Are you interested in writing SJM Commentaries? We do our best to find several articles a week of interest and importance to the medical student community, and to write a brief comment on the research, it’s particular appeal, and how it may impact our own studies and future practice. These are considered quickly and on a rolling basis by the editorial staff. They can be in an informal voice, and should capture why you personally were excited about a particular new paper. Please follow the guidelines below, though a bit (within reason!) of artistic license may be taken in these:

Subject: The article should have been published no more than 11 months previous to the date of submission. (Our aim is to only present research from the past year in this forum.) It should be drawn from the peer-reviewed biomedical literature, though may be on any topic: clinical, translational or basic research, methodology, bioinformatics, epidemiology, computational or systems biology, or something we haven’t even thought to list here!

Content: The Commentary should be between 300 and 500 words. It should be in the first person, and may use less formal language (i.e. contractions, personal reflection) as compared to original research manuscripts. It should address the following key points:

  • Brief summary of the research methods and results
  • Discussion of why those results are particularly interesting and important to you, and why they should matter to a medical student and emerging physician-scientist
  • Discussion of what you’d like to know more about, having read the article–are there clear opportunities for additional research here? New and exciting questions generated? Concerns about the limitations of the methodology or data presented?
Formatting: The Commentary can be submitted as a word document or in the body of an email, but should include the following:
  • Article title and author, journal title, date of publication, and a link to the original article
  • Your name, email address and affiliation. If you have particular training and/or are published in the field discussed in the article, please let us know. Two authors may collaborate on a Commentary.
  • The body of the Commentary.
  • Please provide a brief (1-2 sentence) explanation of any technical terms introduced in the commentary that might be new to a student audience. These may be incorporated into the article as “tooltips” that appear when the reader’s mouse hovers over the associated term.
Please note: Commentaries are reviewed only by the editorial staff; they are not sent out to peer reviewers for formal review. Commentaries may be selected for immediate publication, an edit may be requested for clarity, or the Commentary may be rejected due to space limitations or not fitting the mission and aims of the journal.