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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, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • 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, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Author Guidelines

OFP Information for Authors

Osteopathic Family Physician (OFP), the official journal of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, is a peer-reviewed publication whose purpose is to deliver information that helps osteopathic family physicians care for their patients, improve their practices, and better understand the activities ACOFP is taking on for their behalf.

The content areas of the journal reflect the interests of Association members in such diverse topic areas as preventive medicine, managed care, osteopathic principles and practices, pain management, public health, medical education, and practice management.

The journal's particular emphases include an active forum for the presentation of family medicine research in diverse settings, involving medical students, residents, fellows, and practicing professionals. Osteopathic Family Physician provides a forum for careful systematic reviews of primary care. As the official journal of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, Osteopathic Family Physician publishes policy statements, communications from the Board of Governors, and notices of important Committee and Special Interest Group projects.

Submit a Manuscript

To submit a manuscript to the OFP log on to our web-based manuscript tracking system.  Authors can upload manuscripts and accompanying materials to the site and will receive all correspondence regarding their submissions through the site. Please note that our submission process is designed for original contributions. If you feel that a specific question or text box (eg, abstract, IRB approval) does not apply to the manuscript you are submitting, please enter "NA." Shortly after submission, authors will receive an e-mail through the system prompting them to sign and return a copyright release form. Manuscripts will not move forward to review until all forms have been submitted to the OFP. Authors can check the status of their submissions online at any time. The OFP does not require authors to provide hard copies of manuscripts. However, authors are required to have electronic or hard copies of all materials cited in their manuscripts. Failure to make these materials available upon request during the publication process may result in delayed publication.

All manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point standard font (eg, Times New Roman or Arial).

Authors are encouraged to use the OFP’s "Manuscript Checklist" as a reference for required materials when preparing manuscripts for submission.

Previous Publication and Simultaneous Submission
The OFP accepts manuscripts for consideration with the understanding that they have not been published elsewhere in print or online and that they are not simultaneously under consideration by any other print or electronic publication. Any duplicative materials (eg, an abstract, material published using the same or similar data, graphic elements) should be described in the cover letter and identified as such in the submitted materials.

Because the OFP's volunteer peer reviewers invest a considerable amount of time in the peer review process, manuscripts must be withdrawn from consideration at the OFP if they (1) have already been published in any print or online medium or (2) are currently under review by another biomedical journal.

Article Categories

Recommended limits on word count, number of references, and number of tables or figures are listed below for each OFP section. These limits are provided to help guide authors as they prepare their submissions. Manuscripts that exceed these limits may be considered for publication; however, an author may be asked to shorten his or her manuscript. Lengthy graphic elements and supplemental material may be published online only.

The OFP welcomes submissions in the following categories:

Original Research:
Manuscripts in this category document original clinical or applied research. Original contributions include controlled trials, observational studies, diagnostic test studies, cost-effectiveness studies, and survey-based studies. The OFP will accept basic scientific research only if the work has clear clinical applications. For randomized controlled trials, study flow diagrams must be submitted. For all other types of original contributions, flow diagrams are encouraged. Original contributions should be 3000 words with no more than 50 references and 5 tables or figures. OFP requires you to submit a 250-word abstract, along with four to six keywords.

The content should include the following:
1) Abstract
2) Introduction
3) Methods: For a human or experimental animal investigation, the methods section must identify the institutional review board that approved the project. It must also state the manner in which informed consent was obtained from human subjects.
4) Results
5) Discussion
6) Conclusions
7) Acknowledgments

Clinical Images:
This section showcases clinical images from the wards that cover essential concepts or subject matter to the primary care physician.  Each installment of “Clinical Images” comprises 1 or 2 medical images along with a brief synopsis of how the case presented along with 1 – 4 questions and approximately 1 page of education with reference to the image and questions.  

Manuscripts of this type are detailed, critical surveys of published research relevant to clinical problems. Reviews should be 3000 words with no more than 75 references and 4 tables or figures. OFP requires you to submit a 250-word abstract, along with four to six keywords.

Narrative reviews: 
should include a clear objective and a description of the data-selection and -exclusion process. Such reviews should also provide a description of the condition being reviewed, a summary of common problems in diagnosis and treatment, and a discussion of new theories in the medical literature for improving patient care.

Evidence-Based Clinical Reviews:

These reviews address the tenets and principles of osteopathic medicine. Manuscripts should be based on solid research evidence and formatted to provide concise, helpful information that can be immediately implemented into clinical practice. Authors are encouraged to create their own tables and figures instead of using previously published material. 

Brief Reports - Practice Management, Health Policy, Medical Education:
OFP publishes articles offering advice based on practical experience and on special knowledge or expertise. OFP prefers articles that reflect expert opinion or broad practice experience. The test for publication will always be whether it is immediately useful to the osteopathic family physicians who read OFP. OFP brief reports should be approximately 2,000 words (+/- 500.) If your manuscript includes a number of illustrations, graphs or tables, try to adjust the manuscript text to compensate for the space these elements take up. OFP requires you to submit a 250-word abstract, along with four to six keywords.

Letters to the Editor:
Osteopathic family physicians, faculty members at osteopathic medical colleges, osteopathic medical students, and others in the healthcare professions are encouraged to submit comments related either to articles published in the OFP or to the mission of the osteopathic medical profession. The OFP’s editors are particularly interested in letters that discuss recently published original research.

Peer Review and Publication Process

All manuscripts submitted to the OFP are first reviewed by the ACOFP's editor in chief. Submissions are then reviewed by three peer reviewers, two from the ACOFP editorial committee and one with a relevant specialty to the manuscripts.

The OFP usually notifies authors of manuscript acceptance, revision requests, or rejection within 3 months of acknowledging receipt of manuscripts. Authors are encouraged to contact the OFP if they have not received a status update in that period.

As a means of maintaining editorial and other quality standards, all accepted manuscripts are subject to editing and abridgment. Such editing takes place after manuscripts undergo peer review and author revision. During this editing process, the OFP's staff editors revise all accepted manuscripts for clarity, organization, grammar, conformity to house style and format, and adherence to ACOFP-preferred terminology, nomenclature, and spelling. Staff editors also conduct basic fact-checking, including verifying referenced statements. As a consequence, they may request copies of reference materials that were not provided on submission. As noted under "Manuscript Submission," failure to provide copies of referenced material upon request may result in delayed publication.

Corresponding authors will receive galley proofs of edited manuscripts for review and comment before publication. Corresponding authors are responsible for responding to peer reviewers' comments and concerns, as well as staff editors' queries. Corresponding authors are also responsible for verifying all statements in their articles, including confirming the accuracy of changes made by the OFP's staff editors. Failure to respond fully to peer reviewers' comments and concerns before manuscript acceptance, to address staff editors' queries, or to verify statements may result in publication delay.

Accepted manuscripts are scheduled for publication according to (1) article type (eg, original contributions are assigned the highest priority followed by systematic reviews), (2) the timeliness of the topics the manuscripts address, and (3) the priority assigned by the ACOFP's editor in chief and the OFP's associate editors.

Authors who would like their manuscripts considered for rapid review should justify that request in their cover letters.

Authors who are considering submitting multiple manuscripts that will convey the progression of a study or that are part of a series of articles intended to be published at the same time are strongly encouraged to contact OFP staff in advance of submitting such articles.

Although tentative publication dates are provided to corresponding authors in advance as a courtesy, those dates are subject to change with due notice based on changes in priority made by the editor in chief, the associate editors, and the OFP Editorial Advisory Board.

Manuscript Preparation

Manuscript Components

Cover letter
A cover letter addressed to ACOFP Editor in Chief must accompany each submission. The cover letter should provide the corresponding author's full name and contact information, including that author's full professional titles and affiliations, preferred mailing address, preferred e-mail address, day and evening telephone numbers. 

Title page
In addition to providing the title of a submission, the title page should state:

    1. the date of submission.
    2. list the full names of all authors according to the authors' preferred usage.
      1. The authors' names should include all doctoral and master degrees in the order in which they were earned.
      2. For authors without doctoral or master degrees, their highest earned academic degrees should be listed. In addition, the full professional titles and affiliations of all of the manuscript's authors should be included on the title page.
      3. The order of authors should be determined by the ICMJE definition of roles and responsibilities.
      4. The names of osteopathic medical students should include the OMS designation with the year of training in Roman numerals (eg, "OMS IV" should appear after the names of fourth-year osteopathic medical students).
Any manuscript submitted by osteopathic medical students, interns, or residents must include at least one trainer's name in the byline. The trainer should be a clinician or basic scientist who has a thorough understanding of the research or other work associated with the manuscript.
    1. Describe any financial support provided for the work on which the manuscript is based, and grant numbers should be provided.
    2. For each author, the title page should include a financial disclosure statement (eg, employment, funding, or stock ownership with the manufacturer of the product studied) and a conflict of interest statement (eg, any nonfinancial affiliation with a group that may benefit from the study, such as serving on a formulary committee). In the event that authors do not have any potential conflicts to disclose, a statement to that effect must be made on the title page. A list of potential conflicts of interest is included in the "Manuscript Checklist."
    3. Authors should be aware that when a manuscript is published on the OFP website, Google Scholar and PubMed automatically provide links to other articles by the first author and the last author of the OFP article. Links are not provided to articles by the second, third, etc, authors.

An abstract is required. It should briefly state the purpose of the research, the primary results, and conclusions - between 200 and 250 words. The abstract should be able to stand alone on its own merits, separate from the article. For this reason, references should be avoided, but if necessary, they must be cited in full and without reference to the reference list. Also, non-standard or uncommon abbreviations should be avoided.

Immediately after the Abstract, provide a maximum of 6 keywords, using American spelling and avoiding general and plural terms and multiple concepts (avoid, for example, "and", "of"). Be sparing with abbreviations: only abbreviations firmly established in the field may be eligible. Keywords will be used for indexing purposes.

Authors should briefly introduce the topic of their manuscript. Introductions should end with a brief objective statement that clearly identifies the purpose of the study. 


Include all search keywords and search terms, and data sites.
(For example, A PubMed search was used to identify the available studies for dates 2012-2015 using keywords.)

For prospective clinical trials, including pilot studies, the methods section must state the name of the public registry in which the trial was listed before subject recruitment began (see "Public Registration").

For a human or experimental animal investigation, the methods section must identify the institutional review board that approved the project. It must also state the manner in which informed consent was obtained from human subjects.

Authors must also clearly describe the basic study design, list measurement instruments and other tools used for independent and dependent variables, and clearly identify any modified or novel interventions that did not comply with approved or standard use.

In addition, authors must define the masking or blinding protocol and any statistical methods used, providing the full name of each method at first mention (eg, "Pearson's product moment correlation coefficient" rather than "Pearson's correlation coefficient").

As a general guideline, the methods should be written with enough detail that another researcher can replicate the study.

Authors must report all outcome data and other results as they relate to the study's objectives and to the manuscript's "Methods" section. Where appropriate, authors should discuss the relevance and importance of their findings specific to osteopathic medicine.

Authors should interpret the significance of the findings as they relate to other relevant literature, describe any limitations of the study, and make recommendations for future research.

Authors should identify the study's major findings as they relate to the study's purpose and the clinical applications of those findings, if appropriate. They should not consist of a summary of the study. Conclusions should be limited to 1 paragraph.

Authors should limit acknowledgments to people who substantially contributed to either the study or the preparation of the manuscript. Acknowledgments should list contributors' full names; highest earned academic degrees, including all doctoral and master degrees; and professional titles at academic and other institutions. Acknowledgments of osteopathic medical students should include the OMS designation after their names as indicated under "Title Page" of this section. 
Authors are required to obtain permission to name in print for all individuals listed in the acknowledgments section. Failure to submit permission to name individuals acknowledged in print may delay publication.

References are required for all material derived from the work of others and should follow the guidelines described in the 10th edition of AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (2007). References should include direct, open-access URLs (uniform resource locators) to full-text versions of the referenced articles. A URL to an abstract in the National Library of Medicine's PubMed database does not meet this requirement. 
For journal articles that are not accessible online for free, authors must send photocopies via e-mail, fax or mail once their manuscripts are accepted for publication.  
When comparing the work of the manuscript with published studies, authors must refer to original documents rather than secondary sources.

CME quiz questions:
Authors should submit 1 to 4 multiple choice questions for the continuing medical education quiz and brief discussions of the correct answers.

Graphic Elements
Research-based submissions should include at least 1 graphic element. All accompanying tables and figures should be numbered, and they should be cited sequentially in the text.

Table headings should appear on the tables themselves. Labeled captions for figures, including illustrations, should be provided at the end of the manuscript. A full bibliographic citation should be provided in each caption for reprinted or adapted graphic elements.

All images must be submitted as separate high-resolution JPEG or TIF files. The minimum resolution that the OFP can accept is 8 inches width at 72 dpi. All patient information must be removed from or blocked out of graphic elements. Radiologic images, in particular, should be checked for patient information before being submitted to the OFP


Supplemental Material

For manuscripts based on survey data, copies of the original surveys and the cover letters that accompanied the surveys must be included with the other manuscript components at the time of submission.

For randomized controlled trials, authors must submit study flow diagrams.

Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission from publishers and authors to adapt or reprint previously published tables, illustrations, and other graphic elements. Authors must specifically obtain permission to reprint or adapt graphic elements for both the OFP's print and online versions.

Authors must also obtain written permission from patients to use their photographic images if those patients are identifiable in the images. If a patient is younger than 18 years, authors must obtain permission from one of the patient's parents or guardians. Authors are encouraged to use the OFP's patient-model release form for this purpose. 

Authors must submit signed permissions from publishers, authors, and patients once their manuscripts are accepted for publication in the OFP. Likewise, authors must submit signed permission from anyone explicitly named in their studies, including named sources for unpublished data and individuals listed in the acknowledgments.

Authors serving in the US military must obtain armed forces' approval for their manuscripts and provide military or institutional disclaimers when submitting manuscripts.

Failure to submit appropriate permission forms may delay publication.


Corresponding authors will receive one copies of the OFP issues in which their articles appear. Authors who wish to receive additional copies should contact the OFP at belindab@acofp.org within 6 months after their articles are published.

No material published in the OFP may be reprinted without the written permission of the ACOFP's executive director.

CME Credit

All DO authors of articles published in the OFP earn AOA Category 1-B continuing medical education credit for their contributions. The amount of credit varies based on the article type, ranging from 15 credit hours for writing original contributions and medical education articles to 3 credit hours for original authors responding to letters to the editor.

Privacy Statement

Information Collection & Use 

The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) is very concerned about the confidentiality or your personal information.  This Privacy Policy explains how we work to protect the privacy and security of your visits to this website, describes what information the ACOFP intends to accumulate and how the ACOFP intends to collect, protect and use this information.

By using ACOFP.ORG you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy.  So, if you do not agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy, please exit the website.

The ACOFP is the sole owner of the information collected on ACOFP.ORG.  We do occasionally rent this information to others for the purpose of promoting educational events or products of interest to our members.


Personal Information Collection & Use 

The ACOFP collects information that identifies or can be used to identify or contact the person.  This includes, but is not limited to, name, address, e-mail address, telephone and similar data.  ACOFP does not collect personal information about you except when you provide the information on a voluntary basis.  The ACOFP may use this personal information provided by you to conduct research, to improve this site and to provide services to you.  The ACOFP will disclose your personal information to third parties when necessary for the provision of services to you, for the protection of others and when required by law.

Aggregate information consists of information in summary form that does not contain individual identifiable information.  The ACOFP uses and allows third parties to use aggregate information to aid in the development or implementation of programs, products and services.



A cookie is a piece of data used by websites to collect non-personal information about the visitor’s use of the site and which is stored on the user’s computer. Once the user closes the browser they are using to navigate the web most cookies simply close.  However, if the user visits the website again, cookies help it “remember” the visitor. The password-protected sections of ACOFP.ORG – including “members only” – utilize cookies to remember members and other visitors and their preferences. This allows visitors to quickly access their most-visited areas of the site.  However, users may block these cookies and still use ACOFP.ORG.

IP Addresses 

The ACOFP uses IP addresses (information that identifies the location of computers or networks on the Internet that access its website) to administer the site, take note of a user’s use of the site and gather broad information for aggregate use.  IP addresses are not linked to personal identifiable information.

Links and Suggested Resources

ACOFP.ORG contains links to other sites. The ACOFP is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites.  This Privacy Policy applies solely to ACOFP.ORG. Should you follow a link to another site we suggest you review the privacy policy of that website.


Occasionally, the ACOFP may post a survey on ACOFP.ORG. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice about whether or not to disclose any personal information.

ACOFP Physician Data Policy

The ACOFP maintains a data base of information on osteopathic medical students and residents as well as practicing osteopathic family physicians, including those who are not ACOFP members. Each physician’s record includes demographic information, osteopathic medical school, postgraduate information and current practice information.  Demographic information includes date of birth, gender, mailing addresses (home and office) and other content information.  Current practice information includes type of practice and licensure.

While ACOFP obtains most physician information directly from the primary source, it also receives demographic information from osteopathic medical schools and state societies. This data is closely guarded and not shared with outside organizations except in the aggregate.  Some of the information in the ACOFP member database is used to compile the Online Membership Directory.  Members are allowed to exclude this information from the directory, special publications or mailing/e-mail lists.


The ACOFP takes every precaution to protect the information we collect.  We use SSL encryption to protect our information online.  We also do everything possible to protect or database off-line.  All information is restricted in our offices.  Employees must use password-protect screens when they enter the database. The server on which we store individual personally-identifiable information is kept in a secure environment. We obtain information only from primary sources and the ability to change any information in the master database is restricted.

To protect their privacy our members may direct the ACOFP to:

  • Exclude them from the online ACOFP member directory, including the members-only section
  • Exclude them from distribution of special publications, including those of the ACOFP’s official journal, Osteopathic Family Physician 
  • Exclude them from promotional mailings for products or educational events
  • Not release their contact information to affiliates or licensees
  • Not release individual physician-provided information gathered through surveys or other methods to licensees or other osteopathic organizations.