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The Vancouver Recommendations

The Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (commonly referred to as the Vancouver Convention) were drawn up by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). The Convention sets requirements that most medical journals use when publishing scientific articles, and provides both practical and ethical guidelines for writers. The Convention further entails compliance with the Helsinki Declaration, and research projects must be recommended by an independent ethics committee. The Convention is applied in more than 500 medical journals throughout the world.

A few editors met in 1978 in Vancouver in Canada to establish guidelines for articles being submitted to their journals. This small group was named "The Vancouver Group". Its requirements for manuscripts and bibliographic references were first published in 1979. The group expanded and now meets every year. The ICMJE has gradually incorporated ethical principles for publication in biomedical journals into its recommendations.

The recommendations have been revised many times, most recently in 2014. In 2013 they changed name from Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (URMs) to the current Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals.

The main elements of the recommendations are:

  • Purpose of the Recommendations
  • Who should use the Recommendations?
  • History of the Recommendations
  • Roles and responsibilities of authors, contributors, reviewers, editors, publishers and owners
  • Publishing and editorial issues related to publication in medical journals
  • Manuscript preparation and submission

(See also Authorship and co-authorship in medicine and health research)

The Vancouver Convention can be viewed at http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf

This article has been translated from Norwegian by Carole Hognestad, Akasie språktjenester AS.