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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, or RTF document file format.
  • Where available, DOIs for references have been provided. Web-only references include URLs and date of access.
  • The text is single-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  • DOIs, if available, are provided.
  • If the manuscript was prepared by more than one person, contributions of each person are clearly spelled out in a note added at the end of the document, before the list of citations.
  • Ensure the the following elements of your uploaded file(s) have no identifying information:
    - File name
    - MS Word or other format document file owner information (File/Info/Author and /Modified by)
    - Identifying information such as organization names should also not be included

Author Guidelines

To submit an article or other item for consideration, contributors should ensure that the following criteria are met. We welcome inquiries about possible submissions.

Reference Style

Hypothesis follows the MLA Style Manual for references. Consult Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 2nd edition, for further information and examples.

Images, charts, graphs, and tables

Images, charts, graphs, and tables may be in black and white or color. There is no limit on the number of such element allowed, but all included should be a) necessary to the sense of the article, and b) clearly referred to in the text. Each such element should be consecutively numbered (e.g., Table 1), and be accompanied by a descriptive title. 

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor can be general commentary on topics of interest to MLA members or commentary on recent Hypothesis research publications. If the letter is research commentary, it will be sent to the lead author of the paper to invite their (optional) commentary; letters and authors’ responses (if provided) are published together. Editors reserve the right to edit submission, although authors will be informed of the suggested change.

Hypothesis: Failure

Hypothesis: Failure is a peer-reviewed regular column, the brainchild of Heather Holmes. The column is intended to provide a pioneering platform to share experiences that didn't end as expected (or that didn't end at all).  

Please feel free to contact the editors with inquiries ( about possible submissions. 

Structured abstract:

  • Objective(s): What was your original intent?
  • Methods: What did you do?
  • Results: What happened instead?
  • Lessons learned: What would you do differently?


While this is a more conventional format, we welcome your creative approach.

Neilson, C., & Lê, M. L. (2019). A failed attempt at developing a search filter for systematic review methodology articles in Ovid Embase. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA107(2), 203.


STRUCTURED ABSTRACT: Objective, population or problem, methods, findings, and conclusions (300 words). Consult the MLA Research Section’s structured abstract guidelines for more information on abstract requirements.

BODY OF PAPER (5000 words): Consult the MLA Style Manual for help with formatting and style.

INTRODUCTION: Provide concise overview of study, including research questions, population or problem, methods

LITERATURE REVIEW: Explain the need for research based on prior work. Use JMLA-approved citation style (see

METHODS: Clearly explain process of gathering appropriate and sufficient information to answer research questions. The process may be qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods, but it should be replicable based on provided information. Include mention of human subjects approval, if appropriate

Include, as an appendix, survey questions or other information needed for replicability;

FINDINGS: Clearly explain process of analyzing findings, using figures and/or tables (no more than 2) to illustrate results. Additional links to data should be listed in article, as appropriate.

DISCUSSION: Discuss implications of findings and suggestions for future research. Be  transparent about assumptions, possible bias, and weaknesses of design or processes: no research is perfect!

Voices of Experience

Items submitted to this section are intended to be experiential and reflective in nature, while also providing readers with some background information on methods or processes. For example, an article on your first experience working with an interdisciplinary research team should share your own journey and lessons learned, but also provide some helpful references to literature addressing the main concerns, if available. Your intended audience should be both new and experienced researchers. Articles will be blind peer reviewed.

Word count: 300 for your structured abstract, 5,000 for the article (excluding citations and any appended materials). 

STRUCTURED ABSTRACT: Article focus, background (, reflection on process or experience, what was learned, advice or other conclusions (300 words). 

BODY OF PAPER (5000 words): Consult the MLA Style Manual for help with formatting and style.

INTRODUCTION: Provide concise overview of what you were doing, and what your process was. This is where you tell readers enough to engage their interest, but don't get detailed - save that for the next sections. 

LITERATURE REVIEW: Have others written about the methods or processes? Was there helpful literature guiding you? Use JMLA-approved citation style (see

EXPERIENCE: Clearly explain your experience. Your writing should be professional in quality, but since this is intended to be reflective and hence, more personal, use of "I" is acceptable.

DISCUSSION: Discuss what you've learned, adding suggestions for others. Be  transparent about your own experience (or lack of it). 

Items of Interest

Items published in this section highlight research studies and other interesting publications, including those items published only in open access repositories or elsewhere. There is no length requirement, but each must meet the following criteria:

  • Is comprised of a structured abstract that follows the conventions of research studies (preferred) or a statement about the content of the work
  • Is of potential interest to readers 
  • Is current
  • Includes a statement of permission from the author(s)
  • Cannot have been published elsewhere
  • Includes a copyright permissions statement

Submissions will be reviewed for the above criteria by the editors, and may require editing prior to publication. Please contact us with questions.

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