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Author notes

General notes


Evidence for Self-Medication (EfSM) presents authoritative information on currently important topics in the field of evidence-based self-medication.  The main aim of the journal is to summarise current scientific evidence and to review original studies already published in respected scientific journals in a concise way so as to make them easily available to healthcare professionals who do not routinely have access to the relevant original publications. The articles are published in English and German.

Administrative notes

The articles may not be published elsewhere with the same title and in the same form and may not be submitted to another journal at the same time. With acceptance of the work, you grant the publisher the exclusive rights to exploit the work that are unrestricted in terms of space, time and content for all known types of use. In particular, the right to translate into other languages is also covered.

A publication fee has to be paid for publications in EfSM. Please clarify the minutiae in advance. For all questions concerning publication funding please contact our Digital Sales & Solutions department (see Contact).

Manuscript submission  

Manuscripts can be submitted in English or German. Translation into EfSM’s other standard language will be organised later by the editorial staff.
Please submit the manuscript by e-mail to: editor@efsm.online
The receipt of the manuscript is confirmed by the editorial staff.

Usually, one current publication (study, guideline etc.) should take centre stage of the review article. The authors are supposed to include a copy of this primary publication in full so that the peer reviewer can judge the statements in the manuscript (also) by means of the original source.
In order to warrant an appropriate and comprehensive presentation of the results of the primary publication, the volume of the reviewed original sourc(es) must not exceed 20 pages for articles up to 4000 characters (see below) or 35 pages for articles up to 8000 characters, respectively. Exemptions in individual cases are to be reconciled in advance with the editorial office.

Peer review and editorial processing  

The editorial team decides on the acceptance of the manuscript based on defined acceptance and rejection criteria.

EfSM acceptance criteria

Submitted review articles eligible for publication should meet the following criteria:

  • The author should present important and relevant studies or significant medical advances in the field of self-medication.
  • The article contains new findings in self-medication indications or approaches for EfSM readers.
  • The new insights are useful to healthcare professionals in their routine practice taking care of patients and making decisions concerning pharmacotherapy and respective recommendations.
  • The subject matter must be explored comprehensively and thoroughly.
  • The methods used in the original studies are appropriate and described comprehensibly.
  • All statements and conclusions must be deduced from the underlying data according to current scientific standards.

EfSM rejection criteria

Submitted review articles will be rejected if at least one of the following criteria applies:

  • The article fails the technical screening or does not fall within the aims and scope of EfSM.
  • The procedures and/or analysis of the data reviewed are seen to be defective or tendentious.
  • The conclusions cannot be justified based on the data presented.
  • Lack of comprehensibility.

The rejection of an article does not have to be justified. The editor and editorial staff may ask the author to revise and shorten the manuscript. (Denial of revision conforms to withdrawal of the article.)

Publication fee

The publication fee is due with the editorial acceptance of the manuscript and must be paid before publication by either the author or their funder, institution or employer. If the publication fee is paid by a third party, this will be stated at the end of the publication, indicating either “Publication funded by …” or “Medical writing and publication funded by …”.


Drafting the manuscript


Basically, manuscripts can be submitted in one of two versions:

  1. up to 4000 characters (incl. blanks)
  2. up to 8000 characters (incl. blanks)

Deviations are possible according to prior agreement with the editorial office. These numbers contain the title, abstract, plain text, and table(s) (if applicable). The reference list does not count. 

The pages of the manuscript shall be numbered. The manuscript shall be saved in one file, incl. figures, captions, table headings and tables.  


Manuscripts are to be structured as follows:

  • Title
  • Subtitle (if applicable)
  • Author name(s) (first name and family name)
  • Optional: bibliographic data of the reviewed paper(s)
  • Abstract
  • Plain text
  • Acknowledgements (if applicable)
  • Potential competing interests (if applicable)
  • Sponsoring information (if applicable)
  • References („Literature“)
  • Affiliation(s)/address of correspondence

Title and (if applicable) subtitle should be meaningful. They should not exceed a length of 100 characters each.

The abstract shall not exceed 400 characters. In the case of study reviews, it shall contain some information on the design of the reviewed study/studies (e.g. randomised study, controlled study, cohort study, cross-over study).  

The plain text shall be partitioned with subheadings. As a rule of thumb, short articles (version 1) should be partitioned into three sections and long articles (version 2) into six sections. 

References („Literature“)

References are to be quoted as consecutive numbers in square brackets throughout the text.  Citation style (two authors, followed by et al.) – examples:

  1. Enck P, Koehler U, et al. Abdominal pain, cramping or discomfort impairs quality of life in women: An internet-based observational pilot study focussing on impact of treatment. Z Gastroenterol. 2017;55(3):260–6. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-100022. Epub 2017 Mar 13.
  2. Indiana University School of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology. P450 drug interaction table. medicine.iupui.edu/clinpharm/ddis/table.asp (accessed 10.01.2011).
  3. HERPC Guideline on Management of Constipation approved by HERPC, 2019. https://www.hey.nhs.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/GUIDELINE-Constipation-guidelines-updated-may-19.pdf (accessed 5.11.2020).
  4. Dietmaier O, Schüpbach D. Psychopharmaka in der Apotheke. Stuttgart: Deutscher Apotheker Verlag, 2018.

Adress of correspondence

Please provide a complete postal address of correspondence and an e-mail address for the corresponding author; preferably also add a telephone number.
In the publication, the affiliation (e.g. company, institution; place) and postal address and e-mail of the corresponding author are indicated.


Depending on the length of the manuscript, either  

  1. one or two figures/tables or
  2. up to four figures/tables

can be included.

For schemes/diagrams unambiguous drafts are needed; they don’t need to have print quality since they are redrawn in the style of the journal. Photographs need to be able to be reproduced. Digital photographs (.jpg, .tif) are needed with high resolution (300 dpi in print size); they must be signed with the figure number (as part of the file name). Figures have to be mentioned within the text with consecutive numbers  as „Figure #“ oder „(Fig. #)“. Figures and captions are to be placed behind the section where they are mentioned for the first time.  When using figures from third parties, the authors are obliged to observe the copyright limits of scientific citation or, if applicable, to obtain a reprint permission. Tables must be editable (e. g. in MS Word), i.e., they must not be inserted as image files. They must be mentioned in the text with consecutive numbers as „Table #“ oder „(Tab. #)“. Table heads and tables are to be placed behind the section where they are mentioned for the first time. Captions and table heads shall be detailed enough so that the figure or table is intelligible on its own.  


For measuring units, the SI system is largely used.
For percentage values, please use the per cent sign (%).
In order to highlight text components, they can be underlined or printed in italics or bold. Don’t use capital letters or spacings.

For more information don’t hesitate to contact the editorial office:

Dr. Heike Oberpichler-Schwenk  
Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft Stuttgart
P.O. Box 10 10 61, 70009 Stuttgart
Maybachstraße 8, 70469 Stuttgart
Telefon: +49-711- 25 82 231
Telefax: +49-711- 25 82 283
E-Mail: editor@efsm.online


(Last updated: August 2021)