Instructions for Authors


Formatting a manuscript

Reference style

Peer review process

Contact information


Sample manuscript


The Journal of Clinical Ethics accepts original manuscripts, case reports, commentaries, and letters to the editor. JCE is an international, peer-reviewed journal that is published quarterly.


Unsolicited manuscripts are reviewed for general quality and suitability by a panel of inhouse editors before they are sent for outside, double-blinded peer review. The process generally takes four to eight months. Manuscripts are accepted based on quality, suitability, and the needs of the journal.


There is no fee to submit a manuscript for publication.




Manuscripts should be sent to the managing editor, Leslie LeBlanc. Please do not send manuscripts to the editor in chief.


Authors should include the following electronic documents:



JCE has no set requirement regarding the length of manuscripts. Manuscripts should probably be longer than three double-spaced pages and shorter than 35 double-spaced pages (although manuscripts that are longer than 35 pages have been published in parts). Specific format instructions include:



Click here for a sheet on the reference style used by the journal.




JCE acknowledges the continuing evolution of editorial ethics. We invite discussion of the policies outlined below.


Authors should list contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship, such as a person who provided purely technical help or writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support, in an acknowledgment. Sources of financial and material support must be acknowledged.


All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and those who qualify should be listed as authors. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content of the manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest

Authors must disclose financial and other conflicts of interest using this form. Authors should acknowledge, in the manuscript, all financial support and any other financial or personal connections. Conflict of interest information that may identify the authors should be blinded in the original submission. This information will be restored should the manuscript be accepted for publication.

External reviewers must disclose to the editorial staff any conflict of interest that could bias their opinion of a manuscript and should disqualify themselves from reviewing when appropriate. Reviewers should not use knowledge of a work before publication to further their own interests.

Permission to Use the Work of Others
Authors who use the written or graphic work of another must obtain permission from the owner of the work, and acknowledge the source fully. Submissions of manuscripts must include copies of written permission to reproduce published material, to use illustrations, report information about identifiable people, or to name people for their contributions. In submitting a manuscript, authors accept liability for any infringement of copyright and for any proceedings in damages against the publisher that may arise from the publication of their manuscript. The traditional principles of fair use should be followed.


The identity of authors and all identifying information are removed from manuscripts when they are sent for review. Manuscripts are reviewed with respect for authors’ confidentiality, and are privileged communications. The editorial staff will not disclose information about manuscripts to anyone other than a reviewer or the corresponding author, and will not disclose the identity of an author unless the author gives the staff permission to do so.

Reviewers and the editorial staff will respect authors’ rights by not publicly discussing their work or appropriating their ideas. Reviewers are not allowed to make copies of a manuscript for their files and may not share a manuscript with others, except with the permission of the editorial staff (who will ask the authors before granting permission).

Patients and Third Parties
Patients and third parties have a right to privacy that must not be infringed without their informed consent. This right is in tension with the traditional and valuable use of the cases of actual patients. Primary considerations are to promote the welfare of patients, respect patients as persons, and avoid causing harm—while furthering ethical discourse. JCE acknowledges that it is not always possible or desirable to obtain truly informed consent from patients or their families, and offers the following guidelines.

JCE has prepared work sheets and consent forms for authors to use in obtaining informed consent from patients, patients’ representatives, and/or patients’ families.


Reviewers’ identities are known to editorial staff but are not revealed to authors without reviewers’ permission. Unless reviewers give editorial staff permission to give an author their name, their identity will not be revealed to the author (or to anyone else). Reviewers’ comments may be sent to other reviewers of the same manuscript, and reviewers may be notified of a decision regarding publication. Click here for a reviewer’s form.

Research involving human subjects

When they report on research that involves human subjects, authors must indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human research, and they should provide the name of this committee in their cover letter. (The name of the committee should be blinded in the manuscript, for example, a statement might read, “The design for this study was reviewed and approved by the [name blinded] IRB.”)

Authors may not use a patient’s name, initials, or hospital number, especially in illustrations, without the express written permission of the patient. See “Privacy: Patients and Other Third Parties,” above.




The majority of articles published in The Journal of Clinical Ethics are subject to double-blinded peer review. The manuscripts are reviewed by experts who do not receive remuneration. Some of the reviewers serve as Associate Editors for the journal. The Associate Editors receive a complimentary subscription to the journal, but receive no other compensation.

Some manuscripts are invited by members of the editorial staff, and, as a result, are not subject to outside blinded peer-review. They are subject to review by an internal editorial board.

Peer review typically takes four to six months.




Leslie LeBlanc, Managing Editor

The Journal of Clinical Ethics

6 West Washington Street, Suite 302, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740 USA

240-420-8850; fax: 240-718-7100;




Editorial office hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday though Friday, U.S. East Coast time