make inferences that are not specifically supported by the data reported in the study.

Original Brief Report Manuscript Requirements:

Abstract: 250 Words

Maximum. Main Text: 1000 Words

Maximum References: 25

Maximum Tables/Figures: 5

Maximum number of tables, figures, and references may be exceeded, if justification is provided in the cover letter accompanying the submission.


References (All Manuscripts):

Use of a reference management software package is strongly recommended (such as,,, etc.).

Acknowledgments (All Manuscripts): 
Acknowledgments should be brief and appear on a separate page, following the references. All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed under acknowledgments. Authors should obtain permission from persons being acknowledged before including their names in the work.

To Submit a Manuscript
Submit manuscripts using our Online Manuscript Submission System. If you already have an user account with Family Medicine, you can login using that same account.

Instructions for Authors
Download PRiMER's Author Instructions (PDF) for a more detailed information


Copyright 2017 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine