INSTRUCTIONS TO AUTHORS

Journal of The West African College of Surgeons is a peer-reviewed journal that is published quarterly in both English and French.

JWACS publishes original full length scientific manuscripts, review articles, case reports, editorials, commentaries, essays, monographs, conference abstracts, letters to the editor and continuing surgical education on chosen topics with positive impact on the management of diseases in the surgical sciences in the West African sub-region. JWACS publishes scholarly manuscripts in all the subspecialties of surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, dentistry, ophthalmology, anaesthesiology, radiology/radiotherapy, and surgical oncology.

The Journal of The West African College of Surgeons is Indexed in PubMed.

Manuscripts for publication should be prepared in keeping with the guidelines of the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals as espoused by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (www.icmje.org) and the Manuscript Writing Manual of the West African College of Surgeons. In addition, authors should show documentary evidence of approval from their institution’s Ethics Board. The research should be carried out in keeping with the Helsinki Declaration of the World Medical Association (World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: Ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. JAMA 2000 Dec 20; 284(23):3043-3045). Drug trials on human subjects must satisfy the national regulatory protocol and the Consort Statement (www.consort-statement.org).

The manuscripts should be double spaced and submitted in English or French or both. Each section of the manuscript should start on a fresh page; same for tables and figures.

The letter of submission should be signed by all the authors with a declaration that the manuscript is not under consideration for publication by any other journal. Conflicts of interest should be declared without ambiguity.

Each section of the manuscript should have all the component building blocks in an orderly sequence:

TITLE PAGE:

  • Title of the paper in bold capital and not exceeding 50 letters.
  • Author(s) byline (only the highest academic qualification is indicated).
  • Address of the institution(s) where the work was carried out.
  • Sources of grant/support.
  • Correspondence author, his address, e-mail, fax and telephone number.

CONFLICT OF INEREST PAGE:

All personal interests/gains that may affect unbiased conduct, results and presentation of the study should be declared on this page. The authors should have unimpeded access to research facilities and the results obtained for publication should be the true reflections of the outcome of credible research.

ABSTRACT:

This should be structured with these building blocks:

  • Background: – how much of a problem is the study in the context and environment under study.
  • Aims and Objectives.
  • Design of the study.
  • Setting – where the study was carried out.
  • Materials and Methods.
  • Results.
  • Conclusion.
  • Key words – They are the main words used by online search engines to identify a particular paper. Each key word should start with a capital letter, and they should not be more than eight in number.

STRUCTURED ABSTRACT FOR NEW KNOWLEDGE/TECHNOLOGY:

  • Purpose – the aim/rationale.
  • Description – detailed description of methodology.
  • Evaluation
  • Conclusion
  • Key words

INTRODUCTION :

  • The problem and the background of the disease in the context and the environment studied.
  • Significance of the problem.
  • Literature review.
  • Aims and objectives.
  • Setting, scope and type of study.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
  • The study population. • The problem. • Inclusion/Exclusion criteria. • Details of what was done – the study – in a concise but comprehensive way. • Statistical analysis of outcome indicating what was analyzed and which software was used for analysis.

    RESULTS:

    This is a presentation of the outcome of the study in a logical sequence in prose, numbers, their percentages, tables, figures. The results of the epidemiology of the cohort studied should come first, followed by symptoms, signs, investigations, treatment, complications, outcome.

    DISCUSSION:

    Both the non-structured and the structured format of Discussion are acceptable:

    NON-STRUCTURED DISCUSSION:

    • State the main finding(s) first.
    • Significance (morbidity and mortality) of the finding(s).
    • Implications of the findings.
    • Citation of references to buttress the findings and also acknowledge references with alternative/opposing evidence.
    • Limitations of the study and the study design.
    • Conclusion(s) – which should be the same as in the Abstract.

    STRUCTURED DISCUSSION

    • Main finding(s).
    • Strength and weaknesses of the study design.
    • Significance of the findings.
    • Citation of references to buttress the findings and other published works with alternative/opposing findings.
    • Implications of the findings.
    • Limitations of the study.
    • Conclusion(s).

    REFERENCES:

    The Vancouver System of reference also called the citation order system should be used. More recent references are preferred. International abbreviation of journals could be accessed from the Journal Database on the PubMed Homepage.

    LEGEND TO FIGURES:

    This page identifies the figures sequentially as they appeared in the manuscript.

    TABLES:

    Each table in the manuscript should have only three horizontal lines – the two lines at the top to enclose the variables and one at the bottom to indicate the end of the table. Vertical lines are not allowed in the tables.

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

    This page provides the author the opportunity to formally acknowledge the assistance of those who had contributed some efforts to the outcome of the work and its presentation but do not qualify to be co-authors.

    REVIEW ARTICLES

    Journal of The West African College of Surgeons publishes both General Reviews and the Systematic Reviews which conform to the building blocks and structure as documented in the Manuscript Writing Course book of the West African College of Surgeons, and these include invited and noncommissioned reviews.

    To qualify to write a Review Article, the author should be an expert with publications on the subject under discussion as would be evident in the References in the manuscript. In addition, the author should show a good grasp of background of the disease, the current concepts and the expected future trends. Though a view may be canvassed in the paper, it is the responsibility of the author to acknowledge other alternate views and give adequate scientific reasons for his stand. Conclusions should be buttressed with enough scientific evidence; speculations and personal views not tested by scientific analysis should be excluded.